Thinking Anglicans

opinion columns

In the Guardian’s Face to Faith column, Alex Klaushofer says that Lebanon’s pluralism could teach the west much about religious tolerance.

In The Times Roderick Strange writes that Water can bring us death or a new life in Christ.

Christopher Howse writes in the Daily Telegraph about Rock of Ages and the rebel pilgrims.

Stephen Brown writes at Ekklesia that Church and media need new understanding, says Lutheran bishop (German readers can learn more here).

Paul Vallely writes in the Church Times that Religion can be a solution in Kosovo.

Also, Giles Fraser explains Why I worry about moral foreign policies.


  • Cheryl Va. says:

    Christpher Howse referred to the miracle of Moses bringing forth the water from the rock. The bringing forth of water by Moses and his family is complex and not always complimentary.

    Moses first brought forth the water by striking the rock (Exodus 17:6). It was then his sister’s responsibility to carry the rock of water and set it at each camp site, which she did for the remainder of her lifetime. When Miriam died, the rock no longer brought forth water, and the Israelites quarreled with Moses (Numbers 20-5).

    The glory of the Lord appeared to Moses and Aaron in the Tent of Meeting and the Lord told Moses to speak to the rock before the assembly and “it will pour out its water” (Numbers 20:6-8)

    Moses, did not simply speak to the rock, he struck it twice with his staff. So, although Moses brought forth the waters, the acts of violence barred both Moses and Aaron from entering the holy land (Numbers 20:9-12).

    Jesus understood God’s anathema towards violence which is why he offered the Daughter of Zion gentleness as he rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey (Matthew 21:1-7 or John 12:14-16). It is also why he did not strike back during those tortuous last days.

    When priests embrace and teach violence, they violate the covenant of peace of Levi. Isaiah 28:16-19 rebukes them “…the Sovereign LORD says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed. I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line; hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie, and water will overflow your hiding place. Your covenant with death will be annulled… The understanding of this message will bring sheer terror.”

    Yet here is a message of hope for those who repent of violence: “The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless: “Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire?…” He who walks righteously and speaks what is right, who rejects gain from extortion and keeps his hand from accepting bribes, who stops his ears against plots of murder and shuts his eyes against contemplating evil— this is the man who will dwell on the heights… His bread will be supplied, and water will not fail him.” (Isaiah 33:14-16)

  • Pluralist says:

    The Lebanon piece reminds me that I have a very good little book called Christianity in the Arab World by El Hassan Bin Talal, the Crown Prince of Jordan of the historic sweep of the various branches of Christianity. A nice family tree too.

    You may not see the beginnings of the following properly but paste into a fixed width font text editor and you will.

    | |
    | | Ante-Nicene confessions
    Jewish Christian |
    sects (Ebionites |
    etc.) NICENE ORTHODOXY (325)
    Post-Nicene confessions |
    | | |
    | | |
    | | Coptic, Jacobite and
    The Nestorian | Armenian Churches
    Church |

  • Pluralist says:

    Oh dear, never mind.

  • Erika Baker says:

    That’s not what you had in mind then?

  • Cheryl Va. says:


    How about scanning the document and putting a pdf on your website, then linking that website to here?

  • Clive Sweeting says:

    Nestorian and Monophysite are now longer considered appropriate terms in oecumenical dialogue, although both were regularly used.The Assyrian Church even used Nestorian in its title during a period in the first half of the 20th century. Armenian historians often describe their church and its views as ‘bnagan’-monophysite, which would not be correct for an Armenian theologian. Chalcedon was rejected more or less vigourously by these churches, which are now regularly described as pre- (rather than anti-)Chalcedonian. The council of Ephesus (431) with its Cyrillian influence is the last of the three oecumenical councils accepted by the Armenian, Syrian Orthodox (no, Jacobite will not do!) and Coptic churches (not forgetting their numerically important offshoots in India and Ethiopia). The Assyrian Church accepts Nicaea and Constantinople(381), but is doctrinally within the current of the party defeated at Ephesus, but which goes back to before Nestorius.

  • Cheryl Va. says:

    Big Brother speaks

    So also some no longer have ecumenical dialogue about the covenants of peace, to eunuchs or with the Daughter of Zion.

    Don’t have to acknowledge the covenants were ever made or offered or to whom.

    If we don’t talk about them that means they don’t exist.

    Well, they mightn’t in certain ecumenical circles, but then that has been the fun of the last few years. Demonstrating how much of God’s desires and covenants had been chucked out or perverted by opportunistic priests and sychophantic followers who think singing songs of praise to Jesus and uttering flattering phrases about him voided their responsibilities aka honoring and implementing the intent of the whole Torah. Oh, and not just to “the chosen people”, but to all the riff raff and gentiles too.

    Ezekiel 33:30-32 “As for you, son of man, your countrymen are talking together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, saying to each other, ‘Come and hear the message that has come from the LORD.’ My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.”

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