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From the Morning Scripture Readings

I will sing of thy steadfast love, O LORD, for ever; with my mouth I will proclaim thy faithfulness to all generations. For thy steadfast love was established for ever, thy faithfulness is firm as the heavens.

–Psalm 89:1-2

Posted in Theology: Scripture

Some English Church leaders react to the Gafcon2018 letter to the churches

Watch and listen to it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, GAFCON, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Letter to the Churches – Gafcon Assembly 2018


For some time, our Communion has been under threat from leaders who deny the Lordship of Christ and the authority of Scripture. In the late 20th century, human sexuality became the presenting issue.

The 1998 Lambeth Conference by a huge majority (526 to 70) approved Resolution I.10 on Human Sexuality, which affirmed the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 19 that there are only two expressions of faithful sexuality: lifelong marriage between a man and a woman or abstinence. The resolution rightly called for pastoral care for same sex attracted persons. At the same time, it described homosexual practice as “incompatible with Scripture” and rejected both the authorisation of same sex rites by the Church and the ordination of those in same sex unions.

Lambeth Resolution I.10 reflected the rising influence of the Global South in the Communion. The ground for the Resolution had been prepared by the 1997 Kuala Lumpur Statement of the Global South Anglican Network. Our collaboration with the Global South Network has been ongoing, and its leaders took an active part in this Conference.

The subsequent rejection of Lambeth I.10 in word and deed by the Episcopal Church USA and later by some other Anglican provinces led to a “tear [in] the fabric of the Communion at its deepest level”, followed by ten years of futile meetings in which the four Instruments of Communion failed to exercise the necessary discipline. The Primates’ Meeting repeatedly called upon these provinces to repent and return to the faith. Yet their efforts were undermined by other Instruments of Communion, culminating in the failure of the Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury to carry out the clear consensus of the Primates’ Meeting in Dar es Salaam in 2007.

In the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration, the 2008 Global Anglican Future Conference took up the challenge of restoring biblical authority (and the teaching on human sexuality in particular) by affirming the primacy of the Bible as God’s Word written and going back to the other sources of Anglican identity – the Creeds and Councils of the ancient church, the 39 Articles, the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal. The Conference also constituted a Primates Council and authorised it to recognise Anglican churches in areas where orthodox Anglicans had been deprived of their church property and deposed from holy orders.

During the past twenty years, the Instruments of Communion have not only failed to uphold godly discipline but their representatives have refused to recognise our concerns and have chosen instead to demean Gafcon as a one-issue pressure group and accuse it of promoting schism, where in fact the schismatics are those who have departed from the teaching of the Bible and the historic doctrine of the Church. Slogans such as “walking together” and “good disagreement” are dangerously deceptive in seeking to persuade people to accommodate false teaching in the Communion.

We grieve for the situation of our global Communion as it has been hindered from fulfilling its God-appointed task of reaching the world for Christ. We repent of our own failures to stand firm in the faith (1 Corinthians 16:13). But we do not lose hope for the future, and note that there is strong support for the reform of our Communion.

Read it all.

Posted in GAFCON

A Key interview with Vaughan Roberts of St Ebbe’s, Oxford, at Gafcon2018

Posted in --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

Gafcon: Ben & Gloria Kwashi Interview

Ben & Gloria Kwoshi Interview – Tuesday from GAFCON Official on Vimeo.

Posted in Church of Nigeria, GAFCON

(Gafcon) Don’t be distracted!

Laurent Mbanda, Archbishop of Rwanda, began by warning against corruption, and the temptation for church leaders of receiving money from compromised sources, and losing their identity as a result. “We must not be afraid to say: keep your money  – we have Jesus and will proclaim him!” he said, to applause.

He then reminded us that though the world is lost in sin, God loves it enough to have sent his Son for the salvation of people from all the different people groups and nations in the world.

The Archbishop was followed by Jason Mandryk, Direction of Operation World, a trusted organization researching statistics on world mission to assist in mobilizing the church for the Great Commission. In an information-packed and stirring presentation, Jason showed that despite the rise of secularism, religious belief is also on the rise, which means in some cases, openness to the gospel, but in others, increasing resistance, and even violence against believers.

There are other huge challenges in the world today, such as poverty and inequality, conflict and migration. But the church has continued to grow: while in 1980 the number of bible-believing Christians in the global south was the same as those in the north/West, today it is five 5 times more. So the idea of Christianity as the ‘white man’s religion’ is a myth. The majority of missionaries today are female and from the global south. There are more than 1000 missionaries to the UK from other countries. “Given the spiritual state of the UK I am praying for at least 1000 more!” said Mandryk.

