The Boxer (“I am just a poor archbishop, my story’s seldom told . . .”)

In a recent issue of the Guardian, Archbishop Rowan Williams (what’s up with those superhero eyebrows?) astutely explains why he is not God’s boxer. Read, read, read.

Now that you’ve read the lovely article, consider/do battle with/loathe/etc., whatever (thanks Over The Rhine), a few points I’ve taken from the interview (with points 5 & 6 being my own shots I enjoy taking whenever I get the chance):

1) God does not need us. There is no lack in God; there is no potential for God to be anything other than what God already, and always, is. God is pure act (actus purus).

2) Sentimentalism, not science, is killing the church.

3) The best arguments are biographical.

4) All creation is contingency; it’s gift all the way down.

5) Process theologians don’t count as theologians.

6) Following number five, folks like Rowan Williams and Herbert McCabe remind me why I shouldn’t get so upset about modernity’s turn to the subject. Why I shouldn’t be so bothered that 9 out of 10 prominent theologians imbibe Feuerbach’s criticism that ‘God’ is a human projection. Why, ultimately, the few theologians who do make a name for themselves in a dying discipline are going to have a relatively short-lived influence. Why it’s okay that we lack the resources to really create aesthetic brilliance in theology anymore. And why you shouldn’t be terribly bothered by assessments such as this: ‘Jurgen Moltmann? Okay, I guess. You could do worse. John Cobb? You just did worse. Sallie McFague? I have no words. Aquinas? Will still be read in 500 years while no one will have ever even heard of any of our 20th and 21st century theologians (save, maybe, Barth and Yoder–because the Mennonites will still be a thorn in the flesh of the state and its protected church. Actually, that’s pretty optimistic thinking on my part about the Mennonites. Probably just Barth.)’

6) Woody Allen is the 5th Marx Brother (6th, technically speaking–I guess Groucho wasn’t counting Gummo).

Seriously, those eyebrows have got to contain super powers.

  • Joel Daniels

    You should have used the hilarious picture
    from the Guardian article! It’s fantastic – an archbishop really, really
    annoyed that he has to give another freaking picture. When he’d rather
    be reading George Herbert, or writing about Augustine, or, really,
    getting poked in the eye with a sharp stick.
    I’ve put together a “Rowan Williams Archive of Questionable Legality”
    on my BU page – a couple of his articles that haven’t been published in
    books (yet). Please don’t tell him.

    • Anonymous

      I won’t let him know. Though the closest we have ever been to one another is his name comes right before mine in The Blackwell Companion to Christian Ethics. I’m sure he’s impressed.

      Ahh . . . George Herbert . . .