Comments: GS: Tom Wright's covenant debate speech

Lots of laughs, but the basic premiss - let's not have any homosexuals in the house because some people don't like them - seems to me, somehow, not at all funny.

No women? No Jews? No blacks? No Jesus? No Mary Magdelen?

Let's keep it conventional, respectable, and in accordance with the sensibilities of the most conservative so everyone is happy - except the people who are excluded of course. But they are not mentioned. They are equivalent to the fag ends and other unpleasantness in his analogy.

A frivolous speech on a serious subject. Shame on those who laughed and clapped.

Posted by badman at Tuesday, 10 July 2007 at 12:12pm BST

Tom Wright's paper shows an ignorance of shared accommodation in practice.

In theory, his paper sounds fine.

In the real world, we all know that whoever has their name on the lease papers rules the roost.

If you don't like their rules and conduct, you leave.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Tuesday, 10 July 2007 at 12:16pm BST

"Shame on those who laughed and clapped"

I must confess I was one. This was an impressive stand-up comedy sketch and it lifted the sullen atmosphere.

Though I noticed other non-covenanters were not amused by the crass analogies.

Posted by Hugh of Lincoln at Tuesday, 10 July 2007 at 12:30pm BST

Let's see: the Scripture "containeth all things necessary to salvation". Evangelicals would claim it is the only source of authority for the Church. The Scriptures lay out quite plainly how we Christians are to behave towards one another. Why, then, do we need another covenant? Why is My Lord of Durham insisting on a New New Covenant instead of insisting on adherence to the Old New Covenant? If the answer is that the Americans haven't obeyed it, why does he think they will obey a new one? Or is that the point?

Posted by Ford Elms at Tuesday, 10 July 2007 at 1:57pm BST

Shame on Tom Wright

light weight
Isn't this typical of the old boys ethos of the C of E

I can't take this outfit seriously (I'm one of millions)

Posted by L Roberts at Tuesday, 10 July 2007 at 2:49pm BST

The analogy of anti-social behaviour in a student house and theological differences and inclusion in the Anglican Churches is really stretching it.

And the Church has been this way before. It developed a wide toleration of different beliefs and practices. The Oxford Movement (that inspiration of Satan, according to the Anglican Mainstream speaker) ended up in all sorts of legal battles, and was simply the wrong approach to innovate practices that have assisted and enriched spirituality ever since. Differences allow insight and new growth.

Working with proposals is not the same as agreeing to them, especially if they don't work out. Perhaps this vote should have come after Lambeth then, not before; there will be another, and this time it will be all the clearer who has to be excluded in order to include those who would walk.

Posted by Pluralist at Tuesday, 10 July 2007 at 2:52pm BST

Let me get this straight: I'm to be tossed out of the Anglican Communion because I give +Gomez the willies.
I'm going to remove NT Wright's books from my library, anyone who can make so stupid and mean a statement must have a fundamental flaw in his intellect that renders all of his work suspect.

Posted by Johhn Robison at Tuesday, 10 July 2007 at 2:58pm BST

‘Oh we have to live with difference, some people like the smell of cigarettes when they are cooking and others don’t so get used to it’

I've been called a lot of things by all sorts of people. Now I can add 'the smell of cigarettes in the kitchen' by a bishop to the list.

Why doesn't he just say he doesn't like fags? Oh, you Brits, I see he did.

Posted by Edward of Baltimore at Tuesday, 10 July 2007 at 3:05pm BST

Yes, I'm afraid that I read a sly, false (but quite traditionalistic) witness that seeps around and through all the bishop's surface good humor.

In brief, the bishop is making a very familiar claim. He stands on familiar ground.

He's arguing - yet again in this modern age, of all things - that privileged straight religious people have a basic unbridgeable right to be protected from having Out or Partnered or Parenting queer folks rubbing shoulders with them in their churches.

It is the queer folks who are being dirty, uncouth, and unfriendly towards the conservative believers who so deeply dislike them. (Who need them to shut up, pretend to be straight, and/or be strictly celibate.)


