Two Australasian academic theologians, Michael Bird (Melbourne) and Nick Thompson (Auckland) go head to head on the meaning of liberal democracy viz a viz issues which may themselves threaten the fabric of liberal democracy. ... I wish Nick would enlighten us, however, on what a "(lacklustre) Catholic" is. Is that going to Mass only once a week? Or lacking zealous commitment to every public thought of the current Pope? :)
Recent posts here have expressed interest in what analysts are saying (or, Christchurch Christians, going to say when Peter Lineham visits on 2 July) about Kiwi Christianity. One of my strong beliefs, based on anecdotal and visual/aural evidence, is that our sharp decline in active Christian involvement is among Kiwis who are not first generation Kiwis and, conversely, many of our churches are being sustained by migrants. Even our strongest national church, the Roman Catholic church, has congregations, according to my own sight, where the worshippers are significantly impacted for good by migrants (e.g. Filipinos who are taking up employment opportunities both in town and country). No less an authority on Catholic church life than Bishop Patrick Dunn confirms this, using the phrase "Kiwi drift", according to this article.
My own conversations have been highlighting for me two factors that are of great Anglican concern.
First, that we (Kiwi churches in general, ACANZP in particular) are now at a point where the next ten years will be experienced as a tsunami in which a large number of parishes will be "swept away". That is, ten years from now, without a miraculous revival, ACANZP will have far fewer parishes. Assuming we retain a commitment to every square inch of these islands being geographically located in one parish or another, then parish mergers (if not diocesan mergers) will be forced upon us, especially in rural districts and regional cities and towns.
Secondly, a question arises, How widely recognised is this tsunami bearing down upon us?
POSTSCRIPT And, the fight continues, with quite a few fighters in the ring, and some kind of mix of boxing, wrestling and karate going on .... in the ongoing bout, Homoians v Complementarians, here and here.