This would be glorious to attend.
There’s only an atheist who wants to be a counselor but who wants to wear the mask of a cleric in order to demean clergy. The very notion of ‘atheist pastor’ is a grand oxymoron.
A petition in support of atheist pastor Gretta Vosper, who was judged unsuitable for ministry by a United Church of Canada (UCC) committe, has reached more than 1,000 signatures. Vosper, minister of West Hill United Church in Toronto, has been candid about her atheism for several years. However, a 39-page report by the UCC’s Toronto Conference Review Committee earlier this month concluded: “In our opinion, she is not suitable to continue in ordained ministry because she does not believe in God, Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit. “We have concluded that if Gretta Vosper were before us today, seeking to be ordained, we would not recommend her.”
But to prove the insincerity of her ‘congregation’ in relation to its relationship to Christianity:
However, Vosper has continued to receive the support of her congregation and the number of signatures to the petition has continued to grow. It urges the UCC to reject the recommendation of the committee, describing the process as “flawed and unfair” and – implying her views are shared by large numbers of other clergy – that it has “grave implications for Gretta Vosper, Westhill [sic] United Church, an unknown number of clergy within the denomination, many members of The United Church of Canada across the country, and the reputation of the denomination in the Canadian public”. It speaks of the importance of valuing diversity and not “disenfranchising many seekers”.
To gehenna with the ‘seekers’ and their efforts to destroy a Church. She should be terminated. Then she can set up a counseling center and all of her supporters can leave the Church (because they’ve already left the faith) and become her clients.
Atheist clergy? Nein. It doesn’t exist. It never has. It never will. The only atheists in Church work are people who despise Christianity and who are working from within the Church to dismantle and destroy it. They are, in short, a cancer. When they are expelled (and they should be) then the cancer is excised and the entire body healthier.
It’s just wrong. Read his post explaining why (and note, I concur).
Most people act like they know that they aren’t brain surgeons or heart specialists or mathematics professors or organic chemists if they actually aren’t those things. But when it comes to disciplines like biblical studies and theology (which do indeed have their own requirements and associated skills) it seems that every slack jawed mouth breathing product of generations of incestuous inbreeding feels compelled and even justified in thinking that their opinion on matters biblical and theological is worthy of a hearing and being taken as seriously as the actually skilled and equipped expert scholar.
And we let them get away with it instead of calling them on it and describing their amateurism and ignorance for what it really is- insipidity and that of an invincible sort.
Why do we do this? To be polite? No. It’s because too many of us don’t take our discipline as seriously as it deserves to be taken. And that’s our fault. We don’t think accurate theology is as weighty a matter as accurate brain surgery or accurate maths or chemistry. But just as poison and death are the result of poorly done chemistry so too poison and death are the result of poorly constructed and disseminated theology.
Heresy is death. And yet many of us sit by on our hands when heresy is spun, saying nothing. Meanwhile, the heretics are misleading people and doing incredible harm both to the Church and to society.
Theology matters. Exegesis matters. If you don’t think so, you should get out of the field and do something else. You’re doing more harm than good. Get out. Get out and leave the field to skilled and equipped persons who take it seriously.
Conference Report- read it.
Giving my presentation on day 2. Yes, I am vane I know…
Conferences could be a burden. You have to travel and sometimes it is terrifying to take a plane (it is often for me), you can end up in terrible hotels and the food, oh the food, is rarely great. The level of papers is usually uneven including your own, which always makes me feel depressed once it is over. I have to recover for at least a week after the event. Too much time and energy consuming for a middle age girl…
However, I would have never missed the one I just went to for the topic and line up: Fragments of an Unbelievable Past? Constructions of Provenance, Narratives of Forgery, hosted by Agder University from 14 to 16 September (click here for the full program). Since we were a small group and I know you would have liked to…
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This fantastic video produced by the Christian History Institute can be yours if you’re the lucky winner. To win, you simply need to enter by
- Sharing this post on your twitter feed, Facebook page, or blog (and you have to let me know you have done so). The more places you share it, the better your chances of winning.
