That splendid British writer A N Wilson, author of provocative books about Jesus and the apostle Paul among others, has this essay about Archbishop Rowan Williams in The Spectator (via Thinking Anglicans). Here's an excerpt:
... As well as the evangelicals, the usual suspects among right-wing journalists now line up to denounce him — Peter Hitchens, the Revd Peter Mullen and so on — because of his supposed weakness on such subjects as Hell, Islam and other matters.
Yet my faith in him is undimmed, and my admiration has grown in the last year. The crowning glory for me was a trivial matter. The Today programme on Radio Four offered him a ‘prime slot’ to do ‘Thought for the Day’ on Christmas Eve and his office replied that the Archbishop would be offering his thoughts on the Nativity of his Saviour from the pulpit of Canterbury cathedral.
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Until a few decades ago, it would, of course, have been unthinkable for openly practising homosexual men to seek high office in any Christian Church, just as it would have been unimaginable that women could be bishops, or that the Church could bless same-sex unions. But as even a rudimentary reading of Church history shows, there are plenty of unthinkables which become, within a few years, matters of commonplace acceptance. Most early Christians would have deemed it unimaginable that the Church could ever accept active soldiers into its essentially pacifist ranks. Read Peter Brown’s book on early Christian attitudes to the body, or Ferdinand Mount’s book on The Family, and you will realise that the early Church frowned on almost any form of sexual activity, that it deeply distrusted the family as a unit, and interpreted St Paul’s injunction — ‘It is better to marry than to burn’ — as a strong indication that it was, of course, better not to marry at all. Likewise, the Church’s attitude to usury was utterly uncompromising until — well, until it simply decided it could not afford to be opposed to money-lending any longer and so it just changed its mind.
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... In all the essential things, he is just what the Church and the nation most need. Of course, when it has a godsend, what does the Church of England do? It calls for his resignation.