UPDATE – Broadbent subsequently issued a further statment which acknowledged Steve Chalke was one factor in the split.
Pete Broadbent, who leads the Spring Harvest Leadership Team, has now issued the following statement in response to my post on Spring Harvest and UCCF, and the official UCCF Statement. It is also interesting in light of Tom Wright’s statement about the atonement and Steve Chalke.
Peter Broadbent’s Statement
Spring Harvest, Keswick, and UCCF (the three partners in Word Alive) agreed to go their separate ways. The statement we produced at the time reads as follows:
“2007 will be the last year of Spring Harvest Word Alive. The constituent organisations — Keswick Ministries, UCCF, and Spring Harvest — will be ending a partnership that has lasted 14 years, and have agreed to go their separate ways.
Word Alive was originally conceived as a distinctive event within Spring Harvest, drawing Christians from a more theologically conservative church background to Butlins for a week with a strong emphasis on expository Bible teaching and a major input for students. The partnership has been a fruitful one and we thank God for the way He has worked through this event over the years.
Of late it has been difficult to accommodate Word Alive as a separate week within the total mix, and after much discussion, the Spring Harvest Council of Management gave notice that Spring Harvest Word Alive could not continue beyond this year. “We’re looking to end on a high note,” said Pete Broadbent, Chair of the Spring Harvest Leadership Team. “Our theme for 2007 is One People — and we’ll be teaching and celebrating that reality throughout our programme.”
Wallace Benn, Bishop of Lewes and Chair of the Word Alive Committee, said the Word Alive brand would continue independently of Spring Harvest after this year’s event. Keswick Ministries and UCCF will continue their partnership and will announce very soon news of future venues and dates. Word Alive will continue its emphasis on lively, cross-centred Bible teaching, a full student programme, and fun and fellowship for all the family.
Spring Harvest wish the Word Alive partners well and we separate thanking God for the part the other plays in the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ in the UK today.”
Various people have since attempted to “spin” the reasons why we decided to go our separate ways for their own purposes. That’s their decision. It’s not where I am, or where Spring Harvest are. Wallace Benn and I stood on a public platform at Spring Harvest Word Alive, wished our respective events well, prayed for each other, and departed on the best of terms.
This blog has already linked to the statement made jointly by Wallace Benn and myself (Pete Broadbent) on behalf of Spring Harvest Word Alive criticising Jeffrey John’s inflammatory stuff on the atonement. So there is no way that anyone can represent Spring Harvest as being anywhere other than the orthodox biblical stance on the atonement. You comment on the style of my statement. Actually it reads the way it does because it’s a verbatim transcript from a seminar I was giving on the continuity of OT and NT theology, during which I made the aside about Jeffrey John. So it isn’t necessarily theologically honed and polished — our Press Officer put it out as a press release reporting what had been said.
It’s terribly sad that UCCF are now coming out with an official statement that simply isn’t true to what actually took place. I don’t want to get into a public row with UCCF, whose ministry among students I support. But this is just simply to say that I dispute most of what is contained in the statement as being either misunderstanding (willful or otherwise) or total fabrication. I could hope that they would withdraw their statement and hold their peace. They seem to want to define themselves over against Spring Harvest, which I regret. We stand for the same faith and the same gospel.
Pete Broadbent Spring Harvest Leadership Team