Comments: "Unholy Row" in Oxford

"Last night, the governing council announced it had launched an internal review and pledged support for Dr Turnbull." Which seems to say it all so far as the review is concerned.

"James Jones [the Bishop of Liverpool and the chair of the college's governing council] made it clear he would back Turnbull whatever he did." The diocese of Liverpool's web site states that Jones "is a passionate advocate of enabling local people to shape their own destinies", a principle which in this case appears only to apply to Turnbull.

Pretty clear what's happening here, isn't it? Extremely disquieting.

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 11:48am BST

PS The list of publications appended to Richard Turnbull's website is astonishingly slight for someone occupying this position.

http://www.wycliffehall.org.uk/temp/RichardspTurnbullspPublications.pdf

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 11:55am BST

New broom.....sweeping clean.

Not everyone has to go with the ABCs model of talking everyone to death while trying never to make decisions.

Maybe this man, Dr Turnbull, knows what he wants to do and is managing the process accordingly. His record is good and (unlike the ABC), he does have a lot of experience of managing people and running a church (and significantly growing a church, if I may be so bold as to mention the TA taboo of strong numbers amonst evos!)

Posted by NP at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 12:08pm BST

Woops.

Go on - *someone* here blame "teh liberals" for starting it, then we'll have a perfect mirror of the wider AC issues too.

Posted by Tim at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 12:14pm BST

Oh well, when the GS takeover bid takes place, it'll give 'em somewhere to train their clergy....

Posted by mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 12:22pm BST

I am sorry to hear of this, since Wycliffe's record for the last 35 years (the time of the last new broom) has been tip-top. I am also sure that 'this too will pass'. But I am sure that a tutor of the excellence of David Wenham would not resign without good cause.

Posted by Christopher Shell at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 1:11pm BST

Eyup, NP have you not noticed that Wyclif was a nice pure evangelical college with many evangelical heroes on the staff.

You'll be stabbing one another in the front soon!
Seriously, setting aside the obligatory nonsense from NP espousing his mythical purified growing church, this is very, very sad.

Posted by Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 1:24pm BST

Criticism of the Archbishop of Canterbury NP - is he not carrying out the Anglican Communion new plan anymore?

Posted by Pluralist at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 1:27pm BST

NP, regarding numbers, see this quote from Michael Gerson in the Washington Post:

"In 1900, about 80 percent of Christians lived in North America and Europe; now, more than 60 percent live on other continents."

Thanks be to God for this movement of the Spirit around the world! God certainly blesses churches that follow Him and growth can be part of this blessing.

There is danger in assuming all growth is God given since a) God may not grow a faithful church for a season and b) heresy or a watered down Gospel can often be more attractive than the real thing, for a season.

Overall, TEC is shrinking and +Schori herself has stated there is no "biological" solution since many Episcopalians don't have children. Seems like evangelism would be central to TEC's survival. Instead we get pluralism, universalism and gnosticism with a healthy dose of elitism to drive away the "unenlightened."

Posted by Chris at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 2:30pm BST

Tut, tut Chris. Too much reality is not appreciated at TA. You should tone it down a bit!

Steven

PS-Actually, its a bit hard to know what's going on at Wycliff this early in the news cycle. I'm concerned that we're only getting one side at this point. So, it will be interesting to see what things look like as more parties speak and more news gets out. /s

Posted by Steven at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 3:14pm BST

"Instead we get pluralism, universalism and gnosticism with a healthy dose of elitism to drive away the "unenlightened."

Where I live, "pluralism, universalism, and gnosticism" has proven to be very evangelical. I don't like many elements of the doctrinal drift, but according to all of these numbers arguments, God surely approves it if we are outgrowing all our buildings and our Sunday School and youth groups double in size every two or three years.

Posted by Caelius Spinator at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 3:23pm BST

Fr Turnbull had an article in 'Churchman' - isn't that the journal rather extreme Protestant Church Society, which speaks of the 'nonsense and horrors of ARCIC'?

I have known many fine people come out of Wycliffe over the years, and this apparent takeover bid from the extreme conservative end is desperately sad. Apparently solid evangelical mainstream (not as in 'Anglican Mainstream') scholars find themselves exiled for not toeing the party line. It may delight some contributors, who find moderate evangelicalism lacking in zeal, but if this authentic evangelical voice is now going to be silenced in Oxford, what's the next place in the sights? Nottingham, beware....

