Friday, December 16, 2011

David Cameron on the King James Bible

Today, at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, the Prime Minister did God. He delivered this sermon on the importance of Christianity and of the King James Bible in particular (His Grace will forgive the lower case 'p' in 'Protestants'):

It's great to be here and to have this opportunity to come together today to mark the end of this very special 400th anniversary year for the King James Bible.

I know there are some who will question why I am giving this speech.

And if they happen to know that I'm setting out my views today in a former home of the current Archbishop of Canterbury...

...and in front of many great theologians and church leaders...

...they really will think I have entered the lions' den.

But I am proud to stand here and celebrate the achievements of the King James Bible.

Not as some great Christian on a mission to convert the world.

But because, as Prime Minister, it is right to recognise the impact of a translation that is, I believe, one of this country's greatest achievements.

The Bible is a book that has not just shaped our country, but shaped the world.

And with 3 Bibles sold or given away every second...

...a book that is not just important in understanding our past, but which will continue to have a profound impact in shaping our collective future.

In making this speech I claim no religious authority whatsoever.

I am a committed - but I have to say vaguely practising - Church of England Christian, who will stand up for the values and principles of my faith...

...but who is full of doubts and, like many, constantly grappling with the difficult questions when it comes to some of the big theological issues.


But what I do believe is this.

The King James Bible is as relevant today as at any point in its 400 year history.

And none of us should be frightened of recognising this.

Why?

Put simply, three reasons.

First, the King James Bible has bequeathed a body of language that permeates every aspect of our culture and heritage...

....from everyday phrases to our greatest works of literature, music and art.

We live and breathe the language of the King James Bible, sometimes without even realising it.

And it is right that we should acknowledge this - particularly in this anniversary year.

Second, just as our language and culture is steeped in the Bible, so too is our politics.

From human rights and equality to our constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy...

...from the role of the church in the first forms of welfare provision, to the many modern day faith-led social action projects...

...the Bible has been a spur to action for people of faith throughout history, and it remains so today.

Third, we are a Christian country.

And we should not be afraid to say so.


Let me be clear: I am not in any way saying that to have another faith - or no faith - is somehow wrong.

I know and fully respect that many people in this country do not have a religion.

And I am also incredibly proud that Britain is home to many different faith communities, who do so much to make our country stronger.

But what I am saying is that the Bible has helped to give Britain a set of values and morals which make Britain what it is today.

Values and morals we should actively stand up and defend.

The alternative of moral neutrality should not be an option.

You can't fight something with nothing.

Because if we don't stand for something, we can't stand against anything.


Let me take each of these points in turn.

First, language and culture.

Powerful language is incredibly evocative.

It crystallises profound, sometimes complex, thoughts and suggests a depth of meaning far beyond the words on the page...

...giving us something to share, to cherish, to celebrate.

Part of the glue that can help to bind us together.

Along with Shakespeare, the King James Bible is a high point of the English language...

...creating arresting phrases that move, challenge and inspire.

One of my favourites is the line "For now we see through a glass, darkly."

It is a brilliant summation of the profound sense that there is more to life, that we are imperfect, that we get things wrong, that we should strive to see beyond our own perspective.

The key word is darkly - profoundly loaded, with many shades of meaning.

I feel the power is lost in some more literal translations.

The New International Version says: "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror"

The Good News Bible: "What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror"

They feel not just a bit less special but dry and cold, and don't quite have the same magic and meaning.

Like Shakespeare, the King James translation dates from a period when the written word was intended to be read aloud.

And this helps to give it a poetic power and sheer resonance that in my view is not matched by any subsequent translation.

It has also contributed immensely to the spread of spoken English around the world.

Indeed, the language of the King James Bible is very much alive today.

I've already mentioned the lions' den.

Just think about some of the other things we all say.

Phrases like strength to strength...

...how the mighty are fallen...

...the skin of my teeth...

...the salt of the earth.

... nothing new under the sun.

According to one recent study there are 257 of these phrases and idioms that come from the Bible.

These phrases are all around us...

...from court cases to TV sitcoms...

...and from recipe books to pop music lyrics.

Of course, there is a healthy debate about the extent to which it was the King James version that originated the many phrases in our language today.

And it's right to recognise the impact of earlier versions like Tyndale, Wycliffe, Douai-Rheims, the Bishops and Geneva Bibles too.

The King James Bible does exactly that...

...setting out with the stated aim of making a good translation better, or out of many good ones, to make "one principall good one"

But what is clear is that the King James version gave the Bible's many expressions a much more widespread public presence.

Much of that dissemination has come through our literature, through the great speeches we remember and the art and music we still enjoy today.

From Milton to Morrison...

...and Coleridge to Cormac McCarthy...

...the Bible supports the plot, context, language and sometimes even the characters in some of our greatest literature.

Tennyson makes over 400 Biblical references in his poems.

...and makes allusions to 42 different books of the Bible.

The Bible has infused some of the greatest speeches...

...from Martin Luther King's dream that Isaiah's prophecy would be fulfilled and that one day "every valley shall be exalted...

...to Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg address which employed not just Biblical words but cadence and rhythms borrowed from the King James Bible as well.

When Lincoln said that his forefathers "brought forth" a new nation, he was imitating the way in which the Bible announced the birth of Jesus.

The Bible also runs through our art.

From Giotto to El Greco...

...and Michelangelo to Stanley Spencer.

The paintings in Sandham Memorial Chapel in Berkshire are some of my favourite works of art.

Those who died in Salonika rising to heaven is religious art in the modern age and, in my view, as powerful as some of what has come before.

And the Bible runs through our music too.

From the great oratorios like J S Bach's Matthew and John Passions and Handel's Messiah...

...to the wealth of music written across the ages for mass and evensong in great cathedrals like this one.

The Biblical settings of composers from Tallis to Taverner are regularly celebrated here in this great cathedral...

...and will sustain our great British tradition of choral music for generations to come.

It's impossible to do justice in a short speech to the full scale of the cultural impact of the King James Bible.

But what is clear is that four hundred years on, this book is still absolutely pivotal to our language and culture.

And that's one very good reason for us all to recognise it today.

A second reason is this.

Just as our language and culture is steeped in the Bible, so too is our politics.

The Bible runs through our political history in a way that is often not properly recognised.

The history and existence of a constitutional monarchy owes much to a Bible in which Kings were anointed and sanctified with the authority of God...

....and in which there was a clear emphasis on the respect for Royal Power and the need to maintain political order.

Jesus said: "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."

And yet at the same time, the Judeo-Christian roots of the Bible also provide the foundations for protest and for the evolution of our freedom and democracy.


The Torah placed the first limits on Royal Power.

And the knowledge that God created man in his own image was, if you like, a game changer for the cause of human dignity and equality.

In the ancient world this equity was inconceivable.

In Athens for example, full and equal rights were the preserve of adult, free born men.

But when each and every individual is related to a power above all of us...

...and when every human being is of equal and infinite importance, created in the very image of God...

...we get the irrepressible foundation for equality and human rights...

...a foundation that has seen the Bible at the forefront of the emergence of democracy, the abolition of slavery...

...and the emancipation of women - even if not every church has always got the point!

Crucially the translation of the Bible into English made all this accessible to many who had previously been unable to comprehend the Latin versions.

And this created an unrelenting desire for change.

The Putney debates in the Church of St Mary the Virgin in 1647 saw the first call for One Man, One vote...

