Much of the to-ing and fro-ing, it strikes me, is all political point scoring so that each protagonist can feel more secure and entrenched in the theological, spiritual or philosophical position in which they feel ‘at home’. None of us likes to be led from our comfort zone. The ebb and flow of debate however, seems to promote 'Churchianity' rather than 'Christianity.'
I guess it has ever been like this. One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas; still another, "I follow Christ." Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? (1Cor 12-13.)
In the 19th century Cardinal Newman (incidentally a hero of mine - work that one out !) was against the liberals and yet he would toast conscience before the Pope. Would you hear conservatives advocating that today or would Newman too, be considered a ‘liberal?’
Are both positions mutually incompatible theologically, spiritually, philosophically or is it simply a matter of choice ? People at both ends of the divide, and all the colourful areas in between, have to live their lives according to their conscience responding to the love of God in their lives.
Aren’t we a brilliant advert for atheism – “See how these Christians love on another ?”