Saturday, 22 November 2008

weekend columns

PewForum has an interesting report on How the News Media Covered Religion in the [US] General Election.

Stewart Dakers writes in the Guardian about how Faith and science need a collective reformation to celebrate the power of love.

Jonathan Sacks writes in The Times about Fashioning the world anew with winged thoughts.

Ekklesia has republished an article by Christopher Rowland on A kingdom, but not as we know it.

Giles Fraser talked on the BBC’s Thought for the Day last Wednesday.

Elaine Sciolino wrote in the New York Times about how Britain Grapples With Role for Islamic Justice.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 22 November 2008 at 12:28pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion
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A heartening set of articles (thank you TA hosts).

In Rowland's paper he suggested that "The God of the universe had been seen to destroy precisely those institutions believed to be invincible because they seemed to express the divine will concretely, permanently and infallibly."

Amen.

One of the challenges for humanity is that they like to bond, form and mould. It is very easy for them to be come so ensconced in what they are doing, that they fail to recognise the adverse consequences of their paradigms e.g. that elitist paradigms lead to abused outcastes.

This is one of the challenges for Jesus, to act as God's annointed guardian, without become the Tower of Babel that overextends its boundaries and needs to be disciplined and confined.

It was delightful to find out that Fraser has Jewish origins. To be honest, Christians with an appreciation of Jewish culture, traditions and thinking make better Christians. Simply because they are not scared to take up that Jewish Tradition of debating and answering back to God.

Jesus needs these kinds of Christians. They hold him to account, just as Abraham did to the Lord as he challenged him to righteousness before they went off to Sodom and Gommorah.

Christianity (and thus Jesus' reputation) go off the rails the worst when they think they are above reproach or rebuke, and that all that matters is that Jesus is flattered. Both Jesus and his Christians need to remember that in his role as planetary Guardian, Jesus is seen as God's emissary and if Jesus or his Christians are negligent or abusive, they bring God's name into disrepute.

God can and will defend God's name when it is discredited. It might take a few centuries, but there is always consequence.

Similarly, not all God's emissaries go on to make manifest a legacy in this level or reality. That does not change their ability to be here or to effect changes. No one remembers the names of the two angels that went with the Lord to Sodom and Gomorrah, but we all remember what they did when given permission to act. This is also another example of the difference between the masculine and feminine traits. The masculine is concerned about form and manifestation, the feminine about energy flows and relationships. The feminine does not require material manifestation to be affirmed before God.

Posted by: Cheryl Va. on Saturday, 22 November 2008 at 9:26pm GMT

"Importantly, the call to unity is not a call to find some lowest common denominator of religious belief. For what is particularly impressive about the joint witness of Rowan Williams and Jonathan Sachs is that they don't water down the distinctiveness of their own faith when they express their solidarity with each other. On the contrary, it's as if the more they are true to their own traditions, the more they are able to grow in fellowship with each other. In other words: unity is no betrayal" - Fr. Giles Fraser-

In this week's Church Times, Giles speaks of a solidarity of "Faith", between two members of different faith communities - Jewish and Christian (the ABC and Rabbi Sachs) - that demonstrates the Judeo/Christian accord which ought to accompany our strivings for Truth and Justice in the modern religious environment.

Both Archbishop Rowan and Rabbi Sachs have proved their desire for a spirit of convergence, which might prove to be the answer to problems of sectarian strife which are plaguing the Anglican Church today. To learn to live together with integrity could well be the very best that we all can do - in order to point the world towards the God and Father of all of us - the aim of Jesus Christ himself, in the Gospels.

The current tendency towards schismatic behaviour in our Churches must cause Christ our Saviour, whose Kingship we celebrate today, more heartaches than we shall ever know this side of the Paradise we hope to inherit.

As Children of God, and of Abraham, we need to find ways of convergence that will help the world to overcome injustice and the seeds of war. The testimony of Archbishop Rowan and Rabbi Sachs
is that this can be worked for - provided we have the will to find the good in one another, rather than that which we feel we must protest about.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 23 November 2008 at 7:33am GMT
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