...and the demand that authority be invested in the House of Commons rather than the King.

Reading the Bible in English gave people equality with each other through God.

And this led them to seek equality with each other through government.


In a similar way, the Bible provides a defining influence on the formation of the first welfare state.

In Matthew's Gospel, Jesus says that whatever people have done "unto one of the least of these my brethren"...

... they have done unto him.

Just as in the past it was the influence of the church that enabled hospitals to be built, charities created, the hungry fed, the sick nursed and the poor given shelter...

...so today faith based groups are at the heart of modern social action.

Organisations like the Church Urban Fund which has supported over 5,000 faith based projects in England's poorest communities...

...including the Near Neighbours Programme which Eric Pickles helped to launch last month.

And St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace in London's Bishopsgate...

...a building once destroyed by an IRA bomb...

...but now a centre where people divided by conflict, culture or religion can meet and listen to each other's perspective.

In total, there are almost 30 thousand faith based charities in this country...

...not to mention the thousands of people who step forward as individuals, as families, as communities, as organisations and yes, as churches....

...and do extraordinary things to help build a bigger, richer, stronger, more prosperous and more generous society.

And when it comes to the great humanitarian crises - like the famine in Horn of Africa - again you can count on faith-based organisations...

...like Christian Aid, Tearfund, CAFOD, Jewish Care, Islamic Relief, and Muslim Aid...

...to be at the forefront of the action to save lives.

So it's right to recognise the huge contribution our faith communities make to our politics.

...and to recognise the role of the Bible in inspiring many of their works.

People often say that politicians shouldn't "do God."

If by that they mean we shouldn't try to claim a direct line to God for one particular political party...

...they could not be more right.

But we shouldn't let our caution about that stand in the way of recognising both what our faith communities bring to our country...

...and also just how incredibly important faith is to so many people in Britain.

The Economist may have published the obituary of God in their Millennium issue.

But in the past century, the proportion of people in the world who adhere to the four biggest religions has actually increased from around two-thirds to nearly three quarters...

...and is forecast to continue rising.

For example, it is now thought there are at least 65 million protestants in China and 12 million Catholics - more Christians than there are members of the communist party.

Official numbers indicate China has about 20 million Muslims - almost as many as in Saudi Arabia - and nearly twice as many as in the whole of the EU.

And by 2050, some people think China could well be both the world's biggest Christian nation and its biggest Muslim one too.

Here in Britain we only have to look at the reaction to the Pope's visit last year...

...this year's Royal Wedding...

...or of course the festival of Christmas next week, to see that Christianity is alive and well in our country.

The key point is this.

Societies do not necessarily become more secular with modernity but rather more plural, with a wider range of beliefs and commitments.

And that brings me to my third point.

The Bible has helped to shape the values which define our country.

Indeed, as Margaret Thatcher once said, "we are a nation whose ideals are founded on the Bible."

Responsibility, hard work, charity, compassion, humility, self-sacrifice, love...

...pride in working for the common good and honouring the social obligations we have to one another, to our families and our communities...

...these are the values we treasure.

Yes, they are Christian values.

And we should not be afraid to acknowledge that.

But they are also values that speak to us all - to people of every faith and none.

And I believe we should all stand up and defend them.

Those who oppose this usually make the case for secular neutrality.

They argue that by saying we are a Christian country and standing up for Christian values we are somehow doing down other faiths.

And that the only way not to offend people is not to pass judgement on their behaviour.

I think these arguments are profoundly wrong.


And being clear on this is absolutely fundamental to who we are as a people...

...what we stand for...

...and the kind of society we want to build.

First, those who say being a Christian country is doing down other faiths...

...simply don't understand that it is easier for people to believe and practise other faiths when Britain has confidence in its Christian identity.

Many people tell me it is much easier to be Jewish or Muslim here in Britain than it is in a secular country like France.

Why?

Because the tolerance that Christianity demands of our society provides greater space for other religious faiths too.

And because many of the values of a Christian country are shared by people of all faiths and indeed by people of no faith at all.

Second, those who advocate secular neutrality in order to avoid passing judgement on the behaviour of others...

...fail to grasp the consequences of that neutrality...

...or the role that faith can play in helping people to have a moral code.


Let's be clear.

Faith is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for morality.

There are Christians who don't live by a moral code.

And there are atheists and agnostics who do.

But for people who do have a faith, their faith can be a helpful prod in the right direction.

And whether inspired by faith or not - that direction, that moral code, matters.

Whether you look at the riots last summer...

...the financial crash and the expenses scandal...

...or the on-going terrorist threat from Islamist extremists around the world...

...one thing is clear: moral neutrality or passive tolerance just isn't going to cut it anymore.

Shying away from speaking the truth about behaviour, about morality...

...has actually helped to cause some of the social problems that lie at the heart of the lawlessness we saw with the riots.

The absence of any real accountability, or moral code...

...allowed some bankers and politicians to behave with scant regard for the rest of society.

And when it comes to fighting violent extremism, the almost fearful passive tolerance of religious extremism that has allowed segregated communities to behave in ways that run completely counter to our values...

... has not contained that extremism but allowed it to grow and prosper...

...in the process blackening the good name of the great religions that these extremists abuse for their own purposes.

Put simply, for too long we have been unwilling to distinguish right from wrong.

"Live and let live" has too often become "do what you please".

Bad choices have too often been defended as just different lifestyles.

To be confident in saying something is wrong...

...is not a sign of weakness, it's a strength.

But we can't fight something with nothing.

As I've said if we don't stand for something, we can't stand against anything.

One of the biggest lessons of the riots last Summer is that we've got stand up for our values if we are to confront the slow-motion moral collapse that has taken place in parts of our country these past few generations.

The same is true of religious extremism.

As President Obama wrote in the Audacity of Hope:

"...in reaction to religious overreach we equate tolerance with secularism, and forfeit the moral language that would help infuse our politics with larger meaning."

Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and a much more active, muscular liberalism.

A passively tolerant society says to its citizens, as long as you obey the law we will just leave you alone.

It stands neutral between different values.

But I believe a genuinely liberal country does much more; it believes in certain values and actively promotes them.

We need to stand up for these values.

To have the confidence to say to people - this is what defines us as a society...

...and that to belong here is to believe in these things.

I believe the church - and indeed all our religious leaders and their communities in Britain - have a vital role to play in helping to achieve this.

I have never really understood the argument some people make about the church not getting involved in politics.

To me, Christianity, faith, religion, the Church and the Bible are all inherently involved in politics because so many political questions are moral questions.

So I don't think we should be shy or frightened of this.

I certainly don't object to the Archbishop of Canterbury expressing his views on politics.


Religion has a moral basis and if he doesn't agree with something he's right to say so.

But just as it is legitimate for religious leaders to make political comments, he shouldn't be surprised when I respond.

Also it's legitimate for political leaders to say something about religious institutions as they see them affecting our society, not least in the vital areas of equality and tolerance.

I believe the Church of England has a unique opportunity to help shape the future of our communities.

But to do so it must keep on the agenda that speaks to the whole country.

The future of our country is at a pivotal moment.

The values we draw from the Bible go to the heart of what it means to belong in this country...

...and you, as the Church of England, can help ensure that it stays that way.

119 Comments:

Blogger Cbrownlow said...

T R I P E

16 December 2011 at 17:06  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

I believe the Church of England has a unique opportunity to help shape the future of our communities.

But to do so it must keep on the agenda that speaks to the whole country.


