Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 3 June 2017

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Scottish lessons for the English church (or at least the C of E)

Rowan Williams New Statesman The Benedict Option: a new monasticism for the 21st century
A new book by the conservative blogger Rob Dreher asks whether Christians should turn their back on society – is he right?

Revd Nathan Writes of the Church Letters to the Church Magazine – June 2017

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Making systemic homophobia in the Church of England more visible

Andrew Brown The Guardian Theresa May is like Jesus? Let’s examine this …

Eve Poole Church Times From Alpha to VUCA: the art of unknowing

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CynthiaDavid RuncornRevDaveLavinia NelderFr John E. Harris-White Recent comment authors
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Susannah Clark
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I agree with Andrew’s implicit support for the Scottish model: what he calls a ‘non-binary approach’ which seeks the flourishing of multiple integrities; or what I’d call ‘unity in diversity’. He warns against English bishops seeking a binary and uniform doctrinal position: trying to impose only one doctrine and one way on the whole Church of England. In my recent correspondence with the bishops, it was clear that while some conservative bishops were intransigent about giving any recognition to alternative views – “marriage is a salvation issue” – and some liberal bishops who felt ‘unity in diversity’ gave too much… Read more »

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Re: Andrew Brown’s article on Theresa May as the typical conservative Anglican’s own personal Jesus, Indeed. Does this mean that one may still hope and pray that the Tories get crucified at the ballot box? Me, I’ve got a few pieces of silver riding on Jeremy Corbyn to place. Notwithstanding, Brown has a serious insight when he writes, “they see in Theresa May the one who most resembles their Christian selves, and therefore, they believe, the one who must be closest to Jesus Christ, the perfect man.” There would appear to be no such thing as a pure religious idea… Read more »

Father David
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Father David

Beyond a shadow of doubt Jeremy Corbyn, who shares the same initials as Jesus Christ is the most Christ-like of all our current political leaders for, as we all know, our Blessed Lord was, like myself, a Christian Socialist. Unlike the vicar’s daughter Jezza does not resort to personal criticism of his political opponents and turns the other cheek when faced with a barrage of insults. Unlike the Conservative manifesto, the Labour manifesto is the one which most closely resembles the Good News of the Gospels. I wish him well on June 8th – he certainly has my vote. JEZ… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
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It seems rather strange that someone is asking which of the British party leaders most resembles Jesus, given the fact that Jesus refused all invitations to be a political/military leader – despite the fact that this was exactly what ‘Messiah’ meant in first century Judea.

Father David
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Father David

Surely, as Christians, we all must strive to be more and more Christ-like?

Father David
Guest
Father David

I should have added – “….whatever our political allegiance”

Stanley Monkhouse, the artist formerly known as Fr William
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Father David, I recall from my days as Asst DDO that I was required to comment about people’s growth in “christlikeness”. i thought it the most fatuous question. What sort of Christ? The Christ who shows a bit of temper? The Christ who’s more than a touch narky? The Christ who berates his disciples for being a bit slow on the uptake?. The Christ who casts out demons? And more. I suspect what the powers that be wanted was a Christ who says his prayers, grows the church, and knows his place in the pecking order of bishops, priests and… Read more »

Fr John E. Harris-White
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Fr John E. Harris-White

As Thinking Anglicans we each will come to our own conclusion as to which party we shall vote for on election day. This will be as a result of our background, upbringing, and our understanding of the needs of our nation and people. Each person will make their own decision, and this act will be done in the safety of the election booth, without fear or favour. I do not believe this site is the place to wave our political colours, but to pray for those brave enough to put their heads above the political parapet, and seek our vote.… Read more »

Lavinia Nelder
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Lavinia Nelder

It is interesting that the non-binary or non-dualistic viewpoints are being aired with greater vigour of late. What seems to be catching on in peoples minds is that ‘me right you wrong don’t darken our threshold’ model is precisely what Christ didn’t state. The writings of Rob Dreher encapsulate this perfectly. I see a strong element of the ‘we’re bound for glory everyone in and haul up the drawbridge’ school of thought that has been passed off as Christian thinking for way too long. Although if the conservatives wish to pursue that path good luck to them. We as people… Read more »

David Runcorn
Guest

Lavinia – thank you but I would note it is not just ‘conservatives’ who get stuck in binary mindsets.

