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Stand Firm Interviews: Bishop Jack Iker

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 • 3:15 pm

“I think the formation of a new province is going to come much more quickly than any of us really thought. I think it will be up and running in early 2009.”


This interview was conducted Saturday, November 8, 2008 in Fort Worth, one week before the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth’s annual convention prepared to vote on leaving the Episcopal Church.


Greg Griffith: You have a small but vocal opposition here in the diocese of Fort Worth, in the form of the “Via Media” and “Remain Episcopal” organizations. They’re having an event this morning - can you tell me about it?

Bishop Iker: They’ve got an event talking about the once and future diocese of Fort Worth, and they have some grief counselors and therapists there to help them deal with their separation anxiety, and grief and pain about the division in the diocese.

Greg Griffith: But shouldn’t they be happy that you and the rest of the orthodox are finally leaving?

Bishop Iker: I would think so. I’d think that people who support Via Media would be the first ones voting for the separation, because it’s the only way they’re going to get their agenda through, in the church here: By forming another diocese out from under my Episcopal oversight.

Greg Griffith: Do you have any intention of changing the name of the diocese?

Bishop Iker: We’ll remain The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, because that’s who we are, and who we were when we were formed, before we came into union with General Convention in 1982. In 1982 the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth applied to be admitted into union with the General Convention (the wording of the resolution), and we were. This will be our 26th annual convention, and we’ve decided we cannot remain faithful to the Gospel and the teachings of scriptures while we’re under the authority of the General Convention Church. But that doesn’t change who we are; it changes our relationship with the General Convention authority.

Greg Griffith: So not just from a conceptual standpoint, but really from an official standpoint, the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth is not a creation of General Convention.

Bishop Iker: Not at all. If it’s a “creation” of anything, it’s a creation of the Diocese of Dallas, which decided for missionary and church growth purposes that they would divide the diocese in two. Two-thirds of the geographical area remained the diocese of Dallas. They wanted to create a new diocese which at the time didn’t have a name; it was referred to as the “western diocese,” so the first convention had to, among other things, choose our name - it wasn’t given to us by someone else. There were several proposals, and the vote was that we call ourselves the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.

Greg Griffith: Provided the resolutions at your convention pass, you’ll be joining Bishop Schofield and San Joaquin, Bishop Duncan and Pittsburgh, as well as the diocese of Quincy, which voted yesterday, in a realignment with the Southern Cone under Archbishop Venables. I think we have to be candid and say that’s probably it for the near term - that’s probably all the dioceses that will be aligning with the Cone for the time being.

Bishop Iker: I think so. It’s interesting, though, that historically to form a new province it’s been customary to have 4 dioceses.

Greg Griffith: Four geographically contiguous dioceses, though, right?

Bishop Iker: We’re not geographically contiguous, which some people have suggested is a problem, but I think we have to remember the non-contiguous nature of the province of TEC. For example, the diocese of Honduras, which is right in the midst of the province of Central America, is a diocese of TEC. Dioceses of South America, which border the province of the Southern Cone - such as Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela - are not part of the Southern Cone province; they’re members of TEC. And clear on the other side of the world you’ve got the diocese of Taiwan, which is not part of any Asian province, but part of TEC. So it doesn’t hold water to say that dioceses have to be contiguous to be members of the same province.

Greg Griffith: Your opposition will note that that’s a separate issue, though - not their main complaint. That would be provincial border-crossings.

Bishop Iker: Well no one’s crossing our diocesan boundaries without our permission, and once we separate ourselves from the province of TEC, there will no longer be any border crossings of any sort within their borders.

Greg Griffith: So far, Bishop Schofield has been inhibited and deposed; Bishop Duncan has famously been “deposed”; Bishop Ackerman chose to retire before his convention voted to separate from TEC. Do you foresee any deposition action against him?

Bishop Iker: It depends on what Bishop Ackerman does. If he simply stays at arm’s length from the congregations in Quincy that have left the Episcopal Church, there won’t be anything they can do to him. If he exercises any Episcopal ministry with those congregations, I think they’ll come after him lickety-split.

Greg Griffith: You’ve done just about everything Bishops Schofield and Duncan have done, in the way of distancing your diocese from the Episcopal Church. Why do you think you haven’t been inhibited or deposed?

Bishop Iker: That’s a real mystery, and I’ve wondered about that from time to time myself, because as you say, I’m in the same category as Bishops Schofield and Duncan, but all I can figure is that the Title IV review committee simply hasn’t issued the required certification.

Greg Griffith: But surely Katharine Schori and the powers that be are not going to let the diocese of Fort Worth - which is not just a high-profile diocese, but one that hasn’t been shy about expressing its disagreements with the national church - surely they’re not going to just let you go without exhausting all of their canonical and legal options.

Bishop Iker: I fully expect that I’ll receive notification from the Presiding Bishop’s office, within days of our diocesan convention, that I’ve been inhibited. Of course by then it will be irrelevant, because I won’t be under the authority of the Episcopal Church. But they’ll play that out in the same that they did with Bishops Schofield and Duncan. What the “Remain Episcopal” people here are told by David Booth Beers - they’ve been to New York and met with him - is that I’ll be inhibited right after our convention, then I’ll have sixty days to recant, and if I don’t then I will be deposed at the next meeting of the House of Bishops, which is some time in March. After that, they’re planning on having the new organizing convention here in April, and probably get organized, elect a new standing committee, and a new provisional bishop. [Greg’s note: Other sources in the diocese have confirmed that the “provisional bishop” will be Sam Hulsey, retired bishop of the diocese of Northwest Texas]

Greg Griffith: Do you expect any attempts by the Episcopal Church’s national leadership to take property from your diocese?

Bishop Iker: The plan is to do the same thing they’ve done in San Joaquin - that is, to form a new diocese and then bring a lawsuit against the true diocese that separated - a lawsuit for all the assets, including property. Obviously the difference (between their approach and ours) is that the “Remain Episcopal” people have a winner-take-all attitude, that they believe everything belongs to the Episcopal Church and those who leave the Episcopal Church should be deprived of their buildings, property and assets. Our position is that those who don’t want to continue to be a part of the diocese after our separation from TEC, under certain conditions, should be given their buildings, property and assets, and be cut free from the diocese.

Greg Griffith: If I’m correct, you’re not looking for them to “purchase” their property again. You’re not looking for any monetary settlement - except in a few cases that may be unusual for whatever reason - but to essentially turn them loose, and let them go.

