Anglican Samizdat

April 6, 2010

Why are churches really being closed in the Diocese of BC?

Filed under: Diocese of BC — David Jenkins @ 6:39 pm

The reason the Anglican Church of Canada is coming apart at the seams is that it still adheres (rather tenuously, I suspect) to the historic doctrine of original sin – so says Rev. Derek Dunwoody in the august organ (page 8 ) of the Diocese of BC:

It is obvious that the majority of Canadians have long ago given up buying into the mindset required by the concept of Original Sin. So, I would add, have many if not most of the remaining members of the Diocese of British Columbia. We have outgrown our allegiance to this capricious, petty and easily offended God. The leadership of the diocese needs to recognize this fact and cease to blast us with a stentorian old paradigm style of evangelistic rhetoric.

So there you have it: the Diocese of BC should toss out original sin, then we don’t need salvation or atonement or Jesus dying on the cross or Jesus’ resurrection or churches in which to worship him. We might as well close all the churches – British Columbia: the first sin-free province in Canada.



  1. Having just had a conversation today with my dental hygienist (in between the cleanings!), I disagree with Mr. Dunwoody. Raised strongly Anglican (and now in another denomination) she was aghast that ‘sin’ has been downgraded out of existence. She was also horrified at the thought that some in the church did not accept Jesus’ resurrection as a bodily material one – and that the Virgin birth was considered so much ‘myth’.
    I suspect that most people think of ‘sin’ in its true meaning – but are thankful that the church would like to obliterate it – which in no way removes the guilt of committing it. And they know it.

    Comment by Margo — April 6, 2010 @ 10:09 pm

  2. Coincidentally I had my teeth cleaned today too. I didn’t get to the question of sin with my hygienist, though; all I managed was a few gurglings between scrapes.

    Comment by David — April 6, 2010 @ 11:07 pm

  3. Page one where all the announcements of the staff lay offs is really where it is at. Maybe when Ingham (or who ever takes over after he has left with his retirement package) turns out the lights and closes the last door in the diocese will someone twig and think that maybe all that “Progressive Innovation” of the last forty years had something to do with this? Nah don’t believe it. Never will cross their minds.

    Comment by obituary — April 7, 2010 @ 6:37 am

  4. “We have outgrown our allegiance to this capricious, petty and easily offended God”

    What is this retired Priest Dunwoody saying?!?!?!?
    It sounds like he is saying that we no longer need to Worship God because we have “outgrown” him!?!?! That we no longer need to worry about sin!?!?!
    No wonder his church has nothing to offer.

    Comment by AMPisAnglican — April 7, 2010 @ 8:24 am

  5. It appears that Dunwoody is just a disciple of Pelagius. There is nothing new under the sun.

    Comment by Warren — April 7, 2010 @ 2:24 pm

  6. Maybe I should add Gnosticism to Pelagianism. One Amazon reviewer of the book Dunwoody promotes – Encountering the Wisdom Jesus – entitles his review An informative introduction into a gnostic understanding of Jesus Christ. He gives the book five stars, and presumably approves of the gnostic approach.

    Comment by Warren — April 7, 2010 @ 2:47 pm

  7. You just can’t make this stuff up. LOL.

    Comment by Gawk — April 7, 2010 @ 11:18 pm

  8. Just to clarify (#3)… Bishop Michael Ingham is bishop of the Diocese of New Westminster (which encompassed Vancouver, BC and surrounding area). Bishop James Cowan is bishop of the Diocese of British Columbia (which is Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands). Very confusing.

    Comment by Joy — April 9, 2010 @ 8:29 pm

  9. It is disappointing that this diocese, on the edge of the country, is so mired in outdated atonement theology. Derek Dunwoody’s longing for the wisdom theology of Jesus is appropriate and timely. The various writers he mentions seem to be unheard of in this place. Instead, the schizophrenic call to a post-Christian church while maintaining out-dated theology is confusing and conflicted. Dunwoody’s article in the Diocesan Post is worthy of serious consideration.

    Comment by joan lawrence — April 21, 2010 @ 2:45 pm

  10. Joan,

    Excuse my simple-minded approach, but if Jesus’ atonement for our sins actually happened, how could it ever be outdated?

    If it didn’t happen, why pay particular – or indeed any – attention to what Jesus said or did? He would merely be a dead Jewish eccentric who made extravagantly wild claims about himself. Hardly an incentive to get out of bed on Sunday morning to attend one of BC’s rapidly emptying churches.

    Comment by David — April 21, 2010 @ 2:54 pm

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