Easter is not all about going to heaven. Still less some nasty evangelical death cult where a blood sacrifice must be paid to appease an angry God.
Giles Fraser, 22 March, 2008 

 The idea of an omnipotent God who can calm the sea and defeat our enemies turns out to be a part of that great fantasy of power that has corrupted the Christian imagination for centuries. 
Giles Fraser 8 Jan 2005  

Jesus set out to destroy the imprisoning obligations of debt, speaking instead of forgiveness and the redistribution of wealth. 
Giles Fraser 24 Dec 2005 

 Nicene Christianity is the religion of Christmas and Easter, the celebration of a Jesus who is either too young or too much in agony to shock us with his revolutionary rhetoric....And from Constantine onwards, the radical Christ worshipped by the early church would be pushed to the margins of Christian history to be replaced with the infinitely more accommodating religion of the baby and the cross. 
Giles Fraser, 24 Dec 2005 

 Evangelical Christianity, with all its emphasis on Jesus as friend, risks domesticating the divine, pulling God too much within the dimensions of the human perspective. With this sort of Jesus at hand, God becomes just too easy. 
Giles Fraser 11 Dec 2011 

 For too long, Christians have put up with a theory of salvation that has at its core the idea that God requires the sacrifice of his own son so that human sin can be cancelled. "There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin," we will all sing. The fact this is a disgusting idea, and morally degenerate, is obvious to all but those indoctrinated into a very narrow reading of the cross. 
Giles Fraser 11 Dec 2009 

 (On evangelicals who support corporal punishment): Perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise. For, as evangelicals, the Pearls believe that salvation only comes through punishment and pain. God punishes his Son with crucifixion so that humanity might not have to face the Father's anger. This image of God the father, for whom violence is an expression of tough love, is lodged deep in the evangelical imagination. And it twists a religion of forgiveness and compassion into something dark and cruel. 
Giles Fraser 8 June 2006

28 comments:

JWH said...

Andrew,

Any chance of a bit of background to know how controversial or otherwise these statements are in "church circles"?

Theological debate at my church concentrates more on the danger that 'Halloween' poses to the health of the community rather than stuff like this.

Regards

John

Richard Worth said...

I suspect that some of the emphasis on the crib and the cross is to get away from the idea that Jesus was a nice guy like Confucius and Socrates until the Church invented organised Philip Pulman as a way of stopping us voting Green. Our local Church majors on Saints and Superheroes parties for All Hallows Eve. However, I suspect that some of the theological opposition is actually around apple-bobbing and burning raisins being corrupted by tacky commercial American Trick or Treat.

Sam Dodsworth said...

We've been down this particular route before, I think, when you explained that Giles Fraser wasn't a proper Christian because of something I still don't quite understand about the Atonement:

http://www.andrewrilstone.com/2008/03/apple-trees-and-honey-bees-and-snow.html

In particular, it's hard not to see blood sacrifice in the hyms you quote here, in comments:

http://www.andrewrilstone.com/2008/03/apple-trees-and-honey-bees-and-snow.html?showComment=1207158180000#c2672659098075641111

As an outside observer, I think the problem may be different ideas of how God operates in the world. This is hard to explain without tripping over technical terminology and/or raising hackles, so please bear with me if you can...

Giles Fraser, I think, believes in a subtle God who manifests through His creation. Miracles, in that view, are mostly unnecessary - God doesn't need to break natural laws because He made the world to work in the way He wanted. And if He works through the world them that implies a God as vast and as complex as the world - not something it's easy to have a personal relationship with.

The opposite view is God manifests into the world, which is corrupt and requires His direct intervention. In that view, miracles and revelation are both neccessary and ongoing, as the visible sign of God in the world. And if the work is corrupt, then a direct personal relationship with God is the only way to access the uncorrupted truth.

So proponents of View One think View Two is magical thinking with an undertone of Manicheanism, while proponents of View Two think View One is crypto-Pantheism insofar as it's religious at all.

Does that make sense or help at all? As always, I'm aware that being an outsider who - frankly - thinks both views are stupid means I've probably missed a lot of what's important.

Andrew Rilstone said...

I think that your characterisation of the two positions is quite good. I think I would add that Christianity is (in the Tolkien-Lewis sense) a "myth", and that if you remove the "mythical" elements, you rapidly find that there is nothing left. I would add that what you call View Two is what I, and nearly everyone who as ever called themselves a Christian, would call "Christianity".