Bishop Iker: Right. It would be foolhardy to go back and try to figure out who owns what, down to the last detail… some of these parishes go back to the 1890’s. What would be gained by trying to exact some purchase price from them? We’d want to cut them free. If they have any indebtedness to the diocese, we’d expect them to pay that, obviously.

Greg Griffith: In San Joaquin there is a group of people who are doctrinally orthodox, who chose not to leave with Bishop Schofield. Do you have a similar group here in Fort Worth, of any size, that intends not to go with you?

Bishop Iker: We would have - the best I can tell - six congregations where the vestry have said basically that they want to remain in the Episcopal Church. There are varying degrees of orthodoxy within those congregations. All of them would obviously want to have women priests and women bishops, and are very proud of the fact that Katharine Schori is the Presiding Bishop. On the same-sex blessings, it’s more of a mixed bag. Some are very much in favor, others say “not yet.” But they think they can continue to be what they would see as a conservative voice in the Episcopal Church, and they say ‘why doesn’t the diocese continue in the Episcopal Church to be this faithful remnant?’ But our conclusion is that after 26 years of struggling with this, that we have no future in the Episcopal Church, and I don’t think this small group who wants to remain, after we’ve separated, has a future in the Episcopal Church in the long term either, unless they submit and comply to everything that General Convention does.

Greg Griffith: What do you say to people - not necessarily in your own diocese, because there seem to be fairly few of them - but in dioceses across the country, who are sensing trouble, looking around for alternatives, and as uncomfortable as they are in TEC, are even less comfortable with the prospect of leaving for a foreign jurisdiction? Can you understand what they’re going through, and can you speak to that?

Bishop Iker: The fact is there’s some very good people who cannot bring themselves to leave the Episcopal Church, and there are others who share their beliefs, and convictions, and their commitment to scriptural authority, who cannot bring themselves to remain any longer in the Episcopal Church. So each person has to do what they can do, where they are, given the circumstances of their parish and their diocese. But in the long run, what we’re trying to accomplish is not just a separation from the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, but the establishment of another - a new - orthodox Anglican province in North America.

Greg Griffith: The African provinces, particularly Nigeria and I believe Uganda - have said that whatever primatial oversight they give to American churches is intended to be temporary -

Bishop Iker: Correct.

Greg Griffith: - and by that we mean several years, perhaps a decade or even more in some cases. Is this your expectation as regards your affiliation with the Southern Cone - that you will be part of the Southern Cone for the next five to ten years?

Bishop Iker: No, not at all. It’s supposed to be on an emergency pastoral basis, and very temporary. I think the formation of a new province is going to come much more quickly than any of us really thought. I think it will be up and running in early 2009. So it’s possible that we’ll be part of the province of the Southern Cone for less than a year.

Greg Griffith: This new province will presumably be a creation of the people who are members of the province. What, though, does it expect its status to be as a member of the Anglican Communion? Will it “apply” for membership? Will it consider itself “born into” membership by virtue of what it is and who created it? How do you think we can expect the Archbishop to act in response to the formation of this new province?

Bishop Iker: Obviously for a period of time it will be in transition and seeking recognition. I think the first thing is to organize the structure for the province, and then have members of the Common Cause Partnership to declare that “we are now that province.” Then it would be looking for recognition. Obviously it would get recognition from the GAFCON provinces and perhaps even several other primates who are not identified as GAFCON primates. It would be put before the Anglican Consultative Council, I suppose, at their meeting in May 2009… we’ll see what happens then.

Greg Griffith: If, as it looks like, receiving an invitation to Lambeth is the definition of membership in the Anglican Communion, you’ve got 9 years between the formation a new province and the next Lambeth Conference. Do you see that as a good thing, a bad thing, or do you think it doesn’t matter? Nine years is a long time to put facts on the ground and slowly gain allies to the point where, by the time of the next Lambeth Conference, it’s a fait accompli - you’re going to get invited. On the flip side, nine years is a long time for things to go badly wrong - for the province, either through faults of its own or from what will almost certainly be relentless attacks from the Episcopal Church, to find itself as odd man out.

Bishop Iker: Well, nine years along the way is really too long to try and predict, but by that time it’s more likely that there will be a deeper division in the Anglican Communion, and that you’re going to have opposing Anglican Communion bodies. I think that the Instruments of Unity have failed to preserve the communion, and that it’s going to get worse before it gets better. In fact, I don’t think it’s going to get better. I think TEC, Canada, and perhaps some other of the more liberal western provinces are going to go their own way, and that the Global South and other more conservative provinces are not going to be in communion with them.

Greg Griffith: Why don’t you think the Instruments of Unity have been successful in maintaining unity in the communion?

Bishop Iker: Because they’ve been unable to exercise any discipline, and the unity that we seek has been compromised.

Greg Griffith: I’ve often remarked that it’s a failure of the communion’s design: No one has ever offered an answer for, or settled the question of, who’s in charge. I also think that no one has ever volunteered to take charge, partly because no one wants the responsibility. As a result, in a church that’s held together by trust, it is only as unified as its least trustworthy member chooses to be, which in this case is the Episcopal Church, which has repeatedly gone back on its word and betrayed its fellow provinces, and relied on the fact that no one can do anything about it.

Bishop Iker: Yep. [laughs]

Greg Griffith: You have nothing to add to that? [laughs]

Bishop Iker: The Episcopal Church is going to do what it wants to do, and other people are just going to have to deal with the consequences. Again, there’s a kind of arrogance about the Episcopal Church’s leadership at this point in the life of the communion; They want to do what they want to do, and let other people deal with it.

Greg Griffith: It’s almost certain that the Anglican Communion - even if it had a mechanism by which to eject the Episcopal Church - would never choose to do so, and even if it said it wanted TEC to leave, there’s nothing that can really compel them to do so (we’ve talked about the design problem of the communion). But by the same token, what if official recognition of the new province is similarly muddled - either by the communion’s collective action or inaction - and the result is that you have a “twilight zone” of existence for one or both of the provinces - TEC and the new one? My question is: How competitive will the new province be? Because that’s what you’re going to be doing, you’re going to be out there on the market, competing with the Episcopal Church for membership, and you’re going to have to explain to people why it’s better to be in “our” province rather than “the other” province. Doctrinally, that should be a slam-dunk, but when it comes to a feeling of permanence, I think there are a lot of people still inside TEC who are of the mind that, while TEC may be apostate, maybe even heretical, in many places, there is perhaps less of a question of where one stands - at least in terms of one’s “official” Anglican membership - in a TEC that’s over two centuries old, than in a brand-new province with only four dioceses.

