Daily posting on this blog is my aim, but sometimes time, and occasionally sheer lack of 'caught my eye' or 'I have been thinking' material eludes me. But there are times when I think another day will have to go by without a post only to find that, indeed, 'the Lord will provide'. Today, via his servant Glynn Cardy that provision has been made. Glynn is the Vicar of St Matthew's-in-the-City, Auckland. He is great company socially, stimulating conversation partner theologically (i.e. he and I do not always agree!!), and may or may not deliberately court controversy. He and his church are offering the following billboard for viewing this Christmas:
A news report is here which compares the advertisement to the proposed atheist bus adverts (posted about below). Which ad will be the greater conversation starter?
I suppose Protestants and Catholics might have different responses to the implications of the billboard!
(Later) Peter, you are slow off the mark! Way over in New York state, Matt Kennedy is on patrol, probing deeper into this story with a video link to Glynn Cardy. Read what Matt says at Stand Firm, but here is the video close at hand:
Now, here is a very deep and profound response to the video:
Why is Glynn, a priest for many years, wearing his stole as though he is a deacon?
Glynn, the foundations of theology are at stake, not only with what you say, but with what you wear!
There is much to challenge here in what Glynn says. Just two things:
(1) "To make the news at Christmas it seems a priest just needs to question the literalness of a virgin giving birth. Many in society mistakenly think that to challenge literalism is to challenge the norms of Christianity. What progressive interpretations try to do however is remove the supernatural obfuscation and delve into the deeper spiritual truth of this festival.
Christian fundamentalism believes a supernatural male God who lived above sent his sperm into the womb of the virgin Mary."
Umm, are people who believe in the Virgin Birth incapable of also delving 'into the deeper spiritual truth of this festival'? Do Christian fundamentalists believe that God sent his 'sperm into the womb of the virgin Mary'? This fundamentalist (or 'fundamentalist') simply believes God was able to effect the fertilization of an egg in Mary's womb. How God did this is a mystery not requiring the banal anthropomorphism of talking about God's sperm.
(2) "No doubt on Christmas Eve when papers print the messages of Church leaders a few of them will serve up this fundamentalist thesis wrapped in a nice story."
Perhaps that happens up in Auckland. The standard fare in the Christchurch Press is wheeling out a progressive Christian leader to make comment about the deeper meaning of Christmas.
On the other hand I am at one with Glynn on other points, for example, critiquing that theology which makes the Incarnation a mere hors d'oeuvre to the main course of Jesus' Death-and-Resurrection.
But when all is said and done about these kind of theological matters, I am troubled by the unexplained mystery of the reason why Glynn wears his stole diagonally. I look forward to enlightenment ...
Finally, back to Matt Kennedy's post:
One of the comments on Stand Firm has significant bite to it: (in my words) what is the difference between a Muslim and a progressive Christian who denies the divinity of Jesus?
There are other comments drawing attention to the theology of Jesus being God among the poor in contrast to the wealth of St Matthews-in-the-City ... those North Americans are well informed, methinks.