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Lord Carey and Andrew Brown: responses

12 April 2013


From Mr David Redrobe
Sir, - Andrew Brown has the privilege and freedom to write articles in the Church Times, a Christian newspaper, alongside many other national papers. This opportunity does not give him the right to write insultingly about Lord Carey, describing him as uttering "strange ungainly bellowings", and "running around in his retirement like a bewildered elk at the Grand National" (Press, 5 April).

We may not agree with many thoughts and convictions that our church leaders express, but that does not give us the right to be rude, in order to communicate what is at the heart of what we are thinking. The least Mr Brown could do is to apologise.

St Andrew's Vicarage
28 South Cliff Road
Nr Gainsborough DN21 4NR

From the Revd Donald Stevenson
Sir, - To liken Lord Carey to a bewildered elk at the Grand National is perhaps too unkind. None the less, well said.

It is unfortunate that Lord Carey should have made himself patron of so many lost causes. Christians who are in breach of professional ethics or have fallen foul of the law might feel that they are suffering for their faith. They are not. They are suffering for their grossly unethical conduct. The "flat Bible" view of the Christian guest-house owners Mr and Mrs Bull is a prime example. Mrs Bull is quoted (News, 5 April) saying: "it's plain to us what the truth is in this - it's in the Bible. There is no wriggle room in it at all."

The Bible does not claim to have been dictated like the Book of Mormon. The scriptures were written by fallible human beings, and, while men wrote "as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1.21), there is no suggestion that their own world-views and opinions were bypassed or over-ridden.

We do our best to understand the first-century world-view of the apostles, but we cannot step back into it, and must interpret in the here and now of our own time. To claim that there is no wriggle room in the Bible is bibliolatry.

94 Curlew Crescent
Bedford MK41 7HZ

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