Queer folks (plus friends? plus accepting family members?) = bad roommates. What else is all the story-telling about dirty bathtubs, cigarettes, noisy jazz music at four in the morning, and so forth aimed to explain for us?

Secondly, the bishop is saying that the solution is not more leeway, respect for autonomies, continuing conversations, continuing inquiry - not even though new empirical data is still flooding out as research is published concerning this new fangled thing of sexual orientation variances. No. For any conservative believer to know that any queer person (or friend, or family member?) is Out and thriving in love and work, anywhere on the planet, is just like having a dirty, careless, disrespectful roommate living in the bedroom next door to your own. Get the drift?

We need more law and order, more policing, more punishment. We can have gay friends at school or work, but we are forbidden to bring them home, especially when the bishop and his sort of believer are visiting.

If the bishop actually knew any queer folks up close and personal, he would be telling us about the real truth.

What in the world could that real truth be?

Let me take a swipe at truth-telling. Out = respect for others by being honest. Partnering = caring that flourishes in the clean human heart/body, even if the outside still gets muddied up in unavoidable tilling of all our rain-soaked gardens. Good Work/Parenting = a lifelong journey into living and transmitting all the good dimensions and phases of human maturity, individually and communally.

Ah, Dear bishop. Will you never Get real? Real, in the best, Hip-Hop sense of the terms.

Posted by drdanfee at Tuesday, 10 July 2007 at 4:21pm BST

Did the Bishop of Durham actually address the Synod as "guys"?!


Posted by Prior Aelred at Tuesday, 10 July 2007 at 4:22pm BST


Sorry, but that was an absurd analysis of a good speech. The analogy was apt, or at least as apt as any such analogy is liable to be.


Posted by Steven at Tuesday, 10 July 2007 at 5:06pm BST

"Living in this house matters enormously to millions of Christians far more vulnerable than us."

Who is omore vulnerable than a gay Nigerian?

And if the issue had been full inclusion of people of color, would the bishop have taken this frivolous tone?

I used to think this man was a serious scholar. He appears instead to be a less than mediocre stand-up comic.


Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Tuesday, 10 July 2007 at 5:44pm BST

I realize "fag" means something different in the U.K., but the Bishop of Durham has been in the U.S. enough times to know the offensive nature of his double entendre. Never mind the basic weakness of his argument. I find it shocking that someone who is considered a respectable scholar should stoop to such hateful rhetoric.

Posted by garth at Tuesday, 10 July 2007 at 7:10pm BST

I gather from Wright's remarks that the purpose of the Anglican covenant is "no fag ends in the kitchen." I agree -- that pretty much sums it up.

Posted by dr.primrose at Tuesday, 10 July 2007 at 11:41pm BST

We live in a house together and we need house rules. Anyone who has lived in a house together with others knows that there are public areas like kitchens and bathrooms and private areas like bedrooms. So, what happened in 2003 was that TEC took some gays up to its room and invited them sleep over without asking everyone's permission. They didn't use the bathroom, they didn't leave their "fags" in the kitchen, but their mere presence in the house means now we have to have rules, not for the public areas, because the house supervisor has always dictated those rules, but rules about who gets to sleepover in our rooms, and if we don't agree we'll either be kicked out of the house, or others will decide that they can use our rooms however they like. Am I missing something here?

Posted by C.B. at Wednesday, 11 July 2007 at 1:10am BST

Well, in the Prince Bishop's analogy EVERYBODY in the house compromised a bit to keep things pleasant. But what exactly have +Abuja or his evangelical supporters in the C of E been willing to give up or change? Absolutely nothing as far as I can see.

Posted by John Bassett at Wednesday, 11 July 2007 at 1:26am BST


As an American who's lived in England, fag is used often enough that the Synod would in no way associate it with the derogatory term it is in the US. The term "hateful rhetoric" isn't shocking, but your attempt to stir the pot transparent.

Posted by Chris at Wednesday, 11 July 2007 at 2:02am BST

As long as we're into Public School metaphors, isn't putting these "guys" in charge of the Anglican Communion very much like giving over Hogwarts to Dolores Umbridge: no tolerance of diversity, no listening, insisting that lies are truth, and a rather nasty focus on punishment?

