by Paul Smith, David Morling, Paul Bagshaw
from Signs of the Times No. 30 - Jul 2008

Paul Smith

I would like to hear about members' views on the topic of revelation in both senses:

  1. the revelation claimed by some for parts if not all of the bible (and by adherents of other faiths about their own scriptures) and
  2. the personal revelations that people such as George Bush and Osama bin Laden apparently receive.

I have long ago stopped believing in miracles through which God occasionally intervenes or meddles with natural processes. It seems to me that given the close connection between the mind and the brain, God could not impart knowledge to us without our brain neurons being affected in some way. This would amount to God changing physical processes.

by Jean Mayland
from Signs of the Times No. 30 - Jul 2008

In April I went on a holiday of a life time. With a group of Oxford and Cambridge alumni and a distinguished professor of Islamic architecture I completed a three week journey along part of the ancient Silk Route.

We visited wonderful cities such as Samarkand, Bakhara, the ruined Merv and Persepolis and the beautiful Shiraz and Isfahan. We gazed in wonder at the fantastic blue and turquoise tiles of the mosques and the carvings on ruined walls at Persepolis. We learnt all about squinches and lost count of the mosques and madrasas in Bakhara. Along with some Moslem schoolgirls we stood in awe by the tomb of Cyrus rising steeply out of the desert.

by Anthony Woollard
from Signs of the Times No. 30 - Jul 2008

There was a certain irony in the topic of the editorial in the last edition of Signs of the Times. Even as Jonathan Clatworthy was critically evaluating the assumptions behind the Fresh Expressions movement, the same mailing (April 2008) contained an edition of Modern Believing with Paul Cudby's article justifying certain fresh expressions in his own parish.

Jonathan questions the assumption that worship is a good thing and we need to get more people doing it in whatever way turns them on. Paul does not address that question; his argument is rather that worship needs to involve a much wider range of human faculties and experiences which the wordiness of our officially approved services does not touch. Are both, perhaps, right? If so, at what level?

by Jean Mayland
from Signs of the Times No. 30 - Jul 2008

In the debates in General Synod leading up to the ordination of women to the priesthood John Habgood, then Archbishop of York, once said that once the Church of England had decided to ordain women, then everyone in the church would be expected to accept the decision and all priests who were ordained after that would have to work with them.

He also frequently told members of the Movement for the Ordination of Women in the York diocese that we must not think about our pain and hurt but argue theologically and from a rational basis.

by Paul Bagshaw
from Signs of the Times No. 30 - Jul 2008

Archbishop Drexel Gomez, chair of the Covenant Design Group, has posed three questions to the bishops assembling at Canterbury for the Lambeth Conference:

  1. Will a Covenant be a help to the Communion at this stage of its life?
  2. What in the draft fits with our understanding of our Anglican inheritance?
  3. Where does further work need to be done?

MCU has consistently opposed the Covenant. Nonetheless we have tried at each stage to set out a reasoned opposition, recognising that the Communion is in crisis and that, whatever happens, it faces extensive change. (See previous papers).