On February 2, 2008, Canon Dr. Linda Nicholls was ordained as suffragan bishop of the Diocese of Toronto. The service took place at the Cathedral Church of St. James, Toronto, and Canon Dr. Alyson Barnett-Cowan preached... Here are some excerpts (in all cases emphasis is mine, JK):
"...a bishop in God's holy Church is to be one with the apostles in proclaiming Christ's resurrection and interpreting the Gospel,"
Didn't the Apostles do all the interpreting necessary, and don't the epistles tell us about it? Isn't the Canon closed? Isn't there no more new revelation?
At first the disciples ran and told everyone "we have seen the Lord"-but very shortly after announcing the event they began to probe its meaning and significance. They chose different ways to do that, so that the four Gospels are each woven in a different tapestry-telling the same story, but interpreting it differently. So the bishop is also to interpret the Gospel, woven from their knowledge of God, of Scripture, of the great tradition, of their own experience of Christ in their lives.
Isn't it a dangerous thing and the mark of many cults -- the "new" interpretation of Scripture according to personal and subjective, "experience?"
The four Gospels are at least consistent with one another. Sadly, what seems to be happening in many churches in our culture is a radical departure from the consistent message of Scripture.
It is the task of the church in every generation to interpret the Gospel in ways that are faithful-at one with the Apostles-and that are also construing its significance for this people, this time, this situation, this culture.
Shouldn't we, as Christians, be living counter to the culture around us, not adapting to it? As Terry Stauffer says, at right angles to it. I think we must see the difference between, "interpreting (or reinterpreting)" the Gospel according to the surrounding culture, and communicating the unchanging gospel to that culture. To be meaningful at all, the message cannot not change, but to be effective, how we communicate it must.
...the bishop never acts alone but seeks to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church through the many voices of the faithful and the insights they bring from the many places where they work and live.
??? Which spirit? One of the things I heard over and over again at last summer's ACC synod was that the "spirit" was leading the church to a new thing in regards to the blessing of same-sex unions. I am confident that is not the Spirit of God contradicting Himself.
Read the whole thing here
Am I wrong, or is this not just doublespeak, using the words and terms of orthodoxy but pouring new meaning into them? Or, indeed, leaving the meaning so open that the listener may take it to mean whatever he likes?