"Not a proper Christian" makes me sound petty: roughtly as if I said "Oh, Sam has some funny idea that such and such a person isn't a proper anarchist because he believes in a strong authoritarian poltical leadership."

But "Christian" (like anarchist) is a term which describes a set of beliefs. I think that nearly everyone would agree, for example, that people who say that they do not believe in God (even if they draw the salary of Church of England priests) are not "Christians" as the term is normally understood.

Obviously you can define a term more widely or narrowly depending on the kind of discussion you wish to have. (In one context, you might say that Doctor Who wasn't "proper science fiction" because it wasn't interested in science; in another context you might easily spot that Doctor Who and Battlestar Gallactica were examples of "science fiction shows" where Coronation Street and Casualty were not.) I am free to say in one context that Jehovah's Witnesses are a form of Christianity while in another that the beliefs of the Jehovaha's Witnesses fall outside what is normally meant by "Christianity".

Fraser's beliefs are not those of the majority of Christians, nor even of the majority of the Church of England. I take him to be Pelagian (Jesus was a good man who set us a good example) or a Liberation Theologian (Jesus was a social revolutionary whose "Kingdom of God" meant socialism in the here and now) and possibly a Unitarian (it isn't quite clear to what extent he believe that Jesus was really God in human form.)

Fraser has a perfect right to be Pelagian, a Liberation Theologian, and possibly a Unitarian. The Church of England has a perfect right to allow Pelagians, Liberations Theologians and Unitarians into their priesthood if it wants to.

I don't know if Fraser thinks that we can validly describe Jesus as "saviour"; he he doesn't, then I would find it very hard to apply to the word "Christian" to him. I don't know if he does or not.

I don't grok how Fraser can celebrate the eucharastic ("hallejulah! Chrsit our passover is sacrificed for us!) if he finds the idea despicable. Similarly, I don't grok how he can recite the Nicene Creed each morning if he thinks that Nicene Christianity is a false aberration, but that's basically his problem.

I feel that it is worth pointing out that his beliefs are outside of what most Christians mean when they say "Christianity". I imagine that if the press were consistently referring to, say, a Maoist, who thought that an armed and omnipotent state was necessary to force socialism on the workers as "an anarchist", you might have a thing or two to say.

The thing I find really shocking is his sectarianism. Most Christian denominations regard most other Christian denominations as "fellow Christians who have got point A and point B seriously wrong". He appears to write off nearly all Catholics and nearly all Protestants as members of a vile sub Christian cult. It's a bit mean to say that Andrew regards Fraser as "not a proper Christian" when Fraser regards Andrew as part of a vile imperialist blood cult.

I think it is perhaps unfair for you to say that you don't understand the distinction between objective and subjective views of the Atonement and at the same time to say that all disagreements about religion and theology are equally meaningless.

NickPheas said...

I can sort of see what he's trying to say. The Old Testement diety comes over bitter, angry and vengeful. Given that kind of supernatural being, and (if we're going to bring Americans into it) his followers like the Phelps clan, I think we'd all side with (Milton's) Lucifer.
It's perhaps because sacrifice isn't part of our religious tradition. We're generally presented with a touchy feely God, but still faced with "God, who so loved the world that to get over his almighty strop about a fruit tree he chose to slaughter an innocent."

SK said...

I think we'd all side with (Milton's) Lucifer

Oh, you haven't fallen for the line that Milton writes Lucifer as some kind of noble rebel against a tyrannical God, have you?

I honestly don't know where that comes from. Milton's Lucifer is a petty tyrant -- an eloquent petty tyrant, to be sure, but his fundamental problem isn't that God is a bad ruler, it's that God honours Jesus as his son, promoting him to ruler of Heaven, and this really pisses off Lucifer who thought that he was God's favourite (these days it's taken as a given that the Devil's main sin was pride in aspiring to be like God, but there was a long tradition of it being envy, and Milton, being a true poet, equivocates so he can have it both ways).

So Lucifer revolts (in a great sequence where you have angels fighting with cannon!) and, when he is defeated and cast down, immediately sets himself up as as a mirror-God in a very childish sulk. Then when he heads God is making another world -- Eden -- whose creatures he will like better than Satan and his demons, he immediately heads over there to spoil it basically out of spite: he's not trying to free Adam and Eve from the overbearing control of God by giving them the 'fruit of that forbidden tree', he's trying to get back at God the only way, having been banished from Heaven, that he can: by wrecking God's handiwork. It's no more nor less than a child, grounded by his father, who goes out and scratches the father's car as revenge.

