Thursday, December 20, 2007
If the Archbishop of Canterbury doesn't believe in them, who will?
Read below... seriously, I'm not making this stuff up about Williams!
Posted by Damian Thompson on 20 Dec 2007 at 12:13
Does Rowan Williams EVER think before opening his mouth? He waits until the week before Christmas before describing the nativity as a “legend” and condemning the poor wise men, asses and oxen to the realms of fantasy.
Yes, it’s true that most biblical scholars agree with him. But really – has the Archbishop of Canterbury got nothing better to do than dismantle the Christmas story on Radio Five Live, for God’s sake? Can you imagine Pope Benedict XVI going on Simon Mayo’s show to chip away at the naïve beliefs of millions of Christians?
Rowan Williams is not like the former Bishop of Durham, David Jenkins, who really didn’t believe in lots of major Christian doctrines. (“I’m not sure about this eternal life thing,” I once heard him say at a conference.) The Archbishop firmly believes in the Virgin birth, for example; there’s not even a hint of agnosticism in his liberal theology.
But where Dr Jenkins used to drop his publicity-seeking bombshells deliberately, just in time for Christmas or Easter headlines, Dr Williams blunders aimlessly into these controversies. Also just in time for Christmas.