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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: Wycliffe Hall in trouble
Carys

Ship's Celticist
# 78

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quote:
Originally posted by Dinghy Sailor:
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
In contemporary evangelical Anglican parlance the term liberal is also an indicator of the common belief that people who one disapproves of aren't proper Christians.

Bollocks.

Isn't it funny that I hear the 'not proper christians' line mostly from liberals throwing insults rather than evos actually meaning it, though I've moved in some of the most con-evo anglican circles. One would almost think it's a straw man! [/QB]

I have personal experience of being regarded as `not a proper Christian' by evangelicals. I think that you are more likely to notice this when it's directed at you than when it is. Personally, I don't use it of evangelicals and haven't seen it from liberals to evangelicals, but that might be because I'm not sensitive to it.

Carys

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O Lord, you have searched me and know me
You know when I sit and when I rise

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daronmedway
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# 3012

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quote:
Originally posted by Jolly Jape:
quote:
Originally posted by Call me Numpty:
Jolly Jape said: Or just maybe they disagree with you about what is and what is not orthodox. Which only makes them liberals if you define orthodox as "any belief that it totally consonant with mine".Of course you'll notice that I actually said that open evangelicals seem to be comfortable with a wider gap between their stated orthodoxy and their own praxis. My understanding of orthodoxy did not, and does not, come into the equation. What I said is that, IME, open evangelicals are more inclined to practically compromise on their own stated orthodoxy that are conservative evangelicals. Conservatives tend towards a 'here I stand, I can do no other' mentality, Opens tend towards a 'let's find a way around this one' type mentality.

OK, fair enough, sorry I misrepresented you. Not sure that "let's find a way round this, (I would rather understand it as "let's find a way through this") is enough to disqualify someone from membership of the evangelical club, though!
Again, IME, it seems to come down to motivation and the 'fear of man'. Open evangelicalism seems to lack sufficient confidence in its position to act according to its stated convictions. It seems to default to compromise, rather than integrity, in the face of potential unpopularity. The same cannot be said of conservative evangelicals who, IME, seem to actually thrive on being unpopular. They seem to take their unpopularity as the measure of their orthodoxy and, to be perfectly honest, there is a good biblical precedent for such thinking.
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BroJames
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# 9636

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quote:
Originally posted by Call me Numpty:
Open evangelicalism seems to lack sufficient confidence in its position to act according to its stated convictions. It seems to default to compromise, rather than integrity, in the face of potential unpopularity.

Could you cite examples of this, please? I recognise the danger.

Of course the danger of the other position that you cite is that it doesn't offer you any grounds for distinguishing between opposed for being right, opposed for being right but obnoxious, and opposed for being both wrong and obnoxious.

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daronmedway
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quote:
Originally posted by BroJames:
quote:
Originally posted by Call me Numpty:
Open evangelicalism seems to lack sufficient confidence in its position to act according to its stated convictions. It seems to default to compromise, rather than integrity, in the face of potential unpopularity.

Could you cite examples of this, please? I recognise the danger.
  • Remarriage after divorce
  • Homosexuaility
  • Pluralism
  • Evangelism and the nature of conversion
  • Mixed Faith Marriage

Remember! I'm simply saying that the stated orthodoxy of the Open position and their praxis tend to differ more greatly in these areas than the stated orthodoxy of the Conservative position. In a nut-shell I think that Open evangelicals are more fearful of unpopularity than Conservatives are therefore prone to unduly compromise on their own stated position on these issues.

quote:
Of course the danger of the other position that you cite is that it doesn't offer you any grounds for distinguishing between opposed for being right, opposed for being right but obnoxious, and opposed for being both wrong and obnoxious.

Quite.

[ 15. June 2007, 11:12: Message edited by: Call me Numpty ]

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
Originally posted by Dinghy Sailor:

quote:
quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
In contemporary evangelical Anglican parlance the term liberal is also an indicator of the common belief that people who one disapproves of aren't proper Christians.

Bollocks.

Isn't it funny that I hear the 'not proper christians' line mostly from liberals throwing insults rather than evos actually meaning it, though I've moved in some of the most con-evo anglican circles. One would almost think it's a straw man!

Bollocks backatcha.

I've experienced that attitude often enough in real life and on these boards. So kindly piss off.

With extra bollocks. I've heard plenty of criticism of conservatives by liberals (and of course I have; if liberals weren't critical of conservatives they'd be conservatives!) but I've never heard the "not proper Christians" line.

Conservatives using it of liberals? All the fucking time.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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dyfrig
Blue Scarfed Menace
# 15

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To back up what Callan and Carys have said, in my time as an evangelical there was both implicit and explicit the general view amongst many in the church that most of the Church wasn't really Christian, merely going through the motions of a dead religion.

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"He was wrong in the long run, but then, who isn't?" - Tony Judt

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Jolly Jape
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# 3296

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quote:
Again, IME, it seems to come down to motivation and the 'fear of man'. Open evangelicalism seems to lack sufficient confidence in its position to act according to its stated convictions. It seems to default to compromise, rather than integrity, in the face of potential unpopularity. The same cannot be said of conservative evangelicals who, IME, seem to actually thrive on being unpopular. They seem to take their unpopularity as the measure of their orthodoxy and, to be perfectly honest, there is a good biblical precedent for such thinking.

But how, as an outsider, do you judge between "I am taking this course of action because I believe that it is consonant with scripture and that it is the course of action which I have prayerfully discerned to be what God wants me to do" and "I am taking this course of action because, if I don't, all hell is going to break loose and my life will become very uncomfortable". Because your response does seem to be predicated on an ability to do that. Assuming that the person involved has presented you with the first explanation, should not your response be based on the acceptance that s/he has told you the truth. In other words, you can debate the rightness or wrongness of the decision, but surely not the motivation.