I really, honestly, don't see where this idea of Milton's Lucifer being a heroic rebel comes from. He's quite clearly a spiteful, envious, toddler throwing a cosmic tantrum.

NickPheas said...

He's quite clearly a spiteful, envious, toddler throwing a cosmic tantrum.
Of course the same can be said of Genesis 3:17.

OK, I admit it, I've not actually read Paradise Lost. Substitute the Gaiman/Carey version of Lucifer.

SK said...

Of course the same can be said of Genesis 3:17

Well, not really; Genesis doesn't tend to go on about God's motivations in the same way Milton does. And that verse in particular doesn't give any clue as to whether God is punishing Adam, or simply explaining to him the consequences of his choice (as, for example, a parent saying 'Because you stuffed yourself with sweets, you're going to feel ill and throw up.')

Substitute the Gaiman/Carey version of Lucifer

Ah, yes, that's definitely a 'noble rebel' portrayal (though I confess I'm only going off the character in Sandman, having avoided all spin-offs). And very very different to Milton's.

Sam Dodsworth said...

As far as I can tell, Giles Fraser believes in the following.

1) God, who is Love.

2) The miracle of the Resurrection.

3) Jesus, who died for our sins.

And also, as far as I can tell (and I'm genuinely puzzled by this and would be grateful for a correction) the main specific difference between your view and his is that, for him, the Atonement operated as a lesson while, for you, the Atonement was brought about in some sense directly by the shedding of God's blood.

Fraser's view sounds more like a myth to me, understanding "myth" to mean something like "powerful story", while yours sounds more like magic - at least to the extent that it's the blood that matters and not the story.

So I suppose what I'm trying to say is that it seems to me that you and Giles Fraser share what I'd previously thought were the core beliefs of Christianity and I'm puzzled as to what much more central thing is missing from Fraser's beliefs to make him not a Christian after all.

SK said...

As far as I can tell, Giles Fraser believes in the following.

I'm not sure I can work out what it is Giles Fraser does believe in, but to look at the list:

God, who is Love.

'God' is a very vague word. and saying 'who is Love' doesn't help much: for a Christian, Love is not God's only identity. He is Creator, He is Judge, he is (in the person of Jesus) Redeemer and Saviour. As Lewis says, too much emphasis on 'god is Love' can lead to the heresy that 'Love is God'...

But anyway, when Fraser says 'God', what does he mean? Maybe someone has found somewhere that he gives a definition, but all I know is that he definitely doesn't mean the God described in the Nicene Creed; so that tends to mean that whatever he believes in when he says 'god', it's not what the majority of the Church, both Militant and Triumphant, believes in.

The miracle of the Resurrection

Again, from http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/apr/01/religion.uk it's very hard to work out what he does believe about the resurrection. 'The resurrection is the altered perception from which the defeat of Jesus is understood as victory' - what does that even mean? Was Jesus raised from the dead (in any sense, physical or otherwise) or was it all just about a shift in perspective (and if the latter, what is miraculous about it)?

Jesus, who died for our sins

Andrew's already pointed out that it's not clear whether Fraser believes 'in Jesus' as the second person of the Trinity, the Saviour, as God. Believing in Jesus as a historical figure is clearly not sufficient to be a Christian: the King of the Nerds Dawkins believes in the 'historical Jesus'. To be a Christian, as the term is usually used, is to ascribe some kind of divinity to Jesus. not just to believe that he existed; but that he was, in some sense, God.

And as for the second part, 'for our sins': Fraser certainly believes Jesus dies as a result of our sins. And that his death shows us our sins. But 'for our sins'? In what sense 'for'? Christians have over the centuries come up with several ways in which Christ died 'for our sins', whether that be 'in our place because of our sins' (which Fraser certainly doesn't believe, as it's that that he calls the 'evangelical death-cult') or 'as ransom to the Devil, payment of the debt our sins have incurred' (but then we're into how much Fraser believes in the Devil, and there's even less evidence of that). Again, maybe there's somewhere I don't know (I haven't read his Church Times articles) where Fraser explains how he thinks Jesus died 'for' our sins, but at the moment I'm really not sure that you can say Fraser believes that 'Jesus died for our sins' rather than 'Jesus died as a result of our sins'.

Sam Dodsworth said...

