He says, "The Christian Church needs a spiritually strong and muscular Anglicanism to re-evangelize the West." David Anderson, interloper bishop from Kenya, president of the American Anglican Council, opined this bit of drivel in a larger essay in which he also put together his idea of what the "Global South bishops" should do if the Episcopal Church's primate comes to the next meeting of the Primates. The suggestion is to throw her out of the meeting or pick up and move away from her to the next room.
Somehow this muscular might is meant to be just the ticket for re-evangelizing the West. Well if this sort of thing is Anglican (which it isn't) and this is how one re-evangelizes the West (which it isn't) then I want nothing of either.
There are many other problems with Anderson's pithy sound bite. It is drivel. It is wrong about what the Christian Church needs. It is wrong about what Anglicanism is about.
The core of this boneheaded statement is this business of "muscular," as in "muscular Christianity." This image last appeared when it was thought that Christianity had become a religion for wimps and that Christianity was not able to take on the evils of all those Socialists, Communists, secularist and humanists. It was somehow thought that blond headed, athletic, YMCA trim, white young men might be the answer to a world spinning out and away from Christian belief.
Muscular Christianity is yet one more idol in the long list of idols that try to link physical or political power with the power of the Word of God, of Jesus and the power of the Cross. Flexing our muscles is perhaps a sign of manly power, maybe even womanly power, but it is in no way a sign of the presence of God.
Anderson's silly statement would be just that except that some people actually believe that what Christianity needs is for Anglicanism to flex a little muscle and for Global South Anglicans to re-evangelize the West. On that level Anderson's statement is very dangerous propaganda.
On another level Anderson's statement is not silly at all. It is part of that wider shell game in which some Americans, interested in anything that punches out any vestiges of the Christian left in the major denominations, invent a straw man, the muscular American Christian who is really a mild mannered bishop from Kenya. Like Superman, Mister Muscular Christian will save Metropolis from the evil of all those intellectual snobs, do-gooders and weak lefty types in the Church. The trouble is that Anderson buys this, and some will be enticed and attracted by a bit of flex and some signs of washboard abs.