3/04/2011

Anglican Communion Office says Evangelism appointment not an endorsement of ACNA. OK.

The Church of England Newspaper (not an official CofE paper) reports that Dr. Julian Linnell, priest in the Anglican Church of North America is on an Anglican Communion body, as a “consultant on mission” and was “not representing any ecclesial body.” 

Of course the initial report did not say that. But now the clarification, gotten by George Conger who reports, 

"A spokesman for the ACC told CEN the charges that the ACNA was somehow being given formal status through Dr. Linnell’s appointment were unfounded.

While membership on Communion initiatives like the ECGI comes through proposals made by provinces, Dr. Linnell was “one of four people who were co-opted to the ECGI group for their expertise in a particular area. In his case it is his role as leader of the Anglican Frontier Mission and his significant experience of evangelism to unreached peoples,” said ACC spokesman Jan Butter."

Glad for the clarification.  By the way, Jan Butter is a member of the Anglican Communion Office staff, in communications, and not "an ACC spokesman," at least that's how I read it. 

But back to the issue. I previously wrote, "For a Church that often exemplifies the niceties of formal relationships and for an Archbishop who is so concerned not to have members of a church that is unrepentant of Windsor demands part of its ecumenical work, there seems to be no parallel concern about having members of churches not in communion with Canterbury and schismatic part of a working group of the Anglican Communion."

That still stands.
And let the reader understand that my question has not been about Dr. Linnell's work with Anglican Frontier Missions. The question is about inclusion of a priest member of a church that views the evangelical activities of The Episcopal Church to be a misappropriation of the Good News under the guise of greater inclusion.  I have no notion if Dr. Linnell shares the condemnatory opinion of his Archbishop.  Since he does not "represent any ecclesial body" that may not matter. 

What matters is that the Evangelism and Church Growth Initiative has co-opted Dr. Linnell for his expertese, and the press release on this made no note of that fact.  We might well wonder if the Anglican Communion Office overlooked this oddity and forgot to mention that some members of ECGI were co-opted from mission organizations.   Or perhaps the ACO simply does not understand that, having been excused from participation in various Anglican Communion bodies, we in The Episcopal Church might be somewhat sensitive to the idea of co-opting members of a church whose existence is based on the premise that The Episcopal Church has departed from the Gospel.





3 comments:

  1. So how did they come to Dr. Linnell? Wouldn't some of the Mormon missionaries have equally (if not greater) success track records? How about the Jehovah's Witness evangelical programs? Who does that and why are they not a part of this "august body"

    I would write more but I have to go find my shovel!

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  2. Despite their differences, I suspect that TEC and the ACNA are closer to each other theologically than either is to the LDS or the Jehovah's Witnesses.

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  3. Christopher (P.)5/3/11 8:44 AM

    One would hope that they would be closer to one another, but in fact the choice of examples is apt. ACNA think that TEC is no longer a Christian body, the opinion of many Christians vis-a-vis the Mormons and the Jehovah's Witnesses.

    ReplyDelete

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