Fleming Rutledge is a preacher and teacher known throughout the US, Canada, and parts of the UK. She is the author of eight books, all from Eerdmans Publishing. Her most recent book, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ, is the product of the work of a lifetime and is being described as a new classic on the subject.
One of the first women to be ordained to the priesthood of the Episcopal Church, she served for fourteen years on the clergy staff at Grace Church on Lower Broadway at Tenth Street, New York City.
Fleming and her husband celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2009 and have two daughters and two grandchildren. She is a native of Franklin, Virginia.
Discerning God's Work In The World: Tips From The Times For Preachers: The Queen weighs in
Thursday, February 14, 2008
The Queen weighs inI don't usually keep up with the complicated doings of the Archbishop of Canterbury (it gives me a headache) but this latest is really interesting. Click on this link to the English newspaper The Telegraph:
Life with Islam is going to be ever more complex and challenging in years to come. A recent news article about the headscarf controversy in Turkey noted that Kemal Ataturk, the grand (albeit morally compromised) architect of secular modern Turkey, firmly believed that as his countrymen and women became more educated and more Western, religion would die away. Ha!
Another link, to The Guardian, favored newspaper of the moderate left, gives a more balanced view of Rowan Williams' tribulations and the extraordinarily difficult challenges posed by the presence of so many Muslims in England. Here are some excerpts:
The Archbishop of Canterbury is expected today to improvise a speech to the Church of England's 550-strong national assembly so he can directly address the furore sparked by his comments on sharia law. Rowan Williams has torn up his original speech, choosing instead to respond to the criticism he has faced since raising the questions of the possible adoption of some aspects of Islamic law in Britain.
Originally he was expected to speak about the political turmoil in Zimbabwe and the ordeal of Christians living under Robert Mugabe's regime. But officials advised last night that the intense media interest prompted by his speech last week should now be challenged head-on.Last night Williams was still working on the revised speech. Lambeth officials suggested he was prepared to improvise the 30-minute address to mark the opening of general synod, a biannual gathering of bishops, clergy and laity, "with notes" to clarify his position.
Despite the welter of political criticism, church commentators yesterday expected the archbishop to receive a positive reception at Church House, Westminster, with one predicting a "standing ovation" to reflect the anger some feel over the way he has been vilified. Another member of general synod said it would take an "immense amount of personal courage" for the archbishop to enter the room and lead the assembly in prayer. Christina Rees said: "I am angry and frustrated at the way he has been treated. He has been vilified. Nobody is responding to what he said at the lecture, which was highly nuanced and complex, and delivered to a sophisticated audience."The atmosphere would be tense, heightened and anxious, she predicted. "Everything depends on what he says and how he welcomes us. There is no way but up." She was also disappointed that Williams's advisers had not done more to protect him and manage the backlash. "They are on salary to help him and I'm very cross because they've let him down."
The Bishop of Gloucester, the Right Rev Michael Perham, said he felt the remarks had been taken out of context and should be studied more carefully. "The archbishop did not advocate the adoption of sharia law. What he did plead was for an understanding of it ... He doesn't deal in soundbites, but in careful rather scholarly discussion. That doesn't easily transfer into popular news coverage, so he gets himself into trouble with people who get a distorted picture of what he is saying."
Lord George Carey, Williams's predecessor, said in a News of the World article: "He has in my opinion overstated the case for accommodating Islamic legal codes. His conclusion that Britain will eventually have to concede some place in law for aspects of sharia is a view I cannot share."There could be no exceptions to the laws of the land which had been so painfully honed by the struggle for democracy and human rights, he added. "His acceptance of some Muslim laws within British law would be disastrous for the nation."
This intervention has delighted traditionalists calling for Williams to resign, but some synod members believe there will be few brickbats for him today. Giles Fraser, vicar of Putney, said: "I expect him to get a warm reception. The people putting the knife in do so at every opportunity. They've been calling for him to go since his installation in 2003. He has been badly treated, especially by the tabloids."
Yesterday, Williams enjoyed a rare day off. On Saturday he made his first public appearance since his controversial lecture, at a memorial and thanksgiving service in Cambridge. He did not refer to the row. One orthodox commentator, David Virtue, wrote on his website: "Mounting pressure from nearly all quarters in the church make his job untenable since he has single handedly offended almost every group in Anglican Christendom."The debate over the archbishop's comments are the latest in a number of perceived public relations mistakes. His perceived dithering over the ordination of gay bishops has led to some archbishops and dioceses refusing to attend his flagship event, which starts in July.
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