Friday, January 04, 2013

Reforming the General Synod of the Church of England


Continuing His Grace's (covert) reforms while he is temporarily reinstalled to the See of Canterbury during this interregnum..

Having established democracy in the appointment/election of vicars and bishops at diocesan level, it is reasonable – indeed, a logical corollary – to address the structures of the General Synod.

Nationally, the Church of England ought to be notably clerical in its day-to-day administration and decision-making: the laity ought to be involved in revived and beefed-up diocesan synods, since the Bishop and his vicars are charged with ministering locally. Decisions may be taken on a simple majority, and bishops no longer have the right to veto. This subsidiarity gives lay elders an extended role in the governance of the English Church at a local level: any railing against (say) clerical immorality or tediously frequent contributions to Thought for the Day is to be confined to these convocations.

The Synod itself is no longer to be ‘General’ or tri-cameral, but vice-gerential and bi-cameral: it should consist of all the bishops of the provinces of Canterbury and York in the Upper House (House of Bishops) and elected clergy in the Lower House (House of Clergy). These may be, as presently, elected by lay members of the Deanery Synod in each diocese every five years by a system of single transferable vote. It is to be a forum for expressing Christian views and insights on major public issues, political, economic, social or moral.

Synod may only meet when summoned to do so by writ from the Supreme Governor, who remains the Monarch. It meets before God and under His authority, and must always be accompanied by prayer and the celebration of the Eucharist. It will be for the debate of all theological controversy relating to doctrine, liturgy and the administration of the sacraments, and – observing a church divided along Anglo-Catholic, Evangelical and liberal lines – all argument must refer to Scripture. The priority must be the defence of the pure doctrine of the Gospel and its propagation in the nation.

The House of Bishops is the executive branch of the legislature and has the sole right of legislative initiative, except where Scripture provides otherwise. It is independent of the national Government and represents the diocesan and national perspectives. The President of the House of Bishops is the Archbishop of Canterbury and, in his absence, the Archbishop of York. The House may propose legislation to the House of Clergy and to Parliament, which may become Measures, Canons, Acts of Synod and other legal instruments. Proposed legislation must receive Royal Assent and defend the interests of the Church and the peoples to whom the Church is charged to minister.

The House of Clergy is directly elected by members of the Church, with each member serving a five-year term. They represent the parochial perspective: there are to be no more co-opted or ex-officio members. Its function is to debate and enact laws proposed by the House of Bishops, and propose amendments where necessary. The House of Bishops is bound to consider all such amendments though may set them aside after due consideration. In such cases, the House of Clergy exercises democratic supervision over the House of Bishops by withholding consent from what the Upper House proposes, but the Bishops have the ultimate authority because the Ecclesia Anglicana is a single national body expressed through corporate Episcopal leadership. Proposed canons that conflict with the Royal Prerogative or with English custom cannot be put into effect. Proposed canons that conflict with the House of Clergy may be put into effect because we are not here concerned with numerical proportion but with guardianship of the Faith.

His Grace is aware that the removal of the House of Laity won’t go down too well with everyone, but he is of the view that the ‘bottom-up’ work should be done in strengthened diocesan synods and the top-down work a vice-gerential synod. The fact that bishops and clergy have been elected by the laity ought to increase the confidence of the laity in both bishops and clergy. There is interdependence as we are members of one body of Christ (1Cor 12:12-31; Eph 4:1-16). The bishops, clergy and laity all need to work together for the Gospel, but all do not have equal authority in the Church of Christ.

58 Comments:

Blogger Youthpasta said...

An interesting idea, Your Grace, though I fear that you would need to start at the bottom and allow the system to work it's way through to completion or else you would end up with a General Synod that would be overwhelmingly in favour of women bishops (not that there is anything wrong with that) and the Anglo-Catholic and Conservative Evangelicals would all be rather displeased at the lack of representation their voices would get.

4 January 2013 at 11:18  
Blogger bluedog said...

Somehow, Your Grace, one doubts that the House of Laity will vote for its own extinction. Always assuming that a vote is permitted.

