Wednesday, July 05, 2006

From Across the Pond; Things Fall Apart

From Stephen Bates in today's UK Guardian:

Archbishop Rowan Williams's plea last week for measured discussion and lengthy contemplation over whether the Anglican communion should develop a mutually agreed covenant of core beliefs and then, eventually, perhaps, a looser structure of constituent churches and associated churches, seems to be falling apart within days.

The bishops of Nigeria are already demanding that those same liberals should be excised like a cancer from the body of the church. Their primate, Archbishop Peter Akinola, criticised Dr Williams's letter even before he had read it. And some liberals, here and in the US, are beginning to ask themselves whether the worldwide Anglican communion is such a worthwhile body to belong to after all.

Akinola has already begun the process of anointing his own representative in the US, the Rev Martyn Minns (the English evangelical who ministers to a church in the Virginia suburbs of Washington DC) as a bishop of the Nigerian church, putatively to lead like-minded conservatives in America - a move described by Lambeth as unhelpful. Not sure what Minns's rivals, such as the Rev David Anderson of the conservative American Anglican Council, or Bishop Bob Duncan of Pittsburgh, for that matter, think of that, but at least Minns, after several failed attempts to get a mitre in an American diocese, has now achieved one from Africa.

Read it all here.


Jeff Martinhauk said...

Well, at least everybody agrees that the status quo ain't working.

Maybe Rowan will wake up and see that too now.


inked said...

Gee, let's see, Vickie Gene's anointing was simply fabulous for the whole church regardless of it's lack of theological justification (plenty of political justification) from your point of view - with all it's attendant destruction of the AC, but you have the selectivism to complain of this one? Doble entendre or standarde? ;>)

Jeff Martinhauk said...

At least the ACC and the ACN have the strategic foresight to acknowledge that this is about something bigger than the consecration of VGR.

I believe that their position is that this is about a fundamental difference in theology which has been occurring over the past 30 years, of which VGR's consecration is but one small part.

I would tend to agree with that. The increase in popularity of conservative fundamentalism over the past 30 years along with the progress of the rest of relion has widened the divide, not only in the Episcopal Church but in every Christian religion. This just simply isn't about one man.

This is about one group of people who have chosen to embrace a comfortable "God-in-a-box" theology rather than a multi-dimensional, rich, and textured theology which pushes the limits of human understanding. Of course that will cause friction. It is much easier to go with what is known than what is unknown.