Saturday, February 02, 2008
N.T. Wright on GAFCON
Bishop Tom Wright of Durham weighs in on GAFCON (Global Anglican Futures Conference) with an article in the Church Times entitled, "Evangelicals are not about to jump ship". This conference is being touted as substitute for Lambeth by some Anglican leaders. I appreciate his point about not abandoning the ship just yet, embracing a more catholic vision of the church, and how evangelicals should support the processes leading to the formation of an Anglican Covenant, but I did not resonate with his rhetoric that equates the conveners of GAFCON with the false Apostles of 2 Corinthians 9! For a response to Wright see Dr. Vinay Samuel's article in the COE Newspaper. Let's keep in mind who it was that started the whole cafuffle in the first place: revisionist bishops in the TEC. As I see it, many evangelical Anglicans feel that the communion is apostate in some regions and they and even the Archbishop of Canterbury are powerless to do anything about it. They feel like they are being shoved out rather than leaving on their own terms. That said, I'm not embracing Martin Lloyd Jones' view espoused long ago for evangelicals to leave their liberal denominations, there is merit for staying on to resist, to reconcile, and to pastor those who don't want to leave; I've experienced good examples of this from meeting people from the Church of Scotland and PCUSA who find themselves in similar situations. The challenge is, in the words of the great American philolsopher Kenny Rogers, "you've got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them, know when to walk away, and know when to run". Should the Anglican Church go the route of Acts 15 or 1 John 2.19?