You say, 'The fact that bishops and clergy have been elected by the laity ought to increase the confidence of the laity in both bishops and clergy.' Isn't this the same argument as that in favour of parliamentary democracy? We all know what happens next. Once the elite are elected they do exactly what they like, without fear of recall.

It will be interesting to see if ++ Welby follows his predecessor's practice of making announcement's through the New Statesman (circ 23,000). One hopes not.

However if so, the Laity will dig in.

4 January 2013 at 11:41  
Blogger Unheard Melodies said...

Some proper blue-sky thinking here; and a proposal that encapsulates both economy and order.

I am not sure that *all* argument should relate to Scripture, however. I would prefer an emphasis on balance, with reference to Hooker's three pillars: Scripture, Tradition and Reason. It is invariably when one of these is allowed to dominate (or even exclude) the others that trouble starts.

4 January 2013 at 11:57  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Unheard Melodies

Of course scripture should be paramount.

What you are saying with reason and tradition is "Yes your word as far as it goes is OK. But you know we can do things much better than you God"

Phil

4 January 2013 at 14:10  
Blogger Peter den Haan said...

Unheard Melodies said:

I would prefer an emphasis on balance, with reference to Hooker's three pillars: Scripture, Tradition and Reason. It is invariably when one of these is allowed to dominate (or even exclude) the others that trouble starts.

Beware of referring to Hooker with approval, then: the man himself is quite clear indeed that one of these should most definitely dominate. What Scripture doth plainly deliver, to that first place both of credit and obedience is due; the next whereunto is whatsoever any man can necessarily conclude by force of reason; after these the voice of the Church succeedeth. (Richard Hooker, Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity V.8:2)

4 January 2013 at 16:13  
Blogger Bridget said...

Phil, 
"Scripture should be paramount"
Who says? 
And what status do they who say so have?
Do they think they are infallible with respect to the content of what they say?
And if so, on what basis do they claim this infallibility?
You seem to be under the impression that God himself wrote Scripture, as if Scripture were the Word of God. 
This is nonsense, both in the mundane and theological senses.
Jesus Christ is the Word of God, and Scripture is Israel's and the Church's witness to the Word of God.
Tradition is the life of Israel and the Church under God, and Scripture is part of their witness and record of this life and being under God. Scripture emerges within the Tradition, and it is Tradition that bestows what authority Scripture possesses. 

4 January 2013 at 16:46  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Hooker's three legged stool seems a very useful tool to me, representing a place where all three tendencies can meet. And of course there must be a dominant one, to resolve deadlocks. Evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics will disagree for ever whether it is Scripture or Tradition that constitutes that tie breaker. But often the practical results from using either approach, tradition or scripture, are not too dissimilar. Reason too must obviously be given its place especially evidence based arguments from science and social science. However, in my opinion, it is the constant aping of " the world ", the endless push to redefine the Church so as to conform to that ever changing presentation, which is far more likely to frustrate the healthy growth of Christ's Church. Sadly such "aping" is often dressed up as Reason, when patently it is, at best, selective use of reason, with much evidence based reason, being conveniently ignored. It is this approach that often underlies malaise and the decay, retreat and shrinkage that we see unfolding before us.

4 January 2013 at 17:34  
Blogger Bridget said...

David Hussell,
I think it would be helpful to follow what you are saying if you gave some indication of what you understand Tradition to be and what you understand Scripture to be, and how you understand them to differ and to be related.

4 January 2013 at 17:43  
Blogger Preacher said...

Bridget.
"All Scripture is God Breathed & is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting & training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3;16-17
If we fail to recognise the importance & authority of scripture as the inerrant word of God, we only have an opinion not the gospel.
All cultures have customs & traditions. Some people rely on their intuitive reasoning to get through life, but I would suggest that it is the lack of recognition of the Authority of God's word that is responsible for the weak condition that much of the Church currently finds itself in.

4 January 2013 at 17:48  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Bridget, My words mean exactly what they present as meaning. " Scripture" means The Bible, although admittedly the different denominations do differ regarding the exact contents of the cannon, but Preacher has the general idea. By " Tradition " I mean, since I use a capital to start the word, it being used by me in the context of Hooker's work, exactly what he meant by Tradition, and what is commonly referred to as tradition, theologically of course, not in some or any general societal meaning of the word tradition, as in a culture. These are essentially, theological points that we are considering. I hope that helps you.