Bishop Iker: I think that one of the realities in the Episcopal Church is that there’s a great deal of institutional loyalty, and an attachment to buildings, and in the end you have to ask yourself: Is a denominational label, or institutional loyalty, or loyalty to a building, more important than holding to the Gospel? And what has made this time so revolutionary is lots and lots of people deciding that they’re willing to walk away from their buildings, and their property, and their denominational loyalty for the sake of the Gospel. And I think the momentum is along those lines, and that it’s going to continue to build. ‘By their fruits ye shall know them’ is going to be the indicator of how churches grow in the next decade. There will be competition, and there will be rivalry, and one will be blessed by God with growth and one will not. One only has to take a look at the numbers for the Episcopal Church up through 2007, which have just been released, to see that the Episcopal Church is a dying church, a decaying body, and that people are fleeing from it for their own souls’ health. The Presiding Bishop said she thought the worst part of the crisis was over, and I think that it’s just begun.

Greg Griffith: We’ve discussed division in the communion as a whole, but I want to talk now about division within the orthodox movement, and I wanted to start generally and then get more specific. Generally, I’d want to start with the inside strategy versus the outside strategy - in America, the desire to take a stand by staying inside the Episcopal Church versus the desire to take a stand by leaving it. At Stand Firm, we try - with varying degrees of success - to foster an attitude whereby both sides respect each other. Can you talk about these two approaches to the crisis?

Bishop Iker: We’ve tried to remain and be a faithful witness to the Gospel for the last 25 years, and the situation has gotten worse, not better. It’s said that the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results, and we have no intention of trying to remain and be that faithful remnant any longer; there’s just no future for us. I think the people who have chosen to remain in the Episcopal Church for the time being are going to come to that same conclusion, and it’s going to be sooner rather than later, because they’re going to have an option to remain faithful Anglicans, by means of another province. TEC won’t be the only game in town.

Greg Griffith: Moving from the general to the specific, one recent and troubling development has been the decision by the diocese of Sydney to authorize lay presidency. That appears to contradict the Jerusalem Declaration by GAFCON, of which Sydney is a member. Two-part question: 1) How easy is it going to be for a Jack Iker to live with lay presidency, and 2) What does this portend for unity within GAFCON in particular and the orthodox movement as a whole?

Bishop Iker: Well, obviously lay presidency or diaconal presidency of the eucharist is not Anglican, and I regret to see them moving in that direction, because it does mean further division among the orthodox. That’s not something that Anglicanism is able to accept or affirm. So in a sense, Sydney is causing a similar kind of tear in the fabric of the communion as the Episcopal Church did by moving ahead with ordaining a practicing homosexual as bishop. So I hope they pull back from that, but it’s not something that a reformed, catholic religion can affirm or accept. We’ve always said that the Anglican church is a reformed, catholic body owing to the unbroken faith and practice of the historic church, and this is certainly a departure from that.

Greg Griffith: If Sydney does not pull back from lay presidency, and if it’s true that Sydney is tearing the fabric of the communion in a way that’s comparable to what TEC has done, and if the GAFCON primates continue to agree to have Sydney as one of its members, doesn’t that undercut GAFCON’s objections to the actions by TEC and Canada regarding homosexuality?

Bishop Iker: I suppose the difference between the two is that one is a moral issue, and the other is not - it’s more of a sacramental/theological issue. But the effect is the same - to break communion and cause division.

Greg Griffith: What is your suggestion to your colleagues - to your fellow American bishops, to the GAFCON primates - as to how to address that?

Bishop Iker: I think we just have to speak the truth in love, to say that this does not further our cause, our unity, our mission; and to ask Sydney to reconsider that development. I don’t know that it’s restricted to Sydney - there may be other parts of the communion where evangelicals are more supportive of that development - but you wouldn’t find that support obviously among any of the Anglo-Catholic bishops or dioceses.

Greg Griffith: Let’s talk about the differences in opinion and practice among the orthodox on the issue of women’s ordination. If any two bishops have emerged as the leaders of the American orthodox movement, it’s been Bishop Duncan and you, yet you have distinctly different positions and policies regarding women’s ordination.

Bishop Iker: As much as Bishop Duncan and I may be able to stand together and witness together and work together, when it comes to that issue there’s an obvious difference. And so what we’re hoping for is an arrangement whereby those who hold to the historic position of an all-male priesthood will have a place of integrity, and respect, and freedom to grow, and to allow the other side to have that same freedom. But obviously, we don’t have that same freedom in the Episcopal Church, and that’s one of the reasons our diocese has been driven to the point of separation. So the bishops who are part of the Common Cause Partnership are going to have to address this issue as one of the first items of concern.

Greg Griffith: Some of the speculation a few years ago, when it became necessary for you and Bishop Duncan to stand arm-in-arm more strongly than you had to do previously, even some observers on the orthodox side of the aisle were saying it wouldn’t be long before you two ran into problems over your differing views on women’s ordination. But if anything - at least from what I’ve seen - the two of you have grown closer and more supportive of each other over the past few years. Is that fair to say?

Bishop Iker: I think it is. I guess our primary difference is that Bishop Duncan may see this as kind of a second-order issue, but I see it as a first-order issue. And we recognize that and are able to work together despite our difference.

Greg Griffith: First order, yes, but not to the point where you feel it necessary to break communion with him?

Bishop Iker: Correct. I’m in communion with him, and I’m in a state of impaired communion with women he ordains to the priesthood. Obviously they’re welcome in our churches, but not as celebrants of the eucharist.

Greg Griffith: This is an interesting distinction between the way the diocese of Fort Worth has decided to conduct itself, versus those Anglo-Catholic organizations - I would say to the right of you for lack of a better term - who have decided that they simply can’t be in communion with anyone who ordains women. Even if they’re not asked to license them, they feel they cannot be in communion with bishops who ordain women to the priesthood. How do you explain the difference between their position and yours?

Bishop Iker: It goes back to the concept of the Windsor Report that discussed the goal of being able to maintain the highest possible degree of communion, given differences such as these. For me, it means that I can be in communion with a bishop who ordains women to the priesthood, but I cannot recognize them as priests or be in full communion with them. So that’s maintaining the highest possible degree of communion. Forward in Faith in the UK has decided that if a bishop ordains a woman to the priesthood, that that’s a cause for division, so they can’t be in communion with a bishop who does that. That’s more of a hard-line position than the one we’ve taken. There are priests in my diocese who would agree with that position, and who are not at all happy with being part of a province that ordains women to the priesthood. But that’s part of the reality of where we are: That to be in the Anglican Communion is to be part of a church where some do, and some don’t.

