9 Comments on “Ask Peter – February 2011

  1. Thanks for this, Peter. The points about your son (who, one hopes, is fully better now?) and New Orleans shed some good light on the question,and it's admirable when evangelicals admit that on some issues its legitimate to say 'possibly' or 'I'm not entirely sure', rather than assuming that Sola Scriptura types must have simple (or at least simplistic) certaintity on all issues, in contrast to those peskily deconstructive liberals!
    And the pop at GAFCON brought a hearty AMEN! too ;-)

      • This, I think, is the danger – or sadness – of the situation. I was also somewhat skeptical about GAFCON – they didn't make very clear "what the road forward is from here" – and it seemed like they might be trying to make a "church within a church." It seems, later, that some of these concerns were misplaced, and that the movement didn't espouse a lot of what critics claimed about it.

        Nonetheless, if things continue apace, we are likely to see something in the Communion which is much like I and others worried GAFCON was trying to do to the Communion (and not what GAFCON seems to have originally intended). There seems to be much more support now for this type of solution for the Communion, simply because there is so little belief that the ABC or the ACoC will take 80% or so of the people in the Communion seriously.

        Reform tends to be less painful when conducted from within. The sad prospect here is a factually divided Communion for a number of years, with the official Instruments "speaking for" maybe 5% of the people in the Communion, and lots of strife within the Church of England itself (with the ABC being at an all-time-low in credibility), many considering leaving the CofE – or a situation which arises which is rather drastic in "cleaning ship."

        Still, the best possibility for peaceful reform would be for TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada to absent themselves from the Communion – at the very least, from the Instruments of Communion – but this seems very unlikely now. And there will probably be stronger voices pressuring western provinces to "do something." The Primates don't tend to take action without warning beforehand, and are quite deliberate (and take their time) in such actions, so there is great hope that this will still take place in a Godly manner. But it could be an awful mess as well, with a lot of hurt incurred with little means of healing.

        All in all, TEC and ACoC seem to be poising the Communion at large for the very thing that many of us feared.

        • I was (and still am) cautious about imposing the American solution (appointing bishops from outside for oversight) to any English problems we had and that's why I was opposed to the FCA. However, I think it's clear that the Instruments of Unity have fundamentally failed and the GAFCONers were right all along.

  2. I meant the point where you said you (albeit in the past) thought GAFCON was 'unanglican'. 'Unanglican' obviously= wrong, except when it comes to e.g. the Windsor Report, where obviously anything that doesn't = the gay agenda is, plainly, wrong. Semantically yours… ;-)

    • No, I'm just really busy at the moment, what with having had Jonah in hospital, arranging pastoral stuff here in the parish, travelling tomorrow and preparing some media stuff. I'll try and engage with the thread on Friday.

  3. Thanks for your comments on the question re: ACO/ACC/Secretary General/pulling strings, etc. It is discouraging, really, to hear that "the jig is up" "it's all over" -apparent finality to decades of wrangling for supremacy of the AC. Seems sureal – and it is! I disagree, though, that GAFCON seems vaguely "unanglican" "somehow". It is a purely Anglican response – and there you have my personal bias!

    I have carefully pondered the heart and motivation of Global South leaders… they are very courageous men, and +Venables has just blogged about the gift that the ANGLICAN Branch of Christendom is to world Christianity.

    It is heart-rending to recall the massive and preposterous manipulations that innovators have foisted upon godly Primates and orthodox-minded Anglicans for decades. Global South Primate Actions are reasonable actions. Their desire is to save the Communion, not to continue to tear it to pieces!

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