Comments: Advent Hope

A nice traditional try at Advent but she's a bit late. The post-truth, truth is that the Church has engaged in inculturation and Advent is now the new Christmas. These days Christmas is celebrated in the anticipation, which occupies most of the season in carol services by candlelight, Christingle services, pre Christmas Nine Lessons and Carols and so on. There's not much penitential about Advent any more.

Dean Frances would have done better to have written this piece for the Kingdom Season, which to my way of thinking is far more penitential and in effect the new Advent. That's the truth.

Posted by Nicholas Henderson at Sunday, 27 November 2016 at 8:30pm GMT

Before post-truth became a word in the Oxford Dictionary, John Henry Newman noted in an Advent sermon that this time is "a season for chastened hearts and religious eyes; for severe thoughts, and austere resolves, and charitable deeds; a season for remembering what we are and what we shall be. Let us go out to meet him with contrite and expectant hearts" Do times really change?

Posted by Pam at Sunday, 27 November 2016 at 9:01pm GMT

I am not unintelligent but with all due respect to the Dean, I find most of this unintelligible and suspect that the man and woman in the pew, let alone the man and woman in the street, would find it the same, and those who experience evil or pain or suffering would hardly find it of any comfort.

Posted by John Bunyan at Sunday, 27 November 2016 at 9:39pm GMT

Frances Ward's item reminds me of the motto of our old debating course, "It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness". And, so it is.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Sunday, 27 November 2016 at 11:07pm GMT

"we can also know that all will be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."


I try to have faith; I try to hope.

But faith and hope are not knowledge.

Certainly not knowledge that things in this world will be well. Too often in history, they have quite verifiably not been.

Posted by Jeremy at Monday, 28 November 2016 at 2:02am GMT

I thought Frances Ward's comments on evil were interesting. Incidentally, I've never heard a convincing explanation for the presence of evil along with the existence of a benevolent God. Perhaps that's why I remain an agnostic.

Posted by Steve at Monday, 28 November 2016 at 3:00pm GMT

Wow, John Bunyan, your comment strikes me as both unfair and excessive. I had little difficulty in following Dean Frances' post which I found illuminating and helpful. Surely what she has written takes into account the particular readership of 'Thinking Anglicans' and can reasonably assume a reasonable level of theological sophistication. It isn't aimed at the person in the street or the average churchgoer. Dean Frances' post is no more obscure than some of the blog entries elsewhere that we are linked into. I would hate entries on this site to be dumbed down.

Posted by Daniel Lamont at Monday, 28 November 2016 at 7:20pm GMT

John, "the man and woman in the pew" (in those churches that haven't ripped 'em out) are diverse. I doubt most would have any trouble with this.

Not believing in the personal god of ancient theism, I don't agree with it, but Ward puts her POV over clearly and plainly.

Posted by James Byron at Tuesday, 29 November 2016 at 11:19am GMT

I actually thought this was excellent and very well-written. If I have a niggle it might be the use of 'post-liberal' in the last paragraph, but perhaps I'm still a bit vexed by Linda Woodhead's recent (and rather baffling) volley against "angry post-liberal side-swipes" in Anglican theology. Me-ow.

Posted by rjb at Thursday, 1 December 2016 at 11:15pm GMT
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