Radner's writings of the week.

Ephraim Radner is writing a good bit these days, sometimes for editors who take some considerable joy in giving his essays provocative titles, as in the Living Church's latest posting of his essay titled, "Actions Now Have Consequences." TLC seems to take some glee in the fact that actions have consequences, but does not seem to think that this has always been the case. But dear friends, actions always have consequences, and we all know that. The snotty title is just that, a poke in the eye. Of course actions have consequences. The embrace by realignment Anglicans of a defunct brand of American Christian idolatry disguised as evangelical Christianity and the use of that language to instill fear in Christians near and far will have its reward as well.

Letters apparently have gone out to The Episcopal Church participants in various Anglican ecumenical conversations that their status has been reduced to that of "consultant," what ever that means. So there are consequence, indeed. But other consequences will transpire as well, consequences for those churches that identify the specifics of sexual ethics as they appear in any culture with the ethics that derive from Christian faith. Too there will be consequences for those churches who have isolated the work of the Spirit to the higher authorities in the church and dismissed the work of the Spirit on the ground. Here in the world of consequences let it all be as it must - we will all indeed get our reward.

Here is how Wordel collected the primary words in Radner's "Actions Now Have Consequences."

Notice how Archbishops, bishops, covenant, communion and churches get major play? Councils and congregations get lesser play.

Radner's other essay of the past week, "Ten Years and a New Anglican Congregationalism" an article well worth the read, by the way, has a slightly different word accent.

Even with a title about congregationalism he has little use for congregational words... again Anglican, covenant, structures, communion, church get the big play. Far down the line are words like congregation. Nicely, "people" get decent mention.

Good that they do, for it turns out the people - the people gathered in this or that congregation - where love, community, parish, rector, and so forth take first place over Bishops and Archbishops and structure and such like - PEOPLE - do theology.

And I am pretty sure they know pretty well that actions have consequences, that they are indeed the congregation of the faithful every bit as much as some high toned Communion wide "congregation" of this or that ecumenical or Anglican Communion agency.

We eat our bread at table, and table is always here and now, and everywhere is Jerusalem and everywhere is precursor to our true home.

When they tell you actions have consequences, say, yeh..when we are one at our local table it changes everything.


  1. I suspect the "Actions have consequences" reflects the Fulcrum posting that concluded with those words

  2. Wherever the source it is all boorish, pretentious behavior. The consequences of the actions of the Archbishop will be marked by the impoverishment of these commissions with a truncated Anglicanism being presented. Still the power to demote is a weaker power then to papally censor. Which makes almost laughable "Radner's writings of the week(weak)" As noted in Andrew Brown's obituary on Runcie,
    "It is a further drawback to the job [of Archbishop]that this powerlessness is not publicly recognised. The Archbishop will be held responsible for any sheep worried, exactly as if he had personally urged the unleashed animals on. The period of Runcie's primacy was to be one of profound divergences and strains within the Church. The issues involved were common to the whole of Christianity, but in the Church of England, which had acquired the institutions to do everything with decisions except take them, the effects seemed particularly severe.
    [And so it seems more evident now with the Communion as a whole.]

    The battles between liberal and a resurgent conservative theology, which concentrated in this period on belief in miracle stories revealed that the Church of England contained men who did not even pretend to believe any of them; and men who would pretend to believe in everything they were ever told."

  3. “Letters apparently have gone out to The Episcopal Church participants in various Anglican ecumenical conversations that their status has been reduced to that of ‘consultant,’ what ever that means.”

    Is this an inference from Rowan’s letter, or do you know something that the rest of us do not?

    Should any Episcopalian receive such a letter, it should be brought to the immediate attention of church leaders.

    The proper reply, of course is something like the following: “Thank you, archbishop, for your recent correspondence. I fear that you are under the misapprehension that you have powers that no one has ceded to you. I suggest that we forget that this correspondence ever took place, so that we may avoid the consequent embarrassment to your august office. For my part, I will continue to exercise my assigned role as before. Thank you, however, for your concern”

  4. Lionel Deimel... Hi, oh respected one! I wrote "apparently" because, while I have not seen any such letters, I have now had comments from two sources that people have received such letters.

    I don't KNOW, but believe.

    (That kind of sounds like something I say in other contexts as well...)

    My understanding is that appointment on these committees is by the Archbishop. I believe that being so he has the right (unless otherwise specified in some ACC or other document) to remove a person from such a committee.

    I don't particularly deny his "power" to invite and dis-invite participation. My problem is that these persons were recommended to him because of their interest, abilities, and not particularly by the Anglican Province with which they are affiliated. So, for example, Professor Grieb from VTS is on a committee by virtue of her own value to the work, not because she is part of TEC.

    So it seems to me the ABC has tapped the wrong people. These are not representatives of TEC, they are resources for the best sort of conversations that might be had. That is, he has used the power to dis-invite wrongly.

  5. Radner's prose again brings to bring to mind Disraeli's comment on Gladstone: "A sophistical rhetorician, inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity, and gifted with an egotistical imagination that can at all times command an interminable and inconsistent series of arguments to malign an opponent and to glorify himself".

  6. Something tells me only TEC and ACoC members of these commissions will be getting letters while those from border-crossing churches will still be welcome to attend.

  7. Fine. One shoe has fallen. We Americans should drop the other: I think that TEC should send reply letters to Williams et al saying: “If we are not to be full participants on these committees, we will cease immediately all funding of AC projects related to them.”

    Kurt Hill
    Brooklyn, NY


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.