Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Autonomy and Catholicity: a puzzle

Why do Anglicans entrust some decisions to diocesan synods, other decisions to General Synod/Convention, and none (that really matter) to global Anglican gatherings?

What is it that we find untrustworthy about diocesan synods and about global Anglican gatherings?

(If you do not like the word "untrustworthy") what makes a General Synod/Convention the most trusted Anglican decision making body?

In what sense is the fellowship of Anglican churches genuinely 'catholic' if it has no means for determining which General Synod/Convention has made the correct decision if one makes a decision contradicting another's decision?

31 comments:

Andrew Reid said...

Hi Peter,
Anglicans from the outset have been suspicious of centralised authority. We were born out of rejecting papal authority, and instead entrusting it to local bishops and dioceses under the authority of Scripture. Therefore, we have tended to place authority in local hands as much as possible.

The Australian experience is that all authority resides in local dioceses, except for matters affecting the "ritual ceremonial or discipline" of the church. Therefore, issues such as women's ordination, new liturgies, children's participation in Communion, and clergy professional standards have gone to General Synod first, then to diocesan synods. I guess the theory is these issues affect what it means to be Anglican, and therefore require national approval. The only mention of international bodies in the constitution is state that we are in communion with the Church of England and other churches in communion with her, as long as they adhere to the Lambeth Quadrilateral, Book of Common Prayer and 39 Articles.

In theory, a global body that deals with issues of catholicity sounds like a good idea. But if member churches won't submit to Scripture, there's no hope they will submit to the Lambeth Conference, Primates or any other global body.

Andrew Reid

Pilgrim said...

The English Reformation, of which we are inheritors, seems to have been driven, as much as by anything else, by the idea that the church and the nation were inextricably linked.

Thus, it is at the national level that the key decisions are made. The diocesan level is best suited for determining how national decisions get implemented and they serve as the sources for movements and ideas that will eventually need to be decided at the national level.

In the same way that decisions of foreign prelates in faraway Rome was inimical to our 16th century founders, so too today we are suspicious of international bodies who are too far removed from our context to be trusted.

At the same time, too much local autonomy threatens the integrity of the nation. And though today, outside of England (& there more in theory than reality), no Anglican churches are "established" or thought to be coincident with the body politic, there is something in our unacknowledged assumptions that carries on in this way.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Pilgrim and Andrew,
I understand all you say, and for the most part I have no problem at all with the way many of us do things: local decisions on many matters, General Synod for others. But the question remains in a global world with fast communication and an interconnectedness unknown to the reformers whether there is a need for some level of international governance on matters Andrew mentions: what it means to be Anglican, catholicity.

Pilgrim said...

Well, that's a good question. Increasingly, people are becoming comfortable with engaging one another via the internet. Look at this conversation, 3 people from Australia, New Zealand and the USA. We could not have done this even five years.

However, most people, at least most people I know, still engage the church one-on-one in physical the parish, and most parishes do social media very poorly. I'm not sure we have enough experience or comfort yet with living out our faith lives on the web to trust such interactions to the governance of the church.

Perhaps down the road, in another generation, we will discover how to effectively use the interconnectivity of the internet to form a structure that enables the breadth of the communion to engage meaningfully to lead the church.

However, the move to a more centralized governance, whether through the web or no, is truly a significant paradigm shift in how Anglicans have thought about church.

We have always been national churches, the CoE, the Episcopal church of Scotland, the Anglican Church of Canada, The Episcopal Church in the United States. TEC even built a National Cathedral in Washington, DC. Very few people see the need to be any other way. You're asking that we redefine how we have historically understood catholicity.

Peter Carrell said...

Here's the thing I think about, Pilgrim, re 'national' v 'international' and our understanding of Anglican catholicity: if on Monday I open up the newspaper here in Christchurch and find that the Bishop of Nowhereinparticular in the national Anglican Church of Somewhere has denied the resurrection, I would hope that the Church of Somewhere would, in some appropriate way, discipline this bishop, because this proclamation contradicted Anglican belief.

But what if the Church of Somewhere takes no such action? In the current polity I can do nothing. No one can do anything (except remonstrate as loudly and widely as possible). In our interconnected world, where the views of such a bishop have some effect on me faraway, it seems strange that we remain wedded to a polity in which, in return, I can do nothing to have effect on that bishop.

Pilgrim said...

