Sunday, March 12, 2006

A Revolution WIthout A Theology
Richard Kew

In the last few days I have heard from several priests who have either said to me something to the effect that the period since the last General Convention has beeon one of the worst in their entire lives, or that they are not sure they can take much more of what the Episcopal Church keeps dishing up. These are not selfish individuals, neither are they soft, indeed one of them is doing extraordinary ministry in the most ghastly circumstances. Each of these pastors has sought to be obedient to their ordination vows, but they have found themselves trapped between a rock and a hard place. Sharing much of their discomfort, I have spent much time in recent months attempting to make sense of this unparalleled time in our ecclesial life.

We are living through a crisis that has many dimensions, but at heart it is a theological crisis. What a church sows that also will it reap, and we are now reaping the 'benefits' of several generations that have been spent cumbering the church with theologies that have minds of their own, and have as good as disconnected themselves from the mind of Christ. After the General Convention in 2003 one of the things I did was to review the teaching of Scripture and read an array of publications on all sides of the sexuality issue, reasoning that perhaps there was something I had missed, something I had accidentally misunderstood.

I came away from that long exercise with a new appreciation of just how deeply imbedded in both God's revelation and classic Christian theology is the fact that humankind is made in the image of God, male and female, and complementary to one another. I also came away realizing that the materials I had read from the leading thinkers on revisionist side seemed to handle the Scriptures and church's received tradition in a one-sided, patchy, and entirely inadequate manner. They were skating over the surface, they were putting novel contemporary spins upon the text, and tended either to ignore or to discount approaches or exposition of the text that countered their own -- they seldom considered them important enough to answer.

the rest at the Kew Continuum-Excellent!


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