Wednesday, December 25, 2002
When's the Next Lambeth Conference?-This might not be the worst politically-inspired piece of hermeneutics ever, but this whopper from Rowan Williams is close.
In his message, to be broadcast shortly after midnight on 26 December on Radio 4, Dr Williams recalls the bible story of the Three Wise Men. On their way to Bethlehem they tell King Herod of the birth of Jesus, prompting a massacre of children. Dr Williams says it is as if the wise and resourceful cannot help making the most immense mistakes of all. He has robustly opposed war in Iraq and his Christmas broadcast seems to be intended to build on that theme. Dr Williams likens the Wise Men to strategists who, despite intimate knowledge of politics, miss obvious things and create more suffering and havoc.A few things come to mind. If you take the story in Matthew 2 at face value, it would seem that God led the wise guys to Bethlehem, thus making God the ultimate heavy in the piece. If you're going to blame anyone, Mr Archbishop, blame God. Secondly, the line "it is as if the wise and resourceful cannot help making the most immense mistakes of all" is an indictment of socialist central planning as well; when you centralize resources, you prepare the way for some doozies. The Archbishop should remember that the next time he serves as Labour's critic of the left.
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