Thinking Anglicans

opinion

updated to add another answer to The Question

Jerry Bowyer writes for Forbes about The Seminary Bubble.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has published the text of a recent lecture: ‘Cloven Tongues’: Theology and the Translation of the Scriptures.

Giles Fraser writes for the Church Times about A Church for sinful addicts.

This week’s The Question in Comment is free belief is What choice for faith schools? “On what basis should faith schools choose children when they are oversubscribed – and who should decide?” There are answers from Andrew Copson, John Pritchard and Maeve McCormack.

David Briggs writes for The Association of Religion Data Archives about ‘Free riders’ and the recession: Churches face hard economic choices attracting new members.

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peterpi - Peter Gross
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peterpi - Peter Gross

So, according to Jerry Bowyer, if all Christian ministers simply become less-educated rubes who know how to spout the conservative line about gays, women, capitalism, the “right” answer about environmental issues, etc., if they know how to please the congregational masses, why, they’ll be quite successful. Jerry Bowyer sneers at well-educated ministers being the Green Party at prayer. It sounds like his successful ministers are the Tea Party at prayer. I’m sorry, but I think I’ll listen to Episcopal priests and Reform Jewish rabbis who have undergone a thorough education, who know that the world and theology are complex, who… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

Bowyer’s ignorance about seminary education is only trumped [Trumped?] by his prejudice.

RobinD
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RobinD

I’d have to say that Bowyer is right, even if I don’t like the theology or politics of those he says are more successful financially. I’m looking forward to the next articles, to see if I’m just being overly trusting. Note that Bowyer does NOT say that he agrees with what his stereotypical non-seminary preacher believes or says, only that mainline churches would do well to pay more heed to good preaching (which is not the same as good teaching) and possibly less to the educational format required for employment. Scholarship should inform preaching, but a detailed lecture on the… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

RobinD, you seem to be calling for a prophet-less ministry, free of those who tell their congregations precisely what they DON’T want to hear.

Father Ron Smith
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“.. translation is no mere tool for study; its effect is the effect of the incarnation and the cross. It becomes a kind of sacramental act – remembering that, for the Reformed theological tradition in England, the sacraments were both a ‘text’ in which the godly might read the full meaning of the recorded acts of God and a demonstration of the effects of the passion of Christ.” – Abp. Rowan Williams – This little gem, in the middle of this very long appraisal of scriptural interpretation by the ABC, spoke volumes to me – about the incarnational thrust of… Read more »

RobinD
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RobinD

No, not advocating a prophet-less ministry – just that the prophets among us might do a better job of preaching their prophecy. It’s a matter of process, not content, and it just happens that many of the people who minister to conservatives do a much better job of telling their story. I frequently get the feeling (as a progressive myself) that mainstream clergy aren’t quite sure what they themselves believe, and therefore are not emotionally (or technically) equipped to rouse their congregations. I also feel that even in congregations devoted to justice issues, those preaching are reluctant to challenge their… Read more »

Geoff
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“I’d have to say that Bowyer is right, even if I don’t like the theology or politics of those he says are more successful financially.”

Yes, I was nodding through the first half of the piece and then there was an unpleasantly sharp turn halfway through.

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

RobinD:

I’ve yawned through quite a few myself…but I think the problem is that many Episcopalian preachers don’t know when to shut up. They feel the need to make their point over and over and over and don’t really know how to close out a speech.

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

One of my mentors at Virginia Seminary was Churchill Gibson, whose advice on preaching was brief: “A good sermon is about God and about ten minutes.”

When I read Mystery Worshipper accounts of services, I notice that most of the sermons times at [Holy Cow!] 50 minutes are NOT preached in Anglican or Episcopal churches.

Fr Levi
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RobinD has a point. Parish ministry is a preaching ministry. For most people, the vast proportion of the contact they have with their priest/pastor is in church and the sermon is his/her primary opportunity to connect with his/her parishioners. Seminaries should put maximum effort into equipping their students to construct and deliver a sermon (without neglecting all the other tools they will need, which includes a solid academic grounding), otherwise they are failing both their students and the churches they serve. And bishops might do well to take into consideration candidates talents in public speaking before sending them to seminary.

Jay Vos
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Jay Vos

And a sermon any longer than 10 minutes tops makes me want to doze off. Thing is, at my cathedral we have different preachers and each has his/her own style and interpretation of the propers for that day – to me it’s a challenge to see how they tackle the propers and tie them to some thing relevant for today…

MarkBrunson
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Why in the world should the ministry be a “preaching ministry?” Isn’t there supposed to be something in there about actually giving care to individual people? Are we really just concerned about getting a bunch of dynamic attention-seekers? Doesn’t anyone else feel terribly embarrassed by and uncomfortable for priests or deacons who are so terribly “slick” and polished in their delivery? You’re not selling a product, and you’re not a news presenter. You’re not even a standup comic. Education *is* vitally important – deep and broad – but don’t teach glad-handing. Nobody has ever gotten much from a sermon they… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Yes, Mark. You’re so right, the Word has to be allowed to become flesh!

David Shepherd
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David Shepherd

As reported by contributors here, ‘eutychitis’ is a familiar condition first described in Acts 20:

‘And there was a young man named Eutychus sitting on the window sill, sinking into a deep sleep; and as Paul kept on talking, he was overcome by sleep and fell down from the third floor and was picked up dead.’ (Acts 20:9)

As with all scripture: Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest.

David Shepherd
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David Shepherd

Live Aid 1985 Teaching: Udo Lindenberg: ’40 thousand children die every day at the hands of this military built-up. It is a crime that this madeness has now moved into another dimension. These governments in Washington and the Kremlin are sick in their heads…We see our song as a demonstration of those people who will no longer condone this insanity – we rise up against it.’ Versus Preaching: Bob Geldof: Mick and Dave did that video specifically so that you could give something, but it’s not happening enough. You know, you’ve got to get on the phone and take the… Read more »

Adam Armstrong
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Adam Armstrong

Uneducated and backward clergy leading uneducated and backward people-reinforcing their prejudices and shunning anything and anyone they don’t agree with. What could go wrong?
http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles-2009/Wison-Narcissism-Goes-To-Church.php

Adam Armstrong
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Adam Armstrong

This article from its original site.
http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/8554.htm