He concluded: History belongs to the intercessors because nothing less than a miracle will be required for the global making of disciples. Archbishop Mbanda concurred:
“The task is huge, so we won’t be out of a job any time soon.”

Two brief presentations followed, giving examples of mission in practice; in south east Asia, where the Diocese of Singapore oversees evangelism and church planting in seven surrounding nations, and in England where a new form of Anglicanism outside the Church of England, validated by Gafcon, is emerging. “Pray for a new generation of Anglican leaders connected to Gafcon who will work sacrificially”, said Lee McMunn. “Could God be calling some from around the world to plant churches in England?”

You can watch Jason Mandryk’s talk here.

You can watch Archbishop Laurent Mbanda’s talk here.

Read it all.

Posted in GAFCON

Martin Davie–Human Flourishing and the Church’s Mission

As the Church engages in its God given mission to proclaim Christ faithfully to the nations it has to engage with the issue of human flourishing. This is because people will only begin to follow Jesus Christ, or continue to follow him if they do so already, if they believe that following him will lead them to flourish more than some other way of life.

We can see this point if we consider the famous words found at the beginning of Book I of the Confessions of St. Augustine, ‘Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in thee….’ The point that St Augustine is making is that human beings have been created by and for God and in consequence they can only truly flourish if they find rest in a right relationship with God. According to Augustine, the reason for being a Christian, rather than being a Neo-Platonist or a Manichee, is that Christianity enables people to find this rest and so to flourish as they were made to do. Just as being a flourishing rhubarb plant means having big green leaves and a big red stem, so being a flourishing human being means being people whose hearts find their rest in God and, says Augustine, being a Christian makes this possible.

If we are going to try to persuade people to follow Jesus Christ because doing so will best enable them to flourish we have to begin by understanding what they currently think about the matter. Think of St. Paul preaching in the Areopagus in Athens in Acts 17. The Athenians whom he is addressing hold that what enables human flourishing is worshiping the various gods of the Greek pantheon. What St. Paul tells them is that they are right to take the need to worship seriously, but that the objects of their worship are wrong. In order to flourish they need to give up idolatry and worship instead the one true God who made heaven and earth and every human being and to whom the Greek poets bore witness.

In similar fashion we have to target our proclamation of the gospel so that it addresses what the people we are in conversation with think makes for human flourishing.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anthropology, Theology

(AI) “Indissolubly Together”: GAFCON III at its Midpoint

The strength of GAFCON III rests upon the same foundation that Bonhoeffer observed at St Peter’s — a unity centered round, and resting upon Jesus Christ and his word. As Bonhoeffer expressed it: “standing under God’s rule means living in community with God and with the church.”

Happy families, are comprised of individuals — and not all of them are happy. GAFCON’s constituencies are in different places — ACNA delegates were uniformly upbeat. Their church has prospered, their work is bearing visible fruit. English delegates at the start of the week were discouraged and divided — battling a hostile culture and an indifferent or unpleasant ecclesial establishment. The Anglo-Catholic presence at GAFCON is smaller than at previous gatherings. Fort Worth has 14 members present, but many of its bishops are absent and not represented in the top leadership ranks. Sydney delegates voice mixed thoughts — some are fearful that the culture in Australia is moving against them, undercutting their complementarian viewpoint on human anthropology, while others see the universality of the Anglican way as a portent of the future of the church.

Small blips on the news radar have surfaced. The Church of Uganda has restated its views on Lambeth 2020 (they won’t go if ACNA doesn’t go). The Church of Kenya has restated its ambivalence about the relationship of GAFCON with the Anglican Communion (if GAFCON leaves the Anglican Communion it would have to reconsider it’s relationship to GAFCON). And primates whose first language is not English have made verbal slips that have not fully expressed their views. But as of this point — no surprises have arisen.

Read it all.

Posted in GAFCON

(JE) Jeff Walton–“Cross the Pain Line” in Preaching on Hell advise Harmon, Tice

That real possibility has an effect upon how Christians view evangelism, Tice explained.

“We need to cross the pain line in our preaching,” Tice advised, where Christians see that “I am an offense to God.” Tice said Christian must both call people to repent and simultaneously make clear that “I am for you.”

Tice offered three questions about Hell: “Do you believe it? Do you love people? Will you warn them?”