Posted by sheila at Wednesday, 11 July 2007 at 2:50am BST

I found drdanfee's posting very moving and have been musing over it most of this morning.

One of the things that was glossed over in choosing the New Testament texts was what to do when there was abuse in a household. Paul exhorts us to do our best, but is not good in telling us what to do about fixing our worst. Particularly when it comes to the mistreatment of women or the marginalised.

But then what can you expect when both Paul and Jesus seemed oblivious to the concept of soul mates? e.g. Matthew 22:30

Pity for them if they did have soul mates, the sensible females probably walked away once they came to realise that their males had chosen their careers over their mates. It's not very flattering to be seen as undesirable and an intrusion that diminishes their mates' personal glory.

Fortunately, the Old Testament has not expunged all dignity from women. I quite like Jeremiah 8:10 "Therefore I will give their wives to other men and their fields to new owners. From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit."

One of the reasons I walked out of my previous marriage was I came to the realisation that I was role modelling tolerating abuse, deceipt and theft to my children. I came to understand that if I stayed in the marriage at any price, that my own children would learn to stay in abusive situations. There is also a larger realisation that if souls are forced to remain together, no matter how abusive the relationship, then there is no hope of cruel people ever reforming their households.

Some souls do not realise they are being cruel, because that is how things have always been done. They are like character Dante who did not recognise false love until he saw true love. While only false love is allowed to reign, then souls are innocent if they fail to recognise it for the cruel parody that it is.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Wednesday, 11 July 2007 at 3:11am BST

"anyone who can make so stupid and mean a statement must have a fundamental flaw in his intellect that renders all of his work suspect."

His work is full of flaws, because is it always up to some special pleading and lacks the serenity to consider the evidence with scholarly calm. In his book The Resurrection of the Son of God, he actually refers to Edward Schillebeeckx as "mocking God".

Posted by Fr Joseph O'Leary at Wednesday, 11 July 2007 at 4:40am BST

Timing is everything for a comedian - you had to be there to appreciate the humour. In the tradition of British comedy it just about kept within the bounds of acceptability. For sure, the fag gags would have gone down like a lead balloon at San Francisco Pride - where they would have been more keenly felt. But the bishop was preaching to the choir. Or two-thirds of it.

The unstoppable Gay Expulsion Plan may be politically expedient in the short term, but with adverse consequences closer to home where it verges on illegality.

Posted by Hugh of Lincoln at Wednesday, 11 July 2007 at 1:00pm BST


As an American who's lived in England, fag is used often enough that the Synod would in no way associate it with the derogatory term it is in the US. The term "hateful rhetoric" isn't shocking, but your attempt to stir the pot transparent.

Posted by: Chris on Wednesday, 11 July 2007 at 2:02am BST

Having been born and bred in the UK I do not agree. Everyone in Britain knows that fag means a gay man, and not simple a cigarette butt (sic)

Posted by L Roberts at Wednesday, 11 July 2007 at 3:27pm BST

Give me Edward Schillebeeckx any day.

Posted by L Roberts at Wednesday, 11 July 2007 at 3:31pm BST

My Lord of Durham's jest about Bishops of Durham, thunderstorms and York Minster led me to an interesting thought.

How is it that Anglicanism can survive the fifth most senior prelate in England describing the resurrection as "a conjuring trick with bones," but it cannot survive a relatively obscure bishop in New England (for surely he would be otherwise) who happens to like other boys?

Posted by Malcolm+ at Wednesday, 11 July 2007 at 8:46pm BST

That is not what Bishop Jenkins said. He said it was NOT just a conjuring trick with bones.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Wednesday, 11 July 2007 at 9:31pm BST

The point is he said it was not JUST a conjuring trick with bones, in other words it included the conjuring trick...

All this talk of houses, rooms, people not living together. What is the symbolism of me, presently alone for two months, with two double bedrooms, one double bedroom turned study, a large kitchen, three living rooms, and two gardens? Is this the ultimate pluralist schism?