Posted by mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 3:41pm BST

I haven't been following membership trends lately, but the last time I checked, Mormons were growing faster than evangelicals, and the fastest growing population in the US was the "nones," ie, the totally unafilliated. Does that meant that the Spirit is leading people to Salt Lake City, or to leave organized religion altogether? We could have some interesting theological conversations about what that means, but one thing we can't do is simply equate the Spirit's movement with the growth or decline of populations.

Posted by Charles William Allen at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 4:15pm BST

May I ask what you mean by evangelicalism, Chris? I suppose you mean throwing out favorite liberal, um, heresies. Or can we include here that dreaded dirty word, "liturgy"?
Perhaps that is so--social conservatism is becoming big again in certain countries in response to the perceived decadence of Western societies. And liturgy is often a big stick used by powers-that-be within some churches, like the Roman Catholic one, which is why I think pentecostal/American evangelical forms of worship are liberating for many people.
But I am still a liturgically minded person, thanks be to God.

Posted by Ren Aguila at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 4:18pm BST

From the Fulcrum website. I'm trying to unpack the very last line in what way is CS writing 'on behalf of' Wycliffe Hall?

" ACI, Inc. and Wycliffe Hall, Oxford Host Important Communion Event
Written by Rev. Dr. Christopher Seitz
Friday, 11 May 2007
FOLLOWING CHRIST THE LORD IN COMMUNION, COVENANT & MISSION

Monday July 2nd – Thursday July 5th, 2007
Wycliffe Hall, Oxford

The Anglican Communion Institute, Inc., Windsor Bishops, Colleagues and Friends are hosting and participating in this important event together with Bishops from the Church of England and fellow workers throughout the Communion.

The point of our meeting?

To incarnate Communion life, across provincial borders, and so to strengthen our mission in the name of Christ Jesus. This is a time for fellowship, worship, planning and mutual support, especially for Windsor Bishops and their colleagues in the Church of England and in the Communion more broadly.

Please think of us as your consider your gifts in support of the Anglican Communion. If you believe in the work we have done, and pledge to do in the coming months, please give generously. All gifts will go solely for travel and lodging.

Christopher Seitz, on behalf of The Anglican Communion Institute, Inc. and Wycliffe Hall, Oxford"

Posted by mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 4:41pm BST

Readers in the U.K. should review the history of the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention back in the late 70s and early 80s. It sounds like the CoE is dealing with something remarkably similar right now.

Posted by JPM at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 5:12pm BST

Stephen Bates sure is busy. Since when did the folks at Wycliffe start talking to Mr. Bates, good buddy of Jim Rosenthal and the Anglican Communion office (with funding by the Episcopal Church)? What is fasincating about this article is what is not included - and that's the real story.

What's at work here is what we call the "Oxford Snob Factor."

"Surely Oxford doesn't want to have that Wycliffe riff raff running about the streets, carrying on," is implied through this entire article. Mr. Bates is appealling to the liberal snob factor (who ever thought liberals would become the greatest snobs of all, anyway?). He's appealing to the Oxford Community (much as TEC did with it's little ad over the weekend in the New York Times).

"It's time for Episcopal and COE Snobs to unite and defeat these pesty little lowbrow evangelicals on both sides of the Atlantic!" That's what's being appealled to here. Pass the tea and crumpets and God Save the Queen (only, Real Snobs don't really like the Queen, thank you very much, because she isn't really English, she's German - but nevermind).

bb

Posted by BabyBlue at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 5:24pm BST

Ren Aguila,

I didn't say "evangelicalism." I said "evangelism." Different words with different meanings.

BTW, the liturgy and evangelicalism are not at odds with each other.

Posted by Chris at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 5:52pm BST

Don't fudge the issue bb.

Isn't it seriously worrying for Evangelical Anglicans that one of the most respected theological colleges in the country, which has for a long time represented the best of Evangelical theology and spirituality, which in its last principal had a world-respected apologist for the faith, suddenly finds itself in this position of losing impeccably Evangelical staff, not because of the Oxford review (which will also take in my old college, Cuddesdon), but because of this 'New Broom' (as NP describes it) who appears to care nothing for any part of the Evangelical tradition other than his own.

