Thinking Anglicans

Easter weekend columns

The Times
Geoffrey Rowell On Easter morning a new order broke into the world
And Pete Wilcox Don’t be afraid of the winged messengers

Guardian
Tom Wright Easter’s message of resurrection is a powerful one
And Giles Fraser Embrace freedom

Daily Telegraph
Christopher Howse Ancient Easters caught in stone
And Leader The flesh and blood hopes of Easter

Church Times
Leader Called to be witnesses
And Giles Fraser Why liberals believe the resurrection

24
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
24 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
12 Comment authors
Christopher ShellFord ElmsChirstopher ShellLaurence RobertsErika Baker Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

Rather disappointed with Tom Wright’s Guardian piece – seemed naive and a little sour.

JCF
Guest
JCF

Giles Fraser: “The only time I have ever been asked directly: “Do you believe in the resurrection?” was during a job interview.” This says more about the DYSFUNCTION that is the Church than anything I’ve read in a while: the Church has too many willing to *interrogate* about the resurrection, and far too few willing to LIVE it! {hint: it’s about NEW LIFE, not a verbatim about divinely-performed CPR :-/} Ah well: as the CT “Leader” says (still not used to that Briticism! *g*), this day, Holy Saturday, is about *watching*. Looking, carefully, to see what happens tonight at the… Read more »

Allan
Guest
Allan

Giles Fraser is 100% correct in his “Why liberals believe in the ressurection”. With Moltman we proclaim a theology of hope. Easter is the proof that the end in going to be glorious. It is coming. He is risen!

Thomas Renz
Guest
Thomas Renz

This one is for Giles Fraser – it may come in handy when meeting an “evangelical” who does not care for the resurrection: “Next [having expounded “he descended into hell”] follows the resurrection from the dead, without which all that has hitherto been said would be defective… although in his death we have an effectual completion of salvation, because by it we are reconciled to God, satisfaction is given to his justice, the curse is removed, and the penalty paid; still it is not by his death, but by his resurrection, that we are said to be begotten again to… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

Giles Fraser’s excellent essay, as well as the discussion around Jeffrey John on atonement theology, explains to me why – at least in the US – Mel’s movie about the Passion was so popular with conservative evangelicals. Whole churches went as a group, booking the whole theater. I thought it really weird that a movie based on a Roman Catholic devotional practice, the meditations of a neurotic nun, and directed by an ultra-conservative Roman Catholic, would fly with that group. Silly me. It goes well with what is evidently their favored atonement theology. I didn’t see the movie for a… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

I agree with Mynsterpreost above. Just look at these two paragraphs by Tom Wright. _Gangsters and drug-dealers get radically converted and set on fire with God’s love, while pale churchmen drone their disbelief and warn against extremism… As our politicians go round the tracks this way and that, fudging and dodging and hedging their bets, and as our culture lurches through the sneers and the whims of postmodernity, it looks as though we all know we need new creation but nobody knows where to find it. Easter offers an answer so striking that most mock at it and even the… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

David Edwards’ Church Times article Clearly Defined Anglicanism

http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/content.asp?id=37115

is quite good (he does vary) especially the last three paragraphs. I think his argument is surely one for no Covenant at all, because by the nature of up to date statements in a fast changing situation, they are very soon out of date statements. They become just one more argument for one lot to tell another lot what they should be obeying. There are enough in the way of topics and texts for miserable and over-instructive bishops, without giving them any more.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Cynthia,
Do what we do – ask the congregation if anyone wants to “do” a station. It’s up to each person/group what they do. One year in a church I went to we had collages, poems, paintings, flower arrangements, a mimed story… it’s fascinating to see people explore their own ideas and creativity.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

On the anti-penal substitution camp, which probably really should be the “why are the exceptions? querying camp”, a friend of mine referred me to a new book “The Existential Jesus” and a transcript of a program’s recording: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/religionreport/stories/2007/1864844.htm This is one of those times that I am really hoping that the interviewer sensationalised the writer’s intent, because otherwise this form of theological interpretation is frankly terrifying. For example “…he very deliberately cancels Genesis in the Old Testament which has God creating everything… this Jesus basically ditches ethical religion, the Ten Commandments, ritual religion, virtually all the elements of Jewish religion.”… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

Giles Fraser’s article continues the recent defence of Jeffrey John, drawing in Steve Chalke’s eveangelical change a while back. The fuss then was also along a well worn road. But Giles then makes some sweeping points (inevitable in a short piece). I agree with him that the whole dramatic presentation gets to failure and disappointment, tragedy even, followed by a new window. The problem is how belief takes place, and liberals/ radicals are quite varied. My own position is that I am a relativist in religion and live in this time and place with a worldview that says the old… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“Do what we do – ask the congregation if anyone wants to “do” a station. It’s up to each person/group what they do. One year in a church I went to we had collages, poems, paintings, flower arrangements, a mimed story… it’s fascinating to see people explore their own ideas and creativity” That’s for sure a thought. I’d like more participation next year and will keep that in mind. Physical limitations apply: fixed pews, once central aisle that is about 3 people wide, space between pews and walls quite narrow – two people wide. If we could go to flexible… Read more »

counterlight
Guest
counterlight

Happy Easter to all!

