Reactions flow fast and furious across the internet to GAFCON's final statement and ++Williams' and ++Schori's reactions.
Here be utter execrableness. There be thoughtfulness. And, surprisingly for the journalist concerned, over here is a reasonably agreeable piece.
Take the second of the three articles noted above. Its entitled 'Anglicanism's militant tendency must be resisted' and its by Bishop Tom Butler, Bishop of Southwark. A fair point is made: when an ultra-extreme organisation gets a foothold on power within a larger organisation it can become the tail wagging the dog, as the Militant Tendency once did within the British Labour Party with savage consequences for its electoral misfortunes through the Thatcher and Major era. The recent success of the BLP is founded on ejecting the Militant Tendency and replacing it with the Blair New Labour movement. (How they will miss Blair at the next election!!). Butler sees GAFCON, via some of its 'extreme' clauses in its final statement, as demonstrating 'militant tendency' character. But this is, I suggest, a misunderstanding on Butler's part. Its an excusable misunderstanding because Butler has had recent experience of 'militant tendency' evangelicalism in his diocese, which, notably, was resisted by other evangelicals (he mentions this in the article).
Nevertheless, it is a misunderstanding of GAFCON, and it reflects a lack of the very 'thoughtfulness' which Butler espouses! A truer understanding of GAFCON would acknowledge that it is a broader party within Anglicanism than a 'militant tendency' (that is, there is a 'militant tendency' within its ranks, but that is not the whole). Its a broader party, for instance, because it includes Anglicans who are simply bewildered and hurt by the oppressive power of liberalism which in its own 'militant tendency' manner has taken control of parts of the Communion: these bewildered Anglicans have no wish to takeover the Communion but have a keen desire to know the Communion is a 'safe' place for them. Its a broader party because it includes Anglicans from places as diverse as Nigeria and Sydney who are utterly open and transparent about the particular approach to mission and ecclesiology to which they are committed. Its also a broader party because it represents a large group of Anglicans who have no vision for gaining control of the Communion (or parts such as the Church of England) but have a great vision for a restoration of the Communion along theological lines consistent and coherent with foundational Anglican and Scripturally orthodox theology. Anglicans, for instance, who would love to find Archbishop Rowan Williams giving a stronger leadership towards such a restoration and into whose heads the thoughts of 'deposing' him have never entered.
What is missing from a number of comments and opinions being expressed from a liberal perspective is any appreciation of GAFCON as a movement of last resort and of late reaction to the power plays of liberal tendencies in the Anglican Communion. With very rare exceptions you will not find a liberal Anglican saying anything like the following, 'Perhaps we have been wrong to push so hard to be a church so relevant to the modern world that we have had to jettison so much theological baggage from our foundations in Scripture and the BCP, 39A, and the Ordinal. And, maybe we should have checked from time to time whether there are limits to diversity, boundaries around Anglican thinking which are more like classic Anglican theology and less like the manifesto of the American Democratic Party or the British/New Zealand Labour Parties.'
Yes, hell could freeze over, and evolution recycle its way back to the dinosaurs before you will find the likes of Desmond Tutu or John Spong acknowledging any contribution at all to GAFCON and its final statement.
UPDATE: John Richardson has done us all a great favour by blogging directly from the important PostGAFCON meeting in All Souls Langham Place, 1 July 2008.