I guess the real question is why does what the Bishop of Nowhereinparticular says in the church of somewhere matter to you? Why should you have the ability to have any say in what they say?

In my church, Bishop Spong said some crazy things that most Episcopalians don't agree with. Should the EPiscopal church have denounced him. I would say yes, but the truth is that for most of the church, he has not been that impactive. In my mind, C.S. Lewis has had a more pernicious affect on undermining the doctrine of the church.

When it comes to the church, the weight of tradition is not to be easily dismissed. Anglicanism has worked so far by relying on geographically defined churches, and I don't see a compelling reason to abandon that now. Bishops around the world have always said nutty things from time to time. The only difference is that you hear about it and people get worked up before adequate time has passed to objectively deduce the affect.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Pilgrim,
So when I read a newspaper in my lounge with the picture of Anglican Bishop X from faraway glaring at me and the headline saying he/she denies doctrine Y, I am meant to respond in an entirely neutral way because he is on his island and I am on my island?

I might need to consult Anglican poet John Donne about that thought and get back to you.

Meantime I trust no non-Nigerian Anglicans are worrying about anything Nigerian bishops might be saying in the world media because there is no reason for us to have any say in what they say. :)

Anonymous said...

Pilgrim writes: "In my church, Bishop Spong said some crazy things that most Episcopalians don't agree with. Should the Episcopal church have denounced him. I would say yes, but the truth is that for most of the church, he has not been that impactive."

Here I beg to differ. An orthodox Episcopal bishop said to me back in 1998 (I paraphrase): "The revisionists like Spong because he's their stalking horse. They don't agree with his views [which are now decidely post-Christian, I would add, as he has systematically denied line after line of the Creeds] but he allows them to say to critics: 'Hey, I'm OK, I'm no Jack Spong!' - and that way they kept pushing the envelope." In other words, Spong helped create the environment for doctrinal drift, just as the Mensheviks paved the way for the Bolsheviks. Most revisionists in Tec thought Spong was out of his depth; their real guiding star was Scottish Bishop Richard Holloway.

Peter "Palaiologos"

Father Ron Smith said...

"Meantime I trust no non-Nigerian Anglicans are worrying about anything Nigerian bishops might be saying in the world media because there is no reason for us to have any say in what they say." - P.C. -

Your trust has been ratified, Peter. A lot of Anglican Churches - including the GAFCON crowd - have said absolutely nothing about the inappropriate remarks made by the Nigerian Anglican Prelates who are demonising gays.

James said...

Pilgrim,

I live in Europe, and because TEC maintained Spong as a bishop, he was able to get his books published - which otherwise probably wouldn't be the case, since they're rather worthless as scholarship and mostly emotive / vituperative. A friend of mine who was seriously considering the gospels and visited my Anglican church happened to purchase one of his books in a book store here in Europe. "Look, an ANGLICAN bishop it says on the cover." I never heard from her again about Christ after she'd begun reading this book, she lost interest completely.

Keeping Spong on, and that he keeps referring to himself as "An Anglican bishop" means: We Anglicans must be very careful to warn people AWAY from things "Anglican" until such a time that the TEC problem is rectified. People tend to be very undereducated about theology and history, and Spong exploits this, preying upon the weak.

Your own parish may be strong, but I have met many TEC individuals who consider themselves very competent at leading churches, but are as dull as they come in the area of theology and Biblical studies ... apparently thinking that speaking about how they feel about various topics is more important than finding out what primary sources say ... even e.g. talking about what they "think the Bible says about Noah" without bothering to crack open the book of Genesis (probably because they wouldn't know where to look ... in one such question, the "church leader" tried looking in her TEC prayerbook catechism). Do we believe Christ died for our sins? "Ummm, uhh, heh well let me tell you how I feel about that ..." They believed their feelings alone were important for others to listen to, and be taught, simply because some dolt had made them "church leaders."

Spong has more or less sapped TEC of its ability to think. Since Spong is a "defender of the faith" and he teaches what he teaches ... well, why not teach whatever it is that I feel about stuff? It must surely be just as valid as what anyone else teaches! And if you don't like it, you must be an awful Fundamentalist! It's even more suspicious if you refer to primary sources, history, philosophy, etc., since then you must be ... a Dangerous Fundamentalist Zealot! Oh, I just feel so much negativity in you ... you know, the world just isn't rationalistic, ya know, and I think that maybe some people would disagree with you on history! That kind of stuff.