Why, when politicians talk of the 'whole' Country and worse still - our 'Communities' do I, a white skinned, tax paying Englishman, feel like I am witnessing yet an other euphemism for a politically correct warning shot against my ethnicity, history and culture.

And for those of religious belief, may I suggest you better start making you way to the nearest burkha shop if you value your women.

16 December 2011 at 17:29  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

And he couldn't stop himself mentioning muslims and islam, could he? A speech about Christianity in general and the King James bible in particular and he has to include this alien belief system in the text. I'm sick to death of having islam rammed into my life at every opportunity.

16 December 2011 at 17:44  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

I am a committed - but I have to say vaguely practising - Church of England Christian, who will stand up for the values and principles of my faith...
and
...the Bible has been a spur to action for people of faith throughout history, and it remains so today.

That’s good, no gay marriage in churches then....

16 December 2011 at 18:37  
Blogger Larks Tongues in Aspic said...

Security word actunt - I kid you not. Very appropriate.

16 December 2011 at 19:54  
Blogger Albert said...

Okay, he doesn't say or do everything I would like him to. But I think this is a very good thing he has done and he deserves credit for it, especially from those of us who are Christians.

16 December 2011 at 20:01  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

"Societies do not necessarily become more secular with modernity but rather more plural, with a wider range of beliefs and commitments."

How is this a good thing?

16 December 2011 at 20:23  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. Indeed, ‘beliefs and commitments’ reminds the Inspector of the 52 dead from the London bombings.

16 December 2011 at 20:27  
Blogger Sam Vega said...

If he is right in saying that the importance of the Bible is due to its impact on language, politics, and values, then I can't help feeling that there are more economical ways of achieving this impact.

A boxed set of Shakespeare, Bagehot, and Bentham in every hotel room, and on every lectern. It would make finding the bit you need so much easier.

16 December 2011 at 20:36  
Blogger Windsor Tripehound said...

A famous quote from Edward Gibbon:

The various modes of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered by the people, as equally true; by the philosopher, as equally false; and by the magistrate, as equally useful.

I wonder into which category we would place our Prime Minister?

16 December 2011 at 20:37  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

I say Tripehound, a new category is required for politicians, ‘equally useable’.

16 December 2011 at 21:05  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Inspector

Any and All campaigns based on indiscrimate violence are evil.

Let us not forget:
15 Aug 1998 Omagh
'Real IRA' murder 29 civilians (plus 2 babies in their mother's wombs) by a car bomb in the centre of a crowd in the Market Street.

God rest their souls.

16 December 2011 at 22:15  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Sam Vega said...

"If he is right in saying that the importance of the Bible is due to its impact on language, politics, and values, then ... (place) a boxed set of Shakespeare, Bagehot, and Bentham in every hotel room ... it would make finding the bit you need so much easier."

Excellent.

You've put your finger on Cameron's brand of cultural christianity.

16 December 2011 at 22:21  
Blogger Manfarang said...

So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth

17 December 2011 at 00:31  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
Who wrote this speech for Cameron? It must have been his pink researcher.
Cameron said; Bad choices have too often been defended as just different lifestyles. he also said It's legitimate for political leaders to say something about religious institutions as they see them affecting our society, not least in the vital areas of equality and tolerance.
In relation to LGBT issues how does he defend his actions and policies in the light of the above? As a Christian society we cannot ignore a sinful life. Whilst it is God that ultimately judges, we have a responsibility to defend our society from wrong influences that will affect others. Doing wrong is not just a different lifestyle as he says, but he also defends equality and tolerance. I have a measure of tolerance for a sinner and his sin providing it does not affect our children and society at large.
There are Christians who don't live by a moral code, and there are atheists and agnostics who do. This shows a clear lack of understanding of the basics of Christianity. You cannot be a christian without a moral code. The scriptures state; ‘If you love me you will keep my commandments’.
Overall what are we to believe about this speech? Firstly that we can believe almost nothing as he clearly did not write it himself and so much of what he said does not match up to how he has behaved since coming to power. Secondly that the breadth and scope is so liberal in it’s political theology that it is consistent with the Downgrade Controversy Movement of the 19th century who wanted to dumb down the Bible to mythology and the likes of Spurgeon who fought against it at such great cost to himself.
Ultimately, those who treasure the scriptures as the Divine Word of God, need to observe the concept; We must not modify the Bible to meet the current age, but by God’s Grace we need to modify the age to meet the Bible.

17 December 2011 at 00:32  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

... and the emancipation of women - even if not every church has always got the point!"

Now is this is a dig a Catholicism and tradition Anglicanism? A secular opinion in support of gender 'equality' in all Church offices?

17 December 2011 at 00:59  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

17 December 2011 at 01:02  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

This sanctimonious twaddle could so easily have been written and spoken by Blair (Campbell and necessity allowing)!

A little something for everyone. How ecumenical. Maybe the Royal Holloway College helped him compose it?

Ugghh. Just in time for Christmas.
They MUST think we are all stupid.

Two faced hypocritical con artists the lot of them!

Humbug!

E S Blofeld

17 December 2011 at 01:42  
Blogger English Viking said...

Cbrownlow has it in a nutshell.

I almost puked.

If HG thinks that the arch-traitor Cameron wrote this shit, he is obviously mad.

If Cameron thinks that the NIV and THE GOOD NEWS are literal translations, as he appears to affirm, he is also mad.

If Cameron believed a single word uttered by the Lord God, he would not constantly spout on about bummers, lezzers, pakis, coons and dagoes.

I'll probably be modded for the above, because HG has betrayed his roots, and squeals about rights, equality and free speech, whilst denying others the same.

17 December 2011 at 03:31  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

English Viking

bummers, lezzers, pakis, coons and dagoes.

It is sad to observe someone who has nothing more significant to offer than a list of epithets.

carl

17 December 2011 at 05:58  
Blogger martin sewell said...

My only regret is that he overlooked Miles Coverdale.

Of course we may all want to examine, critique or extend what he says, but I am sorry not only that some respond with excessive self righteouness ( one way-my way) but that our widespread cultural default setting appears to be one of cynical denigration.

In other healthier societies, a more generous response would have happened. " Never quench a flickering flame" is a sound principle.

This is an important speech not necessarily in terms of content - though much of it is to be welcomed- but also for its significance. Let's not underestimate the degree of courage that a hesitant and less muscular believer needs to " Do God" in a " liberal" society whose attack dogs frightened and frightens many other tentative believers in major public positions - including Bishops and senior clergy.

17 December 2011 at 08:09  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

With only 10 million muslims in the eussr,what have we to worry about,lol.if one consistently lies to people ,can one be surprised if they do not believe you.I thought a couple of years ago,he was saying that we should all adopt muslim "values",but few English people were interested in hacking others heads off,so i guess it is back to Christianity,though we do wish he would make up his mind as to what he actually believes.

17 December 2011 at 08:36  
Blogger wallygreeninker said...

Is it just me or is 'the King James Bible' an Americanism? Back in the sixties I only seem to remember it being referred to as 'the Authorised version.'

17 December 2011 at 08:40  
Blogger English Viking said...

Carl,

It is even sadder to watch the list happen to one's own country.

PS Don't lecture me, it doesn't work.

17 December 2011 at 08:46  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

Cameron has had to speak (whether you agree with him or not) because our senior churchmen are failing to do so. I don't know when the Arch Druid is due to retire, but if Cameron is still in Downing Street, let's hope he picks a robust traditional Christian churchman for the post, not some wish-washy left leaning trendy who is more interested in politics than doing his job.

