Thinking Anglicans

Wycliffe Hall – another interview with Eeva John

The BBC Radio Ulster programme Sunday Sequence carried an interview with Dr Eeva John this last weekend. The programme ended with a statement from the principal of Wycliffe Hall (Dr Richard Turnbull) and the chair of the hall council (the Bishop of Liverpool).
Listen (11m 39s)

We linked to an earlier interview with Dr John on BBC Radio 4 here.

Update
Clare MacInnes, a member of the hall council, has resigned “because of her concerns over failures by the body to ‘respond to allegations of bullying, intimidation of Council members and a lack of transparency in its decision making’.”
Details here.
[hat-tip to badman]

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Erika BakerNPChristopher ShellGöran Koch-Swahnemynsterpreost (= David Rowett) Recent comment authors
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Martin Reynolds
Guest

This story really is amazing – it seems that those gathered at Wycliffe and those on its governing council are on a different planet to the rest of us. This is so obviously now a “public scandal” surely others will now have to take action?

Though as an English parish priest said to me this morning:
“I can’t think my bishop would do very much to fix what is going on at Wycliffe – the description of staff relations there sounds just like the goings on in our diocese.”
OOPS! …….

NP
Guest
NP

Sad to see thses wounds festering.

Sad to see the Goddards and Dr Storkey go.

Glad to see the Bishop or Liverpool and the Principal making a joint statement – hopefully, this unity will help build up moreal at Wyclffe again and it is great that there are no gaps in the teaching staff and more women studying at Wycliffe than ever before!

Claire L
Guest
Claire L

Great interview with Eeva John. The Sunday Sequence programme is excellent because it gives guests the chance to speak at length and explain their views. Dr John was superb.

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

I am reminded of the first Star Wars movie, where Princess Leah says to Darth Vader, “the tighter you make your grip around the empire the more it will slip through your fingers”. A leadership that has the buildings and the licence to print qualifications. But of what worth and credibility. More damning, who has been silent when they should have intervened? Even more damning, look at who supports them and how they talk. Is this really Christianity’s destiny? To be controlled by selfish souls who have no regard to the sensibilities of even other Christians (let alone the rest… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

This link may be around a short while, I don’t know: it is my transcript of what must be a very important interview, that just shows the effect of this Principal and the mismanagement. The interview is part of a sequence that started with the infamous video of Richard Turnbull himself.

The radio interview with Eeva John:

http://www.change.freeuk.com/learning/relthink/ejwycliffebbc.html

(If you want it Simon, you can take it and store it for yourself – reformat it if you wish to suit.)

At the moment I am connecting it with my own website piece on the strategy of Richard Turnbull and Reform:

http://www.change.freeuk.com/learning/relthink/turnbull.html

Pluralist
Guest

Only you, NP, could see what is a disaster as a joint statement building up morale when the interviewee, Dr Eeva John, has no confidence in either of them. This is a managerial disaster that has been unfolding at an alarming rate, all in the service and style of dogma. Nothing is “great” – the statement is a cobbled together set of words about the past that has been overturned and a present about, er, numbers.

John Omani
Guest
John Omani

Clare MacInnes writes: “The minutes of the Council do not contain points that I have made dissenting from the recommendations of the Principal and Chair, nor do they record votes against recommendations because no vote was taken, so there were claims that a decision was unanimous when no opportunity had been given to formally register dissent.” Should we be surprised? I really hope this is not the manner in which the Bishop of Liverpool runs his diocese. If we take ‘unity’ in the sense that NP seems to imagine, i.e. the crushing of all dissent, then what usually results is… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Hard to get to the full bottom line of the facts when the hall leadership is hiding, spin doctoring, and loudly proclaiming nothing happened, or, is it? Only bad people suspect something happened? Nevertheless, this mess – whether a twist of reputations and perceptions or whether rather more real world than mass media perceptions might convey – might, might, might allow us something of a glimpse through that singular window by which the whole worldwide communion will be framed, lead, and policed – if/when the conservative realignment has its way with church life. Not a pretty picture, even if a… Read more »

