Page 6, 20th June 1969

20th June 1969
Page 6
Page 6, 20th June 1969 — UNITY IN JOY

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Locations: Durham


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All One Body edited by Timothy Wilson (Darton, Longman and Todd 42s.) WHEN I was a child— and I fear I have not altogether put away childish things—I used to enjoy Spotted Dick. Or rather. I endured the Dick so that I could enjoy the Spots. This book put me in mind of that. On the other hand, I am glad I had to read it, because I would never have spent 42s. on it and it has some excellent contributions.

Much of the hook is episcopal autobiography, diocesan history and the social gospel, but the Bishop of Durham's essay towers over the rest like his cathedral above the River Wear. Here is a stimulating and profound analysis of the contemporary scene full of insight and relevance and, above all, of constructive ideas. Many of the essays raise problems, but it may be questioned whether the endless discussion of problems is of positive value in building up the life of the body of Christ. The Prior of Taize has some wise words in the chapter of the Rule of Taize headed "Mercy."

"Nothing," he says, "divides so touch as continual discussions about everything and nothing." It is high time We all took these words to heart, for though the Rule exhorts the brothers of Taize to be a sign of brotherly love

among men, it also requires them to be a sign of joy. Christians everywhere should radiate this joy—and the Bishop in Iran says that "the best I can see happening as a result of people becoming Christians is that they do tend to become milder and kinder; their harshness goes, and they become more like Jesus Christ. Every society in the world needs a group of this kind of people within it." if we were more aware of this point of reference the church would avoid the danger of becoming too indigenous. a warning sounded by the Bishop of Guatemala which speaks quite as much to our situation as it does, more particularly, to the United States.

For many reasons,the voice of Latin America is claiming our attention. Recently Archbishop Camara has hit the headlines, and it may be that God has much to teach the "old" churches. The two Mexican bishops end their contribution with the claim "Being a minority church is not as bad as being a majority one sometimes. There is a sense of belonging to something, whereas often belonging to a large church group means belonging to an impersonal group. I suppose that one can say that you find a longing for belonging to something, some meaningful thing in human relationships and human

understanding. and this somehow comes out better in a smaller community."

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