Thinking Anglicans

late May opinion

Kelvin Holdsworth, the provost of St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow, preached this Sermon for Affirmation Scotland at Pentecost.

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times Consider the bees, not the wasps.

Ian Bradley writes in a Face to faith column in The Guardian that Liberals must stand together. Liberals across all faiths should create a coalition to turn the fundamentalist tide.

Francisco J. Ayala writes in The Guardian that Religion has nothing to do with science – and vice versa

Maggi Dawn writes about the acceptance of gay clergy in the inside view.

This week’s The Question at The Guardian’s Comment is free Belief is What is theology? Is it all just pointless talk about a non-existent being?
Here are the responses.
Monday: Tina Beattie A bulwark against ignorance. To do theology well is to empower people to resist religion’s co-option by the powers of fanaticism and violence.
Tuesday: Terry Sanderson Theology – truly a naked emperor. In the words of Robert A Heinlein, ‘Theology … is searching in a dark cellar at midnight for a black cat that isn’t there.’
Thursday: Nick Spencer Theology illuminates reality. Theology would be worth studying even if God did not exist for then it would tell us about our deepest selves.
Friday: Michael McGhee A critical eye on theology. Whatever else they do, the scriptures, like any other literature, reveal the unconscious ambivalences of their writers.

Terry Sanderson’s article above has prompted this from Andrew Brown: Making sense of Rowan Williams. Theology isn’t trying to produce scientific knowledge. We can all agree on that. But what other sorts of knowledge are there?

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Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“But every Church should have a habit of being attentive to new comers, and develop an informal collection of group activities outside ordinary services, into which solitary people can fit without difficulty. It is true that many people come to church wanting space and solitude, but few would mind terribly if this were substituted occasionally by genuine companionship and warmth.” – Church Times Leader 28 May – In terms of the present conflict in the Communion about what the church may best do to fulfil the commandment of Christ to ‘Love one another as I have loved you’ – without… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

On the left side of the pond, my church holds a good many “non-service” events–an annual whiffle ball game and picnic, Maundy Thursday dinner, Epiphany dinner and auction, pumpkin fair, and other events that are not quite as “annual” (game nights, for instance).

I’m surprised that it seems such are not “standard” in CoE parishes.

Columba Gilliss
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Columba Gilliss

If you sit very quietly in that dark cellar at midnight the black cat may find you, even crawl into your lap.
Columba Gilliss

Chris Smith
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Chris Smith

Ian Bradley’s viewpoint is well taken and MUST BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY by progressive thinking human beings. The Religious Right has tried to hijack every major Religion with their narrow and sometimes quite violent language and fundamentalist views. It is certainly disappointing and sad that even Rowan Williams seems to be afraid of them and as a result seems to be taking shelter in their narrow interpretation of scriptures and the bible, while sacrificing the human dignity of glbt persons for the sake of “unity”. I use to pray that Rowan would have an epiphany on the issues that confront gay… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Well, bravo to Ayala and other folks for bravely stepping into the supposed gaps and contraries in many different distinctions between religion and science. It is a daunting task, as we usually find when we have to both account for our tasks along with ourselves, especially scrupulous about the methods or strategies by which we dare to proceed. Will any genuine knowing NOT put us at painful risk in a world where large glorious ends cover up and justify very mean means? In science, religion, politics, you name it? Still, I find Ayala wanting and persistently off key, despite the… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

Good to see Dr.Dan back on the www with ‘Thinking Anglicans’. Your comment on Rowan’s seeming take on Mary Glasspool’s recent bishopping is a sad reality for many of us. Mary’s faithfulness to her so-obvious calling (together with that of her colleague Diane) to leadership in TEC is beyond reproach, and therefore an occasion for rejoicing at their episcopal ordination. In the preachment at Mass this morning at Saint Michael and All Angels, Christchurch, N.Z., our Vicar reminded us of the dynamic all-embracing Love of God at the heart of the Trinity – reaching out to all who would experience… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

Speaking of Naked Emperors: do the Uber-Atheists like Sanderson (Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, et al) EVER tire of their own Imperial Certitude? O_o

Fr John
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Fr John

Ian Bradley’s comments deserve to be taken very seriously if the Church of God is to remain true to the Gospel message of loving God, and your neighbour.
May Ian’s words be a catalyst for such a beginning. I too live in Scotland, an Episcopalian, and have seen the decline o0f the Church of Scotland influence as it has moved into that fundamentalistic religious right. This is not of the Spirit, and we liberal needs to band together across the faiths. Let it begin here.

Fr John (SCOTLAND)

Merseymike
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Merseymike

I view theology as simply a form of literary criticism about something made up by humans

MarkBrunson
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“I view theology as simply a form of literary criticism about something made up by humans”

Though we may disagree on many points, here I agree. And, since it is only one volume of works criticized exclusively for more than a millenium, the “theologian” really is nothing more than a sort of church lawyer, arguing one established case against another, depending on who’s paying his fee at the time.

A true theologian would have very little time for the nonsense now called “theology,” as they’d be busy looking to know God through prayer and meditation!

Rev L Roberts
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Rev L Roberts

I view theology as simply a form of literary criticism about something made up by humans”

In one sense it’s hard to see what else it could be ! But let’s not forget the many ways of doing theology in many times and climes. And the role of experience, reflection, symbols, sharing and other forms of creativity in that doing.

Has not always been literary surely? And need not be today.