Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 23 January 2019

Peter Leonard ViaMedia.News The Power of Grass Roots Rebellion

Richard Peers Quodcumque – Serious Christianity The Truth About Changing the Church

Andrew Brown The Guardian Justin Welby’s speaking in tongues makes sense to his evangelical tribe

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Speaking in praise of the elderly and the young.

Jeremy Morris ViaMedia.News IICSA – Holding the Past to Account?

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Help required for Safeguarding incident
[If you have any advice or help for Stephen please post it on his blog and not here.]

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Janet FifeRod GillisFather DavidTim ChestertonDavid Runcorn Recent comment authors
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Anonymous - to protect our priest
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Anonymous - to protect our priest

Strongly agree with Peter Leonard. We are same sex and we are getting married this weekend. I think celebrating with your community in the presence of God who blesses your marriage, is what really matters. Our priest is wonderful. So is our PCC. They will not be told to exclude gay people. So our wedding is going ahead. Full outfits, whole church welcome, guests and families, with reception, champagne, party afterwards. Because, really, the bishop does not get to define our life, our marriage. As a couple, and as a local church, we will decide that. It is going to… Read more »

Laurie Roberts
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Laurie Roberts

Congratulations and best wishes to you both. How wonderful !

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

Andrew Brown says that ‘Talking in tongues is a streaming babble of nonsense syllables delivered with a curious calm authority, as if what the speaker were saying made incontrovertible sense, even though it contains no recognisable words.’ However, there are multiple accounts of tongues being actual languages not known by the speaker but understood by bystanders – as happened at Pentecost. There have also been analyses by linguists who didn’t recognise a specific language, but identified the tongue as having the pattern of a genuine language.

Richard Grand
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Richard Grand

This is not a conversation where there can be any absolute conclusion.

T Pott
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T Pott

There are also multiple very well-attested accounts of bishops uttering streaming babbles of nonsense in English.

Father David
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Father David

Dear T Pott, You’ve been listening to too many debates at the General Synod. I happened to bump into the former Bishop of London the other day and he thoroughly recommended retirement – one reason being that he didn’t have to attend the General Synod any more! Now there’s a bishop who speaks eminently good sense in the Queen’s English.

Laurie Roberts
Guest
Laurie Roberts

Janet I am very interested in the aspect of tongues you mention, and wonder if there is something I could read
, or find out about in some other way. Many thanks for anything you can advise.

Janet Fife
Guest
Janet Fife

The classic book is John Sherrill’s ‘They Speak with Other Tongues’, which is available on Amazon. There is a Wikipedia article which is very helpful, as are these sites: http://www.dana.org/News/Speaking_in_Tongues__Glossalalia_and_Stress_Reduction/ https://frame-poythress.org/linguistic-and-sociological-analyses-of-modern-tongues-speaking-their-contributions-and-limitations/ However, the Newburg brain scan study, which is often cited, seems problematic to me. It was conducted on only 5 women, and all were from the same Pentecostal church in the American south. That is too small a sample, and from a too culturally close-knit background, to tell us very much except about the women from that particular church, and their use of tongues. It isn’t consistent with how… Read more »

David Runcorn
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David Runcorn

If Andrew Brown really wants to find out about the ancient charism of the gift of tongues he could easily do so. It is not babbling or divination and quite normal Christians pray with. I have been grateful for the gift for over forty years. But I am in no doubt how strange it can sound to someone who does not know what is going on. And yes, as in every corner of the church, there are the mistaken and the cranks. Brown also assumes evangelicals are charismatics. They are not the same and not all charismatics speak in tongues… Read more »

Matthew
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I agree with your assessment of the article David. But I think it may still be right to post it on this site as it shows what some people are thinking about the Archbishop.

Susannah Clark
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This is a sweet little gift, but can also be powerful in spiritual intercession. I think it is encouraging if someone can pray and approach God, speaking quietly and lovingly in tongues, but it’s not the most vital thing – as it says in Corinthians, *love* and kindness are *far* more important, and that’s something that any person can get on with, and that’s what really gives a person spiritual integrity. I usually pray in English, but I also pray in tongues. I can best compare it to a flowing stream. It’s never out of my control. I can always… Read more »

dr.primrose
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dr.primrose

“[T]there are multiple accounts of tongues being actual languages not known by the speaker but understood by bystanders – as happened at Pentecost.” There is an argument on the other side, which (I understand) is essentially based on two texts. The text concerning Pentecost is: “Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear,… Read more »

peterpi -- Peter Gross
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peterpi -- Peter Gross

