Saturday, 29 November 2008

Squabbling evangelicals need to find a united voice

A meeting of around 400 evangelicals at one of London's biggest churches went largely unnoticed last week.

Hardly surprising really, given that nothing was achieved and nothing agreed.

But actually, the fractious, ill-tempered gathering could be scene as a significant tipping point in years to come.

Talk of division and schism in the Anglican communion has been discussed for years, but is normally viewed as a battle between the liberals and evangelicals.

Now it's the evangelicals who are fighting amongst themselves.

In truth, the unity that was central to their success in forcing the gay cleric, Jeffrey John, to stand down as Bishop of Reading has long gone.

With hindsight this may be viewed as something of a pyrrhic victory as it led to a splintering in the evangelical movement: Anglican Mainstream and Fulcrum emerged from the 2003 row to represent the conservative and more 'open' factions.

The simmering tensions spilt over at the recent meeting, held at All Souls Langham Place - the church which was home to the evangelical doyen John Stott for 30 years. Read more
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