Saturday, December 16, 2006

Bishop Tom Wright speaks with 'Thinking Wisdom'

The news of the recent 'Covenant for the Church of England' has stirred up many who would have agreed with many of the issues surrounding the writing of the document. But, the demands put forth at this time and in the manner they are laid out does not help the process which is directly under way. Impatience is not going to bring about the desired unity of the Church that Christ desires and for which his body is called to labour. Bishop Tom's response is one that needs to be heard and considered. Though I am in the Catholic wing of the Church, Bishop Tom gets to the heart of this document's lack of ecclesiology. Congregationalism is the recipe for schism! I guess we have learned nothing from the Common Wealth period and the disaster of Oliver Cromwell and his foolish son. Andrewes would have written a letter equally as strong I believe! Bishop Tom's eschatology is right on the mark in this letter. As a taditionalist and Catholic Anglican, there is much here that I can agree with and gladly support Bishop Tom in the labours for advancing God's kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. This sort of Evangelical nonsense is not the future of the one holy, catholic and apostolic Church. You can read all of it at the Fulcrum site.
I speak as an 'evangelical'. I haven't actually changed my relevant opinions since I used to be a 'conservative evangelical' (which used to be defined in terms of the classic views of scripture and the cross), and regret the way in which that term has now been redefined around different, narrow and (in my view) slanted opinions. It gives me no pleasure, and indeed considerable grief, to disagree with Paul Perkin, Chris Sugden and the others who have drafted and signed the document. I count them as old friends, and share a good deal of theological and ethical common ground with them. I have frequently urged them to hold on and support those of us who are working for a biblical, theologically orthodox and Spirit-driven transformation of both the C of E and the Anglican Communion. Despite their protestations, I am bound to see this move as a cynical stab in the side from people I thought were friends and allies - and who, when it suits them, have tried to invoke me as such in return. I am really sorry to have to say this, but I and some others have tried to explain this to them before, more than once, and since they clearly haven't heard the point maybe it needs to be said more bluntly. I have no desire to offend, but I do hope to be heard.


Anonymous john scholasticus said...

'A cynical stab in the side'.

This seems very odd language to me. Does anyone else think so?

9:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about it seems odd? I think most of the evangelicals see this as a 'threat' that is not necessary. Hence, a stab in the side.

It is the eve of the primates' meeting and there is really no reason for the evangelicals to make these threats before the meeting of primates even gets under way. TEC is coming apart quickly and they will be dealt with by the Communion as a whole. I do not believe that the CofE is wanting to make the same mistake as TEC and I do not believe we will. I find it hard to believe that any Anglo-Catholic would agree with their 'congregational' ecclesiology. I know that I don't!

9:25 am  
Anonymous john scholasticus said...

It seems unnecessarily vituperative to me. And you don't comment on the adjective: although Sugden et al. are many things, 'cynical' isn't one of them.

4:11 pm  

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