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Rowan Williams and the freedom of Bonhoeffer.

By ROBERT PIGGOT [BBC News] – His resignation is not that surprising – Dr Rowan Williams never wanted this job. He was a reluctant Archbishop of Canterbury. But he came into office of feeling he was called to a job but there were few candidates for.

He hoped to recapture the imagination of the public for Christianity. But his 10 years in office have been hugely dogged by the disputes, especially over homosexuality.

Continued at BBC News |

A resignation parable.

By  ROWAN WILLIAMS [From a sermon] – Freedom was one of the things [Dietrich Bonhoeffer] most often wrote about.  In a famous poem he wrote in July 1944, he sketched out what he thought was involved in real freedom – discipline, action, suffering and death.  Not quite what we associate with the word – but with these reflections, he takes us into the heart of what it is for someone to be lastingly free.

The freedom he is interested in is the freedom to do what you know you have to do.  The society you live in will give you all sorts of messages about what you should be doing, and, far more difficult, your own longings and preferences will push you in various directions.  You have to watch your own passions and feelings and test them carefully, and then you have to have the courage to act.  When you act, you take risks.  You seemingly become less free.  But what is really happening is that you are handing over your freedom to God and saying, ‘I’ve done what I had to; now it’s over to you.’  Freedom, he says, is ‘perfected in glory’ when it’s handed over to God…

After all, what other sort of freedom is finally worth having?  It may cost us everything we thought we needed to hang on to; but – as the history of Christ’s journey to the cross and the resurrection makes clear – the end of the story is a fulfilment, a homecoming, for which we can never find adequate words.  It’s the freedom to be what we most deeply are.

Continued at The Archbishop of Canterbury‘s website | More Chronicle & Notices.

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