Comments: more on ECUSA new presiding bishop

The Bishop of Fort Worth and Standin Committee didnt wait long to pray, reflect and consult --could they ?

Amazing as they have put TEC and GC through all this --and more...

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Monday, 19 June 2006 at 7:08pm BST

No congratulations?

No "I am delighted to learn...”??

No "I look forward greatly…”???

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Monday, 19 June 2006 at 7:08pm BST

This could be a real miscalculation for the Network types.

They have built their campaign for schism on their opposition to gays, which is a very safe position to take in the U.S., but now they are on record as also being anti-woman. That is not such a safe position to take, since many of the "reasserters" are women themselves, and many support women's ordination, even Bob Duncan, the would-be Archbishop Metropolitan and Primate of the United States, who has been ordaining women for years.

I think we can count on a split among the splitters over this issue and others. Read their discussion boards and you will see that the seeds of a split are already there: the Anglo-Catholics and Anglo-Baptists don't much like each other, and there are both those who favor and oppose women's ordination. I think that the TEC bogeyman is holding them together for now, but once we are out of the picture, we can expect the purfiers to find new heretics to burn.

In short, I think that the Network really blew it on this one.

Posted by New Here at Monday, 19 June 2006 at 7:18pm BST

Poor Fort Worth... more 'unintended fall-out' I presume. Do TEC's liberals feel at all responsible for the effects of their decisions on other Christians ?

Posted by Dave at Monday, 19 June 2006 at 7:34pm BST

Am I reading into ++Cantuar's statement merely requiste courtesy overshadowed by misgivings?

Posted by William Rolf at Monday, 19 June 2006 at 7:40pm BST

"Her election will undoubtedly have an impact on the collegial life of the Anglican Primates"

Starting w/ an extra bathroom? ;-)

[Re Fort Worth: a Christ-worshipping body apparently being insufficiently "orthodox", maybe they'll appeal for "alternative Messianic oversight" next? :-/]

Posted by J. C. Fisher at Monday, 19 June 2006 at 7:41pm BST

I fail to see the basis for Ft. Worth to make such an application. The canonical roles for the PB are generally so divorced from the day to day operations of a far away diocese for them to need any protection of the sort they have claimed. The one role that might be said to impinge on their diocesan policy of not ordaining women is the usual role of the PB as chief consecrator of bishops. This role has been delegated in the past and I have no reason to think it would not continue to be delegated in the future.

Posted by ruidh at Monday, 19 June 2006 at 7:58pm BST

I'm sorry, but as a resident of N. Texas, I cringe everytime Bp. Iker opens his mouth. "Alternative Primatial Oversight" indeed... The man is just an embarrassment to TEC. He's actually one of the *few* reasons I'm glad I live next door in the Diocese of Dallas ;)

Posted by David Huff at Monday, 19 June 2006 at 8:53pm BST

ps Is Fort Worth the first casualty of Hurricane Katharine ?

Posted by Dave at Monday, 19 June 2006 at 9:48pm BST

There was a write up in Reuters about the implications of a woman bishop http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2006-06-19T202311Z_01_L19841627_RTRUKOC_0_UK-RELIGION-ANGLICANS.xml&pageNumber=2&imageid=&cap=&sz=13&WTModLoc=NewsArt-C1-ArticlePage2

The article concluded with this conservative quote: ""We would expect the Episcopal Church will continue its acceleration into outer space," he said in the United States. "The fabric of the communion is being torn at its deepest level. This will simply accelerate and continue the tearing.""

Some personal ponderings have been around this very point. Should humanity be allowed into into outer space if it can not genuinely cope with diversity? If we can not accept variation within the human spectrum, how are we going to cope with variation beyond the human spectrum?

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Monday, 19 June 2006 at 10:21pm BST

Dave

Fort Worth are making mischief -- as we all realise.

They love to be offended and put out.

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Monday, 19 June 2006 at 11:35pm BST

I would be interested to know on what grounds Fort Worth think her appointment not in line with God's will. Note that anti-female tradition is not a reason.

I quite like what Dr Williams has to say: "She will bring many intellectual and pastoral gifts to her new work, and I am pleased to see the strength of her commitment to mission and to the Millennium Development Goals." - that sounds quite positive, to me.


