Comments: General Synod - February 2009

"the gospel of salvation through Christ alone"

...which ain't in the Gospel.

Posted by JCF at Monday, 19 January 2009 at 7:42pm GMT

"...which ain't in the Gospel."

Well, since you insist on proof texts:

"I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

Posted by BillyD at Monday, 19 January 2009 at 11:07pm GMT

"Key debates on the international financial crisis, women bishops, the Anglican Covenant, human trafficking, asylum, Anglican-Roman Catholic relations and inter faith relations"

Nothing too controversial, then?

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Monday, 19 January 2009 at 11:42pm GMT

"the gospel of salvation through Christ alone"

...which ain't in the Gospel.

- And no wonder the conservatives are right 50% of the time about how bad things have become among their opposite numbers. The other 50%? I have no idea.

Posted by Ren Aguila at Tuesday, 20 January 2009 at 10:38am GMT

If we are going to trade texts, then in verse 12 there is doing greater works than these because Jesus is going to the Father. In other words, it's the Father (principally) and Jesus is subordinate, as often found in John, even if each is in the other.

But then the Father is a concept developed in John, and unsurprising that it is understood in a wrapped up relationship; you can't get to nirvana except by Buddha, Dharma, Sangha; you can't understand moksha except by the Atman and Brahman.

Though Buddha, Dharma, Sangha includes the tradition of others developing in their own religion in depth, so says the Dalai Lama, and Hinduism absorbs many paths. But still they are their systems of comprehension.

In any case the evangelical quoters of texts do not know and cannot determine how others know Christ, or verse 24: Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.

But what do these concepts written by the author of John mean anyway?

Posted by Pluralist at Tuesday, 20 January 2009 at 11:50am GMT

""I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6"

BillyD, I once heard Don Harvey preach a sermon, and surely no-one doubts HIS "orthodoxy" :-j, in which he stated that it is his belief that, while redemption is from Christ, that doesn't mean non-Christians cannot attain redemption, merely that it is Christ Who opens the door for all of us. So, the redeeming work of the Incarnation simply IS, as to who receives it, that is up to God. It's the difference between opening the door and standing in front of the door administering a litmus test of worthiness to all who try to enter. While there are those who would interpret this verse, and it is only one verse after all, to mean Jesus is the doorkeeper, only letting the appropriately faithful through, is it necessarily a valid interpretation? I certainly don't think it's necessary for a statement of the uniqueness of Christ. I'm with Bp. Tutu, what kind of Heaven is it that doesn't include Ghandi? Of course, there are others who would say this attitude is condescending to non-Christians. You can't win.

Posted by Ford Elms at Tuesday, 20 January 2009 at 1:49pm GMT

“Well, since you insist on proof texts:"I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6 -- Billy D

"But what do these concepts written by the author of John mean anyway?” --Pluralist

Pluralist, as usual, is right on target. When we say that Jesus is the only Son of God,we mean that Jesus is the only perfect image of the Father, and shows us the nature of God. And the nature of God revealed in Jesus is that God is love.

Therefore, Love is the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Love.

Posted by Kurt at Tuesday, 20 January 2009 at 2:30pm GMT

"... while redemption is from Christ, that doesn't mean non-Christians cannot attain redemption, merely that it is Christ Who opens the door for all of us."

Absolutely. This is also how I read CS Lewis' take on the subject.

Posted by BillyD at Tuesday, 20 January 2009 at 9:17pm GMT

Under Anglican Covenant can someone translate "take note motion, moved by the Bishop of Rochester on behalf of the House of Bishops, on a report from the House, to which is attached a draft Church of England response to these questions" for this American? What is a take note motion, and is it (and more especially the draft CoE response) posted anywhere?

Posted by John B. Chilton at Wednesday, 21 January 2009 at 2:54am GMT

"...which ain't in the Gospel."

Well, since you insist on proof texts:

"I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

Sorry Billy D and Ren Aguila... but your addition of "alone" is a typical i n t e r p r e t a t i o n.

