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31 August 2009



Ah, but +Gene also described himself as an evangelical of sorts in that interview, which I suppose means I'm one too.Signs are that the Christian world is coming to its senses and moving towards full LGBT conclusion, but there is still much work to be done. And were +Gene in a mood to respond with a scriptural verse I think he'd choose : "let my people go".

Beat Attitude

On the subject of the parable of the prodigal son GV, did you ever hear (or read) Tim Keller's "Prodigal God" teaching. It's a very thought-provoking interpretation of the implications of this parable.

Fr Dougal

Loving parents can also get it wrong: they are not infallible and neither is the Church! Parts of it used to support slavery in Wilberforce's day and in Abraham Lincoln's.


Gene Robinson is right when he says - "Either we are (Christians) or we aren't"
It is starkly obvious that any church accepting as it's doctrine and ethos the full raft of proposals contained within the Liberal agenda could no longer be considered a Christian church.


How so, Jimmy? Why is opposing "homosexual practise" an outward and visible sign of Orthodoxy per se? Christianity and "Fundamentalism rooted in 1930s revivalism coupled with bibliolatry" are not the same thing and, if you want to believe (implicitly or otherwise) that they are, then something other than just *asserting* it is required. And I haven't seen the raft of proposals contained within the "Liberal agenda", am sure they make for interesting reading. Hopefully, like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, they exist in hard-copy form.


I find the whole analogy of `children', particularly as followed by "but sometimes children get it wrong" completely gratuitous, so +1 kudos to Fr Dougal.

And another kudos to ryan as well. I don't know what a "Liberal agenda" is other than a random group of people exhibiting unity through values such as loving their neighbour (and knowing who their neighbour is), showing tolerance and respect, striving for a consistent orthopraxy, and having a fondness for rigorous study of the Scriptures starting with "what is this stuff and who wrote it?" and generally avoiding the suffix "and how can we whack you up the head with it?". By which standards, the set of "moral values" inherited from Victorian / colonialist days is highly deficient.

Tom, California

I know what a theologically liberal agenda is. The US Episcopal Church, shrinking by leaps and bounds, is exhibit A.

Tolerance and respect don't require agreement or approval.

And liberals can be, and often are, every bit as doctrinaire as conservatives.


And said decline (in numerical terms) began before the "liberal" "takeover". And , although Mars Hill (Mark Driscoll has preached that Song of Songs advocates that wives must perform oral sex on their husbands or they're disobeying Jesus), Jerry Falwell, fundamentalist Christianity might (certainly in the US) fill the pews, that's not exactly a convincing *theological* argument. Was the popularity of the kind of "orthodox" US Christianity that opposed miscegenation (hardly a lunatic fringe) a sign of God's favour?
I'm not defending every action or belief of the TEC. Believing in the full inclusion of gay people hardly denotes being an uncritical fan of Spong or accepting of "buddhist" bishops. Conversely,many "evangelicals" believe that creationism is a necessary part of orthodoxy. And they're demonstrably wrong.

Tom, California

Tim, if you don't like the "children" analogy you'll really hate Jesus' references to his followers as his "sheep."

Liberals, good guys; conservatives, bad guys. Thanks for clearing that up for us.


Yes, because conservatives=sheeps=Jesus'followers, inclusive='liberal'=heretics=goats is far more sensible. Quite a lot of UK evangelical Christians are "liberal" by 19C standards and I think they'd be right to reject the nonsensical attempt to be made to regard themselves as backsliders,heretics etc because they don't persecute gays as in the "good" old days. It's hot button alarmism "worthy" of McArthy (Joseph, not David). Your "I know a liberal when I see one" (do we have horns?) and "I know they're heretics" rhetoric isn't very convincing. And hopefully Tim doesn't "hate" but does have a low regard for comical proof-texting per se.

Fr Dougal

Hang on a bit! Yes, there is a progressive element (and I use that term because, theolgically, I am not a liberal in a Bultmannesque sort of way, but a Catholic Anglican in a Ken Leech sort of way)which does the "Liberal good guyz, Conservative bad guyz" trip, just as there are less progressive elements who go "Biblical conservative good, liberal radical bad". Neither side has a monoply on illiberal intolerance and brain dead caricaturing. And neither side has a monoply on virtue. I get enraged (slightly)when it is suggested that any pro inclusion Christian is also by definition a "God our Mother, anti-trinatarian, the Bible is just stories" type. Because I aint! Equally, not every Conservative Evangelical is a fascist, homophobic, gun toing Fred Phelps, red neck clone! I know too many people who are not eany of those things.

This being my fellow Presbyter Gadget Vicar's space I'd say this: we may disagree on what the Episcopal Church should be saying about the place of LGBT people in the ministry of the Church and what the Church should be offering to LGBT people, but we agree on more than we disagree (Africa, left ward stance on politics etc)and we do not regard each other as "bad". Misguided, led by the Holy Spirit and our reading of Scripture and Tradition in the light of prayerful reflective reason to different places, mistaken - yes all of those things. But I recognise him as someone is is seeking to be faithful to God to the best of his ability and according to his lights. And vice versa (I hope). Not Good vs Bad but - "conflicting good's in tension within the Church".

Respect the Christ present in each other peeps!

Andrew T

Having read the Gruniad, sorry, Guardian, article it would seem this man is a bundle of contradictions having changed his mind on several occasions on different issues. One can only wonder what bend or twist his heterodoxy will take next!


"Yes, but children can get it wrong and go their own way. Sometimes loving parents have to wait patiently for errant offspring to come to their senses and return home. At which point there is much rejoicing!"

And sometimes children must leave and hope that their parents will see their human prejudices for what they are, cast them aside, and cease to encourage them in others.

It's not so long ago (and we still hear stories of such things) that those who were separated, divorced or re-married were the targets of allegedly divinely authorised vindictiveness.


>>> Having read the Gruniad, sorry, Guardian, article

I had you down as a Daily Heil type, Andrew. Am pleasantly surprised.


>>t would seem this man is a bundle of contradictions having changed his mind on several occasions on different issues. One can only wonder what bend or twist his heterodoxy will take next!

who are you calling hetero?! (j/k)

Changing your mind is not inherently a bad thing (hence apologetics for those who are currently unsaved). It's not *liberals* fault that so much of evangelical ideology *is* easily discounted by study and reflection (example: 'malakoi" purportedly meaning "homosexual". It doesn't). +Gene Robinson's book is excellent. Fr Gadgetvicar has a signed copy!


"it would seem this man is a bundle of contradictions having changed his mind on several occasions on different issues. One can only wonder what bend or twist his heterodoxy will take next!"

Should opinions not be changed on the basis of evidence that says your opinion is wrong? Dogmatic adherence to obvious lunacy is not good - is it?

Suppose by some "miracle" I start believing in your god, I would have then by your criteria chosen the "right" position, but also by your criteria, I would have changed my mind, which you seem not to like. I would say that you are being inconsitent and dogmatic here. Neither are good starting points in searching the truth.


Fr. Dougal, thanks for the sane contribution... much appreciated.

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