Cheryl asks: "If we can not accept variation within the human spectrum, how are we going to cope with variation beyond the human spectrum?"

We've had since Balaam's ass to get to grips with God's ability to use whosoever He feels like. Some people are *really* lagging behind ;)

Posted by Tim at Monday, 19 June 2006 at 11:45pm BST

Couple of things.

Having greeted our new PB-elect, however tepidly, the Wimp of Canterbury cannot dare disinvite her to Lambeth, much less the next meeting of the Primates [or whoever invites}.

My hope is that she will be present at all subsequent consecrations of bishops, who of course will be ordaining priests, which will certainly discomfort those who are as much afraid of girl cooties as they are of gay cooties.

It will indeed be interesting to see what the fallout is with the ones who are 'only' antigay and their allies who are both antigay and antiwomen. I suspect the ordained women who have signed on to that alliance will find themselves in not a very good place.


Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Tuesday, 20 June 2006 at 12:20am BST

Now I know Ruth Gledhill has her leanings in the popular press. Ooh! Sensation!

Posted by Tim at Tuesday, 20 June 2006 at 12:20am BST

+Jack Iker is a sincere Christian gentleman; but, unfortunately, he is hung up on the ordination of women and on gays and lesbians in the Episcopal Church. He follows a series of bishops who had difficulties accepting divorced and remarried lay members (not to mention clergy!). As habitual 'adulterers', they were barred from the sacraments. As a priest on the staff of the cathedral of a neighboring diocese, I officiated, at my bishop's request, at numerous weddings of divorced Episcopalians who were residents of Fort Worth/Dallas, TX. Being more affluent than other couples, they could afford to take up residence in a neighboring state in order to meet the state's requirements for remarriage, and also confer with my (very pastoral) bishop. Having a marriage certificate issued by the cathedral parish of a neighboring state, they could take Holy Communion in Fort Worth/Dallas, while those who didn't have the means to establish a second residence were excommunicate 'outcasts'. As a young priest, I was greatly troubled by the "scribes and Pharisees" of Dallas/Fort Worth. I am delighted that the Diocese of Dallas is now less rigorous in its purtsuit of biblical purism.

Posted by John Henry at Tuesday, 20 June 2006 at 1:04am BST

Unlike with a female diocesan, for the Fort Worth crowd a female PB has very little, if any, impact on the way they run their diocese.

At one point in his tenure, Frank Griswold stopped consecrating bishops altogether and left the chief consecrator's role to the provincial presidents. Indeed, that is the Canadian model, where the four provincial metropolitans are the chief consecrators of new bishops in their provinces. And when Ft. Worth elects another misogynist male bishop to succeed Jack Iker, they can invite only male bishops to ordain him.

And the PB's role does not include confirmations or ordinations, or other functions of episcopal visitation. She could easily go her whole 9-year term without setting foot in the Diocese of Fort Worth.

Fort Worth's protestations and appeal for "alternative primatial oversight" are just a little too much.

Posted by Jim Pratt at Tuesday, 20 June 2006 at 1:30am BST

Dave--

After a long experience of reading your comments here, I will warn you that there is a good chance that you would feel deeply uncomfortable in Ft. Worth due to your churchmanship. A few priests there have left for the Roman Catholic Church. Also consider that there may be many of your viewpoint living in the Diocese of Fort Worth, who have been pushed out of their parishes by +Iker's high-handedness.

Posted by Caelius Spinator at Tuesday, 20 June 2006 at 1:40am BST

Gee, this passing idea - that everything the new conservative realignment campaign has done and will do, soon, is nothing but a reluctant response to provocations by liberals - well it is worthy of Senator Joe McCarthy and his campaign against queers and communists in high places. What is this appetite for character assassination? How quickly this hungry beast snaps and bites at the new Presiding Bishop - probably because she has credentials which suggest she is quite a gifted leader with more than adequate intellectual training?

If Rowan Williams falls for this one, the plea from Biswhop Iker in Fort Worth, then he has simply gone brain dead or something temporarily too gullible to pass for common sense ethical leadership, let alone a summer park player's chess board strategy.

