Can I draw your attention to the latest MCU press release (here) which was picked up by episcopallife online and Episcopal Café.
Pluralist responded with some thoughtful comments which I have replied to here.
The fact is that ecclesiastical turmoil occurs on several dimensions simultaneously. For instance:
- Internal church politics are being re-written: the conservative demand for structural change forces all the structures to change, either in opposition to the conservatives or in the attempt to accommodate them.
- The articulation of faith changes. Partisan groups write their own credal statements as ways of binding their members to them and of distinguishing their group from all others. In turn these statements then become demands: everyone else should agree with them or, from weakness, unless everyone else agrees to them then we're off. Each of these formulations is, by definition, partial and each modifies the reading of more traditional creeds.
- The church is drifting every further from the university. Ecclesiastical theology is impoverished and narrowed even as academic theology is rich and diverse. This is a particular problem for the MCU and other groups which seek to bridge the gap.
- Ecumenism and inter-faith work pulls away from a hard credal kernal; internal conflict sends people scurrying back to a centre. And this dynamic makes the voices of those who reach out to others less certain as their relationship with their sponsoring bodies becomes more tenuous.
- Not to mention globalisation, post-colonialism and new forms of imperialism, global communications and global warming. Or the restructuring of global finance.
In the middle of all this small organizations like MCU have to make shift as best we may. We cannot resolve any of the bigger problems but we do contain many of the tensions they create. We are looking to the future, to plan next steps and immediate priorities.
I guess this is the way the group has worked at its best for the last 110 years. Perhaps the toughest is already behind us.
Nobody said it would be dull.