Anglican Samizdat

January 14, 2010

Anglican Think Tank helps Anglicans think more clearly about their faith

Filed under: Anglican Church of Canada — David @ 4:12 pm
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It does, really; it says so here:

For 15 years the Primate’s Theological Commission (PTC) has helped Canadian Anglicans think more clearly about their faith. The current team of 12 theologians will hold their last meeting from Jan. 20 to 23 in Niagara Falls, Ont. After that, the commission will be on hiatus as the Primate discerns how best to approach future theological work.

The PTC’s past work has been influential. Since 1995 it has served as a kind of think tank, offering theological insights for the Anglican Church of Canada to mull over-on sex, culture, nature, and even farming.

It all began with the Book of Alternative Services. As theologians and liturgists were putting together this material in the early 1990s, they realized that important questions kept arising, such as, “how is God feminine?” and “what does it mean to have an Indigenous theology?”

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, the Primate, offered these thoughts:  “We sometimes pray that the church will never be destitute of scholars and people who spend a lifetime reading, learning, reflecting, writing and sharing their wealth of experience and expertise with the church for the good of the church. That’s what the Primate’s Theological Commission has done,” he said.

If it hadn’t been for the lifetime of learning of these 12 theologians, the question, “how is God feminine?” may never have come up and then where would we be?

8 Comments

  1. “It all began with the Book of Alternative Services. As theologians and liturgists were putting together this material in the early 1990s, they . . ”

    The BAS was establishing itself in the mid 1980′s – surely they mean early 1980′s. Or even ’70′s? [I know, picky, picky!]

    Comment by Margo — January 14, 2010 @ 5:55 pm

  2. As this PTC is headed by a woman pretending to be a Priest I can only conclude that it is at best a waste of time and effort, but more likely will only lead many Anglicans further and further away from the Truth of God. For when the Holy Bible itself makes it perfectly clear that it is the Will of God that His Priests be all men why would any Church allow otherwise?

    Furthermore, that BAS is a very poor excuse for a Prayer and Service Book. It was a huge mistake right from the biginning. The ACoC would be wise to trash the BAS and return to the BCP as soon as possible.

    Comment by AMPisAnglican — January 15, 2010 @ 9:40 am

  3. “For when the Holy Bible itself makes it perfectly clear that it is the Will of God that His Priests be all men why would any Church allow otherwise?”

    It doesn’t make it perfectly clear at all.

    Comment by Kate — January 15, 2010 @ 12:15 pm

  4. AMPisAnglican (#2), even if you can make a reasonable argument from Scripture that a woman should not hold the office of elder (I’m staying out of that argument on this thread), it does not logically follow that what a woman in such an office says or writes is false. To suggest otherwise undermines your credibility.

    Comment by Warren — January 15, 2010 @ 12:42 pm

  5. From the King James Version: 1 Timothy 3.2
    “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach”

    And also 1 Timothy 3.12
    “Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.”

    Seems pretty clear to me that you can only be a husband if you are a man.

    Also from
    http://catholicism.about.com/b/2008/05/30/reader-question-why-cant-a-woman-be-a-priest.htm
    which provides this explanation:

    In fact, the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches believe, as a matter of doctrine, that the priesthood is more than a function. The Sacrament of Holy Orders–ordination–confers an indelible (permanent) spiritual character on the man who receives it. From that point on, he acts in persona Christi–in the person of Christ. Since Christ is a man, only men can take on such a character.
    This is confirmed by the fact that Christ chose only men as His Apostles (the first priests and bishops), and those Apostles chose only men as their successors. Those who favor women’s ordination often try to claim that this was merely a reflection of the attitudes of the time. This assumes that Christ was either disrespectful of women Himself, or somehow unable to overcome the social norms of the time in which He lived. Either claim approaches blasphemy against the Son of God.

    Comment by AMPisAnglican — January 15, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

  6. AMPisAnglican (#5), I don’t know if your comment was aimed at me. If it was, you missed (or ignored) my point. If it wasn’t, ignore the preceding.

    With respect to the case you are arguing, are you as dogmatic on ensuring a candidate for elder meets the requirements of 1 Timothy 3:1-7 as you are that he be a man? If you knew a priest who failed to meet all of these requirements, would you be as fastidious in denouncing him as you would in denouncing a woman priest?

    By the way, I believe that the following statement:

    In fact, the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches believe, as a matter of doctrine, that the priesthood is more than a function. The Sacrament of Holy Orders–ordination–confers an indelible (permanent) spiritual character on the man who receives it. From that point on, he acts in persona Christi–in the person of Christ. Since Christ is a man, only men can take on such a character.

    reflects man’s thinking and inventions and has no scriptural basis. There are far too many examples that show that ordained clergy have no “indelible (permanent) spiritual character” different from that of any other believer. I’m sure you’ve figured this out, but I don’t accept the authority of the Pope.

    Comment by Warren — January 15, 2010 @ 2:09 pm

  7. Hello Warren (6)

    Perhaps it is because the Anglican Church of Canada has not been strict enough in remaining compliant with the Word of God that it finds itself in so much trouble now. I believe that not enforcing 1 Timothy 3 is a big part of the ACoC problem. So of course after several decades of this heresy it is extremely difficult to find an ACoC priest that fulfills all of the God given requirements. Now with so many priests in ACoC who can’t claim to be legitimate when confronted with Holy Scripture, they are forced to downplay or belittle the Word of God and elevate secularism.

    And shouldn’t the Church follow the example set by Christ himself? Does it not say a great deal that Christ himself chose only men to be His desciples?

    Comment by AMPisAnglican — January 15, 2010 @ 2:25 pm

  8. AMPisAnglican (#7), sadly, I think is hard to find a significant number of clergy in any denomination who fulfill all of the “God-given requirements”. That said, those requirements are a high bar to jump over and I doubt that anyone could meet them perfectly over the long term. We all fall short of the glory of God.

    With respect to the roles of men and women, I am sympathetic to the complementarian position, but am not highly dogmatic about it. That’s as far as I’m prepared to go on this thread.

    Comment by Warren — January 15, 2010 @ 2:35 pm


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