Thinking Anglicans

follow-ups to the Time interview

Reuters Anglican schism not inevitable says Williams by Michael Conlon

The Times Archbishop: Church unity is ‘very fragile’ by Ruth Gledhill

Daily Telegraph Anglican Church is ‘fragile’ over gay split by Jonathan Petre

Religious Intelligence Archbishop ‘hopeful’ Church will not split by Matt Cresswell

GetReligion Canterbury’s Time diplomacy by Doug LeBlanc

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Merseymike
Merseymike
14 years ago

It really is high time this farce was brought to a close. Why hasn’t anyone got any courage – what we need is a split which will clearly divide the two entirely separate religious belief systems in the current Anglican church. Liberals need to stop being so wet and wimpy and recognise evangelicalism for the dangerous and harmful belief it actually is. An atheist nation would be far better than an evangelical one. ‘Christianity’ is dead. There is no unified Christian belief. Thats the one thing the conservatives have got right – and its about time liberals woke up ane… Read more »

Pluralist
14 years ago

Fantastic second hand reporting from Ruth Gledhill in The Times: _Dan Van Biema and Catherine Mayer describe his appearance as “benignly rumpled” with “wild black eyebrows” that “try to unseat his spectacles.”_ I’m concerned at the moment that my front fringe is pushing down my spectacles despite a haircut some weeks back. This clearly has deep implications about my present lack of paid activity, and expressions of liberal viewpoints most recently – compared with the liturgical consensus of the Anglican Communion, as my forced lowered spectacles give that artificial professorial look and make me think I ought to use those… Read more »

Walsingham
Walsingham
14 years ago

“Liberals need to stop being so wet and wimpy and recognise evangelicalism for the dangerous and harmful belief it actually is. An atheist nation would be far better than an evangelical one.” The result would be that the extremists win in both cases, and each extreme gets to drift off in their own direction. Furthermore, as a Christian our first duty is to unity, not division. We are called over and over to unite. Blaming the other guy is convenient, demonizing the other is easy. And I am certainly no fan of the things that ++Akinola or the bishops of… Read more »

Paul Rowlandson
Paul Rowlandson
14 years ago

Williams is quoted by Reuters as saying “It’s impossible to get from Scripture anything straightforwardly positive about same-sex relationships”
This suggests that it is a waste of time trying to reason with him. He is obviously a closet evangelical with the typical evangelical emphasis on scripture as the ultimate criterion. This bibliolatry is a form of mind virus which disables the rational faculty. Williams is surrounded by evangelicals inherited from his predecessor. His wife is an evangelical. Under his rule the Anglican Communion is becoming more evangelical and sectarian. We must face the fact that the outlook is extremely bleak.

John Henry
John Henry
14 years ago

I fully concur with Walsingham.

By the way, PB Katharine Jefferts Schori handled herself extremely well in her interview by Bill Moyers ob PBS last night. Transcriptions of the interview can be accessed via http://www.episcoscope.com. She gave a reasoned rebuttal to the stance of ++Akinola et al, while maintaining that we must not exclude from conversation those who differ from us.

Curtis
Curtis
14 years ago

Walsingham. I don’t believe there’s virtue in having my Christian walk subordinated to fascist authoritarianism in the person of Peter Akinola or the primates. If Christianity isn’t better than that then I’m outa here. God’s bigger and better than that.

Merseymike
Merseymike
14 years ago

No-one is suggesting anyone should ‘leave’…..there is a difference between ‘leaving’ and recognising that there is no case for a unified Communion any longer. Its not a case of ‘abandoning’ the church to anyone, but agreeing that the sensible way forward is not to be part of the same denomination. A divide does not mean one group ‘leaving’ I think it is anything but one’s ‘moral duty’ to stay with those who peddle evil. The myth which needs to be slain is the idea that there is a single ‘Christianity’ and that we somehow have the same beliefs….we don’t. The… Read more »

JayVosinVermont
14 years ago

Thanks for the links to Religious Intelligence and GetReligion. I’d not seen the sites until I read this post.