4 January 2013 at 18:11  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Democracy is such a damn poor idea that it should be confined to the political world, and only then for want of a better system to monitor the scoundrels who govern us.

No good comes from it being used in the church. Dreadful idea…

Homosexual bishops and priests, Feminisers, Feminists, Atheists, Heretics, Anarchists, Marxists, Head up their arse academics - You have them all in the CoE. You seriously want to give THEM a say in what happens…

Madness that man, absolute madness !

Can’t go wrong with just the 12 most long standing bishops, including AoC with casting vote.



4 January 2013 at 18:14  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

"Can’t go wrong with just the 12 most long standing bishops, including AoC with casting vote."

Er...

4 January 2013 at 18:58  
Blogger David Hussell said...

So then we would have 12 liberals, in all probability. That would please some but not all by a long way. As one who leans towards Scripture as the main source of authority, but interpreted using Tradition and Reason, I note that a conservative evangelical Bishop has not been selected for a very long time now, making the most dynamic, growing wing of the Church less and less represented in the House of Bishops, and ensuring an ever more liberal hierarchy. This can not be a stable long term situation and is certainly not desirable by someone like me, or those of an even more strongly evangelical disposition. Indeed it is not making for a happy Church for anyone. This needs rectifying otherwise the gap will turn into a schism, functionally or even organizationally, in time.

4 January 2013 at 19:04  
Blogger michael north said...

I was born in Surrey (the patio of England) nearly sixty-seven years ago and I have never been able to take the Church of England seriously, let alone understand it. It is a part of the instinctive Englishness that baffles so many foreigners (and more English than have the courage to admit it), like cricket, or listening to The Archers. But I suspect that the game is finally up. It has been trying for half a century to conform to a culture that despises it, and the harder it tries, the more it is despised. It doesn't attract hatred anywhere, except from people who start out hating, then look for targets,like Islamists.
When the Archbishop of Canterbury attracts the kind of venom that the pope does, you will know it is on track.No one ever said "Fuck the Archbishop of Canterbury"; not since the 17th century, anyway.

4 January 2013 at 19:09  
Blogger Flossie said...

Not too keen on the Elections idea - I mean, just look who Americans voted in as their President, and at our most recent five Prime Ministers ...

4 January 2013 at 19:15  
Blogger len said...

The authority of God`s Word must remain paramount.

It is when we add 'tradition'that the pure clean water of the Word gets 'muddied'.There was no oral tradition passed down from Old Testament times from Moses, David,Samuel etc so why should there be for the church?.

Christ condemned all oral tradition developed by the Rabbis as having perverted the Word of God so why would he want His Church to have the same corrupting influence?.

4 January 2013 at 19:41  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Detractors

It can be done. A junta of the 12 most senior bishops. Even the most raving of Marxists eventually turn into Stalinists later in life. Of course, you eventually avoid that problem by being BLOODY CAREFUL in whom you appoint a bishop in the first place.

Saving the CoE from itself needs this reactionary step. And it’s nothing when considering its creation – which was at sword point. Let no one being in any doubt about that truth...

4 January 2013 at 19:42  
Blogger John Magee said...

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4 January 2013 at 19:43  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len. The word of God isn’t the same as yours by any chance ?



4 January 2013 at 19:44  
Blogger John Magee said...

michael north

Right on the mark! I am a former Episcopalian, that's what members of the 400 year old USA branch of the world wide Anglican Communion call themselves here, and I have similar feeling and observations. It amuses me to see people who aren't Anglicans, or even Christians, suck up to the C of E as though they can possibly have anything in common with it. This is a Church who's clergy and many of it's upper class members not too many years ago held their noses with their fingers and and looked at the sky when they had contact with anyone without Ango-Saxon roots in their Empire and abroad and thought of anyone east of Dover as Wogs.

Ancient Roman Catholic families in England today who survived 300 years of penal fines and persecution by the Anglican Church's government were especially loathed by this crowd. I assume from jealously.

