Wednesday, July 09, 2008

N.T Wright's Further Thoughts on GAFCON

"...GAFCON proposals are not only not needed in England but are positively harmful and indeed offensive...

AS FAR AS ENGLAND IS CONCERNED, it is damaging, arrogant and irrelevant for GAFCON leaders to say, as they are now doing, ‘choose you this day whom you will serve’, with the implication that there are now only two parties in the church, the orthodox and the liberals, and that to refuse to sign up to GAFCON is to decide for the liberals. Things are just not like that. Certainly not here in England...
The problem is that GAFCON is addressing (at least) three quite different issues:

a. The real, substantial and scandalous situation in the USA and Canada;

b. The African sense that it’s time for leadership to come from black Africa rather than white N Atlantic;

c. The belief among a VERY SMALL group of hard-line right-wing English evangelicals (including in Sydney, Australia) that they are called to take over the C of E by aggressive planting of new churches under the nose even of existing evangelical churches and bishops, and insisting that they are the only real ‘evangelicals’, that they alone are true to scripture.

What is happening is that the Archbishop of Sydney, and his English colleagues, are using the fact of (a) and the energy of (b) to advance their agenda on (c). I am objecting as strongly as I can to (c) since I believe it to be doctrinally and pastorally unwarranted and extremely dangerous even in the short and medium term, let alone in the long...

When I hear Peter Jensen say that ‘we are not self-selected; we are God-selected, because we are based on the word of God’; when I hear beloved and respected Jim Packer say that the ‘Jerusalem Declaration’ should be the basis of a new covenant to which all English bishops will be required to sign up; when I hear Vinay Samuel, one of the sharpest minds in the whole GAFCON movement, saying (unless he was misreported) that ‘we are not breaking away from the Anglican Communion – we ARE the Anglican Communion’; and when I see Bishop John Rodgers of AMiA saying that ‘we are the true and faithful Anglicans . . . the true representatives of the Anglican Communion’ – then it is time for someone, and it might as well be an old-fashioned Bible-believing evangelical like me, to stand up and say , with usual English understatement, ‘hold on, this seems to be somewhat over the top’...

GAFCON is not the answer. Especially not here in England..."

I think Wright is right. Read the whole article here.

2 comments:

The Hedonese said...

I agree with Packer :)

http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/2008/07/01/post-gafcon-at-all-souls-4-interview-with-revd-dr-jim-packer/

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Dave,

I agree and disagree with Packer. I read that interview before I came across Wright's response :)