Thursday, July 31, 2008

Little Ones In Church

Thanks to Mrs Lloyd for directing me to Mrs Wilson's blog post on little ones in church.

I would love to see all our children with us in church for the whole service and admitted to the Lord's Table, but I think we might be a generation away from that as a congregation. Who knows. How would you move a church in that direction? Do you have experience of doing it in a church where others don't? It would be great if we could manage it with our little Jono. I don't really want to see him exiled or excommunicated.

Mrs Wilson's post should also be read in conjunction with Pastor Wilson's post on children in worship, which as I remember argues something like that whilst it is not a sin for the church to gather without the children and there are times when age specific teaching / addressing male heads of households / those who can understand etc. might be appropriate, as a norm the kids should we welcomed and included.

The Sunday School movement in the UK is a fairly recent invention and rather a mixed blessing in my view.

Mrs Wilson's post also shows the value of large families and long term settled ministries it seems to me. If, say, by the grace of God we had 4 kids who each had 4 kids, and the grandchildren and parents came to church, we would have a pretty sizable congregation. And if we had 4 other families like that in our church...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Some jottings on John

For what they're worth (which I'm afraid probably isn't very much) here's a Word Document with some notes I prepared for the leaders on Romsey 1 (a camp for 11-14 year olds) to help them prepare 6 Bible Studies on John 1:1-4, 35-51; 3:1-15; 6:1-24; 12:20-36; 19:16b-27

Mothers' Union

Apparently the Mothers' Union has a very strict no strike policy, so that's all right. :)

Do you have a Young Mums' group at your church, by the way? Are they?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

You (Israel) Must Be Born Again

I have been reading with profit Derrick Olliff’s paper “The Eschatology of Being “Born Again”” in which he argues that in John 3, Jesus is saying that Israel corporately must be born again. Nicodemus, Israel’s teacher and a ruler of the Jews, is a representative figure and many of the “you”s are plural. Water and the Spirit language recall Isaiah 44 and Ezekiel 36-37. Israel’s exile death is over with the Jesus-event, she can be forgiven, raised to new life, transformed. The nations are gathered in, Israel’s restoration will be life for the world and there will be a new heavens and a new earth.

One quibble: I’m not sure I can agree that under the Old Covenant “the Spirit was not yet given in the Protestant born again sense to all those who trusted God” (p3). Surely Old Testament saints were regenerate by the Spirit even if they were not indwelt by the Spirit as New Testament believers are, but rather empowered for particular works of service. The saints under the Old Covenant were certainly spiritually alive whereas by nature mankind is dead in sin.

On the whole, though, Olliff’s thesis seems persuasive to me. If I’m convinced, how do our preach it and what are its applications? God has done what Jesus promised and prophesied here. You can be included in the international living people of God. Trust in Jesus and make sure you are part of the new transformed living people of God?

David Field and Alistair Roberts (to whom DF links) had made me agonize about this a couple of years ago just before I went off on a mission on which I was due to speak on John 3.

Of course, if you preach the corporate you get the individual thrown in but I do think an evangelical congregation might think it all sounds a bit strange and find it hard to get when they have always thought Jesus is saying "you must be personally regenerated".

As well as preaching on John 3 a week on Sunday I also have to come up with some Bible Study notes on it to be used with 11-14 year olds at camp next week...

Principles of Principled Irregular Action

It may be that some contemporary conservative evangelical (Anglicans) have written on this. If so, please point me to it.

But it seems to me that ideally it would be good to be really clear about the principles of principled irregular action before we acted.


It seems to me that “the gospel dictates” that I should have a curate or plant a church in X street are not obviously good principles for irregular action. In the club of the Church of England those things might not be your decision and you are free to press for the rules of the club to be changed or to leave the club if you think the gospel dictates it. Disagreeing with your bishop on tactics does not mean you should act irregularly in an Episcopal church, even if you want to see a kind of reduced episcopasy in which the local church is acknowledged to be the centre of the action. A non-Anglican church could be planted. Perhaps an un-ordained person could be employed.

My bishop is a false teacher promoting homosexuality and therefore I need some alternative Episcopal ministry (in this club) would seem to me a far stronger case for irregular action.


Say for example, that the local council had refused you permission to hold an open air service on the sea-front on a Saturday afternoon in July, this would not seem to me to require civil disobedience. Of course, we must obey God not men and we must preach the gospel whether the local authority likes it or not, but we are not commanded to hold services on the seafront on Saturday afternoon. It would seem to me to be a mistake to go to prison over this one.


