Thinking Anglicans

more on Peterborough

Updated

We previously reported the appointment of a new Bishop of Peterborough.

This got noticed in the Diary column of the Guardian.

The Church Times has a news report today, but that is subscriber-only for another week. However, the appointment is also discussed by Giles Fraser in his column, Liberals on the front line.

…All of this is why I had my head in my hands when I read the words of the new Bishop of Peterborough, the Ven. Donald Allister, currently Archdeacon of Chester. “Liberalism is one of Satan’s greatest weapons against the Church,” he wrote a few years back.

To be fair, at the press conference to announce his episcopate he did what all new bishops do and said that he found labels “unhelpful”. But that cannot have been his view when he wrote: “I am very happy to work with Anglo-Catholics in fight­ing battles against liberalism, but the day must come when we need to fight against the ritualism and sacra­mentalism which they have intro­duced into the Church of England.”

Why do people so consistently fail to understand the idea of liberal­ism? Liberalism is not a wishy-washy style of biblical interpre­tation, or an indifference to biblical truth — although the Bishop’s advice here is pretty amazing: “If in doubt what a passage means or how it applies we will believe it literally and obey it absolutely.” What about Psalm 137 verse 9?

No, liberalism is a commitment to human freedom and a hatred of authoritarianism. That is why many of us celebrate the Reforma­tion as an emancipation from the abuses of Roman authority. To describe liberalism as satanic is to align oneself with flag-burning ayatollahs who chant against the United States as the “great Satan” and against Israel as the “little Satan”…

Source for the quotes is this PDF file at Church Society.

More writing by the new bishop can be found in this series on the Thirty-nine Articles.

And there is also a paper on Lay presidency at the Lord’s Table on the Reform website.

Update

Earlier there were two posts about this by John Richardson see
The new Bishop of Peterborough said what?
and also
The Bishop of Peterborough said what else?
(h/t Toby)

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Göran Koch-Swahne
11 years ago

The link on lay presidency claim the present custom (a priest) is “unbiblical”… Well, not being mentioned in the Good Book, makes it un-Biblical?

J. Michael Povey
J. Michael Povey
11 years ago

FROM MY NOV 5TH BLOG Thursday, November 5, 2009 Donald Alister ( Bishop-designate of Peterboro, UK makes a pathetic statement. The Bishop-designate of Peterborough, U.K. made the following statement upon the announcement of his appointment. (He is a conservative evangelical who has been nominated to a traditionally anglo-catholic diocese) “God’s love is very important to me. That’s what you expect to hear from a clergyman, of course! But I firmly believe in the central Christian truths that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, and that he rose from the dead to give me eternal life. That belief thrills… Read more »

Fr John E. Harris-White
Fr John E. Harris-White
11 years ago

I wonder at the stupidy behind the appontment of a ‘conservative’ person as Bishop in a traditionally Anglo Catholic diocese. Also his comments on the liberal wing of the church are unchristian, narrow and lacking

in gospel love and charity. He sounds like the pharisees that so often did battle with Our Lord Jesus Christ. Fudalmentalism is the scourge and evil of our age. Causing wars, muder and hurt in its path.

Fr John

toby forward
11 years ago

Never mind; John Richardson is worried that Allister is dangerously liberal. Just goes to show.

Tom Downs
Tom Downs
11 years ago

In the Episcopal Church in the United States bishops are elected by the people they serve. How does the appointment process work?
Tom Downs

Simon Sarmiento
11 years ago

Thanks Toby, I have added a link.

Rosemary Hannah
Rosemary Hannah
11 years ago

I have to say, what would distress me, were I unfortunate enough to be in England, is the idea of a bishop who wants to first fight off all his Liberals and then all his Anglo Catholics – wanting to fight, fight fight. Urghhhh

choirboyfromhell
choirboyfromhell
11 years ago

“Fu[n]dalmentalism is the scourge and evil of our age.”-Fr. John E. Harris-White

Ain’t that the ever-living truth. The same cancer that has ravaged Islam is infecting Christianity rapidly.

Somehow I get the picture of a toddler screaming for attention by engaging in bad behavior with an increasingly apathetic audience of a younger generation that gives up and lapses into agnosticism and secularism.

Bill Moorhead
Bill Moorhead
11 years ago

I hope someone in England provides a full and clear answer to Tom Downs’ very pertinent question. How much longer is the CofE going to continue this anachronistic and self-destructive polity? In the Episcopal Church, heaven knows, we do occasionally elect and consecrate some real dolts as bishops, but at least then it’s our own fault. (And if we’re lucky they’ll leave and join ACNA.)

Tim
Tim
11 years ago

Never mind the spurious alignment with Islamic fundamentalism (which would only whip up a fury), so-called Christian fundamentalism is more than bad enough. Wikipedia has some good articles: * a precise definition of Christian fundamentalism in terms of belief in 5 doctrines: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Fundamentalism * a slight clarification on Liberal Christianity: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_Christianity – note the emphasis on textual criticism and “a […] willingness to interpret scripture without any preconceived notion of inerrancy of scripture or the correctness of Church dogma”. I see the liberal/literalist distinction as like an onion: the bible has to be a product of (some of) humanity in… Read more »

Andrew
Andrew
11 years ago

Allister states in the paper on Lay Presidency:

“I have exercised my right as an incumbent not to allow women readers, because I cannot square my conscience with women preaching.”