17 December 2011 at 09:03  
Blogger len said...

The main thing wrong with the King James Bible is the name.
Perhaps the' Holy Bible' or 'God`s Word' would have been better.
Another thing, I believe James told the translators specifically to translate 'Ekklesia' as 'Church'in all instances.Which made the Church the 'property' of the State.This is a' control move'not as bad as Catholicism but along similar lines.

Cameron has a sort of 'wishy washy 'faith that probably represents a sizeable majority of people who have had no revelation of Jesus Christ or the Gospel and remain 'token Christians' a tick in a box on a form.
I suppose at least these 'Christians', the lukewarm, are open to revelation whilst those who have jumped feet first into 'works orientated religions' are probably beyond it.

17 December 2011 at 09:31  
Blogger Preacher said...

The Old Pump syndrome, 'Lots of squeaking & noise', but no water.
Sorry Dave, back to the drawing board. This offering had no pith or substance, a Big Mac with no burger, just candy floss.

17 December 2011 at 10:30  
Blogger DaveR said...

"I feel the power is lost in some more literal translations."

The Good News Bible has been accused of many things, but it's never been accused of being more literal before.

17 December 2011 at 10:46  
Blogger trencherbone said...

All politicians seem to be compelled to grovel to Islam.What's the matter with them? Have they been bought by the OIC?

The Koran is in many respects in contradiction to the Bible, and claims to nullify and abrogate large sections of the earlier 'corrupt' scriptures ("Let he who is without sin cast the first stone") being an obvious example.

Mohammed sought to reduce Jesus to the status of a second rate and fallible prophet, with himself being the greatest, and the Koran being the infallible word of God.

17 December 2011 at 10:59  
Blogger Alison Bailey Castellina said...

I hope Mr Cameron's speechwriter did not write all his speech. If the PM believes what he said - and lives by it - his legacy will endure. "Only what we do for God (in service to Him and others, unselfishly) lasts"....

I'm just preparing a Lesson at Nine Lessons and Carols from King James Bible. I will copy James Middleton's redition at The Royal Wedding. Surely the high point of 2011? It's the weight of Shakespearean English plus the self-authenticating power of a divinely inspired message.

A lot of Shakespeare's "sub-text" was paraphrasing the Geneva Bible (he heavily pondered on it, poetically). In English, we are just so incredibly blessed to have the Bible in such high language - and this Poet.

17 December 2011 at 11:09  
Blogger graham wood said...

This is a speech from a typical post-modernist, a heteredox political activist who can use even the King James Bible, and his version of "christianity" ro further his own politicl image.
Indeed, a "Man for all seasons"

e.g. He says: "Let me be clear: I am not in any way saying that to have another faith - or no faith - is somehow wrong."

Answer: They can't all be right can they? If they are all "right" then there is no point in devotion or "committment" to any single one.

"no man comes to the Father, but by me"

17 December 2011 at 11:10  
Blogger non mouse said...

AlisonBC @11:09 --Oh indeed. But they, too were blessed by their precursors. They didn't spring unheralded from the wondrously rich Insular tradition where Celts (including the Irish), Anglo-Saxons and Norsemen had long woven their compositions, drawing also on Graeco-Roman learning and Biblical Texts: for the Glory of God.

It can't be accidental that Shakespeare thrived so near the Marches where the monasteries preserved the old tradition despite Norman atrocities.

And we are indebted to those who followed up the Disssolution by rescuing the manuscripts, so many of which found their way to Oxford and Cambridge and other great repositories.

Oh we are so very blessed.

And I think that means we must bear great responsibility. We will have to do our own share, faced by the "future" envisaged by politicos and their foreign masters.

17 December 2011 at 11:35  
Blogger Colin Knapman said...

The Good Book states:-
For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Hebrews Chapter 4 Verse 12.

Colin Knapman

17 December 2011 at 11:57  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

It is a pity that in the cathedral in which he was speaking the Authorized Version is no longer in regular use. Surely that is not because the clever Oxford congregation cannot understand it? After all, the services are often sung in Latin.

17 December 2011 at 12:13  
Blogger Alison Bailey Castellina said...

Non Mouse. Agreed. I think Shakespeare, like John Florio, was inspired to "classicise English" by the cultured Sidneys/Pembrokes, Lords of the Marches. Brytonic, the ancient Romano-Celtic language, was spoken in the West Midlands until late medieval times. Musical WS writes longingly about singing in "sweet" Welsh in Henry VI.1.3.1.

17 December 2011 at 13:21  
Blogger ECusick said...

In the last 2 or 3 weeks Cameron has suddenly decided he is a conservative?
Could this have anything to do with UKIP, backbenchers and tabloid criticism by any chance?
Even if he did write this he seems to skate over the obvious problem of "we need to have are great Christian heritage, but we must not actually believe it because you know its not very PC....
Blair would be proud...

17 December 2011 at 14:08  
Blogger Oswin said...

I tend to agree with Albert, on this one. Nitpickings aside and, notwithstanding an over-mentioning of Islam, Cameron does a reasonable job here. He achieves rather more, for the C-of-E, than does Dr.Williams with all his bloodless ramblings and confusions. On the whole, he carries it off; and for me, his approach, and general tenor, is not as Blair's.

17 December 2011 at 14:44  
Blogger Sandy said...

I think it was a well crafted and delivered speech, coming at exactly the right time for our society. Let us hope and pray that the next AofC can put some muscularity in and bring some direction to the CofE.
Well done Mr. Cameron. Carry on as you have done in the past few days and sainthood awaits....

17 December 2011 at 15:02  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Taken at face value & think it's a very positive, timely & even slightly courageous speech. Yet you'll have to forgive me for doubting the purity of his motives.

Still, let's hope & pray. It's certainly contains more substance than anything I've ever heard the Archdruid of Canterbury utter.

17 December 2011 at 15:12  
Blogger len said...

I think Christians should pray for David Cameron and others in office that their 'somewhat vague faith' might become a real positive faith in the God of the Bible.

17 December 2011 at 15:28  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Oswin

The really sad thing is that this is as far as Cameron could or was able to go in commenting on Britain's Christian heritage. Its sad too that such a watered down statement of our faith is driven by secular and political concerns.

"I am a committed - but I have to say vaguely practising - Church of England Christian, who will stand up for the values and principles of my faith ... but who is full of doubts and, like many, constantly grappling with the difficult questions when it comes to some of the big theological issues."

He doesn't know what the Church of England stands for or what Christianity commits him to!

17 December 2011 at 15:29  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

len said ...

" ... in the God of the Bible"

What a strange remark? You surely mean in God as revealed in the Bible? And, I would add, as understood through the teachings of His Church and the wisdom of His appointed pastors.

17 December 2011 at 15:34  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo: as Rebel Saint and others point out, it's more than we've had from Rowan Williams.

Ironically, for you and yours, the RCC in Britain, only stands to gain from a strengthened C-of-E; it's one of those 'balance' things ... in Britain, you will never be the greater, for we being the lesser. We need each other, and more so now, than ever before.

Give Cameron his due (I never thought to hear myself say that!) until we know differently...

17 December 2011 at 15:50  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Oswin. Alas, your charity is in this case forlorn. Cameron is of damnable character.

