Posted by Kendall Harmon

Responding to a public question following his talk at Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge campus this week, Lord Williams said Russia had behaved “unlawfully” by moving troops into the region of Crimea, which is part of the sovereign state of Ukraine.

He said: “The annexation of Crimea is a legally pretty dubious venture. To have a plebiscite in a certain region of another sovereign state and declare that therefore you can annexe it seems to me a deeply worrying re-run of the 1930s.

“I’m wary of any military action to defend Ukraine against Russia. I’m looking hard to see what further diplomatic as well as sanction-based initiatives may follow because I don’t think it is simply a case of ‘wicked aggressive Russia and plucky little Ukraine’.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryEuropeRussiaUkraine* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted March 26, 2014 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby--Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry

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Posted March 26, 2014 at 4:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A row has broken out between faith leaders and the Government over the impact of reforms to the welfare system.

The war of words was sparked by a letter in the Daily Mirror last week, signed by 27 Anglican bishops, which accused the Government of creating a food-poverty crisis by changing and restricting various benefits.

David Cameron denied that his government was to blame for up to 500,000 visits to foodbanks last year. He said that he was on a "moral mission" to end dependency on welfare payments.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchDieting/Food/NutritionPovertyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted February 26, 2014 at 11:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...it is also important to recognise how much the themes of the Narnia books are interwoven with what he was thinking and writing in other contexts around the same time, and with material he had already published in the 1940s — as well as the fact that the first seeds of the actual Narnia narrative seem to have been sown as early as 1939. For example: his 1946 book, The Great Divorce, foreshadows many of the ideas in the Narnia stories — most particularly a theme that Lewis insists on more and more as his work develops, the impossibility of forcing any person to accept love and the monumental and excruciating difficulty of receiving love when you are wedded to a certain picture of yourself. It is this theme that emerges most clearly in his last (and greatest) imaginative work, the 1956 novel, Till We Have Faces. These issues are very much the issues that Lewis is trying to work out in a variety of imaginative idioms from the early 1940s onwards — the problems of self-deception above all, the lure of self-dramatising, the pain and challenge of encounter with divine truthfulness. What Narnia seeks to do, very ambitiously, is to translate these into terms that children can understand. And as to why Lewis decided to address such an audience, there is probably no very decisive answer except that he had a high view of children’s literature, a passion for myth and fantasy and a plain desire to communicate as widely as possible.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchBooksChildrenReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Theology

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Posted December 4, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Campaigners praised Mr [David] Cameron for taking a lead. Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury and chairman of Christian Aid, said it was a “brave decision” that involved facing down vested interests.

Global Witness, an anti-corruption group, said it was a “historic rollback of corporate secrecy”. Gavin Hayman, director, said: “Life is about to get much more difficult for corrupt politicians, arms traders, drug traffickers and tax evaders. Other countries, including the British tax havens, the EU and the US, now need to follow the UK’s leadership.”

ActionAid, a campaign group, said it would welcome a public registry but said other transparency measures were needed, including country-by-country reporting of tax payments. Read it all (if neceesary another link there.)

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeTaxesPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted November 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Did you grow up reading C.S. Lewis?

I've had a fascination with Lewis since my teens, (but) I didn't grow up reading Narnia. I came rather late to Narnia, but I read quite a bit of Lewis as a teenager—Mere Christianity and The Great Divorce and some of the other books. As a schoolboy in the final year of high school, I read his book on Paradise Lost, which was very important for my English studies.

What was your introduction to the world of Narnia? What captivated you about it?

I suppose I read the Narnia books mostly as a student, and I enjoyed the wit of the books. Humor is very visible in them. I enjoyed the energy of the characterization.

And I just found myself very, very deeply moved by some passages, and I identify a lot with those moments of encounter—where you discover the truth about yourself in the face of God. Those are some of the most moving passages, because Lewis is particularly good at giving you a sense of joy in the presence of God.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Culture-WatchBooksChildrenPoetry & Literature* TheologyApologetics

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Posted November 2, 2013 at 10:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...the Communique reaffirms the understanding from 2008 that GAFCON is “not a moment in time but a movement of the Spirit.” This phrase is not flight of rhetoric but a claim that GFCA is among other things a God-ordained “ecclesial” entity. Secondly, the Conference identifies itself as an “instrument of Communion” called into being because of the failure of other Instruments of Communion. I suppose some will take this claim as an open rebuke of the existing organs of the Lambeth bureaucracy. It is that, and my essays on Communion governance stand as testimony as to why such a rebuke is justified. But it is more than that: it is a positive declaration that the GFCA plans to be a vehicle of God’s grace to reform and revitalize the Anglican Communion.

Some may ask by what right the GFCA appoints itself an instrument. In an early draft, the Statement Committee proposed saying that “we are conscious that we have become an instrument of Communion.” I think that wording is revealing, even if the final form moves consciousness into conviction. What I mean is that the GAFCON movement did not start out intentionally to overturn existing authorities but rather over a period of fifteen years came to realize that no other option was workable and that God had indeed formed new bonds of affection among its members during the times of trial.

So is the GFCA laying the groundwork for a separate Communion? Absolutely not! At the first GAFCON virtually all the delegates were adamant that they were not leaving the Anglican Communion, because “we are the Anglican Communion!” Some may think this is verbal trickery. It is not. There is nothing sacrosanct about the so-called Instruments of Communion. To be sure, the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lambeth Conference carry the weight of almost 150 years’ continuance. However, for good or ill, Archbishop Longley refused to grant the first Lambeth Conference ecclesial authority as a council and by so doing he built in a weakness that has been a major reason for the recent crisis. During the past decade, whenever the Primates proposed more authoritative action – e.g., “To Mend the Net” proposal or the Dar es Salaam Communique – Canterbury squelched the attempt.

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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican PrimatesPrimates Mtg Dar es Salaam, Feb 2007Global South Churches & PrimatesGACON II 2013Instruments of UnitySexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings

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Posted October 30, 2013 at 3:09 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On the issue of homosexuality and gay marriage, do you consider your own views and those of the church as being out of touch with the views of your students at Cambridge, and do you think that’s a problem?
I think it is quite a problem. This is the one area where there is the deepest sense of the church being out of step with what the rest of the culture take for granted. I think it’s quite difficult for some people outside of the church to recognise that there is something in the matter of several thousand years of assumption, reflection and ethical practice here which isn’t likely to be overturned in a moment. But, all that being said, I think the church has to put its hands up and say our attitude towards gay people has at times been appallingly violent. Even now it can be unconsciously patronising and demeaning, and that really doesn’t help. We have to face the fact that we’ve deeply failed a lot of gay and lesbian people, not only historically but more recently as well. I think that there is a very strong, again theological, case for thinking again about our attitudes towards homosexuality: but I’m a bit hesitant about whether marriage is the right category to talk about same sex relation, and I think there is a debate we haven’t quite had about that. But in a sense that’s water under the bridge, the decision has been taken, things move on. Looking back over my time as Archbishop I think that’s what most people will remember about the last ten years: ‘oh, he was that bloke who was so bogged down in issues about sexuality’.
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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted October 16, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

After the news broke last week (on Anglican Ink) that Archbishop Welby was not going to Gafcon, a torrent of negative comments from the right and rejoicing from the left washed through the Anglican blogosphere. Others gave the archbishop the benefit of the doubt. And the vast majority paid it no mind at all.

On Anglican Unscripted I said that the excuse of having to baptize Prince George was the best get-out-of-a-social-obligation-free card I had ever heard. I gave the archbishop high praise for finding a way to finesse a sticky situation. And now we have this extraordinary volte face -- and this pitiable explanation.

So, what is going on? Wheels within wheels? Or incompetence? From what I have been able to divine, Archbishop Welby is breaking free from the shackles of the Church of England’s bureaucracy. His predecessor, Rowan Williams, was Anglicanism’s Jimmy Carter (or for our English readers its Harold Wilson). The smartest man in the room -- but clueless as to how to use his authority and office. Justin Welby started off well as archbishop, but has also fired some distress rockets that worry the Global South. While they like him and are encouraged by his sincere faith – will the office overwhelm the man as it had Rowan Williams?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby--Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of KenyaChurch of England (CoE)Global South Churches & PrimatesGACON II 2013

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Posted October 11, 2013 at 3:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Please bow your heads and let us begin as we should always begin, in prayer.

Heavenly Father and Gracious God remind us of who you are and of whose we are and of the message that you have entrusted to us. We are gathered for such a time as this and we need to be recentered, we need to be refocused, we need to have our call furthered clarified, and so Lord we need a word from you. Gracious God take my lips and speak through them, take our minds and think through them, take our wills and mold them and shape them according to your purposes. And take our hearts and set them on fire with love for your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

In the stories General Eisenhower used to tell about his associates in the military and the government, he had one favorite above all the others. He indulged in it frequently at the expense of one of his chief aides, whose name was named George Allen. George Allen had the distinct misfortune, the dubious distinction of having played in the record-setting football game with the most lopsided score of all time. The score was 222 to 0. It was a game between Georgia Tech and Cumberland played in the 1916 season. And, yes you guessed it; George Allen played quarter back on the losing side. After about three quarters of the game, when the score had begun to mount into the hundreds and the team was dramatically demoralized, there came an amazing moment, in one of the few plays where Cumberland actually had the ball, when the ball was snapped back to Allen and he missed it and fumbled the ball. The opposing linemen came charging in, and suddenly the ball was trickling around the backfield and B. F. “Bird’ Paty, who later became a prominent attorney, was looking at the ball and he looked up past the ball and there was Allen, who was shouting, “Pick it up! Pick it up!” And Paty looked at the ball, and looked at Allen and then he looked at the charging linemen and he looked back at Allen and said, “You pick it up! You dropped it!”

My dear brothers and sisters I want to begin this afternoon by being so bold as to say that we have dropped the ball. I believe as passionately as I know how to state that we live in a time and a church under judgment. The book you need to center yourself on brothers and sisters is the book of Jeremiah, and the theme of judgment hardly ever mentioned in the contemporary western church when it is unfolded in the midst of God’s working with his people you see it quickly doing three things: It does cutting, it hurts and we heard abundant evidence of that today. Secondly it sets out confusion, tremendous confusion. Read and think about the book of Jeremiah sometime and think about how confusing it was for the people on the ground. Do I listen to Jeremiah or do I listen to Hananiah? Do I stay in Jerusalem or do I go to Babylon. Maybe I ought to think about going to Egypt. It becomes so confusing for Jeremiah himself at one point in Jeremiah 20 that he doesn’t even know to his own instincts and he almost internally self-destructs. But my dear brothers and sisters, a time of judgment is not only a time of cutting, though it is that, it is not only a time of confusion, though it is that, it is also a time of clarification.

And so the purpose of this talk this afternoon for just a few moments is to center us in our common faith and mission as we begin this 48-hour journey together. One of the things I delight in saying about my hero CS Lewis is that he had an instinct for the center. He knew how to distinguish between penultimate things and ultimate things and I need to say something to us as orthodox Anglicans. My dear brothers and sisters, we’ve not always done as well in making that distinction as we need to. We’ve got to learn to give those things that, even if they are precious to us, if they are not the ultimate things. We’ve got to recover an instinct for the center of whom we are, and the center of the message we are called to proclaim. Are you all with me?

So let’s think about Anglican essentials this afternoon. What is the center of who we are?

Number 1. All my points begin with the letter C, that is to help me in case I lose my place.

The first C is catholic; we are catholic, small C. What, Kendall Harmon was forced to think very deeply, what in its essence does it mean to be a catholic Christian, because that, I believe, is what we are.

It means first of all that we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. It means there is such a thing, to use Thomas Oden’s wonderful phrase, as a history of the Holy Spirit. So that when I did my doctorate at Oxford in the early 1990s and I studied the whole history of western Christian eschatology there came a moment when I confronted Augustine for the first time in earnest since college and I read the whole City of God and I sat there at Latimer House in Oxford with my pitiful little heater in the freezing cold temperatures, and I wept. Because I realized the Augustine had simply leveled every single book I had read in the last ten years, in the first three chapters. No wonder CS Lewis said he read three old books for every new one. At the end of City of God Augustine says, speaking of heaven, these wonderful words:

“There we shall rest and see, see and love, love and praise. This is what shall be in the end without end.” Did you get that? “There we shall rest and see, see and love, love and praise.” Do you know that is the finest summary in the smallest amount of words of heaven I have found anywhere? We have to drink deeply from the tradition that has been handed on to us, and unapologetically.