SK - I'm kind of following on from a comment thread back in 2008, where I put the case for some of this. Bottom line is that I think there are more charitable readings of his stated position than Andrew's, and there's plenty of sectarianism on both sides of the argument.

SK said...

I'm not sure where you're coming form. when you say 'more charitable readings', do you mean readings that would support the idea that Fraser believes in the divinity of Christ? Readings where he does believe in a miraculous resurrection, not just a shift in perspective?

Certainly Fraser is very careful never to directly deny any of these things, but that very circumlocution is in itself suspicious, don't you think? It does suggest that there's a line he wishes he could cross but knows he can't without putting himself outside of where most people (though not himself, obviously) would regard him as 'Christian'.

Sam Dodsworth said...

that very circumlocution is in itself suspicious, don't you think?

No, not really. As I've already said, I think you and Andrew (helped by your various reasons to be irritated) are assuming that Fraser can't be a Christian because doesn't like the same things in Christianity that you do, and are trying to prove it with tendentious reading and insinuation. Which annoys me, faintly. But, as I've also said, I'm in no sense qualified to decide who's Christian and who's not.

SK said...

Okay. Well, first principles, then. I assume we can agree that the word 'Christian' has a generally-agreed definition that can (roughly) be defined in a 'necessary and sufficient' sense (ie, it's not one of Wittgenstein's 'family resemblance' groups).

So the question that's basically being asked is: does Fraser's position fit inside this definition or not?

So to start with a fairly uncontroversial (I hope) bit of the definition: 'A Christian accepts the divinity of Christ'. Arians are not Christians; nor Unitarians, nor Jews, nor Muslims, nor atheists, and the reason for all of these is that they don't accept the divinity of Christ (some Quakers are Christians and some aren't; quakerism doesn't have a position on the divinity of Christ and includes both some who accept and some who reject it). We'll leave aside whether accepting the divinity of Christ is sufficient to be a Christian and simply, for the moment, assert that it is necessary.

Is that okay, as a starting-point? Can we accept that? If Fraser does not accept the divinity of Christ (and we're talking actual identification of Christ with God in a was unique in human history here, not some David Icke-esque figurative sense of 'Son of God' being 'enlightened being') then he is definitely not, in the usual sense of the word, a Christian. Yes?

SK said...

I would also note that neither Andrew nor I have called Fraser anything as bad a 'member of a vile death cult'.

Silly, yes, and possibly hypocritical, maybe, but 'death cult'? no.

Sam Dodsworth said...

I would also note that neither Andrew nor I have called Fraser anything as bad a 'member of a vile death cult'.

I don't mean to imply that you have no reason to be irritated. Just that I think the irritation may be clouding your judgement.

(He actually said 'nasty' - but I think that's the worst adjective they're allowed to use in the Church of England, so fair enough.)

So to start with a fairly uncontroversial (I hope) bit of the definition: 'A Christian accepts the divinity of Christ'. Arians are not Christians...

Having looked up Arianism, I have to ask: did believing Christ was of a different substance to the Father actually make any difference to anyone? They seem to have been otherwise indistinguishable from Christians.

But I don't have any strong preconceptions here, so you don't need to do a heavy set-up if you don't want to. Go ahead with the rest of your argument.

SK said...

Actually, I don't think there's any point going on if you're going to ask, 'did believing Christ was of a different substance to the Father actually make any difference to anyone?'

Because it quite clearly did. It caused a bit of a kerfuffle at the time, anyway.

It seems to me that you are trying to say what things you think Christians should think are important when it comes to saying what 'Christian' means. If they don't seem important to you, then you assert that they must not be important at all, and anyone who tries to draw a distinction between them is being silly and/or uncharitable.

what's more you seem to be coming at this from a outside-in perspective -- almost applying Skinnerian behaviourism. When you say 'almost indistinguishable' you mean, presumably, 'almost indistinguishable from the perspective of an outsider' -- ie, they do the same things, go to church on Sundays (possibly even the same churches), say the same words (even if they mean slightly different things by them) and claim to believe in the same things (even if they have very different ideas about what those things are); therefore in what way are they different?

But the whole claim of Christianity is that what is on the inside does count. That we are not simply Skinnerian behaviour-machines only observable and only definable (and only judgeable) by our outward actions.

If you're going to keep approaching the issue as a self-conscious outsider, and refuse to engage with what it is Christians are actually claiming, then of course you will remain 'slightly puzzled'.

NickPheas said...

