Thinking Anglicans

columns on Saturday

The church’s preference for commitment over numbers has made it increasingly irrelevant, says David Self in the Guardian’s Face to Faith column.

Thursday’s Guardian carried this article by John Cornwell The importance of doubt which discusses Richard Dawkins.

The simple life is the way to tackle climate change says Mary Grey in the Credo column of The Times.

Christopher Howse writes about Mother Teresa’s crisis of faith in the Daily Telegraph.

Giles Fraser’s Church Times column is headed A real faith leads deep into the desert.

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Cheryl Clough
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A lovely set of articles, I enjoyed all of them. Grey’s article brought to mind a recent article from Australia’s Melbourne archbishop http://www.theage.com.au/news/opinion/let-us-listen-to-those-brave-enough-to-speak-the-truth/2007/08/13/1186857423046.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1 He writes “The truly prophetic are those who help us see the “not-yet” world within our current circumstances. Let me explain. Prophets point us towards possibilities that we can grasp hold of today, if we really want to. They offer an honest critique of the world as it is — a critique that often strips away the comfortable veneers we use to avoid facing the truth.” That is a role that Dawkins has failed to grasp in… Read more »

Pluralist
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I suppose the puzzle for me is whether the shift towards commitment services in the churches has led to their relative emptying, or that the relative emptying has led to commitment services. I doubt that the language of obscurity or minimal responses are going to make services any more attractive. The whole thing needs to be rethought. What I would do is have a series of groups that advertise on their own basis – for example a discussion group on open spiruitual religious topics, or there might be an art group to pursue spiritual themes. These then would develop, and… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
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Hi Pluralist I agree that Dawkins pushes his logic as far as it could go. It again reminds me of the question, “What would a sensible God do about aggressive wolves?” Domesticate them. I have a little maltese that sleeps on my bed most nights. Lovely little thing, I just wish he wouldn’t bark at the possums. Similarly with theologies, when a religion or priestly caste become too aggressive and inhospitable, they risk becoming a weed that chokes an ecosystem to death. At that point God moves to contain their rampant cruelty and greed, to put in place checks against… Read more »

Pluralist
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I don’t want to be funny, but the wolves are not domesticated by God. What happens is, if too successful (assuming aggression leads to success) they eat too much and then they go hungry. The whole point about evolution is that a God is not involved, there is no hand on the tiller, that the outcome of species that once mutated into variation and had success-in-location, or the end of a species, is unknown. We are here because the dinosaurs are not, but we ourselves may go their way. Questions of God, the direction of our lives, the inner lives… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
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But Pluralist, wolves WERE domesticated! That is where all dogs came from! Humans are God’s partners in helping heal Creation and making something wonderful out of something that is nothing or even horrible. It is easy to take a perfect picture of a perfect scene. But it is truly amazing to take bland or nondescript ingredients and create something amazing that everyone enjoys. Imagine a fantastic Thai chicken curry, laced with shitake mushrooms, wood fungus, galangal, home grown lemon grass and limes; served on steamed rice above wilted rocket laced with quality olive oil, lime juice and balsamic vinegar. Imagine… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

Yeah, that’s so. This is the problem. Dogs are human domesticated wolves. Was I a what? Yes, humans make gardens, so your Adam and Eve had to do the gardening. I just think that evolution is evolution, and that’s it. We, as conscious, language-using, language storing people do the gardening and have dogs behave like babies all their lives (it makes a successful dog with us to stay babyish) to the pack leader that we are. People also write good stories and myths for others showing miracle as justification connected with a central ritual in the early Churches as it… Read more »