Sunday is the 300th anniversary of the birthday of Jonathan Edwards so permit a word about the man who is called America’s theologian.

George Marsden, who is the finest church historian in my estimation writing right now, has just released a brand new book on Jonathan Edwards called Jonathan Edwards: A Life (Yale University Press).

And writing about Edwards and his theology he says this:

“It is precisely because of the 20th century’s experience of human horror that Jonathan Edwards’ thinking on hell (yes you heard me use that word) cannot be so easily dismissed. Marsden goes on, Edwards believed (listen carefully to these words) that each person is “by nature incredibly short-sighted, self-absorbed, and blinded by pride.” Only a traumatic jolt could burst the bonds of self-absorption. Therefore the verbal violence of hellfire and damnation “was a gift of God to awaken people who were blindly sleepwalking to their doom.”

Interesting themes, heaven and hell, Augustine and Jonathan Edwards, we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. That is part of what it means to be a catholic. But there is more.

Second part of being catholic, it seems to me, is to believe in order. I found myself thinking about that simple gesture that happens in so many courtrooms. Order in court.

It seems to me what catholics are constantly saying to the church is “Order in the church, order in our worship, for crying out loud.” You ought to be able to follow the service. CS Lewis has a wonderful essay were he describes how the priests are always messing with the service and there is no structure that is predictable so that the liturgy can be vehicle instead of an obstacle to worship. Order in worship is important. It is amazing to me, thinking particularly about General Convention but also the general life of the Episcopal Church that since Thomas Cranmer gave us the Book of Common Prayer we have almost gone completely full circle and we are back to the very liturgical situation that he set out to reform namely there were too many liturgies running around and there wasn’t any order so he wrote a bookof COMMON PRAYER.

And yes order in the church so there is a certain way that we go about our business: bishops, priests, deacons, vestries, canons, there is a way that God set up the church.

And most importantly in our time order in the way we make decisions. Which means that to be a catholic Christian means that the more important the decision the more widely you consult, more people need to be involved, themore important the international leadership is involved. Hello, that is what is means to be a catholic Christian.

Finally to be a catholic doesn’t just mean those seven sacraments or seven sacramental acts or however you want to delineate them. It means more than that. To be a catholic means to think sacramentally. I found myself going back to that wonderful minor classic of Harry Blamires The Christian Mind. Listen to this summary that he gives of what it means to be Christian.

Blamires writes:

“The Christian mind thinks sacramentally. The Christian Faith presents a sacramental view of life. It shows life’s positive richness as derivative from the supernatural. It teaches us that to create beauty or to experience beauty, to recognize truth or to discover truth, to receive love or to give love, is to come in contact with realities that express the Divine Nature. At a time when Christianity is so widely misrepresented as life rejecting rather than life affirming [does that sound familiar to anyone?], it is urgently necessary to right the balance. In denouncing excesses of sensuality, Christians are apt to give the impression that their religion rejects the physical and would tame the enterprising pursuit of vital experience.”

And we don’t do it. There I was watching the opening sequence of The West Wing where President of the United States, Jeb Bartlett, has his daughter gone and kidnapped. He is in massive crisis. And what does this secular program do with a country and a president in crisis but it ends the first show of this season with the President of the United States with his hands open and a priest placing a wafer in those hands. Because he needed to have a sense of contact with the supernatural.

That is part of what it means to be a catholic Christian. Ya’ll with me? Stand on the shoulders of those who came before, a sense of order in the church and to think sacramentally.

I want everybody here who defines themselves as an Anglo-Catholic to please stand up. God bless you all.

Secondly, charismatic.

That’s right, you heard it hear first, charismatic.

I had the distinct fortune of having my roommate in college be a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Darien Conn. And believe it or not, we used to drive from Bowdoin College five hours one way and go to two Sunday morning worship services and the Sunday night worship service and then drive all the way back to Maine. And the one thing about that parish that I remember above all others was that when you walked in people were there to worship God for whom He was in the beauty of holiness and it was astounding to see people do that. And that is my image of what the church should be.

Worth-ship is what the word means. To give God the worth He is due for the glory of who He is. I find myself thinking of that interesting play “Equus.” That interesting play “Equus where Anthony Perkins played Martin Dysart the doctor in the Broadway version when it first came out. The story of a boy who has a bizarre form of mental disturbance where he is obsessed with horses and this secular psychologist named Martin Dysart who is working like crazy with the boy who does nothing but talk about and dream about horses reaches this amazing moment in his life where he actually begins to envy the boy even though he is profoundly aware that the boy is deeply disturbed. Because Martin Dysart the secular psychologist, realizes that the boy has something outside of himself that is beckoning him and that he has to bow down to and Martin Dysart the secular psychologist has nothing.

In an amazing moment he says in a soliloquy on the stage, “Without worship we shrink!”

And that is part of the message of the charismatic movement to the contemporary church. Worship, brothers and sisters, is a priority. To meet God for who He is.

More than just worship from the charismatic movement. Power.

If I learned anything from three-hundred-plus Terry Fullum tapes in the early 1980s I learned that Holy Spirit was the power of God to be unleashed on His people and in His world. So that in the early 1980’s when Mount St. Helens in the Cascade Range of Washington exploded with what is probably the most visible indication of something called natural power that many of us in the modern world has ever seen. At 8.32 a.m. the explosion ripped 1,300 feet off the mountain, with a force of ten million tons of TNT, or roughly equal to five hundred Hiroshimas. Sixty people were killed, most by a blast of 300-degree heat traveling at two hundred miles an hour. Some were killed as far as sixteen miles away from the original blast. The blast also leveled those incredible 150-foot Douglas firs, as far as seventeen miles away. A total of 3.2 billion board feet of lumber were destroyed in that explosion, enough lumber to build 200,000 three-bedroom homes. That’s natural power. And what the charismatic movement importantly reminds us that we need to center ourselves in this afternoon is that the power of God that resurrected His Son Jesus Christ which is far more potent than Mount St. Helens and far more powerful is the power that rests in each one of us and in His church. Do you believe that with me?

Just one quick story about the power of the Holy Spirit of all places at General Convention. Thank you for praying for us, thank you for praying for me. It was the case that the Spirit was working and certainly one of the low points was the night of August 5th when the vote came down and I was a complete mess in many many ways and very upset not least because the bishops went overtime and so the bishops were in session after the House of Deputies were no longer in session and I was commissioned to read a speech in the House of Deputies as Bob Duncan was going to read a speech in the House of Bishops repudiating the action but since the bishops went overtime the bishops made their statement but in deputies I didn’t make my statement and I was not pleased about this. I said, “Lord, what are you doing? We worked on the statement, this isn’t working out.” And I had to make the statement the next day. You know what Jesus says in John 3 about the Holy Spirit. He says the Holy Spirit blows where He wills.

And so we were trying to figure out when Gene Robinson on Wednesday was going to be introduced. And John Guernsey and I are standing there at the computer and Jim Simons calls and says he is going to be introduced right as the session begins. So we work like crazy on the statement. Then Jim Simons calls right back and says no he isn’t going to be introduced so we slow down our pace and then he calls back and says yes he is going to be introduced. And we start changing our pace again. And then he calls back and says no he’s not and then finally one more change and yes he is! And so Guernsey changes it for the 400 thousandth time in the computer and I literally rip the page off the printer and I run across the street to get in there and sure enough Gene Robinson is introduced, and I have to read the statement. The whole time this has been happening I have been praying the night before and that morning and I had one overriding impression that was bothering my spirit very deeply. The overriding impression, brothers and sisters, was this, when we had the debate in deputies on same-sex unions and on the confirmation of Gene Robinson, and you need to hear this, no one, not a single person who argued for the change and the innovation brought into the debate a perspective of those beyond our shores.

And so there I was with my prepared text and I thought, what the hay, the Spirit blows where He wills, and so I spoke from the heart and I inserted a section in the speech that wasn’t in the text. I could just imagine Guernsey’s response in the back. The Enforcer [nickname for John Guernsey] was not happy. But the Holy Spirit had other plans. I spoke this point into the microphone and then sat down. And one person from Texas stood up and then the next thing that happened was one of the really amazing moments in Minneapolis for me personally. We had a deputy stand up from Honduras and he stood up with a translator and very slowly, because each phrase had to be translated, with this wonderful cadence he said, “I am a servant of God, in Honduras, and I am charge of 52 missions, and because of what this convention has done my entire ministry has been [and I quote him directly] has been washed down the drain.” And it was as if he confirmed exactly the point I made, only it wasn’t in my speech. The Holy Spirit did one of those things that the Holy Spirit is so good at doing. Do you believe that the Holy Spirit blows where He wills in your lives right now? That’s what it means to be a charismatic Christian.

First, catholic. Second, charismatic. Third, canonical.

All right, I should have said evangelical but it had to start with a “c”. You knew it was going to come to the Bible eventually.

I do need to say a few things about the Bible although I know that John Yates is going to say a whole lot more. My dear brothers and sisters, I am so proud this afternoon to say to you that we are people who be lieve in theauthority of the Bible.

Praise God.

I can do no better this afternoon than to quote to you the 1958 Lambeth Conference statement which I believe every Anglican needs to memorize, that’s how important I think it is. Listen to what the 1958 Lambeth Conferencesaid about the Holy Scriptures:

“The Church [they wrote] is not ‘over’ the Holy Scriptures, but ‘under’ them, in the sense that the process of canonization was not one whereby the Church conferred authority on the books but one whereby the Church acknowledged them to possess authority. And why? The books were recognized as giving the witness of the Apostles to the life, teaching, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and the interpretation by the Apostles of these events.” [Listen to this last phrase.] “To that apostolic authority the Church must ever bow.”

Now I need to say to you that the authority of the Bible needs to be understood by us a Christians as personal authority. It is a certain kind of authority. It is an authority that is personal, and I can’t do better than one of my heroes, Austin Farrer, who was the warden of Keble College in Oxford where I had a chance to study. He’s given the perfect illustration of what it means for every Christian every day to pick up the Bible. What’s supposed to be in my mind when I hear a sermon from this document, when I hear an adult education class on this document or when I read this document? What am I supposed to think that I’m doing? Listen to what Austin Farrer says:

“What is the bible like? Like a letter which a soldier wrote to his wife about the disposition of his affairs and the care of his children in case he should chance to be killed. And the next day he was shot, and died, and the letter was torn and stained with his blood. Her friends said to the woman: the letter is of no binding force; it is not a legal will, and it is so injured by the facts of the writers own death that you cannot ever prove what it means. But the lady said: I know the man, and I am satisfied I can see what he means. And I shall do it because it is what he wanted me to do, and because he died the next day.”

That’s what it means to read the Bible. It means to read a personal letter from God stained with his own blood. Is that your perspective, when you preach from it?

Something else about the Bible, not just the Bibles authority and not just that its personal authority, but that we as Anglican Christians actually believe not only in the authority of the Bible, but the importance of loving the Bible. I like this first psalm; it says something really amazing about the godly person. It says that the man of God and the woman of God is blessed who not only meditates on God’s law but delights in it. And the word that is used in Hebrew haphats means to have emotional delight in. It’s the word of a wife delighting in her husband, or a husband delighting in his wife. We’re to have a delight of scripture. We’re to love it, not simply to read it although we should and not simply to be under its authority although we should, we need to love it, to care about it, and to steward it.

My own hero Charles Simeon (1759-1836) preached his way through the Bible and taught his congregation of Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Cambridge, England not only that the Bible was authoritative but it was something to be loved. He once said this: “I love the simplicity of the Scriptures, I wish to receive and inculcate every truth precisely in the way and to the extent that it is set forth in the inspired Volume. Were this the habit of alldivines, there would soon be an end of most of the controversies that have agitated and divided the Church of Christ.”

