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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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The concept of agreeing to disagree fails to do justice to the nature of the commitments and convictions that command our loyalty and obedience and bind us together. What we disagree about is not what has brought us together. We have not come together because we have diverse views on things. Diversity of opinions is not what people have committed themselves to. This is a via negativa – we do not agree on this, we do not agree on that.
The focus of the paper by Colin Slee and his colleagues is on agreement and disagreement. “The Covenant is an attempt to impose agreement where this did not exist before”. “A true family cannot exist without disagreements”. “The Anglican tradition of living with difference”. This is typical of the current approach to religion in a secularist context. It is argued that since there are disagreements on some matters, it follows that there is no standard of truth, no body of authoritative teaching at: all that is left is the expression of various views, agreements and disagreements.
But this is surely too sweeping. Because some matters are contested it does not imply that all are. And if some are, and some are not, a method is needed to establish where the mere existence of dissenting views means there is no body of authoritative. Take, for example, the incarnation of the Son of God, or the Trinity: there may be people, very distinguished people, in the Anglican Communion who at one time or another have expressed deep reservations about some fundamental matters of those doctrines. But those doctrines remain authentic Anglican doctrine, even though some have dissented from them.
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