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To those who have never seen the flow and ebb of God's grace in their lives, it means nothing. To those who have seen it, even fleetingly, even only once - it is life itself. (Adeodatus)

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Dinghy Sailor

Ship's Jibsheet
# 8507

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quote:
Originally posted by Carys:
I have personal experience of being regarded as `not a proper Christian' by evangelicals. I think that you are more likely to notice this when it's directed at you than when it is. Personally, I don't use it of evangelicals and haven't seen it from liberals to evangelicals, but that might be because I'm not sensitive to it.

It takes different forms, but it's there. My point, however, was that I hear significantly more liberals complaining about how con-evos say they're Not Proper Christians, than I hear actual con-evos actually saying those words. Most of the time, it's a cheap insult whipped up because it fits well enough on the con-evo foot to be credible most of the time. "Mummy, mummy, the big nasty con-evo just said I'm Not a Proper Christian" sounds far more dramatic than what is usually the more accurate, "Mummy, mummy, that other christian actually DARED to criticise the outworking of my faith in some way!"

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Preach Christ, because this old humanity has used up all hopes and expectations, but in Christ hope lives and remains.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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moonlitdoor
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# 11707

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I must admit I am shocked and a bit embarrassed that orthodox people like Carys, Callan, and Karl would have their faith questioned. I have only heard it of people like Don Cupitt but my experience is not great.

I do not think it is always fear of unpopularity that makes some people compromise on their position. Maybe they admit that they could be wrong. I only have to come on here to see that many people who are cleverer and more spiritual than me have come to opposite conclusions to me ( and each other ).

So rather than take a stand on an issue where we differ, I prefer to cooperate with them in bringing the gospel to non Christians.

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We've evolved to being strange monkeys, but in the next life he'll help us be something more worthwhile - Gwai

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Jolly Jape
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# 3296

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quote:
Originally posted by Call me Numpty:
quote:
Originally posted by BroJames:
quote:
Originally posted by Call me Numpty:
Open evangelicalism seems to lack sufficient confidence in its position to act according to its stated convictions. It seems to default to compromise, rather than integrity, in the face of potential unpopularity.

Could you cite examples of this, please? I recognise the danger.
  • Remarriage after divorce
  • Homosexuaility
  • Pluralism
  • Evangelism and the nature of conversion
  • Mixed Faith Marriage

Remember! I'm simply saying that the stated orthodoxy of the Open position and their praxis tend to differ more greatly in these areas than the stated orthodoxy of the Conservative position. In a nut-shell I think that Open evangelicals are more fearful of unpopularity than Conservatives are therefore prone to unduly compromise on their own stated position on these issues.

quote:
Of course the danger of the other position that you cite is that it doesn't offer you any grounds for distinguishing between opposed for being right, opposed for being right but obnoxious, and opposed for being both wrong and obnoxious.

Quite.

Leaving aside "pluralism" (not quite sure what you mean in this context) and "Mixed faith marriage" (do you mean agreeing to perform them or just approving/disapproving of them) I would have thought that there was enough theological debate to allow for principled decisions to be made on that basis, rather than on the basis of the unpopularity or otherwise of such actions. Indeed, a different understanding of "how conversion works" would seem to be very much at the root of the different praxis of opens.

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To those who have never seen the flow and ebb of God's grace in their lives, it means nothing. To those who have seen it, even fleetingly, even only once - it is life itself. (Adeodatus)

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by Dinghy Sailor:
quote:
Originally posted by Carys:
I have personal experience of being regarded as `not a proper Christian' by evangelicals. I think that you are more likely to notice this when it's directed at you than when it is. Personally, I don't use it of evangelicals and haven't seen it from liberals to evangelicals, but that might be because I'm not sensitive to it.

It takes different forms, but it's there. My point, however, was that I hear significantly more liberals complaining about how con-evos say they're Not Proper Christians, than I hear actual con-evos actually saying those words. Most of the time, it's a cheap insult whipped up because it fits well enough on the con-evo foot to be credible most of the time. "Mummy, mummy, the big nasty con-evo just said I'm Not a Proper Christian" sounds far more dramatic than what is usually the more accurate, "Mummy, mummy, that other christian actually DARED to criticise the outworking of my faith in some way!"
But my experience is the same as Dyfig's. I've definitely moved in evangelical circles where the Christianity of non-evangelicals was suspect at best, and explicitly denied at worst. The phrase I remember being used of any liturgical church was "High and dead". I remember distinctly debating whether Catholics could be Christians - to my shame I myself encouraged one Catholic to leave the Catholic church and become a "real" Christian instead.

So for me, it's not a case of running off anywhere. It's a case of remembering some of the things I and some others I knew thought about liberals, and more recently taking the masochistic route of debating with Creationists, many of whom were quite happy to deny that anyone could be a Christian and not agree with them.

Trust me. If I claim that someone said I wasn't a Christian, it's not a simple disagreement about something.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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I_am_not_Job
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# 3634

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Call me Numpty said:
quote:
Remarriage after divorce
Homosexuaility
Pluralism
Evangelism and the nature of conversion
Mixed Faith Marriage

I'm fascinated that you pick these as issues of orthodoxy which open evos should stand their ground on. To me, excluding pluralism, by which I assume you me the position of other faiths, these are all quite clearly matters of order, adiaphora and not doctrine. SUrely open evos are those who don't cross their fingers at any part of the creed, who accept substitutionary atonement (as a or a key explanation of the cross) and who by praxis tend to low church liturgy. Issues of morality etc they may have a trad view on, but are happy to discuss and accept others have varying views on.

