At Canterbury Cathedral, banter and practical theology

A good public conversation noted on Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams’ site:

The Archbishop of Canterbury met comedian, writer and broadcaster Frank Skinner “In Conversation” at Canterbury Cathedral on Friday evening.

Archbishop Rowan and Skinner had encountered each other before, but this was the first time they’d sat down for an in-depth exchange of views on the state of Christianity today.

Skinner, a practising Catholic, returned to the church in his late 20s after a period “in the wilderness” and says the years spent examining his faith have made him better able to defend it. “I think there is a responsibility for any believer in the 21st century to be able to fight their corner.”

Talking to Dr Williams, Skinner described himself as “a tough crowd” when listening to a sermon, and said that priests don’t try hard enough to make an impact when preaching – prompting an audience member to ask if his sense of frustration might be God’s way of calling him to do better.

Audio Part 1Audio Part 2Q&A

“Twurch of England” enjoyed the conversation.

Last night the Twurch was blessed enough to be in attendance at Canterbury Cathedral as a pair of Britain’s finest raconteurs conversed in the presence of thousands. One of the two theologians present shared some deep insights on issues as far ranging as the veracity of the Virgin Birth, how atheism is “cool” and how the church needs to fight back, what true worship should look like, new theories on the sociological and climatic roots of the Reformation, how belief in the miraculous shouldn’t ever be apologised for, the depth of the hypostatic union’s demonstration at the moment of Jesus’ death, the power of faith and doubt and the subtle art of producing powerful homilies.

Yep, Frank Skinner was brilliant. Rowan Williams wasn’t half bad either.

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