Thinking Anglicans

opinion for a bank holiday weekend

Hywel Williams writes for The Guardian about Putting our faith in fragments.
“Be it medieval bones or rubble from the Twin Towers, relics affirm our belief in human endurance.”

Tom Wright writes for The Spectator about “How the Church of England can – and will – endure”: Keep the faith.

Riazat Butt of The Guardian is travelling through Afghanistan with army chaplains: Religion on the frontline. Here are her reports so far.
Religion in Camp Bastion: ‘What people are asked to do here can lead to big questions’
Baptism at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan
Life as a humanist with the armed forces in Afghanistan

Matthew Adams writes for The Guardian about Christianity and capital punishment: thou shalt not kill?
“A petition urging the reintroduction of the death penalty in the UK poses some pertinent questions for Christianity.”

Brandon Peach in Relevant Magazine asks Will the Internet Kill Christianity?
Richard Beck at Experimental Theology summarises the article and adds some comments of his own.

Nick Jowett asks in The Guardian Was Jesus judgmental?
“Perhaps Christ was a more normal human being than people have been willing to believe.”

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Laurence RobertsGerry LynchErika BakerBill MoorheadJohn Bowles Recent comment authors
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Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

“…that young Christians in America are rejecting Christian fundamentalism—and doctrinaire concepts such as absolute truth and biblical infallibility—in droves. Why is faith in God being supplanted, earlier and earlier, by relativism, secularism and skepticism?”

That’s a non sequitur! Absolute truth and biblical infallibility are the enemy here and it’s about time that Christianity remembered its tradition and its mysticism, its deep questioning, the ultimate uncertainty that is faith, and that it grew out of that limiting mindset.

The idea that you lose it all if you are not a literalist is the real problem.

Fr Mark
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Fr Mark

It’s funny that Tom Wright caricatures “gay vicars” as a mere obsession of the “chatterati”, and contrasts this with his “snapshots from my time in Durham,” which were the real-life issues of foot and mouth, miners and faith in the city. While he was Bishop of Durham, if my memory is accurate, Tom Wright was renowned for rarely setting foot in his diocese, as he devoted so much energy to flying about the world, across the Atlantic in particular, in order to do everything possible to put down fair treatment for gay people in the Church. He even took the… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Fr Mark, I admire your stamina. I have long since given up reading anything Tom Wright writes.

JCF
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JCF

[Affirming Erika and Fr Mark here, but turning to…] On the subject of capital punishment, Matthew Adams’ piece in The Guardian is very thought-provoking. In line w/ my church, TEC (expressed at General Convention), I consider the death penalty an unthinkable EVIL in the modern world. That my home state, California, currently (if infrequently) carries out such state-sanctioned MURDER is nothing less than *disgraceful*. [God speed the day of its abolition! Permanently!] …nevertheless, I’m left answering the question posed by Adams, of WHY the Christian churches (the CofE, TEC) believed differently for so long. It’s my *hunch*, that it has… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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“While he was Bishop of Durham, if my memory is accurate, Tom Wright was renowned for rarely setting foot in his diocese, as he devoted so much energy to flying about the world, across the Atlantic in particular, in order to do everything possible to put down fair treatment for gay people in the Church.” – Fr. Mark – After trying a few times to access the article in The Spectator’ by the former Bishop of Durham. Tom Wright, I came to the conclusion that it has been consigned to the great waste-paper basket in the ether. Fittingly, perhaps, when… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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“Better to hang in private than to lose the death penalty altogether. – ‘Guardian’ article –

Perhaps the British Government (and maybe the Church) is taking the lead from the Government and the Anglican Church of Uganda, for this latest return to barbarism. Right wing Americans have a lot to answer for in the ‘Kill the Gays’ policy in Uganda, but if the British Government takes this path it will be no better than Uganda in the matter of basic human rights.

Randal Oulton
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Randal Oulton

Ugh. Abortion. Gay Marriage. Right of women and Catholics and non-land owners to vote. Abolition of death penalty?

