Thinking Anglicans

opinions from the papers

George Pitcher wrote in his blog for the Telegraph on Why Pope Benedict is like Rowan Williams.

Giles Fraser wrote in the Church Times that Growing up is a moral business. (For background links see here.)

And he also wrote at Comment is free that Atheists should get a life and leave our slot alone. Related to this, Jonathan Bartley at Ekklesia wrote The politics of Thought for the Day.

John Packer wrote in the Guardian about the upcoming General Synod debates on various public policy issues in Face to Faith. (We shall cover these in more detail during the week.)

Roderick Strange writes in The Times: Credo: Riveted by Mark’s Gospel, in one sitting.

Jonathan Bartley wrote in last week’s Church Times about An honest, vulnerable President.

19
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
19 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
14 Comment authors
Christopher ShelljohnPat O'NeillRev L Robertsettu Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“For Williams, to break communion with a Church is heart-breaking, not so much for him but for the body of Christ. For the rest of us, Rome and Canterbury remain both constantly surprising and frustrating. No wonder, in all their division, that they get on so well” – – George Pitcher. ‘Telegraph’ article – In comparing the common dilemma of the ABC and the Pope, George Pitcher here puts his finger on the spiritual nous of the ABC. Rowan, despite his inability to enforce structural unity upon the Churches of the Anglican Communion, cannot help but long for a degree… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

The religious slot Thought for the Day I have viewed as the equivalent of schools having to have a religious element in school assembly. Reith and the 1944 Education Act and importing what is good for us. It is not appropriate. If there is a thought slot, it should be thought from across the spectrum.

Giles Fraser
Guest
Giles Fraser

I’m dead cheesed off with the Guardian over this one. They asked for 500 words. Cut it to 280 words (because of space in the paper) but then put the cut version on the web, thus omitting half the argument. This had the effect of making it more punchy than intended, which was emphasised by the addition of ‘our slot’ to the headline – not something I would ever say. For interest, this is what I sent them. …. Contributors to Thought for the Day mustn’t attack the beliefs of others. It’s a basic BBC rule under which all must… Read more »

Wilf
Guest
Wilf

Well said, Giles.

Also, there is (or at least has been) a slot on Radio 3 called ‘Free Thought’, which seems to take contributions from non-religious thinkers on an issue. But it is not as good as TFTD.

andrew holden
Guest
andrew holden

I don’t see that allowing humanists a slot on TFTD, subject to the same, non-aggressive, restrictions as the rest of the contributors would be a major problem – in fact personally I’d quite appreciate it. ISTM, anyway, that the best ‘thoughts’, even the existing religious ones, already adopt a humanist standpoint. No-one presents a thought these days on the basis that “God/the Bible says” do we? In fact the best ethics, like the best science, has ‘no room for God’ in its hypothesis. After all God is not some arbitrary despot – remember Euthyphro? Even God has to have his… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

I read that Pitcher means well, yet has still fallen headlong into the venus fly trap set by the sort of thinking and ideas in the marketplace spin doctoring that, say, Intelligent Design likes to use to put on dress up clothes and pretend it is science that must be given a hearing on the same footing with Darwin and modern biology. The problem with either Benedict’s or Rowan Williams’s efforts to reconcile with extreme conservative believers is the difficult similarity: each leader has looked willing to reach out to those alienated believing communities, precisely at the expense of the… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Personally, I think TFTD is unnecessary, but if it has to exist, then it should include views other than the religionist

Nom de Plume
Guest
Nom de Plume

Well said, indeed, Giles. The irony of atheism is of course that belief that there is no God is in itself a statement of faith. Though of course to be a full-blown religion atheism would have to develop rituals (other than slagging people of other faiths).

peterpi
Guest
peterpi

I want to address St. Mark’s story about some Pharisees being aghast Jesus healed someone on Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath), perhaps because that same story was used this morning during the sermon at the TEC church I attend. Either 1) these particular Pharisees were pedantic beyond belief, or 2) St. Mark is using Pharisees in an exaggerated fashion to make a point. The Pharisee branch of ancient Judaism led directly to modern rabbinical Judaism. It had hundreds of thousands of believers, believers who disagreed with each other as much as Anglicans worldwide do today. Jesus was probably in the Pharisaical… Read more »

andrew holden
Guest
andrew holden

“…if it has to exist, then it should include views other than the religionist.”

