It pays to know the history of occult science in order to see that the latest science-and-religion dialogue will likely produce an occult theory. After all, occultism stands at the intersection of science and religion, being naturalistic without being materialistic. Theologians don’t always know the occult implication of their projects.
Mercy provides catholic Anglicans a way to challenge our Protestant brethren with a hermeneutic that is grounded throughout the witness of Scripture (including St. Paul, especially if one reads “grace” as an aspect God’s merciful response to the human condition), is firmly rooted in theological reflections on the Trinity (Kasper especially leans on St. Augustine), and dynamically connects the relationship of the believer to God in Christ with the relationship that disciples are called to share with their neighbors and the political arrangements that are most conducive to human flourishing.
The organizers of Lambeth 2020 have many difficult matters to tackle. But the gross disparity between the number of worshipers in the different dioceses is a question that needs to be faced. As things stand, the net result is continuing to privilege the voices of small numbers of white Westerners while side-lining swaths of the most missional and poorest Christians in the Anglican Communion.
The only access we have to Jesus is through the Christ who is the object of our faith — the Christ who lived and died and rose for us, who intercedes for us as our Great High Priest, and who will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. It is alone through Jesus Christ that we have any knowledge of Jesus of Nazareth.
The irony for the officiant is that the only way to promote harmony among the various voices at prayer is to focus on their own. The role of the officiant is to pray through the chaos so the chaos can eventually find order through the prayers. The officiant must be attentive to all who are praying, but not at the expense of their own prayers.
It could be argued that if we had all gone home after voting on these affirmations, much of the pain that resulted from General Synod’s other decisions could have been avoided and we may have been the better for it. But as it happened, we proceeded to the debate and vote on the marriage canon amendment, the failure of which unleashed an avalanche of protest, accusation, and ill will that in many ways will form the lasting characterization of General Synod 2019 for many of those who were present.
To be sure, Springsteenism is an ambiguous religiosity. Springsteen, as Roops pronounces, “knows everything you’ve ever felt … and he can describe it better for you.” His music allows one to see the depth and profundity in ordinary life — to see even father-son conflict as “something as old as time,” as Manzoor says, and to respond with empathy. Springsteen himself is a role model of uncommon decency.
Sometimes a strange word in a Bible reading or a liturgical text may be a stumbling block to one “almost persuaded” (Acts 26:28). We discover new things in old texts, or hear words intended for building up used only to tear down. Just how much time do we have to explain in an age of shortened attention spans and sporadic Sunday attendance?