Do we love the Bible, brothers and sisters? Love the Bible.

So what have I said so far? I said we’re catholics, I said we’re
charismatics, and I said we’re canonical. And I said we are under judgment. And I find myself gravitating to that fascinating verse, in Jeremiah: “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, [in Jeremiah 29] plans for welfare and not for evil to give you a future and a hope.” With these bases what is to be our focus as Anglicans as we go forward into the unknown future that God has for us. What is to keep the main thing the main thing mean for us in this time.

It means three more C’s.

First of all Christ. I’ve got to say that, I’m sorry! But it is about
Jesus. It is about the unsearchable riches of Christ and since we are in year B can I just remind you in passing of the sheer power for a moment of Mark’ Gospel. He is trying to portray a Jesus Christ who comes into people’s lives in power and who makes an authoritative claim. You remember the way that Mark unfolds the story at the end of chapter 4. That amazing scene where he stills the storm. They say who is this that at peace be still he says. And they say who is this of ye of little faith and so Mark wants to convey to his readers that the Jesus whom he is portraying has authority over the natural world. And then chapter 5 begins and you have that amazing scene with the Gerasene demoniac who is out there gashing himself among the tombs. And he suddenly because of the power of Christ is placed in his right mind. Jesus who has power not only over the natural world but over evil. And then the story goes on and Mark has that wonderful scene where Jairus has this sick daughter and Jesus is supposed to go and on his way, you remember what happens, the woman with the issue of blood comes up and touches the hem of Jesus’ garment and she is healed. Mark gives us a Jesus who has power over sickness. And now we have Jesus who has power over the natural world, and over the demonic world and over the evil world and over sickness. What is the last story in Mark Chapter 5? He goes to Jairus’ daughter’s house and she is dead, forget it, it’s over. He says it is not over that she is just sleeping and he gets everyone out of the room except the family and he says to the little girl, “Talitha cumi, “I say to you little girl arise,” and it’s the Jesus who has power over death.

This is the Jesus, brothers and sisters, that we need to unapologetically proclaim. The Jesus who makes a powerful claim, power over nature, power over the demonic, power over sickness and power the last great enemy of all, death itself.

We will be people who unapologetically will be about the Christ, proclaiming the unsearchable riches of Christ. We will also be people, next C, of the cross.

I’m not giving up on the Rite I language of the prayer book. “By His one oblation of Himself once offered, the full perfect and sufficient sacrifice oblation and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world. By the merits and death of Thy Son, Jesus Christ and through faith in His blood.” What is it that Paul says in Galatians 6? “Far be in from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ by which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.” It’s got to be centered on the cross, brothers and sisters; the cross is the center of it all.

To be a Christian means not to think from the world or from one’s self to the cross but to place one’s self as Luther did every single morning at the foot of the Cross and to think and to pray out from there to one’s self and the world.

Two quick comments by way of reminder about the cross. The cross is the final statement of God about the depth of the problem. To think from the cross out is to be reminded of the horror of sin. In his wonderful book Compassion Henri Nouwen tells the moving story of a family whose name are Joel and Nida Theartiga that he knew in Paraguay. And this family in the course of their life and ministry the father who was a physician becomes increasingly critical of the government in Paraguay. The military is becoming increasingly abusive and the father can’t take it anymore and he speaks out more and more boldly. Finally the government acts and they take their revenge on this physician and his wife by arresting his teenage son and torturing him to death. The enraged townsfolk wanted to turn the boy’s funeral into a huge protest march, but as Nouwen tells the story, as they said their prayers and thought about it, they chose another protest, a more cross-like, biblical lament. And as Nouwen describes the funeral, what they chose to do was to take their son and to take his body exactly the way they had found it in the jail: naked, scarred by electric shocks and cigarette burns and beatings. All the villagers filed past the corpse, which lay not in a coffin but on the blood-soaked mattress that it was on in prison when they found it. It was the strongest protest imaginable, because it put the injustice of human sin on total display.

My dear brothers and sisters, that’s what happened on Good Friday. The Cross in all it’s ugliness, exposed the world and exposed our hearts for what they are breeding grounds for violence and injustice; for arrogance and pride; yes, for sexual sin and immorality; for moral cowardice, personal greed, and self-interest, and all else. The cross of Christ is offensive because it exposes and condemns our rebellion and rebelliousness.

But the other thing about the cross, the great thing about the cross if we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before, is that in the mystery of God’s working on the cross, God at that moment in history, the judge of history, comes into history and absorbs the judgment upon himself. PT Forsyth put it this way: “The cross of Christ is God’s only self-justification in a world such as ours.” Karl Barth put it this way: “God, by the decree He made in the beginning of all his works and ways, has taken upon himself the rejection merited by the man isolated in relation to him.” Total exposure of human sin, total absorption of human rebellion, he himself has born our sins. God made him who knew no sin to be sin, brothers and sisters, so that in him we may be the righteousness of God. Do you believe that?

My last C. Not only the Christ, and not only the cross, but finally, and here I think I get to my most heartfelt cri de coeur about the situation in which we find ourselves. It’s about conversion for crying out loud. A funny thing happened on the way to the 21st century in the Episcopal Church: The 1979 prayer book! The full theological measure of its ethos has yet to be completely felt but we are now at a place of enough distance from it to begin to reflect with each other about its real impact on our common life and if we do that, and very few people are doing it, the results are deeply disconcerting.

Think with me just for a second. A prayer book that has an underemphasis on God’s transcendence and holiness and judgment, combined with a very weak sense of sin, combined with a liturgical practice that actually makes confession of sin optional, combined with a strong emphasis on baptism, combined with a baptismal covenant which is decoupled from its trinitarian and scriptural mooring so that apparently the nearly everything I read in the Episcopal church what it actually means to be baptized ONLY is revealed the last two questions in the baptismal covenant: namely, loving your neighbor as yourself, and to striving for justice and peace among all people, and respecting the dignity of every human being, combined with the predominant ethos of the American Episcopal Church which is liberal catholicism combined with the predominant ethos of America which is this weird post modern miasma of malnourished pluralism masking as real community, it leads to this, and I need to say this as clearly as I can: we have a theology in practice which moves straight from creation to redemption! A nearly universalistic or in fact completely universalistic worldview in which the fall and sin have in essence disappeared!! To be created in the Episcopal Church is apparently to be redeemed (at the most you need to be baptized) and so, think about this for just a second - what are the two most recent trends worthy of mention since Convention? Some people are arguing Gene Robinson was baptized, therefore he should be consecrated a bishop. It apparently trumps everything else. If you are baptized everything else follows, and then the even more important one which really flew under almost everybody’s radar screen, the huge growing practice in the Episcopal Church of open communion. So that at All Saints Pasadena the Rector gets up and says “who ever you are, where ever you are in your spiritual journey, I invite you to come forward for grace and consolation along the way.” Any reference to God the Father? Uh-uh. Any reference to God the Son? Gone. Any reference to the Holy Spirit? Nada. Now think about this for just a second.

Over against this barely Christian ethos, if you actually place what it means to have a biblical world view, you find yourself shocked, shocked because when you read the scriptures, Luke 19:10, the reason that the son of man came was to seek and to save the lost. God comes to Abraham and says, “Go to a lost world so that through you they will be blessed because they are not blessed now.” Jesus tells in Luke chapter 15 not one, not two, but three parables. The lost coin, and the lost sheep, and then–just incase we missed it–the lost son. And Paul can cry out in 2 Corinthians 5 “I beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” The overwhelming conviction of historic Christianity is: If you don’t have Christ you’re lost! Which is why number one on your sheet is to declare the great commission the first priority of our life and work. I don’t want to know when you come to see me whether you’re a good Episopalian, I want to know how many people in your parish have met Jesus Christ and are being transformed by His love.

One more Simeon story just about the lostness of the lost. I need to say this so strongly because it just is so rare in the Episcopal Church to see people that believe the way Simeon believed. I love this story. This is a first hand description of one of his sermons and the text on this particular day when Charles Simeon, a vicar at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Cambridge England, who lived from 1759-1836. Simeon is preaching and his text is “All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people,” that is his text. Listen to this eyewitness description. “And after having urged all his hearer to accept God’s offer of mercy, he reminded them that there were those present to whom he had preached Christ for more than thirty years, but they continued indifferent to a Savior’s love; and pursuing this train of expostulation for some time, he at length became quite overpowered by his feelings, and sank down in the pulpit and burst into a flood of tears, and few who were present could refrain from weeping with him” When was the last time anyone of us really cried for the lostness of the lost who are all over our parishes and our lives. God cries. The gospel calls. Do we?

So what have I said? What I have said is that what it means to be an Anglican is to be a catholic, to be a charismatic, to canonical. What it means to be centered in the Anglican essentials is that we are about Christ and his cross and yes the call to conversion. And now I draw my remarks to a close. Because this word this afternoon brothers and sisters has to touch us where we really live and breathe.

You remember I started by talking about the fact that I believe that we are a church that is under judgment. Did you catch the word that I used? I didn’t say they are under judgment, I said we. It’s a real downer to hear what happened as our panel well described to us about what happened in Minneapolis. And there is a danger that we face as we begin our journey together and the danger is this.

Any sense that it is the re-appraisers, that’s the way that I like to
describe them, who are responsible primarily or even nearly exclusively for the pathetic state of affairs in which we find ourselves and our church has to be abandoned. All of Israel I remind you all this afternoon was under judgment in Jeremiah’s day and the whole Episcopal Church is under judgment including us.

The so-called orthodox, that’s us, have an enormous amount to answer for in this time. Our sins of compromise, timidity, denial, ignorance, careerism, self-interest, party spirit, the list is very long. So hear this afternoon, my brothers and sisters, the gospel for all of us. Hear it well, B. F. “Bird’ Paty in that football game, in a losing game, looked at the football dribbling around on the ground and he didn’t want to pick it up. And God’s message to us in recentering us is: We have dropped the ball!! We have lost our center as gospel people, as catholic, charismatic, canonical Anglican people. Not only have we lost our center, but hear this well; we do not even have the power to pick the ball back up left to ourselves. But dear sisters and brothers hear the good news of the Gospel this afternoon. The God who gave us the ball, who has watched us drop the ball, through the cross forgives us for dropping the ball and by the power of the Holy Spirit gives us back the ball.

Will you take the ball back up with me?

Bless you.

And finally you’ve heard that word used by David Roseberry, realignment. You are going to hear a lot about it. It is in our preliminary draft of the statement. And I need to say a clearly as I know how this afternoon why a realignment within Anglicanism is indispensably necessary. There has to be a new realignment, there has to be a new and different future.

At Minneapolis the Episcopal church decided to risk the whole future of the Anglican communion on this one vote, all four instruments of Anglican unity said don’t do it, many prominent Anglicans leaders worldwide pleaded for us not to do it, and we not only did it but we did it without consulting them. This is not catholic it will not stand.

At Minneapolis the Holy Spirit was grieved and a way of life which is in contradiction to holiness was celebrated and blessed, this is not charismatic it will not stand.

At Minneapolis, the Scriptures were either quickly dismissed or incredible and deliberately twisted, this decision is not canonical it will not stand.

Most importantly and finally, at Minneapolis, the will of the Father to draw all people to himself through the cross of his Son, get this now, was replaced with a new and different gospel where a therapeutic Jesus embraces people where they are. It is a gospel of affirmation rather than the gospel of salvation. We have moved from sinners in the hands of an angry God to clients in the palm of a satisfied therapist.

So the Episcopal Church is now a church where people are officially led away from Christ. And this is why we need a realignment. You’ve got to understand this. Because with the new gospel you and I who believe the traditional gospel are the embodiment of a call to holiness and believers in a gospel which those who believe the new teaching see as unjust and unchristian. We are enemies of the new gospel. Beware underneath the call to participate in the Episcopal Church from now on there is lurking a passionate desire among some to persecute many of those who disagree with this new teaching.

