Thursday, March 30, 2006

Rev. Rigby's Defense

Rev. Jim Rigby posted this explanation for the admission of atheist Robert Jensen to membership at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Austin which he pastors.

Note that he chose to put this on a political website rather than sending it to or the Presbyterian Outlook website or one of the progressive PCUSA websites like Witherspoon Society or Covenant Network. Any of those sites would have published it. Hmmm.

Rigby's defense is wordy and prolix. He totally evades the issue which is that membership in a PCUSA church requires profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior under our Book of Order.


Classical Presbyterian said...

He also states in this article that he "cannot imagine a world without Gandhi, MLK or Dorothy Day".

But, apparently, he CAN envision a world without Jesus Christ!

And you're in the church WHY??

reverendmother said...

I'll be blunt. I agree with Jim Rigby on many theological matters. But this is just too much. There are other ways to "build connections" with professed atheists. It feels like a stunt. I don't know what he is *trying* to accomplish, but what he is in fact accomplishing is discrediting himself as a meaningful progressive voice.

I agree that Presbyweb or the Outlook would have (and hopefully still will) publish a response from him. But I betcha Cov Network and Witherspoon won't. At least, if I were in those groups I wouldn't want to give even the impression that the group endorses his views on this particular issue. Of course I don't know for sure, but I am imagining some of his Cov Net colleagues are going, "Yo what *are* you thinking?!?"

Quotidian Grace said...

Presbyweb linked the article I also link here a couple of days ago. I didn't link to them because they are a subscription site. I think that shows we're both right, they would have published it if he'd sent it to them.

Classical Presbyterian said...

reverendmother is right:
The 'progressives' that I know are horrified by this action. This is not what they have in mind for the church!

But I have to be provocative and ask the question: Is this the logical end-result of the radical revisionist agenda for the church?

Just stirring things up......

jean said...

Perhaps Rev. Rigby is really a closet UM.

Rev Dave said...


Prolix is right. His essay reminded me of an old Doonesbury cartoon that was in my freshman English composition textbook as an example of how _not_ to write.

Zonker is sitting at his typewriter (I said this was an _old_ cartoon), complaining to Mike, "Man, have I got a lot of papers due."

Typing away, he produces: "Most problems, like answers, ahve finite resolutions. The basis for these resolutions contain many of the ambiguities which conditional man daily struggles with. Accordingly, most problmatic soultions are fallible. Mercifully, all else fails; conversely, hope lies in a myriad of polemics."

Looking over his shoulder, Mike asks: "Which paper is this?"

Zonker: "Dunno. I haven't decided yet."

I like to think I'm a fairly smart guy (open to doubt, of course) but I can't make a lot of sense of Rev Rigby's ramblings.


Quotidian Grace said...

Rev Dave--you hit the nail on the head. LOL!

SingingOwl said...

I found this paragraph:

"...early Christians were sometimes accused of being atheists. Like true Muslims and Jews, the early Christians refused to worship human images of God. While I have nothing against the creeds per se, if they do not sing of a love for all humankind they are evil and must be renounced as idolatrous....If God had wanted us to simply recite creeds, Jesus would have come as a parrot."

Who says God wants us to recite creeds? Sheesh!

What about belief in Jesus? What about the narrow way? What about losing our life in order to find it? What about taking up the cross and FOLLOWING HIM? Arrggghhh!

SingingOwl said...

I meant to say that I found this paragraph particularly annoying and unsettling.