Thinking Anglicans

weekend reading material

Simon Barrow writes about a special feature this week on Religion and Public Life in the Economist . See The Predictable New Wars of Religion?

The Economist feature is here: In God’s name.

Jay Lakhani writes in the Guardian that All faiths must accept pluralism.

Jonathan Sacks appears twice today. In The Times he writes that The search for meaning must begin outside the self.
Over in the Daily Telegraph he is interviewed by Rachel Sylvester and Alice Thomson in Jonathan Sacks’s solution to family breakdown.

Also at the Daily Telegraph Christopher Howse asks Why should abortion be thought wrong?

In the Church Times Giles Fraser asks Is football in a moral bubble?

The Tablet has a review by Michael Northcott Americans Who Sing For Zion of two books, God’s Own Country and Allies for Armageddon.

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Göran Koch-SwahneFord ElmsErika BakerNPCheryl Va. Clough Recent comment authors
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Pluralist
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Of course it is relatively easy for Jay Lakhani as a Hindu to recommend internal pluralism, as his faith is already internally pluralistic. Some of us would like to bring the same to Christianity.

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

But Pluralist, would it then still be Christianity?

Or would it be another religion with some Christian words used in its liturgy?

That is, I think, the root argument underlying many of the current church disputes.

Prior Aelred
Guest

I wish I could remember who said that the Elizabethan Church didn’t need to be tolerant because it was comprehensive — of course there are a lot of caveats, but food for thought as well.

I also believe that the amount of acceptable internal pluralism you will find in Hinduism depends almost entirely upon which Hindu you ask — certainly it has not prevented persecution of non-Hindus.

Pluralist
Guest

What else would it be? You use a commitment to do some historical work on what Jesus was doing, as far as is possible, and on what Paul and others did afterwards, again as far as possible. Then there is the importance of Greek culture as a mediator of understanding early Christianity, and Roman power in much of its later framing. None of these are absolute, and it is inside these religious-cultural developments and forms of language that you can find any essence in what is going on.

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

Christianity by its discipleship to Jesus should be intrinsically pluralistic. Where did he put barriers between himself and others? Any who came to listen to his teachings were welcomed, those who sought to deny others access were discredited for the selfish priests that they were. There has been a severe distortion where certain Christian elements have become co-opted or enamored with “success”, but have forgotten the moral underpinnings that lead to that success. Many modern Zionism have visions of abundance, plenty and peace; but their strategies and culture are predicated on an assumption that it is for a selfish elite… Read more »

Carl
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Carl

DATELINE: ROMA. EMPEROR NERO TODAY ISSVED A STATEMENT. “ALL FAITHS MVST ACCEPT PLVRALISM. ANY FAITH THAT IS NOT VVILLING TO ALSO PLVRALISTICALLY INCORPORATE THE GODS OF THE STATE MVST BE CONSIDERED AS AN ENEMY OF THE SOCIETY, AND THVS DESTROYED. ACCORDINGLY, THE PERSECVTION OF CHRISTIANS VVILL CONTINVE VNTIL SVCH TIME AS THE CHRISTIANS CEASE THEIR VVAR AGAINST ROMAN SOCIETY.” VVHEN PRESSED FOR CLARIFYING COMMENTS FOLLOVVING THE ISSVING OF THE STATEMENT, THE EMPEROR REMARKED, “SORRY, I CAN’T TAKE ANY MORE QVESTIONS. I’M LATE FOR FIDDLE PRACTICE, AND THERE’S A BIG SHOVV AT THE COLOSSEVM TONIGHT.”

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“”ALL FAITHS MVST ACCEPT PLVRALISM. ANY FAITH THAT IS NOT VVILLING TO ALSO PLVRALISTICALLY INCORPORATE THE GODS OF THE STATE MVST BE CONSIDERED AS AN ENEMY OF THE SOCIETY, AND THVS DESTROYED.”

Eh… accepting pluralism doesn’t mean incorporating the faiths to one mega-faith, but accepting that they are also pathways to greater spirituality and pointers to the ultimate Truth and thus have a right to exist equally respected side by side.
That means there are no enemies and no destruction but wolf lying with lamb….
you may not agree with it but misrepresenting what has been said doesn’t help.

