Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Sermon Watch

The Archbishop said he knew that conspiracies have their appeal. "We have become so suspicious ... the first assumption we make is that ... we're faced with spin of some kind. So that the modern response to the proclamation 'Christ is Risen!' is likely to be, 'Ah, but you would say that, wouldn't you? Now what's the real agenda?'"

But the New Testament does not fit this model, Dr Williams says. In fact, he argues, it was revolutionary for its time. "It was written by people who, by writing what they did made themselves less powerful, not more ... it was written by people who were trying to find a language that would catch up with a reality bigger than they had expected."

The world is now full of Christians following the same risky and radical traditions - such as Abdul Rahman, the Christian convert threatened with death in Afghanistan, he adds. "If we want to know what it is about today, we need to turn to the people who are taking the same risks, struggling with the same mystery. We need to look at the martyrs and the mystics.

"There are places in our world where conversion to Christianity is literally a matter of putting your life on the line. We have all been following the story of Abdul Rahman in Afghanistan and we know that his story is not unique. We can say with absolute certainty that whatever the gospel means in circumstances like that, it isn't a cover-up for the sake of the powerful."
I am less disturbed by these things than the Archbishop may be (I'd have to read his text first, to be sure), but he makes a good point, regardless.

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