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Author Topic: I thought I understood Anglicanism but now...  (Read 12398 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #270 on: July 04, 2013, 09:19:47 AM »

I've been meaning to ask the Episcopal Church members on this board about something, and I guess this thread is as good as any, so here goes:

My understanding is that, while allowing a broad range of interpretations of the doctrines, the Episcopal Church accepts as normative the creeds and the general theological stances contained in the Book of Common Prayer.

How/ why are certain Episcopal clergy- I am thinking especially of Bishop Spong- allowed to deny basic Christian dogma, and still remain clergy in the Episcopal Church? How do you, as members of the Episcopal Church, justify this, or at least reconcile it with your understanding of your communion as being part of the Christian church?

Well, ten people can assent to one creed and believe 10 radically different things.

Okay, but could you answer my questions? They were not asked rhetorically.
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« Reply #271 on: July 04, 2013, 09:38:07 AM »

  On the positive side, in the homosexuality debates, the Episcopal Church is starting to put its foot down on something which is an improvement over the free-for-all that envelopes much of the Anglican Communion.   A broad religion sounds like a nice sentiment in theory, but in practice it is spiritually damaging.  You can't ask people to join that sort of thing, which is why Anglicanism in Europe and North America has hemorraged memebers.  In the postmodern age people want commitment, fidelity, and authenticity, none of which are possible if the Gospel means anything and everything and the Christian faith is seen as completely non-doctrinal.  The church was right to discipline Bishop Mark Lawrence, but it's too little, too late.  The Episcopal church has allowed latitudinarian nonsense for decades in the name of being well-mannered in a bourgeoise, upper-middle class WASP sense.
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« Reply #272 on: July 04, 2013, 10:08:33 AM »

The church was right to discipline Bishop Mark Lawrence, but it's too little, too late. 

Indeed, expelling conservative-to-moderate dioceses is something TEC should have done a couple decades ago, when there many such dioceses.
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« Reply #273 on: July 04, 2013, 02:10:50 PM »

The Nicene Creed rules out atheism in its first few words.

And Spong isn't an atheist.
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« Reply #274 on: July 04, 2013, 02:13:35 PM »

 On the positive side, in the homosexuality debates, the Episcopal Church is starting to put its foot down on something which is an improvement over the free-for-all that envelopes much of the Anglican Communion.   A broad religion sounds like a nice sentiment in theory, but in practice it is spiritually damaging.  You can't ask people to join that sort of thing, which is why Anglicanism in Europe and North America has hemorraged memebers.  In the postmodern age people want commitment, fidelity, and authenticity, none of which are possible if the Gospel means anything and everything and the Christian faith is seen as completely non-doctrinal.  The church was right to discipline Bishop Mark Lawrence, but it's too little, too late.  The Episcopal church has allowed latitudinarian nonsense for decades in the name of being well-mannered in a bourgeoise, upper-middle class WASP sense.

I don't see it as spiritually damaging to have "a broad religion."  At my parish, people have extremely divergent views on most issues, yet I feel far closer to God now than I ever did at the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #275 on: July 04, 2013, 02:20:05 PM »

The Nicene Creed rules out atheism in its first few words.

And Spong isn't an atheist.

Perhaps he denies being an atheist but his twelve theses tell me otherwise.
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« Reply #276 on: July 04, 2013, 03:17:58 PM »


2) Yes, I realize that, but I also don't really care. I also consider Chalcedonians to be "protestants" (in some sense) in that they have abandoned the pure, untainted Christian faith by accepting Chalcedon and the Tome. That being said, I still would not compare them (or RCs for that matter) to the malicious and heretical movement known as reformed protestantism. There simply is no other religious movement on the planet which has misled and misguided so many under the guise of Christianity. I cannot even begin to describe how much I despise this evil, deviant, and heretical set of sects. I pray for the adherents of protestantism to leave their heresy and come home.

Wow.


