Struans has said he’s leaving us, at least for a while. The regrets folk have expressed as not formulaic. He genuinely added something to this place, and without him and Fr Malcolm, Jess may well be the only Anglican in the village, so to speak. For anyone wanting to understand modern theology, Struans was a good guide, and he coped manfully with dinosaurs like me who began with an uncomprehending categorisation of him as a ‘liberal’. I still think he’s a liberal in my sense of the term, that is one who thinks that the traditional beliefs need to adapt to modern ways of thinking, but he’s helped me see it isn’t that simple, and has given me, and the regulars here, good links and things about which to think. I shall miss the fusillades between him and Chalcedon which were marvellous to behold, as both the great men-o-war fired away – quite often at other targets it seemed to me, but my, what fun for those of us who think that argumnt should be about substance and intellectual positions as opposed to ya boo stuff.
I saw from our hostess’ post, and from her comments to me, that she too will miss him. He has been here from the start I think, something a johnny-come-lately like myself can but admire. He’s added that Anglican tone which I trace, too, in Jessica, which is one of devout commitment alongside an openness to things which an old-time conservative like myself instinctively distrusts; where I’m grateful to them both is in showing me that one can distrust something, be right to do so, but also explore it to understand why one is right to distrust it.
At its best, that Anglican broadness militates against any tendency to Pharisaism or legalism; and as one with tendencies in both directions, it is good to have a countervailing force. At its worst, and all good things on this earth have a worst, it leads to an impression of indecisiveness on matters where it is important to be clear. I’ve read the arguments from Struans on homosexuals and marriage and find them unconvincing in the extreme, based as they seem to be on a desire to read away what all churches have agreed is in the text. The motives are good in themselves, but they lead in the wrong direction. Those who have an attraction to the same sex and are living out the Gospel commandment need not siren voices indicating that it is OK, but reinforcement of that which tells them they are right to resist, and support in that endeavour.
But I had a thousand times more a man like Struans who is striving to find ways to show the love of Christ, than one who resorts to judging the sinner and not the sin. I’ve never been a fan of the idea that telling other folk they’re bound for hell if they don’t agree with me is the way to show God’s love. Jesus died for all sinners and rose so that all who turn to Him should have life eternal; were I not a Christian, I think I’d be more likely to be pulled in by Struans than our chum QV.
So this is by way of thanking Struans for the very great pleasure of his company, and for the educational work he has done here. I had looked forward to hearing more about India, but I suppose that is on hold against a possible return. As he may not look in at the time, let me wish him a joyful and holy Easter, and may God go with him – and may England win a Test Match soon.