Thinking Anglicans

Canadian trip: press coverage

Many links to North American news coverage of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Canadian trip are at epiScope. See Rocket man and earlier He says he’s coming.

Here in the UK, Ekklesia has Archbishop seeks to build bridges with USA trip and Williams says the Bible invites listening not dogmatism.

The Living Church has Archbishop of Canterbury Agrees to Meet House of Bishops.

The Anglican Journal has an exclusive interview with the archbishop here: Archbishop will not cancel Lambeth Conference.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams considered cancelling the 2008 Lambeth Conference of the world’s Anglican bishops due to the sexuality debates roiling the church, but decided against it.

“Yes, we’ve already been considering that and the answer is no. We’ve been looking at whether the timing is right, but if we wait for the ideal time, we will wait more than just 18 months,” he told the Anglican Journal in an exclusive interview…

Read all of it.

And there is this Anglican Journal report: Williams bemoans loss of listening to Scripture.

Update
Here is a transcript of the press conference: Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, speaks to the press.

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Ford ElmsChristopher ShellMynsterpreost (=David Rowett)Erika BakerNP Recent comment authors
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Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

“It helps to have a family.”
Rowan Williams on the lives of bishops.

ONLY CONNECT

dmitri
Guest
dmitri

Yes it does help bishops and priests to have a family but gay priests and bishops in the C of E are all celibate? Whom does he imagine he is kidding?

C.B.
Guest
C.B.

Simon – Here is the link to the transcript for the entire press Conference. It is worth reading. http://www.anglicanplanet.net/TAPIntern0705a.html It seems pretty clear to me from reading it in total that he views the Communique as just that a communique. That the Primates are trying to dialogue about the extent of the problem and come up with a solution that is satisfactory. “I’m still waiting to see what the Episcopal Church will come up with as an alternative. The reaction from the Episcopal Church was a very strongly worded protest against what was seen as interference, although that wasn’t the… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

And yet we get an opposite report, looks like from Australian press.

At: http://au.news.yahoo.com/070418/21/135kh.html

Go figure.

If the 9-30 date is just a deadline for replying so that the dialogue can continue in a timely manner, many, many of the conservative realignment folks have entirely viewed it otherwise.

Pluralist
Guest

So some are going to be calling Rowan Williams “Rocket Man”

And I think it’s gonna be a long long time
Till touch down brings me round again to find
I’m not the man they think I am at home,
Oh no no no! I’m a rocket man –
Rocket man, burning out his fuse up here alone


It’s just my job five days a week
A rocket man, a rocket man

Pluralist
Guest

_Archbishop Williams also said that he wished the current debate on sexuality that has bitterly divided the Anglican Communion would be framed in terms of “biblical justice and biblical holiness” instead of the prevailing conservative view of “biblical fidelity” and the liberal view of justice_ Rowan Williams has said similar before, wanting to stay within theology to get answers, rather than go outside to sociology and the like. However, the reason we go outside to law, to sociology, and to biology, is because that is where to find comparative knowledge, and the context in which the Bible as used sits.… Read more »

Charles Nurse
Guest
Charles Nurse

While this should not be taken as a comment on the editorial bias or not of the Anglican Planet (as I have not had the opportunity to read much of its content), it should be noted that this site/publication was set up by supporters of the Network in Canada – who did not feel that the official publication (The Anglican Journal) of the Anglican Church of Canada was representative of their views.

Unfortunately the “About Us” page implies a more formal releationship with the Anglican Church of Canada than exists in reality.

Jon
Guest

Rowan Williams ought to get out of his bubble and address the issues facing the church with something other than theology? Hmmm. I saw a physicist do that sort of thing in trying to defend a theory he favored. He wrote a defense and even got it published as an Op-Ed in the New York Times, but most of the response from the physics community was derision for the NY Times as a proper place to argue physics and the substance of the defence was laughed off as more or less entirely failing to deal with any questions significant for… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

Well Jon, biology, aspects of sociology and social anthropology, and legal theory tell us quite something about forms of relationships, and the fact that a theology expert might not extend very cleverly into other fields does not mean that these are irrelevant nor that a Church can seal itself off from them and try to extract everything from within. The problem with trying to keep within the bubble is the realisation that the bubble reflects what is going on outside and that if floats in and among the outside, so it is worth looking there too. There is everything to… Read more »

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

ABC: “As I have said, this does nothing to settle the exegetical questions fiercely debated at the moment.” So after decades of exegetical wrangling over this subject, the ABC concedes the gay issue cannot be settled on interpretation of Romans 1… Thank you ABC. Now we can proceed to other parts of Scripture perhaps, that might infer inclusivity? Then we can surely count on Reason – the pluralism of science, ethics, human rights, the law, culture and secular humanism? Liberals, it seems, have several large bubbles. What’s left for the conservatives now that we can confidently say that to rely… Read more »

Ren Aguila
Guest
Ren Aguila

The trick is, Jon and Pluralist, to find the balance between involving “the world” too much in our theology, and looking at “the world” and seeing how we can best theologize given its insights.