FWIW, I have never met an Orthodox Christian irl that spewed such venom towards other Christians.  I disagree strongly w/ protestantism, but the language here is rather strong.
I am not "spewing venom" towards Protestants, but rather their belief system (as I have already explained). That, on top of the fact that Protestants are not true Christians.

I agree, wow.
Actually, this touches on one of my reasons for not becoming Orthodox (not the only one, or even the main one): It's too "anti-" for my taste.
There are plenty of historical examples of Church Fathers and even Roman Popes condemning schismatics and heretics using very explicit and strong language. Our Lord Himself used very harsh language at times when dealing with the Pharisees. Therefore, I do not think your gripe with Orthodoxy is justified. In fact, traditional Latin ecclesiology and soteriology is much more exclusivist than Orthodoxy's.
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« Reply #277 on: July 04, 2013, 07:07:02 PM »

I don't see it as spiritually damaging to have "a broad religion."  At my parish, people have extremely divergent views on most issues, yet I feel far closer to God now than I ever did at the Orthodox Church.

   Especially since 1979, even the concept of common prayer is being eroded.

   I find the latitudinarian treatment of the Christian faith leads to a more superficial approach.  Life is serious business, religion should be the same way.    The Episcopal churches near me present a fluffy, relatively conservative brand of religion, with aging parishoners and few young people, that doesn't engage me intellectually or spiritually, but isn't particularly inclusive.  Yes, its a routine and comforting in some ways, but they could do better.  It's stuck in the 1970's and it's ugly.  The happy-clappy evangelical message strikes me as sentimental too.  I want more austere religion, even if I am socially liberal.

  It's interesting you are formerly Orthodox, I'd like to hear more about it.  You can send me a private message.

  I know a few people that are trending liberal since they joined the Orthodox church and also have some issues with things- they are discovering the church isn't the bastion of truth they thought it would be.  I'm just not sure Anglicanism is the answer, esp. where I live.  
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« Reply #278 on: July 04, 2013, 10:03:12 PM »


2) Yes, I realize that, but I also don't really care. I also consider Chalcedonians to be "protestants" (in some sense) in that they have abandoned the pure, untainted Christian faith by accepting Chalcedon and the Tome. That being said, I still would not compare them (or RCs for that matter) to the malicious and heretical movement known as reformed protestantism. There simply is no other religious movement on the planet which has misled and misguided so many under the guise of Christianity. I cannot even begin to describe how much I despise this evil, deviant, and heretical set of sects. I pray for the adherents of protestantism to leave their heresy and come home.

Wow.


FWIW, I have never met an Orthodox Christian irl that spewed such venom towards other Christians.  I disagree strongly w/ protestantism, but the language here is rather strong.
I am not "spewing venom" towards Protestants, but rather their belief system (as I have already explained). That, on top of the fact that Protestants are not true Christians.

I agree, wow.
Actually, this touches on one of my reasons for not becoming Orthodox (not the only one, or even the main one): It's too "anti-" for my taste.
There are plenty of historical examples of Church Fathers and even Roman Popes condemning schismatics and heretics using very explicit and strong language. Our Lord Himself used very harsh language at times when dealing with the Pharisees. Therefore, I do not think your gripe with Orthodoxy is justified. In fact, traditional Latin ecclesiology and soteriology is much more exclusivist than Orthodoxy's.

Pass.
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« Reply #279 on: July 05, 2013, 05:36:17 AM »

The Nicene Creed rules out atheism in its first few words.

And Spong isn't an atheist.

Perhaps he denies being an atheist but his twelve theses tell me otherwise.

Bishop Spong might be an augustinian.
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« Reply #280 on: July 05, 2013, 12:22:34 PM »

Your faith is also rarely matched . What exactly is your point?
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« Reply #281 on: July 05, 2013, 01:33:19 PM »

Your faith is also rarely matched . What exactly is your point?

