Three Quick Quotes

The first is from the GAFCON final statement:

We urge the Primates’ Council to authenticate and recognise confessing Anglican jurisdictions, clergy and congregations and to encourage all Anglicans to promote the gospel and defend the faith.

We recognise the desirability of territorial jurisdiction for provinces and dioceses of the Anglican Communion, except in those areas where churches and leaders are denying the orthodox faith or are preventing its spread, and in a few areas for which overlapping jurisdictions are beneficial for historical or cultural reasons.

The second is from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s response to the statement:

I agree that the Communion needs to be united in its commitments on these matters, and I have no doubt that the Lambeth Conference will wish to affirm all these positive aspects of GAFCON’s deliberations.  Despite the claims of some, the conviction of the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as Lord and God and the absolute imperative of evangelism are not in dispute in the common life of the Communion.

And finally. this snippet from the editorial of the newsletter of Niagara Diocese this month:

Let’s be honest for a moment. Who knows who was right in the Christological arguments of the 3d century? We know who won, but who really knows who was right? More to the point, does it really matter?

Methinks his Grace may want to revisit his response to the GAFCON statement.

3 Comments on “Three Quick Quotes

  1. It is interesting you chose a particular section, I would like to choose this one:

    ‘None of us wants a repeat of the Christological heresies or the east-west divide or the battles that followed the
    reformation; nor do we want a repeat of the crusades, the inquisitions and all the other historical embarrassments in
    which Christians have engaged. Now is the time for us to turn our swords into ploughshares—for the wolf to
    lie down with the lamb—and for us to take the most important words of Jesus with the utmost of seriousness.
    Otherwise, our squabbling will mirror our history and we will continue to look foolish in the eyes of the world
    around us. We need to live what we preach—that none of us is either wholly saint or completely sinner, that in our humanity
    God loves each of us unconditionally and that through this unconditional love, we are filled with the Spirit that
    as Christians, we call Christ.’ (sorry about the formatting – the blog does not like pasting this quote – could reflect its theological tastes?)

    Now I know you will quibble with the last bit of the quote, but doesn’t the quote, as a whole express the heart of the Gospel?  In fact, which is best?  To assent 100% to what the creeds say with regard to Christology, and not do the above, or to live out the reconciling Gospel of Christ, but to be puzzled, have questions, have doubts etc. about Christology.  In fact, I do not think most people understand the Christological definitions of the Church.  In fact, even if we do, it is a tight line to walk when preaching about them, teaching about them – the chasm of heresy is usually not very far away.  In a way, my earlier point about intellectual assent against a life of Gospel values it is a false dichotamy, but I do wonder if intellectual assent is always a ‘real’ assent?  Just think of Nazi Germany, week by week Christians saying the creeds, while participating in genocide.

    In the end though, one editor does not make a diocese, one diocese does not make a province, and to the best of my knowledge – there is no province in the communion seeking to change the Christological understandings of the creed.  I am happy to be corrected on this.

    I think though Peter, I think you should bring your investigating eye a little closer to home.  Why not do a survey of the church magazines of your diocese, the sermons of your local clergy, the pronouncements of your bishop.  If you then find heresy, root it out – tell us practical thing you are going to do in response it to.  It seems to me that if you find it, you should pursue with the whole of your being to ensure the purity of the church.

  2. Winston,

    I take issue with the first part of the quote. By saying, “No-one knows who was right, all we know is who won” in the Christology debates of the early church, they are forcing a re-visiting of the debates and re-legitimizing the heresies. In fact, if in all the decisions the church has made throughout the centuries all we know is who won, then we have a view of the church that is strangely devoid of the presence of the Holy Spirit who was to lead us into all truth.

    And of course now is NOT the time to turn our swords into ploughshares and for the wolf to lie down with the lamb — the time for that will be after Christ’s return. To call for it now is to imply that we as humans can accomplish this when Scripture is quite clear that it is something which Christ will accomplish.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.