Jason Byassee has a great post on Rowan Williams up at the Duke Faith and Leadership blog. It gets at the heart of what a lot of people miss about Williams, his theology, and what it all means in terms of how we understand ecclesial faithfulness.
Williams’ theology holds that Jesus interrupts our easy consensuses — this is handy against fundamentalisms of all kinds (like Jack Spong’s and Pullman’s), but less helpful in situations of, say, church discipline. All the same, to have a spectacular theologian as head of a church is somewhat novel today. One would think those liberals and conservatives in the Anglican Communion who are frustrated with Williams for not disciplining their opponents might have read his “Truce of God” or his “Resurrection.” They would realize that the Archbishop sees the risen Christ as one who meets us in the enemy with whom we cannot leave fellowship. For him to kick the bad guys out of the church would, unfortunately, be to kick out Jesus himself.
But to actually abide in this sort of radical tension is utterly difficult. It requires what Romand Coles rightly found at the heart of John Howard Yoder’s theology: wild patience.