John Calvin and Samuel Rutherford on tyranicide might provide some resources. Their kind of programme might be: (1) plea (2) flight (3) fight. Fights should only be started by lesser authorities, not by private individuals.

Further political analogies might help. For example, presumably we expect diocesan bishops to behave more like constitutional monarchs rather than absolute rulers. Some of us may even live in a constitutional monarchy in a law abiding way if we’d rather have a republic.

Congessing Anglicans (FOCA)

All Anglicans are, of course, confessing Anglicans, or at least ought to be. We say the creeds each Sunday. We are officially committed to the doctrine of Holy Scripture which is set forth in the catholic creeds and to which the historic formularies of the Church of England bare witness. It is a great shame if some Anglicans are not saying the creeds and some others are saying them with their fingers crossed behind their backs.

Lambeth sorting it all out?

It seems to me that there is much that is true and useful in the Windsor Continuation Group's presentation to the Lambeth conference dated yesterday, which is reported by the BBC here. It takes the situation seriously and (given its brevity) reflects on it legally, theologically and practically.

It remains to be seen, of course, what if anything will actually be done at Lambeth and afterwards. I can see that we need to take time and listen and not rush in, but on the other hand, the presentation itself uses words like "urgent" and "quickly". I'm not clear exactly what time-scale is envisioned. There is a fire and we should be putting it out now.

It's all very well saying that there are "wrongs" on both sides. No doubt. Everyone would agree that alternative episcopal oversight is irregular and not ideal. But it is hardly of the same order as living in a homoerotic relationship, or blessing or consecrating those who do so. We know from the Word of God that those who willfully do such things and do not repent will not inherit the Kingdom, whereas to my knowledge no one would want to say that Archbishop Greg Venables is courting damnation. We are in danger of swallowing a camel and straining out a gnat. Adequate provision must be made as soon as possible for traditionalists who in conscience cannot accept revisionist changes.

There needs to be a clear call to repentance from those who have blessed same-sex unions or consecrated practicing homosexuals. Practicing homosexual bishops should resign and if they do not do so they should be removed.

All being well (which is a big "if", of course) hopefully then alternative episcopal oversight will not be necessary and there could be a regularisation.

It seems to me that a Unity Covenant should be more explicitly theological and doctrinal than seems to be proposed, where the emphasis is more on people and structures.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Preaching Plans

I wish I didn't have to commit myself to these so far in advance; I'm not quite sure what the titles are for and I don't think I've come up with very good ones, but here are my Sunday preaching plans for September - December 08. The Lord's Prayer in the mornings and more on John's Gospel in the evening. Then its the 10 Commandments in the morning, I think.

Any tips or pointers to good resources always most welcome, of course!

Sept 7th AM – Lord’s Prayer II – Mt 5:5-15

Sept 21st PM – John 3:13-36 – The most famous verse in the Bible

Oct 5th AM – Lord’s Prayer III – Mt 5:5-15

Oct 26th PM – John 4:1-26 – The Drinks are on Jesus

Nov 2nd AM – Lord’s Prayer IV – Mt 5:5-15

Nov 30th PM – John 4:27-42 – Jesus’ Secret Food Supply

Dec 14th AM – Toy Family Service (I did the gifts of the Magi last year, so not sure what to do this year!)

Dec 24th 4pm – Crib Service

Dec 25th AM – Christmas Day

Talk & Sermon Archive

We're gradually building up an audio library of sermons and talks on our church website.

Amongst other things, as well as my plodding through John's gospel, you can hear the vicar, Rev'd John Cheeseman (of Banner of Truth fame) on Eph 4-5, the life of Elijah and soon the Sermon on the Mount.

There are also some talks by Rev'd Tony Baker who is a retired member of our congregation.

Soon there should be Rev'd Andrew Cornes on "Why Bother to Get Married?" and Bishop Peter Brain (author of Going The Distance) on "Thanksgiving as an Antidote the Discouragement".

I especially thought some people might be interested in these talks - which are especially inteded to be accessible to non-Christians - by my predecessor as curate, Rev'd Jeremy Hobson (who is also a medical doctor).

'Why do bad things happen to good people?’

‘Is abortion ever right?’

‘Euthanasia – a good way to die?’

‘Dealing with depression’

‘What about stem cell research?’

Celery, anyone?

God willing, I'll be preaching at our family service on Sunday on 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. I thought the imagery of a race might be appropriate for the end of the Sunday school year with its ideas of what's behind and what's ahead and moving on to a new stage of the journey of life, and so on. And of course its topical with the Olympics just around the corner.