It was a gratuitous observation.  Smiley

Your musings about the probability of the Creed yesterday probably triggered the synapse.
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« Reply #282 on: July 05, 2013, 01:36:09 PM »

Your diligence in following me is unusual to say the least. It's not just me that thinks that.
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« Reply #283 on: July 05, 2013, 01:39:56 PM »

Your diligence in following me is unusual to say the least. It's not just me that thinks that.

I "follow" lots of other people on this forum. But if it makes you feel special, you're still on my "buddy list"...

You don't think much of other people's opinions. Why should I?
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« Reply #284 on: July 05, 2013, 04:20:55 PM »

I don't see it as spiritually damaging to have "a broad religion."  At my parish, people have extremely divergent views on most issues, yet I feel far closer to God now than I ever did at the Orthodox Church.

   Especially since 1979, even the concept of common prayer is being eroded.

   I find the latitudinarian treatment of the Christian faith leads to a more superficial approach.  Life is serious business, religion should be the same way.    The Episcopal churches near me present a fluffy, relatively conservative brand of religion, with aging parishoners and few young people, that doesn't engage me intellectually or spiritually, but isn't particularly inclusive.  Yes, its a routine and comforting in some ways, but they could do better.  It's stuck in the 1970's and it's ugly.  The happy-clappy evangelical message strikes me as sentimental too.  I want more austere religion, even if I am socially liberal.

  It's interesting you are formerly Orthodox, I'd like to hear more about it.  You can send me a private message.

  I know a few people that are trending liberal since they joined the Orthodox church and also have some issues with things- they are discovering the church isn't the bastion of truth they thought it would be.  I'm just not sure Anglicanism is the answer, esp. where I live.  

I'll try to remember to message you more privately, after the weekend (I'll be out of town).  But I just wanted to say that this doesn't represent many of the Episcopal parishes in my area, that I'm familiar with.
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« Reply #285 on: July 06, 2013, 10:24:50 AM »

But I just wanted to say that this doesn't represent many of the Episcopal parishes in my area, that I'm familiar with.

But isn't that the problem though- there is no uniformity of practice or belief in the Episcopal church. Your local parishes may be very small-o orthodox but someone in the next diocese over could be denying the divinity of Christ or the Resurrection without any repercussions.

I would genuinely like an answer to my questions about Spong et al... if you'd rather do it via PM, that's fine.
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« Reply #286 on: July 11, 2013, 12:36:32 PM »

I had an Anglican friend set me straight on what they actually believe as opposed to what is actually portrayed.He said that the AC considers itself Apostolic but doesn't understand that word in the same fashion as EO or RCC. He also said that while the office of bishop was decided to be kept because of it historic use that it is not necessary. He also said that while they call their minister a priest and the table an altar in everyday parlance that they in fact do not believe that he is a priest since there is no sacrifice going on in their service...also it is a holy table not an altar again due to their being no sacrifice. I have looked at the 39 articles and while some seem fine I have real issues with others. Any comments observations?

 

Definitely a low churchman sounds like.

I was, at one time, a member of the Reformed Episcopal Church and during this time also had contact with Anglicans from other jurisdictions and with varying churchmanship. IMHO, even the most high church, anglo-catholics are, at their core, quite Protestant in their thinking.

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« Reply #287 on: July 11, 2013, 03:26:02 PM »

The Nicene Creed rules out atheism in its first few words.
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« Reply #288 on: July 11, 2013, 03:30:27 PM »

I had an Anglican friend set me straight on what they actually believe as opposed to what is actually portrayed.He said that the AC considers itself Apostolic but doesn't understand that word in the same fashion as EO or RCC. He also said that while the office of bishop was decided to be kept because of it historic use that it is not necessary. He also said that while they call their minister a priest and the table an altar in everyday parlance that they in fact do not believe that he is a priest since there is no sacrifice going on in their service...also it is a holy table not an altar again due to their being no sacrifice. I have looked at the 39 articles and while some seem fine I have real issues with others. Any comments observations?