It is paradoxical–we Christians are said to be “not of this world” and yet we are not to be taken out of it.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ren Aguila, we can’t look “at” the world, we live right in it. When we say that Christians are not of this world we often overlook that this world was lovinglgy created and that we are an integral part of this creation. All it means is that we are not slaves to the fleeting fashions and negative values of this world but have an “external” reference to help guide us. Unless I can live fully in this world and make sense of it with the help of my faith, my faith is largely worthless and only serves to exclude me… Read more »

Ford ELms
Guest
Ford ELms

“It is paradoxical” One of the many beauties of the Catholic Faith is that it doesn’t seek to resolve paradoxes when it comes to God, preferring to get lost in the wonder. All the same, I do not see our call to be in the world, not of it, as a paradox. As Erika says, we have an external reference to guide us. It is to our great shame that we have allied ourselves to the world for the past 1700 years, and compromised our principles along the way. We now lack the moral credibility to speak truth to power,… Read more »

Ren Aguila
Guest
Ren Aguila

Good explanation, but I think we do need a little more of the resistance to the “fleeting fashions and negative values of the world.” This is what I meant by not being “of the world,” which I should add appears in the farewell discourse of Christ in John’s Gospel. You’re right, we are in the world–a very crucial insight of 20th century existential thought. I agree that we should be able to integrate our life-worlds with our faith, but we should have the critical eye to ask whether we are losing sight of the centrality of the Christian message in… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Ford – don’t think your argument works in the light of Romans 6.

We are not talking of “fearful obedience” but joyful repentance in right response to grace as in Roms 6

Cheryl Clough
Guest

NP I am so glad to hear you talk of joyful response. The bible is redolent of joyful imagery of God’s healing for humanity e.g. 1 Corinthians 15:51-58, Isaiah 54 which opens with the words ““Sing, O barren woman,you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy…” This article was advertised on Christian radio station yesterday, so I checked it out last night http://your.sydneyanglicans.net/indepth/articles/why_easter_is_so_offensive/ It was the antithesis of joy and hope. It denies the God who rebukes the nitpickers, it forgets the joy of victory of life over death, compassion over tyranny. If forgets why the… Read more »

Jon
Guest

Perhaps it would be helpful, Ren and Pluralist, to note that theology, like physics, is a discipline. This means that theology has a characteristic approach to the questions asked of it. This characteristic hermeneutic, by its nature, limits what sort of question makes sense in the same way that the basic hermeneutic of the sciences rules out any question that cannot be verified by empirical methods. Approaching theology as a discipline rules out using other disciplines to define how theology must answer, but also rules out moderating what we bring into the theological discourse.

Jon

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

“Approaching theology as a discipline rules out using other disciplines to define how theology must answer”.

Generally speaking, disciplines are strengthened by their interaction with other disciplines, especially the sciences. Are you afraid of the vulnerability of theology to external influence?

Ren Aguila
Guest
Ren Aguila

Good God! Is this what our modern world has reduced talk of God (theo-logos) to, a mere discipline?
St. Anselm (whose feast we celebrate today) would have been disgusted.

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

Scuse me ? ‘Empirical vefification of theology ?

I think not.

Try The Cloud of Unkowing or Mother Julian

Jon
Guest

Hugh, if one tries answering a question of physics using just the laws of chemistry one will simply get laughed out of the room. Just so, while the other disciplines can reveal something about the reality of the world they cannot define what answers theology must give any more than chemists can tell physicists what they must believe. It is a case of no discipline being able to trump any other discipline. Ren, what more would you make of theology? It can’t build bridges over the Thames or predict what will happen to any particular star when it goes nova,… Read more »

Ren Aguila
Guest
Ren Aguila

Jon, yes, theology cannot do the things you suggested, but it has the function of putting all things into a perspective beyond the everyday. In other words, talk of God makes us aware of the greater implications of what we do.
In short, this is what we call “discernment.”

Now I hope Simon can put up coverage of the goings-on in Canada, now that the nominees for Primate have been announced. I wonder if readers have anything to say about this.

etheldreda
Guest

A Lambeth Conference next year will be extremely expensive financially, and will achieve very little, I fear. I wish it had been cancelled or postponed. It will either produce dissent, arguement, and schism, or bland statements.

If an international debate is called for then something more representative and forthright would be appropriate. The gathering would after all consist of large group of bishops – men mainly over 50 (plus possibly a woman or two), and no laity.

