Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 3 May 2017

Kieran Bohan A brave faith An outpouring of the spirit – Searching for a more inclusive church

Jayne Ozanne ViaMedia.News A Question of Christian Identity?

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 GAFCON & the paradox of ‘cultural captivity.’

Michael Sadgrove Woolgathering in North East England Discerning Vocation in the Third Age: more from the retirement front line

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Rod GillisJanet FifeCynthiaFather Ron SmithEdward Prebble Recent comment authors
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Marshall Scott
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To Jayne Ozanne: well put; and, yes, on our progressive end of the spectrum we do have bigots that we need to acknowledge and challenge. It doesn’t change how progressive I see myself, but perhaps does call me to some humility.

To Andrew Lightbown: simply, yes.

Lavinia Nelder
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Lavinia Nelder

Thank you Andrew

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

The Jayne Ozanne article is fine as far as it goes; but it does suffer from one flaw i.e. a tendency to rely upon a particular kind of biblical piety as a means of analyzing controversy and identity politics in the church. One consequence of that can be seen here, when she writes:”Many within the liberal/anglo-catholic group tend themselves to write off those from the evangelical group for being ‘narrow minded bigots, who leave their brains at the door’ ”. From a justice point of view this kind of thing is, or is at risk of being, a kind of… Read more »

Edward Prebble
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Edward Prebble

“The Jayne Ozanne article is fine as far as it goes” Rod, I had placed a response on the via media site before I read your comment. I quite agree with you, but would like to repeat what I said there, with a little change. When I was studying Romans at University of Nottingham in 1982, Dr, later Professor, James D G Dunn had an interesting take on Chapter 14, where he saw Paul presenting a paradigm that can apply in many situations, including debates about (homo)sexuality. Paul describes two groups of people, whom he describes as “strong” and “weak”,… Read more »

MarkBrunson
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MarkBrunson

That’s what we progressives are best at – faced with others engaging in cruelty, bigotry, hypocrisy, we ask what’s wrong with *us*. It’s like the beaten wife on “Maury.” “If I didn’t make him so mad, he wouldn’t have to hit me!”

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Re: Edward Prebble,I hear what you are saying; but I’m pointing out the limitations, as I see them, in engaging human rights controversies in the church using paradigms that are largely if not exclusively constructed within one sort of biblical framework or another, whether it be Jayne Ozanne’s or the one detailed in your rejoinder. Slugging this out based on trading biblical texts, even texts presented with nuance, is not sufficient. Fundamentalists and biblicists will piously quote the bible. Progressives and liberals can quote the bible in reply. The problem is that the conservatives quote the bible armed with more… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Thank you, Rod, for your comments – on Paul’s take on moral questions. None of us ought discount the cultural situation in which Paul wrote his letters. From his previous Judaic theology, for instance, Paul had to adjust to the more humane pastoral approach of Jesus – whom he was able, after a lifeltime of experience as a Pharisee, to proclaim as the true Messiah. Likewise, if Paul were alive today – with modern insights into human biology and an understanding of authentically committed same-sex relationships, he might be writing differently. Context has a lot to do with theologising in… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

I suggest great care should be taken when relying on Romans 14.2. It only says that some are called to live by more restrictions than others. It does not suggest that it is acceptable to preach that everyone should refrain from eating meat.

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Re: Father Ron, sure thing, right on. I should add, that if I am not discordant with what is a tacit insight in Edward Prebble’s comment, in the sense that love is a transcendent value, and in the Christian tradition it is the premier transcendent value (something Paul affirms). After all it is our awareness of Divine love for us that gives rise to the first stirrings of faith within us, preceding our cognition of God. But love is bridged with justice, and justice demands attentiveness to whether or not the presentation of our arguments may be injurious. Because we… Read more »

Edward Prebble
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Edward Prebble

Rod, I think we are in absolute agreement on two assertions, separated by a “but”. The only difference is which assertion comes before, and more importantly, which assertion comes after the “but”. For example, I can say “I really love looking after my grandchildren, but it’s sometimes hard work”, Or “It’s sometimes hard work looking after my grandchildren, but I really love doing it”. I totally agree that sticking to clear arguments is a good defense against the temptation to despise those with whom we disagree, and even more do I agree with your earlier point that reflecting on the… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Thanks again, Rod, for your further ruminations. I wonder how a modern St.Paul would have dealt with the conservative GAFCON position, vis-a-vis the matter of their siding with the local regulatory persecution of Gays in their territories. It seems to me not too unlike the situation of the Pharisees all too ready to cast the first stone, while not considering the effects of their own repressive attitudes towards ‘sinners’, whom Christ came to redeem.

Cynthia
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Cynthia

“But love is bridged with justice,”

American theologian and philosopher, Cornell West, says that “justice is the public expression of love.”

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Re: Cynthia, “American theologian and philosopher, Cornell West, says that ‘justice is the public expression of love.’ ” I’m not deeply familiar with Cornel West, but the statement seems a good short hand on the face of it. Most Christian social justice theologies or programs would ground love as the value which is the well spring for constructing an effective and functional common good. That love is at the heart of Christian social teaching is something that is recognized across a wide spectrum of theological opinion(e.g., Caritas In Veritate). Justice fundamentally is about relationships. Hence the need to ground thinking… Read more »

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Re: Father Ron Smith, I think St. Paul gets a bit of bad rap these days. He is often seconded by conservatives who mangle his legacy with proof texting while he is ignored to some degree by progressives i.e. contextualized to the point of being marginalized. His accomplishments in terms of creative thinking, concern for the unity, in the sense of integrity, of the body of Christ are an important legacy. Notwithstanding, his horizon is difficult to access and opens one up to the risk of oversimplification. Edward, with regard to Jayne Ozanne, “BUT her point stands.” It does, but… Read more »

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

I have always understood that when St Paul describes believers as ‘strong’ or ‘weak’ he is referring to their faith or their conscience, not to the degree of power that they hold. This is his argument in 1 Cor. 8 regarding the eating of meat, where those with a strong conscience eat meat sacrificed to idols, knowing that idols have no real existence. Those with a weak conscience don’t eat such meat, worrying they may be compromised or polluted by it. Rom. 14:1 also says it is those with a weak faith who refrain from eating meat – unless they… Read more »

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Re Jane Fife, “I have always understood that when St Paul describes believers as ‘strong’ or ‘weak’ he is referring to their faith or their conscience, not to the degree of power that they hold.” You make a very good point which calls us back to what Paul is addressing. Joseph Fitzmyer puts it this way, regarding Romans 14:1–15:3. ” The second part of the hortatory section is immediately concerned with such minor questions as the eating of meat and the observance of holy days.But fundamentally it deals with the age old problem of the scrupulous vs. the enlightened conscience… Read more »