Monday, March 19, 2007

Cranmer’s Pulpit


His Grace has observed the propensity of certain of his communicants to deviate from the subject matter of his posts, and pursue – how shall he put it? - a dialogue of creative relevance, yet of doubtless import to themselves. Mindful of the spiritual liberation afforded by his own pulpit experience with the Provost of Eton, Dr Henry Cole (illustrated above, on that fateful day soon to be commemorated), His Grace has decided that there shall be an occasional ‘open thread’ for his communicants to raise whatever religio-political or politico-religious concerns they do so wish.

This henceforth shall be known as Cranmer’s Pulpit.

Over to you…

34 Comments:

Anonymous billy said...

Good Morning Your Grace
I would still like an answer to this question:
....... if Christianity is right why do we bother pretending that other 'faiths' are of any worth at all?

Is this a suitable place to ask?
I cannot get a straight answer from my vicar. Lovely man though he is he seems fearful of suggesting that other'faiths' may be wrong.

19 March 2007 at 07:23  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Billy,

This is precisely the pulpit in which to ask.

His Grace believes the answer may be found in Acts 4:12. There is, therefore, no point pretending otherwise.

19 March 2007 at 07:27  
Blogger Ian Hall said...

Cranmer is correct in directing Billy to Acts 4:12
If Billy's minister is unable to accept the truth of this scripture then Billy would be wise to find a minister and a church which does.

19 March 2007 at 08:46  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

Other faiths must (from the Christian point of view) be wrong to some degree, or at least inadequate, but that need not mean that they are worthless. They, like Judaism, may serve as "tutors and governors" (acts 4.2) to prepare us to accept the full faith. (Acts 4.12).

19 March 2007 at 10:24  
Anonymous peter said...

(Submitted earlier, didn't appear, submitted again. Apologies if this turns out to be a double post)

I am a regular reader of this website but here goes my first foray into participation.

I would be interested in comments on the video linked to below, which I received in an email this morning (don't worry, nothing visually offensive)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnjpgw91CXQ

I found it somewhat alarming. Does His Grace agree?

-Pete

19 March 2007 at 10:43  
Blogger Sir Henry Morgan said...

Disturbing - even for me and I'm broadminded about these things.

We are governed by lunatics.

Has there been a discussion on this site about the requirement for obedience to the Law? Should we have such a discussion?

I seem to recall back in the 70s we lionised those Russians who defied the law in the Soviet Union, yet here, people who defy the law out of conscience are demonised. And I'm not talking of people who commit such things as burglary or assault.

Is there sometimes a DUTY to defy the law?

19 March 2007 at 12:11  
Blogger wrinkled weasel said...

If the disciples had clubbed together and bought Jesus a new pair of sandals, as a surprise, would the Lord have feigned surprise at seeing the new sandals (since he would have had foreknowledge of this gesture) or merely said, "Oh yes, I knew you were going to get me sandals," or castigated the disciples for not getting him trendy German Birkenstocks?

Was there a vegetarian option at the feeding of the 5000?

19 March 2007 at 13:58  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Peter,

Welcome to His Grace's august blog.

He has considered the YouTube excerpt, and is aware of the immense concerns of many teachers (not simply those who profess a faith) on the matter. Sex education is already alarmingly deficient in the UK, and there is every reason to be concerned that this sort of exploit is simply ignorance reinforcing ignorance. It is, essentially, propaganda to achieve a monochrome view of sexual identity, to eradicate dissent, and to alienate those who refuse to conform.

His Grace knows well the price of non-conformity, and he exhorts all of his communicants to pass Mr Peter's YouTube excerpt on to the world and his dog (who needs to be fully informed of the imminent compulsory bestiality regulations)...