Regarding who calls who 'not a proper Christian', it was definitely my experience that evos said it of liberals, or in fact, anyone who didn't go to their church, without bothering to find out anything about the other person's beliefs or practices. Regarding liberals on con evos, I've heard more along the lines of their behaviour not being very Christian, but not that they weren't.

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Hope for everything; expect nothing

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Nightlamp
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# 266

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quote:
Originally posted by Call me Numpty:
They appear to using the measure of their own principleship as the mark of orthodoxy. The starnge thing is that McGrath and Turnbull have more in common theologically that McGarth and his predecessor once removed.

my reading of the letter would suggest there problems with Turbull are only partly about theology. The three key issues are
  • Turnbull was a poor choice because of lack of experience in theological education.
  • He is an abrasive person.
  • He is deeply conservative and wants to take the college there.

Probably if the problem was with only one or two out of the three we would never have heard about the events at Wycliffe.

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I don't know what you are talking about so it couldn't have been that important- Nightlamp

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BroJames
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# 9636

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quote:
Originally posted by Call me Numpty:
  • Remarriage after divorce
  • Homosexuaility
  • Pluralism
  • Evangelism and the nature of conversion
  • Mixed Faith Marriage

OK - this seems to me to be a list of areas in which the issue arises/might arise rather than examples of the kind of compromise I understood you to be talking about. Are you saying, for example, that Open Evangelicals (to take a slightly clearer issue from your list) are saying that remarriage after divorce is always wrong - yet are conducting weddings for such couples? (AFAICS there has for a long time been a division among evangelicals about how scripture is to be interpreted on this one - Zwingli and Calvin among the Reformers, for example, taking different views.)

Or to take another example, I believe that evangelism and conversion are both important. I don't believe that standing on a street corner with a big black Bible and declaiming in a loud voice is at all likely to achieve either of those outcomes. Similarly there was a time when Billy Graham style mission spoke clearly to the culture of its day (and IMHO it still may have a somewhat different place today). Contemporary British (western?) society has lost a great deal of the trust it once had for public authority figures and much more rests on the credibility a person has in relationship - evangelism methods, therefore need to change.

[Cross-posting I am sure with others]

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Nightlamp
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# 266

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Letters r'us.
I quite liked this inaccurate statement in the letter.
quote:
We are and would be glad both to send ordinands to Wycliffe and to receive curates from the college.
Since when Vicars send ordinands to colleges?

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I don't know what you are talking about so it couldn't have been that important- Nightlamp

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pete173
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# 4622

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I really don't recognise the Planet Numpty version of Open Evangelicalism. What we affirm - the priority of evangelism; the supreme authority of scripture; the necessity of conversion; the importance of the faith being worked out in active service - is that which has been affirmed by evangelicals throughout the centuries.

In relation to his "areas where we seem to believe one thing and practise another", the approach espoused by evangelicals over the years has shifted very little. We have never been indissolubilist in relation to marriage and divorce; we would tend to believe that homosexual sexual expression was sinful; we would be opposed to relativist dogmatic pluralism, though aware of the reality of social pluralism; we would look for a person to bear the marks of having been "born again", whether by process or crisis; we would discourage people from marrying someone of another faith or someone who wasn't a Christian. All those views, or expressions of them, will have been around since before Keele. What we have become is more socially and ecclesially adaptive, which is what the ConEvos have not done.

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Carys

Ship's Celticist
# 78

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quote:
Originally posted by BroJames:
quote:
Originally posted by Call me Numpty:
  • Remarriage after divorce
  • Homosexuaility
  • Pluralism
  • Evangelism and the nature of conversion
  • Mixed Faith Marriage

OK - this seems to me to be a list of areas in which the issue arises/might arise rather than examples of the kind of compromise I understood you to be talking about. Are you saying, for example, that Open Evangelicals (to take a slightly clearer issue from your list) are saying that remarriage after divorce is always wrong - yet are conducting weddings for such couples? (AFAICS there has for a long time been a division among evangelicals about how scripture is to be interpreted on this one - Zwingli and Calvin among the Reformers, for example, taking different views.)
Maybe Open Evangelicals are better at differentiating between ideals (marriage should be for life) and people (we mess up and marry the wrong person and later want to try again). Compassion in the face of human fallibility strikes me as the Christian position, but it might look like compromise to the hardliners.

Carys

--------------------
O Lord, you have searched me and know me
You know when I sit and when I rise

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Callan
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# 525

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Ah. The usual suspects.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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pete173
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# 4622

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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
Ah. The usual suspects.

Indeed - an indication of a very small supporters' club...

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Pete

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daronmedway
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# 3012

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Jolly Jape said:
quote:
Leaving aside "pluralism" (not quite sure what you mean in this context) and "Mixed faith marriage" (do you mean agreeing to perform them or just approving/disapproving of them) I would have thought that there was enough theological debate to allow for principled decisions to be made on that basis, rather than on the basis of the unpopularity or otherwise of such actions.
And still you assume that I'm posing an Open vs. Conservative point of view argument on the basis of their instrinsic validity. I'm not. I'm saying that the is a greater disparity between what open evangelicals are prepared to do and accept in practice than what they say they'll do and accept on paper.

The differences in doctirnal position between open and conservative are merely incidental to what I'm saying. My main point is that IMO open evangelicals tend to put the pragmatics of 'open' praxis above the idealism of their doctrinal principles. Whereas conversely, conservatives tend to opt for 'closed' praxis, despite the unpopularity it causes, in order to be remain faithful to their stated orthodoxy.

quote:
Indeed, a different understanding of "how conversion works" would seem to be very much at the root of the different praxis of opens.
Agreed. IME, in practice Opens take a much more universalist view of salvation than they care to admit in their doctrinal statements. And IME this unspoken view carries over into what I consider to be a lacklustre approach to evangelism.
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Nightlamp
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# 266

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Well, well it looks like Ruth Gledhill is supportive of Richard Turnbull. She seems to think it is all about personality and opposition to needed reform at the Hall. Weirdly enough it seems the Students have decided to make the situation worse.
quote:
I've tried to check this version of events with the students themselves, but they've made a decision as a body not to respond to the media on this story, which I understand but I think is a shame.