Definitely a low churchman sounds like.

I was, at one time, a member of the Reformed Episcopal Church and during this time also had contact with Anglicans from other jurisdictions and with varying churchmanship. IMHO, even the most high church, anglo-catholics are, at their core, quite Protestant in their thinking.

Interesting. Can you elaborate a bit?
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« Reply #289 on: July 11, 2013, 05:00:44 PM »

I had an Anglican friend set me straight on what they actually believe as opposed to what is actually portrayed.He said that the AC considers itself Apostolic but doesn't understand that word in the same fashion as EO or RCC. He also said that while the office of bishop was decided to be kept because of it historic use that it is not necessary. He also said that while they call their minister a priest and the table an altar in everyday parlance that they in fact do not believe that he is a priest since there is no sacrifice going on in their service...also it is a holy table not an altar again due to their being no sacrifice. I have looked at the 39 articles and while some seem fine I have real issues with others. Any comments observations?

Definitely a low churchman sounds like.

I was, at one time, a member of the Reformed Episcopal Church and during this time also had contact with Anglicans from other jurisdictions and with varying churchmanship. IMHO, even the most high church, anglo-catholics are, at their core, quite Protestant in their thinking.

Interesting. Can you elaborate a bit?

As a former Anglo-Catholic, I'll throw in my 2¢ worth.  Many A-C parishes tend to have a very congregationalist outlook, as they have often been at odds with the rest of their diocese over theology and liturgy.  The A-C paradox is that, while they affirm the necessity of bishops, they have often felt compelled to ignore or defy episcopal authority when said authority conflicts with their catholic aspirations.  A-C's tend to appeal to an idealized "historic church" or to the contemporary authority of another "branch" of the church (usually Rome) in order to justify their deviations from the Anglican norm (if such a thing can be said to exist anymore).  Anglo-Catholicism has always been a ghetto, and it developed the mentality to go with that.

The radical changes that have taken place in the Anglican Communion in the last 50 years have had a severe impact on A-C's.  Those who resist the changes have either hunkered down (increasingly hard to do) or left for other pastures (the Anglican Continuum, Rome, Orthodoxy).  Others have basically thrown in the towel and call themselves "affirming catholics", meaning they hang on to some forms of ritual while accepting female clergy, homosexual marriage, and many other innovations that have come along.

The "branch theory" of the church to which A-C's subscribe is itself a Protestant notion, albeit a rather exclusive one that unchurches non-episcopal Protestants.  None of the other so-called "branches" (Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, Catholicism) accepts it as valid ecclesiology.
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« Reply #290 on: July 11, 2013, 05:32:16 PM »

I had an Anglican friend set me straight on what they actually believe as opposed to what is actually portrayed.He said that the AC considers itself Apostolic but doesn't understand that word in the same fashion as EO or RCC. He also said that while the office of bishop was decided to be kept because of it historic use that it is not necessary. He also said that while they call their minister a priest and the table an altar in everyday parlance that they in fact do not believe that he is a priest since there is no sacrifice going on in their service...also it is a holy table not an altar again due to their being no sacrifice. I have looked at the 39 articles and while some seem fine I have real issues with others. Any comments observations?

Definitely a low churchman sounds like.

I was, at one time, a member of the Reformed Episcopal Church and during this time also had contact with Anglicans from other jurisdictions and with varying churchmanship. IMHO, even the most high church, anglo-catholics are, at their core, quite Protestant in their thinking.

Interesting. Can you elaborate a bit?

As a former Anglo-Catholic, I'll throw in my 2¢ worth.  Many A-C parishes tend to have a very congregationalist outlook, as they have often been at odds with the rest of their diocese over theology and liturgy.  The A-C paradox is that, while they affirm the necessity of bishops, they have often felt compelled to ignore or defy episcopal authority when said authority conflicts with their catholic aspirations.  A-C's tend to appeal to an idealized "historic church" or to the contemporary authority of another "branch" of the church (usually Rome) in order to justify their deviations from the Anglican norm (if such a thing can be said to exist anymore).  Anglo-Catholicism has always been a ghetto, and it developed the mentality to go with that.

