— NYT Archives (@NYTArchives) February 1, 2018
Daily Archives: February 1, 2018
The Church of England has been accused of launching a ‘shameful and foolish’ new attack on one of its most revered bishops, by making public an uncorroborated child sex abuse allegation almost 70 years old.
The Church announced on Wednesday it had referred to the police a second claim of sexual assault made against Bishop George Bell, who died in 1958.
It made the allegation public amid growing pressure on Archbishop Justin Welby to apologise for the Church’s handling of a previous claim against Bishop Bell, which shredded his reputation.
The General Synod is to discuss the Church’s treatment of Bishop Bell with some suggestion that Archbishop Welby should have resigned over his refusal to say sorry.
In the light of such developments, both positive and negative, some of us have felt that there is a need to bring together all those who value the Anglican theological, liturgical and ecclesial heritage to listen and to learn from one another, as well as to challenge each other, even as we seek a way forward to preserve and to enhance our common patrimony.
The impetus for doing something about this came about as we reflected on the 80th anniversary of the publication of Archbishop Michael Ramsey’s landmark book The Gospel and the Catholic Church and on the sudden passing away in 2016 of the Evangelical Anglican theologian, John Webster, the author of Word and Church in which his seminal essay The Self-Organising Power of the Gospel of Christ: Episcopacy and Community Formation is republished.
In this essay, Webster remarks that an ordered church is not just a practical arrangement, however desirable, but springs from the very nature of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
With limited resources of time and money, it has taken us more than a year to organise this conference but we have been surprised how quickly it has attracted speakers of the first rank from the whole spectrum of the Anglican world and from sympathetic Ecumenical partners.
Read it all (requires subscription).
Mr Konisky set out to fill that gap by micro-analysing the annual surveys of public attitudes undertaken by Gallup, a pollster, since 1999. He devised a set of eight markers by which sensitivity to the planet’s fate might be measured: whether people prioritised economic development or conservation, how they felt about pollution, whether they considered climate change a threat, and so on. He came to a sobering conclusion:
Analysis of multiple measures of environmental attitudes reveals little evidence that Christians have expressed more environmental concern over time. In fact, across many measures, Christians tend to show less concern about the environment. This pattern generally holds across Catholic, Protestant and other Christian denominations and does not vary depending on levels of religiosity. These findings lead to a conclusion that there is little evidence of a “greening” of Christianity among the American public.
As the article acknowledges, environmental discourse among religious leaders has shifted over the past half-century. In 1967, the American historian Lynn White gained much attention when he argued that the Judeo-Christian tradition was directly responsible for the planet’s depradation because it assigned man “dominion” over the earth. This triggered a powerful countervailing trend among religious leaders. They argued that belief in God implied a duty to care for the natural world and all forms of life. A high point in this process was the publication in 2015 of the Pope’s “green” encyclical, Laudato Si. The missive combined high theology with an appeal for practical measures, such as the abandonment of fossil fuels.
Mr Konisky’s findings do not necessarily imply that Americans in the pews have simply ignored these high-level pronouncements. Rather, they suggest that religion in America is as deeply divided as other parts of society: not so much between denominations as between liberals and conservatives….
How then might what Paul writes in 1 Corinthians provide guidance for us as we seem to be moving into a post-Christian culture? Should we listen to Rod Dreher or to Jamie Smith?
First, I would say that Paul does not give us clear-cut advice about whether we should do things like bake wedding cakes for gay weddings. He leaves it up to us to figure out how to sort out these kinds of disagreements. However, he does provide us with some basic principles.
Second, we need to be concerned about both Christian identity and Christian mission. In issues that are genuinely connected with basic Christian faith or practice, the church needs to remember who we are, and we cannot compromise. At the same time, we need to remember that the church does not exist for itself, but for those outside the church. If there can be no mission without identity, neither can there be identity without mission.
Third, we need to keep the main thing the main thing. Christianity is about Jesus Christ crucified, what Paul calls the “foolishness of the cross.” To follow Jesus does not mean that we will never have to suffer or experience pain or discomfort. We will. In The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote: “The cross is laid on every Christian. . . . The cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise god-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”6
However, because the cross is the main thing, we can relax a bit about things that are not the main thing. In times of confusion and strong disagreement, we in the church need to live with a certain humility. There is something more important even than being right, and that is to love our brother and sister for whom Jesus Christ died, even if that means that we might have to let someone have their way when we are certain that we are right and they are not.
(CT) Rachel Denhollander–My Larry Nassar Testimony Went Viral. But There’s More to the Gospel Than Forgiveness.
Do you remember reaching a point where you doubted God’s goodness?
My biggest struggle was understanding God’s perspective on sexual abuse, ultimately a conclusion I really had to come to myself through a lot of wrestling, a lot of tears, and a lot of studying.
Where did you find an answer?
Going to Scripture directly.
Was there a particular Bible verse or passage that you felt spoke to your situation?
One was from John 6, where Jesus asks Peter, “Do you want to leave too?” Peter says, “Where else would I go, Lord? You have the words of life.” There was a point in my faith where I had to simply cling to the fact that although I didn’t understand or have the answers, I knew that God was good and that he was love. Whatever else I didn’t understand couldn’t be a contradiction to that.
Beyond that, it was learning more about God’s justice, that contrast between darkness and light, and how to properly interpret God’s sovereignty and Bible verses that command us to give thanks or reveal God’s promises of bringing goodness out of evil. When those verses are interpreted properly they are glorious and beautiful truths. More often than not, particularly in the case of sexual assault, they’re really used to mitigate and to minimize—almost as if the victim handles it “properly,” if the victim just forgives, all of the feelings are going to go away. That’s not true and that’s not what Scripture teaches.
The Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge, explains why he will be supporting new proposals for communion between the Church of England and the Methodist Church in Great Britain.
It is a terrible indictment of the Church of England that Methodists found they had to separate from us in the first place. So much good has been borne of Methodism, though. Having attended a Methodist school I owe it a great debt of gratitude for my Christian formation.
Michael Ramsey described the failure of his plan for reunion with the Methodist Church to garner the necessary two thirds majority in General Synod as the ‘saddest day of my life.’ I was confirmed by him in Canterbury Cathedral shortly afterwards in what I believe to have been the first Anglican-Methodist confirmation service. It was a small sign of hope in a depressing situation.
More than forty years later, we have another opportunity to heal this gaping wound in the Body of Christ. It will involve sacrifices by both communions but they are a small price to pay. I hope with all my heart that we shall be prepared to make them.
Everliving God, we rejoice today in the fellowship of thy blessed servant Brigid, and we give thee thanks for her life of devoted service. Inspire us with life and light, and give us perseverance to serve thee all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, world without end.
— Tipperary Studies (@TippStudies) February 1, 2017
O God our Father, Who hast sent Thy Son to be our Saviour: renew in us day by day the power of Thy Holy Spirit; that with knowledge and zeal, with courage and love, with gratitude and hope, we may strive manfully in Thy service: may He keep our vision clear, our aspiration high, our purpose firm, and our sympathy wide; that we may live as faithful soldiers and servants of our Lord Jesus Christ.
–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)
In thee, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame! In thy righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline thy ear to me, and save me! Be thou to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for thou art my rock and my fortress. Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man. For thou, O Lord, art my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth. Upon thee I have leaned from my birth; thou art he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of thee. I have been as a portent to many; but thou art my strong refuge.