Archive for August, 2013

And when the angels left them and went back into heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Well, let’s go across to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which Yahweh has told us.” And they hurried and found both Mariam and Joseph, and the baby lying in the feeding-trough. And seeing it, they recounted the message spoken to them about this child. And all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds had to say to them. But Mariam treasured up all these words, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as it had been told them.

And when eight days were completed, at his circumcision his name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.  

And when the days for their cleansing were completed following the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to Yahweh, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb will be called holy to the Lord”, and to make an offering in keeping with what is stated in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

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Chapter 2

It happened in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. This was the first census to occur while Quirinius was governing Syria. And everyone was travelling to enrol, each to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee out of the city of Nazareth to Judea to the city of David called Bethlehem – for he was of the house and lineage of David – to enrol with Mariam his betrothed who was pregnant. And it happened while they were there that the days were completed for her to give birth and she bore a son, her firstborn, and wrapped him and laid him in a feeding-trough, for there was no place for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds in that region camping out and keeping guard over their flock in the night. And an angel of the Lord stood before them and the shining glory of the Lord surrounded them, and they were gripped by terror. And the angel said to them, “Fear not! For I am announcing to you good news of great joy which will be for all the people. For born to you today is a Saviour who is Messiah Lord in the city of David. And this will be for you the sign: you will find the child wrapped and lying in a feeding-trough.”

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a huge host of the army of heaven, praising God and saying

Glory in the highest to God!
and on earth, peace among the people of his favour!
 
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Gains? Generally a streamlined, faster pace with simpler syntax. This emphasises how the birth narrative is raced through quickly, in barest summary form, no lingering on details. Then the pace slows down for the shepherds’ scene, we get details, emotions, etc.

There’s a nice bit of ambiguity in the greek for ‘born to you today is a Saviour who is Messiah Lord in the city of David.’ Is he born in the city of David? Or is he Lord in the city of David – since he is Messiah? Which city is the city of David anyway? Thus the whole issue of Jerusalem and its relation to Messiah is introduced here obliquely. But it will come to dominate the narrative.

And for Elizabeth the time was completed for childbearing and she gave birth to a son. And her neighbours and relations heard that the Lord had magnified his mercy in her, and they rejoiced with her. And it happened on the eighth day that they went to circumcise the child and they were about to name him with his father’s name – Zechariah. And his mother answered and said “No, but he will be called John.” 

And they said to her “No one from your relations is called by that name.” And they hand-signed to his father, what would he like to call him? 

And calling for a writing tablet he wrote “John is his name”. And they all marvelled. And his mouth was released at once, and his tongue, and he spoke blessing God. And fear came upon all who lived nearby to them. And in all the hill country of Judea all these things were talked about. And all who heard it stored it in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child become?” For clearly the hand of the Lord was with him. 

And Zechariah his father was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied saying,

Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel
for he has visited and worked redemption for his people 
And he has raised a horn of salvation for us 
in the house of David, child of his
Just as he spoke through the mouths of his holy prophets of old:
salvation from our foes and from the hand of all who hate us
Keeping faithful love with our fathers
and remembering his holy covenant,
The oath he swore to Abraham our father
to grant that without fear, from the hand of foes set free
We might serve in sanctity and righteousness
before him all our days.
 
And you as well, my child, ‘the Most High’s prophet’ will be called
for you will go ahead before the face of the Lord
to make ready his paths
To give knowledge of salvation to his people
through release of their sins
By the bowels of compassion of our God
in which the dawning from on high will visit us
To shine upon the ones in darkness and death’s shadow sitting,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.
 

And the child grew up and became strong in the Spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

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Gains here?

Luke highlights the change of character and scene by putting  ‘for Elizabeth’ upfront here. We follow his syntax to preserve the highlighting effect.

The vividness of the semi-direct speech  ‘what would he like to call him?’ is lost in our normal translations. Zech’s confirmation of the name chosen is emphasised by emphatic syntax: ‘John is his name.’

