Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 6 January 2024

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love CEEC plot to impose an abusive, prejudiced, discriminatory, misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic culture on the Church of England

Andrew Goddard Psephizo Have evangelicals made secret plans to split the Church?

Claire Brader House of Lords Library Lords spiritual in the House of Lords explained

Polly Smythe New York Times It’s Christmas, and England’s Priests Have Had Enough
[This is behind a paywall, but if you create a free account you may be able read it.]
Andrew Brown comments on this article in the Church Times: Press: New York Times probes unionisation of Anglican clergy

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Paul
Paul
5 months ago

Colin Coward is insisting that this is the same group of people who opposed women’s ordination. Given that it includes ordained women and female bishops, this is clearly nonsense.

Andrew Goddard’s piece seems well informed.

Rev Colin C Coward
Reply to  Paul
5 months ago

Paul – I’m glad you identify the nonsense in my blog – that this expanding network under the CEEC banner is both a Biblically orthodox traditional group in that observes Biblical texts that are understood to forbid homosexual behaviours and at the same time does not observe Biblical texts that have been taken to prohibit equality for women in ministry is not obviously logical and coherent to me. It is a group that both opposes and includes ordained women (or is the line drawn at women bishops – oh,of course not, because the group includes women bishops – or are… Read more »

Mitch McLean
Mitch McLean
Reply to  Rev Colin C Coward
5 months ago

Surely we can understand that a coalition can form between groups that do not agree on everything to advance a common cause. In CEEC, complementarian evangelicals, egalitarian evangelicals and charismatics are cooperating to advance evangelicalism and traditional doctrines on sexuality in the Church of England. They will act separately on other issues that divide them. The same is true for low-church and high-church folks within the Gender and Sexuality Alliance on the progressive end of the spectrum. I don’t see how collaborating with other groups when possible is inconsistent with the maintenance of distinctives. No individual group is powerful enough… Read more »

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Paul
5 months ago

Not necessarily. If one can accept that the primary goal of these people is to split the church, then the natural response to failure to do so over one issue must be to broaden their support base, even if it means compromising some of their principles. If they cannot win without women, then they will try to win with them.

It is a great mistake to imagine that everyone is acting out of principle.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  T Pott
5 months ago

I don’t know much about the various ‘evangelicalisms’ in the C of E as such; but I am interested in the culture war over sex and gender as it impacts the wider church beyond geographic and denominational boundaries. So to your observation, it looks like two wedge issues are in play (1) same sex marriage and (2) the role of women in the church with no. 1 being the big ticket ‘make or break’ item. One which is a proxy for control over the ecclesiastical political meta narrative as a whole?

Thomas G. Reilly
Thomas G. Reilly
5 months ago

Once again, I have to ask: where is Jesus in this discussion? People quote liberally from the Jewish Scriptures, and Paul, and early church doctrines, but seem to have great problems quoting Jesus. Maybe that is because Jesus is not anti but plus, inclusive not exclusive. Jesus talks again and again about the dangers of wealth, about hypocrisy, about love for the excluded, and about God’s ever-open heart. We don’t seem to hear very much about these priorities in many sermons of writings of our Scripture-lovers. It isn’t only the Muslims who have a Taliban! It is Jesus’ enemies who… Read more »

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  Thomas G. Reilly
5 months ago

‘Jewish Scripture’? In the earliest formulations–especially Irenaeus of Lyon–the scriptures of Israel are the foundational Christian text. Also, Origin, and the list goes on. Its ‘scriptural’ status is everywhere attested to in the second testament to arrive alongside it in time. And as even the redoubtable Harnack acknowledged (in riposte to Lessing) that the very idea of ‘canonical scripture’ predated the church, and gave to the NT, in time, its equivalent scriptural status. Jews are no confused by this, for whom TANAK is foundational, yet viewed through the les of authoritative tannaite (rabbis of the first centuries) interpretation. ‘He who… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Anglican Priest
5 months ago

It seems to me that you are supporting Thomas Reilly’s post. As you say, the TANAK (written Hebrew Scriptures) were foundational at that time, but these scriptures are also complex, and frequently mutually contradictory, and so it was (and still is) common to turn to authoritative rabbis/teachers/scholars for their interpretation of the TANAK. These interpretations also became foundational, and written down (Talmud), and embedded in tradition. So isn’t the OP simply asking why are so few people paying close attention to the recorded interpretations of Hebrew Scripture left to us by that authoritative first century Jewish teacher, Jesus of Nazareth,… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Simon Dawson
Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  Simon Dawson
5 months ago

“I want just the teachings of Jesus” — as a scholarly endeavor that collapsed, or in ‘red letter’ Bibles — does not understand what the church means by a canon and a rule of faith to guide interpretation. That was my simple point. See ‘Elder Testament’ (2019).

