Jim Taylor's Columns - 'Soft Edges' and 'Sharp Edges'

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Another way of knowing God

Author: Jim Taylor
Maybe we’ve gotten it backwards.
When Emperor Constantine adopted Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire in the year 313 of our calendar, he inherited a religious landscape that looked rather like a dysfunctional school playground. The children were all playing different games, in the same space. Chaos resulted.
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Categories: Soft Edges

Tags: knowing God, God




Close votes reveal division, not decision

Author: Jim Taylor
A mere 27 votes defeated West Kelowna’s plan to build a new city hall. A three per cent shortfall squashed B.C.’s 1995 referendum on electoral reform. Last June, fewer than two per cent of British voters pulled the plug on the European Union. Do these kinds of figures reflect a clear mandate for action? If just 14 people had voted differently in the West Kelowna referendum, the city council would now be negotiating $15 million in funding, instead of licking its wounds. That’s democracy, some will say. If you give the people a vote, you have to accept their decision. But do a few votes either way genuinely reflect the will of the people? The 1995 referendum on Quebec sovereignty failed by less than one per cent. The margin was tiny; the consequences massive. A figurative handful of voters could have broken up a country of 30 million people.
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The unwritten rules of hospitality

Author: Jim Taylor
Two springs ago, I took my daughter with me on a trip back to India. I wanted her to see the world in which I had spent my first ten years, the world that has influenced me ever since.
In the city where my parents had served as missionaries, we looked for the house where I had once lived.
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Letters re Gretta Vosper

Author: Jim Taylor
I’ve been overwhelmed by both the quantity and the quality of the letters I have received over the last few days, about my column comparing the United Church’s examination of Gretta Vosper’s ministry to the Inquisition. Forty letters is a new record! The quantity -- 40 letters, covering 18 pages when print out! -- makes it impossible for me to simply append them to this coming Sunday’s Sharp Edges column. The quality of the letters’ reasoning also makes it difficult for me to reduce them to Twitter-length excerpts. Even so, I have done some editing -- mostly for length, but I hope without distorting anyone’s intent. Warning: even with some editing, this is a very long mailing. So instead of the usual “Your Turn” section in the regular Sunday mailing, I’ve set up this special mailing entirely of your letters.
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Categories: Sharp Edges

Tags: Gretta Vosper




When beliefs matter more than behaviour

Author: Jim Taylor
If there is a life after death, Torquemada must be clapping his hands in glee. My church, The United Church of Canada, has re-instituted the Inquisition. Torquemada, you may recall, headed the Inquisition, the Roman Catholic Church’s attempt to stamp out heresy. A week ago, a 23-member committee appointed by the United Church’s Toronto Conference recommended revoking the Rev. Gretta Vosper’s ordination. Her non-standard theology offended too many traditionalists. The mandate of the Inquisition -- sorry, the committee -- was to examine Vosper’s fitness for ministry. They did not do that. In their own words, “This interview did not assess whether Ms. Vosper meets the Standards of Practice with respect to administration, community outreach and social justice, continuing education, denomination and communities, leadership, pastoral care and self-care. The question that Toronto Conference asked this Committee to address was limited to her beliefs and her theology…
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«September 2016»



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