Liberal, Gay and Evangelical

18 07 2007

Some may be surprised that I identify myself as an Evangelical.   I call myself that because I believe in spreading the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a broken and fallen world.  The term “Evangelical” I have said over and over again has been co-opted by Christian Conversatives and Fundamentalists, and I long for the day when the religious right finally loses the monopoly on the name. 

Fleming Rutledge, a retired Episcopal Priest has listed a proposed Ten Evangelical Affirmations which I believe sums up what “Evangelical” means, which I am reprinting below.  I am a big fan of Fleming.   I wouldn’t describe her as a supporter of the full inclusion of GLBT folk in the Church (at least not in the way that we normally mean it), but I do believe her theology is very sound and I respect her scholarship.  You’ll definitely find her influence in some of my sermons.

Now … onto the affirmations …

  • Jesus Christ is the only-begotten incarnate Son of God the Father
  • Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah of Israel, hailed by Moses and Elijah, the one in whom the New Covenant prophesied by Jeremiah is fulfilled
  • In the Crucifixion, the Triune God gave himself in the person of his Son, on our behalf and in our place, the righteous for the unrighteous
  • The Cross and the Resurrection were a single definitive act of God to overcome Sin, conquer Death, defeat the Evil Oneon his own turf, and inaugurate the new reality called the Kingdom of God
  • The Holy Scriptures are the true revelation of God’s own self, and the Bible is therefore unique among writings and can be trusted as the living and active Word of God.
  • We are incorporated into the new life of God for now and for all eternity through baptism, justified by grace along, through the gift of faith.
  • The Holy Spirit is actively at work in the world shaping both events and people to bring his ultimate redemptive purpose to pass.
  • God in Christ is gathering disciples, the saints of God, who embody his purposes through the ministry of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
  • It is the very essence of Christian faith to bear witness to this story of God, and therefore make his gospel known to all nations and peoples.
  • We look to the future of God, when Jesus Christ will come again in great glory to rectify all that is wrong and bring all things to their appointed summation.

Does anyone have any thoughts on any of these?  For myself, I think it’s interesting that she affirms two theories of atonement (point 3 being substitutionary atonement and point 4 being more of Christus Victor), which is something that not  many people do.  She also unsurprisingly takes a very high view of scripture, but she stops short of saying that it is “inerrant,” which is interesting.  I don’t think the bible is inerrant, but I do believe that it’s true and it can be trusted as being inspired by God. 

All in all, I think this is a very good snapshot of Evangelical theology.  I would be curious as to what others think.  I’m just curious more than anything, especially with those who might disagree with any of the above statements and why.

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Conversations with the Reverend boy and his Personal Atheist — Episode 2

17 07 2007

Today the Reverend boy and His Personal Atheist discuss the general malaise of the United States, titles of bishops, the iPhone craze, and antidisestablishmentarianism.

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Every now and again, my Personal Atheist sends me quotes from various “overheard” sites and we comment on them a la Statler and Waldorf from The Muppet Show.  One such exchange is below.  Because we both have ADD and can switch gears in conversation on a dime we immediately started talking about something else, such as the titles of bishops.

Personal Atheist:  Overhead on the street:

PA: Teacher-in-training #1: Did you know Alaska isn’t an island?Teacher-in-training #2: Um… Yes…Teacher-in-training #1: Oh. ‘Cause I just found out yesterday.—Lansing, Michigan

the Reverend boy: there is no hope for this country. None at all

PA: i know.  LOL

Rb: <sings> “O Canada … “

Rb: God save the Queen!

PA: i was going to suggest that.

Rb: Long Live the Reverend boy :-p

Rb: you know if i got to be Presiding Bishop or Archbishop I would be the Most Reverend boy?

PA: you already are in my books.

Rb: awww

Rb: If I were Dean of a cathedral, I’d be the Very Reverend boy. :-p

Rb: i told both of those to one of the beta twins, and he said “LOL.  Oh, Lord..” and i replied (expectedly) “Yes my boy?”