Once I remember our Episcopal vicar, a dyed in the wool WASP snob, remind me that I was "Irish" (even though my ancestors were members of the Church of Ireland since Elizabethan times) Insinuating that I wasn't really "Episcopalian". I was only 9 then and knew immediately the Anglican Church was a sham and a total fraud. I should have left it forty years ago when I married my Roman Catholic wife. Instead I waited until 5 years ago to became a member of the true Universal Church with the successor of the Apostle Peter as it's head,the Bishop of Rome, the Pope.

You are right. No Anglican Archbishop, other than Cranmer, has ever endured the persecution Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and even many continental Protestants have endured over the centuries. No Archbishop of Canterbury past or present can compare to courageous men like Pope John Paul II or the present Pope or Pope Pius XII who atcually suffered either persecution or personally witnessed it.

Still, Episcopalianism (Anglicanism) it is part of my heritage in my country and my family, as a result I have a love hate relationship with this part of my past, and sincerely don't wish the C of E and it's branch the Episcopal Church here pain even though they have brought all their present problems upon themselves by latching on to every liberal fad they could grasp perhaps out of guilt for their arrogance in the past or their delusion that by becoming trendy they would attract new members and keep old ones. It didn't work as we see unfolding today.

The only way the Anglican Church can survive is to disestablish itself and start over from scratch and recognize it is NOT Catholic but Protestant to the core.


4 January 2013 at 19:53  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Bridget

"Scripture should be paramount"
Who says?"

Jesus for one.

"And what status do they who say so have?"

Son of God.

Phil


4 January 2013 at 19:54  
Blogger John Magee said...

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4 January 2013 at 20:15  
Blogger David Hussell said...

I think I agree with our American friend, who is being helpful and supportive. The church I was born into, and to which I continue to struggle to remain loyal, needs to stop trying to please everybody, which has always been impossible but now is trebly so, as British society is so much more diverse, even within the " White British " form tickers. I have slowly and reluctantly reached the conclusion that it needs to disestablish, stop pretending that it is Catholic ( no offense intended to genuine Anglo-Catholics ) and to decide what sort of church it is. Perhaps the evangelical wing, including me, would have to split off or perhaps it can come to a reasonable accommodation with the overwhelmingly liberal majority ( I would be happy to be proven wrong on my numerical, statistical understanding of proportions ) , but that is a very tricky one. It may even be possible for it to continue to survive as a Broad Church containing all three wings, but only if it was free from the pressure of trying to conform to the wishes of Parliament . To succeed it needs to define itself against society, not for the sake of it, but for the purposes of establishing its own integrity, and offering a spiritual experience/ teachings etc that is distinctly different from the liberal, consumer culture surrounding it. To continue to contort itself, to please a largely non-understanding, secular Parliament is a sure road to slow, ignominious extinction.

4 January 2013 at 20:25  
Blogger David Hussell said...

I think I agree with our American friend, who is being helpful and supportive. The church I was born into, and to which I continue to struggle to remain loyal, needs to stop trying to please everybody, which has always been impossible but now is trebly so, as British society is so much more diverse, even within the " White British " form tickers. I have slowly and reluctantly reached the conclusion that it needs to disestablish, stop pretending that it is Catholic ( no offense intended to genuine Anglo-Catholics ) and to decide what sort of church it is. Perhaps the evangelical wing, including me, would have to split off or perhaps it can come to a reasonable accommodation with the overwhelmingly liberal majority ( I would be happy to be proven wrong on my numerical, statistical understanding of proportions ) , but that is a very tricky one. It may even be possible for it to continue to survive as a Broad Church containing all three wings, but only if it was free from the pressure of trying to conform to the wishes of Parliament . To succeed it needs to define itself against society, not for the sake of it, but for the purposes of establishing its own integrity, and offering a spiritual experience/ teachings etc that is distinctly different from the liberal, consumer culture surrounding it. To continue to contort itself, to please a largely non-understanding, secular Parliament is a sure road to slow, ignominious extinction.