17 December 2011 at 16:27  
Blogger len said...

The reformation was a flooding of light into a church plunged into a dark age when man dominated the Church with his desire to control and manipulate the Word of God for his own ends.
Many men gave their lives working in conjunction with the Spirit of God to reveal the True light of the Gospel hidden under the darkness and corruption of men.
The reformation gave us the five solas.
1 Sola scriptura ("by Scripture alone")
2 Sola fide ("by faith alone")
3 Sola gratia ("by grace alone")
4 Solus Christus or Solo Christo ("Christ alone" or "through Christ alone")
5 Soli Deo gloria ("glory to God alone")

(of Course the Catholic Church immediately launched the 'counter reformation'in an attempt to regain 'control' of the gospel and bring it back under the auspices of the Catholic Church where it would remain hidden under a dark cloud and the weight of the 'traditions of men' .)

The Gospel came to set men free!!!

let us not return to the bondage of man made religion.

17 December 2011 at 16:33  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Oswin

I agree with you in so far as Christianity in general is weakened in Britain by the spiritual condition of the Church of England with its many doctrinal and personal disputes.

The strength of Catholic Church in Britain and throughout the world is, as Jesus Himself promised when He established it, sustained by the Holy Spirit and not by any man made institution.

17 December 2011 at 16:37  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

len said ...

"The Gospel came to set men free!!!

See, you've done it again. You have placed the Bible above Christ!

When Jesus told the Apostles to communicate the faith, the truths that must be believed in order to be saved, He did not say, “Take your Bible, go forth and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Jesus made no reference to the Holy Bible because in those days, there was no Holy Bible as we know it today.

Jesus never wrote a Bible. He never commanded His Apostles to write Bibles. Jesus never said to write Bibles, to scatter them all over the earth and to let every man read it and interpret it for himself in accordance to His teachings.

This is your basic belief. Everyone needs to read the Bible and decide what is the truth and what is not the truth. Is this Unity? Is this the one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church that our Lord Jesus founded?

The Catholic Church and the Faith was in place before the existence of the New Testament. Of the 12 Apostles, only 5 wrote something. Seven to ten years before anything was written down, the Catholic Church was already administering the Sacraments, baptizing, forgiving sins, praying over the sick.

Before one single word of the New Testament was written, the Catholic Church had already spread throughout the Roman Empire. The Catholic Church had Saints and Martyrs before it had Gospels and Epistles.

Saint Matthew wrote his Gospel about 7 years after Jesus was taken up to Heaven. Saint Mark was 10 years later; Saint Luke was 25 years after the Ascension of the Lord. The Gospel of John was written about 63 years after the Ascension.

How did the early believers become Christians? How did they save their souls? It certainly was not by reading the Bible because there was no New Testament. It was not until 397 A.D., under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, at the Council of Carthage, that the Catholic Church finally agreed on which writings should be part of the New Testament.

The strange thing about Sola Scriptura, those who claim that every word in the Holy Bible is the infallible word of God, they fail to affirm that God commissioned the Catholic Church, no other Church, to compile the Holy Bible.

It was the Catholic Church that produced the Bible. It was not the Bible that produced the Church.

17 December 2011 at 16:57  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

“Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and a much more active, muscular liberalism.”

I don't agree that we need much more muscular liberalism to me liberalism = the passive tolerance of everything and we don't need any more of that! Surely he meant active muscular Conservatism? To conserve our Christian culture when all around are doing their best to demean and destroy it.

It wasn't necessary to drag Islam and muslims into it though, or in fact any other religions and none as we are celebrating The 400th Anniversary of The King James Bible not multiculturalism. Otherwise parts of it were uplifting really considering it's “call me Dave”. He must be getting a bit more confidence lately, maybe he can go the whole hog and get the big P reinstated in protestant?

17 December 2011 at 17:14  
Blogger DP111 said...

john in cheshire said...And he couldn't stop himself mentioning muslims and islam, could he?

Islamic Relief is also mentioned. But this organisation came into being in 1984, long after, and in mimicry of Christian Aid and other Christian charities.

17 December 2011 at 17:40  
Blogger IanCad said...

I don't think that I've ever said anything positive about Cameron.
This may be light. And yes! it caters to the politically correct. But, to a nation that has largely rejected the Gospel this little milk may lead to meat.
He did well, and may God Bless him for it.

17 December 2011 at 18:01  
Blogger AncientBriton said...

Following on from DP111's comment, according to one report, 99% of Islamic Relief is targeted towards members of their own faith:
http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Articles/Islamic-Relief.htm

The difference between David Cameron and the Archbishop of Canterbury is His Grace knows what he is talking about while Cameron reads someone else's speeches like a good communications man.

17 December 2011 at 18:21  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

WHAT A LOD OF BOLLOCKS

Christianity specifically reduces women to second (as opposed to ilsamic third) class stutus.
other chrisytian values: slavery, patriarchal society, denial of (scientific) reality, murder of homosexuals and heretics.....

17 December 2011 at 19:38  
Blogger len said...

What sort of Christianity have you come into contact with Mr Tingey?.
The mind boggles!.

17 December 2011 at 19:45  
Blogger len said...

Dodo, ' Jesus never wrote a Bible'.
Jesus is the living Word!.The Bible is the Testimony of Christ!The Old Testament is Christ concealed ,the New Testament is Christ revealed!!!.
.......................
Back to the point in question,namely David Cameron and the need to re-establish the Protestant Christian faith in this once Great Country!.
We need to return to God and He will return to us!.
WE need to re-establish the basics of the Reformation which are the five Solas;

Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone Is the Foundation for Our Faith)
Proverbs 30:5-6 Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.
Matthew 15:5-7 But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, What you would have gained from me is given to God, he need not honor his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. You hypocrites!
Sola Christus (Christ Alone Is the Mediator Between God and Man)
1 Timothy 2:5-6 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
Sola Gratia (Grace Alone Is the Method God Uses to Save Guilty Sinners)
Romans 3:22-25 For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.
Sola Fide (Faith Alone Is the Means by which God Applies Grace)
Romans 3:25 …to be received by faith.
Hebrews 4:2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.
Sola Deo Gloria (The Glory of God Alone Is the Goal of Our Faith)
1 Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Philippians 2:9-11 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

(These above principles will help root out false religions and false teachers)

17 December 2011 at 19:56  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

len

So glad you confirmed Jesus Christ is our Saviour and not the Bible.

As "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness..."
(Timothy 3:16)

Ths teaches the Holy Bible is "useful", not that we must believe in it alone.

As I've said, there was no New Testament until 397 A.D. and God commissioned the Catholic Church to compile the Holy Bible.

It was the Catholic Church that produced the Bible. It was not the Bible that produced the Church.

"So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter."
(2 Thess. 2:15)

The true "rule of faith" — as expressed in the Bible itself — is Scripture plus Apostolic tradition, as manifested in the living teaching authority of the Catholic Church, to which were entrusted the oral teachings of Jesus and the Apostles, along with the authority to interpret Scripture correctly.

17 December 2011 at 20:35  
Blogger Colin Knapman said...

Let the Holy Scriptures increase our faith.

Inspired by God The Apostle Paul said to Timothy in 2 Timothy chapter 3 verses 15 to 17.

“That for a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Another verse in Romans chapter 10 verse 17 invites us to give an ear to the word of God, ”So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

17 December 2011 at 21:07  
Blogger Albert said...

Help me out here Len, I don't see how your passages of scripture prove sola scriptura or sola fide to be scriptural.

