Monday, July 24, 2006

Reconcilers in pursuit of the irreconcilable :: The Times

Ruth Gledhill doubts the Reconciliation and Peace Centre at Coventry Cathedral can do for the Anglican Communion what mediators have done for Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, Presiding Bishop Griswold reminds us
What does the Lord who said to his disciples "I still have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now" have yet to reveal to us through the agency of the Spirit of truth who continually draws from the "boundless riches of Christ" who is both wisdom and truth? This we know: neither the church nor the Bible can contain the continuous activity of the Spirit. The Spirit draws from what is Christ's and makes it known, often in ways that surprise and unsettle us.
I recall Jesus is also quoted as saying,
I will give to you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven; and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven.
Given that the you doing the binding and releasing is you and me, my reading of this verse is that human agency is involved in discovering truth - it's not all in the Bible, and we discover it has we can bear it. The danger in the verse is that anyone can claim that the position or action they take is God's will. There's the rub - disagreement over who has the Spirit.

From Griswold's sermon:
As the prophet Isaiah tells us God’s ways are not our ways nor are God’s thoughts our thoughts. The divine imagination can stretch us to the breaking point.

Here I am put in mind of the words of Father Benson, founder of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, who observed that our life consists of being stretched not on the rack of human torture but rather on the glorious being of the Holy Ghost. Such stretching may oblige us to repent: in the manner of Job, to repent of our certitudes and presumptions in dust and ashes. Archbishop William Temple defined repentance as adopting God’s point of view in place of our own. The risen Christ continues to reveal truth to us through the agency of the Spirit of truth. Our deeper apprehension of God’s truth is less about possessing information and more about an attitude of mind. Having the mind of Christ, as St. Paul tells us, involves seeing as Christ sees and living with an open and undefended heart.
To which Sarah says:
Certainty is apparently something to be repented of. Uncertainty is the new piety. Amazing.
That's right, Sarah. Revisionists are not revising God. They are revising their understanding of God. Since God is not small, that's to be expected. It's a tradition given to us: "I still have many more things to say to you." And, as Griswold puts it, hearing those "more things" is more about attitude than information.

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