In the song, Zech emphasises ‘without fear’ by bringing it to the front of the statement: ‘to grant that, without fear…’. This is lost in most translations, which bury ‘without fear’ as a subordinate clause qualifying ‘serve him’. In fact it functions more powerfully here, as a frame or context, a new way of life within which that service takes place.

‘Sanctity’ here captures something of the priestly imagery of this priest’s song: God’s people serving before his altar. It also avoids using ‘holiness’, the word used above for ‘the prophets of old’. It’s a different word in greek, so we don’t want a false echo here.

The ‘bowels of compassion’ is a confronting image for the modern reader. The Hebrews thought of compassion as originating in the intestinal region. Worth noticing that, don’t you think? Kind of sticks with you, too. These visceral, bodily metaphors are typical of Hebrew language and especially poetry. They give Luke’s text a very Jewish feel. Pity to erase them.

Given that this is Luke, and refers to John the B, it is unthinkable to translate ekrataiouvto pneumati as ‘strong in spirit’. Worse still is the Holman, ‘spiritually strong’! The grammar would allow ‘strong in spirit’ or ‘strong in the Spirit.’ But we’ve already had it impressed on us that it’s the Holy Spirit that John will be filled with (1:14-17). Translators should pay attention to the story: it helps in avoiding egregious errors of this sort.

Mary’s song: Luke 1

Posted: August 20, 2013 by J in Bible, Linguistics

Continuing our new translation of Luke inspired by Robert Alter’s approach to translating the OT:

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And rising, Mariam journeyed in those days to the hill country, going with haste to a town of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And it happened, when Elizabeth heard Maria’s greeting, that the infant leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she called out with a mighty shout and said:

Blessed are you among women
And blessed the fruit of your womb!
 

“And whence this honour to me, that the mother of my lord should come to me? For look! as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the child leapt for joy in my womb. And blessed is she who believed that the things told her by the Lord would come to fulfilment.”

And Mariam said,

My soul magnifies the Lord
and my spirit is made glad in God my Saviour
For he has taken notice of the wretchedness of his slave-girl
for look! from now on ‘blessed’ will all the generations name me
For the mighty one has done great things for me
and holy is his name
And his mercy is from generation to generation
for those who fear him
He has worked power with his arm,
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their heart
He has taken down rulers from their thrones
and raised up the wretched;
The hungry he has filled with goods
and the rich sent away empty
He has succoured Israel his child,
remembering mercy
Even as he spoke to our fathers
to Abraham and his seed
for all ages.
 

And Mariam remained with her three months and then returned home. 

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Gains?

Once again the pace of the narrative is fast, the paratactic structure (‘and…and…and‘) driving the action forward with few pauses. This makes it a racy read.

That means the songs come as a definite gear shift: we all stop and reflect on the meaning and the feelings generated by the action. In fact, after the breathless narrative, the songs come as a welcome change of pace, a chance to catch our breath. That’s different from our normal translations where the songs often feel like they’re ‘in the way’ of the story unfolding.

Elizabeth’s words are stylised and a bit archaic, reflecting Luke’s greek. She is prophesying like a prophet of old, and the style boosts the sense of authority in her words.

Mary’s song is in the typical psalm-style of the LXX, very much like Hannah’s song in 1 Sam. 2. It is chock full of Hebrew-style parallelisms: ‘My soul magnifies the Lord/and my spirit is made glad in God my Saviour’. Once again she calls herself his ‘slave-girl’, emphasising her identification with the ‘wretched’ category in her song.

We have used a more ‘poetic’ syntax in the song, allowing us for e.g. to bring out the emphasised contrast in ‘the hungry…and the rich…’ – normally lost in translation.

Is righteousness a commodity?

Posted: August 14, 2013 by J in Bible, Theology

Talking over imputation with my friend Dan, I thought one extra post on this might help.

The imagery I grew up with to explain justification was a mercantile metaphor. We each have a bank account with God, in which we can either have credit or debit. Jesus is the only one who manages to get credits in his account, we all have debits. But then God does a swap, Jesus pays for our debt in his own blood, and we are credited with the righteousness from Jesus’ account.