Greg Griffith: I’m interested in what you see happening when the bishops and dioceses that will make up the new province find themselves, after some of the dust has settled… when you are in a province with people who are more doctrinally aligned with you… and let me back up and say that, for certainly the past five to ten years, the main point of division has been over homosexuality, so whenever the issue of women’s ordination comes up, you and Bishop Duncan and your colleagues on both sides of that issue can say, ‘Well it’s true we have a difference of opinion over a very important issue, but it pales in comparison to what we’re all opposed to, which is the blessing of homosexuality in all its various forms in the church.’ When you’re in your new province, presumably this issue of homosexuality is not going to be a point of contention; so now does this issue of women’s ordination rush in to fill the vacuum left by homosexuality? How do you see yourselves continuing to get along so well when you don’t have the issue of homosexuality against which you can easily unite?

Bishop Iker: One of the great challenges of the new province will be to let the divisions which have broken up the Episcopal Church be part of the past, and focus in a positive sense on evangelism and growth, so yes, it’s more important to say what we’re for than what we’re against. To me, leaving the General Convention Church means leaving behind the issue of blessing homosexuality, but the issue of women’s ordination has been with us for, what, 30 years? And there is still a different theological position which ought to be respected on both sides of that issue. That kind of respect is what the new province is going to embody. It’s not always going to be comfortable, but parishes are going to have the freedom to be under a bishop who respects their theological position; there’s not going to be an effort to force women priests on parishes, dioceses, and bishops.

Greg Griffith: The trend over the past few decades in the Episcopal Church has been for each new major innovation - women’s ordination, prayer book revisions, homosexuality - to cause the right-most side of the church to splinter off, leaving those to the immediate left of them as the new Episcopal right. For the next few days, Jack Iker represents the Episcopal right, but once you’re gone, that leaves, for example, Mark Lawrence in South Carolina, Bruce MacPherson in Western Louisiana, maybe Bishop Love of Albany… so as the Episcopal right moves leftward, do you see a continuation of the pattern in which the right is again isolated and targeted, and eventually driven from the church, or do you see it reaching a state of equilibrium, where the divide between those on the far left and those on the far right is narrow enough for them to co-exist more or less peacefully?

Bishop Iker: That’s something they’re going to have to decide for themselves. What’s important, I think, is for those who have chosen to depart the General Convention Church and those who remain, to cooperate with one another, support one another, meet with one another, and share as much as possible together. The right continues to be redefined, shifting more towards the middle, so who knows what the future will hold. But what we’re going through now is unprecedented: There have up until recently been congregations leaving the church, but it’s unprecedented now to see entire dioceses leaving. And I think that, in a sense, not only redefines who the right is, but it redefines options and possibilities people didn’t consider even a decade ago. It’s going to be unsettled for a while, but I think those orthodox who remain for now, we need to work closely together, not distance ourselves from one another. We are, after all, fellow Anglicans.


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Comments:

Thank you, Greg. Bless you, +Iker. Prayers for the Diocese of Fort Worth, +Iker & ongoing for his family, during these times.

[1] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 11-12-2008 at 04:23 PM • top

Wow, great interview. All I really know to say is…wow.

Yours in Christ,
jacob

[2] Posted by Jacobsladder on 11-12-2008 at 04:25 PM • top

Greg, I want to congratulate you on the depth and clarity of your interview with Bishop Iker.
Tom Woodward

[3] Posted by TBWSantaFe on 11-12-2008 at 04:32 PM • top

Great interview. A must read for everyone in the Diocese of Fort Worth ... no matter which side you are on. So
+Hulsey will be the next Bishop. That will be a suprise and shock for some. Isn’t he friends with Louie Crew?

[4] Posted by martin5 on 11-12-2008 at 04:53 PM • top

“Bishop Iker: The Episcopal Church is going to do what it wants to do, and other people are just going to have to deal with the consequences. Again, there’s a kind of arrogance about the Episcopal Church’s leadership at this point in the life of the communion; They want to do what they want to do, and let other people deal with it.”

Pure Nihilism (from the Latin nihil, nothing)

On Women’s Ordination:

Bishop Iker: As much as Bishop Duncan and I may be able to stand together and witness together and work together, when it comes to that issue (WO) there’s an obvious difference. And so what we’re hoping for is an arrangement whereby those who hold to the historic position of an all-male priesthood will have a place of integrity, and respect, and freedom to grow, and to allow the other side to have that same freedom. But obviously, we don’t have that same freedom in the Episcopal Church, and that’s one of the reasons our diocese has been driven to the point of separation. So the bishops who are part of the Common Cause Partnership are going to have to address this issue as one of the first items of concern.

Does anybody want to take Iker on, on WO? Duncan and Iker have settled it.

[5] Posted by ctowles on 11-12-2008 at 04:54 PM • top

Thank you, Tom.

[6] Posted by Greg Griffith on 11-12-2008 at 04:59 PM • top

TEC’s reaction to this interview is going to be extremely interesting, and I can just imagine the spin that Schori & Company will put on it.

[7] Posted by Cennydd on 11-12-2008 at 04:59 PM • top

Here is my concern:  Right now, the ABC’s recognition of Schofield et al as bishops of the Anglican Communion is based soley on their membership in the house of bishops of their respective overseas jurisdictions.  What happen if they leave those jurisdictions for one the ABC does not recognize (ie the new province).  If being recognized by the ABC is important to them, then they might consider keeping their current credentials as members of various “foreign” jurisdictions while bringing their respective domestic organiztions to institutional unity.  Make is a missionary province under the primatial authority of the Southern Cone.

The Anglican Catholic Church back in the 1970’s had hopes of being recognized by the ABC.  It never happened.

[8] Posted by AndrewA on 11-12-2008 at 05:00 PM • top

Their convention is this weekend, right?

[9] Posted by AndrewA on 11-12-2008 at 05:01 PM • top

Good job, this is one interview you will not see at Episcopal Life Online.

[10] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 11-12-2008 at 05:03 PM • top

Yes, our convention is this weekend and I will be there!!  Bishop Iker is a great leader.  Being a Cradle Episcopalian, even I feel we have to leave….for our soul’s sake.

[11] Posted by Sarah H on 11-12-2008 at 05:18 PM • top

Excellent interview, Greg.  Good questions and even better answers.  That is one thing you can depend on with Bishop Iker—-concise answers that don’t beat around the bush.  No waffling, just the truth.  Nobody has to parse his replies.

