Saturday, 18 February 2006

articles of interest

First of all, Rowan Williams gave an address yesterday to the World Council of Churches meeting, in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The archbishop’s website has the full text.

For more background on this meeting, see the ACNS report, and also the WCC assembly website itself. Earlier Lambeth Palace press release here. Subsequent WCC press release here. And see also this. Update And this WCC press release.

Back in England, the newspapers offer:

Guardian David Monkton Methodist chaplain to Nottingham police, writes about his work in Face to Faith.

The Times Tony Bayfield thinks that Believers are at home in a secular society and Lavinia Byrne says The internet is new ground for the Gospels — some stony, some good.

In the Tablet Robert Mickens has an interesting piece on Indulgences, He who holds the keys to the kingdom.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 18 February 2006 at 10:48am GMT
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: Opinion

Good grief! I found myself agreeing almost exactly with what ++Rowan was saying in large parts of his talk. For instance:

"In what sense is this an exclusive claim? In one way, it can be nothing except exclusive. There is no Christian identity that does not begin from this place. Try to reconstruct the ‘identity’ from principles, ideals or whatever, and you end up with something that is very different from the scriptural account of being ‘in Christ’." ...... "Yet in another sense exclusivism is impossible here, certainly the exclusivism of a system of ideas and conclusions that someone claims to be final and absolute. The place of Jesus is open to all who want to see what Christians see and to become what Christians are becoming."

".... the Christian does not see what can be seen from other perspectives. He or she would be foolish to say that nothing can be seen or that every other perspective distorts everything so badly that there can be no real truth told" ...... "What I want to say about those other views is not that they are in error but that they leave out what matters most in human struggle; yet I know that this will never be obvious to those others, and we can only come together, we can only introduce others into our perspective, in the light of the kind of shared labour and shared hope that brings into central focus what I believe to be most significant for humanity. And meanwhile that sharing will also tell me that there may be things – perhaps of less ultimate importance, yet enormously significant – that my perspective has not taught me to see or to value."


"The question of Christian identity in a world of plural perspectives and convictions cannot be answered in clichés about the tolerant co-existence of different opinions. It is rather that the nature of our conviction as Christians puts us irrevocably in a certain place, which is both promising and deeply risky, the place where we are called to show utter commitment to the God who is revealed in Jesus and to all those to whom his invitation is addressed."

A Closet Evangelical ?! Reminds me a bit of the comments by the Queen, which shocked some people, at the opening of the November synod, when she said that Christianity was good news for everyone...

Posted by: Dave on Saturday, 18 February 2006 at 9:46pm GMT

"I found myself agreeing almost exactly with what ++Rowan was saying in large parts of his talk"

Me, too. Rowan sounds "evangelical", alright --- precisely in the sense that a progressive Anglican should: bringing *GOOD* news! :-D

Posted by: J. C. Fisher on Sunday, 19 February 2006 at 6:25am GMT


I think your comments say more about you than they do about ++Rowan.

Ever since he was named as the next ABC, there has been a heavy anti-Rowan campaign from conservative evangelicals, mainly based on a caracature of what he is supposed to believe rather than on the actual realities.

I suspect that if you were to take the time to read his sermons and lectures, you would actually find a lot more to agree with. Believe it or not, we are actually on the same side and what unites us is far FAR greater than what divides. Contrary to the pronouncements of some con-evos, ++Rowan is NOT the anti-Christ.

Posted by: David Chillman on Sunday, 19 February 2006 at 2:47pm GMT

Dear JCF It's nice to be able to agree on something !

Posted by: Dave on Monday, 20 February 2006 at 7:19am GMT

Actually, I thought the passages above sounded a little reminiscent of Benedict XVI, especially with regards to sloppy "postmodern" thinking. So perhaps he's actually a closet (or not-so-closet Anglo) Catholic. Haven't yet gotten to read the whole transcript yet, though.

Posted by: Robert L on Monday, 20 February 2006 at 3:45pm GMT

Dear Robert, Postmodern is the way most European intellectual discourse is expressed at the moment (it's supposed to be much more advanced than pre-modern, superstitious discourse based on belief in absolutes and revealed truths). My surprise was that ++Rowan acknowledged revelation and absolutes ("for us" at least)!

Posted by: Dave on Tuesday, 21 February 2006 at 7:22pm GMT
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