This has the makings of a disaster for mainstream Evangelical Anglicanism in the UK, and it smacks of civil war. I am desperately sad.

Posted by Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 6:24pm BST

You sound very defensive, BabyBlue. Not very becoming. And, what is the Good News? It isn't American style religio-politics.

Posted by Bob G+ at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 6:43pm BST

So, BabyBlue, would you care to address the substance of what Bates has said (which would surely be "doing a new thing" for you) or will you just persist in your usual catty, snide little attacks?

My money is on the latter, but, if you do have some information about what is happening at Wycliffe, we would appreciate it ever so much if you might condescend to share a bit of it with us.

Posted by JPM at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 6:54pm BST

JPM: "Readers in the U.K. should review the history of the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention back in the late 70s and early 80s. It sounds like the CoE is dealing with something remarkably similar right now."

And in TEC it's called Ambridge. The name is a hyphenization of "American Bridge and Steel". And nowhere has any seminary in the U.S. worked harder at burning them.

It's easy to attract a crowd (of unenlightened) with sensationalism, emotion, bad news, gossip and finger pointing. It's altogether another story to inspire them to be more Christlike.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 6:56pm BST

Cleaning out the Anglican Communion.

Just like Franco cleaned out Spain.

Maybe we should ask the Spanish about how grateful they feel.

Posted by counterlight at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 7:04pm BST

Sure, BabyBlue, the Queen Mother was German right down to her fingertips. When I see this kindergarten, self-congratulatory, hissy-fit approach to "discussion" - as I routinely do when if I stray over to - let's, for the sake of example, say - StandFirm, my response is to shrug my shoulders, note that the site is of an ideolgically different persuasion to my own and that I ought, therefore, for the most part to keep my mouth shut, and to mutter to myself the old saw about "more to be pitied than scorned". But since you're over here ...

"Oxford Snob Factor"; "Liberal Snob Factor"; "Pass the tea and crumpets and God Save the Queen". There is not a single, logical point in you entire, self-indulgent rant. The "snob-factor" argument is garbage, as you well know. This is simply a smoke screen, an attempt to hide the truth, and the fact that you are over here raising Cain about what Steven Bates has written seems pretty clear evidence that Mr. Bates is extremely close to the mark. As to your approach to "argument" - it works by and large at StandFirm and your own blog, where you're preaching to the choir. Over here, try something a bit more reasoned than "Real Snobs don't really like the Queen, thank you very much, because she isn't really English, she's German."

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 7:41pm BST

I've no doubt, Babyblue, that there is a touch of superiority about Oxford's attitude to Wycliffe. But the notion that this is an elite, intellectual liberalism versus a tough, groundroots, 'street' evangelicalism is really dubious. The conservative lobby, including in part the Wycliffe Hall Council, is dominated by male leaders who are public school and/or Oxbridge educated (8 of the 9 Covenant signatories, for example), and who lead obscenely wealthy congregations. It is not that the conservative regime at Wycliffe is lowbrow or riffraff that troubles the rest of the University, or the Church for that matter: we know better. It is more that its political agenda is beginning to take priority over all other intellectual and moral concerns, and that a secretive, manipulative and even megalomaniac mood is starting to prevail.

Posted by Sarah at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 8:11pm BST

"Pass the tea and crumpets"

Pimms, actually.

Posted by Hugh of Lincoln at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 9:19pm BST

It's true that BabyBlue's comment was not one of her best efforts, and it's also true that I frequently disagree with her position. However, it makes me sad to see the ad hominem attacks from all sides, nor do such comments strengthen the logical, theological position of either side. Surely, as Christians, we can ALL do better than that?

Posted by Robin at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 9:54pm BST

"Pass the tea and crumpets"
Wot, no cucumber sandwiches?
So why did I come all the way over from Germany then?

Posted by Erika Baker at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 9:58pm BST

I believe Elizabth Bowes-Lyon's tipple, as a good Anglo-Catholic, was gin.

Posted by Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 10:04pm BST

Ambridge? Unfortunately, over here that smacks of deepest Borsetshire and the goings-on of the Archer clan, where the most devious plot are usually about maximising set-aside payments or guessing who will be found in bed with whom (or indeed what).

Posted by Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 10:15pm BST

"There's an Old Queen up here waiting for her gin & tonic" is the line usually quoted, is it not, Fr. Rowett?

