Thinking Anglicans

post-election opinion

updated Saturday lunchtime to add Colin Slee’s article

Colin Slee writes a Face to faith article for The Guardian: A haven from crisis. Disillusioned Catholics can find solace in a church that combines tradition and modernity.

This week’s question at The Guardian’s Comment is Free belief is Is intelligent design bad theology?
Here are the responses.
Steve Fuller Science in God’s image The greatest scientific advances presuppose something that looks very like the mind of God.
Michael Ruse Intelligent design is an oxymoron Intelligent Design theory is a mountain of waffle resting on analogy. Neither scientists nor believers should touch it.
Mark Vernon Bad science, bad theology, and blasphemy ID is indeed bad theology. It implies that God is one more thing along with all the other things in the universe.

Geoffrey Rowell writes in a Credo column for the Times about Encountering divine love in the desert and in Norwich. The mystic Julian of Norwich discovered the depth of God’s love during sixteen divine apparitions.

Also in the Times Ruth Gledhill writes about Church factions in theological battle for soul of Cardinal Newman.

Christopher Howse looks at the history of rented seats in the UK’s churches in a Sacred Mysteries column in the Telegraph: Renting the best seats in church.

Giles Fraser wrote this for the Church Times before Thursday’s general election: It’s time to prepare for lean years. But this is only available to subscribers. This might be a mistake so look again on Monday after the Church Times office opens.

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Father Ron SmithRichard AshbyNom de PlumeSpirit of Vatican IICheryl Va. Recent comment authors
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Cheryl Va.
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The issue is not whether God tweaks Creation. God does, sometimes. The issue is that some souls say that because God tweaks that somehow puts them in a special class not subject the laws and forces that drive the rest of the universe. That kind of theology is often adopted by selfish souls who use it to sociopathically dismiss the suffering of others and to justify abuse. God has the capacity to do anything, but God chooses to allow Creation to move in accordance with laws and principles. The alternative is the destruction of the universe as the ripples of… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“Last year seven men were ordained priest in the Roman Catholic church in the UK: there were 574 ordained in the CofE (of whom 274 were women). There is a crisis looming for the Vatican and they just don’t get it: the priesthood is ageing and diminishing, something must be done or the church will implode.” – Colin Slee, Guardian Comment – the Revd. Colin Slee states a very important fact of life here. The indigenous Church of England, with all its failings, is at least still finding vocations into the ministry of the Church. The fact that many of… Read more »

Spirit of Vatican II
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Perhaps Newman is partly to blame for the rightist hijacking of his name. Fortunately they did not get his body.

It is good that Ruth has named the issue about Newman publicly.

Newman’s greatness lies in particular in his introduction of the principle of change and development, as intrinsically good and necessary things, into a Church (both Anglican and Catholic) that since the 16th century had been frozen in a cult of no change. And also in his persuasive modern conception of the nature of Faith.

These are the two points that his right wing hijackers never mention.

Nom de Plume
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Nom de Plume

Interesting note about Pew Rents being unlawful in England. They were very common in parts of Canada in the 19th Century, and very much lawful, provision for them having been made in legislation which is still in force.

I once suggested to my parish that we should return to the practice of renting pews, pricing them on the basis of supply and demand: $10 per week for the front row, $20 for the second row….

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

Since all the churches in the Bristol suburb of Clifton had pew rents (and were in the hands of bodies such as the Simeon Trust) the church where I went, All Saints’ Clifton, had as one of its objects at its foundation, the provision of free seating for all. Nevertheless, until the church was bombed in 1940, women sat on on side and men on the other.

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“Nevertheless, until the church was bombed in 1940, women sat on on side and men on the other.:
– Richard Ashby –

Maybe though, Richard, this would have been due to the existence of a sort of ‘F.i.F.’ principle of making sure the sexes were not mixed at worship. All Saints Margaret Street, in London, when I first visited, had the same configuration – males on the right and females on the left (except for families). Just shows how time, and theology per sex differentiation, has changed in the interim.
At least – for most of us. Deo Gratias!

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“On the surface, all is Christian love and fellowship. But beneath the surface rages a theological battle for the soul of Cardinal John Henry Newman and of the Roman Catholic Church itself.” – Ruth Gledhill – Thanks to Ruth for this thoughtful and thought-provoking article on the Cardinal Newman epic. While Roman Catholics squabble about what to do with his remains, the Good Cardinal foxed the lot of them. By arranging to be buried as he did, beside his beloved in the graveyard – without the security of a leaden coffin – this dearly-loved, one-time Anglican, Divine seemingly intended to… Read more »