PA: 🙂

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The Personal Atheist has bought an iPhone, much to my chagrin.  For the record, I think it’s a nifty gadget, and quite pretty after a fashion, but I can’t see spending so much money on a phone that can’t make phone calls with good reception.  To quote Carol Burnett, “well, it’s pretty, but it doesn’t answer my question.” 

PA: 90% of people who bought the iPhone are very happy with it.

Rb: most people are very happy when their toys are new

PA: well, it’s been 2 weeks, so if there were problems, some people would hate it by now

Rb: that would be the 10%

PA: i mean problems for some. Or disappointment.

PA: i think the 90% number says a lot.

Rb: yes it does

PA: i’m sure it will go down in time. and part of it is due to the psychological effect of the price (you tend to like things that you pay a lot for).

Rb: how many people have bought it?  

PA: about 1 million, i’d guess.

Rb: so we have about 1million people who have spent a lot of money on a phone which can’t make a decent phone call. 

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Finally, we were discussing my spiritual autobiography, which I believe is required of all aspirants (there’s the title of a religious porn magazine if there ever was one!) to the Episcopal Church, not just in my diocese.  Now, I think I’ve lived quite a full life, so the biography which went about 9 pages.  Imagine my horror when it was required that it be no more than 5 pages, 1 inch margins, and in Times New Roman 12pt font. So after a few days of trying to edit it down and have it make sense …..

Rb: My biography is just going to have to be a few lines longer than 5 pages. I just can’t trim it any more unless i do things like cheat and have some really long paragraphs :-p  

PA:: use shorter words.

Rb: Like disestablishmentarianism or antidisestablishmentarianism

PA: 😀

PA: the amazing thing is that you could actually use those in a sentence!

PA: i’ve decided to identify as counterantidisestablishmentarianistic.

Rb: LOL!

PA: that should get me into the guiness book of records.

Rb: or smacked in the head or a puzzled look or a pint of beer depending on who’s in the pub at the time :-p

PA: 🙂

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And so ends this episode the Reverend boy and his Personal Atheist.   Until next time, pee hee!





Where on Earth Have I Been?

17 07 2007

OK, so I have been very very guilty of neglecting this blog … It’s been quite a busy few weeks for me …

I spent a few days with SIR at the place where he’s working over the summer, which was really nice.  We hadn’t seen each other in a month, and I tell you it was quite a reunion!  It took me a few days before I had fully recovered from the experience ;-).  It’s been just about a year since SIR and I first met, so when he was home last week we had a nice talk about what we’ve done, where we’re going and all that, and it all turned out very very positive.

For the first time in very long time, Im really really REALLY happy with everything going on.

Except my day job.

But, that’s another story altogether. 

However, the job allows me a nice standard of living and something to do during the day so I don’t get too bored … or into trouble.

Oh, and it pays the rent, too.

The other big thing that has been going on is that I received my application package from the diocese, so I’ve been working on that.  I’ve been on mandatory shrink appointments, got a complete (and i mean COMPLETE) physical, had a personality test, and IQ test, and basically been mentally and physically poked and prodded every which a way.  My favourite questions I was asked on the personality test included “Are you now or have you ever been possessed by evil spirits?” followed by “Do you feel that you are called by God to have a certain mission in life?” in addition to “Do you enjoy being hurt by the ones you love?” and “Do you enjoy hurting the one’s you love?” I, of course, answered “no” to all of them except the “called by God” one. 

And in case anyone is interested, the shrink said I was “very smart” and “very complex.”

I sent the official application off to the diocese, which included my resume, a list of the different churches i’ve attended, my spiritual autobiography, my “leadership history” in both the secular and ecclesial world  (SIR just LOVES the way I say “ecclesial” by the way) ,  a behavioural questionnaire, two recent passport sized photographs and a partridge in a pear tree.

So, as you can see, there’s all sorts of things that have been consuming me in addition to the normal summer activities such as being outdoors, bike rides, parties, etc.  With my application off to the diocese I should have a lot more time for blogging and spreading the wisdom of the Reverend boy.