Imagine the effect this has on people who trustingly come to that church to listen to these "church leaders" go on and on about how they feel about various things, whether they have read the Gospels or not. It blights faith, saps one's confidence in reason and sanity.

Anglican = backwards fundamentalistic half-insane vituperative Catholic hater, unless one has serious grounds for thinking otherwise. Fr. Carey here is a good example of a trustworthy Anglican, for example; there are still some sane souls in TEC as well. But there are plenty of good non-Anglican Christians one can go to for spiritual fellowship and edification.

James said...

Pilgrim,
Another effect of Spong generally lobotomizing TEC (not to mention, sowing massive spiritual death) is: TEC has elected +KJS as Presiding Bishop; and a strong case can be made that during her tenure she's denied the doctrines of the divinity of Christ and the resurrection - see http://bit.ly/asdZPO. And very, very few in TEC seem to give a flying fahita about this, they're so happy with +KJS, how prophetic she is! I acknowledge the importance of caring for the environment etc., but when we make Jesus into a kind of metaphor for our favorite ethical preoccupations, we are denying Him.

For all you're hearing in seminary about how awful Fundamentalism is: can you think of anything on earth that's more effective in creating church angst - the root cause of Fundamentalism - than what TEC is doing? Have some Spong books, listen to our PB deny Christ, agree that we're "tearing the fabric" of the Communion if we elect a gay bishop and then do it anyways, publish a liturgy of Asherah worship and then withdraw it because of "copyright reasons," using the Windsor Report to justify its publication? Teaching flocks that Christians who believe that Christians should believe that Jesus walked on the water, have a genocidal germ? We're NUTS, we are FLAMINGLY WACKO, we are denouncing Fundamentalism and engaging in those very things which create these problems - perhaps the world's #1 cause of Fundamentalism, if one thinks about it. Can you think of a better way to convince mainstream Christian churches to back off of issues like same-sex blessings & womens' ordination?

Are you sure you want to be in this kind of church? Can't you smell the awful stench of apostasy and what it's already wreaking in our midst? Wouldn't it be better to switch to a Trinitarian Christian church and serve there?

Father Ron Smith said...

" TEC has elected +KJS as Presiding Bishop; and a strong case can be made that during her tenure she's denied the doctrines of the divinity of Christ and the resurrection"
- James (not of Jerusalem!) -

This sort of calumny reminds me of the well-known web-site run by My David Virtue, of virtueonline.inc

Presumably, Iago, you are not a clergy member of TEC? If you were I would counsel you to review your promise of loyalty to the hierarchy of your Church in the U.S.A.

If you are from some other part of the Anglican Communion, perhaps you are not very well-acquaintecd with the person you are vilifying on this blog. My own impression of TEC's Presiding Bishop is that Bishop Katharine is theologically competent and also commendably efficient at her task of leading TEC into an era of Gospel justice and inclusivity.

Peter Carrell said...

Note to commenters re comments about the theology of ++KJS, or anyone: please take care not to 'vilify' people when taking issue with a theological position.

The comment I published in this thread re the theology of ++KJS came close to being rejected. At risk of being seen to endorse vilification of a person I published the comment because there has been over the years of her presidency some reasonable, evidenced debate about the theological commitments of ++KJS.

James said...

Father Peter, I don't wish to villify anyone, though I do wish to point out the guilt which all of us Anglicans bear corporately - a theme which many Evangelicals may not like, with the individual focus - and I tend to think many Evangelicals are rather blind to "what we, together, have become" - or are likely to try to "localize" blame without seeing their own responsibility as part of the body. I am speaking of what we (myself included) have become. If anyone, it should be "liberals" with more of a sense of the corporate aspect of salvation who should step up to speak out about what we have become.

We all are responsible for +KJS's function - we, claiming to be Trinitarian Christians, put her there and sustain her there, in a way which most likely does great damage to her own chances of growing in faith. We who aren't in TEC haven't succeeded in calling TEC back from the brink, and as members of the Communion are thus responsible - she is, after all, one of our Primates. We have failed in helping TEC (and her). When one asks an imam to teach people to pray that Allah has no helpers in a Trinitarian church, one shouldn't blame the imam for bringing another gospel into the church - one needs to blame those claiming to be Trinitarian Christians who invited him to teach, and continue to invite him to do so. It is we, the Trinitarian Christians, who are to blame here, and not necessarily +KJS. It is possible that she never came to the point of embracing faith in Christ as embodied in Trinitarian Christianity. I do not wish here to examine the question of whether +KJS is culpable in this regard (though open to being wrong here - perhaps I should be considering possible guilt of +KJS on this point). As one who is liberally-minded, I hold open the possibility of evaluating her more in secular terms, and reserve the difficult language of justice in Trinitarian Christianity as it pertains to the church for Trinitarian Christians.