Matthew B
Guest
Matthew B

Pluralist: many thanks for posting these transcripts (the caricatures are pretty good too!). An extremely useful resource. The political strategies and manoevers of Turnbull and Reform are now clearly uncloaked. You may also have noted the summer edition of CrossWay, the magazine of the Church Society, which follows Turnbull in suggesting that the ‘open evangelicals’ are ‘battering classical evangelicalism as much as possible’, and offers sharp criticism of the Bishop of Durham and Fulcrum. Apparently, one of the sins of the latter was to publish a poem praising the late ‘Bishop of Rome’! Cheryl: Your illustration was great and had… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Pluralist – I have a lot of respect for Bishop James Jones and Dr Turnbull…..so, while I am sad to see some great people (Dr Goddard and Dr Storkey leave), I trust the two in charge…….remember, we do not know all that is going on

Neil
Guest
Neil

‘remember, we do not know all that is going on’

Off topic – but salutary advice when you consider gay clergy and civil partnerships, that might or might not be physically expressed. Yet some people rush to judgement!

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

Matthew B Glad to bring some cheer into your day 🙂 There are some people who support people of “their” camp, no matter how unscrupulous their methods. One of my contemplations today is why do such souls condemn mutually-consenting same gender sex? They don’t seem to mind violence when it is done by one priestly caste over another, or vilification if it is done against women, or rejecting children or sacrificing them to the streets if they are “unworthy”. Who are such souls to condemn homosexuality or genetic abherations when they have no shame, and even gloat over their successes,… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

The only answer is closure.

NP
Guest
NP

Merseymike – my, you are a tolerant “liberal”, aren’t you??!?! You want to burn books by conservative theologians too?

WH is full – and not just with divorced middle-aged women like some other training colleges…….sorry to disappoint you!

Frozenchristian
Guest
Frozenchristian

And does God not call divorced middle aged women to serve him in the priesthood?

Maybe they have less to learn than arrogant 25 year old men.

poppy tupper
Guest
poppy tupper

erm, what is wrong with divorced middle-aged women, please NP?

cryptogram
Guest
cryptogram

That comment does you no credit, NP. I hope you have the grace to overcome your self-righteousness and withdraw it.

NP
Guest
NP

crypto – it is a fact…..look at the ordinands in the CofE…..certain colleges attract mostly very mature students and certain colleges attract many more young men and women (WH has an increasing number of women, by the way!) poppy – did I say there was anything “wrong” with that group of people? -having said that, the CofE needs more young men and women who can give 30 years in ministry to build up the church, I think; -having said that, the contribution (normally unpaid) of middle-aged and old people in the CofE is invaluable and wonderful and without them, we… Read more »

Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

Unfortunately NP’s comment may reflect a certain mindset among some Christians – remember George Carey’s likening of the Church to an old woman muttering in the corner?

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

Can you imagine a physics department which teaches only Newtonian mechanics, regarding Einstein as too progressive? Or a politics department which only teaches Marxism? Or a history department which refuses to discuss 20th century history?

Can we actually say that Wycliffe teaches theology? Is theology a proper academic discipline if it is allowed to be taught in such a narrow fashion?

The University should disown it.

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

No wonder NP doesn’t like me – a divorced middle-aged woman. The antithesis of who should be in a theological college!

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

Shame on you Cheryl ! Repent ! (asap!) 🙂

dave p
Guest

NP “-having said that, the contribution (normally unpaid) of middle-aged and old people in the CofE is invaluable and wonderful and without them, we would be impoverished spiritually.”

Hmm, for some reason, the term “condescending twit” comes to mind.

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

Turnbull will have to go, and he will. It is now only a matter of time.

Jones too must act soon, or lose all credibility.

poppy tupper
Guest
poppy tupper

actually, NP, you did say there was something wrong with divorced, middle-aged women. not explicitly, i grant you, but by saying that WH was a better place for not being filled with them. one of your problems (and you have many) is that you fail to recognise nuance in language; another problem is that when you have been caught out in something discreditable you slide away from it. say what you believe, and only that, and if it isn’t popular stick with it. and, if you make a mistake, own up to it. and that, i suggest, would be a… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

NP,
“based on St Paul’s teaching of what the public lives of leaders in the church should look like)”

I must have missed your post where you explained why St Paul is the 4th infallible person of the Trinity.

