In the Anglican scene, here’s a heads up.
N.T. Wright thinks that the report of the imminent demise of the Church of England has been greatly exaggerated. He writes:
Despite two centuries of being told the opposite, in fact, the Church can’t help itself. Secular modernism still likes to pretend that the world runs itself, and that ‘religion’ has to do with private spirituality and otherworldly hope. The Church – not least those who want to create a ‘pure’ type of Christianity, and look either to Rome or to a ‘biblical’ sect to provide it – has often colluded with this secularist shrinking of the task. But the genuinely biblical vision, rooted in the four gospels, is of God already being king of the world, through the victory of Jesus. ‘All authority in heaven and on earth,’ said Jesus, ‘has been given to me.’ And on earth. The Church exists to demonstrate what that means.
It’s a good read, a positive story, certainly the COE and world Anglicanism is not all doom and gloom, many churches are getting on with kingdom business without the distraction of ecclesial politics. But for some reason when I read Wright’s article I could hear a Rodgers and Hammerstein tune playing in my head: “I’m just a cock-eyed optimist” from South Pacific. At least I didn’t hear the “Sword Dance” from Brigadoon playing (i.e., “I’m leaving Brigadoon, tis miracle is over”)!
Over at ABC Religion and Ethics, Muriel Porter has a tirade against the greatest evil facing world Anglicanism, viz., Sydney Anglicans. Now I might have a more inclusive view of women in ministry than some of my Sydney Anglican friends, but I would point out that (i) There is a lot more diversity in Sydney Anglicanism than Porter admits; and (ii) The Diocese of Sydney employs more women in ministry than any other Anglican Diocese in the world (even if not in ordained priesthood ministry). I have no intention of defending the Sydney Anglicans (they are more than equipped to do that themselves). But in my mind Porter’s attack is not just on Sydney Anglicans, but on all Anglicans all over the world who hold to the Creeds, Prayerbook, and 39 Articles, i.e., the orthodox. The irony is that her purportedly inclusive brand of Anglicanism is anything but inclusive of anyone who disagrees with her. What is more, she treats African Anglicans as little more than puppets controlled by Sydney Anglicans. Porter is so blatantly condescending towards Anglicans in the global south that it is almost unbelievable that anyone could be that arrogant. I mean, it is borderline racism, and I wonder if an African Anglican would agree with me here? Her rant is indicative of the liberal Anglicans who are absolutely livid that African and Asian Anglicans refuse to comply with their theological revisionism. The mere fact that Global South Anglicans have any voice or vote in the communion and dare speak against their former colonial masters is positively outrageous for Porter. They must have been coaxed, cajoled, and coached into orthodoxy by Peter Jensen – I mean, really, who actually believes this non-sense? For a response to Porter, see Mark Thompson’s review of her book at the Anglican Church League.