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 10:44pm BST

Actually, I believe that there may very well be an Oxford Snob Factor at work here, thought definitely not the one that Mizz Blue suggests. Between an ACI currently struggling to re-invent itself, and the Evangelical Thought Police apparently working overtime at Wycliffe Hall, is it possible that we are working towards the establishment of a "reasserter" (hate these portmanteau ideological groupings, so reminiscent of the terminology of 1930's extremisms) bridgehead at the University of Oxford? It would be a strong move towards upping their "Anglican" street cred in some circles.

Those curious to hear BabyBlue "in person" might listen to her recent-posted send-up of the ed which the Episcopal Church published in Saturday's New York Times. Mark Harris, who takes a broadly charitable attitude towards Mizz Blue, describes it as "a somewhat unbecoming parody reading", adding that "as a former ex-Southerner and a grandchild of an Englishman I get really put on edge by the parody of either accent."

Read it, and form a first-hand of Mizz Blue's even-handedness and charity:

http://web.mac.com/maryailes/iWeb/BabyBlueCafe/BabyBlueOnline/424D4252-8F87-43C2-BA2A-589805D03F08_files/TEC%20Ad-1.m4a

As someone asked elsewhere on this page today, "Surely, as Christians, we can ALL do better than that?"

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 11:25pm BST

Lucky Aussies don't think of the Queen as German. They would have demanded that she be incarcerated during WWII, like they did their own "pure" German occupants.

I am sad to hear of this schism. But not surprised. This excellent BBC article looks at how global warming is affecting evangelical tutoring in parts of the US http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/6648265.stm I think it rather succinctly highlights the differences.

I don't know which way Wycliffe is going or why, but I do know that God created this planet to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18). I also know that if God is prepared to destroy Guardian Cherubim's who fail to fulfill their duties to care for Eden (Ezekiel 28:12-19), then no destructive humans are safe either.

Destructive theologies and their colluding souls who refuse to have their vines withered should enjoy the fruits of this world. They are barred from Zion. Jonah might have been angry that he didn't have a church - but at least he kept his soul (Jonah 4:6-11)

Do you still not understand that this planet exists because God Wills that it exists? See this study http://www.torah.org/learning/ramchal/classes/fundamental-1part2.html

Woe to those who attempt to hasten the end (Isaiah 5:18-21). Woe to those who attempt to create armageddon so that their prophecies may be fulfilled. Wasteful shepherds, their eyes have been blinded by their greed and ambition. They prophesy lies and foolishly invoke God's name to justify their attempts to create Armageddon. See Zechariah 11:4-17, Isaiah 29-30:5

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Wednesday, 16 May 2007 at 11:30pm BST

""There's an Old Queen up here waiting for her gin & tonic" is the line usually quoted, is it not, Fr. Rowett"

Naughty, Naughty Boy!!!!!!!

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Thursday, 17 May 2007 at 1:32am BST

Ambridge-is a the actual town along the Ohio River just downstream from Pittsburgh that is the home of Trinity Seminary, considered by some to be quite "conservative", very fundamentalistic and probably responsible for some of the fun times we're having in TEC.

I see that the present head of Wycliffe is from Basingstoke (northern Hampshire or Berkshire?).

Yes, I've changed trains there a few times (Reading to Salisbury). Been stuck on a Conrail freight at Ambridge too. Wonderful places, especially leaving them.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Thursday, 17 May 2007 at 1:49am BST

What is interesting here is that the takeover is within the evangelical camp. It reminds me of the time Militant intended to infiltrate the Labour Party before it took on Capitalism, the elite and everything. All it achieved was strife and a reaction.

So not only is the split within evangelicalism, in terms of which way Open Evangelicals would go, but so is a takeover attitude.

It is a lot easier for something that is already evangelical to be taken on this way - sort of less ground to cover.

On a related point, I have always seen a difference between a seminary and a university, and a seminary committed to a particular point of view as an outcome is going to be in some conflict with a university where truth should go wherever it will. It seems to me that sectarian halls are not compatible with the university ideal.

