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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Cake or Death?

If you've never seen Eddie Izzard's take on what a theoretical Anglican Inquisition would be like, it is a good laugh:

"Cake or death?"

"Eh, cake please."

"Very well! Give him cake!"

"Oh, thanks very much. It's very nice."

"You! Cake or death?"

“Uh, cake for me, too, please."

"Very well! Give him cake, too! We're gonna run out of cake at this rate. You! Cake or death?"

"Uh, death, please. No, cake! Cake! Cake, sorry. Sorry..."

"You said death first, uh-uh, death first!"

"Well, I meant cake!"

"Oh, all right. You're lucky I'm Church of England!" Cake or death?"

"Uh, cake please."

"Well, we're out of cake! We only had three bits and we didn't expect such a rush. So what do you want?"

"Well, so my choice is 'or death’? I’ll have the chicken then, please.

The Church of the Pointy Hats, also known as the Anglican Church (or Episcopalian Church here in the U.S.), has quite the reputation for being soft on...well, everything. Ann Coulter describes the "Church of the Proper Fork" thusly:

The Episcopalians don't demand much in the way of actual religious belief. They have girl priests, gay priests, gay bishops, gay marriages - it's much like the New York Times editorial board. They acknowledge the Ten Commandments or "Moses' talking points" but hasten to add that they're not exactly "carved in stone." After Bush said that the most important philosopher to him was Jesus Christ, the Episcopal bishop in Des Moines, Iowa, C. Christopher Epting, pronounced the answer "a turnoff." So there isn't a lot of hair-shirt-wearing and sacrifice for the Episcopalians.

So what's the occasion for today's Anglican ridicule post? Well, one could dismiss such quirks and effeminate mannerisms as cute but harmless byproducts of English foppery.

The problem is that Gospel proclamation should not be "soft", nor should the doctrine and practice of the church be corrupted by polite mushy-mindedness that disdains the Law of God. Tim Bayly unloads both of his shotgun barrels at the Bishop of Durham, N.T. Wright on his blog:

In this gelded age, the revelation and authority of God are soft-pedalled by emasculated clergymen who like to think of themselves not as preachers and shepherds, but intellectuals and "academics."

Yes, I know full well the whole world is going after that super-apostle, Bishop Wright. But I say to those I love, leave him alone. Even if his content is sometimes helpful when dealing with our decadent world, his affect, his rhetoric, his way of speaking is absolutely poisonous to those training to be faithful shepherds of God's flock. The last thing we need today are men who are emasculated and "think," "wonder," "intuit," and "digress" instead of fighting the good fight with all their might.

At some point academic nuance and disinterested, impartial, even-handed analysis become decadent prattle and sophistry that cannot proclaim God's Word with evangelistic and pastoral authority, clarity, and certainty.

I have drinking buddies with more conviction than these alleged ministers/bishops/fops.

UPDATE: Phil Johnson gives a hearty 'amen' here.

Category: Theoblogia


  • This is a rather broad-brushed comment on the diverse Anglican communion, although it seems to apply to its British leadership. Fr. Mouser, for example, is an Anglican, as is Packer.

    Even in the Episcopal church, there are congregations of believers - I have witnessed firsthand (although the acceptance of women preachers remains the gorilla in the room). At the general convention this year, we might see the split in that communion and U.S. congregations ending up under the oversight of African bishops.

    By Blogger, at 8:03 AM  

  • Welcome back, Jackspipe,

    Yep, I was using a broad brush. No disrespect intended to the J.I. Packers of the world, and certainly not to the C.S. Lewises of the world.

    As a member of the URC, I know a little bit about Scottish revival ("split in the communion") from the CRC a few years back over female preachers.

    By Blogger David Gadbois, at 9:17 AM  

  • I think also one has to realise that the broad brush can be applied to Fundlementalists as being unloving from reading Fred Phelps and watching his followers antics.

    I think it is dangerous to apply any broad brush, especially when one realises that the Anglican Church has more reformed believers in it than it does liberal.

    Take Nigeria and Africa for example, the African church has more believers than the whole of the western church does collectively, and it will be a major player in changing the face of the church in the world to come.

    One of the fortuante - yet unfortuante things about the Anglican church is that it does see its self as a big communion of family, and for many within, it is very hard to break from that position, - yet at the same time we see many splits, factions, more splits and more factions causing disunity within fundelmental churches overs whatt at times is the most trivial of all matters to cause a church split on.

    I must admit, I am taken back by the Southern Baptists as a whole, in its stance on Free Masonry for example in its churches being compatible with Christianity.

    Blessings craig bennett

    By Blogger craig, at 4:40 PM  

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