Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Not ours to disregard

Recently the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachuessets, Thomas Shaw, spoke to a student group and the Roman Catholic Boston College. The Student newspaper covered the event in which it stated..

"Public Answers to Private Questions" got off to a quick start as an anonymous audience member bluntly asked, "If God is supposed to be all-forgiving, why do some people end up in hell?" (Episcopal Bishop of Mass. Thomas ) Shaw responded by saying, "I'm not sure that I believe in hell," pointing out that there are places in the Scripture where no hell is mentioned and concluding that the subject is open to interpretation.

No hell? He's a member of the SSJE (Cowley Fathers Religious Order) which means he says the Apostles Creed 2x per day in the daily office, and the Nicene Creed at least weekly if not daily...and he doesn't believe Jesus descended into hell (meaning it must exist)?

Oh yeah, I forgot....the 1979 BCP re-translation of the creed says Jesus descended to the dead (eliminating the word Hell). But then again, is the fact that there are some places that something is NOT mentioned contridict that fact that is existance IS mentioned elsewhere in Scripture? Arguing from absence is a poor way to do any theology.

God help the Bishop, his diocese, and the Episcopal Church if we have lost site that there is a hell, and without Faith in Jesus at Lord it is our destiny.

With all the media coverage about ECUSA's problems with human sexuality, articles like this show that the problem isn't sexuality, the problem is biblical authority and the loss of all historic understanding of theology. A bishop's opinion (or the opinon of ECUSA 2007) does not trump Revealed Truth as the Church has received it and proclaimed it for nearly 2000 years.

The Boston College Article can be found at