I acknowledge that on day two of the Gabba test, it is England receiving the shellacking!
First to the important things. England have handed Australia a bit of a shellacking on the first day of the first Ashes Test at the Gabba. Oz 273/8 with Broad taking five wickets is a great start for England, and for Broad. The English can play cricket. They can write too. For lovers of good writing, and cricket, a fine place to head this summer is to "With Mrs Aggers on Tour", the daily blog of Emma Agnew, wife of the renowned English commentator Jonathan Agnew. (She calls her husband 'Latest' as in 'The Latest Husband' ... because it keeps him on his toes!)
Back in England, where the football season is being played out, once again with England having as little hope of winning the next World Cup as New Zealand, the smartest game in town is being played at the C of E General Synod. As Andrew Brown reports (in a largely non-nasty piece of writing),
"The overwhelming vote on Wednesday by the Church of England's General Synod in favour of the legislation for female bishops shows that it can learn from its mistakes just as a dinosaur that came up against an electric fence could learn after many years to stop leaning on it.
Although the deal is not yet done, it seems unlikely that the proposed legislation will fail between now and next summer. What is improbable is that both supporters and opponents think they have done better than they would have last November, when the house of laity failed by a tiny margin to achieve the two-thirds majority necessary to pass the legislation."
Why is this the smartest game in town? Well, as Brown points out, supporters of legislation approving women bishops will get their legislation; even better, with overwhelming support. But astutely he is also pointing out that those who would prefer not to have women bishops (but are willing to go along with the legislation) get a win in the game too.
"The core of the resistance is the conservative evangelical block, who object on grounds of straightforward patriarchy; they believe the Bible mandates that women submit to male authority.
Above all, the more politically savvy among them understand that this compromise allows them to live and flourish another day."
It appears from Brown's report that conservative evangelicals recognised that if they did not compromise on the legislation they would have received a 273/8 shellacking at the next elections to General Synod.
'Compromise' is a very fine word, and bears much fruit in church life. It is good to see the English conservative evangelicals recognising this important ecclesiological truth. A lesser ego than my own might even suspect they have been imbibing the wisdom of ADU :)