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Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Everything old is new again

I've spent most of the weekend sequestered with a group of strange men.

Yep. Just them... and me... for hours on end...

Sorry; it wasn't the adventure it sounds. Not nearly. I have to give a presentation tomorrow for my theology class, "Authority in the Anglican Communion." So I have been reading, and rereading, and outlining, and summarizing, the life and times of Arius and the Council of Nicea. Trust me, some of those old theologians were very strange. Odd notions, and cranky attitudes, and very little sense of humor.

But the reading also gave me an eerie sense of deja vu. See if these short descriptions of the scene sound familiar:

".. a church unexpectedly and unpreparedly having to adjust to a situation in which its unity and doctrinal consistently have...become matters of public and political concern."

"...a bishop whose 'structural' credentials are impeccable offering controversial or offensive readings of the scriptual text which is the field in which he is called to exercise his authoritative charism."

Very familiar, aren't they? So I took a certain comfort in the cranky exchanges, even (or maybe especially) when the players got insufferable; because in spite of all the diatribes, all the exiles and excommunications, all the ugly human inhumanity, the church-- and the Gospel-- survived. Not only survived, but thrived, and spread.

Maybe there's hope for us yet.


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