Posted by Pluralist at Thursday, 12 July 2007 at 1:34am BST

Chris wrote: "but your attempt to stir the pot transparent."

I hope not just transparent, but effective. Mostly I believe in letting things pass, bounce and roll off. I also enjoy a good joke at my expense. But sometimes I believe one needs to speak up --- and yes stir the pot. As one who has had great respect for Bishop Wright, I believe he is too smart to be ignorant of the meaning of his words. Perhaps you are right that Synod did not perceive the word as derogatory and hence their laughter is understandable. Please forgive me, however, if I am overly sensitive not quite ready to be laughed out of the church I have loved and served.

Posted by garth at Thursday, 12 July 2007 at 3:07am BST

"Is this the ultimate pluralist schism?"
Depends on whether you have uncouth smoking visitors or whether you keep the place clean.

Posted by Erika Baker at Thursday, 12 July 2007 at 9:16am BST

hi Simon & Pluralist:

Re 'conjuring trick with bones': It is true that he said that the resurrection was 'not *just* a conjuring trick with bones' - but this does not imply that the conjuring trick was included. Proof: Bp Jenkins in fact did not believe that it was included.

When one says 'I don't want just porridge every day' one is not implying that what one really wants is porridge plus something else. One might more likely be implying that one does not want porridge at all, but a replacement.

Bp Jenkins's picture was inapposite in the first place. Dead bodies may become a heap of bones in the end (Ezekiel 37) but not after 2 days they don't.

He said that Jesus's resurrection was 'not a physical resurrection but a spiritual resurrection, a real resurrection', so equating spiritual with real. This is normally an equation I like, but what is one to say of the implication that whatever is physical is not real, or less real? Bonkers. The reverse is true. We often, in fact, use solidity and tangibility as proofs of reality (as did Jesus on one occasion in Luke 24). It may be that the root error is to assume that the spiritual is totally unphysical, rather than adopting a more scientific model where matter (the physical) is totally reducible to energy (the spiritual) rather than being opposed to it.

There is a worthwhile debate among NT scholars re how Jesus's resurrection was understood. It is well possible that both physical and spiritual models were being touted from earliest times. Of course, some hypothetical spiritual resurrection would be no basis to motivate preaching or Christian expansion. Nor (obviously)would it be correct to give the designation 'resurrection' to any 'event' or lack of event which left the body still dead.

Posted by Christopher Shell at Thursday, 12 July 2007 at 2:12pm BST

My point was not to re-open what the former Bishop of Durham may or may not have said / believed regarding the resurrection, but to point out a particular contrast.

We have had a senior prelate from England speak of the resurrection - the central truth of our faith - in ways which, at least for some, have been scandalous.

Yet that was not a crisis.

However, when an obscure prelate from New England is gay - which, even if sinful, is hardly as central or significant as the resurrection - the whole fabric of the Communion is supposedly unravelling.

Something about straining at gnats.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Thursday, 12 July 2007 at 5:08pm BST

c.b.'s post from Wednesday gets at the detailed flaws in the Bishop's analogy: Dunelm+ compares an action of TEC that does not have a direct ecclesiastical effect on other provinces to behavior in shared living spaces which does have an effect on the other persons in the home (n.b. that even if Bp. Robinson _is_ morally unsuitable, his episcopal and presbyteral acts are valid; whereas if TEC and others are wrong about ordination of women, we are creating illusory clergy celebrating illusory sacraments--'absolutely null and utterly void,' as someone once said).

The bigger problem with the analogy is that its original terms contradict the Bishop's rhetorical aim. People who decide to share a home are fully persons both before they reach that agreement and after it dissolves, but I suspect the Bishop wanted his hearers to think that any given national church of the Anglican Communion would be less valid, less fully a church, if the AC expelled it—perhaps like a country being suspended from the Commonwealth.

