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Charles Wiley
Louisville, KY
Coordinator, Office of Theology and Worship
Recent Activity
Wow, talk about a blast from the past. I'm hanging out all day, so try to find me. I'm preaching in worship then doing the Belhar presentation. Other than that, I'm free. I just quoted Isenberg in a paper I did internally on interfaith relations--perennial philosophy. He was actually a key figure for me deciding to go to seminary. So what are you doing now? Charles
Matt, Reformed to the core, eh? I appreciate your distinction. My guess is that he finds "love wins" to be a more attractive and evocative title. In some ways he reflects Barth's idea that God's "yes" in Jesus Christ is greater than God's "no" in judgment. But Bell appears to have no first-hand knowledge of Barth. Charles
Thanks, Timothy. I, too, was impressed at his facility with the biblical material. Mike, your observation on the resurrection is really interesting--I hadn't noted that.
No I don't, Stephanie. Several of the web reviews (some of which I linked to) are pretty helpful. I particularly appreciated the chapters on "Here is the new there," "Does God get what God wants?", "There are Rocks everywhere," and "The Good News is better than that." Since the Thoughtful Christian is marketing the book (that they did not publish), I bet they'll have a study out. Charles
Although I don't like the word that much, to be honest, I like the intention of the missional movement. Apostolic witness is both "sentness" and commitment to the apostolic witness. The theology funds the mission and the mission shapes the theology.
I, by no means, want to put forth "theology divides, mission unites." What I was trying to get at is that we may be using missional language to cover for our navel-gazing tendencies. The missional vision is theological in nature, not just activity.
Viola, At the risk of sounding paternalistic, that is a pretty thin experience for making such global statements. There are radical Muslims, but also moderate Muslims, secular Muslims, former Muslims, and everywhere in between. There are Muslims who hold Jesus up to a point that it would confuse some folks as to why they weren't Christians. What I see in Volf's book is a theological engagement with Muslims growing out of concrete, face-to-face relationship with Muslims. In the little experience I've had, such an approach does not erase the differences. In some case it heightens them. But you end up with a more three-dimensional portrait. Consider how you would respond if you heard a faithful Christian believer writing off all Jews because they don't believe in Jesus. My guess is that your perspective is not based only on abstract arguments, but also on personal engagements with Jews. Consider personal engagement with Muslims. It won't make you into a Muslim, and probably won't make them into Christians, but I bet you'd find it theologically enriching. Charles
Viola, I figured you'd be first! I'm really curious if you have spent much time engaging Muslims face-to-face or Christians who work in mission among Muslims to inform your approach. Charles
Matt, The scripture references are not part of the current translation, but are a part of the proposed translation. So, yes, if this is approved, those scriptural citations will be there. No one suggested that I Cor 6:9-10 should be omitted. News article: http://www.pcusa.org/news/2011/3/14/heidelberg-catechism-special-committee-reaches-una/ Charles
Sheldon, It is both. In most ways I deeply appreciate what you just articulated. I do think the holiness emphasis on living a holy life sometimes gets lost for us Reformed. I found Alec's take quite helpful. Charles
I'm not sure who you are asking, Matt, but the scripture references for question 87 are: 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Eph. 5:5-6; 1 John 3:14
Alec, Echoing Mike--very nicely put. Charles
Todd, Rightly so. As I mentioned to the committee, they could have easily mailed this one in. I don't think anyone since the writing of the catechism has put more hard work into getting those original biblical references right. There was one place, for instance, where a reference to Matthew was Mat instead of Matt. It turns out the second t had been read by a typesetter as a 1 before the reference. Someone on this team figured this out, and so a biblical reference that didn't make sense suddenly made perfect sense. Charles
Matt, There was absolutely no variation from the original German/Latin citation except in a handful of cases where there were obvious typographical errors. This was not an ideologically driven process. In fact, the committee valued the possibility that folks would wrestle with how particular texts were related to the question when it was not obvious. Charles
Walter, The CRCNA and the RCA do include scripture references in their text. But these texts have evolved over time in their tradition, and they did not consider them to be part of the common translation we worked on together. Therefore, the PCUSA special committee went back to the original citations for our version. We had the CRCNA/RCA citations in front of us. Charles
Mike, We had spirited discussions on commas, semicolons, and brackets, but I'm pretty sure there was a consensus on colons--sorry, no periods. Charles
Ann, In Louisville we have a Catholic bookstore that always has things like palm ashes for sale, so I've never had to be more creative. I'm sure other folks may have ideas. Other folks? Charles
Sheldon, are [y]our holiness roots leading you toward or away from the truth?
I do think there is a way to emphasize the repentance aspect of Lent while acknowledging that we come to repentance only as a result of grace that draws us to it.
Interesting how the confession without forgiveness sums up the classic Reformed argument against celebrating Lent--as if we had to go through extended repentance before receiving forgiveness. As if our very repentance is not the fruit of forgiveness. Interesting.
Chris, I'd like to think so. I don't think we'll be able to answer that question until after the passage of 10-A. That is, if G-6.0106b goes away, we'll see if it what you envision is possible. The sexuality discussion has been so central and defining that I don't know how we will go forward. So, for instance, at Next we were exhorted not to wear our "team jersey" at this conference. But as we virtually removed our jerseys, it was pretty easy to see that 90%+ of the group was taking off the same jersey. The Fellowship gathering in August is a jersey-wearing event. And the fact that 10-A looks to pass right now by the slimmest of majorities may only make this harder. Not the most encouraging response, eh? I will say that I came out of Next more positive than going in. The desire of vast majority of the Fellowship pastors to try to say within the PCUSA is encouraging to me. What you calling for is more than "staying together," but forging a more faithful future. I'm willing to work for that. Charles
One of my stock lines now is, "What other church bodies do we in the PCUSA have the hardest times getting along with?" "Those with whom we share the Westminster Confession." There are reasons for this, of course, but I find it sad. Todd, I'll look forward to hearing more about this aspect of your engagement. Who knew the MGB commission would be so fun?
David, I surely hope not. Charles
Walter, I can see why you would argue that. I can also see the same dynamic at work in the political activities of some Christian conservatives (this is a little harder to pin down with Presbyterians). Relevance vs. captivity is easier to identify at a distance (space or time) than in the midst of it.
I think the comments on this post point to the common ground I referred to. If you know much about the theological spectrum of the PC(USA), you know we have a good section of the spectrum displayed here.