Friday, January 9, 2009

Lambeth in retrospect

During the Lambeth Conference I appreciated the provocative postings of Bishop Nick Baines (Croyden). Fulcrum have now published a 'six months on' reflection by Bishop Nick. He is still provocative! An excerpt is pasted below. But I want to make it clear to readers of this blog that my posting it here does not mean I am personally in agreement with all his assessments (e.g. of GAFCON, FOCA).

"The Lambeth Conference 2008

a review after six months

by Nick Baines, Bishop of Croydon"

"After I posted my final Fulcrum blog of the Lambeth Conference I was asked if I would offer a considered (but brief) review six months on. Well, here it is. But I need to begin with a bit of contextual stuff.

I agreed to blog the conference because I didn’t want people simply getting information from a media that only had one script in two parts: (a) the Anglican Communion is obsessed with sex and (b) is about to collapse. I tried to write each day with candour, not only to inform the reader, but also to give a flavour of how it felt to be in the hothouse itself, not always knowing what was likely to happen next. Returning to the blog for the first time since the end of the conference, it has been instructive to review not only the content, but also the conviction of what I wrote and how I wrote it.

It is clear to me that the conference was successful – not in resolving contentious issues to everyone’s satisfaction (an impossibility as well as not the purpose of the conference in the first place), but in taking seriously the ministry of reconciliation committed to us by the God who has come among us in Jesus Christ. Had the conference lasted only a few days or a week, it would have ended in a degree of acrimony and with some people’s prejudices reinforced. But two weeks of gracious listening, talking, wrestling and trying to establish relationships that took the Gospel seriously paid off. Those bishops who stuck with it discovered that simply walking away is not a Christian response to tension – after all, the Church is called to reflect the nature of the God who refused to walk away from those who even crucified Jesus. This tougher option was worth it...

continue reading here

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