on Friday, 25 May 2007 at 7.33 am by Simon Sarmiento
categorised as Church of England
The Independent has a news report by Andy Smith headed The man who says we are all going to hell and a commentary by Charles Nevin The Third Leader: Hell’s bells!
(The reference to the TA website in the news report is incorrect.)
And here is what Richard Turnbull writes in today’s Church of England Newspaper via Anglican Mainstream:
Forming Tomorrow’s Ministers – a renewed vision for theological education
Bureaucrateze is required to build an organisation and is independent of whether that organisation is moral or ethical. I am sure there are some souls who could give a good accounting of how they are going building their terrorist cells and educating and appropriately placing their cadets. Having worked across socialist organisations, unions, government at various levels, the private sector, churches and voluntary organisations; I can tell you that administration is administration and bureacracy is bureacracy. The big question is whether what you are building is moral and good. Something that decrees that life on this earth should be destroyed… Read more »
Charles Nevin’s comment is a must read. Amusing beyond comparison. Not sure that Turnbull would get it though.
Charles Nevin’s piece certainly reads better as satire than serious commentary.
Serious commentary can of course take the form of satire – but for that it would need to be illuminating in some way, would it not?
Cheryl – So much of this is about basic psychological differences and viewpoints. Those who are uncomfortable in the world, who find it all so fallen, impure and empty that we need a strong might authoritarian leader(s) to come in and thrash, trash and hash it up and then vaporize it leaving only a pristine remnant (namely themselves). It’s all about dividing and separation in order to feel more comfortable. Then there are those who strangely do not find themselves so at odds with this imperfect world, but actually enjoy it, others and themselves profoundly. They do not feel so… Read more »
“This senior male very calmly explained to me that I had not understood the bible. The bible was very clear that Jesus was coming down with fire in his eyes on clouds to destroy this earth and all its sinners (e.g. Revelation 1:7-8).
“There is a fundamental difference of interpretation between the apocalyptic readers and myself. They see Jesus coming to smite and destroy their enemies. I see their consciences pricking them as they come to realise how much they have perverted Jesus’ mission and promises.”—Cheryl Clough
Sounds like typical “Sydney ‘Anglicanism’” to me.
The article reproduced at Anglican Mainstream is more moderate in tone and more marketing in tone than the lecture at Reform, but entirely consistent with the lecture. He is intensifying the party identity of Wycliffe, and he is narrowing down even the evangelical identity. What all this means is that things like overlapping that used to keep the Church of England together are being divided. When you look at these liberal colleges, the one he says that “captures” students, you see a broader ethos altogether, the notion that there are other views, churchships, other denominations even, even other faiths to… Read more »
I found this one, from the Independent article, highly ironic, and not the first time I’ve seen such rhetoric:
`”The Church of England is increasingly polarised into two churches: the one submitting to God’s revelation, Gospel-focused, Christ-centred, cross-shaped and Spirit-empowered; the other holding a progressive view of revelation, giving priority to human reason over Scripture, shaped primarily by Western secular culture, and focused on church structures.”‘
Really? What’s interesting is that I’d claim to be Gospel-focussed and Christ-centered and all the rest *because* I use what little brain I have, dammit!
The Church of England Newspaper cites a “source close to the college” in the following words:
“The document was sent out in frustration after the Council issued a statement backing the Principal. The whole situation is a tragedy as the college remains firmly evangelical, it’s just Richard Turnbull has different emphases and it’s over finer shades of grey. The homophobia claim is a red herring, it’s actually about management styles and working together as a collective team in a collegiate atmosphere, and that’s been the difficulty.”
Why does Richard Turnbull think that two publications by staff members in a year constitutes ‘a commitment to academic excellence’? I think we should wait for the reviews.
This Reform and similar stuff is bait and switch Anglicanism if my memories of college days serves. Canterbury will soon have its hands very full, as the realignment split comes to manifest itself even more vigorously inside UK.