Iker's move suggests that the realignment campaign is going to get very curious, indeed. Maybe Fort Worth has alternative believers who need DEPO, fast? We do pray for Bishop Iker's full recovery from this odd brain fever that looks like some sort of yuck about women. Or is he really that afraid of Jesus being touched by PB Schori? Gee, we are maybe living an updated version of the New Testament witness about the woman nobody with a bloody issue who touches Jesus in the crowd without asking permission first?

Posted by drdanfee at Tuesday, 20 June 2006 at 2:48am BST

This is a proud day in the Episcopal Church. Just like Gene Robinson's ordination after 2003 GC, this election of K. Schori is the right thing. Many will say it's the wrong time, but the right thing, even at the wrong time, doesn't make it wrong. It's still right. We will see what the ACC does with this: are they prepared to ostracize women as well as homosexuals?

Posted by Terri Sterling at Tuesday, 20 June 2006 at 3:23am BST

My guess is that the ultimate problem for the Anglican Communion and ECUSA will not be with Katherine Schori's being a woman. I believe most across our denomination would ultimately accept that. Those, such as the Diocese of Fort Worth, who oppose her on scriptural grounds, because she is a woman, would likely ultimately be in a small minority.

The fundamental problem with Bishop Schori's elevation will be theological and scriptural -- HER OWN apparent (by her own words) theological perspective and attitude toward Scripture.

Since the late 1970s, I, for one, have stood for and written in support of the ordination of women and openly gay and lesbian priests, as well as for the blessing of same sex unions -- ON THE BASIS OF SCRIPTURE AND ORTHODOX THEOLOGY. Bishop Schori, on the other hand, appears, from what I can discover of her own words, to take positions theologically and scripturally akin to those of retired Bishop Spong. The basic problem with such positions is that they seem ultimately PHILOSOPHICAL, not THEOLOGICAL -- ultimately a matter of the human heart, not of God's will. The largely secularized media quote such positions with relish because they appear to come from precisely the same place as any other secularized liberal political position, simply stressing "love for one's fellow human beings" a bit more as the basis of a Christian position than is typically the case of politicians. Why, then, belong to a Church? Why, then, be a member of, let alone be an ordained preacher and teacher in, a denomination that puts Scripture at the very core of its published catechism and recites at every Sunday communion the Nicene Creed, which is the basis and center of what is called orthodox theology -- both of which one is required to accept as central articles of faith at ordination, let alone baptism?

Ultimately, I believe that these problems of orthodoxy and the use of Scripture will be at the core of the schismatic forces at work in the Anglican Communion -- not that Bishop Schori is a woman priest or that she openly supports gays and lesbians, their unions, their ordination, and their elevation to the episcopate. The core of her leadership problem and the centripetal forces she will create in the church will be her inability to defend her positions on the basis of Scripture and on the basis of orthodox theology.

That is very, very sad to me who loves the Anglican Communion and its "via media," because I believe her positions are very much capable of being defended by Scripture and orthodox theology, in such a way as to keep most of those who may differ in their Scriptural and theological perspectives on these issues within the Communion. Sadly, were she to retain her current mode of expression on these issues, Bishop Schori, not Bishop Robinson, is likely to be the ultimate source of a new break up in the body of Christ. She may be right about the positions she takes, as I believe she is, but being right is not necessarily being righteous.

Without a clear and very present sense that, from the very depths of her being, from her very soul, a love is transmitted to -- and for -- ALL who make up the body of Christ, even those who she may feel are incorrect in their perception of God's will, there can be no real distinction in her words and actions from those on the other side of the dividing line in these matters who say they love "sinner" gays, but not the "sin" of gayness, and who, therefore, will not associate with them and would cast gays out of the Body. Bishop Schori, by her language, and the National Convention, by its choice in the context of her past words, seem prepared to purify the church, much as those who oppose her and their actions seem prepared to purify the church. What a sad, sad moment for the Body of Christ!

I pray, deeply and fervently, for the new ministry of Katherine Jefferts Schori. May God's loving hand be upon her and the Holy Spirit guide her to build up the Body of Christ. But, most of all, may God's will be done, "on earth, as it is in heaven"!