17 December 2011 at 22:17  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

English Viking

PS Don't lecture me, it doesn't work.

I wasn't lecturing you at all. In fact, I didn't make that post for your benefit. If you choose to receive it as a reproof, then more the better, for you certainly deserve such. Instead I made that post for benefit of the silent 'coon' who might pass by this blog unawares. I did not want him to see your statements stand unchallenged.

Now comes the 'lecture' part. A Christian should not use a derogatory expression like 'coon.' The one to whom he so refers is a black man - with emphasis on 'man.' White and delightsome counts for nothing in the eyes of God, after all. And, yes, that goes for all the other derogatory expressions you listed as well.

carl

17 December 2011 at 22:41  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Albert

Do you really expect coherent answers from len or from Ernsty?

St Peter himself warns us about the unlearned, unstable and unwise.

" ... certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction."

He cautions us to ... take heed, lest being led aside by the error of the unwise, you fall from your own steadfastness."

17 December 2011 at 23:08  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Ancient Brittain wrote@18:21 The difference between David Cameron and the Archbishop of Canterbury is His Grace knows what he is talking about while Cameron reads someone else's speeches like a good communications man.
Not quite so I think. Dodo and The Arch Bishop have much in common, they have their heads filled with information but don't understand what it is they think they know. Rowan Williams is an interlectual but atleast is not caught up with mistic beliefs about the after life but he has no life. Cameron is without knowlede and without life.

18 December 2011 at 00:23  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Mr Integrity

Improve your spelling and grammar I might take ou more seriously. Mine isn't too great but at least I try.

You equate me with the Archbishop? Is that an insult? I think you'll find the Archbishop's head is full of love of the Gospel, that he does understand it and does know what he believes. If he has a fault, it is that he heads a church that does not want to be led. He's just not Moses!

As for me, I'm far less knowledgable, cultured and noble. Please do not confuse your own stupity and inability to comprend simple English with me holding "mistic beliefs".

18 December 2011 at 00:53  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo @ 16:37: bollox.

18 December 2011 at 01:09  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Oswin said ...

"Dodo @ 16:37: bollox."

I know it must be difficult, but don't despair. Its not about being 'greater' or 'lesser', it's about what's meant to be.

18 December 2011 at 01:22  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I quite like Dawkins' take on Cameron: someone who is a believer in belief, thinking faith is good for other people.

18 December 2011 at 05:30  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dawkins: "A depressingly large number of intelligent and educated people, having outgrown religious faith themselves, still vaguely presume without thinking about it that religious faith is somehow good for other people, good for society, good for public order, good for instilling morals."

18 December 2011 at 05:32  
Blogger len said...

Albert(22:17), you can lead a horse(or Catholic) to water(the living water) but you cannot make him drink.

18 December 2011 at 09:27  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

When you start being able to defend your own position with reference to scripture, rather than just resorting to an ad hominem in every discussion, then I might take seriously the idea that you are leading me to living water. Until such time, I will simply play the same point back to you.

18 December 2011 at 09:58  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan,

I quite like Dawkins' take on Cameron: someone who is a believer in belief, thinking faith is good for other people...A depressingly large number of intelligent and educated people, having outgrown religious faith themselves, still vaguely presume without thinking about it that religious faith is somehow good for other people, good for society, good for public order, good for instilling morals.

Except that clearly does not apply to Cameron:

I am a committed - but I have to say vaguely practising - Church of England Christian, who will stand up for the values and principles of my faith...but who is full of doubts and, like many, constantly grappling with the difficult questions when it comes to some of the big theological issues

Like Len, it doesn't matter what the written evidence says, you will still believe the position you started with.

18 December 2011 at 10:01  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

*skin crawls*

18 December 2011 at 10:46  
Blogger len said...

Albert,
If you(Catholics) refuse to accept the authority of Scripture what more can I say?.
You have chosen your religion and I suppose God will let you go your own way , but your religion cannot save you (which is the point I am making)
as long as you realise that then their is no more to say.

18 December 2011 at 12:04  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

You won't get away that easily I'm afraid. Stuff like: "No", "Not interested", "NO!", "Get lost", "NO! Will you just feck off?!", or even not replying time after time doesn't apply to these sort of men. You must engage with them. You must accept their opinion, right or wrong, over yours. It's a dominance thing. And, oh man, it's really creepy when you spot what's going on.

18 December 2011 at 12:32  
Blogger len said...

Danjo,
Well 'walk away' is Just what Jesus recommended.Not easy I know when they keep following you,and if they persist in pushing their own particular brand of religion in your face then they need to be confronted.

Jesus preached the Gospel and never tried to convince people that He had the' right version' He left that up to God to give them revelation. Some might even think from Jesus`s remarks that He actually tried to put people off following Him. Jesus never preached an 'easy' Gospel.

However if people are putting forth error as truth then they must be confronted if not for them then others might grasp the truth.

With the likes of Dodo and pals circling round like buzzards it is not always easy to 'keep ones cool' but its good practice for 'walking in the Spirit'.

All the best don`t let them get you down!.

18 December 2011 at 14:05  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0, sweet words from the weasel. How on earth do you do it, godless and gay that you are. One would think that he’d be a monkey on your back but not so. Must be the Devil himself who’s telling your man to back off and concentrate on God’s top Christians, the Catholics...

18 December 2011 at 14:58  
Blogger Colin Knapman said...

Firstly I apologize for an error in my quotation on 17th Dec 2011 at 11:57
The opening words should have read:- “THAT FROM A CHILD…..”
Secondly The Prime Minister in his speech made mention of Mrs Thatcher.
Forty years ago she visited the headquarters of the British and Foreign Bible Society where she was presented with two copies of the New Testament for her then teenage twins Carol and Mark. It was reported also that 22 local authorities had received 84,000 copies during 1976. The first two copies were given to Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
Now in 2011, when 20,000 schools receive a Bible, we get various responses .
One of mockery from Mr Prescott who claimed it to be a vanity project.

My scriptural quotation on the 17th Dec was from the Apostle Paul to Timothy.
Here is another where Paul is thankful in that he had obtained mercy, these verses are taken from 1 Timothy chapter 1 verses 12 to 17.
“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it unbelief.
And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Jesus Christ.
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all long suffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

18 December 2011 at 15:36  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "How on earth do you do it, godless and gay that you are."

Oh he and I have had our tiffs in the past but he's not a bad man I'm sure. Afterall, he has cats.

"Must be the Devil himself who’s telling your man to back off and concentrate on God’s top Christians, the Catholics..."

Ha. Well, there's Catholics and there's Catholics. The latter must never, ever be given any temporal power.

18 December 2011 at 15:44  
Blogger Colin Knapman said...

Soory again, but the error was not at 11;57 but later at 22:17 hours

18 December 2011 at 15:45  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. Cats are the Devil’s tool used to corrupt and ensnare Len. Look at the results..

18 December 2011 at 16:01  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo @ 01.22 :

Yet again I say that you are not a good advert for Roman Catholicism. I've never had any problem with English R.C's. Perhaps it's due to your er, more exotic background?

What I do know, is that you engender an attitude that most Brits had wished long gone.

Indeed, your contribution has, I feel, encouraged others to support you beyond their previous inclination, whilst arousing opposition from others, beyond theirs.

Perhaps it is best if, in the future, I regard YOU as a one-man-band, representing little beyond your own peculiarities.

In truth, you do my R.C friends an injustice.