[12] Posted by terrafirma on 11-12-2008 at 05:25 PM • top

The Episcopal Church is going to do what it wants to do, and other people are just going to have to deal with the consequences. Again, there’s a kind of arrogance about the Episcopal Church’s leadership at this point in the life of the communion; They want to do what they want to do, and let other people deal with it.

Oh, the irony!  Herein we see that very American point of intersection at which the TEC and the self-styled “orthodox” American Anglicans harmoniously meet.  Here is the common thread, spun on the wheel of modern individualism and democracy, that ties together each and every participant in this American battle of right. Oh, the delectable irony!

[13] Posted by eaten_by_chipmunks on 11-12-2008 at 05:38 PM • top

Andrew A stated, “If being recognized by the ABC is important to them, then they might consider keeping their current credentials as members of various “foreign” jurisdictions while bringing their respective domestic organiztions to institutional unity.” 
I believe that dual citizenship in the Southern Cone would weaken the integrity and commitment to the new North American Province.  It’s not clear that the ABC in fact recognizes any Bishops deposed by TEC anyway.  If the ABC does not recognize the new province he will find himself on the wrong side of history.  Bishop Iker rightly noted that TEC is a dying church. One may equally ask will GAFCON continue to recognize Canterbury Anglicanism and the ABC? What continues to strike me is the clear thinking and articulate way the Bishops of Common Cause state their case.

[14] Posted by Fr. Dale on 11-12-2008 at 05:46 PM • top

#4-

+Hulsey a surprise?  Not around here.  That fix was in when +Hulsey, the Presiding Bishop, Father Courtland Moore and Anne Bass had a closed door meeting at St. Thomas in Dallas for the blessing of the garden.

BigTex AC

[15] Posted by BigTex AC on 11-12-2008 at 05:53 PM • top

BigTex, yes it is for some. Trust me on this.

[16] Posted by martin5 on 11-12-2008 at 06:07 PM • top

According to sources, it is just talk.

[17] Posted by martin5 on 11-12-2008 at 06:08 PM • top

Greg,
Thank you for a great interview with Bishop Iker.  God bless +Iker!
I too will be at convention this weekend and cannot wait to cast my ballot in the affirmative.
Ron

[18] Posted by Verger on 11-12-2008 at 06:10 PM • top

Verger, you know that all of us in the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin are in your corner, and we’ll be there for you.  God bless the good people and clergy of the Diocese of Fort Worth, and God bless Bishop Iker!

[19] Posted by Cennydd on 11-12-2008 at 06:25 PM • top

# 3-

Yes, Sam Hulsey is “friends” with Crew and the bunch and formerly headed up task forces that were in the early stages of where TEC will soon find itself- supporting the GLBT agenda.  He officiated at the Integrity service here fairly recently.  There are TEC loyalist Clergy in Fort Worth who are still saying nothing will change if they stay in TEC.  They are in for a rude awakening- and I believe their Clergy are misguiding them greatly.

Great interview.  Blessings to our faithful Bishop.

[20] Posted by cbates on 11-12-2008 at 06:34 PM • top

Hulsey is embedded with Via Media and all their other spin-off clubs. He would be the logical choice. Just for kicks, do some research about his former diocese-Northwest Texas.  Two of the largest parishes have departed from TEC, another is said to be in financial shambles.  Most, if not all ,of the orthodox clergy have been driven away, and very few clergy wanted to put their name in the hat to replace Hulsey’s successor, Ohl. Yes, I think Mr. Hulsey will do quite nicely here in Fort Worth.

[21] Posted by hellcat on 11-12-2008 at 06:34 PM • top

The more I read interviews such as this, I’d like to commend the use of a term like ‘sanctuary seeking diocese’ rather than ‘realigned diocese’ in helping to convey their desire to seek spiritual asylum in a very brutal storm.

Peace,

[22] Posted by miserable sinner on 11-12-2008 at 06:42 PM • top

Here is an article about Hulsey leading Eucharist at an Integrity function.


http://integrityfortworth.blogspot.com/2008/03/exceedingly-glad-in-times-like-these.html

[23] Posted by hellcat on 11-12-2008 at 06:46 PM • top

Great job, Greg.  Keep up the good work.

God bless.

[24] Posted by Ol' Bob on 11-12-2008 at 07:06 PM • top

As a delegate to this convention I am approaching this weekend’s vote with mixed feelings of sadness and relief.  One thing I am perfectly clear on, however, is that it no longer matters one whit to me whether my church’s Diocese or province is “recognized” by the ABoC.  Canterbury has rendered itself completely meaningless.  Being recognized by Christ is enough for me.

[25] Posted by CarolynP on 11-12-2008 at 07:17 PM • top

Thank you for the interview.  Bishop Iker’s replies seem to make so much sense, they seem so obvious in many ways, it is a little hard to believe that TEC would even waste time trying to deny his observations.  I deeply admire his effort to work with Bishop Duncan and believe that it is this deep commitment to work with those he holds so much in common with that displays the core of his Christian faith.  His reference to what insanity is is so apt; I pray him many blessings in the Southern Cone, peace and freedom from the constant assaults of so many who have treated him ill for so long.  Godspeed, Bishop Iker.

[26] Posted by Seen-Too-Much on 11-12-2008 at 07:20 PM • top

Fantastic interview Greg & Bishop Iker. Thank you for the clarity and the honesty in Q & A.
Dcn. Dale….SPOT ON! I concur!

[27] Posted by TLDillon on 11-12-2008 at 08:00 PM • top

Thanks to both Greg and Bishop Iker for a straightforward interview touching on several difficult issues. As members of a parish in Dallas that has already separated and is under Archbishop Venables, my wife and I will be at St. Vincent’s on Saturday to pray for the DoFW and witness another historic milestone in Anglican history.

God bless all in the Diocese of Fort Worth,

Daniel

[28] Posted by Fisherman on 11-12-2008 at 08:07 PM • top

Thank you, Daniel.  I, being in the Ft Worth Diocese sincerely appreciate it.  Am curious, didn’t realize some of you in Dallas had already left to be under Archbishop Venables.  Are you the only ones? 
  I just read that St. Francis On The Hill in El Paso just voted to leave also.  They didn’t want to wait on their bishop to do something.  Let’s pray for them all.

[29] Posted by Sarah H on 11-12-2008 at 08:32 PM • top

Great interview! Thank you for taking the time to do this, Bishop Iker - it has to be a busy week for you.  The Q & A helps to solidify our thoughts as we prepare for the diocesan convention. 