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I don't know what you are talking about so it couldn't have been that important- Nightlamp

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Jolly Jape
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# 3296

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quote:
And still you assume that I'm posing an Open vs. Conservative point of view argument on the basis of their instrinsic validity. I'm not. I'm saying that the is a greater disparity between what open evangelicals are prepared to do and accept in practice than what they say they'll do and accept on paper.
I'm not, really, I'm not. I'm saying that ISTM that for both the con evos and the open evos, the default assumption should be that their praxis is the outcome of their doctrine. Thus, if, for example, they favour a "caring before sharing" (or "belonging before believing", or whatever the alliteration is this week), type of evangelism (to pick one of the less controversial themes) the assumption should be that they do so because that is an outworking of what they believe. Now, you might think that they have it wrong, but I don't see the inconsistency that you do. Of course, openism is probably less monolithic than con-dom ( [Snigger] ) so there is probably a greater spread of opinion, but I don't see many examples of saying one thing and doing another.

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To those who have never seen the flow and ebb of God's grace in their lives, it means nothing. To those who have seen it, even fleetingly, even only once - it is life itself. (Adeodatus)

Posts: 3011 | From: A village of gardens | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Emma Louise

Storm in a teapot
# 3571

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quote:
Originally posted by Dinghy Sailor:
quote:
Originally posted by Carys:
I have personal experience of being regarded as `not a proper Christian' by evangelicals. I think that you are more likely to notice this when it's directed at you than when it is. Personally, I don't use it of evangelicals and haven't seen it from liberals to evangelicals, but that might be because I'm not sensitive to it.

It takes different forms, but it's there. My point, however, was that I hear significantly more liberals complaining about how con-evos say they're Not Proper Christians, than I hear actual con-evos actually saying those words. Most of the time, it's a cheap insult whipped up because it fits well enough on the con-evo foot to be credible most of the time. "Mummy, mummy, the big nasty con-evo just said I'm Not a Proper Christian" sounds far more dramatic than what is usually the more accurate, "Mummy, mummy, that other Christian actually DARED to criticise the outworking of my faith in some way!"
So you *do* think liberals *are* Proper Christians then.

Glad we got that one cleared up...

It was certainly a sentiment I head often (and was probably party to [Hot and Hormonal] ) when I was younger. Usually along the lines that "liberal" or high church or liturgical church people weren’t yet Christian/saved and it was important to go to a "sound" church where you knew it would be Christian.

Maybe you hear liberals complaining about people saying that they're not Christians because that’s what they've experienced and because in many cases they *were* in conevo circles and it’s a remarkably common belief. It’s hugely insulting to be told you're not a Christian imho, and so not a cheap dig at conevos but quite a big deal.

As for someone earlier suggesting that it was only conevos that start with the bible, and work out beliefs whereas open evos start with acceptance well - *sigh*. Of course it’s back to "my assumptions are better than your assumptions." In reality in many con evo churches there isn’t the recognition that *others may also start with the bible yet reach different conclusions than the party line." In some conevo circles it is more like "this is the party line" and then when you do bible study you expect it to measure up. I know when I went to uni I initially was concerned about reading "sound" scholars as I wanted "right" doctrine, which isn’t really looking at the bible and then coming to a conclusion but rather starting with a list of presuppositions and then coming to the bible.


(grrr can't spell)

[ 15. June 2007, 13:41: Message edited by: Emma. ]

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badman
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# 9634

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quote:
Originally posted by Nightlamp:
Well, well it looks like Ruth Gledhill is supportive of Richard Turnbull. She seems to think it is all about personality and opposition to needed reform at the Hall.

Although the tone of Ruth Gledhill's article is so determinedly upbeat ("shoot that messenger, everything is fine"), the content is far from it.

The open letter in support doesn't provide any evidence except a reference to the Student Presidents' letter - apparently overlooking the Student Presidents' guarded admission that

"the implementation of change has not been handled as successfully as it might have been"

with its wonderful follow-up

"Nonetheless many members of staff remain..."

Then there is the Bishop of Rochester's quote:

"I know there are other people who have difficulty with him and I have not talked to them."

So that's all right then. Especially since he says "I do not know all that is going on the background"

By the way, what are the "necessary reforms" that Ruth and others keep muttering about? I'm sure reform is always necessary, and to be expected from a new Principal, but it doesn't usually involve disciplining people who dissent from them at an internal meeting, or losing your most distinguished staff, or clamming up while the press call you to account

I suppose it's natural for a gossipy journalist (and very readable too) to think it is all about personalities. But the evidence suggests it is all about actions.

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Nightlamp
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I agree that the Bishop of Rochester does seem disconnected from the college.

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I don't know what you are talking about so it couldn't have been that important- Nightlamp

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Dinghy Sailor

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quote:
Originally posted by Emma.:
quote:
Originally posted by Dinghy Sailor:
<snip>

So you *do* think liberals *are* Proper Christians then.
Well duh. [Roll Eyes]

Kindly stop trying your best to read the worst sentiments possible into what people say. It's exactly what some con-evos do in the situation we're discussing.


quote:
Maybe you hear liberals complaining about people saying that they're not Christians because that’s what they've experienced
Some of the time.

quote:
It’s hugely insulting to be told you're not a Christian imho
No need to be humble about it.

