Comments: opinion for St Luke

I'm amazed that a seemingly intelligent and educated man like John Richardson can "stumble" over the hurdle of "male headship" in the Reform Covenant, but apparently have no problem with the insistence on a 6000-year-old Earth and a six-day special creation in the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Saturday, 16 October 2010 at 2:19pm BST

I refer to John Richardson's comment in:

http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2010/10/society-of-saint-augustine-explained.html

Sue Blackmore obviously found out what some of the Church of England has become, in its move to a sect like mentality.

Posted by Pluralist at Saturday, 16 October 2010 at 6:55pm BST

The Chicago Statement is new to me. Sounds even more idiotic than the early 20th c. fundamentalist pronouncements. Flat earth, anyone?

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Saturday, 16 October 2010 at 8:19pm BST

The most painfully difficult thing for me is Sue Blackmore understanding 'Unless you receive the Kingdom as a child' to mean 'Unless you receive it while you are still a child' instead of 'unless you receive the Kingdom in the same way as a child would receive it. Oh dear - how hard to explain our faith is!

Posted by Rosemary Hannah at Saturday, 16 October 2010 at 8:58pm BST

"Augustine’s sense that some original sin is what keeps us trapped is often disparaged. And I also want to resist his unhelpful association of this sin with sex. None the less, the idea that human beings are a bit like alcoholics on a 12-step programme — where we must first accept that we are incapable of helping ourselves, and that we need assistance from elsewhere in order to set things right — seems exactly right."

- Giles Fraser, Church Times -

Fr. Giles speaks of the deep-seated reality at the heart of the Christian enterprise. Far from the current fundamentalist striving for some puritanical religious goal - based on a peculiar belief in spiritual self-help; the Gospel shouts the message of salvation and redemption - by, in, through and with Christ. "Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners!"

The more we are led by enthusiastic religious judgementalist zealots to believe that God reserves salvation for the 'godly', the less we are able to understand our need of humility, dependancy and thanklfulness, for the self-sacrifical love God has shown to the world in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

To ever think that it is purely within our personal purview to attain to salvation by self-improvement is to have missed the message of the Gospel: "I came, not to heal the well, but the sick". Not until we humbly acknowledge our in-built need of God, can God begin to work on the task of our redemption. It was ever thus.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 17 October 2010 at 10:35pm BST

The Augustinian model is profoundly flawed, in that it allows the concept of "the Elect." While fundies are constantly speaking (I won't say striving, as their hypocrisy has been far too evident) for pietism, a code of conduct, the Augustinian theory is no less prone to misuse - indeed, I'm not sure that it was that sound in its conception.

A preferable model would be to speak in terms of being born into a sort of universal ignorance, a mean animal-level of existence. "Sin" is a fairly neutral word, itself, but has come to have the connotation of willed evil - this is a term which has become too corrupted to use. Ignorance is better. To that end, there must be striving by the individual to overcome ignorance. This is balanced by the realization that ignorance is pervasive, the delusional world we've created around us is all we directly apprehend, so we will, often, fail to rise above and exercise compassion, faithfulness, self-sacrifice, and that is where God's Mercy covers us . . . but not for lack of individual effort. We are helped by God, and this is key to faith, but we are expected to reach out to Him. Where the spark comes to reach out is Mystery.

I think, Augustine - indeed all theologians - err in trying to explain, as if they were presenting a legal brief or a classroom experiment.

Posted by MarkBrunson at Tuesday, 19 October 2010 at 11:24am BST
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