Sunday, August 1, 2010


There have been on some conservative blogs in Anglican cyberspace assertions that the Episcopal Church's Presiding Bishop has denied the divinity of Christ and the resurrection. I responded to the challenge to read a very lengthy analysis of some of the Presiding Bishop's statements. The writer of that analysis concluded that while Bishop Jefferts Schori had not actually denied that Jesus is divine or rose from the dead, her statements could lead - by what I saw as a convoluted path - to an implicit denial of the two doctrines.

The assertions raise the question of how much theological diversity is possible within the Episcopal Church.  It seems obvious that there are boundaries, that there are theological positions that are out-of-bounds. However the discerning of exactly where the boundaries are is not simple. Thoughtful and faithful Episcopalians will disagree about whether a way of understanding the atonement or the person of the Christ is beyond the boundaries. I have, for example, been told that my rejection of Anselm's theory of the atonement puts my understanding of the atonement out-of-bounds. 

I recognize that others have in their minds placed the boundary for theological diversity where I wouldn't and that there will always be arguments about boundaries. My hope is that we can recognize these differences, not as matters of bad faith, but as honest disagreements among sisters and brothers in Christ, disagreements that need no lead to separation, but to continued discussion and, perhaps, deeper respect for one another, 

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