Saturday, November 28, 2009

Anglican writings

Still on the road so no time to post much, but when time reemerges I plan to post some quotes from the latest Journal of Anglican Studies (JAS), which offers some very interesting reflections on Lambeth 2008. Then a review of the Latimer Trust's volume of theological commentary on the Jerusalem Declaration which, frankly, reveals the thinness of conservative theology in the Anglican Communion at this time. To think that N.T. Wright (who has a typically brilliant article in the JAS) gets such a hard time by conservative critics, but from that same critical school comes almost nothing of substance by way of prospects for the future of a united Anglican "something" in a post-Communion phase should it emerge ...

4 comments:

Rosemary said...

There was a time wasn’t there .. or perhaps I’m dreaming. When good Christians rejoiced that the Anglo Catholic side of our church had a place within her walls. Or indeed that evangelicals had a place. We rejoiced because just as God hasn’t made two blades of grass the same, so none of us are the same, and if everyone can find a ‘home’ church somewhere, find Him in whom is salvation, then we can all rejoice.

Not so today is it? So perhaps I WAS dreaming! Today everything is polarised .. this post is polarised, critical of brothers and sisters while at the same time calling for unity. What unity? What IS unity? In what do we have unity? What unifies us?

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Rosemary
Evangelical and Anglo-catholic conservative Anglicans have been very critical of others in the Anglican Communion, from individuals such as ++Rowan to whole churches such as TEC. I think it important that such critiques, of which GAFCON/the Jerusalem Declaration has been one example, be as theologically substantive as possible. My intended posts in a day or so will highlight areas in which I think we could do better. It seems a bitstrange to think that seeking to do better at theology draws down the charge of polarization!

Rosemary said...

Yes .. I wish we had the answers, but I certainly don’t, and while I wish to hope that you have, I suspect that none of us do. But my question is I think, valid. Looking at the BIG picture, what will hold us together? I don’t think you’re going to get any agreement theologically speaking. The division you pointed out, is between varying evangelical ‘camps,’ .. not even the major divisions, and STILL I don’t think you’re going to get theological agreement .. so what will hold us together?

I know it is said that the theological diversity is a bad witness to non Christians. I have to say that I wasn’t aware of it as a non Christian, I was aware that there were differing denominations, but I viewed them all as coming under the heading, ‘Christian.’ As a young believer, I reveled in those differences, because each one was a delightful challenge to me to find out what Scripture taught, and therefore what I believed.

Right now, I’m struggling to hang on to the big picture, that His church is there, invisible to all but Him .. and what’s more, it’s completely united. It’s ONE body .. as I thought of it before I became a Christian. I believe that .. but nevertheless .. and like you I know .. I wish for more visible unity, but how is that to be achieved?

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Rosemary
Like you I have no secret recipe for Christian unity. But I think some ingredients lie close at hand. Christ and our shared commitment to him is one such ingredient. Another is our willingness to engage in conversation is another-a lot of teaching from Jesus and from Paul come from their conversations-some of the latter being conducted via letters. Ecumenical relations in the last century have developed through conversation. Another ingredient is our shared willingness to read the Scriptures together. This ingredient is often in short supply.

I'll stop there for now, but not because I have said the last word on achieving unity!!