The radical changes that have taken place in the Anglican Communion in the last 50 years have had a severe impact on A-C's.  Those who resist the changes have either hunkered down (increasingly hard to do) or left for other pastures (the Anglican Continuum, Rome, Orthodoxy).  Others have basically thrown in the towel and call themselves "affirming catholics", meaning they hang on to some forms of ritual while accepting female clergy, homosexual marriage, and many other innovations that have come along.

The "branch theory" of the church to which A-C's subscribe is itself a Protestant notion, albeit a rather exclusive one that unchurches non-episcopal Protestants.  None of the other so-called "branches" (Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, Catholicism) accepts it as valid ecclesiology.


James2 pretty well elaborated some of this in a very able manner. My experience was largely with the Continuum churches. In addition to the points made by James2, there is the tendency to split off and run to other jurisdictions if not form completely new jurisdictions (sometimes consisting of one tiny congregation) at the drop of a hat. I've also had to wonder at the lip service given to Orthodoxy yet insisting upon remaining separate from the Church. Some even claim validity based on the presence of clergy in their ranks who had, at one time, been Roman Catholic clergy.


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« Reply #291 on: July 12, 2013, 01:19:15 PM »

As a former Anglo-Catholic, I'll throw in my 2¢ worth.  Many A-C parishes tend to have a very congregationalist outlook, as they have often been at odds with the rest of their diocese over theology and liturgy.  The A-C paradox is that, while they affirm the necessity of bishops, they have often felt compelled to ignore or defy episcopal authority when said authority conflicts with their catholic aspirations.  A-C's tend to appeal to an idealized "historic church" or to the contemporary authority of another "branch" of the church (usually Rome) in order to justify their deviations from the Anglican norm (if such a thing can be said to exist anymore).  Anglo-Catholicism has always been a ghetto, and it developed the mentality to go with that.

It's specifically a rejection of the notion that sacramental legitimacy automatically produces political authority, which is pretty much the theory that both Rome and the current ECUSA hierarchy have been pushing.
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« Reply #292 on: July 15, 2013, 08:32:01 PM »

I had an Anglican friend set me straight on what they actually believe as opposed to what is actually portrayed.He said that the AC considers itself Apostolic but doesn't understand that word in the same fashion as EO or RCC. He also said that while the office of bishop was decided to be kept because of it historic use that it is not necessary. He also said that while they call their minister a priest and the table an altar in everyday parlance that they in fact do not believe that he is a priest since there is no sacrifice going on in their service...also it is a holy table not an altar again due to their being no sacrifice. I have looked at the 39 articles and while some seem fine I have real issues with others. Any comments observations?

Definitely a low churchman sounds like.

I was, at one time, a member of the Reformed Episcopal Church and during this time also had contact with Anglicans from other jurisdictions and with varying churchmanship. IMHO, even the most high church, anglo-catholics are, at their core, quite Protestant in their thinking.

Interesting. Can you elaborate a bit?

As a former Anglo-Catholic, I'll throw in my 2¢ worth.  Many A-C parishes tend to have a very congregationalist outlook, as they have often been at odds with the rest of their diocese over theology and liturgy.  The A-C paradox is that, while they affirm the necessity of bishops, they have often felt compelled to ignore or defy episcopal authority when said authority conflicts with their catholic aspirations.  A-C's tend to appeal to an idealized "historic church" or to the contemporary authority of another "branch" of the church (usually Rome) in order to justify their deviations from the Anglican norm (if such a thing can be said to exist anymore).  Anglo-Catholicism has always been a ghetto, and it developed the mentality to go with that.

