Thursday, July 31, 2008

Listening to God and to each other: the bishop and human sexuality

It seems Acts of Hope cannot avoid all things Lambeth. Today we bring you a fine essay by my friend and Anglican mentor (the Rev. Dr.) Bill Countryman, biblical scholar and scholar of Anglican spirituality and history.

It's one of those read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest days.

Do have a look. The essay is called "Listening to God and to each other: the bishop and human sexuality."

Its subtitles (not sure if they are from Bill himself or from the editors of the Integrity newsletter in which the essay appears today) are

"Listening with humility / engaging in real conversation"

"Who is heard / who gets to speak"

"Faithful risk taking / listening in ambiguity"

I like the fact that this day of conversation on sexuality takes place on the feast of that great expert in discernment, Ignatius of Loyola.


Wormwood's Doxy said...

This is an excellent essay, Jane--thanks for linking to it! I particularly liked the bit about Job and his friends. I've always suspected that God would rather you argue with Him a bit than to be fawning all over him all the time, while hiding the fact that you are pissed as hell at Him....


Ken said...

Sadly, I see the disinvitation to Bishop Robinson as parallel to the University of San Diego's disinvitation to Rosemary Ruether. It suggests that the institutions themselves are not in control. The Diocese of San Diego runs the USD, doctrinally and financially. The GAFCONians run the Anglican Communion. You can hear the necks breaking from here as everyone looks over their shoulders at what Peter Akinola (I refuse to dignify that swine with the same title held by Archbishop Desmond Tutu) is going to say or do next.

One thing Bill Countryman said hit me between the eyes if only because I am a narcissist and his words echo my own thinking: Listening—and cultivating the ability to listen—both to God and to one another is far more important than making decisions about sexuality.

But what seems to have happened is that we are losing our focus on the Triune God and our works on earth that he (not sorry) directs in favor of who's screwing whom (I was going to use a more direct verb but decided not to). It is, sad to say, a pathetic expense of spirit in a waste of shame, but I've been to a few secular conferences in my life (can you spell MLA), and they're the same. So why expect more from a Church?

johnieb said...

Very good, Jane: thanks.