Thinking Anglicans

opinion for Ascensiontide

Evan Harris writes for Cif belief that Religious groups have too much freedom to discriminate.
Now that faith groups are to become public service providers, the exemptions they have in British equality law must be narrowed.

The Huffington Post prints this extract from a new book by Desmond Tutu: God Is Not a Christian.

Simon Barrow writes for Ekklesia that The Kirk faces a challenging future.

The Vernacular Curate writes about Technology and God.

Theo Hobson writes for Cif belief about What Rowan Williams really dislikes about Freemasonry.
His distaste seems to have less to do with its aura of mystery, more with its roots in liberalism and the Enlightenment.

The Telegraph reports the Archbishop of Canterbury’s thoughts on the Bard’s religion: William Shakespeare was probably a Catholic.

The Archbishop of Canterbury preached at the Ascension Day Eucharist at St Martin-in-the-Fields: Sermon for Ascension Day 2011.

And Maggi Dawn writes this: Ascension Day 2011.

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Cynthia GilliattFather Ron Smithdr.primroseRosemary HannahDavid Shepherd Recent comment authors
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David Cloake
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Thank you

peterpi - Peter Gross
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peterpi - Peter Gross

Thank you, Desmond Tutu! May God bless you in all your work. I often think on how what I am, my religion, my physical abilities and lack thereof, my skin tint, my relatively low economic status locally, while being far wealthier than hundreds of millions of people world-wide, my civil liberties and freedoms, etc., and I fully realize it’s all because I was lucky to be born to the right parents. And I consider myself damned lucky, indeed. Just as one teensy example, if I had been born 40 years ago in my parents’ country of origin, I had an… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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I love Maggie Dawn’s affirmation of metaphorical (poetical) language to bridge the gap between a literal fundamentalism and the scepticism of modern agnostics in arguments about the ‘truth’ of the Bible. The mystery of our religion demands the widest possible interpretation of the revelation contained in Holy Writ. I am reminded of being at Mass in an Anglican Bendictine monastery not long ago, when the preacher told us a story about a member of the congregation in an Anglo-Catholic country church who, when asked the question: Do you really believe in the bodily assumption of the B.V.M., after some moments… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

June 18, will be the 200th anniversary of the establishment of the Welsh Presbyterian Church ( Calvinistic Methodists), the denomination that baptized Rowan. It was constituted by persons who were locked out of ordination by the Church of England, with its snobbery and domination by the local gentry.The ordination was presided over by an Anglican curate, the Reverend Thomas Charles, founder of the Bible society.

I do hope Rowan will not forget his roots…

David Shepherd
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David Shepherd

Okay, so Christians could try to re-work the scriptures to be more accommodating: ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,’ (Ephesians 2:8) Of course, I note that James did state: ‘faith without works is dead’. However, a consequence is not a cause or ground of deliverance from hamartia: constantly trying, but ‘missing the mark’. Yes, God wants to forgive, but does that involve bypassing the stern justice endured by God Himself on the cross, Jesus of Nazareth, the King of Eternity who poured Himself uniquely… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
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Lapinbizarre

When Rowan Williams refers to Shakespeare as “probably a Catholic”, may one assume that he means “Roman Catholic”? Interesting terminology from an ABC if this is the case. There again, he did kiss the last pope’s ring.

OK, we all already know who Macbeth is, but who’s Lady M?

Nat
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Nat

David – Does one suffer or endure deprivations for one’s children in order to judge them sternly? Or to give them more freedom to grow into full human beings?

Lapinbizarre
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Lapinbizarre

Your potted history of the Welsh Presbyterian Church (“constituted by persons who were locked out of ordination by the Church of England, with its snobbery and domination by the local gentry”) rings a trifle simplistic, RIW.

David Shepherd
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David Shepherd

Hi Nat,

A gentle question deserves a gentle answer. The prodigal son took away His inheritance, the fruit of his Dad’s hard labour and sacrifice. It fuelled his bid to grow into a ‘full human being’, or so he thought.

It’s only when he hit rock bottom that he preferred the idea of living as a hired slave at home. Admittedly, after that ‘fatted calf’ main course and a second helping of dessert, life at home didn’t seem too bad at all, did it?

Peace.

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

And you have no knowledge of Welsh church history, lapinbizarre… that is why the people of Wales rose up in indignation against Anglican tithes and got the Church of England disestablished in the four Welsh dioceses.

The first Welsh speaking Anglican bishop since the seventeenth century was only appointed in 1870. That is why Wales is dotted with nonconformist chapels in reaction to that neglect.

That is why only 38,000 people ( out of 3 million ) actually regularly attend the Church in Wales.

RJB
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RJB

++Rowan: “I don’t think it tells us a great deal, to settle whether he was a Catholic or a Protestant, but for what it’s worth I think he probably had a Catholic background and a lot of Catholic friends and associates. How much he believed in it, or what he did about it, I don’t quite know.” How exactly does the Telegraph’s headline-writer translate this into “William Shakespeare was probably a Catholic”? The Archbishop is merely pointing out that John Shakespeare (glover and whittawer of Stratford) was a Papist, which we already knew. The not-particularly-formidable subtleties of Rowan Williams’ thought… Read more »

Nat
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Nat

David,

A gentle answer indeed – thank you! But nonetheless, the Prodigal Son was welcomed home, and there was rejoicing, not judgment. Perhaps we might conclude that his experiences “outside” taught him more than harsh judgments at home?

Nat

David Shepherd
Guest

Thanks Nat,

And here was I thinking you might continue the story:

Prodigal: ‘I hope you don’t mind, but I ordered in extra food for the party’
Elder brother: ‘We’ve got plenty here’
Prodigal: ‘But you’ve got no lobster’
Elder brother; ‘You’re into lobster? Outgrown the family allergies, or just an acquired taste?’
Prodigal: ‘Aw, come on bro’, give me a break. It’s my party and Dad said I could have anything. it’s only shellfish and I’ve always loved shellfish!’
😉

Rosemary Hannah
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But the other sting in the tale of the Prodigal Son is that the Elder Brother is, in his own way, also a rebellious son – he will not welcome his brother and he sulks outside the feast. And we who sulk when god does things in ways we don;t really approve of, when he is unconventional, over generous and totally weak-minded…

dr.primrose
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dr.primrose

I have always been intrigued by the order in which these two verses of the Prodigal Son story are set out: “So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'” (Luke 15:20-21) Note that the father’s compassion, hug, and kiss precede the son’s words of repentance to the… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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” And we who sulk when god does things in ways we don;t really approve of, when he is unconventional, over generous and totally weak-minded…”

– Rosemary Hannah –

Sadly, you are probably right here, Rosemary. When ‘The Righeous’ see God’s liberality towards those they regard as ‘sinners’ (LGBT) they are ropable!

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

Some information please. I read the piece about the ABC’s aversion to the Free Masons. In the US, social status and Masonic Lodge membership remain fairly robust in small towns and cities, but nationally, the Masons, like the Elks and such are aging out. The only people who see tham as somehow demonic are fans of Brown’s novels and Louis Farrakan [sp?] and assorted conspiracy theorists.

What’s their status/reputation in the UK?