Jon
Guest

All disciplines, if they are worth pursuing, make sense of the world. The primary differences are in scope and how closely they are connected to the foundation of reality.

Jon

Pluralist
Guest

_Approaching theology as a discipline rules out using other disciplines to define how theology must answer, but also rules out moderating what we bring into the theological discourse._ Jon

No it doesn’t. It depends what theologies you use. I give you Robin Gill, hardly a radical, who uses theology and sociology of religion and writes about the overlap between them in terms of using one with the other.

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

Etheldreda: “A Lambeth Conference next year will be extremely expensive financially”

And a rather large carbon footprint to boot. And all for what?

Will AC take another step on its fundamentalist path towards the exclusion of gays? Amongst other things, it ought to be be an opportune moment for the world to be shown just how serious they were about the Listening Process, about the reality of LGBT life across the communion, about a commitment to equality for all, all, all.

NP
Guest
NP

Funny how keen some are to avoid Lambeth 2008 happening……maybe because it is not so easy to make fudge in the AC these days.

Lambeth 2008 will happen and will be very productive without those who have been hijacking the agenda of the AC for years now – they will be probably having “Vegas 2008” and at Canterbury, the AC will be free to get on with its mission (at last)

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Lambeth 2008 will happen and will be very productive without those who have been hijacking the agenda of the AC for years now “

The “Global South” isn’t going?

NP
Guest
NP

Very funny Ford – imagine the tragic group of declining churches represented without the GS!

I hope people are taking Sept 30th seriously – even the ABC says clear decisions must be made to walk with the AC if things like Lambeth are to go ahead with TEC and other liberal provinces.

And, pls do not imagine for one moment that VGR is coming to Lambeth….that is not an option open to the ABC, given he does not want to see the AC split and does not want the AC to become a few million liberals dotted around the world.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Sorry, NP, I couldn’t resist:-) As to: “pls do not imagine for one moment that VGR is coming to Lambeth” how do you know this? “imagine the tragic group of declining churches represented” But you don’t think you’re better than anyone else, right? You sincerely grieve that these “declining churches” can’t seem to break through the bigotry generated by narrow minded fundies? Have you ever watched South Park, NP? You ought to. They skewer Christianity from time to time, and it is an interesting thing to see what their impression of Christianity actually is. It is what the world outside… Read more »

Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

Ford; part of NP’s difficulty is the metropolitan situation. THings are very different out in the sticks where local churches are far more known for what they are. Metropolitan situations are always happy hunting grounds for eclectic congregations.

As I often lament, who do so few Christians take note of sociology?

Off to choose a few hymns – no guitar, no Graham Kendrick, I wonder if there’s anything new by Venantius FOrtunatus or Ephraim Syrus…?

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

I’ve got an album called Vigil from St. Vladimir’s Seminary Chorale, Russian hymns in English. If your choir is up to it, suggest they do the Polyelos with the Russian “Athos Chant”. I listen to it while working, and when that track comes on, I can’t work, it just transports me! The real Orthodox, especially the Russian ones, have their hymnody copper fastened!

NP
Guest
NP

Mynster – pls give some Kendrick and Townend a go – it is good to attract younger people and let the church service live in its own time.

(We always have one or two golden oldies because some of the words are so good but most of our music is more modern but always with high quality theology in the words – we take care on that – and being up to date does help to attract thousands every week – it is not a sin to do this)

Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

NP said ‘let the church service live in its own time.’ but let our theology/ethics live in the past? (Sorry, being wicked, couldn’t resist it. Anyway, the mass lives in eternity.) But (and it’s a b******** BIG but) if the Kendrickian goo is so wonderful at bringing in the kiddies, why is it that here, where we use that stuff only sparingly, we have more involvement from kids and young people than other denominations/congregations which do that stuff wall-to-wall. There is not one single form of musical spirituality, and the prevailing evangelical assumption that ‘The Young’ respond to Kendrick’s ditties… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Ship of Fools has a long running thread called Crappy Choruses and Horrible Hymns in which the Kendrickian style of hymnody is seriously skewered. They don’t appeal to everybody, and are characterized as “Jesus is my boyfriend” songs. I call ’em MPEPs for “mindless panEvangelical pap”. Thanks to our (gasp) female deacon, our church has done some very good work rebuilding our Sunday school, and we get the occasional new face at Mass, in response to this outreach. Not huge growth, but growth. This in a rather stodgy old Anglo-Catholic parish, neither right nor left, with a rector who calls… Read more »

Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

I know this is terribly off-topic, so I shall post this and belt up – but in view of the ‘Jesus is my Boyfriend’ comment above, I thought I should add supporting evidence to that interpretation by saying that my organist and his missus (proving Satan finds work for idle hands) once composed the plot of an erotic novel out of the first line of entries in ‘Songs of Fellowship.

