The Executive Council’s Response to the Bishops

October 31, 2007

It’s old news in blog-land, but the Executive Council, which governs the Church between General Conventions, has responded to the House of Bishop’s response to the Primates.

Fr Jake has the entire resolution of the Executive Council posted here.  The bottom line is that the Executive Council says that the HOB inappropriately suggested that a qualification exists for the episcopacy that is simply not found in our canons and constitution.

My synopsis of that:  the HOB went overboard on their response.

Other good stuff to read in the blogosphere is on Susan Russell’s blog:  be sure to read here post on Minding the Gap, and especially on Archbishop Desmund Tutu’s recent pronouncement that God is Not A Christian!



6 Responses to “The Executive Council’s Response to the Bishops”

  1. JOHN 2007 Says:

    Tutu, great man that he is, and was esp in standing up against apartheid, has often said things to shock and has done so by setting up a straw man. He did it again last week in Pittsburgh. What a weird statement: God is not a Christian. Who among us said that God was? If one wants to handle the theme of the relation of other faiths, or people of no faiths, to salvation, well, have at it. But do it in a responsible way. Drop the soundbites that hardly advance understanding in any real way, and tell us how you think Jesus relates to other faiths, or how they relate to him.

    Give me someone who is not a grandstander anyday.

  2. Jeff Says:

    My read of the article referenced in Susan’s post is that it did engage people very positively. Most people, anyway– the article expressly said so.

    This is a soundbyte culture. If ++Tutu is good at dropping a soundbyte that makes people take a moment out of their day to stop and consider something they haven’t considered before, then he is appropriately engaging the culture in a way that Jesus did. He is making people think about God in a new way. I rather think Jesus was a sort of grandstander, anyway. By breathing new life into the gospel Tutu shows us the very humanity and divinity of God, all at once– just like Jesus did. Brilliant.


  3. JOHN 2007 Says:

    The Incarnation happened in Pgh last week, you lead me to believe, The very divinity of God in the pulpit at Calvary? “By breathing new life into the gospel Tutu shows us the very humanity and divinity of God, all at once– just like Jesus did.” An astonishing, and so characteristically thoughtless, statement.

  4. Jeff Says:

    No, John, you formed certitude about what I have said without stopping to check your assumptions about me. There is a certain irony in calling me thoughtless when that has been your consistent process on this blog, but nonetheless I will not follow suit and return the name calling as you have done to me time and time again.

    We may have very different takes on Scripture and Revelation– and you may find them astonishing– but you have not put your finger on those differences yet. I do not know enough about you to do it myself either.

    What I said was that ++Tutu has breathed new life into the Gospel message. Jesus’ revelation to us in the gospel is rooted in a particular historical culture and in a historical time– while the underlying themes are eternal. Jesus used common and mundane examples from everyday life to make his points in the gospel. In order to make those have the same breathtaking simplicity and stir up the same soul-full thought that Jesus did to his followers, the contemporary preacher has to bring the gospel to new life, finding everyday examples from this day and this time and his current culture. That is the nature of exegesis. Desmund Tutu has done a great job of that, as he always does.

    That is my point. Where is your theological difference in this?


  5. John 2007 Says:

    “By breathing new life into the gospel Tutu shows us the very humanity and divinity of God, all at once– just like Jesus did.” That’s what you wrote, Bucko. I stand by my claim that it is incautious, thoughtless, and, really, ridiculous. Anyone with one lick of theology knows that Jesus is, as the faith claims,the very humanity of God and very divinity himself. We are not. We never will be ‘divinity’ (apologies to the Eastern Orthodox readers who hold to theosis)but always creatures. And we should keep the distinction between us and God and us and Jesus with vigilance; once we do this then we can get on with understanding just how we are related.

    As for your post #4 . . .it would take some time to make order out of the miasma but I would start by saying that Tutu did not, in this instance, take examples from everyday life like Jesus did (mustard seed, oil and lamps, lost coint) to make a point. Tutu’s soundbite was taking aim at the conservatives in the church–the Bishop in whose Diocese he was speaking–and alleging that they maintained–oh, how silly–that God is a Christian. The sentence itseld is a solecism or a nonsense, of course, but that’s how he gets his applause (sigh).

    As for ‘That’s the nature of exegesis’ I don’t know where to begin. Exegesis in interpretation. But in the previous sentence you seemed to have been talking about proclamation. Maybe seminary will help you.

    I really doubt it though.

    Go be a priest in TEC. Purity and rigour of thought are required there. Not is biblical faithfulness

  6. Jeff Says:


    You have misread my original statement — “By breathing new life into the gospel Tutu shows us the very humanity and divinity of God, all at once– just like Jesus did.”

    I did not say that Tutu was divine. I said that Tutu breathed new life into the gospel and shed new light on both the humanity and divinity of God. He did that in the same way Jesus did.

    As for your point about proclamation, I will agree and disagree with you. The way I have been taught to do exegesis is to bring the text from the history through the text and into contemporary culture. Breathing new life into it is the art of proclamation. So it is a both/and.

    You show a lack of charity that, as I have pointed out again, makes me wonder why you submit yourself to what must be a very painful process of coming to my site and reading my material. If you have no desire to understand my points thoughtfully then please do not visit, or at least do not waste my time with your posts. It very much appears that if I said, “the sky were blue,” then you would decidely state that I was wrong because of points x, y, and z, and probably call me at least 3 names in the process. This is not your personal forum to work out your anger for the problems that face us all as the Church wrestles with her issues in this age. Get a pschyo-therapist or something. But don’t bring it here.

    The next time you post, either you can start showing Christian charity or I will just delete your comments. This is not a “free-speech” forum and I believe I have shown you more than proper respect.


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