Note (not in the Bishop's remarks, but generally) how often the word "schism" has been used lately, both in the press and within the Communion. Like "autonomy" and "consensus," "schism" has both a weak and a strong sense, and I suppose any disagreement amongst Christians could be called ''schism," but would the end of the Porvoo agreement, or the TEC/ELCA agreement, ordinarily be so labeled? If a nation were to leave the UN, if the UK were to leave the EU, would that be civil war? If it would be "schismatic" for TEC—an independent national church which helped to create the AC—to leave it (not that I think it should), then was it not "schismatic" for the Ecclesia Anglicana (which claimed, whether validly as a matter of history or not, to be independent) to leave the Roman communion?

The Archbishop of Canterbury is a remarkable theologian: but what I have not yet seen from him (though perhaps I haven't read the right things) is a clear statement which both explains how the Anglican Communion is substantively different from any other association of churches (warranting the use of words like "schism") and takes account of the fact that the constituent national churches descend from the CofE in radically different ways (compare, for example, the Australians and the TEC).

Posted by 4May1535+ at Thursday, 12 July 2007 at 5:55pm BST

"The main reason for people not believing in God is the behaviour of people who do believe in God."

This is a far more meaningful statement from Bishop Jenkins in my book. The usual quote in my circle is "Lord I love you, save me from your followers." That, or the metaphoric "It's not the band I hate, it's their fans."

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 12 July 2007 at 6:12pm BST

No - the problem of resurrection is right at the start. We have Paul confronting the eschatological language of resurrection but having a spiritual experience. So may be not rather like I might talk about a square circle he talks about a spiritual body. Language to these ancients was rather more tangible than our understanding of symbolism, in the sense that they could tell a story and make it real. Plus, this spiritual body is lined up to an eschatological event of the resurrection, and therefore something that had started. Later on we have the reaction against the gnostic direction Paul and John had gone on, so far, but not so far, and thus a reassertion of the material.

It's got nothing to do with two days. There is no reason to think otherwise than the body was just dumpled in a common lime pit and just vanished. No one would find, produce or anything regarding a body. But we don't know. What we know is that all these resurrection appearances and indeed the tomb story are connected to early Church intentions about ritual, authority, legitimacy, anwering questions. They have quite some literary sophistication, but the resurrection accounts follow again theological intention done in the manner of a story-told biography.

In my view if you took a video camera you would not see any bones particularly, animated or otherwise. But it's hardly the point. I suppose Jenkins' vie was more Pauline, whatever "just" means, and he was attacking those who look for animated bones as evidence, the magic of it, but I also recall his noisy separation of himself from Jack Spong in one television debate, and so he is more "evidence" based than Spong.

Posted by Pluralist at Thursday, 12 July 2007 at 6:16pm BST

"...matter (the physical) is totally reducible to energy (the spiritual)"
But this is incorrect, Christopher. Energy and matter are both physical. Indeed, matter IS energy. Also, an Orthodox Christian would probably disagree with your attitude that the physical is more "real" than the spiritual. All physical, created things will end. "Heaven and earth shall pass away". The only enduring reality is to be found in the "things eternal". St. Ignatius said that one of the signs of the heterodox is that they treat the things of this world (the created realm, as I understand it, not merely this planet or society) as somehow permanent. The Buddhists have concentrated on this more than we have, but even we speak of the the things of earth all passing away.

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 12 July 2007 at 7:37pm BST

A couple of points:
1. '...and do you know, the historical point yes, Hooker and Travis...' should surely read '...Hooker and Travers...'

2. it may be worth correcting the misquote from Stephen Bates in his article in The Guardian, 9 July 2007, which mentioned Tom Wright's speech. Stephen Bates wrote:

"Our present framework simply isn't working. We need a framework to enable us to live in the house together. We are not being asked to sign a blank cheque. It is a commitment to a way of working together. It simply will not do to live with differences.",,2121890,00.html

Compare that with the text given on Titusonenine:

'We are not being asked to sign a blank cheque. The Covenant isn't a list of rules or dogmas. It's a commitment to a way of working together when we hit problems. Particularly the problem of which differences make a difference and which differences don't make a difference. Because Synod it simply won't do to say 'Oh we have to live with difference, some people like the smell of cigarettes when they are cooking and others don't so get used to it' or 'at least we're being 'open' about our different musical habits so that should increase our trust, shouldn't it.'

