Wednesday, 30 July 2008

News from the Big Blue Tent (14)

Tomorrow is sex day here at Canterbury, so tonight I’m missing any number of receptions being hosted by groups wanting to get the last word to bishops in advance. Meanwhile the work on the “conference document”, whatever that will turn out to be, continues apace; the listeners draft texts which we then meet each afternoon to critique. Today’s session was remarkable only for the fact that hardly any USA bishops spoke, otherwise we made the usual range of strengthening and clarifying amendments that 600 articulate adults are always going to be able to provide. We’re being told that a number of people have responded to Rowan’s question last night about what they might offer in generosity to those of an opposing view. There’ll be more discussion on that tomorrow.

The spouses fled the campus this morning, being taken on a range of day trips to different parts of Kent and its environs. It was suggested over breakfast that the group going to Rochester might pay a friendly call on the bishop; if he won’t come to Lambeth, Lambeth could come to him. In its wilder versions the idea involved large quantities of rainbow ribbon.

I’m clearly getting a reputation in my bible study group; one colleague was quite adamant that I wasn’t going to be allowed to go through a whole session without telling them a story about St Francis of Assisi.

Highlight of the day: a brilliant lecture on scriptural authority by Tom Wright, who combines immense scholarship with a highly engaging style. Unusually for a 4pm slot the room was packed.

Lowlight of the day: my debit card was jammed then swallowed by the ATM. Still, that solves the question as to whether I pay £22 for the official photo. In any case, Dave Walker’s cartoon version gives a far more complete picture of our time here.

Posted by David Walker on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 at 8:16pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Big Blue Tent | Lambeth Conference 2008
Comments

"Tomorrow is sex day here at Canterbury"

A Reality which makes me less and less enthused about remaining "Anglican", in its (temporary, please God?) iteration...

Lord have mercy!

Posted by: JCF on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 at 8:24pm BST

Oh dear. I'm very sorry to hear Tom Wright's talk went down so well. Of course, he is never at a loss for words, and of course, he says what many people want to hear, but he is absolutely incapable of thinking 'outside the box', or even of beginning to comprehend the need to do so. He hasn't even begun to think about how evolution has to be factored in to Christian (or any) theology. I hope his reception isn't as ominous as I fear.

Posted by: john on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 at 9:38pm BST

Yahoo! Sex Day! I guess no one will be leaving their rooms.

Posted by: Padre Mickey on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 at 11:40pm BST

Is it just me, or does it often seem that the generosity our bishops are willing to offer is not something of their own personally, but that which actually affects someone else, usually those not well represented in the councils of this Communion?

Posted by: Christopher on Thursday, 31 July 2008 at 12:09am BST

Gee, I'm so happy he's having sucha fun time and looking forward to sex day! Golly whillakers! You'd never guess from this that glbt peoples' LIVES might be at risk in some parts of the Communion, so much so that one of them sought and was granted asylum in England. So glad Wright had time to be in England rather than lecturing and meddeling in TEC. Faugh!

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Thursday, 31 July 2008 at 12:11am BST

Oh dear. I'm very sorry to hear Tom Wright's talk went down so well. Of course, he is never at a loss for words, and of course, he says what many people want to hear, but he is absolutely incapable of thinking 'outside the box', or even of beginning to comprehend the need to do so. He hasn't even begun to think about how evolution has to be factored in to Christian (or any) theology. I hope his reception isn't as ominous as I fear.

Posted by: john on Wednesday, 30 July 2008 at

I found John's post very helpful, indeed. So thanks.

Posted by: Treebeard on Thursday, 31 July 2008 at 12:29am BST

"Tomorrow is sex day here at Canterbury, so tonight I’m missing any number of receptions being hosted by groups wanting to get the last word to bishops in advance."

Does he know how this sounds to us? Let's try these versions:

Tomorrow is - gals' day, Black day, Jew day, Palestinian day, African day, cripple day - at Canterbury, so tonight I'm missing ..."