Posted by Don Allison at Tuesday, 20 June 2006 at 3:36am BST

In a recent CNN Interview with Larry King, Mr. King asked why VG Robinson remained in TEC, knowing that many church members resent his being a bishop. His answer: "To proclaim the unconditional love of Christ." The same question was put to Canon Anderson, the representative of the AAC. His answer, in stark contrast, was: "I love a good fight." Both gentlemen's answers are very revealing!

Posted by John Henry at Tuesday, 20 June 2006 at 4:49am BST

Laurel and Hardy films are full of the phrase, "This is another fine mess you've got me into!"I wonder if the ABC feels like this with ECUSA.

Anyway,whatever his sympathies and desire to hold things together, he will have to try to sort things out soon - his old friends continue to make his life very difficult.

Sorry "liberals", you will find the ABC's actions continue to disappoint you because he cannot lead the Anglican church into the declining numbers everyone can see in ECUSA and all liberal churches.....he has seen too much "Alpha" type church growth (even in England) to back the losers. He cannot go with a shrinking, financially-dependent minority against the growing evangelical (conservative and charismatic) churches.

Having said that, I have to say I respect ECUSA more for making clear choices ("to walk apart") than I would have if it had nailed its colours firmly to the fence with some fudge. Much better for all to be honest and make some progress in united groups separately rather than attacking each other while being coerced to say we are united.

Let's have a big realignment. Let's be truly liberal and let every church in every country have its building and freedom to join "TEC" or "The Anglican Communion" as they wish. Let's stop putting faith in fudge to hold very different people together. Let's be free to pursue our own convictions with real integrity.

Posted by Nersen Pillay at Tuesday, 20 June 2006 at 9:14am BST

Don Allison, you make a very good point.

My only thought on the matter is to wonder whether `so it's a different but consistent and justifiable viewpoint, let her live' marks one out as being on the "non-orthodox" "side". ISTM increasingly the definition of potential schism hinges around tolerance for others and their views, not the views in question.

Posted by Tim at Tuesday, 20 June 2006 at 10:06am BST

Don Allison's post is the most interesting and thoughtful offering I have read for a long while.

I would like to hear much more from him.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Tuesday, 20 June 2006 at 10:19am BST

The Times editorial is very useful. Dr. Williams as an honest broker is welcome but he must do more than this. He must now, like the monarchs he warmly and obliquely referenced recently at St. Pauls, rouse himself from the throne and come down into the benches and do some glad handling because if he doesn't there will be trouble.

This means that he will not be able to simply stay above the fray and try to make "space" for all sides. He must move boldly. (In America we say "think outside the box".) I bet he can come up with something.

Posted by RMF at Tuesday, 20 June 2006 at 11:20am BST

John Henry wrote, "I am delighted that the Diocese of Dallas is now less rigorous in its pursuit of biblical purism."

Well, I'm not sure I'd go *that* far. Yes, AFAIK, our Bishop allows divorced couples to re-marry. But the pursuit of "biblical" purism forges ahead unabated.

Just ask any GLBT Episcopalian in Dallas. Ask anyone at my thoroughly mainstream parish (a parish that has been referred to as "no longer Christian" by various residents of Diocesan House for not falling in line with the AAC/Network agenda). Dallas is *not* a happy place for mainstream ECUSA folks (much less progressives).

Posted by Simeon at Tuesday, 20 June 2006 at 1:48pm BST

Much thanks to Don Allison for his post; it really encapsulates many of my worries & thoughts.

My problems with ECUSA are not the blessing of same-sex unions & women's ordination. I think it would take very little effort to make a scriptural case for them.

My problem with the ECUSA is that so many of the actions of the leadership, and even large sections of the laity, seem to be primarily motivated by secular philosophy. For self proclaimed Christians, they seem to have little actual interest in Christ & Christianity & reduce the faith to little more than a generalized & toothless secular humanism that can be easily shaped & molded as to support any secular political activist cause that strikes their fancy.

I'm really ashamed to have these thoughts for my brothers & sisters but they do exist.

"less rigorous in its pursuit of biblical purism. "

I am not for biblical purism. But there is a wide gulf between biblical purism & the dominant mode in the ECUSA these days.