Posted by Graham Kings at Thursday, 12 July 2007 at 8:21pm BST

While we are dealing with spelling errors in the transcript, surely Cousin should be Cosin. John Cosin (1594 – 1672) became Bishop of Durham after the Restoration in 1661.

The relationship between Richard Hooker and Walter Travers was raised in the earlier speech from Miranda Threlfall-Holmes, who is Chaplain and Solway Fellow of University College, Durham. Travers was Hooker's Puritan colleague at the Temple Church during 1581-1586 (after which he was forbidden to preach by Abp Whitgift).

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Friday, 13 July 2007 at 8:12am BST

Hi Ford
Well, in that case we agree. You say: Matter is energy. I say: matter is reducible to (boils down to) energy. Isn't that much the same thing? Yes, reality is physical; but it is more than physical. That is why 'energy' is a more all-encompassing category than 'matter'. If everything were purely physical, then 'matter' would be the most all-encompassing category.

Posted by Chirstopher Shell at Friday, 13 July 2007 at 1:21pm BST

The Guardian on Tom Wright doesn't surprise me. They turned Turnbull's text (Wycliffe) about non-Christians "facing hell" (which can suggest a maybe) into "will burn in hell" (a definite, and the introduction of "hellfire" not present in his original speech.

Posted by Tony at Friday, 13 July 2007 at 2:23pm BST

"You say: Matter is energy."

I'm flattered,Christopher, but it wasn't me who said this, it was Einstein. I'm also confused that you seemed to be saying that the physical is real, now you seem to be saying something different.

And, pluralist, I'm not trying to separate myself from you as Christian. I don't have any business telling the Master who He is allowed to invite to His table when I'm a guest at that table myself. For me, I just don't get what is the attraction of Christianity reduced to some moral/ethical message. If it's about coming to some kind of enlightenment a la Tom Harpur, why bother with Christianity? Our theology has never gone in that direction, so I wouldn't expect you to find much spiritual satisfaction. Wouldn't Buddhism be a more fruitful place to look? I'm not calling down fire and brimstone on you, it's just that if you take away things like the Incarnation, the Resurrection, and all that jazz, Christianity seems to me to be reduced to some weeny urging to "be nice", with little explanation of how or why. Clearly it isn't that way for you, or you wouldn't identify as Christian, I'm just trying to understand.

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 13 July 2007 at 4:20pm BST

4May1535 said: "If it would be "schismatic" for TEC—an independent national church which helped to create the AC—to leave it (not that I think it should), then was it not "schismatic" for the Ecclesia Anglicana (which claimed, whether validly as a matter of history or not, to be independent) to leave the Roman communion? "

Of course, Ecclesia Anglicana didn't leave "the Roman Communion." She exercised the autonomy she claimed and asserted that foreign prelates had to right to gainsay them - and as a consequence they were turfed by Rome.

So if the process currently in train results in the US, Canada and other "difficult" provinces being turfed, it will be the US, Canada and cetera who will be in the role of Cranmer, Latimer Ridley et alia, while it will be those doing the turfing who stand with the Roman ideas about spiritual hegemony.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Friday, 13 July 2007 at 5:02pm BST

Thank you,Malcolm+! I have issues with the idea of "national Church", but I agree totally with your comparison. Henry VIII was the son of a usurper, anxious for a smooth transition of power to a male heir, as are all who usurp thrones. He was also a whoremonger who found a convenient excuse for this in his search for an heir. He was allowed a divorce centuries before the same was allowed to common folk, and the Church ignored his judicial murdering of more than one wife,not to mention aforesaid whoremongering. This, I think, makes it a trifle hypocritical to be all incensed about other people's sexual sins. Also, given the weakness and political peril of Henry's England and the fact that the most powerful countries of Europe at the time were loyal to the Pope who put out a fatwa on Henry's daughter, this kind of "schism" , while not to be desired, might not altogether be something to be dreaded. NP is fond of referring to "TEC Global", well Henry set up "CofE Global" 500 years ago, and look at us now!

Posted by Fordf Elms at Friday, 13 July 2007 at 7:32pm BST

Speaking of Henries and usurpations . . .

