Bishop Wendell Gibbs of Michigan was one of several who said a grand book revision might be dated even before its completed, especially in an era when advances in media technology are challenging the value of traditional books.
In a nod to the need for church growth, Bishop Rob Wright of Atlanta asked whether a carefully revised book will represent misplaced resources if it lands ultimately “in pews that are empty.”
“I wonder if this isn’t just classic work avoidance,” he said.
Some concerns raised on the floor brought theological issues to bear. Bishop Shannon Johnston of Virginia recalled how a theological imperative made the 1979 revision important and worth doing at the time.
“What drove it coming into being was deeply theological — primacy of baptism and centrality of Eucharist,” Johnston said. In 2018, “a lot of the language I hear driving this is demographics and sociology.”
The bishops’ prayer book debate contrasted sharply with the House of Deputies discussion on July 6.