I was on the committee that put out C-051. I remember it well there were 45 of us. Guess what the vote was? 44 to 1. I remember it because I was the one. And there was an incredible moment at the end of Minneapolis which is the future in the Episcopal Church if we don’t have intervention. And to my utter amazement, having written a one-person minority report, which is my prerogative as a member of the committee, I watched person after person after person come to the microphone and insist that my one-person minority report be expunged from the record of the Episcopal Church. It was astounding. It was like being in a family that has an Uncle Steve and they are pretending that he doesn’t exist and they go through all the family albums and pull out his picture and go through all the family history and erase those sections where Steve is mentioned. That’s our future brothers and sisters if we don’t have help. We’ve got to have outside intervention. We haven’t moved anywhere. The church has moved from us.

Our hope is in asking for a realignment in a church were are increasing under attack with a total sense of our own powerlessness to shape the nature of our coming intervention, and that’s really good news because Jesus said “Blessed are the poor in spirit.”

Are you re-centered with me brothers and sisters? Catholic, Charismatic, Canonical. We are going to be about Christ, and the cross, and conversion.

As we are seated, let us pray.

Lord, you are a great God and you have given us a great and astounding message. Re-center us, and enable us to be people who preach the unsearchable riches of Christ, and his cross, and who call others to conversion in His name by the power of the Holy Spirit. Forgive us Lord, for the ways that we have dropped the ball. We confess that we have dropped the ball Lord; we confess that we don’t have the power to pick the ball back up. Lord in your mercy, you, the God who gave us the ball in the first place and who watched us drop the ball. Give us back the ball Lord, by the power of your Holy Spirit, and bring us into the new and exciting and hopeful future that only you can give us. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican PrimatesEpiscopal Church (TEC)Global South Churches & PrimatesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessingsWindsor Report / Process* By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship--Book of Common Prayer* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI* TheologyAnthropologyEschatologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

3 Comments
Posted October 8, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Lord Williams said religious believers should be wary of complaining about their treatment in the Western world, with those claiming they are "persecuted" making him "very uneasy".

He added the level of "not being taken very seriously" or "being made fun of" in Britain and the United States is not comparable to the "murderous hostility" faced by others in different parts of the world.

Speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, he urged those who complain of ill-treatment for their beliefs in Britain to "grow up".

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

6 Comments
Posted August 16, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Michael Ramsey Prize for Theological Writing 2013 has been awarded to Dr Luke Bretherton for his book Christianity and Contemporary Politics, published by Wiley-Blackwell, it was announced...[last] week....

The prize was presented by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Williams of Oystermouth at the Telegraph Hay Festival.... Dr Bretherton, who is now the Associate Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke University Divinity School in the United States, was formerly Reader in Theology and Politics at King's College, London. His book was described by Lord Williams as "a finely argued theological take on the situation we face, based on practical examples and resources".

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Culture-WatchBooksReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted June 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Goddard had fewer than four months to research and write the book and acknowledges that his conclusions and judgments are “initial [and] tentative” (p. 8). Each chapter provides a summary of Williams’s speeches, interviews, and sermons relevant to the topic at hand, along with commentary from Goddard and a handful of other individuals whom he interviewed. At times, the chapters feel like little more than lengthy quotations from Williams’s own writing. This is no bad thing, however. To read Williams’s original words in the context in which they were first delivered is refreshing. In any event, their complexity and depth defy easy summation. (At least two other books on Williams, Rupert Shortt’s Rowan’s Rule and Mike Higton’s Difficult Gospel, similarly rely on lengthy quotations.)

Goddard’s tight writing schedule presents other problems, as it causes him occasionally to pass over significant moments too briefly. For instance, he mentions Williams’s “historic meeting with [Zimbabwean President Robert] Mugabe” (p. 144) but provides no additional information on what made it historic or why it was significant to Williams’s ministry. These are judgments that a tight publishing deadline likely cannot accommodate.

A larger disappointment is that the people Goddard interviewed to inform his judgments seem a limited lot. They are overwhelmingly male and from the Euro-Atlantic world.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Culture-WatchBooks

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Posted May 12, 2013 at 1:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has urged evangelical congregations within the Church of Scotland not to “walk away” over the ordination of [noncelibate] gay ministers.

Speaking on the eve of a visit to Scotland as the new chairman of Christian Aid, Williams said he understood some congregations might threaten to break away if the Kirk’s ­General Assembly votes to allow the ordination of gay ministers later this month, but warned against such a divisive move.

“The impulse to walk away, while deeply understandable, is not a very constructive one,” he said. “The things which bind Christians together are almost always more profound and significant for themselves and the world than the things that divide them. When you do walk away from other Christians you are in effect saying well, either I can do without you or I’ve got nothing to learn from you. That can’t be good for us. You may disagree, you may think somebody else is tacitly perverse, but you might want to hang in there with them.”

Read it all.

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5 Comments
Posted May 7, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It is a wearyingly obvious observation, but the Church of England remains crippled by the gay crisis. It is locked in disastrous self-opposition, alienated from its largely liberal nature. Maybe the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has a secret plan that will break the deadlock: there is no sign of it yet. The advent of gay marriage has made the situation look even more hopeless. It entrenches the church in its official conservatism, and it further radicalises the liberals. A few weeks ago the church issued a report clarifying its opposition to gay marriage, in which it ruled out the blessing of gay partnerships. This was not a hopeful move: it ought to be keeping these issues separate.

The ending of the turbulent Williams era is an opportunity to take stock, rethink, take a step back. What we see is that, for more than 20 years, the church has tried and failed to reform its line on homosexuality; and this failure has been amazingly costly. The church used to be good at gradual reform. Why did it fail so dismally this time?

I blame the liberals....

Read it all.

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Posted May 1, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Dr Rowan Williams has stepped down from his role as Archbishop of Canterbury - but don't go thinking this means that he has slowed down. As well as being the Master of Magdalene College Cambridge, Dr Williams is a member of the House of Lords and continues to work with churches and other faith groups all around the world.

Listen to it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted April 28, 2013 at 1:04 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

PRESENTER: Should Bonhoeffer be regarded as a Protestant Saint?

ARCHBISHOP: What makes it an interesting question is that he himself says in one of his very last letters to survive, that he doesn't want to be a saint; he wants to be a believer. In other words he doesn't want to be some kind of, as he might put it, detached holy person. He wants to show what faith means in every day life. So I think in the wider sense, yes he's a saint; he's a person who seeks to lead an integrated life, loyal to God, showing God's life in the world. A saint in the conventional sense? Well, he wouldn't have wanted to be seen in that way.

--Archbishop Rowan Williams on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, speaking in 2006

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* International News & CommentaryEuropeGermany

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Posted April 9, 2013 at 5:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Check it out and see what you think.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Culture-WatchBooks

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Posted February 10, 2013 at 2:16 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In this way leadership is a myth, a story we tell ourselves over and over again in an attempt to make sense of the world around us. We look for leadership, because we expect leadership, because we look for leadership....

This is the plot of Shane, Triumph of the Will, Saving Private Ryan and practically every western every made. It is the founding myth of our politics and our society. It tells us that violence works, and that leadership only comes from the imposition of a superman's will upon the masses, and preferably those masses "out there", not us. Williams recognised this: "When people say, 'We want you to give a lead', what they mean is, 'We want you to tell them, not us. We don't want to be led.'" In the end, leadership means doing beastly things, to other people.

The need for "leadership'" in our society is fatally flawed by its roots. Instead, the Christian faith has a better word for the ministry to which he, and every Christian, is called: disciple. It doesn't matter how many hyphens we tack on to the front of it ("servant-leadership", "compassionate-leadership", "collaborative-leadership"), it is still leadership, and therefore antithetical to the model, ministry and challenge of being a disciple of Jesus Christ. I don't want Justin Welby to be a leader. I'd hope that the new archbishop could be a disciple, and one who can help others to become disciples as well.

Read it all.

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6 Comments
Posted February 5, 2013 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It was billed as the moral equivalent of an Ali v Foreman title fight. The world’s best known atheist arguing with the man who until a few weeks ago was the Archbishop of Canterbury. Last night, Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, took on Rowan Williams, the new master of Magdalene College, in a debate on religion at the Cambridge Union. And Williams emerged triumphant.

The motion for debate was big enough to attract the very best speakers to the Cambridge Union: Religion has no place in the 21st century.

But the key factor in persuading Professor Richard Dawkins to agree to take part in last night’s setpiece was something else – an admiration for his principal opponent.

“I normally turn down formal debates,” he said. “But the charming Rowan Williams was too good to miss.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Culture-WatchEducationPhilosophyReligion & CultureYoung Adults* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsAtheism* TheologyApologetics

1 Comments
Posted February 3, 2013 at 2:35 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As [Arif] Ahmed recited figures on Anglicanism’s decline Rowan Williams grew restless, causing Ahmed to ask the master of Magdalene pointedly: “Do you want a point of information?” The room broke out in laughter as Williams responded by motioning for Ahmed to ‘bring it on’.

The Spectator columnist Douglas Murray, arguing for the relevance of religion in the 21st century despite the “awkward position” of being an atheist, finished the debate by declaring that “no rational person could agree with this motion". Religion, alongside humanism and secularism, has “a contribution to make”, Murray argued, telling students that without religion you may end up “with something like a perpetual version of The Only Way is Essex”.

Priyanka Kulkarni, Pembroke first year, said: “Tonight's debate was highly anticipated, the queue spanning for what seemed to be miles was an indicator that this was going to be a highlight of the union this term.”

Read it all.

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1 Comments
Posted February 3, 2013 at 2:16 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

You may find the preliminary video here (it lasts a little over 1 1/2 hours).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Culture-WatchEducationPhilosophyReligion & CultureScience & TechnologyYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsAtheism* Theology

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Posted February 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Rowan Williams and Richard Dawkins are to go head to head again in debate. Last year the two debated religion and science in Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre, now they are to debate the place of reli- gion in the modern world at the Cambridge Union.

About 1,000 students are expect- ed to attend a debate in which Tariq Ramadan, Andrew Copson of the British Humanist Association, and Douglas Murray, founder of the Centre for Social Cohesion, will also take part.

The debate will be filmed and be available on the Union website soon after it has taken place.

Read it all (may require subscription).

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Posted January 31, 2013 at 6:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

But you don’t believe the dear Lord created it anyway, do you? Hasn’t that got you into trouble with the people who don’t believe in evolution? Not in this country. You get letters but it’s a very easy thing to answer. Someone says: ‘I believe a God of infinite mercy created every single species and the Lord looks after us and all the animals.’ Well, what about that little African boy, five years old, sitting on the banks of a river, and he’s got a worm in his eye that’s going to turn him blind in three years? Did this God that you talk about actually design this worm and say: ‘I’ll put it in this boy’s eye?’ To suggest that God specifically created a worm to torture small African children is blasphemy as far as I can see. The Archbishop of Canterbury doesn’t believe that.

He’s supposed to believe it, though, isn’t he? Absolutely not! If you said to the Archbishop of Canterbury: ‘Are you really telling me that God got some mud, blew in it and made a man and when that man said: “I haven’t got a friend”, he took out one of his ribs, rubbed it in his hands and went “boom, boom”?’ [Rowan] Williams [the last Archbishop of Canterbury] is a highly civilised, educated man. He wouldn’t for a microsecond be so silly as to believe that. But it does put him in an intolerable position.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* General InterestAnimals* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted January 30, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On the evening of 4 January, as the BBC News led with a new “civil part- nered bishops” row, Rowan Williams must have powerfully experi enced how different life had become after stepping down as Archbishop of Canter- bury at the end of 2012. For over 10 years such stories were almost always tied to him and his views on sexuality and his leader- ship of the Church. Not any longer. Yet the story illustrates how much “unfinished business” remained as he left office and how fragile Anglican unity is. It therefore raises the question as to his legacy.

For the last six months I’ve attempted to look back over his primacy to offer an ini- tial tentative assessment of his tenure and legacy in Rowan Williams: His Legacy (Lion, 2013). It has been a fascinating and challenging task. I thought I had a fairly good idea of his ministry but quickly realised how little I knew and how wide it has been.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)

13 Comments
Posted January 28, 2013 at 7:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, must be hoping that his tenure will not be dogged and disrupted by rows about homosexuals and women bishops.

