Comments: late January opinion

I'm not sure what Andrew Brown has discovered or not discovered: what is his revision? What puzzles me is how people build up Jesus to be so completely normative, and then pile on to that more encrusted tradition for which they then play a game of orthodoxy. I watched the BBC new Review programme last night when the clericalised ex-singer in the Communards likened heaven to a good curry. He was struggling to find a place for all the usual constructions, but you could see he realised the game was up in that company and thus answered that his understanding of heaven was a curry. I had a curry yesterday and it was disgusting.

Posted by Pluralist at Saturday, 30 January 2010 at 6:32pm GMT

'In August 410, the city of Rome, which hadn't been conquered in 800 years, was overrun by an invading horde of Goths.'

Nick Sagovsky is presumably regarded as one of the C of E's big stars. Many of his public acts show him to be a virtuous person. Nevertheless, from an academic point of view, the end of this sentence shows shocking historical ignorance. Am I being pedantic and/or mean-spirited? I don't think so. Such intellectual sloppiness (entirely avoidable with a little care) contributes to bringing Christianity into disrepute (as if there weren't already enough Christians doing that).

John Moles
Professor of Latin
Newcastle University.

Posted by john at Saturday, 30 January 2010 at 7:25pm GMT

'In August 410, the city of Rome, which hadn't been conquered in 800 years, was overrun by an invading horde of Goths.'

Almost verbatim from Wikipedia!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sack_of_Rome_%28410%29

Posted by Jay Vos at Sunday, 31 January 2010 at 2:02am GMT

Wikipedia - not known as an acceptable first or primary source.

Posted by Lois Keen at Sunday, 31 January 2010 at 9:56pm GMT

Indeed, Lois.... that's what I was hoping to convey; also that the writer of that article was lazy.

Posted by Jay Vos at Monday, 1 February 2010 at 3:49am GMT

"The Lord has indeed come to his Temple, but the refining fire is the love that stoops down to the lowest part of our need. As Simeon cries out, this is “the light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of his people, Israel”. He goes on to tell Mary that her child will fulfil the destiny of love, the destiny of sacrifice,"
- Bishop Geoffrey Rowell -

At Candlemass, we are reminded of Jesus being acknowledged as 'The Light' to enlighten the gentiles - that is, everyone; not just the originally 'Chosen People of God', but all peoples

Bishop Rowell's seminal sentence here indicates the love that was at the heart of the Incarnate Son of God. The Law, being now fulfilled in the person of God's Anointed, was no longer the measure of God's relatedness to God's human children. Rather, LOVE became, in Christ, the true measure of our relationship to God. All the accretions of the Law were cast aside in favour of
the New Commandment. "Where Charity and Love are -there is God". This is why the Church must work on its capacity for loving - not judging.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Monday, 1 February 2010 at 10:33am GMT

"...from an academic point of view, the end of this sentence shows shocking historical ignorance. Am I being pedantic and/or mean-spirited? I don't think so. Such intellectual sloppiness (entirely avoidable with a little care) contributes to bringing Christianity into disrepute (as if there weren't already enough Christians doing that)."

Two questions:

1. Would Prof. Moles or anyone else care to illuminate the shortcoming in the Rev. Canon Sagovsky's sentence? I, for one, simply don't see it, unless the Visigoths are not to be considered Goths.

2. Whatever the alleged horrifying historical error may be, does it in any way invalidate Sagovsky's real point(s)?

And now, some observations:

1. Re "Am I being pedantic and/or mean-spirited?":

I would say that the answer to that rather depends on the answers to the two questions I have posed.

2. Re "Such intellectual sloppiness (entirely avoidable with a little care) contributes to bringing Christianity into disrepute (as if there weren't already enough Christians doing that).":

Whatever contribution to Chrstianity's disrepute may be made by the alleged error, it surely pales in comparison to some Christians' use of the sword; indulging in racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, or classism; materialism or "prosperity gospel"; denial of science (from evolution to the effectiveness of condoms against HIV); exclusion of the stranger, failure to feed the hungry, etc. I suspect most of the public would be and is much more concerned with all of the foregoing, just as a start, than with "shocking historical ignorance" they very well may share, whatever it is.

More importantly, I suspect that our Lord and Savior would be and is much more concerned with all of the foregoing, just as a start, than with any "shocking historical ignorance."

Posted by David da Silva Cornell at Monday, 1 February 2010 at 6:07pm GMT

Handbooks are nearly always what the professor's professor's professors believed once upon a time... The same goes for the Wikipedia. With the occasional mis-understanding added.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Monday, 1 February 2010 at 6:10pm GMT
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