James said...

Father Smith, you accuse me of "calumny." This implies:

1) that I am saying something untrue, and 2) the untrue thing which I am saying is significantly hurtful to a person's reputation.

Actually, I see it as a very positive sign of your Trinitarian faith that you would find that denying the doctrines of the divinity of Christ and the resurrection as "a bad thing" for a bishop, it fills me with hope about you as a Trinitarian Christian clergyman.

That said, the argument "what you say sounds like [ ... ]" doesn't get us very far, so I'm assuming you haven't read the evidence - see http://bit.ly/asdZPO - and like many of us Anglicans, prefer the conservative fallback of emotive utterances and associations to the use of reason. If you do have a rational argument regarding +KJS's theology, I'd like to hear it. Or perhaps you're simply not terribly fond of Trinitarian theology, or rather like Jesus as a metaphor for various social justice aims, and aren't too enamoured of the rest? In this case, you shouldn't see any "calumny" at all in what I say about +KJS - I know that some Episcopalians even find this to be a good thing, and find the bodily resurrection of Christ to be passé mythology. +KJS is very good at motivating many of her flock toward ethical action - this is perhaps what you see as "capable theology," successful in re-defining theological terms into ethical practice?

I have spent many hours - tens of hours - reading +KJS's sermons, books, interviews, etc. etc.. My academic background is in philosophy with an emphasis on hermeneutics. I was a member of TEC when I lived in the U.S. decades ago. I began following TEC news quite closely when, in our CofE congregation in Europe, we had a TEC priest who gave a sermon whose primary point was that John the Baptist never doubted Jesus, and frequently expressed her love of pantheism (note, not panentheism) though she didn't know what it was - and later ended up dismantling our most effective ministry by appointing (not electing) a warden who was a self-described atheist and asking him to take charge of organizing it.

I'm very much a Trinitarian Christian, so the above things are things which tell me that, from my religious position, we are doing the worse thing a church can do when we teach people that Jesus is merely a metaphor for ethical action. However, I'm aware that some non-Trinitarian Christian Anglicans think that this is a very good, and necessary thing. This is one of our problems: that we live in the church with goals which are pitted directly against one another, with no possibility of union. This is why we need some kind of Covenant: either the Trinitarian Christians have to go, or the non-Trinitarian believers who insist on remaining commending their views to the faith have to go (if they refuse to desist from denying Christ, from a Trinitarian Christian perspective). For Trinitarian Christianity, bringing "another gospel" into the church is anathema. Social justice does flow from our understanding of the gospel. But if we confuse social justice with the gospel itself - we bring down judgment upon ourselves.

If you do respond, please keep to the topic of our first disagreement: whether or not a good case can be made that +KJS denies the doctrines of the resurrection and the divinity of Christ, in the evidence presented in the article at http://bit.ly/asdZPO (copy/paste into a browser). In order to rationally argue against this, you could: present evidence of another top-level Trinitarian Christian leader (like a Primate) who has gone as far as she in denying the church's doctrines of the resurrection or the divnity of Christ. Or perhaps you'll find that you're in agreement with me, but then decide that this is not such a bad thing, and that this is no "calumny", that you're simply an adherent of some non-Trinitarian form of religion, and perhaps she is simply evangelizing the faith that you have?

Hermano David | Brother Dah • veed said...

Just in case no one has picked up on it, +KJS is one of James' hobby horses. He has referred us two or three times to an article parked on the internet claiming from inference that +KJS does not believe in the divinity of Christ, not in the resurrection. What he has not pointed out, but seems appearent in quick perusal, is that he is the author of this article. So he is his own referred authority on the subject.

James said...

Keen you are, Dah*veed, I am the author of the article. However I do not ask you to take it upon my authority; you can take it on +KJS's authority, with full primary sources available. That's what the link is for - evidence & analysis.

I would be interested to hear if you can, in 1,500 years of church history, find any leaders of churches of her stature who have gone as far as she has in denying these things.

Father Ron Smith said...