For this and other reasons I wonder how he can envisage holding this office in the Church of England, and how those involved in appointments could countenance him being a diocesan.

Or has his position changed?

Simon Sarmiento
11 years ago

Tom and Bill

We have answered this question many times on TA over the years, the explanation is at
http://peterowen.org.uk/articles/choosing.html

Father Ron Smith
11 years ago

” I hold a communion service every Sunday, and teach the Prayer Book rubric “that every Parishioner shall communicate at least three times in the year, of which Easter to be one”. But I wonder whether communion properly belongs in the parish church as a public service rather than in smaller informal meetings. And I wonder what the Lord meant by “Do this, whenever you drink it”: did he mean on every occasion we eat and drink with other believers or (as I suspect) whenever you celebrate the Passover, that is once a year? – Copyright © Donald Allister, 1993.… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
choirboyfromhell
11 years ago

Thank you Simon, the link was most useful and educational. It would behoove Americans to learn of a system not like theirs, if not for the fact that not everybody thinks like we do.

Tim, if you were to experience firsthand what is happening with the fundamentalist Christians in the states, you might not think that my analogy is spurious. Remember, it was the fundamentalists that brought the former president to power, and they are a vocal minority that seem to have much greater clout in our government than yours. Over here, they are a frightening spectacle with great potential.

anthony
anthony
11 years ago

I enjoyed his articles on sacramental theology. To a non-theologian they seemed very provocative, and gave me lots to think about. The main thing that worried me is that he seems to think of the sacraments, especially baptism and confirmation, as the equivalent of Boy Scout or Girl Scout merit badges. Collect them at the right time then advance to the next level. His view of the eucharist I am more familiar with, but it makes me wonder if holy orders are needed at all. It might be more economical and more productive to put church administration and oversight out… Read more »

Tom Downs
Tom Downs
11 years ago

Thank you Simon for the link to the description of the process for appointing a bishop.
Perhaps I should have asked, “How did you get this particular appointment?” Described as “a conservative evangelical who has been nominated to a traditionally anglo-catholic diocese.” On the face of it this wouldn’t seem like such a wonderful match. One presumes those making the choice would have been thinking of the welfare of the diocese, but are there other issue at work that sometimes are allowed to over ride the best interests of the congregations given into the bishop’s charge?
Tom Downs

Spirit of Vatican II
Spirit of Vatican II
11 years ago

Embarrassed that my casual “exemplary fellow” remark has morphed into a meme.

Rev Ivan Ackeroff
11 years ago

We have obviously been infiltrated by the mad Jensenites of Sydney.

Robert Ian williams
Robert Ian williams
11 years ago

A Bishopric is worth a compromise on women…

So liberals out there, keep your pro gay views to your self and when you get your bishopric you can come out…..

The Anglican way

toby forward
11 years ago

Andrew, never underestimate the reforming effect of a promise of the purple.

Simon Sarmiento
11 years ago

In the light of this latest appointment, there’s an interesting article about senior appointments and “classical evangelicals” a term used by the author to denote those who oppose women as presbyters, at this URL
http://www.churchsociety.org/crossway/documents/Cway_114_SeniorAppointments.pdf
I guess Donald Allister no longer qualifies for this description.

Commentator
Commentator
11 years ago

Why are not the same voices that spoke against Dr Jeffrey John being raised against this man’s appointment, especially as he is to be a Diocesan and not an Area Bishop? This man does not hold to the traditional teaching of the Church of England, as some would define it, and he has clearly written, spoken, and acted in accord with his beliefs and conscience. He has not given any reassurances that he will not act upon these unorthodox views when he is consecrated a bishop and enthroned as a Diocesan. I could answer my own question all too easily!… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
11 years ago

“Why are not the same voices that spoke against Dr Jeffrey John being raised against this man’s appointment,” – Commentator, on Monday – Well, of course you’re right, Mr. Commentator (or should that be Ms or Mrs?). The only thing is that the objectors against the Peterborough Bp-Elect are likely to be quite different from the objectors against Dr. Jeffrey John. I surmise that the Mainstream objectors to Jeffrey John were of the Conservative Evangelical variety, and not those Anglo-Catholics who might now want to object to the appointment of Mr. Allister. His views on the Eucharist – as a… Read more »

Rev L Roberts
Rev L Roberts
11 years ago

Q. “Why are not the same voices that spoke against Dr Jeffrey John being raised against this man’s appointment,” – Commentator, on Monday.

A. He is not known to be gay.

Period

Rev L Roberts
Rev L Roberts
11 years ago

The new proposed bishop seems to speak with such certainty on matters about we which we can know nothing. Doesn’t he know that religion is not a science or factual ?

I suppose he might see me as one of those licentious liberals or creepy catholics …

Cnon Peter Cook
Cnon Peter Cook
9 years ago

Donald Alister is a deeply committed Christian,well versed in New testament teaching, pursuing the priniples and beliefs of the historic creeds. He is in every way qualifed to be a bishop in the Church of England. He is at imes controversial, but who were more so than the prphets, the apostles and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Maybe some of his critics would do well to study afresh, and with greater care, what christianity is really all about.

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