Friar John's Ruminations

Being the thoughts of an Episcopalian Layman. In Search of and service to "Evangelical Truth and Apostolic Order."

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

More Thoughts on Forrester+:

1- I do not doubt he is a good man. I don't think that is the only qualifier for Bishop. It may not be "nice" to give a candidate a thorough go over, but "nice" isn't a Christian virtue. 
2- The thing that really bothers me is just how (for lack of a better word) glib Fthr. Forrester is. I'm serious. I found his little bon mot about if it where a "bad thing" for a Bishop to meditate and pray to be almost insulating in it's dismissivnes. It's sort of like +Kimsey's little bit of emotional blackmail at the close of his letter. In both cases there was a sense of "how DARE you question me?" 
3- Touching on the above I find his use and misuse of other theologians to be problematic. He rips ideas and quotes out of context and seems to like to play to a least common denominator form of theological language. Don't even get me started about Pelagius ala +Kimsey's letter. For a man with a doctorate, he doesn't seem to be all that willing to sound educated. There is a species of Clericalism that assumes that theology is over the heads of the laity. They don't want to confuse us, poor little dears that we are. So that awful "theology" stuff is left safely on the shelf, replaced by pabulum and buzz words. So much for Baptism as model and basis for participation in the Church. For all our talk about the decline of The Church, where there is growth are places that offer Doctrine. We may find that doctrine repulsive, but it is there and so are people.  
4- One major issue I have with "Total Ministry" (other than the name sounds like it was born in the bowels of a Management seminar) is that it is a closed system. There is little to no outside interference in the "teams" once they get running and self perpetuating. There is a danger of group think written into the process and it seems to have spread. The "group zero" report sums up that there is a defeatist atmosphere in the diocese. From the sounds of it these little cradle congregations seem to be closed to any idea that they COULD grow since doing so would mean opening the doors to people different than what has come. So they chose a man who they seem to not know other than by reputation (there is a comment over at Telling Secrets that the majority of the Diocese's members don't know about his liturgical experiments that is telling) to hold their hands while they drift off into That Good Night. I'm damned tired of the defeatist attitude at all levels of TEC and think we could do better for all of our Bishops than to allow this nursing home Chaplain model to go unquestioned.

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