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JohnJessica has gathered a community here who have in common a devotion to Christ. We are divided on the question of authority, as my last couple of posts have shown; what I have also tried to show is that this isn’t, as so many Roman Catholics allege, because we reject the authority of Rome; it is because the form in which Rome has chosen to assert its authority is not sanctioned by history – except that special history known only to some Roman Catholic scholars where there is a Papal equivalent of the ‘Whig theory’ of history. In the latter, all history tends towards to creation of liberal democracy; in the former, it all tends toward the modern Papacy; the warning I’d issue is that the modern Papacy isn’t what it was under Pius IX and in fifty years time won’t be what it was under John Paul II. History is a fickle Jade – she keeps changing, and the many changes Rome has witnessed have not finished; which may be why some are so uneasy.

But when one reads through the many comments the posts here attracts, the thing which strikes me is how hard it would actually be to put a denominational label on many of us. That’s not to say that we don’t stand by whatever label we have adopted or tradition we have adopted or been born into, but it is to say that we do our best to talk to each other in a Christian spirit, which is to try to understand where our brothers and sisters are coming from and to tak them in good faith.

The post on ‘Right Belief’ by our most vociferous traditionalist, quiavideruntoculi, contained in it nothing much with which I disagreed. I’ve no problem with the Athanasian Creed, as I hold to the ‘catholic faith’. I dislike the attempt by one church to arrogate that name, but understand why it did so, for good and bad reasons; the good reasons were to preserve what it saw as orthodox; the bad was to hold onto worldly power.  It is only when quiavideruntoculi attempts to maintain that the church and its teaching are identical with the Roman communion that I, and millions of others, dissent. Quite how anyone could advance the view that the Orthodox Churches do not hold ‘right belief’ is beyond me; but then the eye of denominational pride is, as I know from my own younger days, a great distorting lens.

That’s one of the things I like about this place. We can, without prejudice as our legal chums say, put our lenses down and have a dialogue where we discover that once we do that, we’ve a deal of common ground. Christ and His message are embraced by us all, and His Holy Spirit can work its miracle in us to at least enable us to listen to each other. Aye, that involves a good deal of misunderstanding, but it involves, or so it seems to me, a good deal in common.

I’ve been following with interest, Struans’ series on the theological course he’s doing. It seems to me that in speaking of God, sometimes we are able to grasp the edge of His meaning for us; through the Grace of Christ and the Holy Spirit, may we come to know it more closely.