Then decided to check out the comments in the queue on Friday’s sermon and found them to include some interesting dialogue with this familiar pattern:
It seems that if one makes the assertion that Anglican comprehensiveness has historically extended to include a wide breadth of theological perspectives AND if one happens to espouse a perspective disagreed with by certain members of the self-styled "Royal Order of Defenders of Orthodoxy" one finds oneself being asked to defend one's position as if it were a doctoral dissertation. At least.
So here's an Easter Monday News Flash regarding theology:
It's all our best guess, anyway.
It's called the mystery of faith for a reason:
Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.
And Augustine's definition of theology that has stood the test of time is FAITH SEEKING UNDERSTANDING.
It's not PEOPLE WITH THE "REAL" UNDERSTANDING SEEKING WAYS TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE WITH OTHER UNDERSTANDINGS GET IT "RIGHT."
As I said on Friday, if the theory of substitutionary atonement works for you as a way of understanding the saving grace of of God in Christ Jesus then party on.
But the Good Friday News Flash is that there are people of faith whose faith have led them to OTHER understandings -- and that didn't start at EDS in the '70's.
Those understandings are as old as the 1st century and as new as yesterday. And for ANY of us to have the hubris to think that we -- in our finite, puny, striving-to-be-faithful-and-screwing-up-anyway, pick-ourselves-up-and-start-over-again selves -- have such sole possession of the Absolute Truth that if someone doesn't pass our theology quiz they don't get to pass "Go" and collect Eternal Life, well ... let's just say that bears no resemblance whatsoever to anything historically Anglican.
So here's my radical Easter Monday suggestion: What if we worked ... maybe just try it out for these next 50 Days of Easter ... to all become a little more Elizabethan in our Anglicanism?
What if we could take on the discipline of worrying less about what was going on in other "men's souls" (in a more gender-inclusive 21st century kind of way) and worried more about where the fruits of the Spirit were blooming in our own.
You remember them, don't you? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?
Happy Easter, everybody. All 50 Days of It. And may YOUR faith seeking understanding continue to give you the grace to walk in love as Christ loved us -- and gave himself for us to show us how to love one another!