Thinking Anglicans

opinions before Epiphany

Geoffrey Rowell writes in The Times about Dancing in time to a divinely ordained rhythm of life.

Gerald Butt writes in the Guardian about flying.

Andrew Brown wrote at Cif:belief about Mr Algie’s honesty bucket.

Alan Wilson has written Blowing bubbles in Hard Times?

Giles Fraser wrote in the Church Times Longing for the truth of glory.

Two weeks ago, Jeremy Morris wrote in the Church Times that A learning Church is healthy.

Added later:
Michael Reiss has written in The Times that Darwinian thinking clarifies and deepens religious faith.

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Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

The two Church Times links appear to be not working.

Sorry, Fixed Now.
S.

Pluralist
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Thee is an interface between theology and authority, that is types of belief and how underpinned, with the sociology of charisma, tradition and bureaucracy, and interactive meaning, and management studies, all of which could be packaged up and be a practical course for people who both preach in and run churches. As for a learning Church, a lot can be done locally, thus I devised something that looked at what modern theologians did to offer a corrective to liberal theologians, how the modern theologians fed into Anglican controversies, some wider themes and contemporary theologians of a very wide spectrum. Cost… Read more »

john
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john

Depends what you mean by ‘on a tiller’. I recommend Keith Ward’s recent ‘The Big Questions in Science and Religion’, which has chapter on evolution.

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“What is revealed (in Epiphany) is the God of unconditional love. Jesus, the one who reveals him, is the way, the truth and the life, but it is part of that amazing grace that Jesus opens up for us the treasures of other religions, and the treasures of all Creatures who long for unconditional love — to receive it and to give it. That is the dance to the music of time, because it is the dance of divine and eternal love. – The Right Rev Geoffrey Rowell – I think that here, the Anglican Bishop in Europe is saying… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“…our need to recognise the integrity of the other Abrahamic strands of Faith.” Why the “Abrahamic” faiths? The Magi are not traditionally considered Arab, but Indo-European; Persians, actually. And the story is not about recognizing the validity of what is assumed to have been their Zoroastrianism, which is not one of the Abrahamic faiths, but of revealing the universality of the Gospel, it is for everybody, not just the Jews. Sorry. I understand your point about recognizing the validity of other cultures and religious systems, but I can’t see anything about recognizing the validity of Abrahamic faiths in a story… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

“The Magi are not traditionally considered Arab, but Indo-European; Persians, actually. And the story is not about recognizing the validity of what is assumed to have been their Zoroastrianism, which is not one of the Abrahamic faiths, but of revealing the universality of the Gospel, … nor does it recognize the validity of what they believe, but actually makes a claim about the universality, which I think implies the superiority, of what we believe.” Really, Ford? I see, rather, the superiority of “universality” (i.e., universal salvation), available to ALL the Imago Dei, as they perceive it. [I don’t see it… Read more »

Pluralist
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Views that came into Judaism had origins in Zoroastrianism: resurrection as a language for what happens at the last days and indeed as a description of Jesus being the first of the resurrection has origins there. That’s why so much of this stuff is relative. These faiths are hardly unconnected and we might list them with some causal connections:

Zoroastrianism – Judaism – Christianity – Islam – Bahai: all use linear time, end time and revelation into time.

The fact that Zoroastrianism doesn’t share the same patriarchal myth does not mean that it is not one of the linear time faiths.

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“Thank you, Ford. I thought my effort might bring you out of your comfort zone. My own knowledge of Zorastrianism is pitiable. What I was trying to say – although obviously not too clearly for you -was the fact that this early attempt to portray the outreach of the Messianic influence to other cultures could encourage us Christians to think about whether we are attractive enough to draw others into an appreciation of the place of Jesus in the scheme of salvation. After all, Jesus was the unique incarnation of Yahweh, was he not?

Kalo Epiphania.