[ 15. June 2007, 14:46: Message edited by: Dinghy Sailor ]

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Preach Christ, because this old humanity has used up all hopes and expectations, but in Christ hope lives and remains.
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daronmedway
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quote:
Originally posted by Jolly Jape:
quote:
And still you assume that I'm posing an Open vs. Conservative point of view argument on the basis of their instrinsic validity. I'm not. I'm saying that the is a greater disparity between what open evangelicals are prepared to do and accept in practice than what they say they'll do and accept on paper.
I'm not, really, I'm not. I'm saying that ISTM that for both the con evos and the open evos, the default assumption should be that their praxis is the outcome of their doctrine. Thus, if, for example, they favour a "caring before sharing" (or "belonging before believing", or whatever the alliteration is this week), type of evangelism (to pick one of the less controversial themes) the assumption should be that they do so because that is an outworking of what they believe. ]Now, you might think that they have it wrong, but I don't see the inconsistency that you do. Of course, openism is probably less monolithic than con-dom ( [Snigger] ) so there is probably a greater spread of opinion, but I don't see many examples of saying one thing and doing another.
[brick wall] Listen, it doesn't matter if my more conservative approach to evangelism, for example, differs or not! The point I'm making is that IMO open evangelicals tend to say the same things as con-evos on paper but in practice they do something else. The essential point I'm making is that open-evo praxis tends to inform its theology whereas con-evo theology tends to inform its praxis. I think that is the essential difference between open and conservative evangelicalism. When it comes to pastoral theology, for example, open evangelicals are much more inclined to value pragmatism in favour of the idealism of the conservatives.

The problem I have with this is that open evangelicals still tend to spend time composing doctrinal statements for their websites (about things like human sexuality, the inspiration of scripture etc.) as if they, like their conservative brethren, are motivated by a doctrinal ideal, whereas in reality their doctirne is actually much more fluid and negotiable than a doctrinal statement will allow for.

[ 15. June 2007, 14:59: Message edited by: Call me Numpty ]

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The Revolutionist
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Speaking as an Evangelical, I think that a lot of the time it's just a case of Evangelicals thinking that their understanding of Christianity is true and therefore others are wrong, and being frank enough to say so, but lacking the tact to do this in a way that shows love and makes clear that just because they think you're wrong on something doesn't make you unsaved. It's often just having definite views and being blunt, rather than thinking that others aren't really Christians.

That said, I've definitely come across a few who seem to think that non-Evangelical = non-Christian.

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Jolly Jape
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quote:
Listen, it doesn't matter if my more conservative approach to evangelism, for example, differs or not! The point I'm making is that IMO open evangelicals tend to say the same things as con-evos on paper but in practice they do something else. The essential point I'm making is that open-evo praxis tends to inform its theology whereas con-evo theology tends to inform its praxis. I think that is the essential difference between open and conservative evangelicalism. When it comes to pastoral theology, for example, open evangelicals are much more inclined to value pragmatism in favour of the idealism of the conservatives.
[brick wall] [brick wall] I am listening. I understand perfectly what you are saying, I'm just disputing that what you say is an accurate reflection of reality, that's all. As I've said, opens tend to be less homogeneous in their views than conevos, so what is written in a Fulcrum article may be the view of only the author, or only of a small section of opens. In general, opens who are, for example, positive about same-sex partnerships tend to say that they are positive about same sex partnerships. And, of course, it is also true, IME, that there are a great many closet universalists or near-universalists within con-evo-dom, though you'd hardly guess it from reading Anglican Mainstream.

Of course, I'm not privvy to the heady heights of the world of Graham Kings or Tom Wright, so my experience is, as I say, limited to the local. Most open-evos that I know are considerably more open than are the luminaries of Fulcrum, and are, well, open about it. It may, of course, be different where you are.

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To those who have never seen the flow and ebb of God's grace in their lives, it means nothing. To those who have seen it, even fleetingly, even only once - it is life itself. (Adeodatus)

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daronmedway
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quote:
Originally posted by The Revolutionist:
That said, I've definitely come across a few who seem to think that non-Evangelical = non-Christian.

I wouldn't say that but as open evangelicalism becomes more open I think it would be fair to say that there will come a time when open-evangelicalism isn't actually evangelical. It will be something else. Christian it may well be, but it won't be evangelical Christianity. Why are the proponents so-called open evangelicalsim so keen on holding on to the term 'evangelical' when they are quite 'openly' departingfrom the historical doctirnes of reformed evangelicalism? Why not just Open Anglicansim for example?

So, I'm not saying they're not Christians. I'm asking why open evangelicals don't just admit that they are in fact neo-liberal and post-evangelical and be done with it.

[ 15. June 2007, 15:33: Message edited by: Call me Numpty ]

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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I think that the Revolutionist was talking more generally about conservative evangelical attitudes towards non-evangelicals, rather than open evangelicals. The ones who think, and/or have stated, that people like me, Carys and Callan aren't Christians.

Didn't Bovi whatsit say a few weeks ago that rejection of PSA = rejection of atonement = not a Christian?

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Jolly Jape
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quote:
Originally posted by Call me Numpty:
quote:
Originally posted by The Revolutionist:
That said, I've definitely come across a few who seem to think that non-Evangelical = non-Christian.

I wouldn't say that but as open evangelicalism becomes more open I think it would be fair to say that there will come a time when open-evangelicalism isn't actually evangelical. It will be something else. Christian it may well be, but it won't be evangelical Christianity. Why are the proponents so-called open evangelicalsim so keen on holding on to the term 'evangelical' when they are quite 'openly' departingfrom the historical doctirnes of reformed evangelicalism? Why not just Open Anglicansim for example?

