Bishop-Elect Forrester Replaces New Testament Reading with Quran Passage

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Islam, Other Faiths, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan, Theology

23 comments on “Bishop-Elect Forrester Replaces New Testament Reading with Quran Passage

  1. Henry Greville says:

    How more ridiculous will the Episcopal Church decide to become than it appears already?

  2. Frank Fuller says:

    Thew Forrester seems to be a [i]scofflaw[/i] with regard to the canons of the Church and the BCP. These are presentable offenses, are they not? If the HOB and the Standing Committees have any institutional integrity left at all, they will decline his election until such time as he conforms to the laws of the Church.

  3. Jerod says:

    Given all the publicity of late, I doubt he will receive the necessary number of approvals for confirmation, but seldom will these mounting theological irregularities receive mention. The church liberals will use the procedural irregularity of his (s)election process to get them out of this sticky situation. Ah, canon legalism to the rescue once again.

  4. azusa says:

    I’m shocked, shocked – nothing from the Buddhist Scriptures?

  5. Jeffersonian says:

    The Syncretist Church welcomes you!!

  6. Harvey says:

    Sounds like someone is pouring water into the sinking lifeboat instead of trying to bail it out. The wide pathway to hell sure seems to be getting wider. Nuff said!!

  7. JamesTheLesser says:

    Why are there so many liberal Christians so enamored with Islam? Anyone with thoughts?

  8. Ralph says:

    #7, it makes no sense to me, either. Islam has a much higher (albeit defective) view of Jesus than do the radical liberals, Islam views women as household property, Islam doesn’t ordain women, and Islam has an absolute ban on homosexual practice. These things don’t fit with their world-view.

    Maybe they are so completely blind to the truth of Christianity that they are able to perceive some truth in a different religion. Perhaps they are embracing something that they know very little about. I just don’t know.

  9. deaconjohn25 says:

    The root of so many problems Christianity is having in the West is that the Gospel of Syncretism is also the secular Gospel and it is evangelized in every quarter of the West. Look at all the flack, insults, etc. the papacy got over the past few years for daring to say there is ONE LORD, ONE Saviour. But supposedly all religions are the same so there can be no ONE Saviour—And many of the attacks on the popes for reaffirming this have come from alleged Christians. However, these are Christians whose salt has lost its savor so they are dabbling in polluted waters to tickle their spiritual tastebuds. (Sorry for all the convoluted metaphors).

  10. Sidney says:

    What is Forrester trying to accomplish with this move?

    Surely he knows that (a) if he just wanted a reading with this bland theme he could find many passages in the Bible to do it (setting aside the fact that he’s not supposed to substitute readings anyway) and (b) he’s hurting his chances at election even more for no particular reason.

    There seems to be no reason for this but stirring up trouble. But why? Doesn’t he have better things to do? Does he just love the media attention? Just getting pleasure out of pushing the envelope?

    It’s so beyond-the-pale crazy that I wonder if there’s some sort of reverse psychology going on here. Is he trying to trash his own election on purpose? If so, why? Maybe he doesn’t really want to be bishop of a tiny diocese – maybe this is his way of getting noticed in bigger places?

  11. farstrider+ says:

    Hi Sydney,

    This was a service that took place in January 2008, so it wasn’t done with his election in view. Given everything that’s coming out about him I suspect Thew Forrester might wish this had remained hidden at this particular juncture in his career.

    But then the things someone does when they’re not in the spotlight are often more revealing than the things done when they want people to take notice.

  12. Sidney says:

    Oh, I didn’t notice that date. Sorry.

    It is curious that he chose the OT translation (Jerusalem Bible, perhaps?) to use the ‘Yahweh’ name, but didn’t choose a translation of the Koran that used the word ‘Allah’.

  13. Sidney says:

    Oh, correction, I see the translation is the ‘Inclusive Hebrew Scriptures.’

  14. Jason Miller says:

    I wonder if some reason that liberal Christians are drawn to Islam is because it still holds a great deal of the mystery (from a Western perspective) that they have drained from Christianity. I’ve studied it a good bit, teach it at the college level, and it is fascinating to study. If you’re not grounded in a Trinitarian grammar of the faith, the monotheistic roots of Islam could be an inviting element to mix with Christianity.

  15. C. Wingate says:

    One is tempted to attribute to Forrester the sort of dilettante syncretism that doesn’t really care all that much about what the texts actually say.

  16. azusa says:

    #15 – I think you have nailed it – it’s ABC – Anything But Christianity – and the syncretistic version of religion they come up with, whether Redding’s ‘Islam’ or Forrester’s ‘Buddhism’, would not be recognized as such by actual practitioners of Islam or Buddhism.
    But that’s Tec for you: ignorant upper middle class dabblers who cannot be taken seriously. It’s all about money, social tone, and fashionable left-liberal posing.
    Forrester will be ideal for such company.

  17. Ralph says:

    [blockquote]It is curious that he chose the OT translation (Jerusalem Bible, perhaps?) to use the ‘Yahweh’ name, but didn’t choose a translation of the Koran that used the word ‘Allah’.[/blockquote]
    I know that plenty of scholars use “Yahweh” to pronounce The Name, but I’ve looked, and have found no evidence that this is a correct, or even appropriate, pronunciation of YHVH. I do know that “Jehovah” is not correct, but that’s what I use – since it is wrong, and thus not offensive to my Jewish friends. They spend hours meditating on the meaning of the 4 consonants that make up The Name.

    All in all, it’s just easier to say, “God” and avoid the controversy.

    #14, Jason Miller. I’ve been told that “Allah” is Arabic for “the god”. Wikipedia says it is a contraction of al ‘ilah, and notes the relationship with the Hebrew El. It further states that Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians use this word when speaking of God.

    So, translating Allah as God does seem to make sense. (Using a reading from the Koran in a communion service, of course, does not seem to make sense.)

    Are you aware of an Islamic mystical tradition that would also meditate on the Arabic letters comprising this name?

  18. WestJ says:

    Why is this man not up for presentment? He needs some serious repentance.

  19. Katherine says:

    #17 Ralph, “Allah” is indeed the Arabic word for “God,” and Arabic Christians use it when speaking Arabic. Muslims in Egypt have prayer beads and repeat the many names for God, that is, his attributes (the compassionate, the merciful, and so on) but don’t meditate on the letters themselves so far as I am aware. Neither Muslims nor Arabic Christians are bothered by saying “God” as the Jews are. I thought in most OT translations that “the LORD” is used where the Hebrew uses “YHWH.”

  20. libraryjim says:

    Katherine, you are correct: most OT translations renders ‘Adonai’ as Lord and the tet. as LORD, usually with the “L” in a bit larger font size than the following capital letters O-R-D.

    However, there are a few translations the feel “Yahweh” should be used for the Tet., most notably, the “Jerusalem Bible” (and it’s follower, the New JB).

  21. Already left says:

    The problem with the broader Episcopal church is the people in the pews. Most of them have never read the Bible cover to cover even once, let alone several times. They really don’t care – they take whatever their priest says at face value. They don’t know what they believe or why they believe it. These are the ones to whom Jesus will say at the pearly gates “I never knew you.”
    If they really knew Him, none of the “lefties” would have been able to carry out the shenanigans they’ve gotten away with in the past several decades.

  22. Jason Miller says:

    #17 Ralph — the Sufi (remember their great poet Rumi, of Frank Griswold fame) are the main mystics of Islam, and one practice is to meditate on the letters of the name of Allah.

  23. Ralph says:

    Thanks, Jason Miller. It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall in a meeting of bona fide, advanced mystics from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Though, I suppose the room might be rather quiet.