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

JCF, I don’t understand what you are talking about. The Magi represent the Gentiles, and are evidence that the Gospel is for everyone. There was no restriction on their access to the Incarnate God because of their origin, except by Herod. Where did I mention any kind of “test” or exclusion? The whole point is that they came freely. I’m fascinated by your and Pluralist’s reactions, and honestly don’t understand where they’re coming from. Is it that I implied there is a truth in Christianity, that Christianity is somehow better than other religions? Am I correct in reading your comments… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

“Is it that I implied there is a truth in Christianity, that Christianity is somehow better than other religions?”

A = B???

In my understanding of being a follower of Christ, I must resist my *human* inclination to engage in “better thans” (part of that leaving such judgments to God biz). OCICBW.

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“In my understanding of being a follower of Christ, I must resist my *human* inclination to engage in “better thans”” I totally agree. I believe, as I have said, that the worst serial killing child molestor is as loved by God as I am because, whatever damage has been done to his soul to make him do such evil, he is still a child of God, and God loves His children because they are His children. He grieves over all our offences, but He still loves us. So, no, I do not think myself better than others. But I still… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

Because we are human–all of us, Christian or not–we cannot see God’s Truth in full. We see “through a glass darkly.” Therefore, I do not dispute anyone’s belief that their particular religion is “true”…perhaps they ALL are, in different ways.

What I WILL dispute is those I think use Christianity (or their misunderstanding of it) to exclude or ostracize others.

JCF
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JCF

…which is why I asked if “A=B”, Ford. For me, Jesus Christ IS Truth. I don’t know that conceptually, propositionally, cognitively—but in and through my RELATIONSHIP to him. Christianity, however, as a belief-system, is just another human construct. That doesn’t mean it’s all bad, but it is what it is (“through a glass darkly”, as Pat reminds us above). I don’t find it consistent w/ modelling myself after Christ (as piss-poor a job I do at it! ;-/), to rank a belief-system (least of all my own) as “better than” or “worse than” another. [I’d prefer to not engage a… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“Christianity, however, as a belief-system, is just another human construct.” That’s where we differ. I believe Christianity is Truth, deep, underlying spiritual reality. Our interpretations of it, our understanding of such deep mysteries are human constructs. When we see “through a glass darkly” we are not constructing the religion, we are trying to understand that underlying, profound reality with our fallible finite human minds. So, no, I fundamentally disagree that Christianity is just another human construct, though much of what we have made of it is. And I don’t think that the way we approach fundamentally different expressions of spirituality… Read more »

Pluralist
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All these faiths are human constructs: thus I prefer to say that they have insights rather than Truth (any one, or all), truths perhaps in different places in the faiths. It is possible also to join bits from different faiths to make your own. Some do.

JCF
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JCF

“You seem to be unable to separate “I believe my religion to be True” from “Therefor I think myself better than you are.” The two are not irreversably linked” Of course they are: they both are the product of the fallible “I” (regardless whether it’s “I, JCF” or “I, Ford”) Your religion IS *you*, Ford. {*} Ergo, it’s NOT Truth. Let it go, and Let God! 🙂 {*} It doesn’t exist, apart from Ford’s Brain. In the same way Benedict 16’s religion doesn’t exist apart from Benedict 16’s brain. His very own “Dictatorship of Relativism” produced within those confines, and… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

On this important matter of revelation, and the complementarity of the understanding of God in different religious faith settings, I would like to repeat a story I have mentioned before – perhaps on another site: When I lived and worked in the Fiji Islands, one of our Drivers, a Fiji-Indian Hindu believer, asked if i would like to join in his family’s celebration of the Festival of Diwali – the Hindu *Festival of Light*. I was not at that stage of my life either a priest or theologically educated and my response was this: “Raj, you know that I am… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“Of course they are” JCF, your assertion that to say one’s religion is right is to say one is better than others is contradicted by my own experience. I live in a place that used to be torn by religious infighting, think Ulster, writ small. Catholics and Prots wouldn’t even walk on the same side of the street. Now, I am godfather to a Roman Catholic young man, and at his confirmation I was allowed to receive communion, don’t tell anyone. That wouldn’t have happened even thirty years ago. So, we are overcoming, note not “have overcome”, the bigotries of… Read more »