Leon Morris argues in the Tyndale commentary (I guess uncontroversially?) that Paul has in mind the Isthmian Games which were held every two years at Corinth.

According to Morris the "crown" at the Isthmian games was at various times a wreath made of pine or celery.

Should I be making a crown of celery by way of an illustrative prop? And if so, how?!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Peter Enns a "leading postmodernist"

I'm not well up on the details of the controversy about Dr Peter Enns' doctrine of Scripture at Westminster Seminary though I understand Enns has repeatedly affirmed inerrancy. I was surprised to see that the Amazon blurb for Greg K. Beale's new book, The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism: Responding to New Challenges to Biblical Authority (Crossway) describes Enns as "one leading postmodernist".


Thanks to Miss Clarke who recommended Mozy, with whom I am now automatically and free of charge backing up my vital research with which we wouldn't want the church to be without.

Homegroup Notes on Ruth

Here is a Word document with some notes on Ruth, prepared for homegroup leaders as a (hopefully!) helpful resource rather a complete ready-to-use study. (4 sessions)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Christian Education

I understand you are interested in Christian Education and are least thinking of homeshooling (?!). I don't know much about it but I just thought I might suggest one or two websites on (Classical) Christian education / homeschooling which could be of some interest or help?

Though he’s an American (!), I think the guru of this subject is Doug(las) Wilson, Pastor of Christ Church, Moscow, Idaho, who founded Logos school, New St Andrew’s College (University) and Greyfriars Hall (Theological College) as well as Canon Press (Publishing House)!

You may also be interested in

The Association of Classical and Christian Schools -

Hope that helps.

Do let me know your thoughts.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Think before you speak, dear

This video / song (thanks, Revd John Richardson) is something preachers and their wives might appreciate. I should insert her an embarassing story about my wife, but I'm afraid there's noting to say, dear! :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Fast Christian Ordainment

The Google Ad at the top of this page was just offering "Fast Christian Ordainment". My advice would be not to accept ordination from anyone who thinks it should be called "ordainment".

Hope that helps.

Nature & Grace, Creation & Covenant

I'd like to think more precisely about the relationships between nature and grace, or creation and covenant.

My basic framework is that grace neither abolishes nor merely tops up nature. It transofrms and glorifies it but how exacltly would we formulate it all?

For example:

To what extent would we distinguish “predicatble covenant sanctions” and blessings of faithfulness to the terms of the covenant, and God-appointed “natural consequences” of living wisely in God’s world?

For example, is it all covenantal and is the covenant with all people? What covenants are we talking about and with whom are they?

I guess this is a specific form of the question of the relation between nature and grace – creation and covenant.

If we wanted to speak of a creation (or cultural) mandate would we say that too is a covenant with the whole of humanity?

E.g. can non-Christians expect the curse of the creation covenant but not other covenantal curses since they are not in those covenants (e..g. Abrahamic covenant / renewed covenant)?

Anglicans, "Gays" and Women "Bishops"

Here's the text of the handout I prepared for our discussion / Bible study on Anglicans, "Gays" and Women "Bishops":

Readings: Gays - 1 Cor 6:9-11
Women bishops - 1 Timothy 2

Hope you’re not too sick of these issues – v. topical – better for midweek than Sun –
Ask the vicar what he thinks and what we are going to do about it!
Important issue – laity as well as clergy need to be informed
Something might happen soonish!

Jim Packer’s talk and comments on the church website – not just repeating that


Confused and competing versions of “Anglicanism” – for some, “Anglican” virtually = inclusivism!

Historical definition:

A catholic Reformed church

Evangelical origins at Reformation

“Legal” Definition:

Evangelical constitution – BCP, 39 Articles, Ordinal - Canons

Sound basis today – Scripture, Catholic Creeds & “historical formularies” – Declaration of Assent (CW)

Practical arguments:

“A good boat to fish from” – hatching / matching / despatching – “I am C of E” – the church people don’t go to – culture affirming – by law established - not a cult, a useful badge to wear

Strengths of Anglicanism: e.g., infant baptism, liturgy (depending on your view of these things)

Problems with Anglicanism: Liberalism (and Anglo-Catholicism) – theological colleges, administration, hierarchy

The High, The Low, The Broad: A confused trumpet blast?

A lack of moral and theological church discipline

Presenting issues: gays & women bishops – what next…?!
Fundamental issues: scriptural authority, creation order of M & F, church etc.


