Rowan Williams on Ministry and Baptism

This is the season of Ordination and Induction services.  So this quotation from Rowan Williams seemed especially pertinent.  Christian ministry…

"…should not be like the priesthoods and hierarchies of ancient religion, because it is to do with inhabiting the common life with a particular intensity, so that the minister can point with authority to what is basic in this common life.  Being a Christian priest or minister isn’t about managing religious technology for an uninstructed public but about witnessing to the distinctive character of a common life in which each depends on all."

Rowan Williams, Tokens of Trust: An Introduction to Christian Belief (London: Canterbury, 2007), 108.

And a few pages on, a lovely quotation about baptism:

"Those who are baptized have disappeared under the surface of Christ’s love and reappeared as different people.  The waters close over their heads and then, like the old world rising out of the watery chaos in the first chapter of the Bible, out comes a new world." (p.112)

As a Baptist, I couldn’t supress a smirk at the irony of the head of the Church of England talking about a form of baptism in which one disappears under the surface and water closes over your head.