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Pluralist, in your posting you asked “…why isn’t he here now?” “The resurrection appearances had a time limit…”

One of the gems from that February 2005 Bishop speech was the pronouncement that Jesus no longer appeared in the here and now.

Two of the bemusements from the speech were:

– When was the last decreed date that Jesus could appear in the flesh in our space-time continuum, and who decided he couldn’t/wasn’t allowed to anymore?

– How could this camp possibly claim to have the most faith in Jesus when they denied the possibility that Jesus could still make manifest in the flesh?

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Aye, Cynthia, having just returned from a visit to my childhood church I can confirm that even the scaffold that was used to put up grandma’s lightbulb is still there!

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

Erika: you mean someone removed the gas mantle?

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Mynsterpreost: It’s a progressive church!

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

Pete Wilcox ruined his piece, for me, with his unnecessary and uncalled for condescension, towards the spirtitual aspirations and spirituality of UK readers. And this coming from the established Church :– ‘A few disheartening minutes spent browsing the “Body, Mind and Spirit” section in a large bookstore demonstrates that there is an extraordinary interest in angels out there. Books on angels abound. Most offer either a saccharine mixture of positive thinking and pseudoscientific spirituality (“tune in to the higher vibrations of the Angels and . . . attract to yourself people and situations of a higher vibratory level and release… Read more »

Chirstopher Shell
Guest
Chirstopher Shell

I didn’t understand one aspect of Giles Fraser’s essay: namely, his belief in the resurrection. I guess he does not simply beleive in it in order to prove wrong those who think he doesn’t. Yet (in company with a lot of liberal thought, which in this particular instance is unarguably dishonest) he didn’t distinguish between 4 quite different things: (1) ‘the resurrection’ (understand: of Jesus) – a term which never refers in Jewish thought to an ‘event’ (or rather, lack of event) which leaves the body dead. (2) ‘resurrection’ in general, as a possible event, without specifying Jesus (3) ‘the… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

First of all, Christopher, he deliberately avoids a discussion of what is meant by Resurrection. What’s difficult? He is clearly talking about the Resurrection of Jesus. The ‘hope of the Resurrection’ certainly DOES have to with the real world. We commit the dead to the ground in “sure and certain hope” of that very thing. What else can we do but hope and trust that we will also be resurrected? “Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet believe.” Hardly what God would be expected to say about a gambler’s hopes, no? I don’t see anything in Fraser’s piece… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

That is great. But if one does not first define ‘resurrection’ there is no meaningful way in which one can be said to believe in it (or indeed to disbelieve in it). It is, quite obviously, only after defining something that one can look at it and determine whether or not one believes in it. Imagine the following exchange: A’Do you believe in chimaeras?’ B’Yes, I most certainly do.’ A’How would you define chimaera?’ B’Well, I guess I’d have to pass on that one.’ Now – does interlocutor A count as an honest person or a dishonest person? The net… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“But if one does not first define ‘resurrection’ there is no meaningful way in which one can be said to believe in it (or indeed to disbelieve in it).” Well, yes there is. We can each have a definition of it without making absolute statements about it in every context. If I claim the resurrection is defined by X, then I am saying that all who believe it to be Y don’t believe in it at all. I know this is the Evangelical approach to faith, others don’t have the same approach. For the purposes of his argument, this fine… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

But it cannot ‘mean’ *anything* if it doesn’t first exist. That is why its existence/reality cannot be a relatively unimportant ‘for the record’ matter. Nor is it we who decide what it is/means. That is a matter for historical enquiry, which in this case certainly has its limits. We have therefore to rely on a combination of historical enquiry and matching up our own experience with that of the first Christians.
Whether it ‘inspires’ us is also not a valid criterion. The legends of King Arthur inspire me.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

But, Christopher, on your analogy of King Arthur. Let’s say you believe Arthur was a real human being, I believe he is myth, and someone else believes he was entirely made up. We can still discuss the significance of the Arthurian legends to modern society without defining in what way we believe Arthur existed, can we not? So, if we are talking about the truth of the Gospel, we would need to define Resurrection, I guess. But if we are discussing the significance of the Resurection, we can go a long way in that discussion without defining what each of… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

I’d say definitions are the place to start in any book or discussion. Without that, it is (unnecessarily) impossible to know what it is that is being talked about, which would render the converstation pointless.