18 December 2011 at 16:27  
Blogger Oswin said...

Inspector: oh dear, you'll now have English Viking after you too!

Mind you, I don't say that you are wrong; ref' 'cats' that is, not Len.

Since my old black labrador departed a fortnight back, the neighbourhood moggies have invaded my garden with all their foul ways!

18 December 2011 at 16:41  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Oswin. Never hear of a cat being called ‘mans best friend’, other than by Viking. My regret to hear of your dog, hope you will get another in good time. Half filled plastic bottles of water lying on their side deter cats; have seen it in action. Something to do with their particularly good eyesight. Could be they see partially in the infra red. Anyway, it freaks them out !

18 December 2011 at 17:06  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Oswin said ...

" ... you engender an attitude that most Brits had wished long gone."

I'm no liberal, cultural christian, that's for sure. Most Brits regard religious discussion over denominational differance as 'bad manners'. A sign of the times.

18 December 2011 at 18:15  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Oswin: "Indeed, your contribution has, I feel, encouraged others to support you beyond their previous inclination, whilst arousing opposition from others, beyond theirs."

I think he'd see that as a roaring success.

18 December 2011 at 18:15  
Blogger non mouse said...

Oswin - condolences on your dog. I lost mine a while back. I'll never forget the time, in Scotland, when she confronted the first hedgehog she'd ever seen; she also kept cats from the door and was black, but C(h)orgi. I said she was God's little messenger... pure gold, 'virtually' :)

Cats or dogs,though, it seems the animals could teach our politicians a thing or two... e.g. about how to speak without words. Especially, without other people's words.

18 December 2011 at 18:24  
Blogger Albert said...

Len & Dan,

I have commented before on how similar you are, so perhaps it was only a matter of time before you teamed up.

Not easy I know when they keep following you,and if they persist in pushing their own particular brand of religion in your face then they need to be confronted.

You ought to be ashamed of yourself for writing that Len. I think almost without exception every single one of our discussions has begun with you gratuitously knocking Catholicism. I have never attempted to convert either of you, I have, as I have stated again and again said that I wish nothing more than to stop your ignorant attacks on Catholicism (and in Len's case to make him a biblical Protestant in the doctrines of the incarnation and Trinity).

Having started the discussion, you both seem content to carry on the argument while you think you have ammunition, but as soon as you run out of argument you pretend you never wanted to discuss it in the first place. Fine: don't make mindless and unfair attacks on Catholicism.

Then, Len, you have audacity to go on to say:

However if people are putting forth error as truth then they must be confronted if not for them then others might grasp the truth

So one minute, you accuse me of pushing my Catholicism down your throat and the next you say a Christian must defend his faith!

If you(Catholics) refuse to accept the authority of Scripture what more can I say?.

But Len, I have been able to defend my position on biblical grounds, but you haven't.

Dan,

You won't get away that easily I'm afraid. Stuff like: "No", "Not interested", "NO!", "Get lost", "NO! Will you just feck off?!", or even not replying time after time doesn't apply to these sort of men. You must engage with them. You must accept their opinion, right or wrong, over yours. It's a dominance thing.


I find your assumption that you should be able to say what you like to whoever you like, and impose silence on them, deeply creepy.

18 December 2011 at 19:42  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

*shudder*

I really need a fecking barge pole.

18 December 2011 at 19:54  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Dodo; I typed a reply but since the power cut on my computer and I lost it, I will leave it lost. Save to apologise for the appaling spelling and grammer that came from my keyboard at 00:23. Not my best time of day (nor anytime you might say). But I can at least apologize.

18 December 2011 at 20:18  
Blogger uk Fred said...

I am starting to feel depressed by this thread. What everyone needs is not religion, but a living faith. Mark DRiscoll can express this much better than I in this video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXKT8IPdvzA

18 December 2011 at 20:33  
Blogger English Viking said...

Carl,

You'll not be surprised to know that I completely disagree with you.

Call me a racist, I really don't care.

The worst thing about the racial destruction of the Western nations is white muppets that cheer-lead from the sidelines, patting their self-righteous, tolerant and culturally diverse backsin the process, and decrying others who can see through the Emperors new clothes.

Your PC gobshite is not Christianity, not in my book, at least.

No doubt my brand is not much use to you, either.

God seems to have had a thing about Amalekites, Moabites, Egyptians, Philistines, etc, etc.

Is He a racist?

Why not try an experiment?
Why not let millions upon millions of dagoes into your country, and see if it makes even the slightest improvement? Oh wait - you tried that, it didn't work.

cf Detroit for the benefits of multi-cultural madness.

Muppet.

18 December 2011 at 21:22  
Blogger Mike. said...

I bow to the Prime Ministerial ability to say so much without saying anything. From what I've just read there was no need for Jesus to be born at all. And therefore no need for Him to die! Dave has successfully promoted a Christless Christianity - of no use to anyone!

18 December 2011 at 23:26  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

len said ...

" ... if people are putting forth error as truth then they must be confronted if not for them then others might grasp the truth."

Something we can agree on. But, just one thing, confront them with truth, not a dishonest attack on beliefs you don't understand. And,and do try harder to see a discussion through to the end.

19 December 2011 at 00:23  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

DanJ0 said ...

"I really need a fecking barge pole."

Too much information; way, way too much!

19 December 2011 at 00:26  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

English Viking

Why not let millions upon millions of dagoes into your country

Yeh. It was all those Italians that ruined the United States. No, wait. It was before that. It was all those German and Irish immigrants in the 19th century that polluted the good Anglo-Saxon racial stock of the United States. Good thing we didn't let in any Jews or we would really be screwed. Oh, wait...

You should become a Mormon, EV. They are really big on that "white and delightsome" stuff as well.

carl

19 December 2011 at 01:40  
Blogger len said...

Albert, you are as deluded as the Dodo, not surprising as you are bound within the same cult.
I have given you countless scriptures which you discard in favour of your' traditions' and the scriptures that you do use have a' Catholic spin' on them.
Unless you wake up to the fact(presuming that you REALLY don`t know what you are doing?) then you are without hope.
But if you are conscious of what you are doing then you are without any sort of complaint when meeting your Maker.

19 December 2011 at 08:25  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

I have given you countless scriptures which you discard in favour of your' traditions' and the scriptures that you do use have a' Catholic spin' on them.

Actually, you give very few passages of scripture, and I never quote Catholic sources against you. This is how our conversations go: you make an unwarranted and unprovoked attack on Catholicism. We then point out that what you have attacked isn't Catholicism and that the position you are defending isn't the Bible either. You then reply with a passage of scripture. One of us replies by pointing out that the passage does not say what you say it says, and by quoting half a dozen other passages, we show that it could not mean what you say it means. At this point, you completely ignore all the Biblical evidence, resort to rudeness and then drop off. Then a day or two later, the cycle starts again with more attacks on Catholicism and so on. Contrary to what you say here, the longer the discussion goes on, the less scripture you cite, and the more scripture gets cited against you.

What conclusion can we draw from this? The conclusion that I draw is that you are a conservative liberal Protestant. Liberal Protestant in the sense that what the Bible actually says ultimately has little bearing on what you believe.

Let me say once more: I have no intention of trying to convert you of the truth of Catholicism. As a convert myself, I am quite conscious that it takes more than simple argument to convert. But if you attack my faith - especially as you do so by misrepresenting both it and the Bible, I am bound to reply. In your words:

However if people are putting forth error as truth then they must be confronted if not for them then others might grasp the truth

19 December 2011 at 09:24  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Albert. you make an unwarranted and unprovoked attack on Catholicism.