His forerunner, Rowan Williams, was almost completely derailed by such quarrels. Much of the rest of what he had to say was drowned by the din of factional infighting, baffling to the uncommitted.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby--Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)

1 Comments
Posted January 14, 2013 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the [BBC2 Goodbye to Canterbury] programme, Dr Williams also spoke of his opposition to the Iraq war in 2003. Once war had broken out, and troops were on the ground, Dr Williams decided not to "sound off from a distance". He had tried to focus the debate on what an exit to the war would look like, "what would justice after the war look like", which left him "satisfying nobody. . . People who think you ought to be swinging behind the Government are disappointed; people who think you ought always to be making loud and clear noises about global ethics will be disappointed.

"But I still think it's a path worth treading, because the important thing about Archbishops speaking in public is, I believe, they shouldn't ever be speaking in ways that have no cost, when other people are paying a price."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams

0 Comments
Posted January 7, 2013 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon


....everyone who visited the Olympic site or watched the broadcasts will have been made aware of the army of volunteers who cheerfully gave up their free time and worked away, without complaint, all hours of the day and night to make these great events happen. They were the key people who translated the Olympic vision into reality for the rest of us.

It ought to make us think a bit harder about all the other folk who quietly, often invisibly, turn vision into reality and just make things happen – especially volunteers. Here at the Robes project, over twenty local churches are combining to offer food and shelter to homeless people in London. Religion here isn’t a social problem or an old-fashioned embarrassment, it’s a wellspring of energy and a source of life-giving vision for how people should be regarded and treated. So let’s recognise this steady current of generosity that underlies so much of our life together in this country and indeed worldwide.

It’s all based on one vision – to make our society, our whole world, work for everyone, not just the comfortable and well off. And it’s a vision that sometimes seems to need Olympic levels of patient hard work and dedication.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The decline of the Anglican Church as the country’s main religious voice is confirmed by findings from the Henry Jackson Society.
The study, which monitored statements by religious groups and media coverage of religion over the past decade, also found that the Roman Catholic Church had a more prominent role in public debate about religious issues than the Church of England.
Catholics focused heavily on pro-life issues and personal morality. Statements made by the C of E, in contrast, were more likely to be about overseas aid, foreign policy and poverty.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

1 Comments
Posted December 30, 2012 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Rowan Williams has attended his last service as the archbishop of Canterbury at the city's cathedral, before he leaves office as leader of the Church of England and spiritual head of the 77 million-strong Anglican communion.

More than 700 people turned out to bid farewell to 62-year-old Williams before he officially departs as the 104th archbishop of Canterbury on Monday, following a 10-year tenure.

He will go on to take up the posts of master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and chairman of the board of trustees of Christian Aid, the international development agency.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchWomen* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

10 Comments
Posted December 30, 2012 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The truth of God is the most comforting and joyful presence we can imagine; and also the most disorienting and demanding. There’s a famous Old Testament story (2 Kings 5) about the great military leader of ancient Israel’s fiercest enemy, who comes to the prophet Elisha to be healed of his leprosy; and the prophet tells him simply to wash in the river. He is indignant: surely there must be something more difficult and glamorous and heroic to do? No; it’s perfectly simple. Go and wash, go and join all those ordinary humble folk who are sluicing themselves in the river after a long day’s work, or beating their laundry against the stones. Go and join the rest of the human race and acknowledge who you are. That’s the truest heroism and the hardest.

It’s a foreshadowing of the New Testament invitation: repent and believe and be baptised. Turn round and look where you’ve never looked before, trust the one who is calling you and drop under the water of his overflowing compassion. Be with him. Join the new human race, re-created in the Spirit of mutual love and delight and service.

If Jesus is strange and threatening, isn’t that (the New Testament certainly suggests) a sign of how far we’ve wandered from real humanity, real honesty about our weaknesses and limits?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmasParish MinistryPreaching / Homiletics

0 Comments
Posted December 26, 2012 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At the end of 2012 Dr Rowan Williams steps down after almost a decade as Archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

He is the 104th Archbishop and has been in office at a time when the church faces internal problems and society comes to terms with global terrorism and recession....

Watch it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams

0 Comments
Posted December 24, 2012 at 11:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It's a slightly strange way to start a Gospel you might think. We expect something a bit more like the beginning of the other Gospels: the story of Jesus's birth perhaps or his ancestry, or the story of Jesus's arrival on the public scene. But at the beginning of St John's Gospel what St John does is to frame his whole story against an eternal background. And what he's saying there is this: as you read this Gospel, as you read the stories about what Jesus does, be aware that whatever he does in the stories you're about to read is something that's going on eternally, not just something that happens to be going on in Palestine at a particular date. So when Jesus brings an overflow of joy at a wedding, when Jesus reaches out to a foreign woman to speak words of forgiveness and reconciliation to her, when Jesus opens the eyes of a blind man or raises the dead, all of this is part of something that is going on forever. The welcome of God, the joy of God, the light of God, the life of God - all of this is eternal. What Jesus is showing on Earth is somehow mysteriously part of what is always true about God....

Read it all or watch the video.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas* TheologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted December 24, 2012 at 7:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...there is one thing often said by defenders of the American gun laws that ought to make us think about wider questions. ‘It’s not guns that kill, it’s people.’ Well, yes, in a sense. But it makes a difference to people what weapons are at hand for them to use – and, even more, what happens to people in a climate where fear is rampant and the default response to frightening or unsettling situations or personal tensions is violence and the threat of violence. If all you have is a hammer, it’s sometimes said, everything looks like a nail. If all you have is a gun, everything looks like a target.

People use guns. But in a sense guns use people, too. When we have the technology for violence easily to hand, our choices are skewed and we are more vulnerable to being manipulated into violent action.

Perhaps that’s why, in a passage often heard in church around this time of year, the Bible imagines a world where swords are beaten into ploughshares.

Read or listen to it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to at KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Culture-WatchViolence* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.


Posted December 22, 2012 at 11:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Spiritually, we must prepare ourselves for the journey, stripping away the trivial and comfortable habits that all of us develop in our practice of faith, and renewing our commitment to follow the Word Incarnate. And then we must work this out in action – in our own willingness to be alongside the displaced, to work devotedly with all who defend the rights and dignities of those without land or livelihood, and to speak for them and serve them in whatever way we can. Our churches should not be places where we retreat into the relief and safety of being with people who are just like ourselves. They should be places where we meet the ‘divine exile’ who invites us to follow him in bringing hope to the displaced and disinherited – where we learn something of his own liberty to be at the service of all in need and pain.

May God lead us out beyond the gates of our comfort to be with Jesus; and may he keep us always awake to see the realities of disorder and suffering around us.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther Churches

0 Comments
Posted December 22, 2012 at 9:49 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Everyone seems to be amazed that the Pope is tweeting – and there was a news story the other day about bishops in England using Twitter for their Christmas messages. The surprise reminds me of the way people pretend to be astonished when clergy admit to having heard the occasional rude word (never mind clergy actually using them…) or having watched a soap. It’s taken for granted that we’re far too unworldly for all this.

Even speaking as someone who struggles with any kind of technology, I don’t think it should be assumed that all my fellow clergy are or ought to be as dim as I am in this area. And I don’t buy into the panic that sometimes gets stirred up about social media and electronic communication. OK, we all know it can be poisonous and destructive at times. But there’s another side to it.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingReligion & CultureScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyChristology

0 Comments
Posted December 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In other words, real freedom of speech, the kind that is morally important and politically essential, involves two things – freedom to stand back from any particular loyalty in the name of loyalty to the truth, and freedom to speak truths that the powerful want hidden or ignored. It is not simply a matter of the liberty to spread random or trivial information, certainly not the liberty of expressing abusive or demeaning opinions. And no-one can be complacent about the levels of hurt and distress experienced by those who have been at the receiving end of intrusive and insensitive investigation in the name of this debased version of liberty. It is about sharing the reality of painful and difficult human experience so that others may know it for what it is and so that they may have no excuse for ignoring it. This kind of truthtelling is always radical because it demands that we identify with the situations of those very unlike us and recognise that they share the same world and the same human challenges. Truth is not likely to be found where people are told never to ask questions or where those who are backed by force have the right to dictate what counts as news, so that the human reality and human cost of injustice or disaster can be swept out of sight and mind.

Our readings today reinforce this strongly. St Paul’s words in his letter to the Philippians take it for granted that what is true is bound up with justice and honour among human beings: to think about what is true is to be committed to pursuing justice and honour, trust, fairness, all that is positive and in tune with people’s deepest longings and feelings.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesMediaReligion & Culture* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted December 14, 2012 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Canterbury Cathedral is a huge, unmistakeable physical fact: it simply stands there, quietly letting us know how deeply these issues mattered to people not so unlike us. It reminds us that there were some who thought them a matter of life and death – like Thomas Becket, who died as a result of protesting against the king’s absolute claims. Less dramatically, it reminds us of those generations of monks who fervently believed that the best thing they could do for the world was to hold it steadily in prayer, in a daily rhythm of simple living and concentrated quietness.

You can’t fail to recognise that at the very least it’s a great open space for us to come into and discover new things about our human life and possibilities. And Christmas itself is about the arrival of a person whose words and actions and sufferings make that sort of space for us all. It isn’t about the arrival of a new philosophy – or even just a new religion. The compassion that is shown by Jesus is something that takes us as we are and gives us freedom to ask the hardest questions; freedom to grow up, confident that at every stage of our lives we are welcomed and understood and affirmed. Freedom to face our shadows and betrayals as well, because we know that love can always make a fresh start with us.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyChristology

2 Comments
Posted December 12, 2012 at 11:10 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The crisis of gospel truth that has polarized the Anglican Communion and continues to separate Anglicans stems from a willful, premeditated and deliberate violation of Anglican Communion teaching on human sexuality and Holy orders (see Lambeth Resolution 1.10). For almost 15 years, TEC and other "progressive" Anglican churches in the mostly Western and Global North provinces have openly defied these settled Communion teachings.

It continues to be a sad commentary on the leadership of the current Archbishop of Canterbury that he seems unwilling even to acknowledge the doctrinal issues, much less the crisis, that has consumed so much of his tenure-especially with fellow bishops whose office is to guard the faith and order of our beloved Communion, and among whom are many from the largest Anglican provinces in the Global South who, in the face of this crisis of Gospel truth, found it necessary to provide refuge and oversight for faithful Anglicans in North America. "Some challenges" indeed.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

1 Comments
Posted December 7, 2012 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Rowan] Williams spent most of his decade as Anglican spiritual leader struggling to keep bitter disputes between liberals in western countries and traditionalists, mostly from African and other developing countries, from tearing the Communion apart.

Faced with strong traditionalist opposition to gay clergy, women priests and liberal interpretations of the Bible, he tried to balance both sides and to strengthen central authority in Anglicanism so member churches did not diverge too much.

But his Anglican Covenant project failed when even his Church of England rejected the idea of a stronger center. Unlike the powerful Roman Catholic pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury is only the spiritual leader of Anglicans and has no direct authority over the Communion's member churches.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican Primates* TheologyEcclesiology

9 Comments
Posted December 6, 2012 at 6:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury has conceded defeat in the battle over the Anglican Covenant. In a 2 Dec 2012 Advent letter to the primates, Dr. Rowan Williams said the Anglican Communion had become “corrupted” and could no longer be considered a communion of churches but a “community of communities.”

Dr. Williams’ somber appreciation of the state of the communion today, contrasts with his past letters to the leaders of the Communions 38 provinces. Nothing now bound the church together apart from good will....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* TheologyEcclesiology

10 Comments
Posted December 5, 2012 at 4:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Despite many questions about how our decisions about doctrine and mutual responsibility are made in the Communion, and some challenges to the various ‘Instruments of Communion’, the truth is that our Communion has never been the sort of Church that looks for one central authority. This doesn’t mean that we are not concerned with truth or holiness or consistency. It simply acknowledges that all forms of human power and discipline can become corrupted, and that in the Church we have to have several points of reference for the organising of our common life so that none of them can go without challenge or critique from the others. Our hope is that in this exchange we discover a more credible and lasting convergence than we should have if someone or some group alone imposed decisions – and that the fellowship that emerges is more clearly marked by Christlikeness, by that reverence for one another that the Spirit creates in believers.

