Thinking Anglicans

Lambeth: two conservative perspectives

Ephraim Radner published at Covenant an article titled True Christian Unity? Reflections on the Lambeth Conference.

Graham Kings published at Fulcrum an article that will also appear in this week’s Church of England Newspaper titled Patience and Urgency Lambeth Conference 2008.

Adrian Worsfold has commented on both these pieces at Fawning and Imagining and there are several useful links to discussions of them on conservative blogs at this Fulcrum forum thread.

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Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
12 years ago

Ephraim Radner, who once resigned from the Global South web-site because of his contrary views to what was being expressed therein, emphasizes the cautious tenor of the ABC’s final address to the Lambeth Conference. It seems that this moderate evangelical voice from the G.S. entity is hopeful of some positive result from the work of the Windsor Continuing Group and it’s insistence on the 3 moratoria; agsinst the ordination of gay bishops, blessing of same-sex unions, and the continuing activities of para-provincial jurisdictions by African and South American prelates. The parties who will suffer the most from the proposed moratoria… Read more »

davidwh
davidwh
12 years ago

Guys, Ephraim and Graham are the voice of moderate conservativism.

Many people express much stronger rejection of what has been going on ( rejecting the clear teaching of the Bible, blessing sin, conflating love and approval, etc etc)!

Pluralist
12 years ago

It is interesting that Ephraim Radner’s comments about me, that seem a bit odd somehow, have become a source of humour at Stand Firm. I can’t quite work out why. It is interesting to note that they have little faith in the Anglican Communion and wonder what the “theological left” have to worry about. Well I am no spokesperson, but because I happen to give Rowan Williams more than the benefit of the doubt and believe what he says, that he would have others sacrifice a section of churchgoers looking for stability in their lives in order to have international… Read more »

Spirit of Vatican II
Spirit of Vatican II
12 years ago

I sparred with Susan Philips in the Irish Times this morning: http://www.irishtimes.com/letters/index.html#1219243761310

davidwh
davidwh
12 years ago

Yes, well SoVII, Messers Radner and Kings may be less hard-ine than some, but the are still wrestling with the issues within a scriptural framework. Your point in the Irish Times about being consistent in one’s liberal or conservative attitudes, rather than being consistent with a proper interpretation of the teaching of Christ and the Apostle, is either shockingly simplistic, or it illustrates the non-scriptural framework you are thinking in… “be like us or be like them”.

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
12 years ago

And I had wondered where Fr Joseph O’Leary had gone to! Well sparred, Spirit!

drdanfee
drdanfee
12 years ago

The only way to come up with a single, coherent framework that univocally reads the scriptures is to bring something of one’s own to them, as carefully and as conscientiously and as openly as possible. Not even the four canonical gospels agree in every detail, as if they were journalistic or historical research reports. The simple-mindedness of those who are loudly asserting so-called plain approaches is no more, no less than other competing and equally simplistic approaches. So far as honesty in methods go, it amounts in the end to a reader’s honesty in reading. Few of the simplistic approaches… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
12 years ago

“wrestling with the issues within a scriptural framework.” If one is trying to understand homosexuality in the context of “Love thy neighbour as thyself” and “Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God”, and “Love one another as I have loved you” and “Bear ye one another’s burdens and so fuilfill the Law of Christ”, how can such a person be said to NOT be wrestling with the issue in a scriptural framework? Besides, do we limit the process of discernment of where God is calling us to what is in Scripture? Had we done that for the… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
12 years ago

Davidwh:

And what makes you so certain that YOURS is the “proper interpretation of the teaching of Christ and the apostles”?

drdanfee
drdanfee
12 years ago

Concerning moratoria, liked just fine by both Radner and Kings, we might hear another voice, taking our real world TEC history into account, and weighing the lessons from another moratorium whose effects on TEC were profound and continue to the present day, long-lasting.

See: http://www.episcopalcafe.com/daily/anglican_communion/moratorium_not_again.php

Nathan Humphrey
12 years ago

Dear Pluralist,

I read your post and have followed the various threads related to it with interest. I think where your analysis (and that of many others on the left and on the right) of Rowan Williams’ call for a “generous initiative” goes off the tracks is in re-interpreting it to mean “[scapegoating] sacrifice.” My own analysis, along the lines of self-giving (nonviolent kenosis) may be found in five inter-related posts on Generosity found here:

http://communioninconflict.blogspot.com/search/label/Generosity

I’d be happy to get your take on them.

Alison Kemper
Alison Kemper
12 years ago

Ephraim Radner’s continued legitimacy in his new Canadian setting requires the adoption of more moderate public positions. Whether they are heartfelt and sincere is not discernible.

In Toronto, his present level of moderation still looks pretty outrageous. More doctrinaire positions might make him far less credible.

He is not in Toronto because of the weather, but because from Wycliffe College he can influence the next generation of Canadian clergy and current pro-gay theological trends.

His former ideology is unintelligible to the Canadian Church. Table stakes at the Canadian poker game require a more nuanced discourse than is needed elsewhere.

Göran Koch-Swahne
12 years ago

“Ford Elms wrote: “Another is that they see Scripture as the Word of God, shifting the emphasis from God as revealed in Christ to…”

May I suggest “words”?

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
12 years ago

“May I suggest “words”?”

Indeed you may, Goran. We share an affinity for this kind of obscure, and I might suggest, nerdy, wordplay. I wish I could do it in Swedish. I have called Scripture “The Words of God” in the past as well.

