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Working Theology: Out to Lunch
Stand Firm [MS] ^ | 5/'21/2005 | Greg Griffith

Posted on 05/22/2005 3:18:05 PM PDT by sionnsar

Orthodox Episcopalians, including the ones who run and frequent this site, are occasionally asked why we are fixated on one homosexual bishop in New Hampshire. The charge is false, of course, and is made by those who either don't understand the crisis in the Anglican Communion, or by those who understand it but want to trivialize it. Regular readers know that we also highlight other of the many disorders of the church, from paganism to those who deny the uniqueness of Christ.

The sad fact is that we simply don't have enough manpower to give equal time to all the sicknesses that have invaded this part of the body of Christ. And a good case can be made that even if we could - and did - we would so overwhelm many Episcopalians with the true depravity of the church that they would flee immediately instead of staying and fighting for its soul. After all, if the orthodox "win" this debate over non-celibate homosexual ordinations and same-sex blessings - by halting them or even rolling them back - there will still be many other lingering sicknesses - abortion, polyamory, open communion, and a denial of Christ's divinity - to deal with. Sometimes the prospect of returning this church to something even remotely resembling Christianity seems so daunting it makes me wonder why I continue to try. The frequent private emails I receive, indicating how much this site is a source of strength for those who have decided to stay, contain the answer.

Over at TitusOneNine, Kendall Harmon has posted an article by Philip Turner from First Things magazine. It is one of the best - perhaps the best - brief explanations of how we got to where we are, and that is through a distressingly shallow "working theology" that's taken hold of the Episcopal Church. Turner summarizes:

God wants us to love one another, and such love requires of us both acceptance and affirmation of the other. From this point we can derive yet another: Accepting love requires a form of justice that is inclu­sive of all people, particularly those who in some way have been marginalized by oppressive social practice. The mission of the Church is, therefore, to see that those who have been rejected are included – for justice as inclusion defines public policy. The result is a practical equivalence between the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and a particular form of social justice.

He continues:
Once we have reduced the significance of Christ’s resurrection and downplayed holiness of life as a fundamental marker of Christian identity, the notion of radical inclusion produces the view that one need not come to the Father through the Son. Christ is a way, but not the way. The Holy Eucharist is a sign of acceptance on the part of God and God’s people, and so should be open to all-the invitation unaccompanied by a call to repentance and amendment of life.

This unofficial doctrine of radical inclusion, which is now the working theology of the Episcopal Church, plays out in two directions. In respect to God, it produces a quasi-deist theology that posits a benevolent God who favors love and justice as inclu­sion but acts neither to save us from our sins nor to raise us to new life after the pattern of Christ. In respect to human beings, it produces an ethic of toler­ant affirmation that carries with it no call to conver­sion and radical holiness.

Please read the entire piece.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant

1 posted on 05/22/2005 3:18:05 PM PDT by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; keilimon; Hermann the Cherusker; wagglebee; St. Johann Tetzel; AnalogReigns; GatorGirl; ..
Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.

FReepmail sionnsar if you want on or off this moderately high-volume ping list (typically 3-7 pings/day).
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Resource for Traditional Anglicans:

Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 05/22/2005 3:18:42 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Iran Azadi || Newsweek lied, people died.)
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To: sionnsar

Wow. I clicked across to that article by Philip Turner and read it and the comments following. Food for thought, and prayer.

3 posted on 05/22/2005 6:08:09 PM PDT by walden
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To: walden

The entire edition of the magazine is first-rate and on-target, IMHO.

In Christ,
Deacon Paul+

4 posted on 05/23/2005 12:23:41 AM PDT by BelegStrongbow (I think, therefore I vote Republican)
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