Posted by Pluralist at Thursday, 17 May 2007 at 2:09am BST

All commentary signs on the most active conservative Anglican realignment blogs suggest that harder fisticuffs are coming soon, and assorted punishments galore. You can practically taste the sweat, blood, and tears in some of the posted conservative blog comments. The blood, sweat, and tears that will soon be extracted in this way or that from others, that is. It isn't rocket science to hear and understand that, so far as realignment conservatives are mostly concerned, their coming domination of all is a rise long overdue.

Franco's Spain is actually a good model of what they have in mind, church-state alliance and all. If you could bottle that scorn and sell it, nobody would need etching acid for quite a few years more.

Reminds me of an ancient near eastern religious teacher who supposedly once told his students: In the world you will have tribulation but be cheerful, I have already overcome all tribulations. Or something like that.

We do live in quite interesting times.

Can't wait to see NP, BabyBlue, and others of high conservative religious mind sweeping all the steps clean of the riff-raff - especially people who ask too many questions and find it besides the point to toe any conformity line for the sheer sake of conformity aka numbers.

If you silence all the riff-raff now waiting to welcome Jesus as Risen Lord into all the possible Jerusalems, the very stones will eventually cry out - and no institutional powers are ever in good command of that outbreaking of God.

Posted by drdanfee at Thursday, 17 May 2007 at 2:40am BST

I'm wondering if Dr. Zahl is going to find a new position at Wycliffe Hall: this might be why he resigned.

Posted by sheila at Thursday, 17 May 2007 at 3:33am BST

"It's time for Episcopal and COE Snobs to unite and defeat these pesty little lowbrow evangelicals on both sides of the Atlantic!" That's what's being appealled to here. Pass the tea and crumpets and God Save the Queen (only, Real Snobs don't really like the Queen, thank you very much, because she isn't really English, she's German - but nevermind)." Baby Blue

Really dahling, there is nothing quite as silly as a ex-patriot British "snob-ba-wanna-be" (who is currently "poaching" with her imported Nigerians pals on Episcopal Church property in Virginia) to notice "lowbrow evangelical" style/behavior...tut,tut and tut.

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Thursday, 17 May 2007 at 4:47am BST

Reasserter bridgehead? Quick, better get the Keble destruction society to get to work before Newman rises again...

BB is using tried'n'true method of the Republicans: criticize the liberals for so-called "intellectual elitism" (remember the "effete intellectual snobs", Spiro?), and try to claim the hardworking bluecollar label for one's self. hard to do when the Republican policies undercut real workers. But they are proud to be against people who think, by gum.

Or as the NY Times famously quoted a Bush Administration official,

The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

Posted by IT at Thursday, 17 May 2007 at 5:44am BST

drdanfee wrote

"We do live in quite interesting times... If you silence all the riff-raff now waiting to welcome Jesus as Risen Lord into all the possible Jerusalems, the very stones will eventually cry out - and no institutional powers are ever in good command of that outbreaking of God."


My latest joke.

Two priests die at the same time and come before God.

God asks the first one how his ministry went.

The priest replies "Well, it wasn't that good. I couldn't seem to bring them in. When I did start to build a small congregation someone would come along and poach them. Then they kept being distracted from doing the gospel claiming that things of this world didn't matter."

God turns to the second priest and asks how his ministry went:

The priest replies: "Well, we did quite well actually. I led the fastest growing congregations, the temples were beautiful, the flocks were reliably attendees and their practices were well grounded in our intepretations of the holy texts."

Who is the better priest in God's eye?


The priests both died when Sodom was overthrown.


Fast forward to today. Would you rather be a priest unable to gain an ear or build a congregation, or a priest of one of the largest and fastest growing congregations?

An individual can make how much difference to greenhouse gases? What would happen if the congregations of the ten largest faiths and/or denominations "repented"? How much greenhouse gas emissions could their congregations stop or influence others to stop?

Do we move by faith that God created this world to be inhabited and us to behave responsibly? Or do we call on scientific evidence and data to justify our actions. Who is living by faith and who is living by the evidence of this world?


In the card game "500" there is a move called lay down misere. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mis%C3%A8re God can be really good at playing that game. When adverse jugdments come, it is better to be an isolated individual in the wilderness than a figurehead for the masses.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Thursday, 17 May 2007 at 9:07am BST

I didn't think it was possible for there to be "fundamental" divisiveness in an "evangelical" theological college. I thought they all spoke the same language, deliberately, so that they didn't argue about their difference and diversity. I think it is very sad but perhaps inevitable that there has been this eruption at Wycliffe. It is the way that boils are healed of course. Sadly there is an interpretation of authority that becomes authoritarianism which can rapidly deteriorate into bullying in the name of the Lord.
Paul said - It seemeth good to us and the Holy Spirit - a good basis for a working relationship with God. Paul also said - Ubi Spiritus ibi libertas - a good motto for an "evangelical college methinks! I wish them well - honestly!

