Thinking Anglicans

Reform apologises

We noted an article in Wednesday’s Guardian reporting comments about the Archbishop of Canterbury made by the Dean of Sydney at Reform’s national conference. Reform has now felt it necessary to apologise to the Archbishop for what was said.

Church Times Reform is sorry for Dean’s jibe

Here are some other reports and reactions to the Dean’s comments.

ABC Online (Australia) Anglican Church leaders bewildered by Dean’s outburst
and Australian Anglican Church distances itself from Philip Jensen’s comments
The Sydney Morning Herald Anglican turmoil over Dean Jensen’s attack
and Dean Jensen lays into Prince and church leader
The Star (South Africa) Dean causes Anglican spat


  • NB says:

    “In any other area of public life, the ability to call a spade a bloody shovel, especially in the face of English pomposity, is greeted with warm approval.

    In accusing the Archbishop of Canterbury of theological prostitution for denying the clear teaching of scripture, Dean Jensen has stated no more than the bleeding obvious. Give the man a medal.”

    Rev Gordon Cheng, Gladesville, October 14.

  • Rev Power says:

    It’s time to sack Dean Jensen.

  • SHP says:

    How can anyone really support Dean Jensen’s comments? To suggest giving him a medal is surely unbelievable and ridiculous.
    Ok … maybe you disagree with Archbishop Rowan, maybe you think Archbishop Rowan misguided in certain areas …. but anyone who has ever met him can not deny he is a man of God, created by God, and working his journey out with God in no different way than the rest of us do.

    At a time when the wold looks at us for how we behave lets remember that the church in Acts grew because people looking in ‘saw how Christians loved and cared for each other and liked what they saw and so added to thir number daily’

    Insulting our leaders is not what people want to see.

    To insult the man is the same as insulting God himself … as it is to insult anyone.

  • Dr Christopher Shell says:

    Anyone would rather have a plain speaker than someone mealy-mouthed any day. Then we all know where we stand.

    The authentic Christian combination is truth-in-love. Truth without love or love without truth are second best.

    Jensen is accurate when he draws attention to the admixture of Christianity with the pagan mores that Christianity was originally standing against. To call this adulteration (or whatever) isn’t rhetoric, but an accurate description.

    In calling for Christian men to be men, Jensen is doing no more than speak what is obvious (and obvious not just to Australians). Masculinity and the church ‘army’ mentality is precisely what is missing from many churches, wherein the only men are the passive ones. I would say that there is no important jigsaw-piece that is more often missing from churches than this one.

  • SHP says:

    ‘Plain speakers’ are good, I agree there!
    ‘Truth in love- – yes I agree.

    Can you please explain to me how Jensen’s calling of the Archbishop ‘a prostitute’ to be said in both love and truth?

  • Ed Smith says:

    “the admixture of Christianity with the pagan mores that Christianity was originally standing against” – as an Ancient Historian and Anglican, I’m pretty sure that (while human nature stays the same of course) those mores from AD33 and those from AD 2004 are pretty different to say the least. And can evangelicals ever stop being blinkered to non-evangelicals’ stand being as principled, Christian and biblical as theirs, and that it is not the result of some bastardisation or compromise with ‘the world’?

  • dave p says:

    Since when is Aussie macho bullshit = speaking the truth in love?

    Just curious.

  • Andrew Conway says:

    I can’t see how Jensen’s comments can be regarded as either loving or truthful — though I have to admit, the man has balls.

    Christopher, what do you mean by saying that Jensen was ‘calling for Christian men to be men’? Are you referring to his description of Reform as ‘a bunch of old women’? Or to his description of Evangelicals who accept women’s ordination as ‘able to be domesticated and put in their places’? Or are you referring to some other remark of his that I haven’t read?

  • Dr Christopher Shell says:

    We’d better not believe everything we read in the newspapers…

    As far as I can make out, Jensen did not call RW a ‘prostitute’, but said he was prostituting certain important principles.

    Re Ed Smith’s comment, between 33AD and the present there are both continuities and discontinuities. ‘Lumpers’ emphasise the former and ‘splitters’ emphasise the latter; but the truth is both/and. Homosexual practice is a continuity; some of its details may be discontinuities.

  • Dr Christopher Shell says:

    Yes, I think that in his ‘bunch of old women’ reamrk – which sounds to me a bit like an unthinking cliche – Jensen is assuming that whereas it is entirely good and right for old women to behave like old women and do the things suitable to them, what is not all right is for able-bodied men to act as though they were old women.

    I believe that he’s right that the lack of masculinity in the (nonAustralian) Anglican church stands out a mile – able-bodied men and young people are the two groups most conspicuous by their absence, which tells us something both about the facets of character which anglicans are prizing and about those that they struggle to come to terms with.

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