Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 3 July 2024

Gilo ViaMedia.News Beyond Jay: Here’s What the Response Group and Synod Need to Do for a Safer Church

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Which God?

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Gareth
Gareth
21 days ago

Surely the God of Christianity is also the God who has inspired the Scriptures for our instruction?

I’m not sure why Colin wants to suggest otherwise, or indeed that God is somehow nasty and cruel for giving us loving guidance for how we should live in His creation.

If we want to believe in a different God than the one who is revealed in Scripture surely there are non-Christian environments for exploring this.

Detaching the God who revealed Himself in His Word to us from the very word He has spoken is inconsistent.

Last edited 21 days ago by Gareth
David Hawkins
David Hawkins
Reply to  Gareth
21 days ago

Saying that God inspired scripture is not the same as saying that she was the personal author of Scripture with all its contradictions, ambivalence and anachronisms.
Of course you do not adhere to all scripture, nobody could, you just choose to Cherry Pick those bits of it that endorse your pre existing prejudice. In effect you are creating God in your own image not the other way around.

Graham Holmes
Graham Holmes
Reply to  Gareth
21 days ago

Alas the God revealed in Christian Scripture to you may not be the same God that might be revealed to me or to anyone else. Some people’s God majors on hate and violence, others on love. Some find a God of Christian Nationalism, some the God of Mary’s Song. Some Gods demand “Conversion Therapy”, some find that to be a form of torture. Some Gods demand the single mindedness that refuses any conscience except that of their followers, some do not demand and allow freedom of conscience to all. If there is no room for Colin to search for his… Read more »

Gareth
Gareth
Reply to  Graham Holmes
21 days ago

Surely there is only one God? So the question is if we see Him in contradictory terms, or terms beyond what He has revealed to us, one or the other is incorrect surely? Perhaps if God is simply something existing subjectively in our imaginations then yes there could be multiple gods of our imagining but if God is an objective person then speaking of there being my god or Colin’s god swiftly becomes an absurdity. I think there’s a lot to unpack and I think Colin is raising some good questions even if I disagree with some of the outcomes… Read more »

David Rowett
Reply to  Gareth
21 days ago

I think that risks positing a false opposition; paradox is an honourable Biblical tradition (immanence/transcendence, for example). Nor does it allow for both takes on God being inadequate, and that the truth is to be found in the space between two immediately proximate, yet conflicting proclamations. Is that what’s meant by ‘Contradiction’? FWIW I don’t think that’s an entirely useful word much of the time, and sets up a ‘red herring’ of an argument. My own locus classicus is the tension between divine approval for Jehu’s bloody eradication of house of Ahab (II Kg 10.30) and the divine condemnation of… Read more »

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Gareth
21 days ago

Does the family of a priest see him/her/them in the same way his congregation sees him? Does his bishop see him in the same way as either of those? Is any of those views wrong, even if seemingly contradictory?

So why do you think that we all should have an identical view of God? Or even that any one of those views is in some way definitive?

Last edited 21 days ago by Kate Keates
Rev Colin C Coward
Reply to  Gareth
20 days ago

Gareth, thank you for your two responses to my blog. For me, Scripture is one medium in which God’s essence is revealed; Jesus is another; Christian doctrine, tradition, history are others, as are the many varieties of Christian worship, congregational life, and individual lives lived. Our personal experience, our emotions, our physical bodies, our specific context and life experiences are also essential ways in which God’s essence is revealed. We human beings place different values and emphasis on the many ways in which we come to apprehend God. Other religions and faith traditions and those of no faith tradition apprehend… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Gareth
19 days ago

“Surely there is only one God? So the question is if we see Him in contradictory terms, or terms beyond what He has revealed to us, one or the other is incorrect surely?” Just as there may be more than one path up a mountain, and the views are different, but the mountain is still one mountain… …so different people may see different and diverse aspects of who God is yet God may still be God. We see through a glass darkly much of the time, and we have diverse temperaments and personalities, and openings to feeling, and receptivity. If… Read more »

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  Gareth
18 days ago

No one here, I think, is arguing there is more than one God. Rather, the way you see God is not the same as I or others see God. God reveals God’s self to different people and peoples in different ways. Even in Scripture. I hardly see the anthropomorphic god of the Adam and Eve Bible story (walking through the Garden enjoying the cool of the evening) or the mountain-dweller god of Exodus being persuaded by Moses not to annihilate the Israelites out of a jealous fit over the Golden Calf incident — because what will other peoples think of… Read more »

Last edited 18 days ago by peterpi - Peter Gross
Rev Colin C Coward
Reply to  peterpi - Peter Gross
18 days ago

