The Problem with Rowan Williams

From Australian theologian Ben Myers who writes at the blog Faith and Theology:

It is often said that Williams is an unusual churchman – too scholarly, too ponderous, too sensitive to complexity – but it should equally be said that he is an unusual scholar. Although he has made important contributions to several academic disciplines – not only theology but also history, political philosophy and literary criticism – his deepest commitment has always been to the cultivation of community rather than to any particular intellectual project.

If his critics complained that he was an unusually academic archbishop, Cambridge will also find him to be an unusually priestly scholar.

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What Space Must the Church Occupy?

by Craig Wong 

At a 50th birthday party my dear wife recently threw for me, Pastor Bill Betts waxed eloquent about the “Greek, Roman, and Jewish phases of our lives.” The first phase swirls with lofty idealisms…dreams about our future and the world we hope to change. The second is where we take on the world with concrete energy, striving to make our mark. It is in the Jewish phase, however, when we realize that, when all is said and done, it is our friendships, family traditions, how we’ve lived our lives with one another that ultimately matters. Bill’s words provided food for thought for many of us that day.

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Why Do We Build the Wall?

EP endorser Tony Hunt offers this meditation on a theme from this past summer’s gathering:

Immigration, the Church, and Hadestown

Since the Ekklesia Project Gathering this summer, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on how immigration is explored by one of the better records of 2010: Anais Mitchell’s Hadestown, a folk opera that reinterprets the classical story of Eurydice and Orpheus. Read more

The Far Country

EP endorser Matt Morin preached this sermon not long after the Summer Gathering: Immigration meets the Parable of the Prodigal Son.

Luke 15:11-32; Ephesians 2:11-22

The fifteenth chapter of Luke’s gospel begins with a group of scribes and Pharisees grumbling about Jesus’s habit of becoming friends with social outcasts: “This fellow welcomes law-breakers and eats with them.”

It might be tempting for us file this episode under the heading of “pride” and use it to repeat the old trope about self-righteous Pharisees: “There they go again, those elitist Pharisees—always thinking they are better than everybody else, when in fact they are sinners just like the rest of us.”

Or, it might be tempting for us to file this episode under the heading of “nice” and use it to repeat the old trope about everybody’s friend Jesus: “There he goes again, that Jesus—always kind, always accepting of everyone he meets.”

And yet, to read the story in this way—either as an example of individual pride by the Pharisees or as a display of sentimental kindness by Jesus—is really to have the story read us; it is to be shown by our own words what really matters to us; it is to find exactly what we had hoped to find in God’s word. So to whatever extent we are tempted to give an individualistic and moralistic interpretation of this Scripture is the extent to which we must reject such an interpretation. For surely nothing could make us happier than to hear a quick sermon asking us to try a little harder to not be so full of ourselves, and to try a little harder to be nicer—and then to go about our business as usual until next week. Read more