Done and dusted in Canada. My interest is to move on in deepening equality in all ways as I feel we are called to.

Dave
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Dave

What has Tom Wright been doing? While he was at Durham he wrote most of his popular commentaries on the New Testament. He seems to have put for more energy into a dispute with John Piper on justification than discussions on homosexuality. The objects of his wrath have been primarily conservative evangelicals rather than gays. His objective, as in this latest article, to maintain the integrity of the CofE and AC.

Bill Moorhead
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Bill Moorhead

I have long had very mixed feelings about Tom Wright. (He’s very good as a scholar. As a bishop, not so much. But then there seems to be a lot of that going around in the English episcopate.) The way I usually put it is that he has a little curl right in the middle of his forehead. But credit should be given where credit is due, and I think his article in the Spectator is very very good.

John Bowles
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John Bowles

Hear, hear, Bill Moorhead! I entirely agree with you about Bishop Wright’s recent article in The Spectator. The references to homosexuality were minimal. Those to the social concern at large of members of the Church of England maximal. It gave a good interpretation of what an Established Church was capable of achieving.

I know nothing of the Diocese of Durham beyond the fact that traditionally it has had learned bishops who have written significant books while in office that have enriched the national Church.

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

“He seems to have put for more energy into a dispute with John Piper on justification than discussions on homosexuality.”

That’s as may be.
But a disupte on justification is a dispute about ideas and anyone can take it or leave it.
A dispute about homosexuality is about real people and their lives and about wanting to define what is and isn’t moral for “them”and trying to have a real impact on what “they” might be allowed to do in life.

In terms of poisonous impact and astonishing arrogance, Tom Wrights bilge about same sex sexuality is much more dangerous.

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Bill and John, I’ve read the Spectator article twice now and I don’t understand what you like about it. “None of this, of course, provides the answer to the questions about women bishops, or gay clergy, or the Anglican Communion, or how to relate to our Muslim neighbours. But if you put the hard questions in the centre of the picture, everything else gets distorted. Let’s take a deep breath and remind ourselves of our real focus: the kingdom of God, the lordship of Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit. Then, as Jesus himself nearly said, everything else… Read more »

Bill Moorhead
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Bill Moorhead

Hi, Erika — Yes but…! Everything that Jesus ever said about how to treat other people is right at the heart of the real focus, the Kingdom of God, the lordship of Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit. And I agree that there are major aspects of this that Tom Wright apparently Just Doesn’t Get. (This is the other side of his little curl.) I think he’s in denial about his own homophobia. His commentaries on Romans 1:26sqq tell us more about Tom than about Paul, which is unusual and surprising, because he’s usually pretty good on Paul… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Bill,

Granted!
It’s just that I react allergic to other people talking a talk that results in me having to walk a different walk, while they don’t have to change their walk one little bit.

I cannot find it in me to respect their thinking any longer, and it taints everything else they ever say.

Gerry Lynch
Guest

Just feel I have to point out that there is zero prospect of the death penalty being restored in the UK, public opinion is not split 50:50 and NOT massively in favour of its return, and that the petition on the government’s e-petition website to keep the death penalty off the statute books currently has more signatures than the pro-death penalty petition by a ratio of 3:2.

But all UK residents and British citizens, wherever located, should sign the anti-death penalty petition at

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/1090

Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

What Erika said.

‘I cannot find it in me to respect their thinking any longer, and it taints everything else they ever say.’

Posted by: Erika Baker on Monday, 29 August 2011 at 10:53pm BST

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

I am not sure Erika that the church of england can / will do much better. I think I’d be better off spending more time and energy with Proust. Also marvellous, brief, accessible, funny and serious book on reading Proust by Alain de Botton is a real must ! Also Michael Ondaatje ( author of The English Patient gave a personal, wise, witty interview on radio 4 yesterday 7.15 pm in which he explored the interface of fact and fiction beautifully. Just what we all need innit. And while I’m at it – the Miro at Tate Modern is very… Read more »