In the image, righteousness is a kind of commodity or substance like money, which can be transferred around. It’s invisible, but real – hence the banking image, where money can be on paper yet really worth something. You can’t see it, but it’s there in the piggy bank.

Is this a good metaphor to help explain justification? It’s certainly one that makes sense to us middle class people. Bread and butter stuff. An image we connect with instinctively.

But is it helpful? And where is it from?

There’s a pretty common assumption that this image is from the Bible. This is based on Scripture’s use of the term reckon or impute – greek word logizomai – in connection with justification. It is particularly located, we are told, in the story if Abraham, Genesis 15, and in Paul’s teaching about Abraham in Romans 4.

And he believed the LORD; and the LORD reckoned it to him as righteousness. Gen. 15:6

Well?

A couple of big picture observations to start with. Firstly, logizomai is a common word in Scripture, Paul uses it often. It has a range of meanings, including the commercial one, it can also refer to judgment (Rom. 2:26). But in general just means ‘consider’. Paul normally uses it to mean ‘consider’, with no particular commercial or financial connotation.

If there is anything praiseworthy, consider these things. Phil. 4:8

That’s it there. Consider.

So just because the word crops up in connection with justification, doesn’t in itself suggest a mercantile metaphor. That’s the first thing to clarify.

Second, Paul talks about justification quite a bit, especially through Romans and Galatians. And the mercantile image almost never floats to the surface. There are various other images swirling around the justification terminology: adoption, reconciliation, friendship, resurrection, inheritance, sacrifice, and above all judgement and justice. But commercial transactions? Nope. If it’s there at all, it’s very minor.

Wow. That’s how much bible backing we have for our favourite justification image. That’s a bit disturbing. Can that be right. Hard for me to prove it to you, I guess I could show you all the places where it isn’t.  Might take a while…

It would be good, however, to explore the dominant image of judgement a little more. And to consider Abraham and Romans 4.

Judgement:

The first half of Romans is dominated by the imagery of judgement: Jesus is determined to be the son of God by God’s public decree in resurrection (1:4), the wrath of God is revealed against the sins of mankind, he decrees that these deserve death (1:18, 32). Those who judge others fall under God’s judgement themselves (2:1-3). God’s role in judging the world is outlined (2:5-16). The faithful Jew is condemned by faithful Gentiles, who receive praise from God the judge (2:17-29, 3:4). Could the judge of the world be unjust? (3:1-8). The charge sheet is read out against Jew and Gentile who alike stand accused (3:9). All stand before God silenced by their guilt (3:19).

These are all images of judgement. Court rooms, accusers, determinations, punishments, guilt, etc.

It is in this context that Paul introduces the ideas of righteousness and justification (two forms of the one word in greek: dikai-). Paul quotes from David, Psalm 32. “Blessed are those whose law-breakings are forgiven, and whose sins are covered over”. In the Psalm, the Lord is very present, David stands directly before him and receives judgement from his ‘hand’. And the judgement is favourable. He becomes “the one against whom the Lord will not reckon sin.” Or as Paul puts it, “the one to whom God reckons righteousness apart from works.” (Rom. 4:7).

We are totally in a judicial framework here, not a commercial one. And it is in this setting that the idea of reckoning is introduced and employed. I.e. reckon has a forensic flavour for Paul, at least here in connection with Abraham.

Thus, judgement becomes the main category in which to understand the dikai- word group, for Paul. It appears again and again in close connection with forensic terms. So ‘justified by his blood’ equates to ‘saved …from the wrath of God.’ (Rom. 5:9) “Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all” (5:18)  “Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.  Who is to condemn?” (Rom. 8:33-34). We’re still explicitly in judgement territory.

Abraham and reckoning

What about old Abraham and his righteousness?

“Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.” Rom. 4:3

Paul goes on to talk about paying out wages: a commercial image. Let’s look at that.

Now to one who works, wages are not reckoned as a gift but as something due.  But to one who without works trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness.  Rom. 4:4-5

First, notice that ‘reckoned’ here has its normal Pauline meaning, ‘considered‘, both times. It is not imputation or transaction here. When a worker receives his wage, we would consider it as his due.

