Thinking Anglicans

columns in the middle of Advent

The Dean of Perth (Western Australia), John Shepherd has written in The Times Salvation is not about who is in and who is out.

Christopher Howse writes in the Telegraph about Sister Wendy’s pictures of love.

David Peel writes about his battle with cancer in the Guardian’s Face to Faith.

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times that One size of school can’t fit all values.

The Cif Belief Question this week is What should evangelicals believe? Answers come from John Richardson, Christina Rees, Justin Thacker and Graham Kings.

At Ekklesia Simon Barrow asks Which Jesus are we expecting?

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Ford ElmsFather Ron SmithChristopher ShellPat O'NeillFors Elms Recent comment authors
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Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

I have always thought the proper answer to the question posed in John Shepherd’s column–at least for any Anglican–is, “Yes, of course.” Jesus came to save the whole world…and to suggest that we need to do anything to accept his gift is to suggest that he was picking and choosing who was saved.

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

Advent Antiphon:

“Drop down you heavens from above,
And let the skies pour down righteousness”

O come, O come, Emmanuel! Come Lord Jesus, come!

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Shepherd’s essay in particular comes close to admitting the crisis of penal religion without being able to see what it comes so close to knowing. Then of course he cannot weigh at all how targeting and scapegoating are innately derived from the divinized ancient near eastern penal transactions that are supposed to be the sole and complete holy heart of the salvation matter. As a believer I’d rather go back to Jesus’ very first formal sermon in the NT synagogue and be delivered from all that bondage, including bible-olatries (thanks CR) that seem to await us in USA on every… Read more »

Cheryl Va.
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Pat There are evangelicals that claim that Jesus only came to save just them. They are the kind who can’t wait for the “rapture” where they are taken off to their new heaven and earth and the rest of us are extinguished or left to suffer of eternity. It is a stupid proposition, as it voids Jesus’ missives to be Lord of ALL the earth, the inspirational Messiah to all the peopleS of all the nationS. It is similarly stupid to advocate for limbo or purgatory, particularly for those who simply refuse to be bullied into forced conversion. God is… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

To the Dean of Perth (John Shepherd): AMEN! And Thank you. 🙂

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

John Shepherd’s article from the Times, quoted here, reminds me of the story of the English Bishop travelling on a train who, when approached by a young man (patently ‘Pentecostal) who asked him: “Bishop, are you saved”, gave this immediate answer: “Young man. I have been saved, I am being saved, and I will be saved!” I suspect the young man had been counselled by his mentors to challenge everone he met (and especially every clergy-person in a collar) to give a testimony to their personal faith in the Christ he himself believed in. This is the way in which… Read more »

Graham Kings
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David Ould, an English deacon ministering in Sydney, has written an article on the Stand Firm site ‘The Tragedy of the faux-Evangelicals’, http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/article/18663/ which responds to the Guardian Comment is Free belief question this week, ‘What Should Evangelicals Believe?’ http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief Unfortunately he makes a basic factual error by confusing Christina Rees (a member of General Synod, a broadcaster and a writer), who is liberal on issues of human sexuality, with Christina Baxter (Principal of St John’s College, Nottingham, Chair of the House of Laity of General Synod and a recent speaker on the panel at NEAC 2008), who is conservative… Read more »

Rosemary Behan
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Rosemary Behan

“This really does need amending as soon as possible.”

And you’re posting this here because??????

David Ould
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“This really does need amending as soon as possible.”

Yes it does Graham, and it has been.

But, with the greatest respect, it might have been more productive to contact us directly about my error. Posting a comment here is not actually working towards a solution since it will not surprise any of the readers here that we’ve not given Simon S any admin access on Stand Firm.

Indeed it seems a rather bizarre way to go about the matter. Unless the intent was not to correct that mistake but, rather, to point it out to as many as possible.

Mark Bennet
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Mark Bennet

I wonder, David Ould, whether you have reflected sufficiently on a position, associated, and not without justification, with your Diocese, that ‘we are in fellowship with those with whom we agree, and not with other people’. That focus on ‘truth’ does put a rather heavy priority on getting it right, and expose you to criticism when you don’t. Maybe Graham Kings has been a bit unfair, but the corresponding and parallel “injustice” seems to me to come rather regularly in the other direction – and while I don’t know you and your views well enough to comment personally, I think… Read more »

Christopher Shell
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Christopher Shell

Christina Rees writes that ‘in some circles’, ‘these days’, it is required of evangelicals to beleive that sex is restricted to marriage. Neither qualifier is accurate. (1) ‘In some circles’ suggests a minority position whereas this has always been the majority evangelical and Christian position, whether or not it is correct. (2) ‘These days’ also makes no sense since the situation of which she speaks was more, not less, the case in former days. Point (3): what viable alternative is she proposing?

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“the situation of which she speaks was more, not less, the case in former days.”

Well, the idea that sex was restricted to marriage certainly had more currency in former times, but the practice was not exactly a good fit with the belief. It has always been true that “It’s a lucky man that knows his own father.” The only difference now is that liberals want to be honest about it.

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

Ford:

Yes, anyone who can seriously suggest that “sex was restricted to marriage” before the 20th Century is laughingly naive or in serious denial (possibly both).

Fors Elms
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Fors Elms

Pat,
The thing is that, for me, liberal honesty is no more satisfying as the conservative idea that Ozzie and Harriet reigned supreme from the Garden of Eden to sometime in the 1960s. Can’t “sexual continence” be a matter of personal choice intended to make you a better person, than a matter of legality that necessarily invites judgment on those who “break the Law”, or an inevitability we simply must accept because “boys will be boys(or rather people will be people)”?

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

Ford:

I quite agree…God gave us free will for a reason. But it seems the extreme conservatives consider free will the great flaw in human nature.

And extreme liberals seem never to have learned Stan Lee’s lesson from the origin of Spider-Man: “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Ford ELms
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Ford ELms

“But it seems the extreme conservatives consider free will the great flaw in human nature.”

Or that we just don’t know how to use it. Either way, the freedom Christ died to give us seems to scare them to death, or at least to rage.

Christopher Shell
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Christopher Shell

Hi Father Ron This is an oft-told story, but my understanding is that far from being ‘patently Pentecostal’ (since in those days no movement called ‘pentecostalism’ existed) the person who asked Bishop Westcott this question was not even a man, but was a Salvation Army sister. The threefold reply was accurate in Bishop Westcott’s case. It does not even remotely follow that it was accurate in the case of every single other traveller in that railway carriage. Each was a unique individual, and each would have a different story to tell. The New Testament is [even] clearer and more united… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“Christ died for all; some of whom repent and believe and others of whom do not. Of those who do not, some wilfully/deliberately do not, while others do not through procrastination, lack of opportunity, lack of knowledge etc.. These are all clearly different categories – all the less reason to lump everyone together (with Pat) as being jointly/universally saved without needing to do anything about it.” – Christopher Shell – Christopher, it seems there might have been one (self-acknowledged) sinner who was admitted into Paradise by Jesus, who may not actually have made an actual plea of repentance; and that… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“one (self-acknowledged) sinner” The Publican also went back to being a publican, one assumes, though he was fictitious. But, you see, if everyone gets in, there are no consequences for sin, and where’s the justice in that? I mean, if the wicked aren’t punished, what’s the point of being good? (I know the answer, BTW) “we are asking the world for repentance” But the majority voice of Christianity sees repentance as remorse for specific sins. It must contain that, of course, but it is much more. It is actually metanoia, changing of one’s mind. Not on a particular issue, but… Read more »