Late Thursday last week, the news was released that the Diocese of Bethlehem's Standing Committee had voted to decline to consent to the election of the next bishop of Northern Michigan. With that vote, it became apparent that Thew Forrester would not be confirmed as the new bishop.
Since that news broke, there's been some wonderful conversation regarding the implications of this corporate decision by the Episcopal Church. Some see in this a recognition that there need to be some boundaries in the life and shared belief of the Church. Others see this as a dangerous precedent that may stifle the willingness of people to explore the full meaning of our faith.
For example Christopher Evans writes:
"The problem, to my mind, is where it would seems Zen Buddhist understanding has overtaken Christian understanding in Fr Thew Forrester's teaching such that an understanding of Sin and Christ's saving work (atonement) as in the Creeds disappeared. While we needn't subscribe to a particular theory of atonement, the notion of our being made one with God in and only in Jesus Christ in His Person and work (never separable) is at the heart of the Incarnation--and thus, at the heart of the Creeds and any Christian notion of sanctification/theosis. God makes us one with God, not some work of our own doing. God makes us one with God, not simply do we presume it as if there has been no breach (Sin) even while God has ever always cared for us in the breach. After all, we would not be if he did not."
While Jeffrey Shy writes:
Quite honestly, there are many of us "in the closet" about our "heretical" Christology, as we know what would happen if we were to "come out" and talk about it openly. I have adopted the position that most persons in my congregation would faint if I so much as mentioned much of my true opinions. There are, however, those of us who are "crossing our fingers" every time we say the Nicene Creed and trying very hard to think in "metaphorical" terms. This is THE problem with ESTABLISHED orthodoxy. It ALWAYS draws boundaries, establishing a "We the Orthodox" on the inside automatically creates "outsiders" who are "We the condemned heterodox." Whenever I try to be really honest to myself about my own perception of the "nature" of God, I find that I am too embarrassed to say anything much at all, at least in positive terms. Is there no room in TEC for an ultimately apophatic approach to these issues? Can we not admit that it is possible that any creed, even the great, holy and unimpeachable Nicene Creed (which from the way it is so reverenced might be assumed to have fallen from heaven on golden tablets rather than hashed out in great controversy), is completely inadequate to define the mystery of God?
And then of course there's the whole question of how the blogsphere and the Internet in general has changed the dynamics of engagement and election in the Episcopal Church.
Take some time and read the entire thread here. Anything you want to add?