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June 18, 2005


John Wilkins

at some point there has to be some rules of the game. If they are not clear, then the secret rules prevail.


I actually think what Anglicanism does is best: there is official doctrine, but adherents have wide latitude in interpreting it.

And in fact, I think that approach takes care of your three points nicely.

D. C.

Thanks John and bls. FYI, I significantly rewrote the piece just now.


Well, it's really simple for Episcopalians. The only pieces of official doctrine in our Church are the Nicene and Apostles' Creeds.
Here's an article you might find interesting, called "How the Episcopal Church Teaches the Catholic Faith." It says just that, and that the BCP elaborates on the faith through our liturgy.

I know you're not into the Nicene Creed, D.C., but go with me here.



(To be honest, I like it that we have people with different beliefs. I really think it's a much better way to go; it keeps things alive and interesting.

But John makes an interesting, and I think valid, point about "secret rules." I think I much prefer having overt rules against which to rebel.


And I'm cool with the overt rules being the Creeds. You're right that these things may change, but they're a good background to work against, in any case. And if they're going to change, I think we'd need time - lots of time, like decades - to work out what it is we'd want to say.)

D. C.

Coincidentally, see What do Progressive Christians Believe? Common Elements In Three Approaches, posted today.


"Doctrines Change" So do rules in sports - ever see the rule book for an early 20th century game of baseball? I prefer to say the game is honed and refined - as in the Church, in its ever-growing back to her Lord.

Even in the early 20th century, you could still tell the difference between baseball and cricket, bats and balls notwithstanding.

"Church: A Community of Worship and Work" All of your points relate to a temple, a mosque or a grove. Praytell, how do we know which one is the church?

"There is an objective truth out there, including what we call God, whatever he is." Christians believe that Truth is Christ. Believing in something else is something other than Christianity.

"We humans are limited in our ability to discern truth."
So wouldn't it make sense to trust revelation instead? And the Holy Spirit? Of course, if you don't believe in the Holy Spirit, this is a problem...
Or is the whole thing just pointless?

"We must strive to remain open to the truth, no matter what the truth turns out to be" Contrast with "I am the Alpha and the Omega"

"Our primary obligations are stated in the Great Commandment and the Summary of the Law. " Excuse me, but how do you know that? The majority of the world doesn't, and the world still turns. That sounds terribly narrow and biggotted to me.

"All other religious beliefs are adiaphoric (inessential) and must be treated accordingly." WHat happens when some adherent to another religion tells me I must worship his god or he'll kill me? I guess all those Christian martyrs who wouldn't say God is untrue were just a bunch of saps, huh?

"Some will conclude I'm really a Unitarian Universalist (even though most of those folks don't believe in God, as I understand it)." You don't know many UUs, do you? You've repeated the doctrine of many of them.

You don't have to leave, DC. Just quit trying to change this from a baseball game into a cricket game. That's unfair and bullying. We would LOVE to have you in the baseball game. The choice is yours - will you be a player, or a bully?

And, BTW, DC - I'm a woman. Got the C-section scar to prove it. ;-) And I must run becuase the baby just woke up (From 20 minute naps, Good Lord, deliver us!)

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