Thinking Anglicans

opinion for Quinquagesima

Olivia Crellin writes in Varsity about Wearing faith on your sleeve.

Harry Mount writes for The Telegraph about St Paul’s Cathedral anniversary: the beauty of the domes that Wren built. “With St Paul’s Cathedral celebrating its 300th anniversary, Harry Mount wishes that more of London’s architecture would possess such lasting beauty.”

Stephen Tomkins writes in The Guardian: King James Bible: ‘Twas a work most modern. “Later versions may lack its resonance, but it’s time to let go of the King James Bible and the cod Jacobean it has bequeathed.”

Dallas Graham writes in The Guardian Don’t rebuild the Christchurch cathedral. “Yes, it was glorious, but a great weakness has been horribly exposed – stone buildings are deadly in an earthquake zone.”

Mark Vernon writes in The Guardian In praise of doubt, maybe. “Why do we have such an unbalanced attitude to doubt, demanding certainty where there is none, and pretending to doubt what everyone knows?”

George Pitcher writes in The Telegraph that The religion control freaks are telling you what to think for the 2011 Census .
Meanwhile in The Guardian this week’s The Question is What should we tell the census about our religious affiliation? with answers from Andrew Copson, William Bloom and the Church Mouse.

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Father Ron SmithRichard AshbyRandal OultonMartin ReynoldsRichard Ashby Recent comment authors
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Counterlight
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Counterlight

Re Harry Mount’s article on Saint Paul’s, I remember reading somewhere that Byron described Saint Paul’s as so much commerce piled high to the sky. When I visited Saint Paul’s a couple of years ago, I was struck by how small “the riding redoubtable dome of Saint Paul” looked compared to all of the commerce that really was piled high to the sky around it. The cathedral looked like an old high church vicar who was an unwelcome guest at the executive board meeting of an international bank. Unlike so many generations of English writers, I’ve always loved Saint Paul’s.… Read more »

Murdoch
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Murdoch

I worked for the Church Information Office, Westminster, in the 1960s and was often at St. Paul’s. (I heard Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in the undercroft.) What’s always struck me about the building is that it’s not what it appears. The church itself is a gothic layout, with long nave and transepts and concealed buttresses, but outside it appears a rectangular Greek Classic structure with tall walls. The outside walls are screens (the upper row of windows on the sides are dummies). Even the dome is tricky — what you see above the crossing isn’t what you see from… Read more »

Murdoch
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Murdoch

Concerning the cathedral church in New Zealand — compare the building that was damaged with Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. They look much the same, but the construction in San Francisco is reinforced concrete. Yes, classic cathedral churches are stone on stone — but sometimes one should be practical. Construction of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York City was delayed for years as they tried to sink foundations for a proper East-facing altar; they could have built the thing on an adjoining ridge in less time and finished it. (It still lacks transepts, West towers,… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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“The Anglican cathedral in the heart of Christchurch has become a forlorn, desolate tomb; felled by a destructive double-act of God. The massive earthquake of 4 September was the first blow which no doubt weakened it; the killer blow came in the form of the latest quake.” – Dallas Graham, in the Guardian – As a citizen of Christchurch, I object to the woeful report of the situation vis a vis our badly-damaged Cathedral that has been produced by former citizen, Dallas Graham. His unbelief betrays his nihilistic view of God at work in creation – imputing to God the… Read more »

Randal Oulton
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Randal Oulton

>> There seems to be no end to the comments on this.

Interesting, I haven’t noticed a single word on this in papers outside the UK.

>> We cannot blame God for ‘natural disasters’. This is a myth that Christianty – and most religious faith communities which accommodate the gift of Reason in their theology – would soundly reject.

Nope. Actually, Catholics said the Lisbon earthquake of 1775 was God’s wrath on Portugal for tolerating the presence of Protestants and Jews. Cf: Voltaire’s introduction to Candide.

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

Stephen Tomkins might, too, have mentioned the Book of Common Prayer, older than the King James Bible, 1549, revised in 1552, 1662, and 1928, each time retaining the language of the 16th century which persisted into both ‘Series 1’ and ‘Series 2.’ Even the Alternative Services Book and Common Worship make provision for use of ‘traditional language’, showing how persistent is the English need to worship God with words which, while retaining their resonance, have largely lost their meaning.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Well, Randall – I did say that is was limited to ‘faith communities which accommodate the gift of REASON in their theology’ that would reject the idea of blaming God for natural disasters.

Some modern pentecostal and evangelical sects are also prone to attributing vengeance to God in their desire to visit ‘consequences’ upon modern society for it’s perceived ‘wickedness’.

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

Randall – and of course Hurricane Katrina was God’s wrath on the sodomites of New Orleans and the Haiti earhquake God’s revenge for voodoo.

Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

An interesting piece from George Pitcher, who is developing a unique style as Rowan’s Secretary for Public Affairs. Perhaps those like Jonathan Jennings and others who have much greater knowledge and who comment here might correct me – but it’s highly unusual for someone in George’s position to maintain a strident “independent voice” and on such a prominent stage. Predecessors and others in similar positions as advisors elsewhere – tend to get their stories out through “channels” and are happy to remain relatively unknown, particularly if they are actually “running” their principals. Hmmm maybe if you have absolutely no influence… Read more »

Randal Oulton
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Randal Oulton

@ Ron and Richard:

Well the one thing for sure is, we don’t ever see much in the way of headlines blaming God for good weather, do we, lol! Guess there’s no mileage in that, hehe.

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

Randall – the sun has been shining for three days here. God must be very pleased with us here in the South of England!

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Further to Randall’s and Richard’s remarks; the sun has been shining wonderfully here in Christchurch for the last 2 days also. Does that mean that God has ‘repented’ of the ‘evil God has done to us’ – in not one but two earthquakes? The whole business of blaming God for natural disasters is surely not a concept that any Thinking anglican would want to espouse. WE had a lovely Ash Wednesday traditional Ashing and Eucharist in a little ‘A’-frame church on the outskirts of Christchurch this morning. The readings were of the day – reminding us that: *You art dust,… Read more »