Posted by Cardinal Wardrobe at Thursday, 17 May 2007 at 9:17am BST

I don't want to stir in any way (no, don't laugh) but one regular contributor to TA is Thomas Renz, OT tutor at Oak Hill. He may be very unwilling to break cover at a sensitive time - but.... Any thoughts, Thomas?

I note he has not come out dismissing Bates' story in the way that a (probably less well-informed) BB has done - though arguments from silence are always tricksy.

My live in partner in a meaningful relationship has been talking to a pal who retired from being principal at a theological college not too long ago. Apparently he spent the last twelve or so years ago fighting to keep the place from becoming fundamentalist.

Posted by Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Thursday, 17 May 2007 at 11:29am BST

Get this over quickly, choirboy, so as not to lower the tone further than is necessary. "There's an Old Queen up here waiting for her gin & tonic" is the second half of a sentence. The first half, which alludes to the alleged orientation of certain of her attendants, is "I don't know what you queens are doing down there, but .... " The story circulated very widely, in both straight and gay circles, in the final decades of HM's life - so much so that I assumed, utterly without prejudice, that quotation of just the second half of the punch-line would strike an instant spark of recognition in the vast majority of TA's sophisticated readership. It appeared in at least one "serious" obituary - I could not now say which, but quite possibly the "Telegraph", which purveys a fine line in "wink, wink; nudge, nudge" Society obits.

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Thursday, 17 May 2007 at 12:22pm BST

"Real Snobs don't really like the Queen, thank you very much, because she isn't really English, she's German."

And as for Phil the Greek....:-)

Posted by Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Thursday, 17 May 2007 at 1:23pm BST

Nobody draws blood like quarreling evangelicals.

I wonder how long it would take for the Reasserter coup to come to the same conclusion regarding "Reappraisers" that the Spanish Falange came to regarding the defeated Loyalists;

just shoot 'em.

Posted by counterlight at Thursday, 17 May 2007 at 1:25pm BST

Tragic to see some clearly wanting there to be strife and trouble at Wycliffe Hall.

Pluralist - great point....so, you want to suggest that one cannot criticise the ABC at all just because one thinks he has done the right thing with TWR and Tanzania?

Mynster - an evo may become Principal of an evo institution but still wish to make changes and lead it in a particular way...and some may leave and others will join..this is not a terrible betrayal of anything and does not mean anyone has been stabbed. People who have been around for a long time might benefit from new challenges just as an institution may benefit from new blood.

Dr Zahl - I do hope he is coming to Wycliffe!! That would be great!

Posted by NP at Thursday, 17 May 2007 at 2:07pm BST

Weird Rabbit:

Yes, and admittedly was mine, except I didn't have a staff car and bouquet of flowers to deliver it with. So sorry!

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Thursday, 17 May 2007 at 2:29pm BST

Y'know NP, you'd have found something positive to say about the wreck of the Titanic!

I remember in my time at Cuddesdon there were comings and goings and grumblings among the staff as the regime changed - but nothing as cataclysmic as this. It's significant that no-one in the know seems yet to have challenged the existence of massive staff discontent, etc etc.

Students of the Russian revolution will remember how the different parties fell into bloody internecine warfare once they had power. Anglican Catholicism nearly went down the pan over the ordination of women: is evangelical Anglicanism about to start its own civil war? Remember, the people of whom we are talking at Wycliffe are not rancid Anglo-Catholics like me - they're fully paid up members of the Evanglical movement, whose faithful witness is reflected in many a Wycliffe-trained priest across the UK.

Posted by Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Thursday, 17 May 2007 at 2:48pm BST

Counterlight - remember the words of Arnaud-Amaury, papal legate to the Albigensian "crusade" - "Caedite eos! Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius" — "Kill them all! God will know his own."

Posted by lapinbizarre at Thursday, 17 May 2007 at 2:57pm BST

Correct me if wrong, NP, but the only folks I see who might be "wanting there to be strife and trouble at Wycliffe Hall" are Richard Turnbull and his backers.