19 March 2007 at 17:13  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Taxi Quiz on Kabel 1 TV illustrates German ignorance about Britain (which is actually profound)


Asked in which country The Anglican Church was the Established Church....the female contestant took time before deciding it was USA......when confronted with the answer "Great Britain" she responded it could not be as they were all Roman Catholic


It is hard to unravel so much ignorance - of the 1st Amendment; of the difference between England and Great Britain; and any understanding of The Reformation....not to mention the meaning of "Anglican" not being "American"

19 March 2007 at 19:10  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

A pulpit. I'm most impressed Cranmer.

Since this is an 'open thread', I would like to raise an issue which may be of interest to communicants on this blog.
I received a piece of paper (on Friday I believe it was) by someone who found it and thought the information on this paper would be of interest to me. The paper titled 'Abrogation of verses in the Quran' (something along those lines), stated that some of the verses in the Quran had been replaced by others and the Quran therefore contradicted itself. This person (I don't know who wrote this on the paper), believed that God was prone to make mistakes and must therefore need to be corrected.

What this person obviously didn't realise, was that the verses which were being referred to in the Quran in the following passage "When we abrogate any ayat (verse), or cause it to be forgotten, we produce a better one, or an equal one" 2:106, were not verses from the Quran itself, but reference to the previous verses revealed by God to his earlier prophets i.e. the Torah and Bible.

Well, I wrote my contribution on the paper and left it on the desk from where it was found, in the hope that maybe the person who wrote it would find it and consider my opinion.

Does anyone wish to differ or are we all in agreement with me?

19 March 2007 at 19:28  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I shall differ with you since the reference is to The Satanic Verses

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satanic_Verses

19 March 2007 at 22:43  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

Wikipedia, what an interesting (and most authentic?) source to reference from.

Well since you have made use of Wikipedia, allow me to make reference to it also. In wikipedia, the following is said of the Satanic Verses: "At its centre is the episode of the "Satanic Verses", in which the "Messenger" first pronounces a revelation in favor of the polytheistic deities of pre-Islamic Mecca in order to placate and win over the population, but later renounces this revelation as an error induced by Satan".

Firstly, this website gives no direct reference to specific verses from the Quran.
Secondly, it most certainly does not give reference to the verse I had quoted above.
Thirdly, at one point the Islamosceptics state that the verse I quoted referrs to current verses in the Quran. Now you're say no it's referring to Satanic verses which arn't even in the Quran. Make your minds up!

20 March 2007 at 06:53  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

P.S. Whilst we're on the topic of religious scripture, I would like to ask a question to anyone who is willing to answer. In fact, I've tried many a time to speak to any Christian I can find, who may be able to answer this, but no one seems to give me an adequate answer.

Question: What makes Jesus the Son of God?

Now you may argue, 'Jelly Bean you idiot! It's quite clearly stated in the Bible that Jesus is the Son of God'.
But then I would argue, so is David "Thou (O David) art my son..."
Of course then you may argue, 'yes but Jesus is the 'begotten' son of God'.
TO this I would argue, 'I know! But so is David "Thou (O David) art my son; this day have I (God) begotten thee."

So tell me, is the 'holy trinity' truly a trio or have you accidentaly left poor David out?!

20 March 2007 at 07:06  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Wikipedia, what an interesting (and most authentic?) source to reference from.

OH you want the other references ? I shall try to oblige.

You would not find these verses in The Koran because they were removed as you do not understand........since the whole book was purged by one of the early adherents who wanted all competing versions eradicated to produce one version

20 March 2007 at 07:13  
Anonymous Voyager said...

http://www.muhammadanism.org/Quran/SatanicVerses.htm

http://www.answering-islam.org/Responses/Saifullah/sverses.htm#part2

Question: What makes Jesus the Son of God?

When you find out MIss Jelly Bean you will be on the path to Redemption. Asking the question shows how far you have steayed from it.........read Pilgrim's Progress and find a character to identyify with

20 March 2007 at 07:17  
Anonymous The Clarendon Code said...

So tell me, is the 'holy trinity' truly a trio or have you accidentaly left poor David out?!

