Sunday, 27 June 2004

blogriot unquelled by Conger

The Revd George Conger, a well-known Anglican commentator with impeccable conservative credentials, has attempted to pour cold water on the blogriot among conservative American Anglican blogreaders.

titusonenine published his comments here. Part of what he said:

“For what it is worth …. this is a manufactured story. It is yellow journalism of the most egregious sort …. the journalistic equivalent of a drive by shooting.

Rowan Williams wrote a forward for a dynamic translation version of the Bible … a few years ago Williams wrote the forward of another book by the same author … and as a kindness and courtesy RW did it again.

Williams sought to encourage the project of attempting to make the Scriptures accessible to the non-Bible reading public. He wants to make the Bible part of the lives of the majority of Englishmen for whom it has no meaning …. and he is willing to commend projects that press the margins (some would say of good taste, or theological rigor).

He did not give his nihil obstat and imprimatur (which we don’t do in Anglicanism anyway). There was no attempt to suggest the book was free of doctrinal or moral error. Nor was there any indication that Williams agrees with the content, opinions or statements expressed.

The story was released in the Times on Wednesday. If you read the story with a critical eye, you see that the author did not speak to Williams or to Lambeth Palace. Nor did she speak to the author of the book. She took Williams’ general commendation at the beginning … and then set it up against a few hippy dippy passages : the implication being that Williams endorsed, or commended some sort of antinomian sexual ethic, coupled with a “with it” hipster language suitable for clerical hepcats circa 1965.

The article does not say when Williams wrote the commendation. It does not ask Williams what the commendation means. It does not ask the author what he thought the commendation means. Instead it plays on a psuedo-Roman notion that what Rowan Williams commends is nihal obstat (without error) and thus imprimatur (let it be printed).

Has this quelled the riot? At the time of writing, another 42 comments, some of which accuse Conger of being a “revisionist” himself. FWIW, I think George Conger’s analysis of this matter is entirely correct.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 27 June 2004 at 3:02 PM GMT | TrackBack
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…some of which accuse Conger of being a “revisionist” himself.

No surprises here. I was always willing to bet serious money that the conservatives would turn on each other sooner rather than later. Start with a “theology” of exclusivist, anti-intellectual, mean spirited nastiness and you get, well…(left as an exercise to the reader ;)

I also suspect that The Revd Conger has got his analysis pretty much right.

Posted by: David Huff at June 27, 2004 11:29 PM