The Inspector was reviewing archived His Grace lately and discovered our Len has been doing the above for a few years now. His Modus Operandi indeed. He apparently lacks intellect (…no surprise there then…) and merely appears to recycle his dross. Of course, there is one big difference between then and now; he used to be able to get away with it unopposed. Much to his chagrin, those days have passed !

19 December 2011 at 18:43  
Blogger len said...

Albert,(09:24)
You can draw what conclusions you like that is your privilege.But don`t expect me to remain silent when you present your own particular brand of religion.

I see the Inspector is as objectionable as ever, nothing changes apparently, surprised the Dodo hasn`t appeared to' put the boot in'.


You seem to be very selective about' rudeness', just a tad Hypocritical don`t you think Albert?.Doesn`t Catholic rudeness count in your scheme of things Albert?.Apparently not!.


The errors of Catholicism are glaringly obvious to anyone with access to a Bible( unless one was thoroughly indoctrinated into the Catholic religion) and I will continue (God willing) to make this point.The insults from those who oppose the Gospel are meaningless when one considers the Martyrs who have endured much more from exposing the errors of Catholicism.

Really when opposing the errors of Catholicism it just defines my faith in the Reformation and the necessity of the move away from Rome.

19 December 2011 at 19:50  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

You seem to be very selective about' rudeness'

I think the point I was making was that you resort to rudeness in lieu of argument. But in any case, I trust I have not been rude to you, and if I have, I freely apologise.

19 December 2011 at 20:16  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len. The Inspector re-iterates, “No longer unopposed”. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, you sod...

19 December 2011 at 20:19  
Blogger len said...

Inspector,
If you have been looking back over the discussions I have had in the past you will no doubt have noticed that I started off knowing little about Catholicism and had discussions with a gentleman who called himself 'the recusant'.
He explained Catholic practices to me and the more I learned about Catholicism the more intrigued I was about it.I checked what he said with my Bible and realised that something was badly wrong.
The conclusion I came to (as have many others) that Catholicism had
strayed far and wide from the Gospel.
The reformation attempted to halt this course the Catholic church was pursuing and put the Church back on track and I firmly believe the reformation was necessary to put the Church back in line with the original Gospel.
I have no desire to upset or alienate anyone but I will put forward my views with conviction.

If I have been rude I do humbly apologise as sometimes in the heat of the moment things are said which are better left unsaid I will try to remain calm cool and level headed in future,it would help perhaps if others would respond in like manner.

19 December 2011 at 20:41  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

len is "surprised the Dodo hasn`t appeared to' put the boot in'."

Given time all things are possible!

Admit it, you actually don't understand Catholicism. Why trust this character 'the recusant'?

You do know this is a protestant term used against Catholics? How do you know he wasn't filling your head with lies?

19 December 2011 at 21:18  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

Thank you for your irenic response.

I checked what he said with my Bible and realised that something was badly wrong.

I do understand what you are getting at. For a long time I thought Catholicism was in error. You have nothing to teach me on the things it can be accused of. I completely understand that the Bible seems that way to you. All I ask is that you accept that it doesn't seem that way to us - it really doesn't. In course of our conversations I have tried to show why not (and at times to correct your misunderstandings of Catholicism which are entirely understandable, I had some similar misconceptions myself).

Under these circumstances, wouldn't it be a good thing not to attack each other as if the other was just wickedly blind to the truth? By all means discuss what you think is wrong with Catholicism, but don't gratuitously attack us.

19 December 2011 at 22:18  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo the Umpah Dude @ 18:15 :

Quite so, it is indeed ''bad manners'' - an attitude born from the terror and mayhem of earlier centuries. Anyhows, carry-on banging yer drum, and blowing yer kazoo...just mind how you clash those knee-cymbals!

non mouse & the Inspector, thank you.

DanJo: you're probably right. I'm going to ask Avi to take him back; or else have Mossad lose him some place.

20 December 2011 at 04:02  
Blogger len said...

Albert(22:18)
Agreed.No more attacks.Please ask Dodo and the Inspector not to provoke me as the inclination to respond is too much at times!.


Our main point of difference seem to be;

1, The interpretation of Scripture,what is the truth regarding this?.It is apparent from all the contradictory teachings of the many denominations and cults of Christendom, that they all cannot be right.Who is interpreting Scripture correctly?.

2, Is it permissible to add to the Word of God?.

My main objective is to arrive at the truth regarding these matters.

20 December 2011 at 08:04  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

Thank you. Yes, I think we should all lay off attacking each other - Speak the truth in love is what scripture says, and as Catholics we should regard ourselves as having a greater responsibility to do both parts of that.

In response to your questions, I think 1 is very pertinent. Scripture itself, being the word of God, is the highest authority - we agree on that. But as it is the interpretation of scripture that is disputed, we cannot resolve our differences simply by appealing to our own interpretations of scripture (the very thing in doubt). This is why Catholics believe Christ gave us the Magisterium, so that we can know how he interprets scripture. We do not place the Magisterium above scripture, we place the Magisterium above our own interpretations of scripture.

2, Is it permissible to add to the Word of God?.

Absolutely not! (Luther, please note.)

20 December 2011 at 09:40  
Blogger len said...

Albert, thanks for your comments.

20 December 2011 at 10:37  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

len said ...
"Agreed.No more attacks.Please ask Dodo and the Inspector not to provoke me as the inclination to respond is too much at times!."

The Inspector will answer for himself; I'll consider a Christmas truce. Provokation is a two-way street!

20 December 2011 at 12:22  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len. You have your cease fire, effective as at now.

20 December 2011 at 18:18  
Blogger len said...

Ok, Gentlemen.
Seasons greetings to you all.

20 December 2011 at 20:04  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

len said ....
"Ok, Gentlemen.
Seasons greetings to you all."


May the joy and peace of Christ
be with you this Christmas and in the New Year.

20 December 2011 at 20:25  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

...and to you feisty bird, and to all who frequent the Archbishop’s blog, one and all...

20 December 2011 at 20:37  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Inspector

This is by way of an 'intelligence briefing' and for 'your eyes only'.

I know we've agreed a cease fire for Christmas, but I must say I the lack of religious content in len's greeting is interesting.

I wonder, does he celebrate Christmas?

20 December 2011 at 20:54  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. Just glad of the ceasefire one would think, and there are cats to be fed...

20 December 2011 at 21:08  
Blogger Albert said...

And to you too, Len.

20 December 2011 at 21:41  
Blogger Albert said...

Dodo @ 2054:

Naughty boy!

20 December 2011 at 21:42  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Albert

Merely a private despatch sent "without prejudice".

20 December 2011 at 22:17  
Blogger len said...

I would like to wish a Happy Christmas to all who frequent His Graces esteemed blog and thank his Grace for all his thought provoking articles.
Blessing to you all.

21 December 2011 at 09:02  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

len

Thank you and let's look forward to less fractious and better informed debates in the New Year.

May God Bless you.

21 December 2011 at 16:12  
Blogger len said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

21 December 2011 at 16:32  
Blogger len said...

Dodo,

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.(Proverbs 27:17)

Perhaps we can all learn something..... if we have teachable spirits.

God Bless you.

21 December 2011 16:32

(corrected typos from previous post)

21 December 2011 at 20:48  

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