Define Trinitarianism Miss Jelly Bean - expose your understanding so we may understand your error

20 March 2007 at 07:18  
Anonymous billy said...

wrinkled weasel said...
If the disciples had clubbed together and bought Jesus a new pair of sandals, as a surprise, would the Lord have feigned surprise at seeing the new sandals (since he would have had foreknowledge of this gesture) or merely said, "Oh yes, I knew you were going to get me sandals," or castigated the disciples for not getting him trendy German Birkenstocks?

Was there a vegetarian option at the feeding of the 5000?

1:58 PM

Did he have foreknowledge of anything except relating to his death and resurrection?
Also, I think he would have just said thank you and maybe passed them onto somebody without any.
As to the feeding of the 5000, eating the fish wasn't compulsory as far as we know.

20 March 2007 at 10:53  
Anonymous billy said...

Little Black Sambo said...
Other faiths must (from the Christian point of view) be wrong to some degree, or at least inadequate, but that need not mean that they are worthless. They, like Judaism, may serve as "tutors and governors" (acts 4.2) to prepare us to accept the full faith. (Acts 4.12).

10:24 AM

Yes, sorry about that. Worthless was a little excessive

20 March 2007 at 10:57  
Blogger tim said...

Miss Jelly Bean—

The more literal meaning of "Son of God" is made explicit in the beginning of the book of Luke, which is read every year in Christian churches as the Christmas story.

From this we get the lines in the Apostles' Creed, "I believe in God the Father, [...] and in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary..."

You're right that "Son of God" was used throughout the Bible in more metaphorical contexts, and in fact, Jesus uses that to effect in his preaching. He castigates the Pharisees and others who knew the Bible but misunderstood the prophesies.

20 March 2007 at 12:27  
Blogger tim said...

Voyager—

A while back I'd mentioned a book I'm reading, New Worlds, Lost Worlds, by Brigden. You said something about it and the series it's in (The Penguin History of Britain). Is this book well regarded?

20 March 2007 at 12:56  
Blogger tim said...

One more free-standing comment—

I'm really glad to have found His Grace's blog. Especially as I masochistically tend to frequent some Catholic blogs, it's good to find politico-religious commentary coming from someone with views closer to my own.

20 March 2007 at 13:04  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Is this book well regarded?

I am the wrong person to ask - it is unknown to me. The Penguin History of Britain is a bit old - I recall J H Plumb wrote one volume on the 18th Century, but really Tim they are not heavy-duty textbooks like the Oxford History in 12 volumes or even books by Keith Feiling or C L Mowat = both of which you should buy from Alibris or Abebooks..........well worth the investment

20 March 2007 at 16:24  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Jelly Bean would do well to read the story of Ruth and Boaz and the term "Son of Jesse"....

20 March 2007 at 16:26  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

Thank you for your 'kind' remarks and advise on reading the books you mentioned, Voyager. Jelly Bean shall take your advise to consideration.

Voyager, you also mentioned upon my asking 'What makes Jesus the Son of God', that "When you find out MIss Jelly Bean you will be on the path to Redemption."

I'm therefore assuming by this remark that you have found out and are thus traveling upon this so-called 'path of redemption'. Well since you know, why don't you tell me too? Or is this one of those things which you simply have to find out for yourself? In which case, Jelly Bean shall begin her quest on finding out why Jesus is the son of God, starting now.

Wish me luck!

20 March 2007 at 18:06  
Anonymous bob said...

Ms Jelly Bean, Pope John Paul II addressed the issue of Jesus as the Son of God in his book, Crossing the Treshold of Hope. In it he wrote:

At Nicaea and Constantinople it was affirmed that Jesus Christ was "the Only-begotten Son of God. Born of the Father before all ages... Begotten, not made, of one being with the Father; by Whom all things were made" (Nicene Creed).

These formulations are not simply the fruit of Greek culture; they come directly from the apostolic heritage. If we want to look for the source of these ideas, we will find it first of all in Paul and John.

