Richard Kew has posted an essay motivated by his thoughts having attended a conference in Britain recently that was tasked with trying to find a way forward in a time of great controversy in the Church.
The bulk of his note concerns his idea that the division within the Church is between people who believe that God is ultimately unknowable and those who believe that God is essentially though not completely knowable via the doctrines and faithful teaching of the Church:
“The challenge before us now is to work out if it is even possible for these two approaches to the nature of the divinity to coexist in any way, shape, or form. Can we talk, or are we like someone who speaks only Chinese trying to hold an intimate conversation with someone who only speaks Arabic? Is it possible that there are folks who can act as interpreters? If we cannot interpet to one another, what should be the next step?
Blowing one another off does not work. The consequence of this is the bitter, bitter disputes that are in the process of ripping North American Anglicanism to shreds. But right now we don’t seem to be able to do more than blow one another off, talk at cross purposes, get angry, bring lawsuits, walk out in a huff, shout, scream, denigrate, and so on, and so on. There is serious theological and anthropological work that needs to be done, but it will not be done while the major players on the field are not only unwilling to listen to one another, but also unable to communicate with each other.
The great missionary statesman, Canon Max Warren, was one of my mentors. He told me about a year before he died when talking about his son-in-law’s work in dialogue with the Hindus in India, that we can never enter into cross-religious discussions honestly until we are prepared to be converted by the other person’s viewpoint. Perhaps this is the level of vulnerability that is required by us at this point.”
Read the rest here: We speak a different language
(Via The Kew Continuum.)