Thursday, 25 October 2007

Responding to the American House of Bishops - Archbishop Peter Jensen

[...] These are complex issues. You can get a sense of what I am saying by reading both the whole of the HOB statement and Bishop Mouneer’s dissenting opinion. If it is true that the Americans have failed to deliver, you can see why this is the case. We are confronted with two great passions for a gospel. It is hardly an answer at all to the Primates: it’s really, passionately all about a gospel of inclusion. Most don’t regret what they have done – not for a moment. This is a missionary faith. Far from retreating, they hope that all will come to agree with them and they are making arrangements for this to happen.

Then read the pain and passion of Mouneer – who lives out the life of a Christian in Egypt and the Middle East, in places of difficulty such as we can only half imagine. Do you see why he is so impatient by his constant experience of what he must see as double-speech and fudging? He does not think that the Americans have given a straight answer at all. To him, the American position is the opposite of the Bible which gives him his faith. At its heart this is a contest over the authority and reading of scripture. Read more
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