Paul's Christology is extraordinarily rich. His starting point is an event that occurred at the gates of Damascus. The young Pharisee was blinded, but at the same time, with the eyes of his soul he saw the whole truth about the Risen Christ. He then expressed this truth in his Letters.

The words of the Nicene Creed are nothing other than the reflection of Paul's doctrine. These words also contain the heritage of John, particularly (but not only) in the Prologue of his Gospel (cf. Jn 1:1-18). His whole Gospel, as well as his Letters, are a witness to the Word of Life, to "what we have heard, what we have seen with our own eyes,...and touched with our hands" (1 Jn 1:1).

In a certain respect, John has greater qualifications as a witness than does Paul, even if Paul's testimony is so deeply moving. This comparison between Paul and John is important. John wrote after Paul. Therefore, it is above all in the writing of Paul that one must search for the first expressions of the faith.

And not only in Paul, but also in Luke, who was a follower of Paul. In fact, in Luke there is a passage that could be considered a bridge between Paul and John. I am referring to the words uttered by Christ and recorded by Luke-"he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit" (cf. Lk 10:21): "I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike....No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him" (Lk 10:21-22). Here Luke expresses precisely what Matthew quotes Jesus as saying to Peter: "For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father" (Mt 16:17). There is an exact relationship between Luke's affirmation and John's words in his Prologue: "No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, who is at the Father's side, has revealed him" (Jn 1:18).

This Gospel truth reappears many times in the writings of John. The Christology of the New Testament is "explosive." The Fathers, the great Scholastics, the theologians of the ensuing centuries did nothing other than return, always with renewed wonder, to the heritage they had received, in order to grow in a deeper understanding of it.


I know this isn't an exhaustive answer but it might provide some material for reflection.

For me a key to understanding the term "Son of God" is in John 1;18 (quoted above) - it identifies Christ in a unique relationship to God the Father - Christ is referred to as the "only Son" - setting him apart from any previous uses of the term.

20 March 2007 at 21:53  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

Miss Jelly Bean has one more question (surprise surprise!). But in order for me to state my question, I will need to do a bit of explaining first. Here goes...

Everything which has a beginning and an end must consequently be some form of creation. As with all creation, there must be a reason for its existence (whether man made or natural). For example, the car is a man made creation whose purpose is to act as a means of transport. Its reason for existence is to take the traveller from point A to point B on his journey. Similarly, the human (being created), must also have a reason for its existence. However, unlike the car, the human is a far more complex piece of machinery, and as a result of this, would have many different reasons for its existence, and therefore have many different functions to perform. The function of its physical outer being is to eat/ drink, reproduce, sleep, etc. The human has been provided with the physical body to enable it to conduct such functions. However, another part of the human, the subconscious being, must also have its purpose for existence. Regardless of this part of the human not being physically apparent (some call it the soul), it still exists. According to the Muslim, the purpose is to realise oneself, and consequently realise God. To go back to the car for a second, if someone who had never seen a car in his entire life was given one to use, he would not be able to do so without an instruction manual. Likewise, in order for the human to realise his greater function or purpose, it must also have an instruction manual to guide and instruct it. Different humans have over time adopted the use of different instruction manuals. The Muslim would use the Quran as his instruction manual, which he views as a set of guidelines (on a basic and complex level), to help him find his objective and the reason for his existence. In the same way, Christians may use the Bible, and Jews the Torah, etc. Others (maybe atheists), may use their moral values (unwritten law of nature), to determine the purpose of their existence. (Here's the tricky bit). Since the human is one type of creation (regardless of geographical, cultural or any other differences such as skin colour or language), all humans must ultimately have the same purpose and objective, since we are all human. Therefore, all of mankind must theoretically only need one instruction manual.

My question is, which instruction manual must the human therefore follow, in order to reach his objective?