That's why I consider it a special joy whenever I attend service in a Ft. Worth diocese parish. I doubt I could relate to many of them outside of church, but it is refreshing to worship with a body of people who genuinely believe in Christ & the bible & take their faith seriously. Unfortunately they are the exception rather than the rule for much of ECUSA.

Posted by Dustin at Tuesday, 20 June 2006 at 3:39pm BST

Yeah, I'm not so sure if I would consider Dallas progressive:

When Bonnie Perry got up and asked the HoD if A161 meant that gays were to return to lying and deceiving about who they are in order to be in the church, I watched three priests from the Diocese of Dallas look at each other, chuckle, and nod their heads.

http://journals.fotki.com/kahuliz/GC06/entry/wbtgtqkrkkb/

Well, they have got "clarity." You gotta give 'em that.

Posted by New Here at Tuesday, 20 June 2006 at 4:53pm BST

Are there non Network places in the Diocese of Dallas to worship? I'm visiting friends and family this September.

In this big debate over Liberal and Network ideals I still don't understand how we can't worship in the same church. I'm very liberal theologically and others in my parish are very conservative, but our committment to the gospel is still very much a part of who we are as a community. We use the BCP to worship communally and we focus on ministries that appeal to us different theoligical outlooks. Sometimes we even agree such as ministries such as the food bank, a clothing drive, or in making meals for those who are in distress (lay pastoral visits and help).

We're never going to agree on everything. In politics as in religion we choose different ideals but we love our country and even those of different political parties or different denominations.

I think Anglicanism offers a great chance to show different people can find common ground and build a community of compassion and caring, of peace and plenty for all. Wasn't that one of the messages given to us by Jesus??

Posted by Robert Christian at Tuesday, 20 June 2006 at 5:49pm BST

Laurence Roberts wrote: "Dave. Fort Worth are making mischief -- as we all realise."

Dear Laurence, Rubbish! Fort Worth take St Paul's prohibitions on women teaching and having authority as applying for all time (and have stood by this position for years). Whereas I think it was meant to be for the particular circumstances he was writing about, it's very debatable from Scriptural exegesis either way. So I respect their way of submitting to God through obedience to Scripture.... The people I disagree with profoundly are those who reject the authority of Scripture and just try to make-it-up-as-they-go-long!

Posted by Dave at Tuesday, 20 June 2006 at 7:16pm BST

There are some interesting interview material with ++Katharine here: http://www.albertmohler.com/radio_show.php?cdate=2006-06-19 (starts at about 24 minutes).

The best bit is her [lack of] ability to say *anything* substantial about the reality of an "afterlife"!

Posted by Dave at Tuesday, 20 June 2006 at 7:42pm BST

"I, for one, have stood for and written in support of the ordination of women and openly gay and lesbian priests, as well as for the blessing of same sex unions -- ON THE BASIS OF SCRIPTURE AND ORTHODOX THEOLOGY."

Good for you. What fun. I've been arguing for vegetarianism on the basis of only eating animals that eat vegetables. But oddly enough vegetarians don't seem to be catching on.

Posted by Austin at Tuesday, 20 June 2006 at 9:14pm BST

I love Cow Town. After living there for 17 years, I understand the mindset of many of its God-fearing residents. That, I think, is the whole point of Ft. Worth's request for alternative oversight. They are God-fearing. God-fearing.

If we can believe the CNN interview with Schori and the Times online account of it, how can we fault Fort Worth for their request???? In the interview, apparently "Bishop Schori told CNN yesterday that she did not believe homosexuality was a sin, adding: “I believe that God creates us with different gifts.”
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2233424,00.html

I can understand that she doesn't believe that homosexuality in itself is a sin. But for her to insinuate that it is a gift from God is beyond my understanding. Perhaps Ft. Worth is jumping the gun just a tad because Schori has not been asked her thoughts on the sinfulness of the sexual acts committed by homosexuals. It would be interesting to know her beliefs on that subject before lines are drawn in the sand.

Posted by Illuminated at Tuesday, 20 June 2006 at 9:24pm BST

"Good for you. What fun. I've been arguing for vegetarianism on the basis of only eating animals that eat vegetables. But oddly enough vegetarians don't seem to be catching on."

