God as She is yet another feminist assault on masculinity

Nov 1, 2015 by

By Rob Slane, The Conservative Woman: It’s remarkable how long it took the church to realise that all those masculine pronouns used in the Scriptures to refer to God – He and Him – are merely arbitrary, and really the biblical writers could have gone either way with the Hes and Shes, Hims and Hers. What is all the more staggering is that you would have thought that some of the giants of church history – Ignatius, Polycarp, Origen, Athanasius, Tertullian, Augustine, Luther, Calvin, for instance – at least one of them would have picked up on it. But oddly enough we had to wait for centuries to pass, until the after the feminist revolution in fact, before the church actually came to see what had been staring it in the face all along. As for all that “Our Father” business and those funny notions that Jesus seemed to have that “I and my Father” not “I...

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Topical Tuesday: Is God a She?

Oct 27, 2015 by

By Lee Gatiss, Church Society: The new bishop of Gloucester, wants to “gently challenge” us all not to refer to God as “he.” Lee Gatiss reflects on this provocative headline grabber. In an interview with The Guardian newspaper at the weekend, Rachel Treweek joined others who are saying that the Church of England should use both male and female pronouns when referring to God. She personally prefers, we are told, to say neither “he” nor “she”, but “God.” “Sometimes I lapse, but I try not to,” the bishop told the Observer. “In the creation narratives, we’re told that God created human beings in God’s likeness, and then it goes on to talk about male and female. If I am made in the image of God, then God is not to be seen as male. God is God.” This is a very old discussion, of course, with precursors in the...

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Harvest: reminder of reality

Oct 20, 2015 by

    By Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream   I grew up on a farm. I never showed much aptitude or interest for agriculture as a child, preferring to hit a ball, strum a guitar or read a book than drive a tractor or dig a row of potatoes. But recently, much to my family’s amusement, I have been showing signs of my roots – the hidden “man of the land” is showing through as I hog the privilege of mowing the lawn, and in the pleasure I take in making a crumble with apples from our own tree, or this year, fritters from our carefully nurtured courgette plant.   Whether or not we have gardening tendencies, many of us will have attended, or even been involved in leading, Harvest Services in our churches over the past few weeks. Preparing these can be great fun: selecting a mixture of old...

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If we can’t make up, can we still kiss?

Oct 18, 2015 by

by Andrew Atherstone and Andrew Goddard, Church Times: “IT’S not exactly startling that we have disagreements. What I’m trying to do is not to get everyone to agree, because I don’t think we’re going to agree; it is to try to transform bad disagreement to good disagreement.” So declared the Archbishop of Canterbury in a BBC interview (Hardtalk, BBC World News, January 2014), setting out his vision for the Church of England. The language of “good disagreement”, closely linked to “mutual flourishing” is a significant aspect of Archbishop Welby’s theological leadership. In a world and Church deeply divided, reconciliation is the crying need of our age. Disagreement is an indelible fact of life. Can it be transformed for good? The new General Synod, elected this week, bears a large responsibility for shaping the tone of our debates in a divided Church. The last Synod did not always do well....

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Germany’s RC bishops just published an apologia for gay ‘marriage’ – this crosses a whole new line

Sep 18, 2015 by

By Maike Hickson, LifeSite: The German bishops continue their march towards schism. Today, on their own website, they published an apologia for same-sex “marriage,” crossing a whole new line in their battle to reform the Church’s basic moral teachings. In an essay titled “Love Counts” on Katholisch.de, theology student Simon Linderargues that since the “societal climate” in Germany has changed, one does not have to justify oneself anymore when defending the idea of “marriage for all.” Rather, says Linder, those opposed to same-sex “marriages” have to defend themselves. And he asks: “Where does the Church have the idea … that homosexuality is a burden for male and female homosexuals? And more fundamentally: Who gives the Church the right to declare homosexuals as people who are to be pitied?” In his six-page long essay, Linder criticizes German Bishop Stefan Oster, who oversees the diocese of Passau, for defending the traditional...

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Oxford: No “good disagreement” as Anglican theologians set out conflicting worldviews.

Sep 15, 2015 by

by Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream. The Diocese of Oxford will be one of the later entrants into the “Shared Conversations” process – their turn for the weekend of structured discussions for selected participants will take place in February or March of next year, when they will be paired with St Albans (the Diocese where, of course, Jeffrey John is Dean of the Cathedral). As a preliminary “taster”, the Archdeacon of Oxford hosted an event entitled “Common Ground: Listening and Engagement”. The purpose was to set out the main arguments of the debate about sexuality, and to this end three speakers were invited: Scot Peterson, Research Fellow in Constitutional Law, Politics and Government, based at Balliol College; Canon Loveday Alexander, retired Professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield, and Ian Paul, theologian, author and speaker from Nottingham. Dr Alexander and Dr Paul had provided the main contributions (on...

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