4 January 2013 at 20:25  
Blogger Bridget said...

Preacher,

"All Scripture is God breathed etc."
Well of course I accept this precisely because I believe Scripture emerges from the concrete, revelatory life of a People under God. And this revelatory life under God is constituted as a progression of events that relates to God's gracious dealings with his people, together with an accumulated and developing understanding among his people of the meaning of those events. 

Scripture is a written record of that progressive revelatory life of event and meaning; a record that was written and rewritten to reflect and elaborate on the growing understanding of the significance of those events. In their final, canonical form they represent the witness of the Church - the People as newly established under God through Christ - to God's revelatory dealings with his people. 

The testamental authority of Scripture derives from the authoritative 
testament of the Church. How could it be otherwise? For it is the witness of the life of the People under God who all now reside in Christ's Church. 
And the totality of the life and self-understanding of the People under God on earth is the Tradition of the Church. It is the Tradition that comprehends Scripture, not Scripture that comprehends Tradition. 

And you are wrong to say that Scripture is inerrant. For inerrancy is not a quality of words that express truth, but of the understanding that mediates words to truth. Inerrancy, if there is inerrancy, must relate to the understanding that belongs to the mind of the Church. And the Church, since the time that she was founded by Jesus, and who bestowed on her the keys of the kingdom of heaven that she may mediate the truth between Heaven and Earth, has organized herself in time, and coherently within her Tradition, to express her mind definitively, inerrantly through her Magisterium. 

4 January 2013 at 20:40  
Blogger Bridget said...

Phil,

Where does Jesus say that?

4 January 2013 at 20:40  
Blogger Bridget said...

David,
Not particularly, but thanks for trying.

4 January 2013 at 20:42  
Blogger Matt A said...

Is it me, or is this an unexpected bombshell? News just in: CofE drops opposition to gay bishops in civil partnerships. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20914799

4 January 2013 at 20:45  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Briget said ...

"For inerrancy is not a quality of words that express truth, but of the understanding that mediates words to truth."

Well said.

4 January 2013 at 20:50  
Blogger Bobby Mick said...

So then Bridget, you deny the Holy Spirit, the third person in the Trinity, has any influence over the authorship of the Bible, and then also over the direction of His Church?

Then surely this calls into question your understanding of the Logos - which is derived from John 1, no?

4 January 2013 at 21:01  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

len said ...

"Christ condemned all oral tradition developed by the Rabbis as having perverted the Word of God so why would he want His Church to have the same corrupting influence?."

You do understand the differences between the Old and New Covenant, do you?

The written Law given to Moses served a different purpose to the relationship between God and man instituted by the Christ. Jesus never gave a written law that He commanded be written down.

The whole tenor of His dealings with the Apostles was one of teaching and explaining His life, death and resurrection. He established a church - an active, human organisation, and a leadership, which He gave authority to and promised the Holy Spirit would guide.

Where in the New Testament does it say otherwise? Just where does it say that all has been said about Jesus Christ and His Church? Where does it say the authority of the Keys to Kingdom and the power of loosening and binding is circumscribed?

The New Testament was compiled by the Church - not given directly to Moses - and many texts were rejected. The Church had to decide - by referencing the teachings of the Apostles and their successors (i.e. tradition) which writings were inspired and therefore canonical.

Indeed, as Briget pointed out:
" ... the Church, since the time that she was founded by Jesus, and who bestowed on her the keys of the kingdom of heaven that she may mediate the truth between Heaven and Earth, has organized herself in time, and coherently within her Tradition, to express her mind definitively, inerrantly through her Magisterium."

4 January 2013 at 21:10  
Blogger John Magee said...

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4 January 2013 at 21:30  
Blogger John Magee said...

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4 January 2013 at 21:56  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

John Magee

Don't look back with regret or with bitterness. Remember Lot's wife.

God has a plan for His Church and whilst we're in the middle of its unfolding all we can do is have faith in Him.

I've been a Roman Catholic for all my 60 years and in my adult life I've come to appreciate how complex and rich its teachings are. Recent decades have seen something of a 'reformation' in the way we think of our relationship with the formal priesthood and with other faith groups.

Of course, the start as a child was always a conviction that Jesus was with us and whatever happened we could turn again and again to Him.