Today is the 200th anniversary of the death of the last Royal Stuart - Henry Benedict Cardinal Stuart, called Duke of York, sometime titular Archbishop of Corinth, sometime Bishop of Frascati, and at his death, Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals and Archbishop of Ostia and Velletri. The grandson of James II and VII and the younger brother of "Bonnie Prince Charlie," he was the last Jacobite claimant to make any public declaration of his rights. To any loyal Jacobite, he was Henry IX.

Coincidentally, the Cardinal King happens to be a chief consecrator in the Apostolic Succession of every Roman Catholic bishop alive today.

On his death, the claim to his British rights passed to his cousin Charles, abdicated King of Sardinia. The current claimant is Franz von Wittelsbach (Francis II), Duke in Bavaria. He is also claimant to the throne of Bavaria.

Sorry for the thread drift. Back to your regular programming.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Friday, 13 July 2007 at 9:27pm BST

One further interruption.

Today is the 74th birthday of the said Francis II.

I promise I'll stop now.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Saturday, 14 July 2007 at 7:24pm BST

Malcolm - we AGREE.....the old heretical bishop of Durham should have received a stronger response....but people were too tolerant and this tolerance has been abused to a point in which a few people are now willing to see the AC split and decimated to please a particular agenda of a particular minority.

Ford says :The Scriptures lay out quite plainly how we Christians are to behave towards one another. Why, then, do we need another covenant?
---yep - this is the point and exactly why we need a covenant...because Lambeth 1.10 is based on our scriptues about how we are to behave.
(NP in Canada - lovely country, shame about the very weak Anglican representation here)

Posted by NP at Tuesday, 17 July 2007 at 1:07am BST

"Lambeth 1.10"

NP, the "verse" you continually quote is but one part of a much larger statement, as you know, whole swaths of which have been scrupulously ignored by those you claim as leaders. If you can't keep the Convenant God gave us, how will you be able to keep one drawn up by Drexel Gomez? Your hypocrisy in accusing others of the sins "your side" is equally guilty of is one of the ways we fail. Do you seriously think no-one sees this? Do you not realize it undermines your Christian witness, as does your gloating over the "Anglican presence" in Canada, as if you knew anything about our history or culture? You see, people hear this stuff and then think "Yep. He's exactly what I have always found Christians to be. I want no part of that." The rest of your message then just gets lost. And I know, you think you're so successful because you move, I think, only with other Evangelicals and never have to confront the hostility to world has for Christians, much less find out why they are so hostile. You really need to get out more.

Posted by Ford Elms at Tuesday, 17 July 2007 at 1:26pm BST

Welcome to Canada, NP.

If you care to broaden your experience of the Church - and perhaps even meet people with different perspectives - I can doubtless recommend a range of parishes for you to visit in almost any diocese in the country.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 5:57am BST

Ford - ...what "the hostility to world has for Christians" are you talking about??

- the problem with your argument is that I have seen year on year many new unchurched people come to faith in our church in London.....just as the "believe what you like and be nice people" message has shrunk churches round the corner from us and all over England, the US and Canada.

Posted by NP at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 7:08am BST

You talk about it yourself, NP, when you complain the government is somehow eroding your rioghts in England. Why do you think that is? The secular world, that pushes the things you think are oppressive, is only fighting back against the hypocrisy and oppression the Church has been guilty of. Have you never talked to people who hate the church about WHY they hate the Church? Or are you afraid of confronting the things in your brand of Christianity that make them feel that way? It's easier to blame it all on the liberals and convince yourself that, since some of the ever shrinking group that attends any church goes to yours, you are actually spreading Christianity. You still have to answer some questions: If Evangelicalism is so successful, why is the number of church attendees in England still falling? If popularity with the world is something the Left is to be condemned for, why do you see it as a badge of success in Evangelicals? If the Reformation was such a great thing, why are you willing to betray its principles to give a foreign bishop power in England? Or is it just that a foreign bishop havingpower over you is OK as long as he's not the Bishop of Rome?

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 4:00pm BST
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