Thinking Anglicans

opinion

Bishop David Thomson preached this sermon at a memorial service for the Revd John Graham. If you don’t know who John Graham was, you can read his obituary here.

Shane Blackshear describes 5 Ways To Be Unsatisfied With Your Church.

Andrew Brown writes in The Guardian that The Church of England isn’t abandoning sin – nor should it.

Fr Andrew Stephen Damick writes on Coffeedoxy and Heterodoxy.

Dale M Coulter writes about A Charismatic Invasion of Anglicanism?

We reported on the draft alternative baptism texts and early reactions to them here.
Since then Ian Paul blogs about Experimental Baptism and Madeleine Davies reports in the Church Times: Draft ‘baptism lite’ criticised.

Andrew Brown writes in The Guardian that The Church of England isn’t abandoning sin – nor should it.

Adrian Newman writes in the Church Times Good vicar = growing church? and the paper has this leader: Good vicars.
On the same topic Kevin Lewis blogs about a collateral benefit to existing.

Giles Fraser asks in The Guardian Given Uganda’s homophobia, why does it lead the way in Googling gay porn?

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Tim ChestertonInterested ObserverSusannah ClarkPat O'NeillJCF Recent comment authors
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Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

I agree with every word Giles Fraser writes about Uganda. I would add that the increasing public hysteria and the increasingly draconian laws are possible because gay people cannot be open. The reason homophobia decreased dramatically in Western countries is not because we were so much more enlightened and less prejudiced but because more and more people knew more and more ‘out’ and well adjusted gay people and couples that it became impossible to sustain the myths that gay people were depraved, immoral and responsible for all the sins in the world. Sadly, it is currently impossible to imagine how… Read more »

Adam Armstrong
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Adam Armstrong

Regarding the Charismatic invasion of Anglicanism, I find it troubling that the experience I have had with most charismatics is their conservatism and fundamentalism. Parishes who have been involved in the Charismatic movement, or more accurately their clergy, are much more likely to be anti-gay and very sin-focused. These are the kinds of parishes and clergy who find affinity in ACNA and the various breakaway networks. Anglicans who are charismatics have something to offer, but if they become Pentecostal fundamentalists in Anglican clothing, usually there are problems and divisiveness.

WM
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WM

So Adrian Newman believes that one reason churches fail to grow is a lack of nice lay middle class professionals to show the rest of us what’s what. Maybe it’s this model of leadership which is at fault rather than the nature of inner city congregations.

Pam
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Pam

Adrian Newman’s writing about the ‘good vicar’ story is the most nuanced and mature I’ve read. Growth may indeed be about ‘growing’ the faith of needy individuals, however complex that may be, and not about numerical advancement. The Church is called to be counter-cultural and numbers on a sheet of paper don’t necessarily tell the most compassionate story.

Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

Ian Paul seems a thoughtful and considered man despite his unfortunate association with Fulcrum.
His posts are always interesting and his perspective worth respect.
I have often wondered how I avoided becoming an evangelical. I rejected firmly the Glasgow Celtic Roman Catholicism of my father and embraced a spectacularly animated and passionate relationship with Jesus brought about by a conversion experience.

I love all the things evangelicals seem to cherish ……….

But as I read Ian’s view of what an epiclesis is, I coughed and spluttered back to life as a catholic in body, mind and spirit. Deo Gratias!

Anne2
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Anne2

I understand what you are saying WM, but I think Adrian Newman is making a valid point here too. Having led and been part of churches in various settings, I know from experience that there can be problems in inner urban settings (and in small rural churches) where you have very few people who are confident in expressing themselves in writing, or standing up and speaking fluently in front of others, confident about form filling, computer literate and able to deal with running church accounts etc. Whether we like it or not, there is a good deal of administration and… Read more »

Savi Hensman
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Savi Hensman

On the issue of baptism, why not add the ASB rite to the pilot, inviting some of the parishes involved to use this on a trial basis so that a simpler text using traditional imagery can be evaluated too?

Susannah Clark
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Susannah Clark

I loved this comment by Adrian Newman: “IF it is true that growth happens more easily within suburban contexts, then it is also the case that it follows the natural grain of culture and homogeneity. In other words, like attracts like. Yet, in an increasingly fragmented and tribal world, perhaps God is calling his Church to create and become communities of difference. If we are to be icons of hope, perhaps diversity is the key, a kaleidoscopic community struggling with harmony.” Adrian is indeed deep-thinking and nuanced. He is also compassionate and decent. I think this theology around ‘kenosis’ –… Read more »

JPM
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JPM

Adam Armstrong has a point.

Here in the U.S., when charismatics first started showing up in mainstream churches back in the 70s and 80s, most gave them the boot. Not so the Episcopal Church, which was one of the few mainstream bodies to welcome them.

Sadly, those new arrivals would go on to comprise much of our own breakaway movement.

Be careful.

JCF
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JCF

…on the other hand, my grandmother (OBM) was BOTH the *first charismatic* AND the *first LGBT-affirming* Episcopalian I ever knew (this, in the 1970s). People can surprise you.

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

Reading over this whole comment thread, I am reminded of the final line of “Life With Father,” by Clarence Day, Jr., spoken by the title character:

“I’m going to be baptized, godammit!”

Susannah Clark
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I don’t think the Holy Spirit limits her gifts and actions to one certain type of theology or person. You can find charismatic expressions in catholicism, among liberal christians, in evangelical churches. The Spirit blows where She will. I admit over the years that I’ve found deepening experiences in contemplation and in practical nursing. And there’s always a danger that people get distracted by things that are meant to be signs. A signpost doesn’t point to itself. But having said all that, speaking and praying in tongues is a routine part of my life, I believe in supernatural activity of… Read more »

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

“even if I don’t agree with Nicky Gumbell’s views on gay sex”

Does anyone, including him, actually know what his views on gay sex actually are? Charitably, he seems to have embarked upon a journey of thought and reappraisal. Less charitably, he’s telling his various audiences what he thinks they want to hear. But if he, HTB or the Alpha Course could actually formulate a clear statement, it would be interesting to see.

Tim Chesterton
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JPM says: ‘Here in the U.S., when charismatics first started showing up in mainstream churches back in the 70s and 80s, most gave them the boot. Not so the Episcopal Church, which was one of the few mainstream bodies to welcome them.

Sadly, those new arrivals would go on to comprise much of our own breakaway movement.’

This is rather misleading. The vast majority of the charismatics were not ‘new arrivals’. People like Dennis Bennett were lifelong Episcopalians who had discovered fresh joy and power through a Pentecostal style ‘Baptism in the Holy Spirit’.