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Anglican Priest
5 months ago

I’m not sure if this helps us understand why you are against blessing gay couples.

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  FrDavid H
5 months ago

What a riot! Everything turns out to be about the LGBTI thing. I’m also against disbelieving in tides.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Anglican Priest
5 months ago

Tides have nothing to do with this thread. Splits over gay blessings are under discussion by Colin Coward and Andrew Goddard (above).

Thomas G. Reilly
Thomas G. Reilly
Reply to  Anglican Priest
5 months ago

I love the Hebrew Scriptures, and am greatly nourished by them, especially by the Psalms. Jesus loved them, too, and saw and interpreted them as proof of His Father’s love for His people and his world. But contrary to the teachers of his time, he didn’t use them as an excuse for exclusion, or a rod on our sinful backs, but as a way to show the Father’s love, and to draw people into love. “Suffer little children to come unto me.” We have become much more cerebral and self-righteous, and use them as a weapon. We are all vulnerable… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Thomas G. Reilly
5 months ago

T.G. Reilly: I found your comments engaging . Thank You! I’m trying to wind up my comments. I’ve said everything I have to say several times over (as have others). Some kindred spirits at TA are gone. However, along comes comments like yours. You may like the linked article in full, just below the teaser. Author’s tag at the end. “To emulate the inclusivity of the historical Jesus in our own faith life and communities today demands that we root out each and every semblance of exclusion or discrimination from our teachings, from our practices, and from our faith communities.… Read more »

Thomas G. Reilly
Thomas G. Reilly
Reply to  Rod Gillis
5 months ago

Thank you, Rod, for your gracious comments, and for referring me to that very well-written and foundational article. The first part reminded me of my theological training in a monastery more than 60 years ago in Spain. Over the years my love of Jesus, and my understanding of his kenosis, plus the ministry of people like Ken Leech and Richard Rohr and John Bell, have brought me to the place where I am now. I feel that the Jesus who was rejected and ended up on the Cross, teaches us, by His life and death, to mistrust and reject wealth… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Thomas G. Reilly
5 months ago

I really like the idea of focusing first and foremost on Jesus. For Christians, one’s ‘Jesu-ology’ (or Christology) is foundational. Everything else is commentary in my books. You mention St. Lawrence. I had a couple of contemplative visits the summer past to L’eglise St. Laurent in a working class arrondissement ( 10th) of Paris. Afterwards I brushed up on the Saint. Very inspiring! Thanks again for your comments and reply. -Rod

Daniel Lamont
Daniel Lamont
Reply to  Rod Gillis
5 months ago

‘I’m trying to wind up my comments.’ I hope that this doesn’t mean that you are planning to withdraw from TA. I for one value very highly your measured comments with useful references to futher reading and coming from a non-CofE perspective. Please don’t go. The loss of Stanley Monkhouse is bad enough.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Daniel Lamont
5 months ago

A scientist with what I know was considerable theological insight, Stanley Monkhouse had his own special niche in the blog ecology. He once sent me a paper he had written on the Virgin Birth. It was fascinating and unique. Fr. Ron Smith’s comments were always grounded in an Anglo-Catholic perspective. I found them so helpful in terms of staying on the Anglo-Catholic horse. His responses were always gracious. As a descendant of Highlanders with Irish and French DNA as well, tenacity of opinion is bred in the bone. Lol. Add that to nurture in a trade union culture, and one… Read more »

Nigel Jones
Nigel Jones
5 months ago

I lean towards the liberal, inclusive side in all these discussions… except the suggestion that those with whom I disagree are scheming and dishonest. I can’t abide the theology and beliefs of conservative evangelicalism, but I find it hard to believe that Nicky Gumbel and co are deceptively scheming and hoping to split the church. It does appear however that they are thoroughly convinced of the rightness of their beliefs to the extent that they have turned their backs on humble doubt and self questioning, or trying to understand the positions of those with whom they disagree. I think they’re… Read more »

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
5 months ago

What do the CEEC think about the King and Queen’s relationship? Do we know? Mr Parker Bowles is still alive and so for conservative evangelicals this presumably presents a problem for them with the CofE’s Supreme Governor. Interesting that they’re so voluble about queer people but so circumspect about Jesus’ explicit teaching about the remarriage of divorcees. How can anyone take these people seriously when they have such a pick n mix approach to Scripture.

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Fr Dean
5 months ago

Good point, Father. At the time of the Royal Divorce a friend at church, a former chairman of the local Conservative Party Association, said to me he had just written to the then PM quoting his former party role and saying, in no uncertain terms, that there was no way whatsoever that he would ever tolerate or accept Camilla P B as queen. He wondered why I laughed, and said that neither his opinion or mine actually mattered a tinkers’ tuppeny damn. I’ve wondered several times since the passing of HM the Queen what he now thinks! Unfortunately everybody does… Read more »

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