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Thursday, 17 May 2007 at 3:26pm BST

Lapin -I don't think causing strife would be his agenda but I am not surprised that a new boss causes changes in the team.

Mynster - I am hoping things work out well at Wycliffe Hall despite the changes etc. I am sure you are too - but I suspect some hope things go wrong. Do pray for positive outcomes at WH.

Posted by NP at Thursday, 17 May 2007 at 4:25pm BST

T19 carries an interesting posting from flabellum, who has posted here from time to time.

"There is a huge gulf opening up in the CofE between those who are evangelical in theology and those who are evangelical in name. the so-called ‘open Evangelicals’ are finding their ascendancy threatened and they don’t like it. (Neither does Lambeth Palace, which has been able to rely on the ‘Open Evangelicals’ to go along with the liberal agenda.)"

So there you have it, there are 'proper' evangelicals and there are those who just 'call' themselves evangelicals. Civil war has broken out.

Posted by Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Thursday, 17 May 2007 at 6:07pm BST

Mynsterpreost - I am a regular visitor but I do not consider myself a regular contributor. I appreciate TA as an easy-on-the eye source of news, events and documents of interest to Anglicans but I find the comments and discussion rarely inspiring, illuminating or favourable to serious debate.

As far as this story is concerned - what could I say? Stephen Bates is one of the reasons I stopped reading the Guardian Weekly after many years. Rightly or wrongly I do not trust him to distinguish carefully between facts, inferences and pure speculation.

The situation at Wycliffe is obviously very serious and the main contribution of this article is to bring it to the attention of the wider public. The article documents the breakdown of trust and discontent among staff with Richard Turnbull’s way of leading and managing the college. But it is less clear that any of this relates to a change in theological direction.

Note that the excerpt from the resignation letter makes no reference to theological disagreement. Indeed, it makes a point of including colleagues “you yourselves appointed” (people whom one would assume to be of the same theological persuasion as Richard Turnbull). This does not suggest that the dispute “mirror splits in worldwide Anglicanism - and the Church of England - over theology and homosexuality”.

Posted by Thomas Renz at Thursday, 17 May 2007 at 8:00pm BST

My former colleague Peter Head seems to see things much like I do over at T19. He observes the following:

"The description of the new principal as ‘Richard Turnbull, a vicar from Basingstoke and a former accountant without senior academic managerial experience’ is rather a classic in understated put-downs (and selective truth-telling)."

And he asks pertinent questions:

"How can a governing council launch an internal review and pledge support for Dr Turnbull at the same time? How could James Jones ‘made it clear he would back Turnbull whatever he did’? What is the review going to review, unless it could result in disciplinary action against the Principal?"

Posted by Thomas Renz at Thursday, 17 May 2007 at 8:07pm BST

I don't quite understand this issue, Wycliff hall was already pretty conservative and definitely evangelical, so what's the problem? I'd like to know more about what the dispute between Turnbull and Storkey is before jumping to conclusions about Turnbull sweeping everyone out to bring in the dreaded evangelicals. I mean, Wycliff hall is kind of an evanglical stronghold already.

Posted by James Crocker at Friday, 18 May 2007 at 2:53am BST

....and I trust you are not pleased to identify this "civil war" you see, Mynster?

(I don't think you are....but some certainly do gloat, sadly)

Posted by NP at Friday, 18 May 2007 at 7:24am BST

Lapinbizarre wrote (to Counterlight): “remember the words of Arnaud-Amaury, papal legate to the Albigensian "crusade" – "Caedite eos! Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius" — "Kill them all! God will know his own."
A most Godly quote from alias 2 Tim 2:19, most timely made before the walls of Béziers, on the 21st of July 1209, the eve of the Fête of Saint Marie Madeleine…

Or perhaps not – the Crusaders, including the Duke of Burgundy, the Count of Nevers, a multitude of Bishops and Barons, and the Abbé de Cîteaux, had already promised Death to all...

However, Arnaud Amaury reported proudly to his master Innocent, Bishop of Rome of the “miracle” of the 22nd of July 1209, “without regard for gender or age, almost 20.000 people had been killed by the sword” in a couple of hours. 222 of whom were Cathars (and in some cases Valdensians).

