Reference has been made in newspapers and on social media this week to ‘Credible Bishops’, a discussion document produced for the 2016 ReNew conference. ReNew’s goal is to pioneer, establish, and secure healthy local Anglican churches across the length and breadth of England and this document was designed to stimulate debate at last September’s conference.
It was a useful discussion paper by two individuals (to whom we gave some feedback), on an important subject which must be discussed. There was no vote on it at the conference. It can hardly be said to be the official or widely accepted plan or plot, as some make out.
Recent events, and discussions at General Synod, have served to reduce confidence in the structures of the Church of England. We have often warned of the growing credibility gap. There should be little surprise, however, that Anglican Evangelicals in England are desirous of orthodox episcopal oversight. We have stated this often and clearly. We are eager to remain in the strongest possible fellowship with those in the Church of England, and in the vast majority of global Anglicanism, who are faithful in theology and practice to our historic formularies. Such oversight may emerge in different ways for the benefit of the many churches and the distinct and separate organisations behind the specific goals of the ReNew conference.
Anglican evangelicals do not all agree on tactics or that the victory of the liberal agenda in the Church is inevitable and imminent as some say. We must try however to maintain gospel unity with one another, just as we do with our Baptist and Presbyterian friends in Affinity and the Gospel Partnerships for example. That’s why I spoke at this year’s Affinity conference, often preach in nonconformist churches, and have lectured in various non-denominational training courses and colleges over the last few years.
Read it all (and follow the links contained therein).