Soundbites and Little Else – Liberals and Theological Debate

February 17th, 2010 Posted in Theology |

The Revd David Ouldby David Ould, Stand Firm

This lack of proper engagement and even fair representation has led to a theologically illiterate church. But illiteracy is always the preferred option if you don’t like what you read – especially in the Scriptures.


I think what disappoints me most in what passes for theological debate on the interweb and related media is the paucity of actual engagement with what the other side are arguing. A classic example can be seen in the recentGuardian: Comment is Free piece by Christina Rees, chair of WATCH (Women and the Church) entitled, “Faith in the future“.Just check out this sample of blatant misrepresentation:

It is a testament to the women who sit on the revision committee that they have listened with graciousness to some of their colleagues earnestly arguing for places of sanctuary where they could be protected from the ministry of women. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad.

The observation is made repeatedly that if one were to replace the word “women” in these discussions with “black” or even “French”, the breathtaking offence of these views would become obvious. This verbal offence indicates a much deeper issue: females are still considered by some to be unable to represent Christ at the altar and as not being made fully in the image of God.

Of course, this is denied by the men and women who oppose women’s ordination. They cite tradition, as if that has remained static over the past 2,000 years, and ecclesiology, as if the Church of England’s relationship with some other churches is more important than what it understands to be true.

Where does one start? I think at the end, since it demonstrates the real issue going on here. Rees argues that the conservative position is an appeal to tradition – but it’s not, is it? It’s fundamentally an appeal to Scripture – which is bolstered by the testimony of tradition.

Read here

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