The problem of terminology

Practising homosexuality not homosexual “orientation” (?!) / temptation – nature / nurture not the main issue

Luther on temptation – you cant stop the birds flying over your head but you don’t have to let them nest in your hair – its not a sin to be tempted, the Lord Jesus Christ was tempted!

A gospel / salvation issue

Public notorious sin

“Ah, but you eat shell fish and that’s forbidden in Leviticus too!”

Romans 1

“that’s just your interpretation” – the clarity of Scripture

The Culture card

Homosexual practice in the ancient world – was it loving, faithful, consensual, adults? (Is it often now?!)

Lambeth statement on human sexuality

A double standard for clergy and laity - Church leaders to set an Example but…

Jeffrey John in UK – not a Bishop in Oxford diocese but Dean of St Albans

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s personal and ecclesial positions

James Jones, the (evangelical) Bishop of Liverpool – confusing article

The blessing of same-sex unions across the Atlantic

Not just a pastoral or evangelistic welcome to gay people but calling good evil and evil good

The Windsor Report & Process

Faithful clergy and parishes sought alternative episcopal oversight – Archbishop Greg Venables of Southern Cone

GAFCON - Archbishop not necessarily essential arbiter of Anglicanism

- Primate’s Council to oversee traditionalist parishes out of fellowship with their own bishops

 Sign petitions at Anglican mainstream – PCC?

Women “Bishops”

A secondary non-gospel / salvation matter of church order?

Impossible or inappropriate? C.f. gay marriages – is it is marriage? Is she a bishop?

Anglo-Catholic type arguments

Jesus and the Apostles were all men
Ministers represent Jesus and have an apostolic ministry
The Catholic church has not had women for 2000 years so how can the C of E make this change on its own

Evangelical type arguments

The Bible forbids women to teach having authority in church – 1 Cor 11
The church as the family of God reflects male / female relationships in the family – Eph 5

Arguments over women priests / presbyters / preachers

Female / male headship – women preachers but not senior pastors / incumbents / presbyters?

Tom Wright, the (evangelical) Bishop of Durham

Culture card – so what? - what is a biblical culture?

The Manchester Report

Possible “solutions”: Third Provence, Flying / Super Bishops, (statutory) Code of Practice, Nothing

 Write to bishops, synod members, MPs, Queen

No women bishops before 2014 ish

“More in line with our culture” or more compromised with the “world”? – married to the spirit of the age, widowed in the next?

See also:

Virtue on line (American evangelical Anglican news service); Reform; Church Society

Lord's Supper Feeding Miracle Gift

Here are some jottings for our midweek BCP communion service today when I'll speak on the feeding of the 4000 from Mark with a nod to Rom 6.

Readings: Ps 34:11-end

1 Kings 17:8-16

Rom 6:19-end

Mk 8:1-10a

BCP p167

Jesus feeds his hungry needy people in the wilderness and satisfies them.

The unique amazing creative power of Jesus – the power of God himself.

Just as God had fed his people Israel with mana bread in the wilderness

Now the Gentiles too are given bread from heaven

Jesus has formed a New Israel around himself

The Gentiles have become like Israel – they are part of the New Israel, the true people of God by faith in Jesus.

This is an undeserved gift rather than an earned wage.

We cannot feed ourselves – we have nothing.

Our resources are pitifully inadequate.

Sin leads to death but the gift of God will lead to life.

Eat the true and living bread that Jesus gives (which is Jesus himself) and you will have eternal life.

Jesus feeds us in this Supper we are about to celebrate.

Feed on him in your heart by faith with thanksgiving.

The Lord’s Supper has the same pattern as this miracle: Jesus took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and they all ate.

The minister in this service is Jesus’ servant giving you what Jesus provides.

Jesus himself is the host at this meal: it is the Lord’s Supper.

Jesus himself is also the food: he is the Living Bread, the True Manner.

So eat and be filled.

There is more than enough for whoever is hungry and will come and eat.

There’ll be left-overs sufficient for the whole world, for anyone who will come.

In this meal we recommit ourselves to stay with Jesus and to be his servants.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

"do ministry"

Its bad enough when we speak of "doing church" when we are to be the church, evangelise, worship and encourage one another and so on.

I just read an evangelical speaking of "doing ministry" that relates to teenagers. Surely he meant that he was seeking to minister to teenagers (out of a relationship), that is, to serve them?

Please don't "do ministry" to me. Or I might do it back to you, only harder! Do as you would be done by.

