on Saturday, 20 July 2019 at 11.00 am by Peter Owen
categorised as Opinion
Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Speaking of Fresh Expressions, sacramentality and mission
Simon Taylor ViaMedia.News Does the Bible Really Say…that Creation is Straight?
Colin Coward Unadulterated Love The Christlike God – seamless creation and evolution
Sam Wells delivered the Inclusive Church 2019 Lecture Citizens of Heaven: Identity, Inclusion and the Church earlier this month. You can read the transcript or watch the video.
I understand what Simon Taylor is attempting. However, approaches to the nature of human sexuality that begin with the bible, including more generous creative interpretations like Taylor’s, are off to a bad start. Christian ethicists must begin with an understanding that variations in the human sexual response represent a statistical and and naturally occurring phenomenon. Arguments like Taylor’s share with the fundamentalists a need to privilege the bible over people’s existential situation, and tease from it answers to questions it simply does not ask. Let’s begin with an understanding of human sexuality. Only then may we ask questions about harm,… Read more »
Agreed at one level, but if we see this as a work of internal apologetics (given that about 90% of Brits work entirely happily without a glance towards church or scripture) it offers those for whom scriptural support is a sine qua non of any ethical stance a rope ladder out of an existential impasse. Seems a worthwhile aim to me.
I wouldn’t want to cast it as ‘internal ‘apologetics’. I’m advocating instead a bio-ethical position that allows us to converse with the wider world. Here in Canada, the debacle created by fundamentalist Anglican bishops was making the news at the very same time that Canadians by the thousands were celebrating Pride Parades across the country and commemorating the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality. Rainbow flags could be seen flying at Anglican Churches here. It’s time we developed a theological position that takes into account not only the majority social context but the inter-disciplinary world we live in.
I’ve long given up on joining efforts to save the Bible from itself. Not only does the attempt presuppose biblical authority; it forces me to say things about scripture I don’t believe are true. Even on pragmatic grounds, it fails: who ever won by arguing on their opponent’s terms?
Instead, I’d much rather meet them on another field, where they’re noticeably less comfortable.
On the 15th July a post about the persecution of Christians abroad gained no comments. another article got dozens of comments mostly about the colour of bishops shirts. Priorities?
The fact that no one (including you) commented about the persecution of Christians article does not mean that they didn’t read it. From the mention of the Home Office in the title, I mistakenly assumed originally that it was a response to the recent and scandalously ignorant (about Christianity) letters which had been put out by the Home Office. I think the Bishop of Truro did refer to that obliquely when stressing the need for training of HO staff. Yes, much of the discussion about the colour of shirts was trivial, but it stemmed from deeper issues about deference in… Read more »
Might it be that most of us are saddened by the persecution of Christians, but are not in a situation where we can do much about it. If it was on Facebook we’d all click the ‘like’ or the ‘sad’ button, but otherwise we would probably end up posting platitudes. By contrast, the colour of bishop’s shirts can either be a springboard for debate about ‘deference’ and such like, or an excuse for a gossipy exchange between liturgy nerds. Neither of which is a bad thing as long as the latter is recognised for what it is.
Well, I wonder what you think of this which I came across purely by chance: an extract from the autobiography of Gary Anderson a priest, author of “Writes of the Church” (also, unofficially, “Archdruid Eileen”), and clearly a man not too proud to be a “nerd”: “Why do I write funny stuff about the church? Not just the book but also the blogs? Simply because I find the church funny. And because I think it’s important that we keep the “church” in its place. It’s when we put ministers on pedestals that we protect those who are corrupted by power,… Read more »
It’s also significant that, for this site, no-one has chosen to comment on Sam Wells’s lecture to Inclusive Church. For me, he cuts right to the heart of the matter, by accentuating the degree to which many Anglican provinces in the Northern hemisphere have ‘progressed’ (or not) by responding to those who shout the loudest – at both ends of the spectrum. There is much in what he says that challenges my liberal progressive mindset as much as it does those who see things differently. I guess if we all heeded his analysis on what fundamentally constitutes identity for Christians,… Read more »