Spirit of Vatican II
Spirit of Vatican II
12 years ago

More discussion in The Irish Times this morning: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/letters/2008/0822/1219331408168.html

Ben W
Ben W
12 years ago

Ford, I know we keep going around in circles on this one; yes, do think about the the teaching of Jesus on loving your neighbor as yourself and so on, he also affirmed marriage in male female terms (both are valid). As for the Bible coming before Jesus or replacing Jesus that is NOT the issue – rather what is the place of scripture in witness to Christ in the context of the church? So I am not going to get into this with you except to refer you to the recent statementof N T Wright at Lambeth ’08 that… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
12 years ago

“Ord” on Swedish is the same in singular and plural…

; = )

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
12 years ago

“We have allowed our debates to be polarized within the false either/or of post-enlightenment categories, so that we either see the Bible as a holy book, almost a magic book, in which we can simply look up detached answers to troubling questions, or see it within its historical context and therefore claim the right to relativize anything and everything we don’t immediately like about it. These categories are themselves mistaken” Not only are the categories mistaken, T Wright is too. You may recognise your side in the conservative caricature. I do not recognise mine in the liberal one. Liberals do… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
12 years ago

“we either see the Bible as a holy book, almost a magic book, in which we can simply look up detached answers to troubling questions, or see it within its historical context and therefore claim the right to relativize anything and everything we don’t immediately like about it.” Ben, I actually agree, but there doesn’t seem to be much appreciation from conservatives that THEY do the latter as well. I would take exception that either side is totally guilty of it, which is why I continually challenge the conservative use of words like “orthodox” and the continued accusations of faithlessness… Read more »

Merseymike
Merseymike
12 years ago

That’s a circular argument, Ben. To allow such a challenge involved giving the bible an authority which it does not merit.

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
12 years ago

Of course I didn’t mean WInchester in my last post, may Bishop Alan of Buckinghamshire and everyone else who noticed forgive me!

Hugh of Lincoln
Hugh of Lincoln
12 years ago

I thought you were referring to the old diocese of Winchester in about 1092, Erika, in which case you would be correct.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bishop_of_Oxford

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
12 years ago

Ben W. In your determination to set words in Scripture higher than the Word of God-made-flesh in Jesus, I wonder if you could give me your take on the ‘words’ spoken by ‘The Word’ in the context of Jesus’ exhortation to his disciples on the subject of human relationships, contained in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 19, verse 12: “There are eucnuchs born that way from their mother’s womb, there are eunuchs made so by men and there are eunuchs who have made themselves that way for the sake of the kingdom”. We all have a good idea of what… Read more »

Ben W
Ben W
12 years ago

Ron Smith, Do you want to say “eunuch” = homosexual? Words can mean whatever …? On Dr King’s piece, in sum the best you can do is to say it is not simply genes and it may not be only environment. The point I have made here from the beginning. The main point that I hear also from Christopher Shell as well as providing some context on this. The other thing here, we have talked about the relation of the Word and scripture. In your terms, you call for listening. I have been clear about the order and relation of… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
12 years ago

“…..it is not simply genes and it may not be only environment.”

Ben, this is the point coming from science as well. The only people who talk seriously about a “gay gene” are those conservatives who are anti-homosexual, and then only to snort derisively at the idea. I’ll let christopher speak his own position, but in my discussions with him, the origins of homosexuality have seemed far down the list of his points.

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
12 years ago

Ben W., you still have not answered my direct question to you – about your take on the words of jesus from the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 19, verse 12. Do you actually have an opinon which is at all helpful? Or will you accept that Jesus just might have been referring to those people we now know as intrinsically homosexual?

Ben W
Ben W
12 years ago

Ron Smith, I see you do not make a point of the Word in relation to scripture again. It would be encouraging to know that one has been heard, and that we can come to understand together instead of just going from one thing to another. But let me speak directly to your question, I did not think Matt 19:12 was a significant question related to the issue of same-sex relationships. The “eunuch” condition comes up in various places in the OT (e.g. Deut 23:1). Generally it refers to the condition of one who for one reason or another emasculated… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
12 years ago

Ben W;

Just another obscure uncertanty then, which can be defined only in your own terms?

Note, that I only asked if, in your opinion, the category of ‘eunuch’ might, in the context of Matthew 19:12, be possibly construed as relating in any way to homosexuals; who may be unable, because of their sexual orientation, to contribute to the dominant culture of procreation?

Göran Koch-Swahne
12 years ago

Ben W wrote: “One might be born with this limitation, or it might be imposed on a person (as for instance with slaves taken for certain purposes), or a personal discernment and gift for the sake of the kingdom. Jesus does not command marriage or celibacy (either can be a gift from God as Paul also seems to recognize, 1 Cor 7). It can therefore be a gift for some to recognize the meaning of celibacy for service in the kingdom (not required – marriage and celibacy can both be a state in which to serve God).“ Several distinct Ideologies… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
12 years ago

Ben, I read that chapter differently than you do, obviously. It seems pretty clear to me that for Paul, marriage and sex are secondary, and that he sees celebacy as a gift, and marriage for those who do not have it. Indeed, everything he says about sex and marital relations in general in that chapter seems to be that, if you can, be celebate, if not find someone to whom you will be faithful so that you can be sexually satisfied in a way that leads to edification. Even within marriage, doing without is better, but after a time: “Then… Read more »

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