Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Spring Harvest breaks with Word Alive/UCCF over Chalke's views on atonement

[...] In September 2006 the Word Alive Committee were called to a meeting by Spring Harvest and told that as they would not include the Revd Steve Chalke, the 14-year partnership was at an end. Spring Harvest said they regretted they were putting a personality ahead of partnership. Spring Harvest announced it would be promoting its own student-based week at Minehead in ‘week one’, resourced by Fusion, of which the Revd Steve Chalke is on the Council of Reference.

Our decision to allow only orthodox Christian teaching from Word Alive platforms, and Spring Harvest’s subsequent decision has caused enormous pain and regret. However, UCCF believes it can no longer work with those whose understanding of the nature of the gospel and the distinctive of the atonement is so different to theirs, and mainstream evangelicals in the UK and across the world. Read more

1 comment:

pete.broadbent said...

Pete Broadbent writes -

The UCCF Statement is entirely inaccurate. Spring Harvest have released the following:

Spring Harvest, Keswick and UCCF (the three partners in Word Alive) agreed to go their separate ways. The statement we produced at the time reads as follows:

“2007 will be the last year of Spring Harvest Word Alive. The constituent organisations – Keswick Ministries, UCCF and Spring Harvest – will be ending a partnership that has lasted 14 years, and have agreed to go their separate ways.

Word Alive was originally conceived as a distinctive event within Spring Harvest, drawing Christians from a more theologically conservative church background to Butlins for a week with a strong emphasis on expository bible teaching and a major input for students. The partnership has been a fruitful one and we thank God for the way he has worked through this event over the years.

Of late, it has been difficult to accommodate Word Alive as a separate week within the total mix, and after much discussion, the Spring Harvest Council of Management gave notice that Spring Harvest Word Alive could not continue beyond this year.

Spring Harvest wish the Word Alive partners well and we separate thanking God for the part the other plays in the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ in the UK today.”

Various people have since attempted to "spin" the reasons why we decided to go our separate ways for their own purposes. That's their decision. It's not where Spring Harvest are. Wallace Benn and Pete Broadbent stood on a public platform at Spring Harvest Word Alive, wished our respective events well, prayed for each other, and departed on the best of terms. The statement made jointly by the two of us on behalf of Spring Harvest Word Alive criticising Jeffrey John's inflammatory broadcast indicates that there is no way that anyone can represent Spring Harvest as being anywhere other than the orthodox biblical stance on the atonement.

It’s terribly sad that UCCF have now come out with an official statement that simply isn’t true to what actually took place. I don’t want to get into a public row with UCCF, whose ministry among students I support. But I dispute most of what is contained in the statement as being either misunderstanding (wilful or otherwise) or total fabrication. I could hope that they would withdraw their statement and hold their peace. They seem to want to define themselves over against Spring Harvest, which I regret. We stand for the same faith and the same gospel.