Your service is most welcome. Thanks.

Wright on GAFCON Wrongs II

Bishop Tom Wright has written a second piece on why GAFCON is wrong and its even stronger than the milder version I had some issues with! The Bishop's personal experience seems to have been a very significant shaper of what he says.

He interprets GAFCON as part of a narrow-minded aggressive conservative Evangelical plan to plant churches illegally under the noses of other gospel churches. If this were the plan, which I don't think it is, it would be one that was kept secret from those at the All Souls briefing and it would be unfair to assume that those who signed the pro-GAFCON petition, as I did, were following it.

I'm a Reformed Conservative Evangelical Anglican but I don't see myself in Wright's description of:

the small-but-loud English group are extremely low-church and anti-social-justice-as-part-of-the-gospel, whereas most of the American reasserters are high-church with strong social concern as part of their kingdom-theology.

Maybe High Church Calvinist / evangelical or Reformed Catholic would be a labels I would be more happy with in some ways!

I think the concern of evangelicals is that social justice should not be confused with the gospel nor should social action displace gospel preaching. Surely we all agree that there will be social justice in the New Creation as fruit of the gospel and we would welcome and work for all that we see of it now as much as we can as part of the spread of the influence of the Kingdom of Christ, if not necessarily itself the "Kingdom" as such.

New Themelion

Thanks to Revd Martin Downes for pointing to the all new Themelios ed. Don Carson. The journal is now available online only and aims at pastors as well as theological students.

I was interested in Dr Carl Trueman on why to read the Medieval mystics and Peter Sanlon on the necessity of an Augustinain mindset for theology. There are also book reviews by Beynon, McGowan, Wenham, Crisp etc. Well worth a look.

Commentated Mass

One of my fellow ministers explained to me that in her church, once a year they have a "commentated mass" where they explain the order and symbolism of all the elements.

You might think evangelical worship already has too much pointless commentary ("... now we are going to sing another hymn...") but if we had good stuff to say about what we do and why, I think this would be a very useful exercise.

It would also be good to have some written material always available explaining the liturgy and its covenant renewal structure for the newcomer or the curious.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Thursday is last Sunday (BCP)

At our Thursday midweek communion according to the Book of Common Prayer we use the lectionary and collect etc. from the BCP for the previous Sunday.

I'm sure at college someone told us liturgical time was different somehow: the past is made present and real in the new moment, or some such. Maybe this is the kind of thing they had in mind.

Does this mean that somewhere on-line I could find sermons preached last Sunday that I could plagarise for Thursday?

Presenting & Fundamental Issues

Evangelicals have often argued that though the "presenting issues" which have brought Anglicanism to a crisis are homosexual practice among the clergy and women in the episcopate, the underlying issue, the fundamental issue is the authority of the Bible. I agree. Sometimes hermeneutics have been included. As has God's creation pattern for men and women. We need to think too about our doctrine of the Church and its ministry. There are lots of fundamental issues and they're all related, it seems.

Stand for synod?

Does the vote in General Synod yesterday suggest that evangelicals haven't been as involved in the structures of the church as they should have been?

If I have understood the minutes correctly (I was getting on with ministry not at the meeting!) it would seem, for example, that our own deanery synod has vacancies for reps to the dioceasan synod. If evangelicals put themselves forward and no one else did, surely we'd have more influence?

I can see the case for getting on with gospel ministry in my little patch and not wasting time on all this political stuff, but if we do that, apart from failing in our wider responsibilities to others, sometimes something comes along we don't like - like a woman bishop of our diocese.

Or perhaps evangelicals are already as fully represented in General Synod as our numbers allow? I'm surprised the liberals seem to be able to out-vote the evangelicals and the anglo-catholics so dramatically?

Could I accept women bishops?

I am against women being consecrated bishops, I don't think women should preach to men and they probably shouldn't be presbyters. But could I accept a woman bishop?

After all, there probably are or have been other people whom I don't reckon should be bishops and I would have accepted their ministry unless I was convinced they were New Testament False Teachers.

When I was at Oak Hill I obediently went to chapel (mostly!) when women were preaching and accepted their ministry because I thought that it wasn't for me to decide who preaches in chapel and I am required (by being there) to go. Likewise, it is not (perhaps, sadly! - hee hee) for me to choose the bishops and if we want to continue in the C of E it seems we will soon be stuck with it. Whether we want to stay in is, I think, a different question, but I think we could.