CarolynP is spot on and I concur with her response “it no longer matters one whit to me whether my church’s Diocese or province is “recognized” by the ABoC.  Canterbury has rendered itself completely meaningless.  Being recognized by Christ is enough for me.”  Amen.

Julia

[30] Posted by TexOblate on 11-12-2008 at 08:38 PM • top

Let us not forget:  From a theological, spiritual and doctrinal standpoint, TEC separated itself from the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth a long time ago.  What is going to happen on Saturday is formal acceptance by the Diocese of what already has occurred.  It is a time of both rejoicing and sorrow, but the faithful know that, in the end, the victory belongs to the Lord.

[31] Posted by DFW Lawyer on 11-12-2008 at 08:52 PM • top

Sarah H: First, you are welcome. There have been several parishes over here that have left TEC since GC2006.

I am a former member (vestry) of the 3rd parish to depart the DoD, which is now under CANA (I and my wife were delegates to the 1st CANA Council in Virginia). Last spring we transferred to the 2nd parish that left which is now under ++Greg Venables.

We’ve been active in the CCP/NT and have attended several meetings in Fort Worth. We also traveled over to hear ++Venables speak and met +Duncan for the 2nd time at +Iker’s anniversary celebration at St. Vincent’s.

See you all Saturday.

[32] Posted by Fisherman on 11-12-2008 at 09:07 PM • top

choice. Just for kicks, do some research about his former diocese-Northwest Texas.  Two of the largest parishes have departed from TEC, another is said to be in financial shambles.  Most, if not all ,of the orthodox clergy have been driven away, and very few

The “remaining orthodox clergy” in town tend to be institutionalists who are trying very hard not to rock the boat.  The new rector at one parish is a conservative who opposed VGR but thinks that we are “majoring in minors” (his words) and can’t see what’s really wrong with TEC as a whole.  We tried to be good members for two years when we moved here, but are now at a new Ugandan mission.  Still small, but much sign of life.  God will provide.

[33] Posted by Via Mead (Rob Kirby) on 11-12-2008 at 10:04 PM • top

“From a theological, spiritual and doctrinal…”

But from a legal standpoint, things are still entirely up in the air as to how the courts will rule.  I wonder if we eventually end up seeing Common Cause vs TEC being argued before the US Supreme Court.

[34] Posted by AndrewA on 11-12-2008 at 10:04 PM • top

Stunning, isn’t it, how ill prepared BeerKat and the PHIPS are to deal with a man of Bishop Iker’s character and commitment?  He reeks of a faith and knowledge that must simply burn them up with the jealousy of ignorance, that which flows from refusing to ever hold a position based on someone else’s truth or needs.

I’m telling you, people like the good Bishop just flummox BeerKat, The PHIPS, and the Crew!

KTF and God Bless You Bishop Iker!

mrb

[35] Posted by Mike Bertaut on 11-12-2008 at 10:32 PM • top

#30—you mentioned that it must be a busy week for +Iker…he began the week on Sunday afternoon celebrating the Closing Mass for Cursillo at Camp Crucis—Don’t know where his schedule had him that morning.  He was most gracious, as always, in good spirits and relaxed.  We were able to share a couple of laughs….I was glad for that.  Am also so looking forward to voting to move on and trying to put all this behind us.  I thank God for +Iker’s continued leadership of this diocese!

[36] Posted by Henry on 11-12-2008 at 11:13 PM • top

Henry,

Sunday morning, +Iker was at Chris Cantrell’s church (Holy Apostles) where he confirmed nine people and preached a great little sermon on Matthew 25:1-13. The guy is a machine.

[37] Posted by Greg Griffith on 11-12-2008 at 11:17 PM • top

And a very good time was had by all!!

P.S. You left out the stained glass window blessing too!

[38] Posted by Fr. Christopher Cantrell+ on 11-13-2008 at 12:07 AM • top

I suppose the difference between the two is that [homosexuality] is a moral issue, and [lay presidency] is not - it’s more of a sacramental/theological issue. But the effect is the same - to break communion and cause division.

One is a direct violation of a Scriptural imperative.  The other is a violation of Anglican tradition.  Unless one assumes the existence of a body of binding revelation called Tradition that is external to Scripture (and in that case its content and provenance must be produced) there is simply no comparison between the two issues.  We dare not proclaim that a violation the traditions of men equals a violation of a clear Scriptural imperative.

carl

[39] Posted by carl on 11-13-2008 at 12:20 AM • top

Rob Kirby, your recitation of the statement of the institutionalist Priests (“majoring in minors” ) brought back a repressed memory from my days in TEC. That was a favorite term used by the spineless, so called “moderates”. Another favorite: “we are spending too much time talking about sex.” My carefull research reveals that 90% of the time a priest using that phrase will, within the same month, also insert the “shellfish argument” into one of his or her sermons.

Its one thing for a leader in another Dioceses to discern a call to remain as a remnant in TEC for a while longer, but quite another for a Priest or lay leader in one of the departing Dioceses to suggest that orthodox should stay in what will become, overnight, an uber liberal, mainstream TEC psuedo-Diocese. Give me Bishop Andrus over that type of duplicity,  anytime.

[40] Posted by Going Home on 11-13-2008 at 01:10 AM • top

Its one thing for a leader in another Dioceses to discern a call to remain as a remnant in TEC for a while longer, but quite another for a Priest or lay leader in one of the departing Dioceses to suggest that orthodox should stay in what will become, overnight, an uber liberal, mainstream TEC psuedo-Diocese. Give me Bishop Andrus over that type of duplicity, anytime.

Not our situation in NWT—there is no movement in the diocese to realign.  Parishes who desire are departing, with or without property.

There are ditches on each side of the road.  Some church traditions seem to have embraced the “ethics of eternal schism” wherein no other body and most of the one they belong to is ever doctrinally pure enough.  This is a horrible blight on the Church.  Anglicanism in the US is swerving the other way. 

Commitment to church unity is a noble goal, but alas, not the only reason people are staying.  Sometimes parishes stay together because they are two small to function as two parishes.  Perhaps a prudentially wise decision.  Other times they or a priest are attached to property/money/pension/etc.  Or, more fundamentally, it’s just against Episcopal Good Manners to cause a scene.

On the last note, an RC once quipped to me that when people convert to Catholocism from other Christian bodies, they have to publicly disavow the heresies they have previously espoused.  Lutherans have to deny justification by faith alone.  Episcopalians have to agree to henceforth only sin in <italic>bad</italic> taste.