Another way of saying this is that (to use the language of a great Anglican theologian of the early twentieth century, J.N. Figgis) we are a ‘community of communities’.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican Primates

3 Comments
Posted December 3, 2012 at 3:37 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Cardinal Martini shook up a heady intellectual cocktail for the Catholic Church before he passed away. His recently published last testament has stunned the Vatican and set the faithful arguing about the direction of Catholicism in the 21st century. At nearly the same time, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the retiring leader of 100 million worldwide Anglicans, has been stirring up his flock with valedictory messages.

The lives of Cardinal Martini and Archbishop Williams share common themes. Both have held the highest academic positions and been recognized as great scholars, having produced over 50 works of theology between them. Both are remarkable linguists—Martini spoke 11 languages and Williams speaks six. Their prelatical concoctions pack a punch, and both will certainly enliven the debates about the future of the world’s two largest churches.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Speaking about the link between HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence, Dr Williams said ‘HIV/AIDS is regularly both the cause and the result of gender-based violence. It results often from rape, from unacceptable and degrading sexual practices. It’s the result of attitudes towards women that demean them, that deny their human dignity…HIV/AIDS is also the cause of violence; it’s the cause of stigma and rejection, and suspicion.’

“I believe it’s crucial for governments, NGOs, civil society agencies worldwide, to keep their eyes firmly on the connection between … the challenges around HIV, and the challenges around gender equality; the challenges posed to the dignity and the freedom of women worldwide.”

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Culture-WatchGlobalizationHealth & Medicine* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted November 30, 2012 at 3:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)

0 Comments
Posted November 23, 2012 at 1:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Although it was carried in the House of Bishops by 44 to 3, with two abstentions, and in the House of Clergy by 148 to 45, with no abstentions, it was lost in the House of Laity. Here, there were 132 votes in favour, 74 against, with no abstentions; the Measure thus fell by six votes. Across all three Houses, 72.6 per cent of Synod members voted in favour of the legislation.

This result came despite strong support for the Measure from the Archbishop of Canterbury and his designated successor, the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Justin Welby.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchWomen

0 Comments
Posted November 23, 2012 at 10:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“Bishop Kenneth Cragg held a unique position in the world of inter faith dialogue. His powerfully original mind, both analytic and poetic, was able to weave together themes and images from many and diverse religious backgrounds into a fresh theological perspective that still managed to do full honour to classical orthodoxy.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesThe Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations

0 Comments
Posted November 14, 2012 at 6:42 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams said today that his successor was going to have to map the Biblical vision of humanity and community onto the worst situations in society.

Speaking at the final media conference after the end of the Anglican Consultative Council in New Zealand, Archbishop Williams said the issues discussed at the meeting--including environmental change and ending domestic violence--were "actually questions about what kind of humanity we're seeking to promote and serve, which is a deeply Christian question."

He said he thought that when people were probing the church on certain issues, they were actually asking how the church could help them “be really human”.

“We believe as a church we have unparalleled resources for enriching humanity that way.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican Consultative Council

8 Comments
Posted November 7, 2012 at 7:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



The Archbishop of Canterbury has paid tribute to the resilience of the people of Christchurch while visiting the city's devastated red zone - but refused to be drawn into the debate over the fate of the cathedral.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

0 Comments
Posted November 6, 2012 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican Consultative Council

8 Comments
Posted November 5, 2012 at 6:08 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Admitting that the Instruments of Communion are ‘less than they might be’ Archbishop Williams said examples of their desire to enable included such proactive projects as the Anglican Alliance, the Bible in the Life of the Church Project, Continuing Indaba, and promoting theological education. These were, he said, attempts by the Instruments to try and change a situation by being creative.

Archbishop Williams also suggested that younger Anglicans seemed more interested in one kind of authority over another.

"If you pick up and read the book by the young Anglican leaders who were present at the mission consultation in Edinburgh two years ago, you will see something of how a younger generation sees these questions,” he said. “I believe that for the authors of that book and those whom they represent, the vision of not only Anglican, but Christian structural fellowship has a great deal more to do with enabling authority than with absolute clarity about corrective authority.”

Read it all and please note the audio link to the full address at the bottom.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican Consultative Council

2 Comments
Posted November 5, 2012 at 11:58 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"In the wake of disaster and trauma, a city has to decide what is it that binds it together – above all, what are the promises that we make to one another," the Archbishop said.

"Because a truly healthy and just city is a place where people make promises to one another. They promise to be there for one another’s safety and welfare."

Archbishop Rowan then went to the heart of God's promise in Ezekiel: “I will resettle your towns, the ruins will be rebuilt.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican Consultative CouncilAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ

0 Comments
Posted November 3, 2012 at 4:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Synod vote had been due to take place in July, but was postponed after a last-minute row over wording.

A compromise was later agreed, granting traditionalists — who believe that female leadership in the Church goes against the Bible’s teaching — the right to have an alternative male bishop chosen “in a manner which respects” their theological convictions.

However, a small but well-organised coalition of traditionalist Anglo-Catholics and evangelicals has joined forces, claiming that the compromise is “not fit for purpose” because it still does not provide enough assurances for them. They believe they could have secured enough votes in at least one part of the Synod to deny the measure the full two thirds approval it requires to be passed.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchWomen

2 Comments
Posted November 3, 2012 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I propose disestablishment because I want Christianity to flourish in England, and renew itself, and the best way to do this is through a free market – but when you have a powerful state tied to a weak church, you get a statist church pushing a statist agenda. See how Anglican (and Catholic) charities, subsidised by the state, increasingly bury any Christian identity they have in favour of the state’s ideology of “equality and diversity”. The Big Society, as its heart, was an attempt to push the state out of those areas in which it has no real business, such as the charitable, volunteering and caring sectors. The churches should be leaping at this opportunity.

So here’s a possible solution. The Church of England is disestablished, and becomes just another independent church. The government passes a law that no religious building can change function, while taxpayers stop funding church maintenance through groups like English Heritage (which costs £15 million a year). Therefore if a congregation feels that they are sick of Canterbury and want to break off to join a breakaway liberal or evangelical or Anglo-Catholic church they can do so, so long as they can raise the money to buy the building, which since it cannot change function and costs a lot of money to maintain is not much.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesChurch/State MattersReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

8 Comments
Posted October 31, 2012 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Yet Dr Williams’s greatest failing has concerned the one thing all sides of the Church might have agreed on: a clear and coherent articulation of the essential doctrines of Christianity. This has been his greatest sin of omission.

Here’s an example of his failure to articulate one of the key tenets of the faith.

When it was announced that Prince William and Kate Middleton were engaged, journalists around the world requested an interview with the Archbishop. It seemed a perfect opportunity for him to present the case for Christian marriage...

But he wouldn’t agree to be interviewed..

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

9 Comments
Posted October 31, 2012 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

While there is much to commend in this message on the extravagant love of God, the world's desperate need to know this love and our need to share his love with the world, the message was confusing. Was the Archbishop of Canterbury suggesting that everyone will be saved by the mysterious love of God which embraces all from the beginning? Would this not be offensive to those who reject Jesus Christ and his way, to be co-opted against their will? And how does this square with our identity as Anglican followers of Jesus Christ, who in the same Gospel of John makes it clear that he alone is the way, the truth and the life and that salvation is through Him alone? (John 14:6)

Currently, the work of the Anglican Communion appears to be driven by a new, non-Biblical global ethic that focuses on the needs of communities rather than the person and power of Jesus Christ. As I have written recently, the work of the Anglican Alliance on economic empowerment continues to focus on the secular development of skills for "inclusion," "consultation and governance," "protection of vulnerable people," and "principles of financial planning"-- all from their report today, all very worthy efforts and all utterly lacking in any Biblical and universal truths rooted in the person and power of Jesus Christ.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican Consultative CouncilAnglican CovenantAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and PolynesiaChurch of England (CoE)* TheologyChristology

0 Comments
Posted October 30, 2012 at 4:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Archbishop Rowan Williams believes the Anglican Communion needs to change its approach to mission. He also thinks young Anglicans will lead the way – which is why he was so excited about a book launch in Holy Trinity Cathedral on Sunday.

The Communion’s mission maps were drawn, Dr Williams said, “largely by men, largely by ordained men over 55, and largely by ordained men over 55 with a slightly paler complexion than the average Anglican”.

And then, in a gesture of delight, he swung the book high over his head to launch a brand-new road map: “Life-Widening Mission – Global Anglican Perspectives” by seven young Anglican leaders.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican Consultative CouncilAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia* Christian Life / Church LifeMissions* Culture-WatchBooksYoung Adults

0 Comments
Posted October 30, 2012 at 6:46 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury has thrilled his New Zealand followers on what will be his last international engagement as the head of the Anglican Church.

The Most Reverend Rowan Williams - the 104th in a line which goes back more than 1400 years to Saint Augustine of Canterbury - today preached to some 1300 people at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Auckland's Parnell.

The Anglican Consultative Council, which is chaired by Dr Williams, began its two-week New Zealand meeting in Manukau yesterday. It is the biggest and most influential international Anglican gathering ever to be held in this country, the church said in a statement...

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican Consultative CouncilAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ

1 Comments
Posted October 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

One of the early Christian Fathers of the Church, Clement of Alexandria, says at one point that human love is always tending to slip back into the love of what is common among people.

But there’s nothing, he goes on to say, there’s nothing in common between God and the world.

So God’s love for the world is extraordinary. Without cause, absolutely free, absolutely, overwhelmingly unreasonable.

And that’s the kind of the love we are invited to become part of.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican Consultative Council* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics

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Posted October 28, 2012 at 11:44 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams gave the sermon at today's beautiful opening eucharist for the ACC-15 meeting at Auckland's Holy Trinity Cathedral.
Speaking on the Gospel reading, John 15:17-27, he said we all needed to remember that while the world around us is a place where love is conditional, Jesus punctures that view of love." He said that the challenge for the Church is rethinking love & belonging. "We are to create more belonging with those who don't belong..." he said. "The church is whatever in us says 'yes' to the reckless love of God, that reaches out in mission."

Check it out.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican Consultative Council* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics

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Posted October 28, 2012 at 11:35 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

After a rousing Maori welcome to TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre in Manukau, New Zealand, Archbishop Rowan Williams' responded by celebrating thanking his hosts and celebrating the place of the Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia in the Communion's past and present.

He asked the assembled gathering to pray “for a Pentecostal experience [for the ACC], that divided tongues of fire will touch us all in the days ahead, that we shall learn to listen to one another’s languages and experiences and insights with all the enthusiasm and eagerness with which we would listen to God’s own word.”

He went on to promise that ACC-15 would in turn pray that the “experiments” of the country of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia “will be marks and signs of work of the Holy Spirit in the world today and be signs of hope for a world in which by God’s purpose and by God’s promise one of these days all the islands will rise and sing.”

Check it out.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican Consultative CouncilAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia

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Posted October 27, 2012 at 8:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“It is your Church, your home, ask for the best of your best of your pastors and teachers” with those words the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams concluded an extraordinary morning of welcome at the TelstraClear Pacific events Centre in Manukau, New Zealand. The response was to a question posed by a young person who was participating in a youth forum where questions were addressed to the Archbishop, Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori the presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church and Archbishop Thabo Makgoba the Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

Dr Williams along with the Anglican Consultative Council delegation who are meeting in Auckland, New Zealand, had arrived at the centre for a powhiri - a Maori welcoming ceremony. A significant part of the morning event was a youth forum where questions ranged from Dr Williams' favorite biblical passage to church attitudes towards women, same sex marriage, what shoes God would wear, and whether it was fun to be Archbishop.

Check it out.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican Consultative CouncilAnglican Primates* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureTeens / Youth* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ

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Posted October 27, 2012 at 8:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The first thing the Archbishop of Canterbury will face at ...[today's] Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) opening ceremony will be a guttural challenge from the young people of this country.

On entering the Telstra Events Centre in Manukau, Dr Rowan Williams and ACC members will be greeted with a wero (challenge) from a young Maori Anglican brandishing a taiaha (spear).

