Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 30 March 2022

Helen King ViaMedia.News Strange Practices: Making Sense of the Church of England Today

Richard Lamey ViaMedia.News What You Do Matters More Than You Can Know…

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church The quest for integrity: Hillsong and the CofE

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Honest to God, Goodbye to God, and the Jesus Myth

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
14 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
FrDavid H
FrDavid H
1 month ago

Colin Coward is surely correct when he observes the disjunction between “ faith and the belief system in today’s Church of England (which) seems to have internalised almost nothing of the freedom and energy released in the sixties and seventies”. Today’s evangelical denomination is concerned with a managerial obsession in promoting a simplistic, literalist religion which most ‘thinking’ people reject as laughable and incredible .No amount of managerial expertise will succeed in strengthening a Church which asks the nation to accept dogmatic nonsense.

Bob
Bob
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 month ago

How very condescending! Presumably only “unthinking” people are taken in by “a simplistic, literalist religion”.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Bob
1 month ago

Yes

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 month ago

Yes and Thank You! Evangelicalism and conservatism are about making the world safe, known, filled only with people of your own kind, with no ambiguity, no complexity, no thinking. I’ll never forget going to a presentation by an evangelical anti-gay speaker (know your enemy!) who was lesbian until she discovered, allegedly with the help of Jesus, that she liked men after all and became conservative Christian and straight (that she might be bisexual never occurred to her, I guess, or was too non-binary and non-dualistic) and hearing her imagining a world where everyone looked like everyone else and acted the… Read more »

#churchtoo
#churchtoo
Reply to  peterpi - Peter Gross
1 month ago

I really like the phrase ‘donate your mind as well as your money’s it’s spot on

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
1 month ago

“Any religion that limits God to specific beliefs, creeds, doctrines and dogmas is doing a psychological service to its adherents, but is reducing the infinite to manageable and safe proportions.” Absolutely spot on! and I wish Mr. Coward made more clear who the author of that quote is. When Karl Marx allegedly said religion is the opiate of the masses, I think he meant this, along with central authorities, governmental and religious, using religion to pacify the population into ignoring the authorities’ vast wealth and power while the main population lives in disease-ridden poverty. Don’t worry, yes, you’re in a… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by peterpi - Peter Gross
Andrew Welsby
Andrew Welsby
Reply to  peterpi - Peter Gross
1 month ago

There are indeed other sources that sell Chris Scott’s book. I bought mine online and read it yesterday and like peterpi found much in it that resonated very deeply with my own thoughts. I remember watching a TV documentary a while back which explored the commonest causes of death in the 16th century: poor diet / chimney design / drowning / basic hygeine / childbirth / the popularity of “home remedies” (the Tudors thought that were follwing sound medical advice) and so on. Most interestingly, sexually transmitted diseases were a common cause of death. The ‘pox’, it was believed was… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
1 month ago

There are number of things in the wide sweep of the Colin Coward article I appreciate—although there are vast differences in perspective ( and gravitas!) among the sources he catalogues e.g. between Spong and Rahner. However, it is helpful to keep in mind that Jesus is an actual historical figure. His life and death are matters for history, as are his first century social, political and religious contexts, as are the originating Christian communities and the documents they produced. Historical and literary contexts act as controls for a correct understanding of a text whether an example of mythology or otherwise,… Read more »

Evan McWilliams
Evan McWilliams
1 month ago

Colin Coward’s piece is a disappointing read, but not a surprising one. Whilst being at the forefront of a very necessary movement towards greater inclusion in the Church, his generation were also in receipt of the questionable inheritance of the theological Modernism of the 1920s and 30s, itself an echo of the progress-obsessed secular scientism of the traumtised post-first world war age. That generation’s theology, evacuated of any reasonable association between words and meaning, has little to no appeal to the younger clergy steadily rising in the ranks of the Church. LGBT+ identified clergy in particular are impatiently waiting to… Read more »

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Evan McWilliams
1 month ago

I love the erudite and elegant way in which you say “OK boomer”.

Ian Houghton
Ian Houghton
Reply to  Evan McWilliams
1 month ago

EM’s post is rather lacking in charity as well as decent theology. It’s too easy to throw back the quip about the Church being like a swimming pool – all the noise is at the shallow end! Better to explore a little historical theology and the ways in which the Creeds emerged from experience and then have become very inflexible in relation to that experience. Chris Scott speaks of “becoming” rather than “believing” in relation to Jesus – becoming Christ-like being the goal of discipleship rather than right believing/orthodoxy. If we look to a parallel theological thread to the Creeds… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Ian Houghton
1 month ago

Much to agree with in your comment. You mention fragmenting dogmatism. One of the difficulties I have with ‘orthodoxy’ redux, hierarchy as Delphic oracle, and so called ‘canonical’ biblical theology, is that these are mechanisms for fragmentation. They are authoritarian models. They attempt to control or marginalize other voices within Christianity–many of which are a combination of erudition and a quest for an honest theology in conjunction with one’s existential location. I’m an old codger who came up on the ‘Euro-American’ theological framework. These days, I find the most interesting work being done is that of post colonial theologians. Their… Read more »

Interested Observer
Interested Observer
1 month ago

I always enjoy Stephen Parsons’ writing, but here I fear he is rather straining at a gnat and swallowing…a gnat. It is a tragic law of nature that the leaders of commercial megachurches are hypocrites, and therefore their eventual fall is as surprising as gravity. That is compounded by the fact that one of the best ways to get yourself rich by running a megachurch is to preach a simple, direct and hateful message about sex and money which then, as night follows day, sets up the conditions for your eventual exposure. Such churches are run by grifters, and their… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
1 month ago

Another good piece by Helen King. Truly, we don’t tend to know what seems strange to others.

Years ago my teenage son brought a couple of friends to our church. What they found really weird was our practice or repeating prayers and creeds and things in unison together. To them, that seemed cultish.

14
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x