[41] Posted by Via Mead (Rob Kirby) on 11-13-2008 at 07:09 AM • top

The Episcopal Church, which has been on the far left of religious views for years will now become even more left - and I think rapidly. With fewer conservative Dioceses, there will be fewer conservative delegates, which means that the leftist agenda will be promoted faster, and with larger margins of votes than in the past. With all the “leftist” views that have already been put in place by TEC, I can see rampant and unchecked leftist agendas passing readily at future conventions.

This of course leaves conservatives in moderate and left leaning Dioceses with an extreme minority, starting at the next General Convention. This leaves us that have stayed all these years, worshipping in a church whose views do not align with those of Holy Scripture. While I think there may be a “rush” of Parishes to align with the and comming Province - I see very Diocese’s leaving, but as Parishes re-align the same effect in Diocesan Conventions will take affect as I have described above for the National Conventions.
<a > http://thewatchingwarden.blogspot.com/ </a>

[42] Posted by MrEd on 11-13-2008 at 08:57 AM • top

The Anglican Catholic Church back in the 1970’s had hopes of being recognized by the ABC.  It never happened.

You’re right that the recognition never happened, but it’s important to remember the Anglican Catholic Church declared that it couldn’t be in communion with the ABC once the Church of England started ordaining women.

And it’s why I think the new Common Cause Partnership/Province will eventually have to either entirely embrace or entirely reject WO: I don’t think the center can hold when something as essential as the nature of the sacraments themselves is in question.

[43] Posted by scribbler on 11-13-2008 at 09:10 AM • top

More and more denominations. More and more splits. Is this what JESUS envisioned? Why not just abolish all denominations? Everyone recognize each other’s sacraments and ordinations. And open the Eucharist to all comers. All the emotional and financial resources, as well as the time involved in this entire exercise, is one giant waste. Our task as Christians is set forth in the Lord’s Prayer and the Great Commission—neither of which has anything to do with the gender of the clergy or anyone’s choice of sexual partner. The essence of God’s Kingdom is found in the Magnificat and the Beatitudes and in John 6 on the neccessity of the Eucharist. That’s the program. Get with it and knock off all this other nonsense. Y’all need a good dose on incense!

[44] Posted by DesertDavid on 11-13-2008 at 11:49 PM • top

“Our task as Christians is set forth in the Lord’s Prayer and the Great Commission—neither of which has anything to do with the gender of the clergy or anyone’s choice of sexual partner.”

I am sure that one of our learned commentators can find the right Latin term for that absurdity. Without an appreciation and recognition of sin, and our sinful nature, you miss it all. When you deny God’s Word, you deny God. Shame.

[45] Posted by Going Home on 11-14-2008 at 03:27 AM • top

Kirby, I have been in your shoes. May God give you wisdom as you seek to discern the right path.

[46] Posted by Going Home on 11-14-2008 at 03:30 AM • top

#41 That last paragraph of yours made me laugh.

Prayers for ALL in Dio of Fort Worth on this unfortunate day.  May the peace that passes all understanding be upon you this day and forevermore. 

Peace, the deep abiding peace of the Lord,

P.S. From today’s lectionary words I wish I followed more frequently - James 1:19-20
19 You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness.

[47] Posted by miserable sinner on 11-14-2008 at 07:06 AM • top

Re #47: “slow to anger” Please do not forget that many of us in Fort Worth have not felt that our theological convictions have been valued within TEC for decades, yet we have patiently endured as our voice at GenCon was drowned out and effectively pushed to the margins. And even on the presenting issue of human sexuality, we are now in our fifth year of the crisis. I realize that some will say five years is not long enough to wait and we delay yet further until for GenCon09 and then GenCon12 do whatever they will the Anglican Covenant before we act. But from where I sit this does not seem like a precipitous action to me.
From a clergy delegate to the FW convention.

[48] Posted by texanglican on 11-14-2008 at 09:17 AM • top

Boy, I just can’t seem to avoid typos in these posts. Sorry.
Any way, re 47: MiserableSinner, I am curious. Do you think that when our Lord uttered Matt 18:15-17 he meant for more than five years to elapse between the initial offense and the separation of the Church from the unrepentant offending party? IMHO, these verses argue against our five years of deliberation as being unduly “quick to anger” in taking our second and final vote this weekend.

[49] Posted by texanglican on 11-14-2008 at 11:00 AM • top

TexAnglican:
You misread me.  I have no doubt about your motives, discernment or call to action per Matt 18.  See my #22.  I wish you nothing but the best in this unfortunate time of asylum seeking. 

But, recall also that longsuffering is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.  Those who stay will need it in abundance still.

Not surprising to those of faith, I have found numerous times over the years where the lectionary reading had a particular relevance.  That said, I believe today’s reading’s call is to one of graciousness, not inaction. 

As the prayer book dismissal says, go in peace to love and serve the Lord. 

May the Lord’s blessings be upon you,

[50] Posted by miserable sinner on 11-14-2008 at 12:48 PM • top

“More and more denominations. More and more splits. Is this what JESUS envisioned?”

Given that Jesus is God and God is omniscient, beyond our understandings of space and time, I would imagine that HE knew exactly what was to come.

[51] Posted by AndrewA on 11-14-2008 at 01:24 PM • top

Does Bishop Iker ever smile? I have never seen a picture of him in which he doesn’t look like he’s just kicked a dog.

[52] Posted by Dallasite on 11-14-2008 at 01:48 PM • top

+Iker’s smiling on the inside, where it counts.

[53] Posted by Greg Griffith on 11-14-2008 at 01:55 PM • top

Maybe it’s because he has spent so much time of late getting kicked like a dog by people who owe him civility, if not charity and respect. cool hmm
Besides, in serious times, we wear serious faces.

My prayers are with +Ft. Worth and the whole diocese today, especially.

[54] Posted by Cindy T. in TX on 11-14-2008 at 01:58 PM • top

Actually, Bishop Iker has a marvelous sense of humor. Very wry. His delivery is absolutely deadpan, but he cannot help getting a satisfied little grin on his face a second later.

At tonight’s session of convention, for example, one of our senior priests mislaid his suit coat in the clergy vesting room following Mass. Bishop Iker came to the mike and said, “If any of your happen to be wearing black, you should check your coat to make sure it is the proper cut.” Naturally in our diocese the “black suit, black clergy shirt standard” is mandated in the Customary of the Diocese for all priests. So there were 80+ people in the room who “happened to be wearing black!” Gotta love our bishop!

[56] Posted by texanglican on 11-14-2008 at 09:31 PM • top

Not to mention the ‘ACORN’ vote!