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“Some of us would like to bring the same to Christianity.”

Why? Why not just be a Hindu? Not being flippant here, I’m seriously interested.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Carl, I couldn’t show it better! There is a huge section of the modern Church that longs wistfully for the persecution of the Roman Empire. They are so desparate as to invent it, if not from the rest of us, comments like “Catholics persecuting Christians” come to mind, then from the state. Being seen going into a Christian place of worship, especially an Evangelical one, can only help a candidate in an American election, yet so many still want to give the impression Christians are persecuted in the US because someone doesn’t want them to be able to force non-Christians… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

Hi Ford I’m not sure where Pluralist is coming from, but the boundaries of what one is are more fluid in some societies. For example in a recent survey in Asia (I think it was Malaysia) over 75% of souls ascribed themselves to having more than one religion. Screams of outrage from some hard-lined Christians. Sigh. That said, I love the gentlenes and detachment advocated in Buddhism. I think the concept of dharma and the three paths to mastery: Will, Love or Power to be insightful. I like the acceptance of beings not seen in the animist, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu,… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“There will be some souls who will start ranting about John 14:6, where Jesus says ““I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” That rather depends on what you believe “through me” means. If it’s a literal belief in Jesus, then only Christians can achieve it. But if it means “everything I stand for and the way I am teaching you to live”, we can safely count many many others in. Interestingly, the second interpretation also allows for some professed Christians not to be counted, which co-incides happily with… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“I like the acceptance of beings not seen” Why did you leave Christians out of this group? We kept the feast of St. Michael and all Angels on Sept. 29, a whle Mass dedicated to contemplation of beings unseen. Last Sunday we observed All Saints (two days after All Souls, well, one has to adapt). Observing “The Best and the Rest” every year makes one aware of those unseen saints gone and yet to come who surround us. There is a whole mystical side to Christianity that has been pressed down by Western society, I think more avidly as one… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Erika says “Having said that, I believe in universal salvation anyway so I’m not too tense about being right and “saving people” into my own way of seeing Truth.”

-So, why did the Lord give us the Great Commission?

-Why did the Apostles go preaching the gospel, baptising converts in the name of Christ?

They clearly did not share your universalism, Erika…did they??

Ford – hope you ain’t having a Gaia Mass too

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

NP Today was the funeral of a woman I used to know very well and who committed suicide. She had never understood love and had spent her life pushing those away from her who loved her. In the end, she was caught in a cycle of bitterness and disappointment, having created just the loveless existence she always complained would be her fate. She was an extreme, those shining from the inside with the love of Christ are the other extreme. What is it that makes one shrivel, the other shine? And how can those of us in the middle, or… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Ford – hope you ain’t having a Gaia Mass too”

“I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and Earth and of all things, VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE”.

What do you think the invisible things are, NP? As you are well aware, we refer to the angels as ‘the bodiless powers’. If you don’t believe God created invisible things, then I hope you cross your fingers at that point in the Creed, if indeed you ever actually say the Creed. Oh, and you do know why it’s wrong to worship spirits, right?

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“”I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and Earth and of all things, VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE”.” The last time I went to a London Alpha church I was astonished at their abbriged version of the Creed. It was about 10 lines long, only mentioned the Father briefly as Father of Jesus, and then continued with the lamb slain for us and our sins… There was no mention at all of the Holy Spirit, none about the living and the dead, His Kingdom having no end – nothing that would make the Creed complete for me. I… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“abbriged version of the Creed” The United Churdch of Canada uses a “new creed” as well, something about us “not being alone” and stuff. I’m not sure why there is this desire to restate what we believe like this. In so far as HTB is THE Alpha parish, I wonder whether or not they are this innovative, or if they would even admit it’s an innovation. And “Father of Jesus”? I wonder if this is evidence the ancient heresies are alive and well. Is it Arian? I’d have to see the whole text. How odd. Yet, THEY are most certainly… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Bur the Pharisees are B A D, Ford

;=)