RevDave
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RevDave

It’s strange, isn’t it, to have in the same list of Opinion pieces by liberal commentators, one article arguing for diverse views on sexuality and another arguing against it – accusing non-liberals of “systematic homophobia”? It all suggests to me that a similar trajectory will occur on homosexual marriage as started 25 years ago regarding women priests: liberal progress by first asking conservatives for inclusion.. and then progressing further by exclude conservatives? All the time accusing the HoB of being wrong in every imaginable way!

Fr John E. Harris-White
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Fr John E. Harris-White

Colin, Thank you for your piece. We can share and bring to Our Lord those people who have lost their position, and employment because they were found to be different, and didn’t fit the regular pattern, thought as ‘normal’ They are many, and have been hurt beyond measure, all in the name of a so called ‘Christian’ community. Let us all be very aware of those folk whose lives have been blighted with fear from their earliest days, because they were different. A fear that sinks deep, and does not go away, but rears it head from time to time,… Read more »

Lavinia Nelder
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Lavinia Nelder

David – don’t I know it! I used Richard Rohr to explain the trinity. The no faith teenagers found it useful, helpful and reassuring about Christianity. The faithful population in the main found the non-binary ideas a profound shock.

RevDave
Guest
RevDave

Lavinia – Yes, it ‘s hard to label the Trinity “binary”. However I think that binary thinking is not just the preserve of conservatives like me. Many liberals use the simplistic “agree with us or you are a homophobe” dialectic. IMHO binary thinking is so prevalent because our Anglo-Saxon culture loves simplicity (and win-or-lose outcomes). However, relational thinking does not erase truth – it just means that we learn to relate to people with whom we disagree (provided they are prepared to admit that they too may be wrong) and join a common search for the Truth! ps I’m not… Read more »

Cynthia
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Cynthia

Again, the problem is power, not binary or non-binary thinking. What does “mutual flourishing” look like? This is precisely the question that went unanswered in the debacle with +Philip North. If “mutual flourishing” means the enforced continuation of misogyny or LGBTQI exclusion throughout particular dioceses, then clearly some people won’t be flourishing. If it means assuring that there’s a welcoming place for everyone at the local levels, then we get closer to the possibility of mutual flourishing. If church X won’t have female priests, gay marriage, or incense, there should be another one fairly nearby that does have those. That… Read more »

David Runcorn
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Cynthia Greetings but I am struggling with this piece from you. Power is certainly part of it but so is binary thinking. The question of mutual flourishing was precisely what forced the issue in Sheffield actually. ‘we don’t have the power to abuse’. Actually ‘we’ do – and denying we do is generally where the potential to abuse starts. And I can’t thinking that ‘we’ and ‘they’ here sounds a bit binary?

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

David, greetings back at you. I’m trying to address the false equivalency between the “intolerance” of liberals and conservatives. After all, we know about the employment situations of Jeremy Pemberton and other gay clergy. It is power that continues to exclude and mistreat LGBTQI people. LGBTQI people seek a place and dignity in the church, clearly some conservatives advocate to continued the enforced status quo. In this context, binary thinking isn’t relevant. It becomes relevant when inclusion becomes policy. At that point, “mutual flourishing” would need to be addressed. The failure in Sheffield was not abuse. No one had worked… Read more »

David Runcorn
Guest

Cynthia I didn’t say Sheffield was about abuse. As I said it centred around an understanding of mutual flourishing that was plainly anything but mutual. I take it we agree on that. I made no reference either to ‘those intolerant liberals’. But I do try to resist a tendency to speak as if one side has a monopoly of nastiness and intolerance. Liberalism has its shadow side like everyone else. That’s all I am saying.

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

I hear you David, and I have noted your gracious and compassionate comments about the flawed understanding of mutual flourishing. No side has a monopoly on nastiness, but intolerance tends to get into issues of power. When you are on the oppressed side, it’s very difficult to find the right language. No power has ever been given up with perfectly polite language. Power needs a wake up call, and a sense that if they don’t share power they will lose it altogether. The Civil Rights movement provoked power into violent deeds to expose them. We can’t exactly do that in… Read more »