Monday, 7 July 2008

Wright Fails to Understand Depth of Global Revulsion to Western Revisionism

The traditionalist Bishop of Durham, Dr. N. T. Wright who publicly criticized GAFCON before the event occurred, has come out swinging now that it is a done deal, condemning the Jerusalem gathering for its exclusivity and ambiguities.

In prepared remarks, he first called GAFCON "a great celebration of the gospel of the love and transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ." Then he said, "The church needs this energy and vision." Then he slapped GAFCON leaders saying, "This doesn’t mean the GAFCON proposals can be accepted without question." He called the proposed ‘Primates’ Council’ "a strange body," and said the ‘Declaration’ "is an odd document which leaves many ambiguities."

"It gives far too many hostages to fortune, inviting us to trust an unformed and unaccountable body to make major decisions and giving licence to all kinds of unhelpful activities. It isn’t so much that GAFCON should invite people to sign up to its blank cheque. Rather, GAFCON itself should be invited to bring its Christian vision and exuberance to the larger party where the rest of us are working for the same gospel, the same biblical wisdom, the same Lord."

Wright regards himself as an Evangelical, though many evangelicals in England have become increasingly skeptical as to his evangelical credentials because of his views on St. Paul and Justification by Faith, among other things.

Wright also said GAFCON’s plans to let parishes break from liberal bishops are ridiculous and "deeply offensive". He said that the idea they have a monopoly on Biblical truth won’t do."

"There’s a lot of bits that’s going to fly around the room if you do that, especially here in England where we do not have the same problems that they have in America," he added.

"The coalition of Gafcon is a very odd combination of hard-line evangelicals, who would never use incense in a communion service, who would never wear Eucharistic vestments, along with Anglo-Catholics from America for whom those things are absolutely de rigeur.

The comments of Bishop Wright need to be put under the microscope from the perspective of global Anglicanism and not merely through the narrow lens of the Church of England’s diminishing role and place in the worldwide communion.

The truth is his views are in turn, paternalistic, provincial, insulting, dismissive, proud, arrogant, post-colonial and blind to the true state of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Read more
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1 comment:

Richard Brown said...

Where else would Tom Wright choose to give us his thoughts than the Fulcrum website? Much of it is sound common sense - he is as appalled by what is going on in America as the rest of us, yet he is going to Lambeth to talk to all these ECUSA bishops causing all the chaos. Will Lambeth change his mind? Is there going to be a concerted effort to make ECUSA and its leadership justify their positions and actions?
If, as I suspect, the answer to all my own questions will be 'no', then +Durham has to answer another question - if GAFCON is not the answer, then what is?
Where are all these evangelical bishops he speaks so cheerily of, and why are they, like most of the rest of episcopality, saying nothing at all at exactly the time when leadership is required of them? So far, we only have Bishop Michael, Bishop Wallace and Pete the Bishop prepared to stick their heads above the parapet - where are all the rest? - or perhaps they are not as evangelical as Bishop Tom thinks they are.

Richard Brown
Westcliff on Sea