So, I'm not saying they're not Christians. I'm asking why open evangelicals don't just admit that they are in fact neo-liberal and post-evangelical and be done with it.

Well, for myself, I'm not that unhappy with the label of "post-evangelical", but I have stopped referring to myself in that way because it seems too much like defining myself by what I don't believe in, rather than what I do, and anyway, the history of the term carries with it strong associations of cultural, rather than doctrinal/ideological identity. Neo-liberal I would not be happy with, because I just don't see it as an accurate description. Mine is not a Liberal (theologically) understanding of the world. I think "evangelically", I worship "evangelically", my evangelical identity is an important part of who I am. The fact that I have come up with a different set of, for want of a better word, conclusions from my reading of scripture etc, etc is, ISTM, neither here nor there, because the methodology through which God has led me to those beliefs has been an evangelical methodology.

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Custard
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quote:
Originally posted by badman:
It seems that Turnbull and co don't understand the difference either, since Elaine Storkey is being subjected to formal disciplinary proceedings for comments made at an internal meeting.

Just to flag it up - I have no intention of commenting on the internal disciplinary stuff while it is ongoing, but I'm pretty sure that comment is libellous. I doubt you'd get sued, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

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Custard
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In terms of the ongoing issues within evangelicalism, a lot of what Numpty says is wise, with the caveat that I think what he says of open evangelicalism is only true of some open evangelicals and not all of them.

For example, it recently seems to have become acceptable for some "open evangelicals" to describe PSA as "cosmic child abuse". I use this example because of the wide publicity about it.

I can just about get it into my head that some people who think that might be Christians, although because I disagree with them, I will of course think they are wrong. But I don't think they are then evangelical in any meaningful sense of the word.

On the other hand, I know plenty of open evangelicals who think that PSA, when properly phrased, is a valid model of the atonement. That seems to be an evangelical view.

One problem for conservative evangelicals is that the "open evangelical" label seems to include a very wide range of views, from people who are essentially indistinguishable from conservatives (except maybe over their exposition of 1 Timothy 2) to those who seem to deny basic tenets of evangelicalism.

It seems therefore much wiser to just use the word "evangelical" where possible, as tends to be the practice here.

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Stamp thine image in its place.


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Mystery of Faith
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quote:
Originally posted by Custard.:
Just to flag it up - I have no intention of commenting on the internal disciplinary stuff while it is ongoing, but I'm pretty sure that comment is libellous. I doubt you'd get sued, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

Comment/opinion itself isn't libellous. There would really need to be an allegation. So I can say that Mr X is in my opinion useless at his job. If I go on to say that he is useless at his job because he sits at his desk all day reading the newspaper instead of working then that could be libellous if I can't prove it and if Mr X's standing has been damaged as a result of this comment or if he loses his job as a consequence of that comment.

if comment in itself was libellous then the England football manager would be sueing every day. [Smile]

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badman
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quote:
Originally posted by Custard.:
quote:
Originally posted by badman:
It seems that Turnbull and co don't understand the difference either, since Elaine Storkey is being subjected to formal disciplinary proceedings for comments made at an internal meeting.

Just to flag it up - I have no intention of commenting on the internal disciplinary stuff while it is ongoing, but I'm pretty sure that comment is libellous. I doubt you'd get sued, but it's better to be safe than sorry.
Dear me. Is that a threat?

This seems like a cack handed way of saying it isn't true. Is it not true? Turnbull has confirmed that there are disciplinary proceedings on foot, and has declined to comment on the report that they are against Elaine Storkey. I would expect him to have denied it if it was untrue. Is it untrue? He also declined to comment on the report that she is being disciplined for comments made at an internal meeting. Is that not true either? The trouble is, if no-one will say what is going on, they risk being misunderstood.

Believe me, I am very ready to have any misunderstanding on my part corrected. Please go ahead.

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daronmedway
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Jolly Jape said:
quote:
My evangelical identity is an important part of who I am.
I can very much identify with this statement. Having become evangelical through conversion (having been brought up within liberal-catholicism) I have come to value the hertiage of the Puritan tradition within Anglicanism very much indeed.

What I find difficult to understand and accept, however, is when my 'cradle evangelical' colleagues (who are often very ignorant of the doctrinal heritage and distinctives of their own tradition) start tinkering with doctrinal essentials of the tradition in the name of innovation and progress. It really does seem to be a case of familiarity breeding contempt in some cases. It often seems to me that some of these cradle evangelicals don't sufficiently understand the unique doctrinal intergrity of historical evangelicalism. They are like superficial children who, embarrassed by their parents dress-sense, mock the wisdom of experience.

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Nightlamp
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quote:
Originally posted by Custard.:
Just to flag it up - I have no intention of commenting on the internal disciplinary stuff while it is ongoing, but I'm pretty sure that comment is libellous.

Have you put your junior mod hat on or blustering about the law which you obviously know very little?

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I don't know what you are talking about so it couldn't have been that important- Nightlamp

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Oscar the Grouch

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quote:
Originally posted by Dinghy Sailor:
My point, however, was that I hear significantly more liberals complaining about how con-evos say they're Not Proper Christians, than I hear actual con-evos actually saying those words. Most of the time, it's a cheap insult whipped up because it fits well enough on the con-evo foot to be credible most of the time. "Mummy, mummy, the big nasty con-evo just said I'm Not a Proper Christian" sounds far more dramatic than what is usually the more accurate, "Mummy, mummy, that other christian actually DARED to criticise the outworking of my faith in some way!"

Sorry but that is just a load of nonsense.

