Bishop Gene Robinson has a new book coming out, The Eye of the Storm, published by Church Publishing. Look for it soon.
Right now you can read four installments from one chapter of the book on the Episcopal Majority website. It is very much worth the read. The texts are HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE. It is a hopeful book by a faithful person. Here is the last paragraph of the fourth installment.
"In the end, I know everything will turn out right. Christians are hopeful by nature – not because we have any special confidence in the desire of human beings to do the right thing, but because of our confidence in God to keep prodding, inspiring, and calling us until we do it. The world may be ready for change, but our faith tells us that change is anything but random. God is always working for the coming of the kind of Kingdom in which all are respected, all are valued, all are included. I believe the Holy Spirit is working within the Church and within the culture to bring that full inclusion about, and in the end, God will not be foiled. In the meantime, we need to work with all our might, intellect, dollars—and all our hearts--to bring that new world into existence."
When down and troubled this is the hope to which I too turn - to "our confidence in God to keep prodding, inspiring, and calling us untill we do" what is right.
Bishop Robinson is in many ways a conservative Christian, believing that God will guide us to right action and right belief. Among those things that count as right for him is the matter of full inclusion. So he sees that as what we must work for if we are to work for God's kingdom and justice. We must conserve the hope that is in us by action that works to "bring that new world into existence."
I too am hopeful, although I am not sure it is about bringing that new world into existence as much as it is about anticipating with joy and awe both the coming of the Lord and the passing away of this world. By which I mean I suppose (this being written much too early in the morning) that I believe that our longing is about anticipatory living in the presence of the Christ. Somehow that means that I must come to see Christ present in Gene Robinson, Bob Duncan, Peter Akinola, the Mad Priest, and even in myself.
Full inclusion is a conservative idea, in that it concerns holding close the notion that God will not be foiled and God's will wills out. But full inclusion is also a radical notion: the notion that if we live now in the presence of the Christ the scales will fall from our eyes and we will know one another as anointed and loved.
Thanks to the Episcopal Majority for posting these passages from Bishop Robinson's book. When it comes out, buy it and read it. Meanwhile get a taste by reading the sections posted on the Episcopal Majority website. Again, the texts are HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.