I think this is the great strength our faith. It instils a profound faith and hope in Christ whilst also underlining the need we have to remain as members of His Body on earth - the Church.

4 January 2013 at 22:22  
Blogger Bridget said...

Bobby Mick,
I don't know why you would say I deny the Holy Spirit had any involvement over the writing of Scripture.

I used the expression, life of a People under God. This life wasn't initiated by the People but by God. We know that the People became aware of their formation and the subsequent unfolding of their life because they wrote a history of it. Indeed, the writing of the history itself became a normatively important event in the life of the People under God; an event that couldn't but consciously involve both God and his People because it is a recording of the free development of their relationship; God acts and the People respond, and God appropriately reacts to their response, and so on.
Being conscious of their position under God, all pragmatic events were increasingly, if unevenly, seen and understood in a spiritual light. The pragmatic movement from Egypt to a Promised Land by way of a disorienting desert also describes the spiritual experiences undergone by those who become increasingly conscious of their relationship under God (and no longer a god). 
Scripture expresses and elaborates on these experiences; and in the logos of its historical movement the present illuminates the past, and the past illuminates an anticipated future. The People under God became conscious of Yahweh under a dark cloud on a mountain top, but in the fullness of time and through the mysterious sacrifice of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the Eternal Spirit became manifest for all.

4 January 2013 at 23:07  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

Bridget: Scripture is a written record of that progressive revelatory life of event and meaning; a record that was written and rewritten to reflect and elaborate on the growing understanding of the significance of those events. In their final, canonical form they represent the witness of the Church - the People as newly established under God through Christ - to God's revelatory dealings with his people.

Except that 2 Tim 3:16 says that the Scripture (writings) were breathed out by God, not the life or the events described in them. That's not to say that God's dealings with His people weren't revelatory, but they are not what is "God-breathed" according to the text in question. As the Scripture is useful for teaching, training, rebuking and correcting so that the man of God can be fully equipped for every good work, I think we can safely declare it sufficient for its purposes, if it can equip us for every good work.

The text is the word of God, and thus its authority is from God, and no-one else. As 2 Peter 1:20-21 says: "Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." This directly militates against your account of the origins of scripture.

Also, without obfuscating, do you believe that the Bible contains errors? That that which was breathed out by God can be mistaken on any matter? Because if so, then how are you not casting doubt on the character of God?

5 January 2013 at 01:29  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

His Grace had better get on to this straight away, they are going to sneak in gay celibate (my ass!) Bishops whilst there's nobody in charge. It'll be down to the laity again to haul them back on track. What a shower!

5 January 2013 at 01:33  
Blogger John Magee said...

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5 January 2013 at 01:34  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

John Magee

This video is similar to the "pussy riot" Moscow hullabaloo a few months ago.

Really? Should these women be arrested then? And charged with 'hooliganism?' And sentenced to two years in prison? Or perhaps they should be charged with Criminally Negligent Homicide of the English language? Or Felony Bad Dancing? Or Assault with Deadly Intonation?

This video doesn't rate anger. It rates hysterical laughter.

carl

5 January 2013 at 01:46  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

Also, You seem to be under the impression that God himself wrote Scripture, as if Scripture were the Word of God.
This is nonsense, both in the mundane and theological senses.
Jesus Christ is the Word of God, and Scripture is Israel's and the Church's witness to the Word of God.
Tradition is the life of Israel and the Church under God, and Scripture is part of their witness and record of this life and being under God. Scripture emerges within the Tradition, and it is Tradition that bestows what authority Scripture possesses.


No, this is what's nonsense. Jesus Christ is "the Word". Where is he described as "the Word of God"? You're just trading on an equivocation between Christ's title as "the Word" which has an analogical relevance as he is the supreme revelation of God, and the univocal use of the expression to mean "God's divinely inspired words". That's not all that impressive, especially given that "the word of God" IS used to refer to God's words in scripture, such as Jeremiah 23:28-29 and Hebrews 4:12, or to the gospel word in Luke 8:11.