For various reasons, my life’s journey has wound its way through several churches as well as my synagogue. Those churches have been Roman Catholic, Lutheran, TEC (USA) (which is where I have found a second spiritual home) and various evangelical/fundamentalist churches. In one of those evangelical or fundamentalist churches, about 20 minutes into the Sunday service on a regular basis, a woman would start speaking in tongues while the rest of the congregation listened in silence. I can’t recall if the speaker in tongues or anyone else ever spoke afterwards in translation or exposition. The pastor of the church would… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
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Andrew Brown’s article would make evangelical leaders from the 60s and 70s turn over in their graves. Speaking in tongues is not a marker of evangelicalism; it’s a marker of charismatic Christianity. The two are not the same. Plenty of Anglo-Catholic charismatics speak in tongues. Plenty of evangelicals do not. The fact that HTB is both evangelical and charismatic does not mean that this is always the case. It is not.

Father David
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Father David

I can’t for a single moment imagine the great Michael Ramsey starting off each day by speaking in tongues.
(I Corinthians 14: 19)

Mito
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Mito

But I can imagine Michael Ramsey starting the day with Morning Prayer and the Eucharist.

David Runcorn
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David Runcorn

Well saintly, humble, sensitive man of the Spirit and of prayer that he was, I can. But he was of the generation before the charismatic movement began to deeply impact upon the mainstream churches in the UK – including his own beloved Anglo-Catholic tradition.

Father David
Guest
Father David

There is absolutely no evidence that I know of which suggests that Michael Ramsey engaged in either glossolalia or xenolalia. However, as Owen Chadwick writes on page 393 of Ramsey’s official biography when describing the archbishop sitting for his portrait by George Bruce – “George Bruce also described how Ramsey used to hum hymn tunes during the sittings. Bruce specially remembered “Turn back O man”. He also remembered doo-di-doo, di-doo-di-da, in imambics or hexameters or pentameters.” If “doo-di-doo, di-doo-di-da” can be regarded as speaking in tongues then I’ll eat my Canterbury Cap.

Tim Chesterton
Guest

I can, however, imagine the great Saint Paul doing it (1 Corinthians 14.18). Note that he says he would rather speak five intelligible words ‘in church’ (i.e. in the public assembly) (v.19) than 1,000 ‘in tongues’. The implication is that his ‘speaking in tongues more than all of you’ (v.18) is in private – which is exactly what Archbishop Welby is talking about.

By the way, I was first taught about speaking in tongues in the writings of Dennis Bennett, Anglo-Catholic charismatic that he was.

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Our old buddy ‘Pablo’ seems to see himself as being very ‘gifted’ in some regards. Indeed born out of time his remark below could easily be a comment on TA or any other comment board today. ( : “I thank God that I have a greater gift of ‘tongues’ than any of you, yet when I am in church I would rather speak five words with my mind (which might teach something to other people) than ten thousand words in a ‘tongue’ which nobody understands.” ( I Cor. 14:18,19 -J.B. Phillips).

Jeremy
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Jeremy

Speaking in tongues to me seems a logical reaction against religious authoritarianism. Claim and act on the ministry of all believers, but do it in a way so that no one can hold you accountable for anything you “say.” If this be a gift, it is so only in that it allows many, even archbishops, to claim a divinely communicative connection to God, without mediation or supervision by anyone or anything else, especially by any doctrine or ritual. To this extent it is quite subversive within religious cultures. Color me very skeptical, obviously. I have never been to a church… Read more »

Ian Arch
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Ian Arch

I apparently received the gift of tongues many years ago. Andrew Brown’s account seemed a good description of what it is like to me (even if he got his churches mixed up a bit). It’s not something I’ve ever found much value in (I think I disliked the overtones of ‘magic’ that hang around tongues) – instead, my needs for wordless prayer are satisfied in mantra meditation. Perhaps this is making the same sort of space. Interesting also to compare Rowan Williams to Justin Welby. He once said that he uses the Jesus Prayer each morning. I don’t think it… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

I will write this with particular care…

I don’t have the gift of tongues and feel entirely unqualified to join the debate on tongues.

But if Archbishop Justin does genuinely have the gift of prophecy, I am surprised he hasn’t been called to advocate more strongly for LGBTI Christians.