Anglicans Online News Basics Worldwide Anglicanism Anglican Dioceses and Parishes
Noted Recently News Archives Start Here The Anglican Communion Africa Australia BIPS Canada
Search, Archives Official Publications Anglicans Believe... In Full Communion England Europe Hong Kong Ireland
Resource directory   The Prayer Book Not in the Communion Japan New Zealand Nigeria Scotland
    The Bible B South Africa USA Wales WorldB
This page last updated 30 April 2007  

Letters to AO

EVERY WEEK WE PUBLISH a selection of letters we receive in response to something you've read at Anglicans Online. Stop by and have a look at what other AO readers are thinking.

Alas, we cannot publish every letter we receive. And we won't publish letters that are anonymous, hateful, illiterate, or otherwise in our judgment do not benefit the readers of Anglicans Online. We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters. We edit letters to conform with standard AO house style for punctuation, but we do not change, for example, American spelling to conform to Canadian orthography. On occasion we'll gently edit letters that are too verbose in their original form. Email addresses are included when the authors give permission to do so.

If you'd like to respond to a letter whose author does not list an email, you can send your response to Anglicans Online and we'll forward it to the writer.

Letters from 23 to 29 April 2007

Like all letters to the editor everywhere, these letters are the opinions of the writers and not Anglicans Online. We publish letters that we think will be of interest to our readers, whether we agree with them or not. If you'd like to write a letter of your own, click here.

Are you certain?

I was wondering what the significance was of Maxwell's equations included in the message from Anglicans Online published yesterday? We have a poster on the wall which says:

And God said...

[insert Maxwell's equations]

. . . and there was light.

I'm assuming someone at AO will get this joke seeing as someone put the equations in :-). Mind you, given the nature of the discussion on mystery, uncertainty and the brief nature of knowing I think this might have been more appropriate:


Best Regards and thanks for your wonderful site,

Catherine Nancekievill
St Mary's, Linton
Cambridge, ENGLAND
23 April 2007

(Ed: Don't you mean ΔxΔp ≥ h/4π ?)

The gift of uncertainty

I'd not thought to see Maxwell's equations on AO's lead page, put they complemented the text marvelously well. They also brought to mind a short piece I did some while back for a very different venue. You may do with it what you like.

An Orion Moment
Fiat Lux!
Pepper Marts

The first words of the Pentateuch might well have been translated:

In the Beginning of creation when God was making the heavens and the earth, the earth was a vast waste. Darkness covered the deep and the spirit of God hovered over the surface of the water. God said:

Let del dot D equal rho, and let

del dot B equal zero, and let

del cross E equal minus the partial of B by t, and let

del cross H equal I plus the partial of D by t

and there was light . . .

These possibly unfamiliar words represent a set of partial differential equations developed by the English physicist James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879). They describe the relationships among measurable entities that allow us to predict how time-varying electro-magnetic fields will behave: light, radio waves, gamma radiation . . .

That such a description is possible I interpret to mean that God has made the created order in such a way as to be understandable to those with the necessary wit and drive to investigate it. Although that understanding is and will be imperfect, we can describe much of the physical world and make predictions that subsequent experience confirms.

We have not the same facility either to describe the human psyche and soul or to understand the actions of human beings. Psychologists and psychiatrists, sociologists and historians, have much to offer of data and conjectures that provide insights to the mysterious inner realm, to our interior state — but there is no reliable predictive strategy, there are no partial differential equations. Instead we depend on our perceptions of what we believe others have done in the past, our imagination of what their motives might have been, and then we guess. From start to finish the endeavor is clouded.

Sometimes we further obscure an already murky process by our desire for a particular outcome. We may identify so strongly with an individual’s position on an issue that we are blind to the uncharity of which that person is capable. Similarly, we may find a person’s position on an issue so distasteful that we cannot see the honest search for truth that lies behind it.

May the God who made light and offers the grace to investigate it preserve us all from such errors.

Pepper Marts
St Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
23 April 2007

The Parish of Saints B & B?

Hello! This is Anna from Poland! I've been searching many web sites this afternoon but could not find the information I need so much! I'm a teacher of English in Poland and love your country and its capital even more than my own:-)

This summer we (me and my husband) would love to visit London for for one week and we are looking for some accommodation that we could afford. I've heard from my English friends that some of London churches rent their guest rooms. I wonder if you could help by providing some web links...

Thank you in advance and God bless!

Baptist Church
Warsaw, POLAND
25 April 2007

(Ed. note: If you are aware of churches in London let out 'guest rooms', let us know and we'll email Anna.)

Horizontal rule
Earlier letters

We launched our 'Letters to AO' section on 11 May 2003. All published letters are in our archives.


This web site is independent. It is not official in any way. Our editorial staff is private and unaffiliated. Please contact about information on this page. ©1997-2019 Society of Archbishop Justus