Comments: opinion time

Giles Fraser wrote in The Church Times: ”They want to build up the barriers between the sacred and the secular — contemporary equivalents of the holy and profane.”

What the purists miss in this separating the holy from the secular (gliding, as it is, on the word “profane”) is that from the beginning, the im-pure, the un-touchable was the Holy.

The un-touchable was untouchable precisely because it was Holy, not because it wasn't pure.

And yes, the great breach with tradition was that the Righteousness, the Holiness of God is Life, overflowing and transcending any categories of pure, sacred or profane.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Monday, 6 November 2006 at 10:19am GMT

Goran K-S 's point is terrific. And something I'd known and yet NOT known. I think this must be absolutely crucial.

it is true of the Judaism of the Hebrew Bible, and of pagan cultus (in the best sense of the word pagan)and concepts like mana, and so on.

the Reform rabbis of nineteenth century Germany witnessed to this truth of Goran's post, by eating pork and other none kosher foods !......

Posted by laurence at Monday, 6 November 2006 at 9:18pm GMT


I'm afraid I simply don't recognise Giles criticism of Evangelicals -remember that the EA is responsible for TEARFUND for example (it's where the EA comes from). Remember that Care for the Family comes from the Evangelical tradition -we are not scared of getting our hands dirty.

Then there is the work of Mark Greene who emphasises the Christians role in the workplace.

It seems that as soon as we say that we believe that there are moral outworkings of Christ's Lordship that means we don't believe in the social as well. Simply not so.

Posted by Dave Williams at Thursday, 9 November 2006 at 11:11pm GMT

Incidently the report is available from the EA website and Giles has got a lot of explaining to do if his article is based on it. I doubt that non-evangelicals will agree with the detail of every recommendation -it is afterall distinctively Evangelical. I'm sure though that some of this sites avid commentators will be pleasantly surprised when they consider the areas the report deals with

The Enviroment is there as is Social Justice. Respect for human life (I appreciate some may differ on specific policies relating to abortion and Euthanasia). Oh and even reform of the House of Lords, allowing for a more pluralistic approach!

Yes there are some moral distinctives but a whole lot more. The report was by a Commission set up by the EA and according to their blurb drew on the input of people from outside of Evangelicalism

Posted by Dave Williams at Thursday, 9 November 2006 at 11:31pm GMT

I assume that it is the Faith and Nation report which is a 1 Mbyte PDF file at

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Friday, 10 November 2006 at 12:27am GMT
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