Welcome to Aotearoa, Archbishop; we do things differently here.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican Consultative CouncilAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureTeens / Youth* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ

0 Comments
Posted October 27, 2012 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia

0 Comments
Posted October 27, 2012 at 7:46 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Get ready for a once in a lifetime event.

That’s what Auckland Anglicans were hearing in the leadup to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s visit, and the meeting in the Parnell Cathedral of the Anglican Consultative Council.

This, they were being told, was the first and last chance for Kiwis to see and hear Dr Williams, and the only chance most would ever get to sample the ACC.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican Consultative CouncilAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ

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Posted October 27, 2012 at 7:35 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A seven-year effort to create a new "covenant" to hold the worldwide Anglican Church together may come close to an end at a historic meeting starting in Auckland tomorrow.

The global Anglican Consultative Council comes three months after the New Zealand and Polynesian province voted against accepting a clause that would penalise any church refusing to defer a "controversial action" such as ordaining gay priests.

Two of the other 37 provinces have also voted against the clause.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican Consultative CouncilAnglican Covenant* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ

0 Comments
Posted October 26, 2012 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

His Beatitude the late Patriarch Torkom Manougian was an exceptional figure both in the Armenian Church and in the wider Christian world, within and beyond the Holy Land.

An intellectual, scholar, musician and poet, he was also a skilled statesman who represented all the most impressive aspects of the Armenian character and the Armenian tradition.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIsrael* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesOrthodox Church

0 Comments
Posted October 23, 2012 at 11:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the leading cleric in the Worldwide Anglican Communion, is trying to persuade members of the Church of England’s upcoming General Synod to support the ordination of women as Anglican bishops.

In an article published in the Anglican newspaper The Church Times, Archbishop Williams said the church legislation “will shape the future of the Church of England for generations.” He contended that a vote against the proposal “risks committing us to a period of continued and perhaps intensified internal conflict with no clearly guaranteed outcome.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchWomen

4 Comments
Posted October 22, 2012 at 3:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The secretive committee responsible for choosing the next Archbishop of Canterbury is to meet for an unprecedented fourth time in the next few days in an attempt to break the deadlock over who succeeds Rowan Williams.The Times understands that as many as five senior bishops may still be in the running for the top job and that the favourite, the Bishop of Durham, the Right Rev Justin Welby, might have peaked too early.

The present Church leadership is pushing for a decision before the end of the month, to be announced in early November, because of the coming vote on women bishops at the General Synod next month.

The two-thirds majority needed for women bishops hangs by a thread and the choice of the next Archbishop is seen as crucial in getting that through....

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted October 21, 2012 at 2:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury has begun a campaign to persuade General Synod members to back the new women-bishops legislation when it returns to debate it next month.

Writing in the Church Times this week, he addresses waverers, those who find the legislation "not quite good enough, or not quite simple enough". To vote against the legislation, which he admits is "not perfect", would be to risk "committing us to a period of continued and perhaps intensified internal conflict, with no clearly guaranteed outcome . . . a period of publicly embarrassing and internally draining indecision".

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchWomen

0 Comments
Posted October 19, 2012 at 6:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[On Vatican II] Sometimes of course, yes, I feel that disappointment. But on the other hand, I look back at the ‘60s and remember, of course, we believed anything was possible in the ‘60s, whether in church, or in politics, or in international relations. There was a certain haste and a certain naivety about all that...The gain in terms of simply understanding ourselves as in some way belonging together, that’s irreversible. Of course, it would’ve been wonderful if we’d been able to take rather more steps towards something really visible, really concrete, in terms of mutual recognition.

But both the Roman Catholic and the Anglican families have changed, have developed in that period, in ways that have sometimes made that more difficult, and that’s reality. We don’t, when we change, always wait for one another. That’s a fact of our community life, I think.

The audio was posted earlier, but a bunch of you either can't or didn't listen, please take the time to read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* Theology

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Posted October 12, 2012 at 6:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Here is today's introductory text from VR:
The Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, addressed the Synod of Bishops in the Vatican on Wednesday about the central role of contemplation in helping people rediscover the beauty of the Christian faith.
Drawing deeply on the writings of some of the great Catholic authors and theologians from the time of the Second Vatican Council, the archbishop said contemplation is the only real “answer to the unreal and insane world that our financial systems and advertising culture…..encourage us to inhabit”. Those who “know little and care less about the institutions and hierarchies of the Church” today, he continued, are often attracted and challenged by lives that show justice and love reflected in the face of God. In particular he pointed to the crucial work and witness of communities like Taizé and Bose, or networks like St Egidio, the Focolare or Communion and Liberation, who bring fresh expressions of faith and transcend the historic divisions between Christians.
Vatican Radio’s Philippa Hitchen talked to Dr Williams about his address to the Synod, about his advise to his successor (expected to be announced over the coming weeks) and his message to Pope Benedict XVI….
You can find the link the part one of the interview here and part two is here.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI* Theology

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Posted October 11, 2012 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Speaking after a meeting with the Bishop Andudu Adam Elnail, Bishop of Kadugli in the Nuba Mountains, the Archbishop urged attention to be given to the plight of the affected population of these areas, both Muslim and Christian alike.

“Food and basic essentials are urgently needed by the displaced population. The international community needs to wake up to the gravity of the situation. All parties need to work together to find practical ways to get help to those most in need.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Culture-WatchDieting/Food/NutritionViolence* International News & CommentaryAfricaSudan--North Sudan--South Sudan

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Posted October 11, 2012 at 6:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

But one of the most important aspects of the theology of the second Vaticanum was a renewal of Christian anthropology. In place of an often strained and artificial neo-scholastic account of how grace and nature were related in the constitution of human beings, the Council built on the greatest insights of a theology that had returned to earlier and richer sources – the theology of spiritual geniuses like Henri de Lubac, who reminded us of what it meant for early and mediaeval Christianity to speak of humanity as made in God’s image and of grace as perfecting and transfiguring that image so long overlaid by our habitual ‘inhumanity’. In such a light, to proclaim the Gospel is to proclaim that it is at last possible to be properly human: the Catholic and Christian faith is a ‘true humanism’, to borrow a phrase from another genius of the last century, Jacques Maritain.

Yet de Lubac is clear what this does not mean. We do not replace the evangelistic task by a campaign of ‘humanization’. ‘Humanize before Christianizing?’ he asks – ‘If the enterprise succeeds, Christianity will come too late: its place will be taken. And who thinks that Christianity has no humanizing value?’ So de Lubac writes in his wonderful collection of aphorisms, Paradoxes of Faith. It is the faith itself that shapes the work of humanizing and the humanizing enterprise will be empty without the definition of humanity given in the Second Adam. Evangelization, old or new, must be rooted in a profound confidence that we have a distinctive human destiny to show and share with the world.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI* TheologyAnthropology

1 Comments
Posted October 11, 2012 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As Britain awaits the appointment of the next archbishop of Canterbury to lead both the Church of England and the far-flung Anglican Communion, there's renewed attention on the woman who officially gets the final say: Queen Elizabeth II, the "Defender of the Faith."

The current archbishop, Rowan Williams, ends his 10-year tenure in December. A Church of England committee is sifting through candidates -- two of whom will be submitted to Prime Minister David Cameron, whose top choice will be submitted to the queen for final approval.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

15 Comments
Posted October 10, 2012 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Williams did however say in his interview that, because of growing demands, “I suspect it will be necessary, in the next 10 to 15 years, to think about how that load is spread; to think whether in addition to the Archbishop of Canterbury there needs to be some more presidential figure who can travel more readily”, who “has the support of the primates of the Anglican Communion” and “would have an executive role to implement what they decide”.

There are echoes of the controversial Covenant he had pushed for which would have bolstered the power of the primates over provinces other than their own, threatening “relational consequences” for those which failed to obey. This was rejected by the majority of dioceses in the Church of England and elsewhere, but it would appear that another drive for 'unity' is planned.

However, most of the overseas archbishops who have pushed hardest for disciplinary structures would be highly resistant to any interference in their own provinces, a recipe for further splits if any 'president' did not entirely do their bidding. Having an international leader could also be disastrous for the Church of England, already facing a sizeable drop in involvement in recent decades.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted October 10, 2012 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In this 1955 essay, [Vladimir] Lossky builds all of that around a very complex and very sophisticated analysis of how Christians, especially in the early centuries, talked about God as trinity and talked about the divine and the human in Jesus. If I had another three hours or so I would try to spell that out a bit further, but it might emerge a little later when we have some questions. The point I want to focus on here is that he is arguing for an essential mysteriousness about the notion of the person in the human world, an essential mysteriousness that one can’t simply deal with by listing it in a number of things that are true about us so that I am intelligent, loving, free and mysterious; which is something about the place I occupy in terms (as I said earlier) of being the point where the lines of relationship intersect. It’s because a person is that kind of reality, the point at which relationships intersect, where a difference may be made and new relations created. It’s in virtue of that that we are able as believers to look at any and every human individual and say that the same kind of mystery is true of all of them and therefore the same kind of reverence or attention is due to all of them. We can never say for example that such and such a person has the full set of required characteristics for being a human person and therefore deserves our respect, and that such and such another individual doesn’t have the full set and therefore doesn’t deserve our respect.

That of course is why - historically and at the present day - Christians worry about those kinds of human beings who may not tick all the boxes but whom we still believe to be worthy of respect, whether it’s those not yet born, those severely disabled, those dying, those in various ways marginal and forgotten. It’s why Christians conclude that attention is due to all of them. What that means, we may still argue a lot about. But the underlying point is quite simply that there is no way of, (as it were), presenting a human individual with an examination paper and according them the reward of our attention or respect only if they get above a certain percentage of marks. Any physical, tangible member of the human race deserves that respect, never mind how many boxes are ticked.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* International News & CommentaryEuropeRussia* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesOrthodox Church* TheologyAnthropology

0 Comments
Posted October 9, 2012 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

With participants from Church of England dioceses, pilgrimage tour operators and Christian organisations linked to the Holy Land, the conference aimed to share ideas, resources and connections to help deepen the pilgrimage experience. The day sought to foster pilgrimages that make connections, using the resources and landmarks of the past to engage with the present, and encountering the present to transform understanding of the Bible.

Read it all (and note the audio link).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Culture-WatchGlobalizationReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIsrael

0 Comments
Posted October 3, 2012 at 3:22 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury has defended his occasionally outspoken interventions on issues such as the Iraq war and Sharia law.

In one of his last public appearances before he retires after 10 years, Dr Rowan Williams told theological think tank Theos he had felt a duty to say what he believed was right.

But the archbishop acknowledged that some of his judgements were "risky".

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams

0 Comments
Posted October 3, 2012 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, delivered the fifth annual lecture hosted by think tank Theos with the title ‘The person and the individual: human dignity, human relationships and human limits’.

The lecture explored ways of understanding the human person as shaped and conditioned by relations with God and others – and the risks of reducing personal dignity to individual well-being alone.

Read it all and note there is a link to both the audio of the lecture and also of the Q and A which followed.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted October 2, 2012 at 4:18 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In one of his last major public lectures before he steps down later this year, Dr Rowan Williams said he had “regrets” but insisted it was his job to speak out on important issues.

He added that when examining the divisions in the Church today, there was no point looking for a “golden age” which never existed.

In a wide-ranging lecture to the Theos thinktank in London he spoke about his views on the dignity of human beings, touching on subjects from abortion, disability rights and the economy.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams

4 Comments
Posted October 2, 2012 at 3:21 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

David Cameron may have to break the deadlock over the choice of the next Archbishop of Canterbury, according to a former member of the committee charged with nominating Rowan Williams’s successor.

The call came as sources said that the Crown Nominations Commission had agreed on the first name but was divided over the “runner-up” to submit to Downing Street. Justin Welby, the Bishop of Durham and a former oil industry executive, has secured the necessary two-thirds majority to be recommended as first choice. But members seem divided over whether the Bishop of Norwich, Graham James, or the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, should be the second choice.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsArchbishop of York John Sentamu* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

10 Comments
Posted October 2, 2012 at 5:44 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

(Please note that this piece is largely a repeat of something released much earlier this year [a fact missed by many others it appears]--KSH).