I tend to agree – but Giles does have a point about atheists generally coming along to these parties only to score points at the expense of believers. Most can’t resist at least the occasional ‘believers in sky-pixies and fairies’ jibe.

If humanism does have something it is ‘for’ rather than merely ‘against’ (and personally I think it does – after all most religions also value the human, Christianity perhaps more so because of the incarnation) then let’s hear it please.

ettu
Guest
ettu

IMO, atheists are basically shallow and somewhat lazy thinkers – content to restrict themselves to facile, first layer “explanations” and too proud to accept the humility that is required to look at the deeper unkown that faith attempts to approach. Having said that, I believe their “attention” to breaking down religion is futile and more likely to help than hurt those seeking a deeper understanding of our place in the universe.. The sooner that atheists lead others to the edge of their limited knowledge the better. The more they ridicule religion the more they increase it’s visibility and desirability. Repression… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

The penny has not dropped with editors that the English language (like most others, I guess) is so subtle that any kind of editing whatsoever apart from syntax/grammar/spelling corrections is likely to alter the meaning – and very likely in a way that *less* exactly represents the thought of the original writer. To make things worse, they often do this without permission. As was my experience with the Guardian letters-page, tho’ thankfully with no skewing of meaning. (The Guardian scored top marks for seeking permission to publish at all – the only organ I have known to do so.) If… Read more »

john
Guest
john

I’m disappointed by the arguments for keeping atheists out, just as I’m disappointed by theists who argue in favour of ‘faith’ schools. Christians and other religionists should not seek to have special spaces within public space: they should compete in the public market-place of ideas like everyone else. Ethics, we all know, doesn’t have to be grounded in religion. Christians have to get away from this defensive protectionism: it looks bad and is bad for us, because we badly need to sharpen up.

Rev L Roberts
Guest
Rev L Roberts

‘And the answer that they might speak from a ‘humanist’ perspective begs the question as to what humanism is. The philosopher A C Grayling might offer a Thought for the Day as a Stoic – drawing upon the positive teachings of Stoic philosophy but without knocking the beliefs of others. Fine. But is there really so significant a body of Stoic opinion out there such that it justifies a rolling presence on a topical news programme? Actually, no.’ (from Giles Fraser’s piece) People speak frp om ‘Christian’ perspectives all the time on TftD –begging the question of what ‘Christianity’ actually… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“(The Guardian scored top marks for seeking permission to publish at all – the only organ I have known to do so.)”

Really? This is common practice in the USA….in fact, most major newspapers will not print a letter from someone who does not provide contact info or cannot be contacted when attempted.

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

Pat-

Contact details must always be given, and sometimes one gets an automatic response. But out of 10 newspapers I have had letters in, only the Guardian actually rang (or otherwise contacted) me to seek specific permission.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Christopher:

Interesting. I’ve written letters to a variety of newspapers in the USA, from the New York Times to the local county daily. All of them either phoned or (more recently) e-mailed me to confirm 1) that I was actually the person who wrote the letter; and 2) that I intended it for publication.

john
Guest
john

peterpi,

Sorry your point got lost. There are plenty of Christian NT scholars and even more Jewish scholars (e,g. Hyam Maccoby, author of ‘Jesus the Pharisee’) who think that the NT’s representation of ‘the Pharisees’ is distorted. An interesting case is ‘Acts’, where their representation seems to be ‘corrected’ after ‘Luke’.

Best.

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

Pat-

Looks like a national difference between USA and UK.