Saturday, 26 June 2010

late June opinion

Jenny Taylor in The Guardian Not a question of conversion. A new C of E report is described as a call not to be embarrassed about ‘conversion’. But ‘conversion’ can’t be any Christian’s aim.

Andrew Brown in his Guardian blog A kumquat hoisted from comments. The Christian churches have moved slowly and partially away from patriarchy in the last fifty years. But every step has been contested.

John Richardson in The Guardian These compromised bishops will not fly. A conservative evangelical condemns the Archbishops’ measures to make room for opponents of women priests.

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times that Faith in the future is also irrational.

Geoffrey Rowell writes in The Times about The faith that has been handed on to us by the apostles. (registration required)

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 26 June 2010 at 10:25am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

Alas, John R conservative-evangelical cannot see the handwriting on so many of the walls: banning women hardly rings true to many - no matter how closed-fierce a number still cling to those bans. Let alone does this same ban make a deep-whole church life witness, common sense-ically perceived as deeply-essentially loving across any and all Anglican differences. Or other civic life differences.

Why must letting women into med school be a slam dunk modern openness above openness policy utterly unquestioned and utterly taken for granted at the same time that NOT (not, not, not, not) letting women be bishops or whatever else they are called and capable of being-becoming inside church life then also be so slam dunk closed and pure and final?

I'm still waiting for the true explanation. So far, I hear lots of sometimes fancy talk about how important it is to ban women, to NOT have women in particular church leadership domains.

It gets fancy enough to reference a whole lot of busy details, up to maybe Origen's kitchen sink; but still rings tinny and false. Every time so far I decode, all I end up with is – a notion that somehow the purity and power of the ban in church life is all the more closed-important, just because we don't sufficiently ban women in other key areas of modern life.

Self-serving talk about truth, witness, and - gasp - love simply cannot be credited by very many when the prohibitions-burdens to be maintained on women (and anybody who really loves them enough to construe them as competent equals?) put church life so at odds with all the rest of good living? Being really sincerely desperately afraid of women is hardly a closed-settled basis for policy-theology - no matter how plain the fear, how palpable the fear, is.

Quoting past Lambeth resolutions is now all the fashionable rage; a practice plainly contradicting what Lambeth resolutions formerly said about their own proper advisory-limited powers and uses. All that headship stuff is so plain and so plausible; until you are faced with a real, live, competent, called woman.

If strict-pure groups can ban women for the stated reasons inside our shared church life, surely we should also be convinced enough to ban women in outside life, too? Look to your own wives, sisters, daughters, neighbors - then ban them all.

Posted by: drdanfee on Saturday, 26 June 2010 at 8:05pm BST

Gee I like Giles Fraser, but in this essay he is mostly playing tricky word games. Fact is, all belief in any and every sort of change for the better has core irrational components - ordinarily called, Hope. One thing GF fails to consider is the practical reality we live - the past is over and done, no matter whether good or bad or mixed or indifferent. The present moment is also often found wanting, in ways that range from a variety of less than ideal valuations, to dire circumstances in which our Now is burdened-improverished and pending deadliness.

The future attracts us, because we have not yet done our part to help create it. Ps, another hint unconsidered perhaps: mindfulness helps us greatly whether we are dealing with past, with now, or with a range of possible futures. Surely mindlessness is the more available target for close scrutiny, investigation, and critical change actions?

Posted by: drdanfee on Saturday, 26 June 2010 at 8:14pm BST

"We may yet see a situation where the Synod votes for a proposal which the Archbishops themselves do not support. Were that, or anything like it to happen it would surely indicate that something is deeply and seriously wrong with a Church where we regularly pray, "May we be united in your truth, live together in your love, and reveal your glory in the world."

- John Richardson, The Guardian -

What such a situation would prove, is that the 2 Archbishops are out of touch with the reality of the situation - where the integrity of the women of the Church is at stake. Either women are able to exercise ministry in the Church or they are not. The Church of England has already allowed women to exercise a legitimate priestly ministry. To not go forward with a role in the leadership of the Church - as Bishops - would be going against the tide of modern understanding of the roles of women in the world.

Where Prime Ministers, Queens, Chief Justices, Heads of Government, and other leadership roles are represented by competent women, why should the Church be the last bastion of an institutional misogyny? Patriarchy has had its day. Now is the time to affirm the capability and wisdom of ALL whom God might call to lead God's Church!

(P.S. I'm glad the Guardian still allows us to access the articles of its correspondents - without charge.)

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 26 June 2010 at 10:07pm BST

I'm afraid I'm at odds with both drdanfee and Giles Fraser.

The past seems comfortable because hindsight is not 20-20 but warm and, above all, fuzzy.

Similarly, the past may seem exciting and offer great potential for fulfillment, but is, after all, a dream as well.

The now, though wanting, is all that ultimately has reality or value. The past converges on the now, for better or worse. The future is held in the now, and cannot be formed by dreaming of the day-to-come. God is now. We are now. It is all there is or ever will be.

The failure of Christianity is found in two disparate fantasies - that of the past, and that of the future. The God of both views is held in derision and suspicion because such a God must be an illusion, one being the god of past, the other being the god of future, and both past and future being purely fanciful constructs. The revitalizing, the saving of Christianity as a religion, if not as a faith, will be not in reestablishing that Old Time Religion or building the Church of the Glorious Day to Come, but in addressing the now and its reality, and proclaiming a Kingdom that is *at hand*. The past is dead, and the future lives in what is at hand.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Tuesday, 29 June 2010 at 10:08am BST
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