Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A few items...

  • Mark Cladis has offered a great response to mine on the Immanent Frame (see my original comments here). I don’t think I’ll make a response at this point, as we seem to understand each other well enough and simply approach this issue from differing commitments.It’s fair to say, I think, that we both are seeking to articulate a model of public life that is more fair for religion’s role in it.We may disagree on how far that will go (here in particular on the question of government funding of faith-based organization for the purpose of the public good), but many of the critiques we want to make are identical.While I’m at it, here’s a link to Cladis’ profile at Brown, for those who are not familiar with his work.

  • From the Martin Marty Center, the new 2008-2009 fellows have been announced; the only scholar I'm familiar with is Sarah McFarland Taylor, from her leadership role in the Midwest AAR. Lots of interesting projects to keep an eye on, even (especially, actually) the dissertation fellows. Also from the Marty Centery, Martin Marty himself has a new column up in Sightings titled, "On Patriotism".

  • Jeremy Hall is a soldier suing the Dept. and Sec. of Defense over issues of religious freedom in the military. Hall has apparently faced a significant amount of discrimination because of his atheism, to the point where he was sent home because of the harassment of other soldiers. It sounds like typical criticisms of, "This is a Christian nation and you're working against it with your godlessness!" abounded from Hall's superiors and fellow soldiers, conjuring up memories of scandal at the Air Force Academy a few years ago and raising the question again of the neo-conservative evangelicalism that has invaded military culture.
  • The Church of England has approved the admittance of women to the episcopate. It remains to be seen what the reaction will be from Anglo-Catholics, who are currently exploring options outside of the Church of England such as a return to Rome. Within Roman Catholicism itself, the decision has put a damper on ecumenical relations (as if everything that has happened since '03 hasn't already done so!). The decision has received mixed reviews from evangelicals... as we have already seen from GAFCON, there is a big tent situation where some are pushing strongly for ordination (and episcopacy) of women while others are against it. Commentary from many, such as NT Wright, has expressed doubt as to how long these "secondary" issues will remain secondary- I'm hopeful, though perhaps naively so. I'm personally of a conservative mind about ordination and don't support women's ordination, but neither is it a big deal for me... I shelve it very much in the "secondary" category and have never felt the need to resort to activism on this matter. As far as I can see, it's the most justified decision as a matter of church polity, but at the same time I find no justification for making church polity itself an issue of salvation or even communion with those who differ. If someone can find me scriptural or rational warrant for the contrary, I'd be happy to reconsider.


  1. so why the "religion and science" tag?

  2. John Templeton... check out his foundation.

  3. What has the shape of ones genitals got to do with ones capacity to Worship Real God, and to teach and inspire others by personal example to do so?

  4. absolutely nothing.

    I'm assuming you're talking about women's ordination here. I think you misunderstand me when you seem to imply that ordination for ministry has anything at all to do with "one's capacity" for anything... or that the ordained hold exclusive rights to "worship the Real God", "teach and inspire others by personal example", etc. Or that anything as crass as the shape of one's genitals is under consideration when we talk about God's calling to ministry. None of this is the case.

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