Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 29 February 2020

Miranda Threlfall-Holmes Ethical Evangelism

Lorraine Cavanagh Church Times Jean Vanier’s misuse of power
“Spiritual direction can be dangerous. It requires a radical rethink.”

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Idealisation of Church Leaders. Problems for the future.

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peterpi - Peter Gross
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peterpi - Peter Gross

Regarding the Miranda Threlfall-Holmes piece, I’m getting a “page does not exist” notice.

Simon Sarmiento
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Now fixed.

peterpi - Peter Gross
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peterpi - Peter Gross

It wasn’t clear to me who Ms. Threlfall-Holmes’ intended evangelees (if that is a word) are, but I’d add: Don’t assume the people being evangelized are ignorant or defiant unbelievers with no clue they are “on the wrong track”. Roughly four decades ago, I was often homeless due to mental depression issues. One place I would occasionally seek shelter was a “rescue mission”, where homeless men had to sit through a service before getting a meal or a bed for the night. And we would be told what hopeless sinners we were, that we would always fall short in God’s… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

I suspect that those who follow Miranda’s type of evangelism will find her piece useful but, like Peter, it doesn’t sit well with me. It feels like a very patronising form of evangelism, rather like the Christian Union in Cambridge years ago… She certainly doesn’t seem to stress listening.

Stanley Monkhouse
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In my extraordinarily humble opinion, there’s far too much yak yak yak in evangelisation. Much better to DO than to talk.

Tim Chesterton
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Hmm. By definition, evangelism is the proclamation of good news. Unless there’s talking, it can’t be evangelism. Note that I’m not saying words shouldn’t be accompanied by deeds. Words without deeds lack credibility, but deeds without words lack clarity. Jesus himself spent a considerable amount of time talking.

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

Stephen Parsons writes: “Dependent passive relationships with fallible narcissistic leaders seem to be at the heart of many scandals and breakdowns in church life.” “In church life” is too narrow. Business, politics, sport, the arts: the cult of personality around abusive charlatans is hardly unique to churches. When the emperor is asked to show their rainment, it appears very flimsy, as anyone who watched (for example) the Shane Sutton and David Brailsford testimony on doping in British cycling, or the testimony of the directors of Carillion in the investigation into their collapse, or any number of other similar cases. Charismatic… Read more »

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

“If what you really want are Friends of the Church to increase your giving base, then be honest about that and consider starting a friends group. You might then find you have a group of people who are happy to be ‘flying buttresses’, supporting the church from the outside. Don’t despise them but welcome them, and free yourself to talk to others about your faith without the financial pressure.” Fund-raising for organisations is very, very difficult and the people who do it from inside have a tendency to do it badly. The first problem is that people start to worry… Read more »

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Re: Lorraine Cavanagh, the totally depressing news about Jean Vanier is big in Canada obviously. It is also big in Catholic news circles. One of the most disturbing details is about Vanier’s long standing connection from his youth to his disgraced spiritual advisor Dominican Fr. Thomas Philippe. Below is a link to NCR which in turn has an embedded link to the independent 3rd party report commissioned by L’arche international. One hopes the work of L’arche will endure.

https://www.ncronline.org/news/accountability/grace-margins/no-jean-vanier-not-all-us