Friday, February 11, 2011

Discerning Anglican realities

Philip Turner responding to one analysis of the Primates' Meeting argues that it's time to get real. I agree.

Bryan Owen draws attention to the reality of Anglicanism's hesitancy to engage with conflict and heterodoxy with a view to determining a judgement on the matter at hand. Will we ever change?

Tim Harris is beginning a series tackling the tendency to make one's views on "headship" or "eternal subordinationism" markers of evangelical identity. If this tendency makes headway in the Anglican church (and arguably it is in sections of the Australian and English Anglican churches) then it will be a reality with an extraordinary grip on some Anglican minds.

Joshua Bovis draws attention to a post by leading Sydney Anglican theologian Michael Jensen on lay administration of the eucharist. Joshua diplomatically says it is an interesting post. You can read the argument Michael Jensen lays out here in favour of lay administration (in the context of the Diocese of Sydney) but also arguing 'not yet' for the sake of other Anglicans around the world. Joshua himself has one of the best comments. It seems unreal in this Jensen post, and most comments on it, to have little or no understanding of Anglican distinctives (in this case, we order our eucharistic presidency this way and not another way which belongs to the ways distinctive of other churches).

Via Ron Smith's post on the debate at the currently happening session of the C of E's General Synod on the ARCIC report on Mary, I learn that the next ARCIC round will be on 'The Church as Communion - Local and Universal.' The disconnect between what I imagine Anglican members of ARCIC will say and the reality of our lack of universal communion is going to be huge. If I were Benedict XVI I would put the conversation on hold until the next time we have a Lambeth Conference or Primates' Meeting with all present and participating!

Finally, the reality of truth is that it will always find away to make itself known. In human history we have discovered that neither the Soviets nor the Nazis could suppress the truth. In the end the Berlin Wall came down. A few days ago I discovered that another draconian measure has now failed to suppress the truth. A wall has been breeched. You cannot keep a good woman down! Yes, Ruth Gledhill's blogs have found a way through Rupert's paywall at the Times. They can be read here.


Father Ron Smith said...

Peter, your allegiance to, and faith in, Dr Turner and his three associate theologians with a web-site at A.C.I., though very touching, is hardly credible.

Now that the ABC has finally allowed that TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada still have a place at the Primates' Table, dear Dr.Turner and his friends have become progressivley more rabid in defence of their own arguments around the subjects under dispute in the Communion.

The very fact that Dublin went ahead, with a dedicated sense of fellowship in diversity has cracked ACI's notion of what ought to have happened. Rowan has proven himself immutable to their policy of division on the grounds of gender and sexuality.

Now that GAFCON and ACNA have seen what is the likely direction of the Communion - without the restraints of the schismatics - ACI is in a state of panic, and their view on Communion solidarity has been proven unreliable.

God may yet be able to salvage something of the Anglican genius of Scripture, Tradition and REASON in Communion Affairs - without the bitter fundamentalism of Victorian Muscular Christiany - (on which I suspect, Peter, you were nurtured, and at whose fountain you still drink - never mind that new Springs of Living Waters are being released into the dank dryness of a bygone *Old-Time Religion*)

The "Anglican Communion Intstitute' (self-titled) has no further useful contribution to make to the brave new world of Inclusive Anglicanism, where Peace and Justice are set to thrive in a needy world: - Good News, not Bad!.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron,

I would be interested in engaging with you on the substance of the Philip Turner's argument. I am not particularly interested in your surmises that the ACI is panicking etc as the emotional state of the institute or its writers is neither here nor there.

You also make quite a wild allegation about me and my spiritual heritage. It is not just that I have lived all my life in the Elizabethan age which puzzles me about your allegation; it is also the fact that you are making a judgment which is contrary to the express command of our Lord.

An interesting approach to 'Justice'?!

Brother David said...

Our Lord never said not to judge. He said that if you are going to judge, then you best be able to meet the demands of the measure which you use to make the judgement. A quite different matter all together.

I am sorry that you felt judged by the Padre, he is speaking a bit more forcefully lately, perhaps he is uninhibited by pain medication from his very recent hip surgery, but I did not see his statement so much a judgement, as an observation. Perhaps you feel it was an inaccurate observation?

Peter Carrell said...

I have interpreted our Lord a little differently, David. I understand him as forbidding judgment of others unless we are happy to be judged by the same standard.

Yes, it is an inaccurate judgement of me to presume that both my upbringing and my continuing spiritual sustenance are from Victorian Muscular Christianity. I presume that Ron would not want me to make inaccurate comment about his spiritual wells!

I do understand that following hip surgery life will be a challenge re pain and that may be an explanation for some 'forceful' comments.

michael jensen said...

Peter - your comment on my post seems to be bedevilled by a typo. But do I detect a rather patronising tone here? I have written quite a lot on the issue after all. And you do have to remember my intended audience... I could have mistook; if so - apologies.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Michael,
Not sure what the typo is (or was) but I have tried to make some things clearer/more precise as your comment has made me realise I have been unclear.

I am not sure which part is patronising but accept your criticism, not least because tone gets in the way of content and content is more helpful to progress in theology than tone.

I am not sure what you mean by pointing out the need to remember who your audience is. Surely that audience can hear different arguments in respect of lay presidency, including arguments against it?

I would hope the situation in Sydney is one in which theologians can argue freely from their convictions without fear or favour.

michael jensen said...

Thanks Peter. What I don't get is this comment:

'It seems unreal in this Jensen post, and most comments on it, to have little or no understanding of Anglican distinctives'.

What do you mean?

michael jensen said...

And... your last comment is rather strange too. All I mean by the 'remember my audience' comment is that I am making a pragmatic case to people who are already convinced that there is no theological objection to lay p. So I am not going into whether Anglican church order or distinctives count here.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Michael,
I get it (now) that your post is 'pragmatic' rather then exaninging the 'principles' and thus the context is as you say.

'Unreal' is a play on my title 'discerning Anglican realities.' I am surprised (but, ok, I probably shouldn't be when I understand the context) that generally the thread through your post and comments made little or nothing of the reality that 'Anglican' means we accept some things (e.g. presbyteral presidency) and do not question them because we cannot find them in the Bible. It seems unreal not to acknowledge that reality.

michael jensen said...

A number of the comments were from a Presbyterian!