Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Two revealed to be on "secret committee"

Episcopal Cafe´ reports the names of 2 members of the secret panel of the Theology Committee of the House of Bishops. Dr. Daniel Westberg of the barely Episcopal seminary, Nashotah House, and Dr. Ellen Charry of Princeton Theological Seminary.
According to The Missioner, Pentecost 2009 issue (page 3), the publication of Nashotah House Seminary:
Daniel Westberg, Nashotah House's Professor of Christian Ethics and Moral Theology, has been appointed to a Theological Panel commissioned by the House of Bishops’ Theological Committee to submit reports on the issue of same-sex marriage. Chaired by Dr. Ellen Charry, Professor of Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, the panel is composed of eight members, four of whom represent conservative theological views on sex and marriage, four of whom represent revisionist (sic) positions. The panel will submit two parallel documents to the Episcopal House of Bishops in January [2010].

“That the House of Bishops didn’t just appoint a token conservative to the panel,” Westberg says, “indicates that they are interested in seeing these issues given the theological reflection they deserve. And that we are not expected to produce a ‘blended’ or compromise position is even more hopeful yet.” The panel meets regularly to exchange draft positions, to critique each other’s arguments and to allow each side to more honestly and completely account for the positions they hope to answer in detail and depth.

“We don’t imagine that we are going to change the mind of the Episcopal Church by ourselves,” Westberg says. “But we have been given an opportunity to engage these questions with careful theological thinking. And that represents a substantial improvement over what is too often our habit of yielding, in an unthinking way, to the influence of our culture today.”


Leonardo Ricardo said...

Goodgrief...I know, let´s have another panel to study the panelists (was this leaked to take the pressure off?)...I suggest Padre Mickey for the Leftover Lefties and Dr. Christian Troll will chair/swear for the Selfrighteous RIGHT...¨fair and balanced¨ is what they spew at Fox News as we click to get away.

JCF said...

The word for this is "Ick".

Anyone who believes his/her opponent is merely "yielding, in an unthinking way, to the influence of our culture today" doesn't deserve to be on this committee.

Tom Sramek, Jr. said...

And so it begins, as I knew it would: as each member of the committee is revealed, their credentials, comments, and perhaps even integrity will be assailed. Gee, wonder why they wanted it kept a secret...?!

David G. said...

I've already given up,...God has plans and The (Slow Moving) Episcopal Church isn't included!!

Марко Фризия said...

I doubt these folks will come to concensus on what to have for lunch much less agree while addressing issues of human sexuality in a collegial way. I don't see the usefulness of any of this: (1) the need for yet one more committee; (2) the bizarre, self-important secrecy surrounding the identities of the participants (are these folks afraid of being assassinated or kidnapped or something?; (3) the need for two separate statements as opposed to one document (two documents will only reinforce what we know already - people in the Church disagree about same-sex marriage). All things considered, this actually seems really harmless to me and for some reason I find it all quite funny. I do worry that the church's money was wasted on this (will TEC be covering travel and per diem expenses for these folks?). As a gay man this makes me feel like an ecclesiastical laboratory rat (and one could get the idea that all heterosexual unions are above reproach, but same-sex couples need to be scrutinized). If any of the committee people would like to bring their clipboards, cameras, and pens they are welcome to come to our house to observe, film, take copious notes, and thoroughly examine our same-sex marriage. I have no ill will towards anyone on this committee. The outcome of this meeting won't produce anything new (and seems to already be creating more divisions in the church).

IT said...

The chances of a firm conservative and a firm inclusiveist reaching consensus are ZERO.

There is a fundamentally different world view . There is no compromise between their positions. Either homosexuality is an evil, or it is morally neutral.

No middle ground.

But these days, even my country says my life and my love is worth shit. I have absolutely no doubt that the conservatives on this committee will come to the same conclusion.

So what's the point?

Grandmère Mimi said...

What's the point, indeed! Another waste of time and money.

Anonymous said...

All the arguments for one side have already been made, and all have been answered by counterarguments. I haven't heard anything new in ages. Thus, the Anglican Communion is in stalemate with Lambeth 1.10 being the only prevailing official opinion.

The committee's job is simple. Catalogue what's already out there, and write the reports using simple language and short sentences. Hopefully, those reports will all be put in one place so that those who haven't already made up their minds about it will be able to study both viewpoints.

JCF said...

And so it begins, as I knew it would: as each member of the committee is revealed, their credentials, comments, and perhaps even integrity will be assailed.

Is that at me, Tom?

Professor Westberg volunteered his comment about his understanding of TEC ("yielding, in an unthinking way, to the influence of our culture today") directly in response to his work on the committee. It seems to me rather that he is doing the "assailing" of "integrity."

Or perhaps I misunderstand you.