I've been around evos (con and other) long enough to know that "they're not Proper Christians" is precisely how many con-evos seem to regard non-evo Christians. They show it not just by the dismissive things that they say when they think that they are in safe company, but also by the way that they behave - for example, by avoiding worship with libruls or a-cs for fear of tainting themselves ("we don't do multi-faith worship").

Your denial that this insult regularly happens says more about you than about the truth. It is really rather sad that you have to peddle a lie in order to defend your "side".

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Oscar the Grouch

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quote:
Originally posted by Nightlamp:
Well, well it looks like Ruth Gledhill is supportive of Richard Turnbull. She seems to think it is all about personality and opposition to needed reform at the Hall. Weirdly enough it seems the Students have decided to make the situation worse.
quote:
I've tried to check this version of events with the students themselves, but they've made a decision as a body not to respond to the media on this story, which I understand but I think is a shame.

The open letter which Ruth G refers to is hardly as helpful to Turnbull as it might at first appear. Who are the signatories?

David Banting, Richard Bewes and Richard Williams (from that well-known liberal bastion of Fulwood) are hardly names that come from the wide spectrum of Anglican Evangelicalism. I can't say for sure of the other signatories (though Clive Hawkins is at Eastrop in Basingstoke, which I know is a con-evo church) but these three at least indicate that con-evos are supporting Richard Turnbull. Now there's a surprise!

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Dinghy Sailor

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quote:
Originally posted by Oscar the Grouch:
Sorry but that is just a load of nonsense.

I've been around evos (con and other) long enough to know that "they're not Proper Christians" is precisely how many con-evos seem to regard non-evo Christians. They show it not just by the dismissive things that they say when they think that they are in safe company, but also by the way that they behave - for example, by avoiding worship with libruls or a-cs for fear of tainting themselves ("we don't do multi-faith worship").

Your denial that this insult regularly happens says more about you than about the truth. It is really rather sad that you have to peddle a lie in order to defend your "side".

So Oscar, when precisely were con-evo's my 'side'?
Those who set out to look for witches will find witches everywhere. And you'll find con-evo taunts of 'non-christian' everywhere, because you look for them everywhere. I'd say that the Revolutionist has it right, and a lot of con-evos are simply lacking in tact. But then, you can talk; the first page of this thread was mainly made up of cautious 'wait and see' comments, till you came wading in blithely telling everyone that Turnbull is a dominating bully who shouldn't be let near a theologial college. Those who live in glass houses...

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Emma Louise

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In my experience it isnt a case of *looking* for taunts of "non-Christian". (I still don't get why we would *want* to claim taunts if they wont there or why you are so keen to claim they arent there despite many people on this thread claiming firsthand experience of such things.) I didnt "look" for it, i was part of it in my past and now get frustrated by it when I see it these days. Thats very different to looking for it. Oscar said it better than me.

Anyway I guess those of us that have had that experience will go on believing that, and you will go on thinking conevos dont do that - fine... lets go back to wycliffe?

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Dinghy Sailor

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quote:
Originally posted by Emma.:
In my experience it isnt a case of *looking* for taunts of "non-Christian". (I still don't get why we would *want* to claim taunts if they wont there or why you are so keen to claim they arent there despite many people on this thread claiming firsthand experience of such things.) I didnt "look" for it, i was part of it in my past and now get frustrated by it when I see it these days. Thats very different to looking for it. Oscar said it better than me.

Anyway I guess those of us that have had that experience will go on believing that, and you will go on thinking conevos dont do that - fine... lets go back to wycliffe?

And there you go again - reading the worst into what people say. Or in this case, not reading what I actually posted. Of course some con-evos spend some of their time telling other Christians that they're not! I said so before in reply to your earlier post!

Why did you choose to ignore that? I can only surmise that it's for the same reason that "con-evos think liberals aren't christians" has become a cliche which is used for far more situations than are justified. It's becuase it creates a straw man which is easy to knock down. Any sensible person would dismiss my views if they were constantly delusional, and also the views of evangelicalism, if it homogenously dismissed non-evos and non-christian. The problem here is that neither is true.

Anyway Emma, sine you've brought up 'sides', I didn't have you down as belonging to any particular side. Which would you place yourself on?

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Emma Louise

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I don't think its a straw man issue, but sadly a reality of many peoples experiences. I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

As for "sides" it depends whether you are talking about Wycliffe/ calling liberals non christian/ self-identification.

In answer to your question, I think my self-identification depends on the situation I am in, with the recognition that different people interpret "evangelical/conevo/openevo;liberal" differently.

Prior to uni I would probably have just said "evangelical". Non-christian background, became a Christian in a fairly run-of-the-mill baptist church. I think most/many people in that setting (average spring harvest/soul survivour type bunch) would have said if pushed that probably most Catholics werent nec Christian but of course we cant really say...(aka Gorden Cheng). It was certainly widely believed that liturgical churches were full of people that just "went on sundays because that was what you did".

At uni I initially self identified as conevo. I think thats because at that young age I was very much affected by my background (previous teaching/experiences in church etc).

After studying theology and becoming more aware of varying perspectives I would probably self describe as open-evangelical.

When I was at Wycliffe (by proxy, was dating someone there) it was the strict conevos that made me realise that that wasnt the group I fitted in with. The CU could at times be v.scary and I regularly heard that Catholics weren't Christians/ people from my church weren't "sound" etc. Through studying theology I came to the belief that the Bible doesnt always "clearly say" xyz and I couldnt be conevo with integrity. I guess I'm postevo or openevo.

I'll happily take the discussion to Pms in order not toderail if you like? It may just be that we see things differently.

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Oscar the Grouch

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quote:
Originally posted by Dinghy Sailor:
the first page of this thread was mainly made up of cautious 'wait and see' comments, till you came wading in blithely telling everyone that Turnbull is a dominating bully who shouldn't be let near a theologial college. Those who live in glass houses...

