Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 9 November 2019

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Establishment dynamics. How secrecy and defensiveness harm the Church.

Peter Leonard ViaMedia.News Remembering – An Active Choice?

Jayne Ozanne ViaMedia.News The All-Seeing Eye

Kate Wharton Single Minded The Billy Graham Rule

Philip North Church Times We don’t need to bring Jesus to urban estates
“The Church’s task is to demonstrate that he is already present, not to provide all the answers”

Sara Batts-Neale Church Times The tyranny of the perfect wedding
“Sara Batts-Neale’s ministry to her wedding couples extends to their bank balance”

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David Emmott
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David Emmott

re Stephen Parsons’s article: the Establishment is so pervasive (and persuasive) that it has conned us all into accepting its behaviour as normal. Describing elitist schools for the rich as ‘public’ schools is one such example, and I don’t think we should connive at it.

Stanley Monkhouse
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If you haven’t seen it, watch A very British coup. Channel 4 catch up. The hidden elite who have ruled “yea, even unto the Middle Ages”

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

As I understand it, the term ‘public school’ has historical roots. The schools were ‘public’, in contrast to an education acquired by being tutored at home. It’s an anomaly now, but then we have a lot of anomalous terms and customs with historical roots.

David Emmott
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David Emmott

I know the origin of the term. But it normalises the exceptional behaviour of the rich. As if they alone were the public and the rest of us were of no account. It’s not a historical anomaly because many people (eg Rees Mogg) still think like that.

Simon Kershaw
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“Public school” also contrasted historically with “private school”. A public school was endowed for public use and subject to public management or control [OED] whereas a private school is “a fee-paying school run for the personal profit of the proprietors” [OED again]. The earliest public schools were the local endowed grammar schools, but they later developed into taking boys (only boys of course) from beyond their local area. The corresponding Latin term “publica schola” is recorded in England at least as far back as 1180 (and itself goes back much further, e.g. it is used by Jerome earlier than 420).

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

Philip North is as usual right. Listening is vital. My view of church, and indeed Christianity, has been turned on its head by ministry in an inner urban context. It’s no good “middle class” church people telling UPA people what they need: we must ASK them (I ’m sorry to use the “class” term, but it’s shorthand). It was no good diocesan advisers telling me what I should be doing, as if I had at my disposal an army of willing helpers and pots of money. Indeed, on one occasion I refused to listen to one such until they’d listened… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

“I’ve written on TA before about the silliness of doctrines that promise jam tomorrow: salvation and eternal, abundant, life are about here and now” I take it that you think Jesus got it wrong when he preached the Sermon on the Mount then because that was all about jam tomorrow? In fact, jam tomorrow is a central theme of His ministry. Where the Church gets it wrong, and has been getting it wrong for hundreds of years, is that it fails to challenge those who have jam today. And, in world terms, very, very few in this country are anything… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

“I take it that you think Jesus got it wrong when he preached the Sermon on the Mount then because that was all about jam tomorrow? In fact, jam tomorrow is a central theme of His ministry.”

But still he didn’t neglect the needs of those who require jam today. Remember the loaves and fishes. And, of course, “whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me.”

Kate
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Kate

Yes but salvation and the message are about the life eternal. In this life, following Jesus is likely to make things harder, not easier. I agree that Jesus was a good host and saw to the physical needs of those to whom he was preaching when needed. One of the ways in which the Eucharist has been debased is that the original intent was to share a meal but these days we distribute only a tiny, dry wafer and a sip of wine. Hardly good hospitality. It might suit middle class worshippers but for those in food poverty it is… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
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Kate writes: “salvation and the message are about the life eternal”. Whether that is or is not the case is what’s being discussed. Asserting it doesn’t make it true. What is meant by “eternal”, for example? What Greek word or words does it translate, and what range of meanings might the Greek carry? Life in the future does not necessarily or exclusively mean life after death.

Stanley Monkhouse
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Eternal: e(x)ternal, out of time, ec-stasis. A quality of life here and now. Nothing to do with future or quantity.

Andrew Welsby
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Andrew Welsby

Lukes account of the Beatitudes is very much about jam today!

Stanley Monkhouse
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… and quite marvellous in Peterson’s ” the Message”.

peterpi - Peter Gross
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peterpi - Peter Gross

Thank you, Kate Wharton! This excerpt sums it up brilliantly: “A rule which casts the man in the role of weak willed robot, slave to his desires, incapable of withstanding temptation or resisting feminine wiles. A rule which casts the woman in the role of sultry temptress, who with one wink of her eye can draw the man into sin. […] Surely we can all do better?” The first I heard of the so-called “Billy Graham rule” (which I think of as the “man with no internal discipline rule”) was 10 to 20 years ago, when a nuclear missile firing… Read more »

Susannah Clark
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Susannah Clark

Kate Wharton’s article is excellent. It’s a bit like when women are told to dress more modestly, because otherwise men will be overcome with desire. You can find someone sexually attractive without being overcome with desire. It’s all about self-control and your own decency. Personal responsibility and integrity. It’s a real shame if women cannot be mentored by men, or the other way round; or can’t meet up for a coffee or meal to discuss issues and get to know each other; or act as counsellors for each other. As you say, Peter, this almost objectifies women as adulteresses, and… Read more »

Simon Dawson
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Simon Dawson

I am reminded of an engraving at the recent superb Renaissance Nude exhibition at the Royal Academy.. It was an engraving by Lucas Cranach the Elder showing the penance of St John Chrystostom. The accompanying blurb told the story. “According to an apocryphal account, St John Chrystostom lived as a hermit in the desert when he encountered the daughter of an emperor. Having succumbed to desire, he was so ashamed that he threw her over a precipice.”

Graeme buttery
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Graeme buttery

Of course bishop Philip speaks from experience in his own parish ministry, some of it in Hartlepool, where I have the honour to serve. Jesus is indeed already here (always has been), and Stanley is right about lived experience, but three things occurred to me. Firstly, my folks don’t want sympathy or even fine initiatives always organised by someone outside:what they are after is equality of opportunity. Secondly, just like everywhere else, each of these communities marches to the beat of a different drum: over views, generalised theories and telling us to adopt what St. S o and sos did,… Read more »