[57] Posted by martin5 on 11-14-2008 at 10:27 PM • top

Outstanding interview.
What a privilege it would be to have +Iker as my diocesan bishop.  God speed to him and his flock.

[58] Posted by jcpardue on 11-15-2008 at 06:31 PM • top

If any of you are close to Bishop Iker, or planning another interview in the immediate future (unless its already happened this afternoon and I missed it), it would be good for those of us outside of SJ, Quincy and Ft. Worth to hear from the Bishop, or one of his contemporaries, on the degree of Communion that Anglo Catholics can maintain with TEC.  Since there are still some FiF and SSC clergy in TEC (including, technically, Bp. Ackerman) we must be able to maintain a relationship at some level.  However, is the average TEC parish considered to be in or out of Communion by the 3 Anglo Catholic bishops?

[59] Posted by tjmcmahon on 11-15-2008 at 06:54 PM • top

The Christianity preached and taught by “orthodox” Christians bears little or no resemblance to that taught by Jesus himself, who was revolutionary and inclusive, not a pillar of the established society of his day and not one who excluded alleged sinners. Unlike today’s conservative Christians, he was non-judgmental and preached forgiveness. And most assuredly, sexual purity was not his message. He had nothing to say about GLBT persons or abortion.  Marcus Borg, John Dominick Crossan, Brian McLaren, and William Countryman have done extensive research on all these issues that seems to be a great deal more credible than the traditionalists as it is based on facts and evidence rather than filtered through preconceived opinions.

[60] Posted by DesertDavid on 11-15-2008 at 07:03 PM • top

Gosh, DesertDave, I’ve never met a real live Marcionite before….can I have your autograph?  wink

Cheers,

Phil Hobbs

[61] Posted by gone on 11-15-2008 at 07:15 PM • top

Gee, Dave ...... the rich young ruler, those “pit of vipers”, the second thief, that bit about “millstones”, perfecting the law, not replacing it (including the proscriptions against same sex sex), “go and sin no more” .... oh, I could go on and on. Of course you are going to tell me he was only angered at “inhospitality” I suppose. To me he seems a bit “exclusionary”; kinda like the difference between tomatoes and oranges, or goats and sheep or maybe even repentant sinner and those who are not?
AP+

[62] Posted by Anglican Paplist on 11-15-2008 at 07:17 PM • top

DesertDave, try scholars instead of popular pundits.  It’s a whole new world.  Real scholars, though, not just folks that make pretence to scholarship and show up on the TV because they are fringe sorts good for ratings and fooling the naive.

[63] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 11-15-2008 at 07:40 PM • top

Can someone explain why there is not a thread on the separation of the Diocese of Fort Worth on Stand Firm?  I am surprised.  I am also proud of our Diocese for standing for Christ and His Church.

[64] Posted by cbates on 11-15-2008 at 07:51 PM • top

Jesus was non-judgemental?  Who knew??

[65] Posted by GoodMissMurphy on 11-15-2008 at 08:00 PM • top

cbates (64)
I was surprised by that as well.  But separate thread or no, we hope you know that we are indeed praying for all in the diocese, and thankful for the courage of each, and especially that of Bishop Iker.

[66] Posted by tjmcmahon on 11-15-2008 at 08:06 PM • top

cbates, it has been my observation that each time a dioceses leaves, the amount of coverage and commentary on this website is much, much lower.  I predicted that when Ft Worth left, it would only get foot note on this website.  So far I haven’t even seen the foot note.

[67] Posted by AndrewA on 11-15-2008 at 09:39 PM • top

DesertDavid,

Try reading your bible instead of relying on the “research” of the likes of Crossan, Borg et al. If, after that, you decide that you’d rather go with them instead of Scripture, be my guest, but please have the courtesy to call yourself something other than “Christian.”

[68] Posted by Greg Griffith on 11-15-2008 at 10:14 PM • top

I read DO the Bible, profusely. But I cannot read it in a vacuum. I do not just read the Bible and apply the text literally to today’s world and therefore claim to be faithful to its meaning. To truly understand a given passage, here’s my approach. First, I read more than one translation. Typically, I’ll consult New Jerusalem, NRSV, KJV, RSV and NEB. I will also read the text with an interlinear, indexed translation in its original language and parse the words with a concordance to see how the same words were used in other passages. I will also consult several commentaries. My favorites are Oxford, New Jerome, Harper-Collins, and Collegeville. I will also consult a Bible dictionary to get detailed descriptions of the persons, places and things. I do all that to ponder the following: 1)Authorship, date of origin, biography of the author. 2) Author’s intent in writing the passage and what author was attempting to communicate to further than intent and credibility of the author 3) Audience adddressed, their characteristics and history, how they may have received the message 4) Historical context—what was going on governmentally and socially at the time, within and outside of the community to which it was addressed to develop to what extent surrounding events influenced the content of the passage 5) extent to which the particular passage harmonizes with other passages 6) How the message reflected the state of scientific knowledge at the time it was written and how the author might have a different intent if the author lived in modern times. The point is I use my brain first and develop my emotional convictions based on my research rather than following uninformed intuition or adopting a particular view to make myself popular with other people. I’m sure scholars do this job somewhat better than I do but I think I do OK for someone who’s never been to seminary.

[69] Posted by DesertDavid on 11-16-2008 at 07:35 PM • top

dwstroudmd (63)  Sorry, DesertDave’s list of scholars are well respected throughout the Christian Church. And DesertDave has it right about the teaching and witness of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ teaching about morality and about the Kingdom are very scary to religious conservatives—the kneejerk response to DesertDave is completely understandable, if lamentable.

[70] Posted by TBWSantaFe on 11-18-2008 at 01:10 AM • top

Desert Dave,

I do hope you pray and ask the Holy Ghost who will lead us into all truth to guide your study before you open the first book…


I find the NASB and Strong’s to be of good use along with the KJV.  My wife likes the NIV and the Amplified.

Matthew Henry’s commentaries are also helpful (though certainly not an Anglican’s views). 

Logos puts together a rather fine package if you’ve the bucks for it, lots of translations, the Greek and Hebrew texts (multiple codexes), and more commentaries than you can shake a stick at, all online.  My wife is a big fan.  I’m more the old fashioned lay them out on the table kind of guy myself….


I don’t find question your 6th to be useful at first glance, how is it helpful to you.

[71] Posted by Bo on 11-18-2008 at 01:45 AM • top

[comment deleted—feel free to email the blog hosts if you want another story posted]

[72] Posted by EmilyH on 01-19-2009 at 08:08 AM • top

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