Of course! This is all MY fault! All the unpleasantness is because I dared to say something that wasn't 100% nice. So sorry folks!

But just consider this - perhaps when I said he was a bully, I wasn't throwing mindless accusations around but was reflecting some genuine knowledge about the matter. Can I just ask a question? Have you ever met the man? I have - more than once. And - let us not forget - it is not only me who has said this about him. Read the various letters and articles and one thing comes through very clear - his style of leadership and management (especially when dealing with people who do not agree with him) is highly questionable.

But don't let that inconvenient idea get in the way of your lovely theory. Don't let it trouble your mind for one moment.

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Pokrov
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Having been involved with Newfrontiers I agree that there is realignment going on within some parts of evangelicalism towards a sort of 'Charismatic-Reformed' fusion. I'm not sure just how much true agreement there is between full blown Charismatic Restorationists and Puritan-minded Calvinists, but it's probably a case of my 'enemies enemy is my friend' going on.

The Open Evangelicals provide an opposition around which both parties can unite - if there wasn't this 'foe' to react against I just wonder how much agreement the Charismatics and Cessionalists would have...

Also, inherent within this new fusion is a very powerful self-conception of male led, directive (and authoritarian) leadership. This is no surprise given the 'headship' theology of the restorationists and the particular form of 'male headship' which the neo-puritans articulate (I say this because there are other traditions, for example Orthodoxy, which also support male only priests, but which seem to be able to avoid the toxicity of the 'Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood' version).

What I'm saying is that it comes as no surprise (having seen some quite bullying leadership within NFI) to hear that Richard Turnbull expresses his leadership in this manner.

I also think that this is case of bad theology distorting human behaviour. I have no personal knowledge of Richard Turnbull and suspect that he can most engaging and lovely in many circumstances, but that there is a rotten stream of the 'theology of leadership' (which is tied in with the wider worlds understanding of 'leadership') at work in his own self-conceptions.

It seems servant/self-sacrificial leadership isn't so 'in vogue' these days.

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GrahamR
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I'm at one of the "4" theological colleges, where there are both conservative and open evangelicals. I'd dispute the natural linking of conservative and charismatic. Yes, there are many con evos who are charismatic as well (and probably most of the New Wine leadership is more con than open), but there are also many open and charismatic evos.

On a different point- a couple of my (male) fellow ordinands had interviews at Wycliffe, and the main thing that put them off was Turnbull's attitude...

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Posts: 184 | From: UK | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged
Johnny S
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# 12581

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quote:
Originally posted by Richard Collins:
It seems servant/self-sacrificial leadership isn't so 'in vogue' these days.

That's a cheap jibe Richard. I've never met Turnball so this is nothing about him (maybe he is a lousy leader?) but I think you are riding the wrong wave of current opinion.

I fully agree that servant leadership is what is called for, the question is - what does it look like? We have become a nation of commentators (exhibit A = the ship). When the England football team play we have millions of pundits and no one who actually plays the game. My wife had coffee with some school mums yesterday and they spent the whole time complaining about the head. We have just received an ofsted report which is so good it is embarrasing - particularly praising the head. But no, he's been there too long, he's too this and too that.

Whatever the case at Wycliffe (I don't know, I'm not anglican) my observation is that we suffer from the tall poppy syndrome. We like the kind of servant leadership when Jesus washes our feet but are not so keen on throwing the money changers out of the temple. Good leadership = keeping everyone happy; bad leadership = daring to head in one particular direction (as opposed to all at the same time [Big Grin] ). I'd say that about liberal colleges / churches as much as I would about evangelical ones. I feel for Turnball, as I feel for Rowan Williams, they have difficult jobs - trying to be leaders in a society of commentators. I admire anyone these days who dares to put his / her head above the parapet. I pay far more attention to the views of people who actually get on and 'do' it than those who just talk about it. (Hence, personally, I would agree that ministry / college experience is essential for a Principal.)

I too long for servant leadership to be modelled in the church. I, like you I know, look to Christ as our example - "... a man of integrity ... you aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are." (Matthew 22: 16)

Men and women who don't engage in 'politics' but humbly serve Christ's body. Let's pray for that!

As I said, I'm not saying this about Wycliffe in particular, but you made the mistake of giving me the chance of getting this off my chest. So thanks Richard!

Sorry about all that ... rant over! [Hot and Hormonal]

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Dinghy Sailor

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# 8507

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quote:
Originally posted by Oscar the Grouch:
Of course! This is all MY fault!

ALL your fault? Oscar, cut it with the simplistic absolutism. It bears no relation to reality, and makes you look like the worst sort of con-evo.

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Preach Christ, because this old humanity has used up all hopes and expectations, but in Christ hope lives and remains.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Pokrov
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# 11515

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Graham,

I think (from my time within Charismaticism) it's important to distinguish the 'Restorationist' form and the 'Wimber' form.

Both like upbeat and band-led worship, both enjoy waving hands in the air, both use tongues and prophecy. The difference relates to how each understands the role of leadership within the church, as well as the extent of 'inter-relationship' between themselves and other 'churches'.

I would say that one fusion is specifically between the Puritian-form of protestant/reformed theology and Restorationist-style charismaticism (and ecclesiology).

It's a potent mix and well 'packaged' and 'exported' (take at look at the NFI annual 'leaders conference' and the planned 'New Word Alive' conference).

The natural 'antithesis' of this fusion is the alternative fusion of liberalised/catholicised evangelicalism with 'wimber-style' charismaticism. Of course there is some overlap on a number of issues, but I do think these two positions describe a polarity within modern western evangelicalism.

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Most Holy Theotokos pray for us!

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