By my count, it's been 151 weeks since I last said something worth mentioning on TS O'Rama's Spanning the Globe best-of feature. It is therefore with great pride (the good kind) that I announce my reappearance on the charts, and the first appearance since moving to this blog. To be fair, I didn't make up the quote. I'm pretty sure I got it from Shane Claiborne's book The Irresistable Revolution, and he may have gotten it from elsewhere as well.
One thing that jumped out at me, though, was the description of me as "Anglican Robert." That's not false; I am Anglican(-ish). It makes for an interesting juxtaposition with the quote, though, which was that "When Christ returns, He's expecting a bride, not a harem." I may be reading way too much into this, but it seems like a little bit of a dig at such a quote from one regarded as a Protestant (whole separate issue there...) by the Roman Catholic TSO.
As for me, I subscribe to a version of the "Branch Theory," believing that while Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Anglicanism are all valid forms of Christianity, they're not the only valid forms and that none of them has right to more than ceremonial precedence over any other valid form. Of course, an immediate question of which forms are valid arises, to which I'd reply that Trinitarian forms of Christianity, most especially but perhaps not entirely limited to those which affirm the Nicene Creed. To my mind, the denial of the Eucharist to one who affirms the Nicene Creed is indefensible, as that creed specifically talks about the communion of saints. Unless a group is willing to say that those of another group are not believing Christians, they cannot rightly discriminate in such a way.
Does this squabbling make Christianity a harem, rather than a bride? Perhaps not. What it may simply mean is that we are immature and thus often inconsistent (I doubt many commentators would deny that such statements can be very applicable to Christianity as it is practiced), and that short of healing in Christ, we will never be the Bride of Christ as we are meant to be. On the other hand, when Christians refuse to recognize each other as fellow believers there cannot be said to be unity an any meaningful sense. Some of the more rural churches, which tend to have "Baptist" in their name regardless of any actual affiliation, are stereotypically guilty of this. The Roman Catholics certainly are, in practice even if not with hostile intent. A lot of Evangelical ministries will tell people that in certain countries in South America and Eastern Europe, only some tiny percent of the people are Christians and that they are terriby persecuted by the Roman Catholics or Eastern Orthodox. This implies that they don't consider these other groups to be believers. Of course, Anglicanism often goes the other way, which lets them off one hook only to be snared by another, so it's not blameless, either.
What does all this mean? I guess it just means that I don't find that juxtaposition ironic, as a Roman Catholic might. Nothing wrong with that, and it gave me a reason to blog.
Coming soon: the TribalPundit guide to Wine, Women, and Song. Two of those are probably going to be a lot easier than the other.