So tonight he is missing oportunities to learn something beyond his own - apparently - very limited experience.

What arrogance. Why I am glad TEC's polity is not limited to bishops. Faugh.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Thursday, 31 July 2008 at 3:26am BST

I fear that I might agree, when we continuously see the need to keep working through just about the same basic empirical data issues that first came to prominence in the high controversies over Galileo, Bruno, and Copernicus. That, alas, just seems to keep being the methodological and theological case, as if we just could not manage to learn the deeper hermeneutic lessons involved, no matter how slowly and grudgingly we finally let some facts have a say.

In USA we are far, far, far, far from digesting both the details and the underlying empirical paradigm involved in evolution. And any TEC believer who has gone at least part of the way in doing his or her homework is quickly tagged revisionist, then (mis)treated as if he or she were doomed to be an axe murderer or worse.

Our new, improved, conservative communion is vexed with heavy interests in dumbing down anything and everything that could possible be meaningful or significant. Small wonder that the current incumbent of Canterbury sits so uneasily at the top, for despite his protestations off hand, way too many global Anglicans pledge and pursue unintelligent readings of the scriptures. Quite a few bishops, as well as of the rest of us, among them.

Posted by: drdanfee on Thursday, 31 July 2008 at 3:54am BST

Lighten up, JCF, Sex is here to stay - at least for our earthly life-time. However, some of us who are growing old have problems remembering what it was like.

God be with the Bishops as they talk about it!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Thursday, 31 July 2008 at 4:50am BST

Perhaps john could read through the lecture delivered by Tom Wright and come back with some rather more thoughtful observations about boxes and how to think outside them.
It's here:
http://www.ntwrightpage.com/Wright_Lambeth2008.htm

Posted by: Julian on Thursday, 31 July 2008 at 8:28am BST

Are we just being a bit too hypersensitive here? Today they're discussing sexuality, well yes, we knew that. Why is calling it sex day automatically derrogatory, dmininishing and displaying an absolute insight into the writer's opinions?

I know there's a lot at stake for many of us, but exploding in advance isn't helping.

As for Tom Wright - I detest most of what he has said in recent years but it doesn't invalidate that he has a lot to say about the New Testament and that he is a good speaker.

Or are you all just assuming that he found an entertaining way of rubbishing lgbts and promoting GAFCON?

Posted by: Erika Baker on Thursday, 31 July 2008 at 8:49am BST

Treebeard,

Many thanks.

John.

Posted by: john on Thursday, 31 July 2008 at 9:08am BST

I do hope that you get to listen to Peterson Toscano - he has a story to tell and it is told in the most interesting way. A real Quaker!

With very small resources we have brought him from the USA to Lambeth - it would be a shame to miss this opportunity - I thought I had "heard it all" before I listened to him.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Thursday, 31 July 2008 at 9:13am BST

Julian,

I really think he doesn't. He's my bishop - I've heard him many times and read him many times, I've even talked to him in seminars. I've also written 'against' him in academic contexts. I find him superficial, endlessly ego-obsessed (interestingly, a charge often launched by fairly extreme Evangelicals), verbally incontinent and a lousy bishop: lots of parishes in his diocese are struggling (amazing news) and he doesn't visit them.

Please don't patronise me.

Posted by: john on Thursday, 31 July 2008 at 1:20pm BST

"Lighten up, JCF, Sex is here to stay"

How my contempt for "sex day at Lambeth" got turned into contempt for sex *itself*, Father Ron, is a radical reading-into of the text! ;-)

Posted by: JCF on Thursday, 31 July 2008 at 7:19pm BST

Sorry, JCF, perhaps we need a monitor here. However, point taken, I do understand your disapproval of the contextual use of the word. Please forgive my perceived misunderstanding.
Love, Joy and Peace

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 1 August 2008 at 8:01am BST
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