Yes, Bishop Jefferts Schor’s Moyers interview was a wonder to behold. Not many people on my ‘people with soul’ list, but she’s on it now. I like her more and more.

drdanfee
drdanfee
14 years ago

If there is any spiritual value linked to remaining in association, it might be that we demonstrate at least some of our harried yet hallowed journey towards finding how people of different, even conflicting views, can live in peace. Including – how? if? when? – such different people can participate fairly and honestly in shared institutions at multiple levels of cultural life, from the most local to the most globalized. We are undergoing an unfinished journey. Going off planet is not the option that couterbalances the ReCon claims that the planet all really belongs to ReCon believers because only they… Read more »

Joe O`Leary
14 years ago

Just now reading RW’s book “Anglican Identities”, I lament that his voice is so often wasted on the tawdry questions of ecclesiastic politicking. The title of the book might suggest musty ecclesiasticism, but its contents are luminous, civilized, and show a mind steeped in, nourished by and critically engaged with the best thought and writing of the English Church since Tyndale and Hooker.

Walsingham
Walsingham
14 years ago

“Its not a case of ‘abandoning’ the church to anyone, but agreeing that the sensible way forward is not to be part of the same denomination. A divide does not mean one group ‘leaving'” Er, what kind of mental gymnastics does it take to make an obviously self-contradictory statement like that? “The myth which needs to be slain is the idea that there is a single ‘Christianity’ and that we somehow have the same beliefs….we don’t. The only thing shared is the name. Otherwise, we have absolutely nothing in common, and there is no logical sense in pretending that is… Read more »

Walsingham
Walsingham
14 years ago

@Curtis:

“I don’t believe there’s virtue in having my Christian walk subordinated to fascist authoritarianism in the person of Peter Akinola or the primates.”

I didn’t suggest subordinating anything to ++Akinola or the primates or “fascist authoritarianism”. You’re putting words into my mouth. (Though I do think the rhetoric could use a few degrees of cooling.)

I do suggest staying true to the traditional model of Anglicanism, which is a decentral model of church governance, thus precluding the very things you describe.

Chris H.
Chris H.
14 years ago

Walsingham,
How do you propose to face down “evil or heresy” when both sides believe the others are the evil heretics? The Anglican church has no agreed on authority, so how do you solve the problem?
What do you see the two sides having in common, other than using the word “Christian”?

Two people start walking at the same place at the same time. One goes North, the other East. They end up in totally different places. Can they still claim they’re travelling together? Will they ever meet again?

Merseymike
Merseymike
14 years ago

Walsingham ; if a group agrees to divide in two, then no-one leaves – there are just two groups rather than one. Not one leaving the group, but a divide of the group. It would have to be a MUTUAL agreement that this is the best way forward, though.

I think you are kidding yourself with regard to core beliefs. Those of liberals and conservative evangelicals are fundamentally different, as much as some in the middle would like to see us all as one happy family!

Walsingham
Walsingham
14 years ago

@Chris H: Unfortunately the comment limit precludes me from going into much depth as to what we have in common with other Anglicans around the world, so by the nature of the commentary I’ll have to stick with an admittedly rather anodyne response. But starting with just the very basics, we have the Creeds. We have the historic episcopate and apostolic succession. We have a belief in the sacrificial nature of the Eucharist. We have a belief in the conciliar nature of the Church. And there is so much more. What is so distressing is that we have gotten so… Read more »

Walsingham
Walsingham
14 years ago

@Merseymike: When any division occurs, in this case *both* are leaving the body of Christ and committing an act of schism. I didn’t claim that we are all one big happy family or that we should even pretend to be one. No one should be in any illusions about it. But it will take much hard work, much reflection, and much time. From a rather more cynical point of view, already time is working *against* ++Akinola by his own tactical mistakes. Quite frankly I would not have imagined a year ago that all of ECUSA’s bishops save one would have… Read more »

NP
NP
14 years ago

Walsingham – that prayer was for believers…..I wonder what he would have made of Spong and TEC

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

“that prayer was for believers…..I wonder what he would have made of Spong and TEC”

NP, I’ve copied this so that I can quote it the next time you try to pretend you don’t believe those who think differently than you to have no faith at all. Spong, even TEC, MAY be heretical, but here you’re saying that they aren’t believers. Learn a bit if Christian humility, old bean, you can find a lot about it in the Scriptures if you would but read them.

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