Thinking Anglicans

Opinion this week

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times Repent of a theology of blame

Harriet Baber has a Face to Faith article in The Guardian Evangelical US megachurches like Saddleback are market-driven, with transcendence not on the menu

Ruth Gledhill writes in the Times about preachers Spreading the word of preaching, from the transcendent to the bumbling
and about cathedrals in MPs want crumbling cathedrals to get Government cash

Alan Wilson wrote on Cif belief about The media’s trouble with religion

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Craig NelsonJCFpeterpi Recent comment authors
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peterpi
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peterpi

Giles Fraser makes an interesting point, but: In the 1750s, people didn’t know what caused earthquakes. God’s grace (or lack thereof) was as good a reason as any. Now, we do know better. I assume that Pat Robertson had some facsimile of a modern American education as a child. If he had continued to be educated, he would have understood about plate tectonics, etc. But I guess it’s much more self-satisfying to speak on God’s behalf. Second, note that the Wesleys blamed the earthquakes on the current behaviors of English and Spanish people. They didn’t blame the English earthquakes, for… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

I’m rather surprised that Fr Fraser doesn’t mention the Mother of All “theologies of blame”: that directed at the Jews, en toto and perpetuity, as “Christ-killers,” calling down the costs of his blood “on us and our children.” I’m not saying these words must be cut out of the Gospel of John (and certainly, official declarations by Vat2, et al, against their anti-Semitic interpretation have been important). But following them, there is a DEEP current of “Blame the Victim” in Christianity which will take intense, and intentional, efforts to *exorcise*. Pat Robertson’s words are just the rantings of a senile… Read more »

Craig Nelson
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Craig Nelson

The piece on earthquakes and theology is very pertinent for us to reflect on. Notably the criminalisation of homosexuality in Europe (and therefore Western colonies i.e. most of the world) dates back to Justinian’s legal code which cited adverse natural phenomena as a reason to legislate against homosexuality (including earthquakes and famine). It shows a deeply superstitious and unenlightened view of God somewhat – a violent deity with no self control who just lashes out and for that reason you have to institute the death penalty to get rid of the offending groups or else people will be killed at… Read more »