Church "in line with society"

A number of speakers on the Today programme this morning were saying that the C of E is coming "in line with society" in accepting women as Bishops. When you look at our society and remember that the "world" is under the judgement of God, this doesn't seem like great news to me. Marry the spirit of the age and you will be a widow in the next.

Women Bishops: What now?

So do we write to our MPs and Her Majesty the Queen about all this now? It would be fascinating to know what her position on women bishops is.

C of E: revisionist splinter-group?

I think we evangelicals should perhaps take more seriously than we sometimes have the argument of our Anglo-Catholic brethren that to consecrate women to the episcopate would be to step outside the tradition of the Catholic church.

Since the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox and Evangelicals (mainly!) do not have women in the most senior positions of ecclesiastical leadership, the C of E will be clearly and visibly aligning herself in this way with the liberal revisionist rump if she goes down this line.

It would be interesting to know the stats on numbers of Christians and churches that would advocate women bishops?

Anglicans, Gays & Women Bishops

The Lord being my helper, I think I'll speak on this subject at our mid-week meeting tomorrow. There'll be an hour for talk and discussion then 30mins for prayer and some bible study ought to be included. I hope people aren't too sick of it all. What would you say? Any pointers?

Sunday, July 06, 2008

On from GAFCON

I’m minded to sign-up my support of the GAFCON statement and encourage our PCC to do the same. Maybe its even worth presenting a motion to the deanery synod.

I’m surprised that only about 570 people have signed up so far whereas about 800 people were at the meeting at All Souls’ Langham Place last week where we were encouraged to do so. If you haven’t signed, why not?

[Update: its over 800 now, 8/07; Over 1000 now, 10/07]

One could waste a great deal of time on all this, and I shall probably reveal my ignorance in what follows, (which partly arises out of reading the Bishop of Durham’s comments here) but I’d welcome any comments or corrections.


It seems to me uncontroversial to say that the Archbishop of Canterbury is not necessarily essential to that which unifies the Anglican Communion. Above all else, Anglicanism must be defined by faithfulness to the doctrine of Scripture, which is set forth in the Catholic creeds and to which the historic formularies of the Church of England bare witness. There are historical and liturgical links that are more important than how one treats or is treated by the Archbishop.

There might be some millage in distinguishing the Archbishop as a man and the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Even if the current Archbishop were a false-teaching apostate who excommunicated and was excommunicated by the faithful, Anglicans could still be recognised as those with a link (official / historical) to the see of Canterbury. They might even be willing to make some kind of declaration of constitutional obedience to the Archbishop and promise to follow his godly admonitions in all things lawful and honest even if they disagreed with him about all sorts of things or even thought he ought not to have the top job.

Primate’s Council

I can see that the formation of a GAFCON Primates’ Council is more difficult. Critics have claimed that it is self-appointed and unaccountable.

Maybe a meeting of all the primates would be better? Who could call such a meeting and determine its agenda? Would the orthodox be in a majority? Has it been tried? Could it be effective?

Maybe the proposed primates’ council should be open to all primates?

If all the primates can’t or wont act together for the sake of the truth then it does seem to me that the orthodox primates (and maybe others with them) need to find new ways of acting for the sake of the faithful whose diocesan bishops have departed from the biblical gospel and orthopraxy.

At some point if we find ourselves without political power within the present structures such that we cannot change them and are unable to be faithful through them we would have to start something new. It seems to me that a number of the primates believe themselves to be in this position and are therefore justified in acting in a new way.

It seems to me that those who want to criticise the conservative primates for innovating need to remember that they are extremely senior and properly appointed leaders who represent a great many faithful Anglicans. They are acting in response to a pressing need where the revisionists have abandoned the gospel. To slate Archbishops for crossing boundaries while doing nothing about those who abandon the gospel would be straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel. If there are concerns about what such a council might do in the future, one would have to ask what the alternatives are. It seems that it wouldn’t be a bad move to trust the judgement of these primates.

Does anyone know where we can see a list of the primates who have thus far signed up to the GAFCON council?

Maybe, please God, the Lambeth Conference and the Windsor process will sort it all out, but I doubt it. If these are not effective, when will enough be enough and will it be right for the faithful to do something?

Would the Lambeth conference be any different if all the conservatives attended, one wonders?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Jim Packer on Canadian Church

Rev'd Dr Jim Packer's talk on Lessons from the Canadian Church Experience with questions and answers, given at Holy Trinity, Eastbourne on Tues 24th June is available at the church website sermons & talks page.