The question I think Sam might have been asking would be how the behaviour of the Arian would have differed from the Orthodox.

Do they still believe Christ to be the incarnation and the willing sacrifice? Does beleiving in him pave the way to heaven? Are good works nice to have but not entirely essential?

I confess to always getting a bit confused at that point in a game of Credo. The exact number of Gods is very important, the nature of the passion, pretty damn critical. exactly which card out of same/similar/different substance seems to have less bearing on how one should live ones life than the rest.

SK said...

The question I think Sam might have been asking would be how the behaviour of the Arian would have differed from the Orthodox.

Oh, that's easy: the Orthodox takes the orthodox view that Jesus is God (this all got sorted out at Chalcedon) and the Arian doesn't (pace questions about how Arian Arius actually was, which can go in the same interesting-but-not-currently-relevant bucket as, 'How Calvinist was Calvin?').

The filioque question doesn't have the same dividing power as the divinity of Christ because both Eastern and Western branches of the Church agree that the really important thing is that God is a trinity: the exact relationship between the parts is an interesting scholarly point with perhaps some influence over, for example, how much distinction is drawn between the divers roles of Father and son in creation, but is not a point of primary importance. Get it right and you have a more accurate picture of God (inasmuch as any picture of God can be said to be 'accurate'), but get it wrong and, well, you have a slightly less accurate picture of God but one that is still right in all the important aspects. Your map might be missing a few B-roads and have churches with spires marked as churches with steeples, but it will probably get you where you're going.

Whereas the nature of Christ directly impacts on the incarnation and the atonement, so is a primary matter. Get that wrong and you have a totally wrong idea of the relationship between God and humanity. You're trying to find your way around Paris with a map of the Isle of Bute.

I presume Sam can see why these two questions differ in nature.

Sam Dodsworth said...

SK - All perfectly fair criticisms and ones that I try (with variable success) to acknowledge with my continual disclaimers. My problem as an outsider is that it's hard to judge between conflicting claims about what Christianity is when the differences are in axioms, not practice - but given that Christianity is an internal matter, that's my problem.

So, accepting that the divinity of Christ is a fundamental axiom of Christianity, what has Giles Fraser said that contradicts that axiom?

SK said...

I prefer to say 'premise' rather than 'axiom'. I know in this context they are synonymous, but 'axiom' just sounds jargony, not to say too mathematical, for me.

But actually the divinity of Christ is neither: a premise (or an axiom) is something taken as true without being argued for. The divinity of Christ, however, has been argued for. you may disagree with the arguments, but that doesn't mean that there aren't arguments for the position, and if there are arguments for a position it is not, ex vi termini, a premise.

But to return to the question. Giles Fraser has, to my knowledge, never said anything that directly contradicts the divinity of Christ. However, he has never to my knowledge directly affirmed it either; and he has expressed his disagreement with the Nicene Creed, which has the divinity of Christ as one of its points, whihc might be taken as suggestive of a not full affirmation.

Obviously there's no single thing you can point to where Giles Fraser directly contradicts some fundamental tenet of Christianity. If there were, Rilstone would just have quoted that. What there is is a corpus of evidence which, taken together, suggests his beliefs. From that corpus Rilstone has, I think, drawn the conclusion that it is more likely than not that Giles Fraser's views are not in accord with what is generally meant by 'Christian'. And I would agree.

However, if you were to raise the standard of proof from the balance of probabilities -- if you were to ask whether I am sure that Giles Fraser is not what is generally meant by the term 'Christian' -- then I might withhold judgement.

But this isn't an ecclesiastical court convened to consider defrocking Giles Fraser, where you would want to be absolutely sure of his beliefs (and you would have the benefit of questioning him directly). It's an opinion piece that must work on the evidence in the public domain, none of which was written to address the exact questions at issue. I think under those circumstances the balance of probabilities is the best that can be hoped for, and there is always the possibility of error.

Sam Dodsworth said...

SK - So my point stands. Why not exercise a little (Christian?) charity in your reading of Giles Fraser? All the insinuation just ends up looking a bit sleazy to me.

Gavin Burrows said...

Hopefully no-one will mind if I ask a cheap-seat type question...

”The opposite view is God manifests into the world, which is corrupt and requires His direct intervention. In that view, miracles and revelation are both neccessary and ongoing, as the visible sign of God in the world.”

