Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 28 August 2019

Martin Sewell Archbishop Cranmer Nobody knows Nobody’s Friends

Karen Swallow Prior Christianity Today Screens Are Changing the Way We Read Scripture

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Richard W. SymondsTim ChestertonDavid LammingSusannah ClarkMichael Mulhern Recent comment authors
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Michael Mulhern
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Michael Mulhern

“From the carving of the Ten Commandments to the writing of the Torah to the copying and distribution of letters in the early church, God’s plan was for his people to read” (Karen Swallow Prior). Really? Surely, it was God’s plan for his people to hear! Did the largely illiterate and persecuted underclass for whom the NT epistles were written, for example, read the words off the printed page? Did every one of the Hebrew nomads receive a personal copy of the Ten Commandments? There are, for sure, issues with scripture in digital and electronic format and how we receive… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
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I agree that this is not Karen Swallow Prior’s best work, which is a shame because she is a great writer and literary scholar. I would highly recommend her most recent book ‘On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life Through Great Books’, in which she takes twelve great works of literature and examines what they can teach us about what the good life is all about. She has also written an outstanding biography of Hannah More, ‘Fierce Convictions’, and an earlier literary memoir, ‘Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me’.

Richard W. Symonds
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Richard W. Symonds

Following on from comments to Martin Sewell’s article, it is clear Archbishop Welby knew much more about John Smyth than he’s letting on – especially relating to Smyth being packed off to southern Africa (Zimbabwe) in 1984. It appears to be a habit of the hierarchs surrounding Archbishops to propose packing off errant Christian leaders to southern Africa and beyond. Appendix B of the Shemmings Report (Aug 2019) – “Sexual Abuse by Clergyman in the Diocese of Chichester. ‘You Can’t Say No To God'” – Selected extracts from the Report by Dame Moira Gibb: 3.7.1 “The enquiries being made on… Read more »

Susannah Clark
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Susannah Clark

“it is clear Archbishop Welby knew much more about John Smyth than he’s letting on.” Ouch. You better have specific evidence to back this accusation, Richard. What specific ‘knowledge’ do you allege he knew? What written evidence exists, demonstrating the Archbishop “knew much more”? Or is this just what you think, in support of your criticism of Justin over other issues? Is it not just insinuation and ad hominem to imply that Justin in some way held back knowledge about this sexual pervert? Your demonstrating ‘evidence’ in your post – “From mid-1993 the emphasis of concern at Lambeth Palace was… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
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Richard W. Symonds

Truth will out, Susannah – in both cases. Be assured of that.

David Lamming
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David Lamming

Richard, saying ‘truth will out’ is not good enough. Susannah is entirely justified in asking you to identify the ‘knowledge’ on Archbishop Justin’s part about Smyth and his exile to Zimbabwe in August 1984 that you allege. If you have no evidence of such knowledge, do the decent thing and withdraw the unjustified assertion. You are frustrated that ++Justin will not withdraw his ‘significant cloud’ remark about Bishop Bell, but this has nothing to do with his knowledge of John Smyth’s physical abuse of young adults 35 years ago. Your commitment to rehabilitating Bishop Bell is commendable, but you damage… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
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Richard W. Symonds

The truth is already out David

https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2019/18-april/news/uk/smyth-abuse-survivors-dispute-welby-claim

“…you damage your credibility by making unrelated and unsupported assertions”

As a fallible human being, my “credibility” will always be suspect, but after many years campaigning on certain issues I have learned to relate and support my assertions with facts.

There are already enough facts here to make assertions of truth.