I’ve seen quite a few links recently heading off to a particular post at Desert’s Child but I’ve been crazy busy over the weekend and haven’t been on-line enough to check it out.
I finally did.
I left a comment…
It’s a post that attempts to counter the Diocese of Fort Worth’s claims concerning the “faith once delivered” with an historical expose, if you will, demonstrating that such a thing (the faith once delivered) never existed. While I am also opposed to the path that DioFW is committed to, this isn’t the way to handle it.
First, it’s incorrect. There are quite a number of factual errors and misrepresentations of scholarship that undercut the point of what they’re trying to do. I am used to people getting things incorrect. I fully acknowledge that I continue to get things incorrect. But these are big things, basic things. We (clergy, lay leaders, interested informed communicants) should know the basic framework of our history. And—by and large—we don’t. I’m trying to do my bit to remedy that with my current series on Church History for the Episcopal Cafe (I’m finishing up a past-deadline piece on the Council of Nicea right now, actually), but more needs to be done.
Second, I read the overall rhetoric of the piece (and of pieces like it) as trying to defeat those they see as traditionalists by overturning and devaluing what they see as tradition. This is a fundamentally wrong-headed approach. I also see it with Scripture. Those who seek to argue against fundamentalist readings seek to overturn and devalue Scripture. Again–huge mistake. A far more proper and more helpful response is to learn more about them! In truth, most fundamentalists don’t know Scripture half as well as they’d like you to think. And the very same is true with many traditionalists as well! Tradition is not the enemy. How some deploy some portions of the tradition for their own ends is the problem.
I truly fear this binary spectrum that we Anglicans seem to have created for ourselves. It makes us do things and say things that we shouldn’t. This politically-driven use of opposites does not help us. Where it seems to be heading is that the conservatives claim Scripture and Tradition and the liberals respond by repudiating both. What’s wrong with this picture!?!