My question is over that “ongoing” part. Both Andrew and SK seem to be talking about a single event, the Crucifixion, around which all of us subsequent folk should be orienting our compasses. But if revelation is still necessary, why are we getting (if you’ll excuse the expression) no further steers?

Of course the question relates to free will. When fanatics try to write out free will, when they say that God is a kind of micromanager who obviously planned something like Katrina for a reason... I mean, I’m not a Christian and would not pretend to be an expert on the subject, but even I can see where they’re missing the point. However, it does lead to quite a clear-cut position on free will. We need to do as we are told. Defy God and he’ll give you a slapping.

Similarly, at the other end, from the comments here Fraser does seem to have a clear-cut line on free will. It’s at one and the same time everywhere and nowhere, we have crate blanche to do what we want but we’re operating inside a track set up by God’s guidance in the first place. Like the way trams and trains can move, but only through a set network. Try defying God. You’ll find that was part of the plan all along.

I’ve tried to puzzle out myself what your answer might be. I’d guess at establishing a more nuanced response, like God’s interventions can only take certain forms. Obviously guidance rather than string-pulling and hurricanes, but I’m afraid that’s as far as I got!

I’m also wondering if it all relates to how you see the Fall. If you take Fraser to the limit, God must surely have had fore-knowledge of it, perhaps even planned it. The Katrina-citing fanatics would seem to imagine it snuck up on God unawares, and he’s been conjuring up storms and travails trying to hush us back on track ever since. Perhaps there’s some mid-ground or third position I know not of.

Apologies in advance if I sound facetious or anything. I’m mostly just curious how the full argument works.

”Oh, you haven't fallen for the line that Milton writes Lucifer as some kind of noble rebel against a tyrannical God, have you? I honestly don't know where that comes from.”

Well it comes from Blake, I would guess. Except Blake never suggested that everyone up to him had misread ‘Paradise Lost’ including its author. The famous quote goes “Milton was of the Devil’s party without knowing it.” If people are going to chop off those last three words they will just end up with a caricature.

NickPheas said...

Oh, that's easy: the Orthodox takes the orthodox view that Jesus is God (this all got sorted out at Chalcedon) and the Arian doesn't

Though that's not quite the answer to the question I was intending to ask. What does the Arian do that the Orthodox does not? Perhaps they say 'Created, not begotten' during the creed, though I suspect that the act of begetting and the act of creating would be assumed to be one and the same, but how is their life different?

Do they therefore practice plural marriage, do they insist on animal sacrifice, do they refuse to render unto Caesar, do they hold that there's an elect who are going to Heaven regardless of their actions and so have a jolly good time, do they regard the world as sinful and withdraw from it? Or just sing Theological Sea Shanties?

SK said...

Is 'insinuation' really the right word? I was under the impression that to make an insinuation was to try to convey a bad impression of someone without actually coming out and saying what you were accusing them of. 'He's not really out sort of chap, you know.' 'Oh dear, in those heels it's no wonder she's so unsteady -- I hear she is on her back at the drop of a hat.'

To actually come out and say, 'I think Giles Fraser is a Pelegian' is, I would think the opposite of an insinuation. What it might be is an accusation. Which is one step up from an insinuation in that it is direct, open and not at all sleazy.

Why not take the more charitable reading? Because Giles Fraser himself makes it difficult to do so. Everything one reads from him adds to the weight of evidence on the 'Pegelian / liberation theologian' side, and nothing ever adds any evidence on the 'orthodox Christian' side.

Indeed, one gets quite the impression that he himself would regard a reading which fixed him as an orthodox Christian as the uncharitable reading -- as that would be the one, remember, which frames him as part of a 'death cult'.

SK said...

Though that's not quite the answer to the question I was intending to ask. What does the Arian do that the Orthodox does not?

Isn't that question based on the assumption of Skinnerian behaviourism which will inevitably lead to confusion?

Sam Dodsworth said...

Why not take the more charitable reading? Because Giles Fraser himself makes it difficult to do so. Everything one reads from him adds to the weight of evidence on the 'Pegelian / liberation theologian' side, and nothing ever adds any evidence on the 'orthodox Christian' side.

But - to repeat my point - without any of it actually being evidence that proves he is a Pelegian. Which is where the insinuation comes in.

Also... I believe liberation theology originated in the Catholic Church and (although discouraged) has never been called heresy, or even heterodoxy? So I'm not quite sure what you mean by a "Pelegian/liberation theology side" - except as another example of what I mean by insinuation.

Andrew Rilstone said...

new thread started...