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Jul 13, 2005


Caelius Spinator

I don't agree with your proposed change of tack for the theology presentation. In the end, the representatives to the ACC have to go back and live with people who really don't want to hear about words with more than four syllables in languages (sometimes) unrelated to their own. Instead, they are going to ask where it is in the Scriptures. We should make sure their ACC members cannot honestly say we made it up. And frankly telling folks the Bible says the Bible isn't authoritative is a losing strategy. Even if it's true, it will be a stumbling block to their faith.

I see too many people throw up their hands at the Scripture. But then every once in a while, some other Christian points me to 1 Samuel 18, Matthew 19:12 ff., or John 17 so that I might see Romans 1, or Genesis 1-2 in new light as revolutionary as what the reasserters tell me the Episcopal Church is doing. (But yet more Biblical!)

I'm a U of C grad, too, (College, not Div School), and I was impressed with Tanner the only time I met her. But I also know I should tailor my messages to my audience. The real audience of our presentation should not have been the ACC (most of whom have made up their minds) but those they represent. You may object they may never hear our side. But if they don't, it's an infernal mark against their bishops.

JOhn Wilkins

perhaps I should be more precise. Rather, the bible is authoritative. Rather, we should parse what is cultural and what is eternal much the way aquinas did. This requires some anthropology and an awareness of our pre-understandings.


I'm glad you're dancing again :).


Yes, but the "kernel" and the "husk" argument is so...19th century. I much prefer an attitude towards Scripture derived from the Incarnation. That is, if we consider Christology, Eucharistic theology, and the Scriptures as all subsets of Incarnation, it becomes a much more fruitful approach. The central paradox of Christ, the Eucharist, and the Scriptures are that they are all 100% divine yet at the self-same time 100% created. Doesn't make mathematical sense but it does make good theological sense.

You're absolutely right that the American presentation was fumbled. They didn't even try to speak directly to their opponents and win them over. Makes me think that the conservatives aren't completely off on the "arrogance" call...

Good luck with the ladies! :-)

John Wilkins

I've been thinking of scripture as one's constant friend; or even Jesus as one's companion on the journey who has the Hebrew bible in his mind, or under his arm. But its the companionship that is important. Scripture is the map of the territory. It is not, however, the territory itself.

David Huff

I still think that the people of New Hampshire are honest, faithful Christians, and everyone else can go fuck off.

I'm sure they feel that way, too. Heartily so :)

Caelius Spinator

The precision helps, John, especially since the conservatives don't seem to want to question their assumptions or investigate fully the maps.

Geologists don't consider a formation mappable (and thus worth naming) unless you can see it on a map of a certain scale. But it is sometimes those strata that are too small to see on the map which mean so much. Scripture and Tradition are like that, for better or for worse.


Thank you for being frank in your discission of the Nottingham presentations. I was dissapointed too, but thought it might have been my conservative bias. I know you are changing the focus of your blog, but if you happen across a better presentation of the inclusivist case I hope you point to it. I look forward to reading your take on things closer to home.


I'm looking forward to your renewed look at parish life. I'm a transitional deacon with Episcopal thumbprints still fresh on my head, and about to step into assisting at a parish in transition. Horray for honest reflections on parish life!

john Wilkins

Tim - congratulations. Keep it fun, develop a sense of humor; with unflattering comments look cool and say "thank you for sharing." Make at least 5 pastoral calls per week, and spend a couple hours each week writing thank you notes.

But keep it fun. It's a good journey.

Obediah, I think part of my case rests upon what are credible and reliable "pre-understandings" we have when engaging texts. Those pre-understandings are more clearly, if unsatisfactorily, articulated by the conservatives. Caelius Spinator is right to warn me about the consequences of such an attempt.


Welcome to the bright side of computing! Is this your first Apple, or are you a switcher? Try Firefox and/or Camino for your browser, both are great though Firefox is the most popular right now. is a good source of info and chatting.

As far as the women go? ...quit trying, or caring, then you'll get all the attention you need.

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