Thinking Anglicans

More on the Holy Week lectures

A previous article linked to a page which linked to the transcripts of three lectures given by the Archbishop of Canterbury at Westminster Abbey.

The Lambeth Palace website has now also published transcripts of the Question and Answer sessions which followed each lecture.

Faith and Science Questions & Answers Session

Faith & Politics Questions & Answers Session

Faith and History Questions & Answers Session

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Spirit of Vatican IIFord ElmsPluralistCheryl Va.Mark Recent comment authors
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Spirit of Vatican II
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“if the bones of Jesus were discovered in Palestine I could not be a Christian in the way that I now am. I could not celebrate the Sacraments: I could not understand the life of the Holy Spirit as I do: I might still want to be associated with some of the insights and values of the Christian tradition but you would no longer have me as Archbishop of Canterbury (I rather hope you wouldn’t have anyone as Archbishop of Canterbury!) because I actually don’t think that the Church would be credible in its central historical shape.” Many theologians have… Read more »

James Crocker
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James Crocker

Spirit of Vatican II, as regards the empty tomb – “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:14 The ABC is right, how could you be a Christian if you didn’t believe in the empty tomb? You’d have to throw out the rest of the New Testament as well, unless you want to interpret it against the intentions of those who wrote it. That is probably why he says that he might want to be “associated with some of the insights and values of the Christian… Read more »

Pluralist
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It seems to me that the Archbishop is a Doubting Thomas different only by time and space. I have written about the first two question and answer sessions: http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2008/04/lent-lectures-1-and-2-answers.html But separated these from the far more interesting and surprising answers to the third section, where he accuses more progressive believers of being inconsistent whereas, I think, he is being inconsistent: http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2008/04/lent-lectures-3-answers.html He wants history, indeed wouldn’t perform without it, but has not got the foundation to deliver it: in the end an argument that is not historically based at all. By the way he is completely wrong about Islam. It… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“The ABC is right, how could you be a Christian if you didn’t believe in the empty tomb?” I couldn’t be, but that has nothing to do with the reliabillity of the Bible, and certainly wouldn’t require jettisonning the rest of the NT. Why do you think that it would? For at least forty years, people converted to Christianity without any written texts at all, after all. The Bible’s truth does not depend on the literal truth of one passage, but the meaning of Christianity depends on the empty tomb. It has nothing to do with the reliability of the… Read more »

Mark
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Mark

James Crocker asks, “The ABC is right, how could you be a Christian if you didn’t believe in the empty tomb?” It happens I have no problem with the empty tomb, but I could imagine not believing in it but still believing that God did something on Easter morning. Some people speak as if the only choices were empty tomb or metaphor, but that’s not fair. Why wouldn’t it be possible to believe that God really acted — really raised Jesus to life, whatever that means to God, in a body that could walk through locked doors — that something… Read more »

Cheryl Va.
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Mark commented “Some people speak as if the only choices were empty tomb or metaphor, but that’s not fair.” I agree. What is also not fair is that some people speak as if you accept the empty tomb then there is no room for metaphor, imagery, heurumentics, ethics, paradoxes, revelation, prophecy, dialogue. That is also not fair. Jesus’ life, death and resurrection was never the end of the story, the bible did not become a closed book, nor did the lessons of the OT no longer apply to the “new” priests. Jesus after the resurrection “How foolish you are, and… Read more »

Pluralist
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I’m interested in what Ford Elms has put. Whilst I agree with the thrust of what he has put, there is the difficulty that statements like his leave people in some confusion. In what sense does the meaning of Christianity depend on the empty tomb – in a narrative sense (sort of importance of the body) that is independent of the history, or that it actually happened. For the Archbishop, for all his narrative approach, he wants it to have happened. He cannot prove it happened, but if by some miracle of historiography someone was to demonstrate that it did… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

That it actually happened, and will for all if us. Otherwise, what’s the point? The Gospel is aboput God’s restoration of Creation to the state it existed in prior to the Fall. This means death, one of the results of the Fall, must also be done away with. I do not accept the “Harpurian” idea of the “birth of the inner Christ” or some such, which is just rehashed Gnositicism. If the Resurrection is only metaphorical or alegorical in some sense, then can anything be said to actually be redeemed? If all we are talking about here is instructional legend… Read more »

Spirit of Vatican II
Guest

That “it actually happened” — sure. But many of the representations of how it happened including many of those in the NT are clearly not literal. “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:14. Again, what is Paul actually saying here. Christ is raised, exalted to God’s right hand etc. What is sown a physical body is raised a spiritual body. We are in the realm of the numinous. The empty tomb — even if its factuality is accepted — is only a sign of this,… Read more »