21 March 2007 at 21:32  
Anonymous Voyager said...

To go back to the car for a second, if someone who had never seen a car in his entire life was given one to use, he would not be able to do so without an instruction manual.

You are clearly an Empiricist which is in tune with English Philosophical Tradition in contrast to the Kantian School, yet your example is poor.

A car is not an act of creation it is simply the agglomeration of components themselves the act of creation. In fact the patent for spark plugs was not held by car producers initially, and it took cross-licensing so any company could actually build a car.

There was no unique creator of a complete motor car.

Were your analogy and contention true it would imply that mere knowledge of The Bible would make one equal to God which is clearly impossible - Moses saw God but was not God.

Why the Muslim waited some many centuries after Abraham to get his "instruction manual" should be a cause of some concern....


It is the mechanistic view inherent in your postulate that is also troubling for it is simplistic. The Judaeo-Christian Scriptures do not bind God into a transactional modality, but state the necessary but not sufficient conditions for Divine Grace.

21 March 2007 at 22:57  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

Yes, I thought my theory would be some what flawed. It was just a thought. I have this thing about thinking in too much depth about the simplest of things and therefore making them complex, and end up confusing myself.

Jelly Bean appreciates your remarks.

22 March 2007 at 09:03  
Anonymous Colin said...

Miss Jelly Bean,

You are a deep thinker, indeed. I like your questions in 9:32 pm. Your theory isn't flawed at all. It is correct.

You said "all humans must ultimately have the same purpose and objective, since we are all human."

Absolutely correct!

"Therefore, all of mankind must theoretically only need one instruction manual."

Again correct. And mankind already has this instruction manual. The human genome is the instruction manual. The genes are responsible for the building of the human body, brain and its hardwiring.

"My question is, which instruction manual must the human therefore follow, in order to reach his objective?"

The objective of all behavior whether animal or human is the survival of its genes. The human genes build the human brain and the human brain tells each and every individual how to behave in order to achieve the genes' objective, i.e. reproduction.

If it makes you fell happy you can imagine or believe that ultimately God or nature (made by God) made the human genes and hence the behavioral instructions build into the human brain.

22 March 2007 at 18:44  
Anonymous Voyager said...

The objective of all behavior whether animal or human is the survival of its genes.

That is a premiss not a conclusion.

Really Colin read some Kant...you constantly attack religion then posit your own fantastic postulate as if it is universally accepted. You are always trying to push your Secular Religion

26 March 2007 at 08:58  
Anonymous Colin said...

Voyager,

"The objective of all behavior whether animal or human is the survival of its genes.

That is a premiss not a conclusion."


Your comment demonstrates that you are a scientific illiterate. Scientific theories are conclusions derived from a large number of observations, experiments and data. Since you enjoy distributing reading lists, would you like me to provide you also with a reading list?

Kant is dead since more than 200 years. Do you really believe that no advances of knowledge have been made in the last two hundred years?

27 March 2007 at 20:15  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Colin you are the illiterate. You pose it as a premise....there is no Scientific Method - as the good Archbishop suggested - read Polanyi

As for deductive reasoning it is impossible to match your assertion with any fact. It is simply an assertion along the lines of Scientific Marxism and other works of blind assertion.

"The objective of all behavior whether animal or human is the survival of its genes.


This fatuous statement you have gleaned from Dawkins is a simple attempt to find a variant on Darwin's "species" because Dawkins knows only by claiming a certain array of atoms has a life form can he make his absurd posturings seem real to persons like yourself.

28 March 2007 at 06:56  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Your comment demonstrates that you are a scientific illiterate.

I do like your ad hominems Colin....especially when you reveal your own limitations

28 March 2007 at 06:57  
Anonymous Colin said...

Voyager,

If there is not a scientific method as you claim, how do you explain its superior results?

"You are always trying to push your Secular Religion."

Nonsense. I couldn't care less. It's just so much fun to disprove your numerous logical errors.

28 March 2007 at 20:52  

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