It began with something like ‘O Lord, You’re beautiful’ and ended with the Parousia – I think posting the rest of the titles would get me barred…..

NP
Guest
NP

Mynster – like I said, if we are carefully selecting on the basis of the words / theology – there is lots of good modern music. You seem to think it is easier to preach the gospel and fill churches in the cities….I don’t think that is likely but perhaps people are more willing to travel across a city to get to a church….so bigger churches can grow up more easily. We actually do not like being huge as fellowship becomes very hard – so, every year, we encourage hundreds of people to leave and go somewhere (with a faithful… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

NP,

I sympathise, I find intimate fellowship with more than a thousand people very hard too.

Please comment on Mynsterpreost’s reply to you on an earlier thread:
“If the fastest growing faith numerically was (say)Islam, would that indicate to you God’s intention as well? Would you convert on the grounds of numbers alone? Or is there something else which even in you reccognises that the numbers game is a red herring?”

NP
Guest
NP

Erika – I did not respond to that comment on nos because it was weak.

Clearly, I was saying that preaching the authentic gospel (ie sticking to the bible) produces growth and we see that in conservative churches while we see decline in churches which water down the biblical message to make it more acceptable.

The irony is that the non-watered-down, Biblical message attracts large nos in England today and the compromise is unattractive to everyone.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“the authentic gospel (ie sticking to the bible)” But the latter does not imply the former, as you well know, NP. First, the Bible is NOT the Gospel. It contains the Gospels, but neither of them is the actual Good News, they are some of the teachings of Jesus (some because they admit to not telling us things, since “all the books in the world” couldn’t hold them) given to us by four people who actually heard the Gospel from His own lips and received a gift from God to report them accurately and truthfully. To say that the written… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Ford – just this week, in my “Alpha” group, I saw 3 people become Christians – they were not going to church at all a year ago. We are very focussed on those not coming atall and find they are joining when we preach the gospel without making concessions to our society….I don’t believe these people would have been converted if I had been telling them that they did not really need to repent of anything given the bible is “bronze age” as some here say. One of the barriers we find in inviting people is some know the CofE… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“I do not see many flocking to the “inclusive” churches which do not challenge people to listen to God’s wishes for their lives” But such churches DO challenge people to listen to God’s wishes for their lives, NP, that’s the point I’m trying to make over and over here, just because a Church is “liberal” in some sense doesn’t mean they don’t take seriously the call to change of life, they just see the need for change of life in areas you don’t. That you continue to believe such caricatures of those who disagree with you is another thing many… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“That you continue to believe such caricatures of those who disagree with you is another thing many would challenge. It is simply unture to say that “liberals” see no need for repentance.”

And that you have talked with liberals on this forum for months without beginning to see even a trace of this is desperately sad – and not encouraging as far as any continued conversation is concerned.

Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

NP encouraged me with Mynster – like I said, if we are carefully selecting on the basis of the words / theology – there is lots of good modern music. Well, that depends on what you define as ‘good theology’. For those of us who, on scriptural and traditional grounds, are deeply unhappy with PSA, for example, the field is immediately reduced mightily. And there’s a peculiar didactic unimaginativeness in so much of it. Compare and contrast the kenotic Christ of ‘Morning Glory’ and the very-nearly-kenotic Christ of ‘The Servant King: what happens in the last verse of the first… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“And that you have talked with liberals on this forum for months without beginning to see even a trace of this is desperately sad – and not encouraging as far as any continued conversation is concerned.”

Was this for me or NP?

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Sorry, Ford, that was for NP.
I have you down as a reluctant liberal, and I see you as someone who takes his faith extremely seriously and who listens to other’s point of view with a wonderful self-searching and always self-questioning openness. That’s what true listening and engaging should be about – I’m learning a lot from your contributions!

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

I figured as much, but thought I’d clarify. I often get myself into Internet scrapes since what I type often seem so clear, but is anything but when it’s on the screen.

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

This ‘hard-line reasserting packs ’em in’ needs challenging. I spent an uncomfortable session not so long since with a person who has been attending such an assembly. Required to call black white in order to be a member of this fellowship, he has decided that if that is true Christianity it can get knotted. I am working on him to give the faith another chance, but I suspect that it’s another loss to the church courtesy of fundamentalism.

NP
Guest
NP

Erika – yes, months of chat without being convinced because I keep on asking for substance but all I hear is rejection of scripture in order to justify certain sins.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

NP,
If all you keep hearing is rejection of Scripture then you really haven’t been reading very well. What I have seen is very careful and prayerful interpretation of Scripture. Moving away from the literalist, of course, but with huge reverence and care and with enormous personal integrity.
I’m really sorry you’re so blind to that.