" What he has not pointed out, but seems appearent in quick perusal, is that he is the author of this article. So he is his own referred authority on the subject."

- David (of 'James' in Europe) -

Thanks for that reference, David. "By their fruits you shall know them". This one is, quite obviously; 'self-seeding'.

James said...

My apologies for linking to my own article - but there's a lot of analysis, as well as some answers to common replies I get - it simply saves time. If I am "self-seeding," so be it - I may also be a cad and a nitwit - but I'd still love to hear from both of you two gentlemen:

Which top-level Trinitarian Christian leader (like a Primate) has gone as far as +KJS in denying the church's doctrines of the resurrection or the divnity of Christ?

It would be an awful disappointment to hear that after all these remonstrances about my character, you have nothing to bring to the plate as a rebuttal the PB's Christology, other than "he's of dubious character" or "what he says sounds like this person I don't like."

Father Ron Smith said...

Dear James,

Your inference that the Presiding Bishop of TEC - the Rt.Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori - is a Resurrection-denier and a denier of the Divinty of Jesus, is, I believe, manifestly untrue - and therefore a calumny and a slur upon her reputation.

Although what possible agenda you can be pursuing - to thus malign her episcopal integrity I can only guess at. The fact that you have fled the community of TEC gives us all a clue, and the fact that you have spent
*many hours* looking for faults in her public statements only proves your obssession with trying to prove her not to your requirements of what you consider to be 'orthodoxy'. For
*goodness* sake, Give her a break

Hermano David | Brother Dah • veed said...

James, I have no issue with someone referring us to their own work. It is that most folks are up front and honest about that fact, "Here is a link to the extensive research that I have accomplished with primary sources and my own deductions and interpretations."

You might even have mentioned that the document was assembled and then disseminated as part of the material prepared to attack TEC during the consideration of the private member's motion to the General Synod of the Church of England to recognize ACNA as a sibling Anglican body. Also know as the Lorna Ashworth affair.

Hermano David | Brother Dah • veed said...

PS -
Perhaps she speaks in code, or is just a persuasively good, but damnable liar, however, to my ears this Easter Message does not sound like someone who denies the divinity and resurrection of Christ.

"The gift of Easter insists that human beings are capable of divine relationship, for as Athanasius put it, "God became human that human beings might become divine." The life, death, passion, and resurrection of Jesus are the cosmic insistence that nothing can separate us from the divine passion for humanity. Easter people are imprinted with the assurance that God is always working some new grace of creation out of death and destruction.

For most of us the dying is not cosmic. It may start with a small willingness to set aside self, or a new opportunity for grafting onto a greater whole. Or it may involve lowering the barriers between self and other to become more readily aware of our fundamental oneness, our common heritage as offspring of the Holy One. If we are to be followers of Jesus, we share the work he did on our behalf. We give thanks for the Resurrection, and we become part of Jesus’ ongoing work, as we become aware of its power in our own lives."

The Most Revd. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presidig Bishop
The Episcopal Church

Paul Powers said...

This discussion reminds me of a sign I saw several years ago outside a Baptist church (in this part of Texas, Baptist churches are as ubiquitous as McDonalds): "If you were arrested for following Jesus, would there be enough evidence to convict you?"

James said...

Thanks, especially Dah*veed, for your responses. Dah*veed, we're finally bringing *evidence* to the table. I just posted a longish response, the gist being: this appears to support your case - but considering the complete context, it does not. Unfortunately blogger registered an error, I'll have to type it out later when I have more time. Blessings to all of you.

James said...

Dah*veed - I should also add here, the PB's ability to speak "in code" is more or less documented in the use of words "Dean of the School of Theology of Corvallis, Oregon" for "Head Sunday School Teacher." Spong also speaks of the Resurrection while denying it (denying it by defining it to mean something else). I hope I shall post more later. Read the article. And in the meantime, think: How could the LGBT community create a movement for reaching LGBT people, but which keeps them away from the omnipresent temptation of Spong et al? Which doesn't recapitulate TEC's mistakes? I am convinced that LGBT people can be Trinitarian Christians, and that this crisis in the Communion is not the fault of LGBT people.

"... now known as the Lorna Ashworth Affair" ... this makes me chuckle.

Read the other article as well. I don't like Fundamentalism. I suppose you don't either. Anglicans should work together in opposition to The National Church of TEC in order to prevent the spread of Fundamentalism.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi there,
I am getting a little bored with the turn this thread has taken about the theology of the PB. An interesting topic but one destined (it seems) to veer very close to ad hominem comments.