Second, it’s not an easy comparison to get the hang of. It’s not symmetrical. We would expect,

to him who works               his wages             are reckoned as owed

to him who does not work, what he receives  is reckoned    a gift.

Paul resists that tidyness. Why? Seems he doesn’t want to describe righteousness as being like a wage, a thing received. It’s not that sort of thing. For Paul righteousness is a judgement. We could paraphrase thus:

To him who works, his wage is considered his due reward. Abraham’s case was not like that. To him who does not work but trusts God, because of his faith he is considered righteous.

There is no wage here, no transaction, no payment: it’s not the same as the ‘worker’ model. That’s the point. It’s a different model. A judgement model.

Probably the Jews were tending towards the ‘due payment for works’ model of righteousness. Paul busts that up entirely. It’s not due, it’s not a payment, it’s not for works.

IN SUMMARY: there’s nothing here that remotely warrants the ‘mercantile image’ that I’ve been taught all my life as the way to understand justification.

Ok it’s not Scriptural. Is it helpful though? Does it add clarity to the judgement image at the centre of Paul’s justification teaching? Or does it confuse things by commodifying righteousness? Can a judgement be a commodity?

You be the judge!

THEOLOGICAL AND BIBLICAL-THEOLOGICAL PAY-OFF

What have we done? We’ve reconnected the doctrine of justification with the gospel story. Simple as that. Where does that leave us, theologically? What’s the payoff of this approach to justification? Does it help us practically? A few suggestions.

1. Seen in this light, justification becomes a thoroughly Trinitarian act. One of the disturbing things about the classic evangelical exposition of ‘justfication’ is the relative absence of the Holy Spirit in the whole matter. Justification is seen as an act of God the Father, imputing righteousness to us for the sake of his Son. The Spirit has little role here. And since this is ‘the doctrine on which the church stands or falls’[1], ‘the hinge on which the whole faith turns,’[2] the result is a dangerously non-Trinitarian centre to modern evangelicalism.

But once the doctrine of justification is restored to its proper place as an explanation of Jesus’ resurrection, all this changes. Justification is clearly seen as the work of the Father by his Spirit towards his Son, proclaiming over him the verdict of ‘life’. ‘He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit’ (1 Peter 3:18). Our justification is likewise understood to be our sharing in this positive verdict, when we are united to Christ by the Spirit and receive the new life of the Spirit in him.

2. The apostolic view of justification cuts through our evangelical debates about imputation. We need to remember that the imputing of righteousness is the act of a judge when he declares one party to be in the right; so then this imputation is equivalent to justification, simply another way of saying the same thing (Rom. 4:5-7). Every judge imputes righteousness (and guilt): that is his job. Everyone who believes that God is the judge, believes in imputation by definition. So much of our confusion over imputation comes because we lose sight of the courtroom imagery which gives meaning to the word, and overplay the idea of abstract accounts into which ‘righteousness credit’ is placed by God. The forensic setting of the term is easily obscured in much of our justification talk. Justification is not primarily a mercantile image.

But once it is grasped that imputing righteousness is a declarative act of the court, the question, whose righteousness is imputed, becomes a strange one. It is difficult to give the question any clear meaning in a judicial context. Righteousness is a status created by the court, it is the court’s righteousness if it is anyone’s. A more natural and helpful question, the one frequently asked in the New Testament, is whose justification? Who is the object of God’s justifying verdict? The apostles’ answer is, Christ. It is to Christ that God imputes righteousness. God declared him righteous because of his righteous life. Our justification need not be seen as a separate verdict given to us on the basis of some transfer of merit. It is simpler and closer to NT thought to speak of our sharing in the one verdict given to Jesus at his resurrection. Righteousness is imputed to us because it was imputed to him.

To put it another way, the only person justified on the basis of Christ’s righteousness was Christ himself. The apostles do not teach that we share his righteousness: they teach that we share his justification. So we can stop arguing about the details of imputation.

