Daily Archives: March 1, 2007

Thoughts on the Thursday Question

Jim Naughton has been wondering out loud about something I’ve been pondering for a while. Since he brought it up, I’ll extend my thoughts on it a bit…

He suggests that one of the best reasons for TEC to turn down the Communique is the opportunity that such a move might make for evangelism. I don’t think he goes this far–but I will: perhaps turning down the Communique would give TEC an opportunity to evangelize the socially liberal/progressive for whom the “traditional”–read “socially conservative”–moral message with which the Gospel of Jesus is normally associated is a stumbling block. To put it another way, has the Good News of Jesus’ reconciling work through the cross and empty tomb been entrapped by a culturally binding morality which prevents it from being heard?

I don’t say this lightly. After all, I’m more on the socially conservative side myself. I’m not posing this as a rhetorical question that seeks to persuade but as an open question for discussion.

If–IF–this is the case, then perhaps TEC does have a calling separate from the Anglican Communion. As far as I’m concerned, we have a clear picture of what we don’t want–Europe. A continent where, according to all the reports I’ve seen, the Gospel is more often than not regarded as irrelevant for modern humanity. What is to say that will not characterize the US in fifty years?

One of the key issues that gives me pause, though, is this: I can’t think of a single denomination where the majority both embraces a liberal social vision and proclaims orthodox, Nicene, creedally grounded Christianity.

Is that because it hasn’t been done…or because it can’t?