03 May 2009

The Continuing Saga of K. Thew Forrester

The episcopal battle royale re zen and the Nicene creed apparently rages on. It is said that Bishop Forrester is likely to be the first episcopal bishop vetoed by the church since the 1930s.

"I don't really see what there is left to say - the unique incarnation, saving death, bodily resurrection and universal lordship of Jesus are basic to Christian faith and to question that means you are disqualified from being an upholder of that faith in any official capacity in the church. That such a man should be considered even a possibility for a bishop is quite simply extraordinary." - The right Rev. N.T. Wright, lord bishop of Durham, England

"I think [Thew Forrester is] solidly a Christian believer, a disciple of Jesus Christ and will be a faithful bishop. ... I don't think he's outside the tent of acceptable theological thinking and understanding." - The right Rev. Tom Ely, bishop of Vermont

"This gentleman, apparently, doesn't believe the creeds. ... The doctrine of redemption through the incarnation and atoning work and resurrection and heavenly reign at present and future return of the second person of the Godhead: That is Christianity. Take that away and you have destroyed the Christian religion. Period. That's what Christianity is about." - Regent College Professor of Theology J.I. Packer

"The creed is a statement of faith and of love of God. ... The question is 'Is Kevin's interpretation of it within the ballpark?' For me it is. I think it stretches us but not to the point of breaking." - The right Rev. Bruce Caldwell, bishop of Wyoming

"The facts of the Christian faith are that Jesus is God's Son, born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, died for our sins, rose again from the dead, ascended into heaven, and is coming again. A Christian will agree with these facts. If a denomination or church is Christian, it will agree with these facts. If a so-called bishop does not agree with the central elements of the Christian faith, then he should not call himself a Christian, let alone a bishop - nor should a church ordain him. He is an apostate from the Faith; and a church that ordains such a one is also apostate." - The Rev. George O. Wood, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God

Oh, George O. Wood, why are you speaking out on an Episcopal bishop election? When was the last time the Episcopals took the Assemblies of God to task? I'm guessing...not.

Furthermore, are there not as many gradations of the "central elements of the Christian faith" as there are variations on the Christian faith from Catholic Rome to Luther to LDS to the Branch Davidians and everyone in between and to the right and left. Bishop elect Thew Forrester does not deny the creeds in any way shape or form - point me to his "heresy" because I can't find it. And I'm pretty sure I've looked harder than you...

He may not be eligible to be an episcopal bishop - that's far outside my expertise - but where to you get off deciding if he is a good enough Christian? Calling him an apostate? Have you met the man? Have you discussed his beliefs with him? Have you talked to those who elected him in the first place. I'm guessing... not.

"We cannot emphasize enough how this exceptional man has quietly and consistently expanded our spiritual lives as a Christian community," said a letter posted on the church's Web site. "So it is especially painful for us to watch while others malign him during this consent process. He is one of us, and every unfair personal attack on our beloved bishop-elect inflicts a deep wound on each of us, who we are, what we have worked to achieve, and how we wish to fulfill God's promise and love in our diocese."

Bishop Thew Forrester may challenge his parishioners to THINK but that is not apostasy.

Or is it?


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