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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Episcopal Simplicity

Tom Wright, Bishop of Durham, has been on my little list for a while. But now it's getting serious. I am deeply concerned that in a very real sense that he is turning into Dr Spacely-Trellis, the go-ahead bishop of Bevindon .

Here he is sounding off about The Da Vinci Code:-

'At a time like this, when the American empire is running unchecked and talking about doing to Iran what it has done to Iraq, being told that Christianity is about introspection really cuts the nerve of the Christian political critique. It is an emasculation of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Classic Judaism and classic Christianity are about a creator God who cares for the world and will do something about it. The sort of religions we see in The Da Vinci Code and The Gospel of Judas are about an escape from the world and a retreat into a private sphere.'


So there you have the heart of the Christian Gospel for today's world: no overthrowing of tyrants, and no interference with Holocaust-denier Ahmadinejad's plans to get the hardware he needs to remove Tel Aviv from the map! Seems to me Dr Wright is just as guilty of a 'retreat into a private sphere' - one where the complex, messy business of political decision-making, in situations where every choice brings bad consequences as well as good, is reduced to black-and-white simplicity.

I never thought I'd find a good word for TDVC, but forced to choose between the Gospels of Dan Brown and Dr Spacely-Trellis I'd say the former is, comparatively speaking, harmless.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am sad that Dr Wright has taken this line, for his insights into the way Jesus Himself might have viewed his role and place within Jewish salvation history were a joy and excitement to read some years ago.

However, he was ALWAYS wrong on Israel, wrongly suggesting that Jesus presented a relationship with God which necessarily revoked the promises made to the people of Israel of covenant and land. He embraced replacement theology despite being a noted Pauline scholar.

Quel domage.