1/31/2008

Graham Kings sees GAFCON Shadow, Lambeth Substance

Graham Kings has written a powerful essay published in the Church Times and on the Fulcrum web page. It is titled, "Substance and Shadow: Lambeth Conference and GAFCON." I recommend reading it in its entirety.

Published within a day as a the letter from twenty-one English evangelical bishops, reported in Church Times on Anglican Mainstream's site, it presents yet another evangelical viewpoint and argument for attending Lambeth and avoiding GAFCON.

Thinking Anglicans has a fine excerpt from the article HERE.

I was particularly struck, from this side of the pond, by several of his remarks:


"On 17 February 2004, the executive secretary of Anglican Mainstream, Chris Sugden, gave an address...I remember his statement that the Lambeth Conference 2008 would never take place.

On 23 November 2007, he gave an address at the Anglican Network in Canada conference, ... the claim was made, ‘At least half the Anglicans in the world will not be represented at Lambeth.’ The assumption was, it seems, that no bishops from Nigeria, Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda would attend and that many other bishops in the Global South Anglican movement would also absent themselves.

Then, on 21 January 2008, came the encouraging announcement from the Archbishop of Canterbury that ‘about 70% of bishops worldwide have already formally registered for the Conference’ and ‘a number of others have signalled that they will attend’....

So, in spite of efforts to dissuade African bishops and others from attending Lambeth 2008, there will be a substantial presence of bishops, and discussions of substance concerning the Anglican Covenant will take place."

So the dire predictions of Lambeth's demise or dismal failure are bogus.

Graham is supportive of Lambeth. He says, "For the passing of a substantial Anglican Covenant, which is vital for the health of the Communion, it is important for bishops in the Global South to come to Lambeth. The movement of shadows should not distract them."

A growing number of evangelicals are beginning to understand that if evangelical bishops do not come to Lambeth and take part in some coherent way their voice will be lost at Lambeth. More, if they go to GAFCON as it now stands they will be caught up in an ill conceived conference the effect of which will be to form a post-Lambeth, post-Canterbury church organized in a distinctly non-Anglican way.

Graham Kings apparently believes the Anglican Covenant is "vital for the health of the Communion." I don't. I believe a stronger sense of who we are as a fellowship of churches is. The Covenant remains, at least for me, a shadow, not the substance. But he sure has it right when it comes to GAFCON...shadow, on top of shadow, on top of shadow, all the way down.

2 comments:

  1. We have +Akinola's press conference of a couple of days ago stating that Rwanda, Uganda and Nigeria will not be at Lambeth. Is there any confirmation of this from the primates involved and the bishops involved? EmilyH

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bob Duncan confirmed it today.

    bb

    ReplyDelete

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