- Writing, in comments below, a paragraph expressing your appreciation for either Huldrych Zwingli, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Peter Martyr Vermigli, Philipp Melanchthon, Johannes Oecolampadius, or Theodore Beza.
That’s it. The best essay in combination with the most shares will decide the winner. Contest ends on 30 September. Tell your friends. Let the games begin!
About the film-
2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. On October 31, 1517, an obscure German monk named Martin Luther published 95 theses for debate in Wittenberg, Germany. Little did he know that this act would ignite a revolution that would reshape the Christian church and change Western civilization forever.
In anticipation of this important anniversary, Christian History Institute is producing a groundbreaking three-hour documentary series called This Changed Everything. Narrated by the renowned British actor David Suchet, the program tells the dynamic story of the people, places, and events that shaped the Reformation. It features expert commentary from Dr. Michael Horton, Dr. Frank James, Shane Claiborne, Bishop Robert Barron, and over twenty other scholars and clergy who bring new insight into how the church came to be where it is today and where it may go in the future.
This Changed Everything celebrates the fruits of the Reformation while grappling with difficult questions about the legacy of division. Clearly, the medieval church was in dire need of reform, but could complete schism have been avoided? Why does the Protestant movement continue to splinter into ever increasing factions? How should we think about our divisions in light of Jesus’ passionate prayer that his followers be “one”?
Have you ever wondered what books looked like in antiquity? Perhaps you have pondered why some manuscripts are written on paper and some on parchment? Did you know that the ancient Greeks thought up machines and robots powered by steam? These issues and more are taken up on a new web resource dedicated to the study of Greek written heritage. Greek Manuscripts, which officially launches today, is intended to complement and promote the hundreds of Greek manuscripts digitised by the British Library in recent years. The website contains articles on a wide variety of subjects relating to Greek papyri and manuscripts, written by experts from the UK, continental Europe, and North America. Additionally, several videos provide short visual introductions to key topics. Collection items discussed in the articles are given separate item pages, with links to the online catalogue entry and full digital coverage on Digitised Manuscripts.
The articles are organised into five overlapping themes, reflecting some of the most important aspects of Greek manuscripts, classical antiquity, and Byzantine culture: art, religion, scholarship,the Greek world, and the makers of Greek manuscripts. They cover the entire chronological period represented by the British Library’s Greek collections, from classical antiquity down to the early 20th century. Many of the most famous items in the collections, such as the Golden Canon tables, the Theodore Psalter or the Aristotelian Constitution of the Athenians, are included on the site, but so are many lesser-known volumes that are of major importance in their own way.
And the best part
The biblical manuscripts that make up a substantial portion of the British Library’s holdings are well-represented on the website. Kathleen Maxwell shares her expertise in the Library’s illuminated Gospels, and the multifaceted transmission of the Old Testament in Greek is also surveyed. Greek manuscripts did not develop in a vacuum: they were circulated far beyond the limits of Greek-speaking antiquity and the Byantine empire. Peter Tóth presents just some of the examples of multilingualism that can be found in Greek manuscripts, while other articles look at topics such as the tradition of schoolboy compositions in Greek in Elizabethan England.
We invite everyone to explore the articles and videos and learn more about the British Library’s unparalleled collection of Greek manuscripts!
Via. With thanks to Sarah Bond for the heads up on FB.
No biblical text was composed or redacted by a theological amateur and no significant contribution to Christian history or tradition has been made by an amateur. The ‘amateurs ideas are as meaningful to Christian theology as the so called theologians’ argument is dead in the historical water.
Even though I don’t have a dog in the ETS complementarian / egalitarian fight (although I’ve been a member in the past, I’m not at present) I find myself completely in agreement with both Gundry’s sentiments and Mike’s observations.