Is this an admittance that a biblical case for same-sex unions can't be made?

Posted by Ryan at Tuesday, 20 June 2006 at 10:33pm BST

First time poster but lifelong Episcopalian--I'm delighted to have found my way to this conversation.

Every 500 years or so the Christian church has undergone some kind of transformation--around 500AD, the church fathers created the institutional church, consolidated the bible & liturgy and crushed heresy; around 1000 AD, the church splintered into East and West; of course, the protestant Reformation occurred around 1500--and, if you do the math, we are about due for another transformation. The evidence that the time has come is all around us: Today's church has been unable to encompass grave challenges to its traditional views: the size of the human population, technology, environmental degradation and the knowledge which science has revealed about human nature and the cosmos. We sputter and argue on the sidelines rather than grow strong through our faith.

So it seems to me that the election of a scientist-theologian as presiding bishop is very big deal because it may indicate that the Episcopal church is taking that first baby step into a new paradigm of Christianity, the 21st century reformation, one that encompasses science and faith.

But we have no Martin Luther to light the way. We are muddling about in the dark, not quite sure what we are doing. It's a paradigm shift, and I don't think a lot of us have realized it. The media report it as if it were the fulfillment of civil rights movement--a woman elected Presiding Bishop! But that's thinking from the old paradigm. The real transformation is a Church that is trying to accommodate where God is calling all his children.

If we are successful, it will be a new reformation. We will transform not just the Anglican communion, but the Christian church itself: Millions who are sceptics today will return to a church whose teachings they can believe. But if we fail--and we could--we will fade away. We'll be a historical footnote like the Shakers.

Success or failure hangs on three things. Success will depend first on our ability to defend our "positions on the basis of Scripture and on the basis of orthodox theology." as Don Allison observed above. Everyone of us has to become a bible scholar and able to tell the story clearly, in ways that Episcopalians have been shy to do. And we need to feel on fire with that story. Secondly, success will depend on our ability to evangelize the Good News to those who are now living in darkness. This Evangelism is likely to require us to transform our institutional structure--liturgy, music, canons, leadership--in ways that we can not imagine now.

Finally success will depend on our faithfulness. Are we indeed doing God's work? If we are, we will succeed. So more than ever, we need to pray unceasingly. We need to seek those thin places where God will speak to us as we try to find our way in the wilderness.

Posted by PTate in MN at Tuesday, 20 June 2006 at 11:36pm BST

Dave

I don't buy this. It's balls.
Ackernman is making mischief, again.

If they r e a l l y felt WO was against the truth, they would surely have had the integrity to lave TEC when it adopted WO as its offical policy & teaching? WO was adopted by TEC's democratic decision making processes. Alternatively, they could have remained within TEC with a good grce, accepting diversity of belief & practice on WO.

To stay & gripe and spring traps and ambushes, is what I call mischief--and it is mild word for such bad behaviour from grown-ups. And to cloak it all that speshal churchy sanctimonious language.
Some anglo-catholics, Forward in Faith in this country behave very badly too, and it is all immature miscief making.

Grow-up has to the repost !

Ackerman has btw just asserted he doesnt need to consult the AC --rather shooting himself in the foot !

Ackerman's is insisting to Schori : I got the dick. I make the rules.

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Wednesday, 21 June 2006 at 1:20am BST

PTate: As one life long Episcopalian to another, this can be very interesting exchanges.
Dave, Austin and Illuminated:
I think the real argument is do you believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God? Hmmm. NO.
Why do we have two creation stories and which one do the God fearing folks of Ft. Worth believe to be correct?

Genesis 2

a. The story comes from the southern storyteller of this and other stories.
b. It was first written about 1000 BCE (before the common era, same as BC)
c. The pre-creation situation is dry desert because that's what you find in southern Israel.
d. Creation of humanity precedes the creation of vegetation and animal life.
e. Man and woman, Adam and Eve, are created in two separate acts.
f. The Creator is called "the Lord God."
g. Creation is a hands-on experience for the Lord God.
h. One important aspect of the concept of the Lord God presented in this story is fertility.