The radical changes that have taken place in the Anglican Communion in the last 50 years have had a severe impact on A-C's.  Those who resist the changes have either hunkered down (increasingly hard to do) or left for other pastures (the Anglican Continuum, Rome, Orthodoxy).  Others have basically thrown in the towel and call themselves "affirming catholics", meaning they hang on to some forms of ritual while accepting female clergy, homosexual marriage, and many other innovations that have come along.

The "branch theory" of the church to which A-C's subscribe is itself a Protestant notion, albeit a rather exclusive one that unchurches non-episcopal Protestants.  None of the other so-called "branches" (Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, Catholicism) accepts it as valid ecclesiology.

Yep.
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« Reply #293 on: July 24, 2013, 12:49:13 PM »

It's specifically a rejection of the notion that sacramental legitimacy automatically produces political authority, which is pretty much the theory that both Rome and the current ECUSA hierarchy have been pushing.


  Could you explain more on this point? I'm curious to hear.

  I've come to this point in my spiritual life I realize that maybe the only honestly Christian, Catholic expression in Anglicanism is the Anglo-Catholic party.  The Liberal party doesn't believe in anything except the spirit of the age and the Evangelical party- well, Evangelical Protestantism is a disfigurement of the Christian faith.   Some Rerformers had erroneously believed they could reconstruct the ancient Church and its practices using scientific methods.  This produces a Frankenstein religion, or as has been said, an android.  

  I do like the Affirming Catholic side of things, like Rowan Williams. But he's a minority. the Current Archbishop of Canterburry is a happy clappy evangelical who doesn't seem very thorough in his thinking, unlike Rowan Williams, who is an excellent theologian in the Eastern sense of the term and even has been read and appreciated by the Eastern Orthodox.
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« Reply #294 on: July 24, 2013, 01:06:05 PM »

It's specifically a rejection of the notion that sacramental legitimacy automatically produces political authority, which is pretty much the theory that both Rome and the current ECUSA hierarchy have been pushing.


  Could you explain more on this point? I'm curious to hear.

  I've come to this point in my spiritual life I realize that maybe the only honestly Christian, Catholic expression in Anglicanism is the Anglo-Catholic party.  The Liberal party doesn't believe in anything except the spirit of the age and the Evangelical party- well, Evangelical Protestantism is a disfigurement of the Christian faith.   Some Reformers had erroneously believed they could reconstruct the ancient Church and its practices using scientific methods.  This produces a Frankenstein religion, or as has been said, an android.  

  I do like the Affirming Catholic side of things, like Rowan Williams. But he's a minority. the Current Archbishop of Canterburry is a happy clappy evangelical who doesn't seem very thorough in his thinking, unlike Rowan Williams, who is an excellent theologian in the Eastern sense of the term and even has been read and appreciated by the Eastern Orthodox.

Right, liberal high church. Archbishop Williams is far more orthodox and sensible than the Episcopalians. Liberal high church believes the creeds, has pretty much the same beliefs that we do about the sacraments, and unlike Catholic liberals they love our stuff (my trad Mass for example). I don't agree with it because its ecclesiology's really the same as the liberals (fallible, fungible church) so it doesn't make sense, and I don't think it has a future (the white liberals are dying out; Anglicanism's becoming black conservative Protestant), but I acknowledge what we have in common. (Early on, in the '70s, Williams was an old-school Anglo-Catholic opposed to women's ordination, but changed his mind.)
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« Reply #295 on: July 24, 2013, 02:15:58 PM »

   I think Williams The Body's Grace, his controversial paper he delivered in 1989 that illumined a more liberal sexual ethic, is excellent stuff, but because it's not sufficiently "Biblicist", conservative Anglicans never go for that sort of thing.  Anglicans in North America, conservative and liberal, are just engaging in lazy theology, and that is what I really object to (at this point, liberals in TEC mostly are engaged in politics with their opponents, not persuasion).  
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