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Problem with classic Christological talk

05 December 2014


From the Revd Richard Tetlow

Sir, - An agreed statement of Christology was recently signed by the two chairs of the International Dialogue between the Anglican Communion and the Oriental Orthodox Churches. Achievement of unity is to be profoundly welcomed. I only hope that this may now lead not to closure, but to open and honest debate about its substance and meaning.

Bishop John Saxbee's review (Books, 7 November) of Canon Andrew Shanks's latest work on Hegel refers to Canon Shanks's preference for Hegel's "truth-as-openness" rather than "truth-as-correctness".

What has been agreed is quoted by Bishop Geoffrey Rowell (Comment, 14 November): "Jesus Christ . . . is fully human . . . but equally . . . one in whom 'the fullness of the Godhead dwells'." The agreement "recognises the limits of all theological language", and continues: "we are unable to net and confine the mystery of God's utter self-giving in the incarnation in . . . the mysterious union of divinity and humanity."

I accept that for many such theology is fundamentally what Christianity is, even taking priority over following Jesus as "the Way". Nevertheless, it leaves me cold, unconvinced, and yet ready and set for inspiring discussion. I know I am not alone.

26 Sovereign Way
Birmingham B13 8AT

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