Harmon offered the scenario of a sign warning of a bridge out on a road ahead, where you see the sign but another family does not.

“What do you do?” Harmon asked. “Warn them of what is ahead.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Eschatology

An Interview at Gafcon2018 with Rico Tice of All Soul’s, Langham Place, about the situation in England

Dominic, Rico and Pete from GAFCON Official on Vimeo.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, GAFCON

Esau McCaulley–Church Fights and The Hope of Worship at GAFCON 2018

Self-righteousness lurks around every corner. There is the temptation to believe that I have the perfect mix of biblical faithfulness and social justice while my opponents on the left and right do not read the Bible correctly. More than that it is bitterness that crouches at the doorway. The cost that we bear as people of color in the ACNA is the unseen wound bleeding on the floor of North American Anglicanism. Ask the black bishops. Ask the clergy. Then there is the work. The unending feeling of responsibility to be both prophetic and responsible. Push, but not too hard. We get tired.

The danger, then, in the battles for North American Anglicanism is that one might lose the beauty of what drew us here in the attempt to protect or reform it. I had a vision of Anglicanism that I never experienced, a hypothesis of diversity and orthodoxy in one fellowship. It was a warm comfort on cold nights, a blanket to shield me from the chill of disappointment. That vision become flesh during GAFCON 2018. I walked into the lobby of the conference center and it was so gloriously black and brown that I almost wept.

I noticed first the women first. The Nigerian, Ugandan, Rwandan, and Kenyan women arrived draped in a dignified parade of color that made my heart smile. It felt like a Christian Wakanda. Then came the bishops and the men in African dress, especially the choir. So much swagger; so much pride. Have you ever finally sat down to eat and realized how hungry you were? Have you ever ended a run feeling good, until the fatigue washed over you, and you realized that you had pushed your body too far? I did not know how tired this battle for a diverse and orthodox Anglicanism had made me until I got a taste of it. I wished that they would have canceled the plenary talks and let the choir sing as long as the Lord tarried.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, GAFCON

(AI) Archbp Nicholas Okoh–Proclaiming Christ Faithfully to the Nations God’s Gospel

NORTH AMERICA-The Gospel in North American involves helping people know that they are alienated from God because of their sin which manifests itself in varieties of ways: materialism, idolatry, obsessions with sports, sex, drugs, alcohol, religion, and success. The only solution is to humble oneself before God, asking forgiveness of one’s sins based on the death of Jesus Christ on the cross and His resurrection, and asking Him to come and indwell him/her with the presence of the Holy Spirit. This culminates in a day-by-day, alive, dynamic, relationship with God through Jesus Christ resulting in eternal life. The Church still keeps the orthodox Faith with focus also on aggressive Church planting. In that context, however, the Church should be on the alert to ensure that the influence of another gospel which is already entrenched in that environment is not imperceptibly adopted by the unsuspecting and innocent believers. It is especially from North America that a false gospel of inclusion without repentance has come.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of Nigeria, GAFCON

Off To Gafcon 2018

No real clear sense of how much posting I will want or be able to do–KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, GAFCON

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.

–Galatians 6:7-9

Posted in Theology: Scripture

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on ‘The Great Partnership’ between Religion+Science

The human mind is capable of doing two quite different things. One is the ability to break things down into their constituent parts and see how they mesh and interact. This is often called “left brain” thinking, and the best example is science. The other, often called “right brain thinking,” is the ability to join events together so that they tell a story, or to join people together so that they form relationships. The best example of this is religion.

To put it at its simplest: science takes things apart to see how they work. Religion puts things together to see what they mean. And we need them both, the way we need the two hemispheres of the brain.

Science is about explanation, religion is about interpretation. Science analyses, religion integrates. Science breaks things down to their component parts; religion binds people together in relationships of trust. Science tells us what is, religion tells us what ought to be. Science describes; religion inspires, beckons, calls.

Science practices detachment; religion is the art of attachment, self to self, soul to soul. Science sees the underlying order of the physical world. Religion hears the music beneath the noise. Science is the conquest of ignorance. Religion is the redemption of solitude.

One way of seeing the difference is to think about their relationship with time. Science looks for causes of events, and a cause always comes before its effect. How did the window break? Because I threw a stone at it. First came the throwing of the stone, then came the breaking of the window. Science looks back from effect to cause.

However, human action is always looking forward….

Read it all.

Posted in History, Judaism, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology