Friday, February 22, 2008

Prophetic Words from Forty-Five Years Ago

We can look at the scene with the special gifts of our Anglican Communion - tolerance, if we are sure it is neither idleness nor cowardice; moderation, if we are sure it is not indifference or complacency; eclecticism, if we are sure it is not trying to eat our cake and have it; empiricism, if we are sure it is not lack of principle. We can be sure that the world we used to know is being crumpled together in an almighty hand; that it will be built again into something new. We can be sure too that, by infinite charity and divine courtesy, free will invites us to take part in that rebuilding. Indeed, in a sense, we may choose what is built. But what we choose will endure only if it is built on understanding and reconciliation. And if these two final thoughts of divine purpose and human freedom cannot be reconciled in logic - well - neither can the Athanasian Creed.

Philip Mason, August 16, 1963, quoted in E. R. Fairweather, ed., Anglican Congress: Report of Proceedings. (New York: Seabury Press, 1963), 67

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