An Excerpt from An Introduction to Theological Anthropology: Humans, Both Creaturely and Divine There exists a growing trend in theological anthropology toward what has been called Christian materialism. By Christian materialism, I am referring to the position that we are strictly identical to our bodies—albeit sophisticated bodies, our brains, or our animal (i.e., a biological…
A few days ago I finished The Chronicles of Barsetshire, a six-book series by Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope, for the second time in as many years. An immediate personal favorite, I was introduced to the series by Anne Kennedy’s blog and podcast, Preventing Grace. For those unfamiliar with the series, all six books take place in…
In January of 1800 Rev. Dr. James Madison, Bishop of Virginia, wrote his cousin, James Madison Jr. The former hailed the congressman and “Father of the Constitution” for his past work on the basic law of the still-new American republic. “You have really swept the Augean Stable; at least, you have cleansed the Constitution from…
Justin Welby said monuments would be looked at ‘very carefully’ to see if they all ‘should be there’.
In a wide-ranging interview, he also urged the West to reconsider its prevailing mindset that Jesus was white, and pointed to different portrayals of Christ as Black or Middle Eastern in different countries.
But why do something really stupid when you can do something really substantive? My advice in 2007:
But there’s an easier and more substantial way to even the score: just let the Africans and their allies, including the descendants of slaves in the West Indies, take the lead in the Communion.
We find, however, that, Western church leaders–liberal and conservative alike–are reluctant to bow to the obvious and allow the centre of power of Christianity to shift where its people are. The liberals are especially adverse to this process, as they are further from the Africans’ idea than their conservative counterparts.
The desperation of conservative parishes in TEC, however, has them affiliating with provinces such as Uganda and Nigeria, along with others. They have gone past guilt. It is time that the rest of us follow suit.
It’s so bad that even Nelson Mandela’s widow objects to statue removal:
Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel has implored anti-racism campaigners not to topple statues because they serve as grave reminders of past atrocities.
The activist said: ‘I believe even it might be much more positive to keep them because you are going to tell generations to come “this is how it started and this is how it should never be.”‘
Her remarks put her at loggerheads with the Archbishop of Canterbury, who today revealed he would be reviewing statues at Canterbury Cathedral.
This is the core issue of the statue removal: it’s easy to tear down a bunch of statues and declare victory. It’s a whole different ball game to actually recognise the shift of Christianity, especially to people you basically don’t like, as is the case with Justin Welby and the large provinces of Nigeria, Uganda and others. And it’s really hard to act on that reality.
But it’s been time since 1998 Lambeth and it certainly is time now.
Recently I read both Samuel Bray’s piece over at Ad Fontes, and Rev. Ben Jefferies’s piece over at The North American Anglican. Both present different schools of thought regarding Anglican liturgy, and I recommend you read them both. I did notice, however, that several people interpreted Prof. Bray’s essay as arguing that a. no deviation…
This is the third of a series on sacred hymns, the story behind them, their text, a recording, and a simple companion devotional. “God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform; He plants his footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.” ~William Cowper Every Hymn Has a Story William Cowper was…
I was surprised to see this hymn featured. Cowper was certainly an Anglican, but the Episcopalians saw fit to exclude this “great” hymn from both the 1916 and 1940 Hymnals. I never heard it until I was among the Baptists.
Making factual findings as to each of thirty-six individual parishes, Judge Dickson ruled (1) following the still-controlling decision of the South Carolina Supreme Court in All Saints Waccamaw, ECUSA’s Dennis Canon by itself does not create or impose a legally binding trust on any church property in South Carolina; (2) none of the thirty-six parishes ever expressly acceded to the Dennis Canon in any written document; and (3) Bishop Lawrence’s Diocese did not lose its status as beneficiary of the Camp Christopher Trust when it exercised its legal right to disassociate from ECUSA (again following another holding of the Waccamaw case).
If there’s one thing in recent history that belies the entire social justice thrust of the Episcopal Church, it’s the USD60,000,000 campaign of theirs to retain their church property. Doesn’t anybody know that any social justice effort is ultimately about redistributing property from those who have it to those who don’t? You can bet that any Antifa or BLM Marxist knows that. So why did they spend so much money (which had better use elsewhere) on this project?
I’m sure that some you will attempt to rebut this with the following:
When Jesus was still at Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, while he was at table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of choice spikenard perfume of great value. She broke the jar, and poured the perfume on his head. Some of those who were present said to one another indignantly: “Why has the perfume been wasted like this? This perfume could have been sold for more than thirty pounds, and the money given to the poor.” “Let her alone,” said Jesus, as they began to find fault with her, “why are you troubling her? This is a beautiful deed that she has done for me. You always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has perfumed my body beforehand for my burial. And I tell you, wherever, in the whole world, the Good News is proclaimed, what this woman has done will be told in memory of her.” (Mark 14:3-9 TCNT)
But this exegesis won’t work any better that the vestry’s did at Bethesda. Today Our Lord, having sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, is in heaven, ever-interceding for us. We still have the poor, and this dreadful campaign of legal war hasn’t helped them one iota.
So much for the social justice church…I hope the ACNA learns something from this sad adventure.
A short time ago I linked to a Pew Research study showing that both the Episcopal Church and the rest of the Anglican world in this country are overwhelmingly white. A little later I showed that the Episcopal Church, for all the years of gaudy rhetoric about social justice, is still right there at the top of society.
There are a couple of other Pew studies that I’d like to put in front of you.
The first is this one, from 2016, that the Anglican/Episcopal world is more highly educated than the rest of American Christianity. The church I’m now in is at the other extreme.
I think this shows that Anglicans and Episcopalians are, by and large, out of touch with the needs of groups at the other end of the spectrum, irrespective of their ethnicity. It’s just a fact that the two ends of the socio-economic spectrum look at things differently, but most Anglicans and Episcopalians are hard pressed to walk a mile (or even a kilometer) in the shoes (or lack thereof) of many others.
And this leads to the consequence of that educational disparity: the Episcopalians are again at the top of American Christianity when it comes to income. Mercifully the Anglican side dodged the bullet (wasn’t included in the survey,) but given that the ethnicity and education are so much the same, it’s hard to believe that the income Anglican parishioners are pulling in is that much different from their Episcopal counterparts.
The class stratification of Protestant American Christianity is something that has always bothered me, which is a big reason I enjoyed being Roman Catholic for so many years (until the status seekers got the upper hand.)
There are those in the ACNA who want to go the way of the Episcopalians in the social justice field. The Episcopalians’ way isn’t Biblical (otherwise they’d to this) and hasn’t worked either. American Christianity may not deserve better, but it certainly needs it.
I’ve been slowly reading through JK Rowling’s “Reasons for Speaking Out on Sex and Gender Issues.” If you have time, it is worth the effort—she reiterates many points I’ve run into elsewhere. She clearly and, I must say compassionately, lays out the dilemma for both women and for people suffering from gender dysphoria. Moreover, she…