3. This Gospel-based view of justification also helps reveal the essential unity between Paul and Jesus on a central gospel issue. Paul’s teaching at this point is in no way a departure from that of the Gospels. Much modern scholarship is on entirely the wrong track here. On the contrary, Paul’s doctrine of justification, like all his teachings, is nothing but an explanation of the meaning of the gospel events – or, if you like, it is his working-out of the significance of his encounter with the risen Jesus on the Damascus road.[3]

In other words, we are left with one gospel, not two. That’s a big achievement. For a long time we’ve put up with two gospels. One is a story about Jesus, including past, present and future elements. The other is a set of ideas, teachings, or propositions about salvation, which we derive from Paul’s epistles. The two have little overlap: they are very different sorts of thing. A narrative view of justification reunites these two, so we have just one gospel again. That’s enough gospels, don’t you think?

[1] Luther

[2] Calvin

[3] on which see Pannenburg, Jesus, God and Man

Resurrecting Justification – part 2

Posted: August 10, 2013 by J in Bible, Theology

PAUL’S VIEW of JUSTIFICATION

It was Paul’s encounter with the risen Jesus which led him to develop his distinctive teaching of justification by faith. Paul too understood Jesus’ resurrection as his justification:

Because the residents of Jerusalem and their leaders did not recognise him or understand the words of the prophets that are read every sabbath, they fulfilled those words by condemning him.  Even though they found no cause for a sentence of death, they asked Pilate to have him killed.  When they had carried out everything that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb.  But God raised him from the dead.
Acts 13: 27-30 (my italics)

Notice the contrast between condemnation and resurrection, as two sides of the coin of judgement. When condemnation is overturned, it is turned to resurrection.

Paul makes this justifying act of God the explicit basis on which justification is proclaimed to the nations. In his speech at Pisidian Antioch, having arrived at Jesus’ resurrection, Paul gives an extended explanation of it (13:30-37). This announcement of resurrection then becomes the grounds for his final announcement:

Let it be known to you therefore, my brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you;  by this Jesus everyone who believes is justified from all those sins from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.

Acts 13:38-39 (my italics)

The ‘therefore’ here is key: since Jesus has been vindicated in resurrection, justification is therefore offered to the people through him.

Paul employs the same structure of thought in his epistles. In his letter to the Romans, he describes a very similar final judgement scene to that envisaged by Jesus. God the judge separates all mankind into two groups. ‘To those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, he will give eternal life… glory honour and peace’. For ‘the self-seeking…there will be wrath and fury’ (Rom 2:6-10). God’s judgement is righteous and true, ‘he shows no partiality’ (v.11).

It is within this framework of God’s justice that Paul explains the story of Jesus. The heart of that story, announced upfront, is that Jesus was ‘appointed Son of God in power…by his resurrection from the dead’ (Rom 1:4). Jesus receives God’s final judgement: ‘glory, honour and immortality.’ In thus vindicating the righteous Jesus, God himself is seen to be righteous, fulfilling his judicial promise that ‘the righteous one by faith will live’ (Rom. 1:17). The rightness of God’s judgement is revealed when he raises faithful Jesus back to life from the dead.

But Jesus’ story is not simply his own. For ‘he was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification’ (Rom 4:25). And so this same righteous judgement will now be shown to all who are united to Jesus through baptism and the Spirit: they too will be justified in resurrection (Rom 6:1-5; 8:9-11), raised with Christ. Those who had no hope of receiving the verdict of ‘glory’ or honour (= eternal life) from the judge (Rom 2:6-11; 3:23), now rejoice in precisely that hope of glory (Rom 5:2). They can have that hope because the reward now comes to them as a gift, found ‘in Christ’.

This justification through resurrection has actually already begun inwardly in believers: they already receive the favour and reward of the heavenly court (Rom. 5:1). They have been raised with Christ inwardly through faith (Rom 6:1-11, cf. Ephesians 2:5-6; 2 Corinthians 4:10-11, 16), to participate in the life of the age to come now (Romans 5:5, cf. Colossians 3:1-4). And they await the outward and public justification of the final resurrection, when there will be no room for condemnation (Romans 8:11, 34).