Alas. Lord have mercy. Our beloved big Anglican tent can find – and has found? – ways to cope with a great many things, at least in passing; except maybe the conservative evangelical believers who say God has especially told them to either narrow/conform the tent or burn it down completely.
“Dr Turnbull was thinking only of the atheists, agnostics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, people who are too lazy to get up on Sunday morning, and anyone who fails to make it to a regular church service.” Has Dr. Turnbull excluded himself from those invited into heaven? Jesus in the Gospels warned the disciples against judging others, and that the same kind of judgment they mete out to others would be applied to them. As far as Jews are concerned, Dr. Turnbull seems to accept only portions of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans as divinely inspired, excluding those that hold out… Read more »
This whole episode only proves that Calvinist evangelicalism is toxic, and that it contaminates everything it touches.
The paper edition of Andy Smith’s Independent article shows Bosch’s ‘Hell’ from the triptych ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’ painted in 1500.
Actually the thing which worries me most in this whole debate is that the polarisation of theological education into “them and us” will render practical collaboration at deanery level, when colleagues come with different perspectives and backgrounds, almost impossible to achieve. And how does any of this relate to team working? There is such a definite sense of “evangelicalism as I/we define it is the church” in the Richard Turnbull comments. And perhaps behind the issues and comments about training in particular places (eg Wycliffe and Oak Hill, which have been mentioned in the same breath) is some wisdom that… Read more »
Ah, cooperation within deaneries! I’ve been in the job of vicaring for thirty plus years, and the best cooperation I ever experienced in a deanery was in my early years in Birmingham when we put on the entertainment for the Diocesan Clergy Conference. Apart from that, I’ve always found that deaneries are the best place not to discuss theology or mission as it just spoils the lunch. The Church of England has been divided by ‘churchmanship’ since time immemorial – and always more so at the level of clergy than laity. The present divisions are only new insofar as the… Read more »
Most ordinands are not training in colleges at all but on regional courses where a breadth of traditions is normative.
Back in October 1984, considering putting myself forward for ministry, I visited Queens College, travelling from Hull, to stay some days on a rather private initiative but seeing the Essex University chaplain afterwards. A tutor made a point to me, that you cannot have a liberal party college. A student said the place just wanted views explaining all the more. Someone also said there was more of a party atmosphere and less ecumenical – a phase – where there were many parties present. Its liberality was because of the space within the ecumenical. I noticed how fierce Anglicans were towards… Read more »
C.B. I agree “…there are those who strangely do not find themselves so at odds with this imperfect world, but actually enjoy it… They do not feel so tainted, and merely long for themselves and others to be made whole, more loving, more open more vulnerable.” Tim I concur with “…I’d claim to be Gospel-focussed and Christ-centered and all the rest *because* I use what little brain I have…” It is disgusting how they decide to make a decision for what we stand for and then pronounce to the world what we are: which involves following a torturous path of… Read more »
The question whether there is a “dedicated Liberal college anywhere” (Pluralist) hangs on how you understand Liberalism. The essence of modern Liberalism is precisely the (somewhat vague) post-modern commitment to meaning lying in the individual and truth lying beyond our reach. Hence it is the very essence of contemporary Anglican Liberalism to claim to embrace all views. In this respect, every Regional course is essentially Liberal, and is designed to produce Liberals – people who claim to welcome and embrace all stripes of opinion. That this Liberalism is a particular viewpoint, and not merely the embracing of all views, however,… Read more »
As I understand it, postmodernism is not about a truth lying beyond our reach, but that there is no beyond or that the metaphor is useless. Look, the individuals at Queen’s College varied. They were not all liberals. I was reading what I wrote at the time including a run in with a tutor there who put me off banging on that salvation was in the death of Jesus (these days I’d be more resourced), and a number of students who were clearly evangelical. They had to work out these beliefs among others. The college was a mixture. What it… Read more »