Bp. Tom defends Archbp. Rowan

Yet again, it seems to me that NT Wright has spoken profoundly and faithfully to a listening world, which is asking good and difficult questions, but which seems to resist the depth of truth which the church (at its best) offers.

Listen to then Bishop of Durham discuss and defend Archbishop Rowan Williams (and many other things besides) in the face of a round of questions which makes assumption after assumption with which then Bishop Wright gently takes issue.


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I don’t think it’s leadership to equivocate on what the Scripture calls abomination. We need an Athanasius, not a Williams.

Well, Joel, I love St. Athanasius, but given our situation of a radically divided church wholly incapable of calling anything like a truly ecumenical council, I’m not sure what exactly an Athanasius could accomplish today.

As Alasdair MacIntyre points out, however, I agree that we could really use a St. Benedict, one who begins to form new communitites of worship, virtue, and culture in the midst of the fragmented civilization in which we live. (And it is only going to get worse before it gets better).

As for Rowan’s “equivocation,” I don’t see it. Not saying I agree with him on everything, but I don’t see any equivocation on same sex issues (though I do see nuances and the admission of difficulty and complexity).


“Anti-reformational” for me does not at all imply equivocation. And by the way there are lots of things that the Reformation got wrong. If it failed to listen to the experiences of the faithful who experience apparitions of the Virgin Mary, then this might be one of them, as far as I’m concerned.

If it is “antibiblical” to say that gay people can reflect the love of God, then Tim Keller is antibiblical, for he and many other orthodox theologians have said the same thing. (In fact I would argue that such a view follows from the idea that we are always image-bearing creatures who reflect the love of God, no matter twisted our expressions of love.) One thing I know – and I am a traditionalist on this issue – is that same sex issues are way more complicated than headlines and tabloids suggest. After all, they are trying to sell newspapers & subscriptions to make money.

As for _the Body’s Grace_, which I blogged about here …


… how exactly is this anti-biblical in your view?

As for the statement that “The Anglican Church has no problem with gay bishops,” I think this statment makes an important point. If there is such a thing as “sexual orientation” (which I am coming to regard as a term which does point to something real) then it is not sexual orientation which the church objects to in her ordained ministers; it is rather the opposition to the rule of chastity as the church has defined it (in her interpretation of Holy Scripture), as Rowan himself has articulated here:


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