If and when I myself post on the PB's theology, perhaps that would be the time to comment. In the meantime, there are other blogs ...

Hermano David | Brother Dah • veed said...

It is your blog Peter, but what happens on blogs all of the time is that the conversation wobbles this way and that. No one is being distasteful. There are no ad hominem attacks amongst ourselves or against anyone spoken about occurring, but if that bores you, then by all means, micro manage it if you must.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi David,
I agree conversations wobble this way and that ... and I appreciate very much your judgement that this one has not become distasteful ...

James said...

Thank you Peter and David.

I must admit that some of my remarks at the beginning may sound a bit over-the-top, but they are aimed at myself and my church; the major complaint comes from my statement, a strong case can be made that during her tenure she's denied the doctrines of the divinity of Christ and the resurrection. I haven't claimed here she does - simply that a strong case has been made. Is it strong? Yes. It's been recommended for reading by a diocesan bishop and a TEC clergyman educated in Oxford, and no serious counter-arguments have been fielded to date.

David here has been helpful by providing actual evidence to the table which casts doubt on the claim. I expect to answer him soon, a helpful answer can be provided by looking at the whole of this particular sermon; but an initial response can be gleaned from the article's Appendix II.2.

Don't we think the PB's Christology is worthy of discussion? It is quite remarkable that so frequently the issue is brought up; but it is never treated at length. I most certainly had fairness in mind when writing this article; this is why I went to the trouble of spending tens of hours in reading various statements and books by the PB. As far as I know, I'm the only person analyzing her Christology - or going into deeper analysis of any aspect of her theology.

Some "conservative" Anglican groups have published lists of quotes of various TEC leaders in order to provide an indication of where they feel TEC is headed. My own view of these lists of quotes was: Many of these quotes were things which I myself might have said at one time or another. And many of the quotes could have been rather innocent, depending on their context. I could find no decent discussion of +KJS's Christology, or what I found to be the most telling quotes, so I undertook to provide this myself.

Ron questions my ideology and churchmanship. Re. churchmanship: I did not "run" from TEC - I relocated to a different continent, more than a decade before 2003. Re. "ideology": I am an odd mix of "conservative" and "liberal." By TEC leadership standards, I would be "very conservative." But in many Christian churches, including my last Church of England church, I would probably be labelled "suspiciously liberal." I am very much dedicated to the more "liberal" aspects of what classic Anglicanism offers and stands for: understanding, responsible ecumenical dialogue; responsible, yet penetrating scholarship; a dedication to serious hermeneutics; a more catholic understanding of the faith; a hermeneutic which is more consciously phenomenological and narrative; a practice of faith which does not elevate one particular confession above the creeds or the authority of Scripture. If I had my druthers, all Anglicans would be much better educated in Marx, Freud, Heidegger, Lacan, Foucault; primarily in the positive things these authors bring to our understanding of faith and practice, and not the "apologetics mode" of attacking them.

But also, as St. Thomas noted, all the intellectual resources which we bring to the table are utter straw compared to the grace and love of Christ Jesus, who died for our sins, rose from the dead, and will come again; and what He told us about Himself and how we must turn toward Him. When we deny Christ: we are lost. It matters not then whether we are "conservative" or "liberal"; we are simply: lost.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi James,
Thank you for your comment. I am quite agreeable to the christology of the PB being considered carefully and fully if only to assuage doubts/doubters; or, if proved to be otherwise, to alert the wider Communion to unorthodoxy etc.

However I have been learning in the history of this blog to keep in check tendencies to obsess about TEC as well as to acknowledge deficiencies in member churches of the Communion closer to my own - in fact to focus on my own church!

So part of my concern in this thread is to not preside in an indirect way over critical examination of TEC, its PB and her theology etc.

If and when I read something which leads to a post on the christology of the PB, that would be a great thread to pursue this conversation.

I would raise such a matter if I saw something in the christology which connected with a 'Communion concern' which was appropriately raised from as far away as 'Down Under.'

James said...

Peter,

Good blog comment communities come from good comment moderating, so you have every right and reason to try to focus comments back on the subject at hand, and limit comments regarding TEC. Although ... the issue of the Covenant is always under-addressed if we do not know the larger context, of which the situation in TEC is a major part. But that "part" of the discussion can also be had elsewhere.

Blessings to you.