30 June 2008

Dr Williams comments on the Gaffe

Well, I suppose I expected some statement from Dr. Williams. To my surprise, it is fairly straightforward. Here are some fair use quotations from the statement with my comments. For the entire statement follow this link:

My initial thoughts:

Paragraph one:
The Final Statement from the GAFCON meeting in Jordan and Jerusalem contains much that is positive and encouraging about the priorities of those who met for prayer and pilgrimage in the last week. This is way to0 generous; but also predictable. Dr. Williams is not one to call a card. He will act as though the meeting was for ‘prayer and pilgrimage’ in the face of the evidence. The 'tenets of orthodoxy' spelled out in the document will be acceptable to and shared by the vast majority of Anglicans in every province, even if there may be differences of emphasis and perspective on some issues. I agree that the Communion needs to be united in its commitments on these matters, and I have no doubt that the Lambeth Conference will wish to affirm all these positive aspects of GAFCON's deliberations. What happened to Lambeth as non-legislative as proclaimed by Dr. Williams? Despite the claims of some, the conviction of the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as Lord and God and the absolute imperative of evangelism are not in dispute in the common life of the Communion. Does the Archbishop really believe that a male only priesthood and Calvinist 39 Articles based confession will be acceptable to the vast majority? If he is correct, the schism is desirable!

From paragraph 5:
No-one should for a moment impute selfish or malicious motives to those who have offered pastoral oversight to congregations in other provinces; these actions, however we judge them, arise from pastoral and spiritual concern. I suppose I fail this test. Watching the schismatics attempt to appropriate (and in one case, flat out misappropriate) property, I do indeed see motives – greed and envy.

Paragraph 7:
I believe that it is wrong to assume we are now so far apart that all those outside the GAFCON network are simply proclaiming another gospel. If the 39 Articles of a failed Calvinism somehow have achieved canonical standing, then there are indeed two Gospels abroad. This is not the case; it is not the experience of millions of faithful and biblically focused Anglicans in every province. What is true is that, on all sides of our controversies, slogans, misrepresentations and caricatures abound. And they need to be challenged in the name of the respect and patience we owe to each other in Jesus Christ.

Over all, I suppose it is not as bad as it could be. That is about the best that I think can be said. Even clearly dismissed by the conference, as one commenter has it, "made irrelevant," he still wont as we Americans say, "call em as we see em." ;;sigh;;


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