« The Spiritual in Art: Kandinsky, Murdoch, and Abhinavagupta | Main | The Aurora Massacre, Violence, and the Sick Society »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Regarding the theology of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, see: http://anglicanecumenicalsociety.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/what-do-people-mean-when-they-say-that-presiding-bishop-schori-has-denied-the-resurrection-or-the-divinity-of-christ/

Her teachings deny the resurrection and the divinity of Christ. And it makes little difference here whether this is "conservative" or "liberal." This is something neither "conservative" nor "liberal" Trinitarian Christians do.

Steve Shiffrin

Mark Kessinger: Thanks for the correction and the comment. Of
course, you are right and I think that is a major strength of the
Episcopal Church. Douthat, however, was focusing on the specific
views held by the leadership. As I read him, he was not criticizing
the fact that the leaders of the Church do not try to impose their
views on the membership. Indeed, as you observe, tolerance of
opposing views is a central tenet. I suppose Douthat must think that
the views of the leadership are influential enough to cause an
exodus. That assumption is problematic for reasons beyond what I
said in the post and beyond your excellent point. Robert Wuthnow
doubts the existence of a significant exodus. He thinks the most
significant cause for the decline in membership is a low birth rate.

Mark Kessinger

The larger point to be made here is that whether the Episcopal Church is a "liberal" as Bishop Spong is totally beside the point. We are not a confessional church, with a discrete set of doctrines to which one must subscribe. We are Christians who embrace a common worship. Within that, we recognize a wide variety of theological takes on what constitutes Christianity. Rather than pronounce a legalistic definition of doctrine, we choose to live the questions.

Mark Kessinger

FYI, it's the "Episcopal Church," not the "Episcopalian Church."

Steve Shiffrin

Thank you Michael. Me too.

Michael Perry

Steve, I wish your commentary were in the NYT! --Michael


Bishop James A. Pike, head of the Episcopalian Church from 1958 through 1966, would probably agree with Douthat.

Reared in the Catholic faith, he converted to the Episcopalian faith, and as a declared agnostic led the church in many important secular pursuits and helped bring it into the 20th Century.

The comments to this entry are closed.