Genesis 1

a. This is the religious establishment's official authorized description of creation.
b. This description was first written about 500 BCE, in or around the time the Jews returned to Jerusalem from exile in Babylon.
c. The pre-creation situation is watery chaos because Babylon sat between the Tigris and Euphrates.
d. Order of creation is light, sky, sea, earth, vegetation, sun and moon and stars, birds, sea creatures, land animals, and lastly, humanity.
e. Creation of humanity is single act.
f. The Creator is called "God."
g. The Creator is present only through the commands that cause the creative acts to occur.
h. One important aspect of the concept of God presented in this description is bringing order out of chaos

Any answers???

Posted by Robert Christian at Wednesday, 21 June 2006 at 5:21am BST

PTate writes, "Finally success will depend on our faithfulness. Are we indeed doing God's work? If we are, we will succeed."

Well, I agree - and it is not surprising that ECUSA is losing 35,000+ members per year and at this rate will disappear in the next few decades.

Also, I agree that "faithfulness" to God is the key and this explains why conservative and charismatic Anglican churches are showing the strongest growth and have been for decades - even in England.

Posted by Nersen at Wednesday, 21 June 2006 at 9:49am BST

Some of these postings have been excellent, welcome to both Don Allison and PTate (and the others too). To continue with PTate's posting of 20 June, it is also finding the imagery or parables that bring the bible to life and relevant to the issues people are facing in the here and now. Then what happens is what happened in Thesolonians: you find biblical imagery or dialogues ripple into other parts of the community and beyond borders, sometimes without people even recognising where it came from. There is a saying that "there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come" and a corollary would be "there is nothing more powerful than an idea that God has decided its time has come". I can't tell you the number of times a throw-away line has become a headliner, but God and I often quietly snicker. For example, I recently sent a letter to the Jews about not getting between a grizzly bear and her cubs, and within the week there was a picture of a grizzly bear on the cover of the Economist: http://www.economist.com/opinion/displayStory.cfm?Story_ID=6975848

In turn, this link to the current Economist article is interesting, because the author addressed the need for politeness, and the adverse impacts of callouseness, misuse of power and bullying. It is also worth reading because parts of it are just plain funny, as well as being relevant to some of our communion's dynamics at present: http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=7064466

For example, the article refers to a US leader who "... wags a tongue that may on its own be responsible for having needlessly alienated more former friends of the United States than any other instrument since the invention of the B-52 bomber." This is one of the debates we have been having within Thinking Anglicans, is how failing to "love our enemies" drives away friends as well as enemies, and God hates priestly castes who manage to alienate potential friends through arrogance e.g. Obadiah.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Wednesday, 21 June 2006 at 10:38am BST

Robert Christian wrote: "I think the real argument is do you believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God? Hmmm. NO."

Dear Robert, Beware wasting your posts by putting up "straw men". I am not a biblical literalist, so your questions don't address how I read Scripture.
What I believe is that the New Testament, properly interpreted (as opposed to rejected or adjusted to remove 'offensive' bits), is the most authoritative word on Christian belief and conduct - and ditto the OT on Judaism (and as a basis for understanding Christianity's roots).

Posted by Dave at Wednesday, 21 June 2006 at 11:53pm BST

And just to prove the point how biblical imagery can take on a life of its own this article about a Canadian goldilocks bear was posted overnight linked to the front page of BBC's science/nature page today: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/5097124.stm

If you want to giggle more (as a girlfriend and I did when we noticed the "coincidence" with some bemusement); do a word search for bear in the bible: the imagery is quite strong.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Thursday, 22 June 2006 at 2:35am BST

Dave:

Do believe that all Buddhist and Muslims are damned too?

Also, You didn't answer which creation story is the real one.

A friend and a Conservative Rabbi commented that the Bible is pertenant today because the same issues that people wrestled with 2500 yrs ago are the same ones confronting us today. God gives a chance to learn from the past.

That said, we could still go to the same church, worship and be in community and be civil without condemning others (such as your statement about FW).

Posted by Robert Christian at Thursday, 22 June 2006 at 4:08am BST

Robert Christian,

Yes, there are several non-Network parishes in Dallas. Please email me and I'd be happy to provide a list.

david AT dhuff DOT org

Posted by David Huff at Saturday, 24 June 2006 at 2:16am BST
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