Scripture is the foundation of the Israel and of the church, not an emergence from a larger tradition. This is most obvious in the divine law in the Pentateuch, or in the words of Jesus Himself- these aren't the reflections of God's people, but the immediate words of God which bind our conscience. But we see from the 2 Peter passage that no prophecy of scripture is by the interpretation of the prophet, but by the Spirit, and by the 2 Timothy passage that ALL Scripture is breathed out by God. That is a speech metaphor, fitting perfectly with the words of Scripture, hence plenary verbal inspiration.

5 January 2013 at 01:49  
Blogger John Magee said...

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5 January 2013 at 01:51  
Blogger John Magee said...

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5 January 2013 at 02:07  
Blogger Nowhere man said...

This smacks of rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

5 January 2013 at 02:59  
Blogger John Magee said...

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5 January 2013 at 05:27  
Blogger John Magee said...

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5 January 2013 at 05:45  
Blogger Naomi King said...


Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon: Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.

And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters' vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit.

For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not. But ye said, No; And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him. This is the way, walk ye in it.

5 January 2013 at 09:22  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Magee @ 05.45, Heavy, man.

5 January 2013 at 09:44  
Blogger bluedog said...

Your Grace, the announcement that clergy in civil partnerships may become bishops has got Cameron's fingerprints all over it. Next stop, gay marriage in the CofE. Forget the quadruple lock, Dave's boys are going to mince right round it.

Welby is the heir to Williams.

5 January 2013 at 10:03  
Blogger Preacher said...

John Magee.
Brother I think you are referencing the silly video from Yesterday. my advice is it's daft, treat it with the contempt it deserves.

5 January 2013 at 10:12  
Blogger Preacher said...

If the reports of 'Gay' Bishops being accepted in the CofE is correct & the said Bishops are allowed to be in a Civil Partnership but must remain celibate, my question is how will the Church know if they transgress?. Surely this is the same as allowing a Fox to sleep in the hen house as long as he promises not to eat the chickens when the farmer's not there.

5 January 2013 at 10:26  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Preacher:

A fair question might be how would they know if a married priest committed adultery, or a supposedly celibate priest committed fornication?

Far more important than worrying about prying into the bed life of priests (never a good idea) - is what to do with those who are openly non-celibate.

The CofE has continued, even recently, to suspend and even defrock the odd priest who is caught in adultery - one wonders if they will be willing to do so in the instance of discovering a non-celibate priest in a CP/SS relationship. And further to that, one wonders if any reticence on that front, will translate into a reticence to call the remainder to account for adultery. After all, you cannot allow one set to get away with more than the other.

My fairly limited prediction will be that within 20 years the CofE (in whatever form it survives as) will have decided that it has no business inquiring or responding to the sexual continence of its clergy, and so lose its justification to teach sexual morality.

5 January 2013 at 10:38  
Blogger Preacher said...

AIB. I totally agree with you. The Lord said that we can't serve two masters. It seems to me that the CofE has set its course & must now face the consequences.

5 January 2013 at 17:40  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5 January 2013 at 19:15  
Blogger Mr. Mcgranor said...

Why do you not quote from your apocrypha; is it because, it is spiritually worthless?

7 January 2013 at 01:45  
Blogger Chantry Priest said...

OF your Charity, pray for the soul of the late Most Reverend, Right Honourable and Godly Father William, sometime Lord Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of All England. Whom Thou didst suffer to fall into the hands of violent and blood-thirsty men and, as upon this day, to be barbarously murdered by them. Upon whom may the Lord have mercy.

9 January 2013 at 19:26  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Pray tell, Chantry, which William of Canterbury are you inviting us to pray for?

10 January 2013 at 13:51  
Blogger Chantry Priest said...

Sorry Dodo-
William Laud [7 October 1573 – 10 January 1645. Murdered by extreme puritans. A man who did much to restore the Liturgy of the the C of E to Catholic Principle.
Indeed, 'tis rumoured that he impressed the Vatican so much that he was twice offered a Cardinal's Hat if he could bring England back to Rome.

10 January 2013 at 20:43  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Thank you, good sir.

Beheaded at the behest of Parliament for upsetting puritans. Most shocking.

10 January 2013 at 22:21  

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