Posted by: AJ the Irish Lass | June 5, 2010

Diana Butler-Bass on Pentecost Letters

Huffington Post
What do you think? Do you think there are two vastly diverging streams of Anglicanism that are helping to drive this controversy?


  1. Ever since reading Butler-Bass’s “Christianity for the Rest of Us, ” I cannot help but see her as a narrow-minded apologist for the liberal political agenda in mainstream churches. Here are a few choice excerpts from a review of that book:

    ” Memphis, Tennessee, conjures visions of southern religion. These two words, southern religion, evoke images of folks hootin’ and hollerin’ about God. Eternal damnation and hell. Sweating preachers thundering on about sex, drinking, and Democrats. Southern religion is all heart and fire, the blinding light of Jesus converting sinners to saints in a flash. This is what more reasonable Christians used to ridicule as “enthusiasm.”
    In Memphis, the Church of the Holy Communion, an Episcopal parish, stands in stark contrast to the fulminations of southern evangelical religion.” P. 115.

    Far and away the most frequent target of the vinegar is evangelicals generally and evangelical megachurches in particular.

    “I immediately think of evangelical megachurches, with their huge congregations complete with doctrinal statements and Republican voting guides. Big yields, yes. But where is wisdom?” P. 147.

    “Unlike in evangelical churches – where doctrinal uniformity is considered nonnegotiable – theological diversity shapes the daily life of most mainline churches.” P. 146.

    “Unlike conservative evangelicals who read the Bible literally, seeking out proof-texts for narrow moral or ethical readings of scripture, the Episcopalians at Redeemer approach the Bible “seriously, but not Literally.” P. 188.

    Butler-Bass sees those who stand for traditional values in the same way she sees Southern evangelicals–people to be belittled, ridiculed, shunned, and driven out. In her current article, the venom against traditionalists is a bit more disguised, but she still operates either blindly or dishonestly. KJS and the leadership of TEC are more authoritarian and top-down in terms of action than probably any Presisding Bishop has been in the history of the Episcopal Church. TEC is unabashedly top-down when it serves the goals of its leaders, then claims the bottom-up approach for relating to the wider communion. And make no mistake–for both Schori and Butler-Bass, the undebatable and first order issue for them is the acceptance and promotion of homosexual marriages, priests, and bishops. Whether the church operates in a top-down or bottom-up manner doesn’t matter that much.

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