How does a vision of a thick civic culture relate first to the policy of allowing for religious tax exemption, and then to the question of whether churches ought to allow their clergy to sign marriage licenses?
Lots of Episcopalians, lay and ordained, seem to think they know what confirmation is, but our canons and liturgical forms are, at best, ambiguous, and there’s nothing approaching broad agreement about how to interpret them.
I think that we have given the idea of lowering expectations about Christian identity and catechesis at the point of entry a thorough exploration over the past fifty years or so. The 1979 Prayer Book calls us to a different standard, to live more fully into the church’s vocation as a baptizing community.
Judgment is not a topic the church often wants to contemplate, but it is not one we can avoid. How can we understand the dialectic of God’s judgment and mercy at the final coming of Christ so that divine judgment — and not just the hope of avoiding it — is for us something to be desired, not just feared?
Expansive language presses against the limits of the worst habits of our theological imaginations, especially, for instance, assuming we know what a word like “father” means.