Peter Carrell–On Some Gene Robinson remarks and Why the Covenant is a Great Idea

Now this is a media reported statement not a theological essay or paper, so I am not going to declare this to be evidence of heresy. But, on the face of it, here is an Anglican bishop making a christological statement which, putting it diplomatically, falls below the Nicene and Chalcedonian par.

The least we could expect of Anglican bishops around the world is that, different and diverse though they may wish to be on human sexuality, whether Hooker meant this or that re Scripture, reason and tradition, and what robes should be worn on which occasion, they all subscribe to the common ecumenical creeds.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant, Christology, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, Theology

14 comments on “Peter Carrell–On Some Gene Robinson remarks and Why the Covenant is a Great Idea

  1. Kendall Harmon says:

    I am going to try leaving comments open on this, but please if you could focus your remarks on the argument made and the counter argument wherein Mr Carrell articulates a concern I would be grateful.

  2. TomRightmyer says:

    The “inclusion” argument made by Bishop Robinson and others and the “salvation only in Jesus” tradition are not easily held together.

  3. Ralph says:

    ““I know Jesus to be the son of God, but what a small, limited God we would have if that was the only manifestation.”

    I guess he’s positing that God might appear to other people, in other times, in other ways. I think, though, that if one were to make that argument, it would also be necessary to note that if this has happened, Holy Scripture doesn’t say so. Thus, it’s at best a speculative remark.

    I’ve heard people say things like that in comparing the Greek Christos with the Sanskrit Krishna. They would make Jesus one of God’s many avatars. Etc., etc., etc.

    The way the statement is phrased, though, makes it sound to me as if he might be criticizing God, much the way that the Pharisees criticized God (Jesus). Thus, I see it more an issue with Doctrine of God (in general), rather than just Christology.

  4. rwkachur says:

    I’ve always found the “limiting God” and “small box” arguments puzzling. Nothing more declares the majesty and power of God than the humble and literally self-sacrificing way in which He chose to redeem his creation. I’m certainly glad He didn’t do it “the way I would have.”

  5. Nikolaus says:

    [blockquote]I’ve always found the “limiting God” and “small box” arguments puzzling.[/blockquote]
    I agree and I usually find that what they mean is that “your god doesn’t look like [i]my[/i] god” and “[i]my[/i] box is better than your box.”

  6. NoVA Scout says:

    I read Mr. Robinson’s statement as saying “I accept Jesus as the son of God, but that’s only one part of God’s majesty and power. There is much more.” I find nothing controversial about that. There are things that are controversial about Gene Robinson and his impact on the Church. This doesn’t happen to be one of them.

  7. Via Mead (Rob Kirby) says:

    The Roman Catholic Church has weighed in on some of these issues in
    [ url=]
    Dominus Iesus[url].

    If any saving gets done, Jesus does it, yet Jesus may save people outside the confines of the visible bounds of the RCC or even Christianity. No such guarantees are made, however, and it is painfully clear that truth found in other places does not rise to the same level as God’s revelation in Jesus.

    Hard to tell from such a short statement where Bishop Robinson comes down on this — is he merely saying that God might act to save somebody outside the Church, or that God speaks to other faith communities under different but equally true forms? It would be interesting to find out exactly what he means by this. Is “I know Jesus as Son of God” a truth claim or a relativistic statement to him?

  8. driver8 says:

    If one were to ask from these few words (if reported accurately) what does Bishop Robinson think God is like, it’s impossible to say. They look compatible with some varieties of polytheism (some Hindus might easily say what he said), with a “many paths up the mountain” monotheism (which is obviously a relativizing of classical Christological claims), or even a Trinitarian theology which argues that salvation is always Trinitarian but may occur outside the church.

    I suspect, if pushed, he would affirm the latter but it’s only a hunch.

  9. driver8 says:

    [blockquote]“I accept Jesus as the son of God, but that’s only one part of God’s majesty and power. There is much more.”[/blockquote]

    If Bishop Robinson does mean that, and [i]I[/i] don’t think he does, it’s clearly heretical. If Jesus is the Second Person of the Trinity, as the Creeds affirm, then whatever Majesty is the Holy Trinity’s equally belongs to the Second Person of the Trinity, as to the Father and the Spirit.

  10. MichaelA says:

    I accept Peter Carrell means well. But, how is the covenant going to do any better than the formularies that we already had, at ‘weeding out’ bishops who fall short of theological faithfulness to the revelation of God in Jesus Christ (his words)?

    We have the scriptures, the creeds, the BCP and the articles. Each of them is helpful and useful. But if someone is going to get past all of them whilst giving only lip service to the doctrine in them (which I assume is what Peter Carrell means), then how is adding the covenant as a formulary going to do any better?

    I am not saying I disagree with statements of faith or formularies – far from it. I think they are essential. But they aren’t the solution which will prevent all problems from ever arising.

  11. NoVA Scout says:

    We sometimes strain mightily to find fault in any utterance of certain persons. The problem here is not what was said, but who said it. Gene Robinson can’t say this, KJS can’t say this. Probably the Archbishop of Canterbury can’t say this, at least not around here. There are a lot of other prominent people in the Anglican community who could and the matter would go unremarked. It is an essentially innocuous statement. I am no defender of Gene Robinson. He has narcissistically contributed to enormous, avoidable damage to the unity of the Church, in my view. This rather banal statement falls outside that dark realm, however.

  12. MichaelA says:

    NoVA Scout,

    True, that tendency is always something to be careful of.

    I am intrigued that it is Peter Carrell who is finding fault with VGR over this.

  13. bettcee says:

    [blockquote]“I know Jesus to be the son of God,” he told a group of about 50 people, “but what a small, limited God we would have if that was the only manifestation.”[/blockquote]Even though Bishop Robinson says he recognizes Jesus to be the son of God he does not seem to understand the significance of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins (and the sins of the whole world) nor does he understand Jesus’ triumph over death. If he did understand these things he would attempt to spread the gospel rather than make remarks about “a small, limited God”.

  14. NoVA Scout says:

    I think his remarks were to the effect that God is not small and limited, Bettcee, and that he did not regard him as such. I see nothing in the reported remarks that minimizes the enormity of the Passion and its theological significance. Where did you see that?