April 30, 2007
Sarah Dylan Breuer has posted this list of things that hopefully everyone in the Episcopal Church can agree on.
I think I can agree with this list. At least, any disputes I have with it are trivial enough to be not worthy of splitting the church over!
There is some good discussion on her site. Although it is falling a little bit back into the same old “but I believe this and why don’t you” discussion, it is always good when people are talking!
April 29, 2007
I had to write a homily recently for my Spanish class… It took me a lot longer to translate it than it did to write it!
Mark gives us a picture of some wonderful women in this passage, who come to the tomb despite concerns about being able to get in to do their job of anointing the body of Jesus. “How will we get past the stone?” they ask. Does it keep them home? No. They come anyway. They are so bound and destined to see their beloved friend and teacher that they set out on the journey to take care of his body anyway. They just do it. Call it faith. Call it stubborn. Call it ignorance. But they do it.
They come anyway and they find something quite unexpected. The Gospel of Mark is so interesting because the people around Jesus never quite fully understand what is going on. The women arrive at the tomb, despite their reservations, and they find a surprise. They get scared. They aren’t quite sure what to do with the news they get- this ‘Jesus’ friend of theirs whom they loved yet never quite understood is gone missing. They flee in awe – the Greek translated as ‘fear’ is better translated as ‘reverence’ or ‘awe’ here- and tell nobody.
But perhaps the most wonderful thing about Mark’s account of this gospel is that we, the audience, are invited into the story. There is no prescribed ending; we must finish it ourselves. Jesus is alive- he is in Galilee, and we may bump into him when we turn the next corner if we only have enough faith to believe it may be so. Read the rest of this entry »
April 28, 2007
Funny… if you don’t like four letter words, don’t watch.
April 24, 2007
It’s a wonderful address. I want to address one issue which it touches on briefly:
Ecumenists believe that institutional tightening and clarity are required to get the Roman Catholic Church and the orthodox to take the Anglican communion seriously as a conversation partner. Their question is perceived to be, is there enough/anything to the Anglican communion to negotiate with?
I agree with her and I find it troubling. I have heard and read accounts of ecumenism as being about trying to restore the “true unity” of the church that we have lost through our own sinfulness, or similar accounts.
That may be one way to characterize ecumenism. But it needs clarification. What does “unity” mean? It does not necessarily mean that we need return to the days of uniform polity, uniform authority, uniform doctrine, nor uniform practice in worship. Read the rest of this entry »
April 18, 2007
+++Rowan spoke today.
And I wasn’t unhappy, for the first time in a long time after reading his comments.
The key is this:
St Paul’s denunciation of homosexuality in Romans 1 v 27 also needed to be properly heard as an ancilliary point in an argument about another matter entirely. That did not diminish its force but made it harder either to discard it or to use it as a definite proof text.
‘It is not helpful for a ‘liberal’ or revisionist case, since the whole point of Paul’s rhetorical gambit is that everyone in his imagined readership agrees in thinking the same sex relations of the culture around them to be as obviously immoral as idol-worship or disobedience to parents. It is not very helpful to the conervative either, though, because Paul insists on shifting the focus away from the objects of moral disapprobation in chapter 1 to the reading / hearing subject who has at this point been happily identifying with Paul’s castigation of someone else … Paul is making a primary point not about homosexuality but about the delusions of the supposedly law- abiding.’
I’m too tired to comment much tonight, but it is at least a move in the right direction. I don’t particularly like his characterization of “liberal,” as I consider myself liberal in many senses but not in the way he characterizes liberal theology. I certainly don’t consider myself a revisionist.
April 14, 2007
High points are:
- That the Archbishop of Canterbury cannot discriminate in his invitations to the Lambeth Conference. All bishops of a particular kind must be invited or not.
- That no primate may be excluded from the Primates’ Meeting.
- That diocesan boundaries are inviolable.
- That jurisdictions should not overlap.
- That breaking communion with one province breaks communion with all.
- That Communion-wide rules govern the transfer of ordained persons from a jurisdiction in one province to a jurisdiction in another.
The post goes on to discuss various bishops who have sought transfers from one province or ecclesial boundary to another in order to avoid presentment for various reasons.
Deimel’s concept is an interesting one– it focuses on defining our Anglican borders by making a safe space for all Anglicans in our common discourse as we seek together to discern God’s will, rather than focusing on ways to draw borders around those Anglicans who don’t fit certain characteristics as we move forward together on our journey. Creating a safe space for Anglican dialogue and dissent is better than creating a “fear zone,” at any rate. Read the rest of this entry »
April 13, 2007
I’ve been writing in this week and last on God, who did not cause the crucifixion but responded to it with new life– doing what God always does in the face of death, destruction and sin. The God of abundance, the God who cannot be defeated, the God who loves us even when we cannot love each other or ourselves, the source of light even in the darkest hour, is what the whole narrative of our faith is about.
The Tradition has focused too often on judgment. There are some texts about judgment, it is true. But the predominant stories are of hope, of restoration, of hope of restoration, of creation, and of life from death, of light from shadow, and of triumph in the face of darkness. Biblical scholarship many times can explain the judgmental texts– some of which I have even heard characterized as “texts of terror”– by authorship, locality, cultural situation, and other factors “behind the text” that inform the text to help us enlighten the text, usually putting us back in the place where God is right back where I started– with God as an abundant giver of life. Read the rest of this entry »