NP
Guest
NP

Erika – are you aware that it is a long-held Anglican position that “all scripture is God-breathed” – including the inspired writings of ST Paul?

The fact you may not like some of the things he says does not invalidate those parts of scripture one bit.

Cheryl – I do not dislike you. I am sure you are a very kind person. I think you fantasise that you are a prophetess with a special mission from “Gaia”, talk to angels etc – that’s all. This is not dislike.

Frozenchristian
Guest
Frozenchristian

“certain colleges attract mostly very mature students and certain colleges attract many more young men and women (WH has an increasing number of women, by the way!)”

Hmm… why do I want to rewrite that as:
“certain colleges attract mostly very mature students and certain colleges attract many more young men with a lot to learn and some growing up to do”?

And I am told (by a WH staff member) that there are fewer women ordinands now than under McGrath’s Principalship.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

NP,
I know you’re not a linguist, but this is not too complicated in English.

God-breathed is not a synonym for dictated.
Inspired is not a synonym for infallible, nor for literally true.

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

A rich irony that NP’s comment about “the inspired writings of ST Paul” exactly mirrors the ambiguity of 2 Tim 3:16 – not that you’d guess it was ambiguous, the way it’s bandied about.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

NP wrote: “crypto – it is a fact”

NP’s view of what’s “factual” seems somewhat peculiar to me.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

NP wrote: “based on St Paul’s teaching of what the public lives of leaders in the church should look like)”

St Paul had nothing to do with the so called Pastoral letters (an 18th century expression).

He had been dead for a century when they were penned, probably by old Polycarp’s boys at Smyrna (electing a successor to Polycarp).

For centuries most refused to have anything to do with them knowing they weren’t authentic.

They are not in the first great Pandect, the 4th century Codex vaticanus, for instance (maybe the very first pandect at that).

NP
Guest
NP

ok – bored now….. Erika, Goran, anyone else….do carry on justifying whatever you like and ignoring whatever scriptures you do not like but…… Pls do not think you have “scholarship” on your side….plenty of real Anglican biblical scholars (eg +Durham, Dr Radner, Dr Goddard, Prof O’Donovan…..) who do not buy your views on the Greek, hermeneutics etc etc Pls do not forget that Lambeth 1.10 stands (and the liberals in Lambeth Palace do not dare have another vote on the issue as they would lose again! This is not because the AC have not had Goran’s lessons in Greek) Pls… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

Erika-
Bravo – you are right that these things are not synonyms (inspired / infallible / God-breathed etc.). But which of them describes a Paul who was in your view clearly wrong? In what sense are his words God-breathed at all?

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Christopher, The spirit of what Paul says about Christ and Christianity is wonderful. That’s what God-breathed means. This is not to say that he is right about the minutiae of every single social issue he mentions. There are two possibilities, none of which discredit Paul as an outstanding teacher and disciple. 1. He did not actually speak out against same gender love, but against promiscuity, abusive relationships and perverted sexual relations, i.e. those who go against the nature of those participating. 2. He did speak out against same gender love, as he understood it in the context of his society.… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Erika – re your point 1 – this is an interpretation which is not accepted by many scholars……

Pls have a read of this very good commentary on Romans by Douglas Moo for a scholarly review of interpretations of what Paul taught from God –
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Epistle-Romans-International-Commentary-Testament/dp/0802823173/ref=sr_1_1/202-7663577-0816604?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1191911825&sr=8-1

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

NP I’ve just read the link Charles Wallen posted here yesterday (http://www.therevdrcharleswallen.com/061302.doc) I particularly liked this paragraph: In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus implies that this Great Commandment relativizes all others (Matthew 22:34-40). Paul concurred (Romans 13:8-10), and so did one of the Johannine authors (1 John 10). St. Augustine made a similar observation in his manual, On Christian Doctrine: “So if it seems to you that you have understood the divine scriptures, or any part of them, in such a way that by this understanding you do not build up this twin love of God and neighbor, then you have not… Read more »