The upshot of all this is that for us Christians, our own justification is entirely dependent on Jesus’ resurrection: “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17). After his extended discussion of resurrection, Paul concludes:

Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God…                                                                  (Romans 8:33-34).

The payoff of Jesus’ resurrection is all about our justification.

And so our faith, though it trusts in everything Jesus does and says, is particularly to be centred or focussed at this point: “if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9). “Righteousness will be credited to us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.  He was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24-25).

Paul and the other apostles tell this story over and over, always making it at the same time Jesus’ story and our story, as we are united to him: ‘Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to the justification of life for all’ (Romans 5:18). ‘In his great mercy he has given us new birth into the hope of life through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead’ (1 Peter 1:3).

What the election of Glenn Davies means

Posted: August 9, 2013 by J in Church

An interesting piece from Muriel Porter analysing the election result:

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The election of Bishop Glenn Davies as Anglican Archbishop of Sydney is an extraordinary result by any measure.

True, Glenn had emerged as the favoured candidate during the latter years of Peter Jensen’s term. Glenn has a solid record as a theologian of a very conservative stamp, championing all the diocese’s hardline views on women, homosexuals and who can preside at the central Christian rite of Holy Communion. He has been a lecturer at Moore Theological College, the diocese’s heartland, and has also been a successful parish priest and regional Sydney bishop. An urbane, charming man, his relationships with the rest of the Australian Anglican Church are always respectful and friendly. He is well known for his contributions on General Synod – in particular, on its Doctrine Commission.

But in recent times, it became increasingly clear that, despite his sterling qualities, he was not the preferred candidate of the diocese’s ruling faction.

to read more click here

Came across this fascinating article in the New Statesman from A N Wilson, biographer of C S Lewis and of Jesus. He describes his conversion to atheism, and subsequent falling away. Turns out its not that easy to be an atheist…

By nature a doubting Thomas, I should have distrusted the symptoms when I underwent a “conversion experience” 20 years ago. Something was happening which was out of character – the inner glow of complete certainty, the heady sense of being at one with the great tide of fellow non-believers. For my conversion experience was to atheism. There were several moments of epiphany, actually, but one of the most dramatic occurred in the pulpit of a church.

to read more click here

We at the Grit are very pleased to welcome Sydney’s new Anglican Archbishop, Glenn Davies.

We are blessed to have a leader of this calibre available to take up the post. What we like about Glenn is that he can think for himself. He belongs to no faction or party in the Diocese. His loyalty is to the gospel of Jesus.

Glenn did not campaign for this office, nor did he need to. My impression talking with Glenn is that he did not relish the prospect of becoming Archbish. And that’s exactly the sort of man we want for the job.

The campaigners for Glenn ran a positive and ‘clean’ campaign. Impressive. No election campaign will ever be spotless, but these guys have set a standard which I hope will be followed by future campaigners hoping to commend their dude to the Synod and diocese.

Rick Smith seems to be a good and godly man. It’s a pity that those campaigning for Rick probably undermined his position. At these times ‘the thoughts of many hearts are revealed.’ These guys held out against nastiness and misinformation for quite a while – but in the end they couldn’t resist. This was one campaign where everything depended on respectful conduct towards both candidates. Turns out they just couldn’t manage it.

We are not suggesting Rick was involved in any way in all that. But unfortunately, most people can’t easily distinguish between a campaign and the nominee it is backing. The shenanigans that went on in his name likely tarnished Rick’s image. In the end, people wanted integrity, not glossy brochures.

I think this result should be seen as partly a vote for fair and honest dealings in electioneering. Perhaps as a Diocese we’ve grown up a little and developed a distaste for mudslinging and headkicking? Gives me hope for our future.

So, leaving the past behind, we look forward to Glenn’s leadership, and will be praying for him this Sunday in our gathering.

Is it too early to start calling for the compulsory retirement age of 70 to be revised to reflect 21st century realities? It’s time for 75. Let’s keep Glenn for 12 years.