Comments: opinion

That's an interesting article by Sara Miles. We're not apart from the world, we're in it. And all of us have such a mixture of motives, but somewhere within us is God, encouraging and sustaining us, to grow and incline or hearts towards love, in an opening up to who God is, within us.

I don't view the Bible as a rule book, but as an openness and encounter with the living God, expressed by fallible humans like ourselves. My own Carmelite practice teaches me to not seek to 'know' so much as to open up by way of 'not knowing'. And the trust and waiting that involves.

Perhaps, not through literal bibles, but through the practical realities of our lives, and the presence of God in the scriptures, and day to day gift and grace we receive, we may grow and open up towards the encounters with God, that the Bible also, through its fallible human accounts, reports.

I far prefer this complex, deeper than literal, Bible... and the way we are thrown upon the trust and faithfulness of God, and driven towards the sole primacy of God's burning fire of love. The Bible is less about literal rules, than about sacrifice and givenness, of God to us, and us to God. It is the true baptism we are invited to undergo.

Posted by Susannah Clark at Saturday, 2 August 2014 at 11:41am BST

Thanks for the article from Sarah Miles, with the stories included in her piece. As for the bible, for those of us for whom it is scripture, its important to respect it, wrestle with it, be attentive to the different kinds of literature and the many and distant cultural voices within it. Part of doing so is respecting the limitations of scripture, not trying to make it say more than it does, not letting it confirm our prejudices, not allowing it to let us off the hook as responsible autonomous beings. Noticed there is wry comment, posted under Miles' piece at Episcopal Cafe, attributed by the poster to William Temple, i.e. the bible contains all things necessary to salvation, but it also contains a lot of things that are not.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Saturday, 2 August 2014 at 7:37pm BST

Sara Miles has got the Bible about right, I think. What impressed me, too, about her writing is that the secular is right in there as part of God's love and care. Nice one Sara.

Posted by Pam at Saturday, 2 August 2014 at 11:05pm BST

Thanks to Pierre Whalon for that theological analysis of the Philadelphia 11. This is also the 70th anniversary of the ordination of Li Tim Oi by the Bishop of Hong Kong and of course 20 years since the first ordinations of women in the C-of-E (better late than never), as well as (finally...) the vote for women bishops in the C-of-E. A lot to celebrate this year.

Posted by Sara MacVane at Monday, 4 August 2014 at 1:45pm BST

Interesting discussion of Origen on prayer by Rowan Williams, especially its advocacy of prayer as a way of "growing into the kind of humanity that Christ shows us." I wonder how long it will be -- if ever -- before Williams' voice will regain in such matters the authority he squandered during his time as Archbishop of Canterbury. The cowardice he displayed in his treatment of Jeffrey John, not to mention his bungled handling of Gene Robinson's consecration as Bishop of New Hampshire and the farce of the Covenant, hardly begin to display signs of the "humanity that Christ shows us."

Posted by jnwall at Monday, 4 August 2014 at 6:17pm BST
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