Susannah and Peter, I appreciate the wisdom and thoughtfulness of your comments – of course! The problem that presents itself to me is – the Church as an institution rarely if ever now describes its belief structure in such a way that gives context to the many ways in which we ‘believe in’ and experience God. The result at Synod will be that one wing of the Church of England in particular will argue from its position of literal, fundamentalist, ‘Biblical’ belief and others will argue back on the basis of the need for ‘radical new Christian inclusion’ and changes… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Rev Colin C Coward
17 days ago

Colin, God bless you, and I agree that the extenuated processes of the institutional church – and continuing vilification of gay people’s sexuality – over such long periods… can be harmful and psychologically damaging. I find that myself. Degrees of withdrawal may be a way both of protecting oneself and of deepening one’s spiritual life and relationship with God. After all, there are exhortations such as ‘Be still and know that I am God’ and ‘In quietness and trust will be my strength’. Speaking personally (and I know you also live a contemplative life) I have taken to periodic withdrawal… Read more »

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Graham Holmes
21 days ago

I suspect the answer here is that the true nature of God, in the words of an ancient description, “passeth all understanding”.

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  Gareth
21 days ago

If anyone has bothered to consult the consistent testimony of the church (Augustine, Aquinas, Bernard, Trent and Luther, Donne, and the list goes on) you would find them saying exactly what you have said here. So, it is as much a rejection of the church which has preserved and transmitted the scriptures, and found life from them, as it is of either God or scripture or both. It is a new religion. A new kind of assembly. A new deity. I’m not sure why one would even want to call it ‘Christianity’ but maybe that isn’t necessary.

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Anglican Priest
21 days ago

Jesus taught us that organised religion gets the Law wrong, interpreting it in a legalistic way rather than an humane one which builds people up. If we follow Scripture we are REQUIRED to suspect an interpretation of Scripture which is harmful. Tradition is something Jesus Himself taught us to suspect and that is especially so when tradition is itself advanced as a justification. This isn’t a new religion, it’s a sincere attempt to follow the teaching of Jesus.

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  Kate Keates
21 days ago

I believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic church. Such belief isn’t in whatever you are meaning by the evocation of ‘tradition’ in Jesus day. I am not a member of the Mormons or progressive revelation religions.

Last edited 21 days ago by Anglican Priest
Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Anglican Priest
21 days ago

As do I. We affirm our shared belief: We believe in one God, the Father, the almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and was… Read more »

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
Reply to  Kate Keates
18 days ago

The creeds were written in response to the issues of the time. The issue of sex couples was not on the agenda apparently.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Anglican Priest
21 days ago

But is that “one holy, catholic and apostolic church” represented only by those who interpret scripture in a particular way? If it is truly “catholic” (in the meaning of worldwide and encompassing all), then doesn’t it include all mankind?

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  Pat ONeill
20 days ago

OK. The way in which these things go, we see the religion of Mr Coward and those in anglican dress (and others) who track with this. I’m not sure trying to introduce anything like historical, creedal Christianity matters. So, I will move on. It’s time to create the new religion and let others stand aside. I say this as facts on the ground and not as anything emotional. I found the ‘facts on the ground’ contributions of Froghole worth investments here. The Church of England future will of course be in God’s hands. If one can make any sense of… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Kate Keates
20 days ago

Kate, you are aware that the table of contents of your Bible is an item of tradition, right?

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
20 days ago

We should also consider whether books were included which perhaps shouldn’t have been and vice versa

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Anglican Priest
21 days ago

It’s good to know your fellow countryman Donald Trump is selling bibles in his attempt to reinforce Christianity in your nation . His many followers don’t mind his lies, crimes and vulgarity because he wishes to preserve and transmit the Scriptures.

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  FrDavid H
21 days ago

Sad, really. Complete inability to stay on topic or to think with care. As promised, I pray for you each morning. From France.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Anglican Priest
20 days ago

Consistent testimony of the church? Christian writers have disagreed on so much.

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  Janet Fife
19 days ago

No polite way to say this. On the topic of God and Holy Scripture, you are lost in (Western, affluent, cosseted) modernity. It is a testimony to see how terribly impoverished the Thinking Anglican world is–with some exceptions–over basic grasp of historical Christian writers and their stated views. We are now living in a world where Wilberforce, Moses, Blair, Jesus, Pascal, Abraham, Paul, Tyndale, Bellermine, the Complutensian Polygot are contemporaries, to the degree anyone actually cares or bothers to know. “Disagreed on so much” is a kind of wet finger in the air to see which way the wind is… Read more »

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Anglican Priest
19 days ago

Your periodic departures are amusing. It is sad that contributors on TA are too stupid to follow your superior intellect.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Anglican Priest
18 days ago

The debates at the various historic Councils – not to mention the split between Eastern and Western Churches, or between Rome and Ireland in the 7th century – demonstrate just how much Christians have disagreed on over two millennia. Tragically, we usually end up denouncing people who disagree with us, excommunicating them, burning them at the stake – or insulting them on social media. But we always manage to find ‘justification’ in our interpretation of scripture for these very unChristian actions.

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