It's NOT in the text, it's apparently not intended.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Wednesday, 21 January 2009 at 6:14am GMT

Ren A. (and Billy D),

It seem to me that it's Ford who said it best so far. What you are trying to claim, is that no one comes to God but through the Holy Spirit; the Congregation - incidentally, your congregation....

NO one, historically that I am aware of, has dared claim that.

;=)

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Wednesday, 21 January 2009 at 6:24am GMT

"Ren A. (and Billy D),

It seem to me that it's Ford who said it best so far. What you are trying to claim, is that no one comes to God but through the Holy Spirit; the Congregation - incidentally, your congregation...."

Then you need to work on that reading comprehension of yours, Goran, because I have said no such thing.

Posted by BillyD at Wednesday, 21 January 2009 at 12:44pm GMT

John B Chilton asked about take note motions. The wording of these is always "That the Synod do take note of this Report". [Which report is made clear by the heading above the motion in the printed agenda and the official record of business done.] Such a motion cannot be amended. The Synod's standing orders state that "If the motion is carried, it shall not be deemed to commit the Synod to the acceptance of any matter contained in the report."

The purpose of a take note motion is to allow a general debate on the contents of a report, and to separate this from any decisions on what action, if any, to take. If any action is required on the recommendations of a report then appropriate motions (which can be amended) are moved, debated and voted on afterwards.

The papers for next month's synod are not yet online, but I understand that they will be in a few day's time. When they are available I will publish links to them on this site.

Posted by Peter Owen at Wednesday, 21 January 2009 at 3:01pm GMT

Neither have I, Goran.

Posted by Ren Aguila at Wednesday, 21 January 2009 at 3:18pm GMT

"I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6"

No, Billy D and Ren A?

Your interpretation of John 14:6 isn’t mixing the 3rd person of the Trinity with the 2nd (and the 1st)?

What is it then?

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Wednesday, 21 January 2009 at 7:43pm GMT

Goran, go back and read my reply to Ford time-stamped "20 January 2009 at 9:17pm". You are barking up the wrong tree.

Posted by BillyD at Thursday, 22 January 2009 at 12:29am GMT

Some here are going to hate this but I really like Borg's take on "I am the way, the truth and the life."

Here's a small clip.
http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Christianity/2000/08/Jesus-The-Way-The-Truth-The-Life.aspx

The first key to reading this text again is setting it in John's historical context. According to most scholars, the gospel was written late in the first century, in a setting of intense conflict between Christian Jews and non-Christian Jews. The setting is reflected especially in the ninth chapter of John, which refers to people being "put out of the synagogue" as the consequence of following Jesus.

In that world, to be "put out" from the synagogue was far more serious than being expelled from a Christian congregation or denomination is in our world. To be expelled from the synagogue meant no longer to be considered a Jew (or at least not an acceptable Jew). In a traditional society where most people lived their entire lives in the same village or town, it was a powerful social sanction. Those expelled faced social ostracism. Among other things, it disrupted relationships within families and with neighbors, and made marriage to "proper" Jews difficult or impossible.

Followers of Jesus were not threatened with such expulsion during his lifetime. At the earliest, it happened a decade or two after the destruction of the Temple in the year 70. Thus, John 9 not only suggests an approximate date for the gospel, but also points to the historical situation facing John and his community. They were experiencing painful social ostracism by non-Christian Jews. As a result, some of John's community may have been tempted to return to their community of origin.

This is the setting for the words, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me." John was not thinking of all the religions of the world, but of the synagogue across the street. In effect he was saying, "Stay within the community of Jesus--don't go back to the way you left behind."

I've never understood how anyone can think a book is more important than people. Seems to me to be the opposite of Jesus' message.

As far as a relationship with Rome, who cares? I don't want to be told what to think. Roman Catholics are indoctrinated. It's pray, pay and obey. Don't ask any questions and certainly don't use your mind. (I worked in RC parishes for years and learned a lot).

Posted by BobinSWPA at Thursday, 22 January 2009 at 12:50am GMT
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