....some of the deficiencies of Rowan's era have to be put down to the horrendous lack of support which the Church of England gives to the Archbishop of Canterbury, while trammelling him with useless and outdated bureaucratic inhibitions. If the Primate of All England is rightly expected to be a global figure, besides being an organic yet vitally critical part of the British political and social fabric, then his office needs to be resourced at a modern, dynamic and media-savvy level well beyond that of a pumped-up diocesan bishop, as currently prevails.

Yet I would reiterate, in conclusion, that the huge gain of Rowan's primacy has been the way he has commanded intellectual and cultural respect in a time of renewed atheistic and liberal attacks on the Christian legacy. Were this gain allowed to lapse, it could be catastrophic. For this reason, I support continuity with Rowan's remarkable and unprecedented mission, and suggest that the person best able to provide this continuity is John Inge, the bishop of Worcester. Like Rowan, he is a moderate Anglo-Catholic capable of resonating with evangelicals, and politically he is a postliberal communitarian. Above all, Inge is a creative traditionalist with a mystical and yet practical sense of the importance of place and temporal legacy.

What is essential is that the Crown Nominations Commission does not sacrifice vision to efficiency - lack of the former, at this juncture, could prove disastrous. I remain optimistic though, for besides Inge, there are several able potential candidates, and more crucially, among the younger generation, real signs of Anglican revival, on both the Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical wings. All the while, whiggish liberalism in the Church of England continues its rapid and inexorable decline.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)

0 Comments
Posted October 2, 2012 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Crown Nominations Commission (CNC), which met last week to choose a new Archbishop of Canterbury, has been unable to agree on the two names it submits to the Prime Minister. A short statement put out by the C of E communications department on Friday does not admit this as such, but this is the only reasonable interpretation of the phrase: "The work of the Commission continues."

All meetings of the CNC are confidential, and it was a new departure this time to let it be known that a meeting was taking place. Church House staff were careful beforehand not to be drawn on whether this was the CNC's final meeting, with good reason as it now appears.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsArchbishop of York John Sentamu

6 Comments
Posted September 30, 2012 at 5:37 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Anglican Ink’s Peter Ould told host Kevin Kallsen that he interpreted the statement to mean the committee had deadlocked. He speculated the likely cause of the deadlock could have been the potential selection of the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, or Bishop of Durham, Justin Welby.

Dr. Sentamu has angered liberals within the Church of England over his robust rejection of same-sex marriage and a small but vocal minority of opponents has consistently objected to his candidacy. The Bishop of Durham has been in office for less than a year, and Mr. Ould speculated his selection for the church’s top post would be a cause of concern due to his inexperience. Sources have also informed Anglican Ink that a third contender, the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres – whose chances for selection have risen sharply in the past few weeks, has been passed over for the post.

The way forward is unclear. At the present time no further meetings have been set for the commission, but no other body is able to submit names to the Prime Minister.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsArchbishop of York John Sentamu* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted September 29, 2012 at 7:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The body responsible for choosing the next Archbishop of Canterbury has failed to agree who should be the successor to Dr Rowan Williams.

Despite a three day session, aided by prayers invoked on Twitter with the hashtage #prayforthecnc, the 16-member committee has been unable to decide on who should take on the job that the present incumbent today implied was “impossible”.

A source told The Times that a decision on who should succeed Dr Rowan Williams was not expected soon. “A decision is not imminent,” he said.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsArchbishop of York John Sentamu* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

28 Comments
Posted September 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We start, therefore, with a paradox – the Church of England is deeply rooted in British political life, yet it transcends party politics. [Rowan] Williams has managed this difficult relationship with the nation’s politics remarkably well. With carefully chosen interventions, the outrage of politicians and in some quarters of the media may be seen to have demonstrated that he has got this aspect of his job bang on.

When he suggested in 2008 that our legislature might recognise aspects of sharia in our civil law, some of the more excitable newspaper commentators ranted about tongues being cut out and adulterers being stoned to death. It was left to the Conservative MP Peter Bottomley calmly to point out on BBC radio that, among a Christian, a Jew and a Muslim in the UK, only one person is prevented from marrying according to the rites of his or her own culture – and that this is inequitable.

Since then, Williams may have been more measured in his contributions but he’s hardly been less of a political animal....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted September 28, 2012 at 6:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of Norwich has told the BBC he is "hoping and praying" that God does not choose him as the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

Church officials are preparing to make a final decision on who should be the new Archbishop.

Dr Rowan Williams is due to retire in December.

The Rt Rev Graham James, 61, said the role carried "lots of expectation but relatively little power" and was "probably a job for a younger man".

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

3 Comments
Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Despite innovations which included advertising the vacancy rather pointlessly in the Church Times early this year, the process remains rather opaque. There isn't even an official shortlist. The secrecy encourages feverish speculation, with the leading candidates being debated like authors shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Unlike last time, there's no obvious front runner. Will the committee go for a safe pair of hands who won't be around long enough to cause too much trouble - the Bishop of London, for example, one of several candidates who were in the running ten years ago when Rowan Williams was chosen? Or will they choose someone younger and less well-established, but with potential? Justin Welby, the Bishop of Durham, is about the right age at 56 but has been a bishop for less than a year. His background in the City gives him a rare insight into the business world, and he's well ahead in the current betting, but some would say that there are already quite enough Old Etonians running things.

John Sentamu of York is, by far, the biggest personality and was once seen as the front runner; yet he is also rather divisive, and his appointment would be a surprise. Graham James of Norwich (liberal, catholic) and Coventry's Christopher Cocksworth (evangelical) both have their supporters but have a low public profile. Liverpool's James Jones was generally written off as too old until the other week, when his chairmanship of the Hillsborough Commission won him plaudits from around the country. It could be anyone. One bookmaker was even offering odds of 200/1 on Richard Dawkins, though I don't think so, somehow.

The CNC offers some nods towards ecclessiastical democracy, in that some of its members were elected by the General Synod, but is ultimately beholden to no-one but itself....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

No clear front-runner for the post appears to have emerged within the Church of England with a number of senior figures said to be possible contenders including the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, 63, the Bishop of London, the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, 65, the Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Rev James Jones, 64, and the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, 61.

The commission is also thought to be considering whether to appoint one of a younger generation of bishops including the Rt Rev Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry, who is 53 years old, and the Rt Rev Justin Welby, 56, who was enthroned less than a year ago as Bishop of Durham.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted September 27, 2012 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of England will almost certainly take a swing to the right as a conclave of powerful figures from within the Anglican Communion meet to decide who should become the new Archbishop of Canterbury over the coming days.

Almost all the front runners who have been put forward for the role are noticeably more conservative than Rowan Williams was before he took leadership of the church nine years ago - particularly when it comes to the thorny issue of homosexuality....

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsArchbishop of York John Sentamu* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted September 27, 2012 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"It'd be hard to find somebody more unifying than Rowan Williams, and yet he hasn't managed to hold it together," Paul Handley, editor of the Church Times newspaper, told Reuters.

"Under him, there have been two significant changes: one is the growth of secularism ... and the other is greater division in the church over issues like women bishops, women priests and gay weddings."

The arcane process of selecting the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury is wrapped in layers of protocol perhaps unsurprising for a role with roots going back 1,400 years.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted September 26, 2012 at 3:59 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In "Something Understood" for BBC Radio 4, Mark Tully talks to the Archbishop of Canterbury about some of the controversies the Archbishop has negotiated throughout his time in office, and considers the premise that "discretion is the better part of valour"

Listen to it all via the link provided.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted September 25, 2012 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

- The Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury will join Pope Benedict XVI's celebration of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.

Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury will attend the Mass that Pope Benedict will celebrate at the Vatican to mark the anniversary of the Oct. 11, 1962, opening of the council, Vatican officials said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesOrthodox ChurchRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

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Posted September 20, 2012 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...one is left with nagging questions. Does Williams lose himself in translation? Like the phenomena he seeks to explore, Williams is often complex, even inaccessible. He clearly struggles to make himself comprehensible. His highly, perhaps overly, nuanced discussions of complex issues are easily misunderstood and misrepresented. The irate response to Williams’s closely argued comments on Sharia in 2008 is perhaps a warning to all academics of the dangers of trying to apply theory to real social and political situations. Fine distinctions, readily accommodated within the academic world, are easily collapsed by the popular media. Journalists facing tight deadlines rapidly scan carefully crafted texts with their highlighters, looking for potential headlines, rather than absorbing their deep structure and distilling their significance.

There is, however, a more fundamental question. What does one do with this analysis? Reading this work expanded my vision, correcting my understanding of at least two points, and enhancing my appreciation of several others. But I wondered whether I or anyone else would behave differently as a result. How does all this analysis affect the Church’s engagement with the social questions of our day? How does it further political debate about and engagement with the Big Society?

Many in the Churches, for example, are concerned about loss of national religious identity. What can be done, they wonder, to defend religious rights without asserting religious privilege? How can the language of faith reconnect with the language of our culture?

Read it all (subscription required).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Culture-WatchBooksReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted September 16, 2012 at 11:08 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Review of the See of Canterbury chaired by Lord Hurd concluded that ‘We believe that leadership of the Anglican Communion will remain one of the principal modern roles of the Archbishop of Canterbury’.

Brogan, former Chief Political Correspondent of the Daily Telegraph, is an experienced journalist and a practising Catholic. It is thought unlikely that he would have misrepresented the Archbishop’s words in the way suggested by Canon Kearon and it is more likely that the Archbishop was indulging in speculation and ‘blue sky thinking’ without measuring the impact his words would make.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEcclesiology

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Posted September 14, 2012 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In an audio recording, the Archbishop of Canterbury gives his thoughts on Wednesday's vote at the House of Bishops.

Follow the link and listen to it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchWomen

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Posted September 13, 2012 at 6:35 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When Dr Rowan Williams announced his intention to stand down as Archbishop of Canterbury in March, the long process of finding his replacement began. The end is now almost in sight, with a decision expected later this month.

The hunt for the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury is far removed from the pomp and ritual associated with the election of other religious leaders.

There will be no black smoke or secret conclave, and no Holy Altar Lottery. Instead the election is governed by committees and parliamentary process.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)

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Posted September 12, 2012 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

To return to Lord Sacks: his book, according to Andrew Marr – not an oracle, admittedly, but still a good barometer of liberal taste – is “the most persuasive argument for religious belief I have ever read.” Sacks argues, not that Dawkins is the “latest pub bore” but that questions of religion and science concern different hemispheres of the brain: science (the left hemisphere) “takes things apart to see how they work”; religion (the right hemisphere) “puts things together to see what they mean”; both activities are vital.

Come to think of it, it is a great pity that the Chief Rabbi can’t, for obvious reasons, apply for the job of being the next Archbishop of Canterbury: he is an intellectual – but with a gift for clear exposition; he believes in God, marriage, the family; he is conciliatory rather than divisive; and from his own religious and historical perspective he sees the marginalisation of faith for what it is.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsJudaism

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Posted September 10, 2012 at 7:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury, as he prepares to leave Lambeth Palace, has sought to quell any claims that Christians in this country are suffering persecution. “We have been hearing quite a lot about the dangers of 'aggressive secularism’,” he wrote in the introduction to his new book, “But our problem … is not simply loud voices attacking faith (and certainly not 'persecution’, as some of the more highly coloured apologetic claims)”.

Well, “persecution” is a powerful word, and few would dispute that genuine persecution is happening to Christian minorities in other countries, a plight that Dr Williams has done much to publicise. It seems ludicrous to compare the appalling treatment of the Christian minority in Pakistan or Iraq to slights suffered by Christians in Britain, where Christianity remains the Establishment religion, albeit one with weakening links to the Establishment.

There is, however, something curious and faintly unpleasant happening in Britain: Christianity seems tacitly understood to be the one faith that can safely be ridiculed or denied expression in the workplace. The complexity of that situation has been highlighted by the four British Christians who last week took their cases to the European Court of Human Rights on the grounds that they have been discriminated against at work because of their religion.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEurope* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsSecularism* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted September 9, 2012 at 11:06 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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