Also, the Laws of War of the time permitted general slaughter for the male population, only.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Friday, 18 May 2007 at 9:19am BST

NP wrote: “I don't think causing strife would be his agenda but I am not surprised that a new boss causes changes in the team.”

Well, if “boss” is your idea of the Principal of an academic institution – all this seems less incomprehensible ;=)

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Friday, 18 May 2007 at 9:20am BST

The influx of re-whatevers coming here to deny mischief and the multiformity of their denials (all learnt from the German Rhetoric school of the 1920ies, which has miraculously survived in the US - Europe has learnt its lesson) seems somewhat fishy to me ;=)

4 Faculties!

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Friday, 18 May 2007 at 9:24am BST

What fun to see that old Queen Mother joke further up this thread. The redaction of the punchline I heard was:

"I don't know about you queens down there, but there's a thirsty old queen up here"!

Maybe it's just a regional variant peculiar to the southern hemisphere...

Posted by kieran crichton at Friday, 18 May 2007 at 1:15pm BST

It's in fact the one I have heard here in the Global North ;=)

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Friday, 18 May 2007 at 4:52pm BST

kieran crichton: "What fun to see that old Queen Mother joke further up this thread."

On three continents no less..pretty neat!

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Friday, 18 May 2007 at 4:57pm BST

As a sentimental Jacobite, I tend to think of the occupant of Buck House as the Princess Phillipos of Greece and Denmark - and the German who ought to be living there as Franz von Wittelsbach.

Parts of the rest of the debate remind me of a new acronym that has arisen among hardline neo-conservatives in the US to refer to any Republican who does not slavishly follow the hard right orthodoxy. Such people are referred to as RINOs - Republicans In Name Only.

This is a frequent tactic of extremists. The neo-conservatives say that any Republican who will not cede to them is a RINO. Likewise, Scargill and others from Militant Tendency had similar descriptions for the leadership of the Labour Party.

The thing is, the Evangelical tradition within Anglicanism is a broader tent than its loudest advocates these days would have us believe. Not all Evangelicals hold to the same hard line on gay ordination or gay unions. Not all of those who do believe that they should work towards the excommunication of those who disagree with them.

Posted by Malcolm French+ at Friday, 18 May 2007 at 5:21pm BST

Malcom French. We saw a similar example above when BabyBlue was in there right at the start, kicking up an "Oxford Snob Factor" dust-storm over a case which could turn out to center on the attempted "reasserter" co-option of an Oxford College. On the topic of "kings over the water", don't forget that the duke of Monmouth could have well been legitimate (NOT 63 posts on this one, please!) giving a totally different legitimist Stuart succession.

Choirboy. If you'd asked me a week back which theological college would be at the heart of a TA thread with fringe "queen" jokes, the money would not have been on Wycliffe.

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Saturday, 19 May 2007 at 1:23pm BST

Lapin: "Choirboy. If you'd asked me a week back which theological college would be at the heart of a TA thread with fringe "queen" jokes, the money would not have been on Wycliffe."

God works in mysterious ways. Listen to what the Spirit is saying....

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Sunday, 20 May 2007 at 9:09pm BST

"Arnaud Amaury reported proudly to his master Innocent, Bishop of Rome of the “miracle” of the 22nd of July 1209, “without regard for gender or age, almost 20.000 people had been killed by the sword” in a couple of hours. 222 of whom were Cathars (and in some cases Valdensians)."

Oh, forgot the big part; the inhabitants of Béziers died had refused to deliver the 222 to the beleaguering army.

That's true Heroism – and a lesson for us all.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Monday, 21 May 2007 at 5:37am BST

Rev Dr Richard Turnbull is partially right in that 95% will go to hell if they do not know the teachings of Christ. It is actually much more! Read the Revelation 7:1 to 7:8. You will find out that very few will make the grade. Go to http://jahtruth.net/rabbis.htm to find out more.

God abolished the Jewish Rabbis and priests two thousand years ago, but they have arrogantly and stubbornly refused to obey Him and cease their treason against God, for two thousand years, whilst, just like the pope etc. who do exactly the same, falsely claiming to work for Him, when He says they don't. The following is Biblical PROOF of this FACT:-

Peace be with you!

Christopher

Posted by Christopher at Monday, 28 May 2007 at 11:57am BST
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