I really appreciate the wisdom and insight of the site More than a via media (which has no named author but can be described as a post liberal Anglican living in Northern Ireland; I shall call him or her "MVM"). In a recent post MVM neatly skewers the critique of ++Rowan and +Wright by the Modern Churchpeople's Union:
"MCU declares that Anglicanism must be open to change:
"While holding fast to tradition is sometimes the right thing to do, at other times we are called to welcome new developments and insights".
So change, innovation is a good thing in the eyes of the MCU. Yes? Well, er, no.
The MCU encyclical takes aim at +Canterbury and +Durham for their support of the Anglican Covenant. But according to MCU, the ecclesiology of the Covenant is to be condemned as ... wait for it ... an innovation.
"It has never been a formal part of the Anglican Communion's governance ... To make the governance of the Anglican Communion fit this idea would ... be a major innovation".
"New developments and insights", it seems, are good and positive only when they accord with a revisionist agenda - communion for the unbaptised, lay presidency at the eucharist, the ordination of those in same-sex relationships. As for developments which serve Anglicanism's catholic and evangelical witness, they are to be rejected 'major innovations'."
But MVM's latest post makes a point I had not thought of but which corresponds with a lurking concern in my mind as I follow debates in the Communion: are we a Communion with a clear and confident sense of the transcendance of God, of God as Being able to break into our world with revelation, power, and judgement? MVM's point is that a lot of thinking about God presupposes the 'closed universe of the Enlightenment'. Although MVM's concern is how we go about evangelism, I think his observation also applies to much Anglican theology. The solution? According to MVM it is to rediscover Plato! I won't reproduce what he has to say ... please read it all for yourself!
Kind of changing the topic, but there is also an excellent post to read from John Richardson on the seemingly endless question "What is an evangelical?" I like the way he pushes the priority of evangelism to the forefront of the distinctive features of evangelicalism. I am sure Plato would approve :)
PS John Richardson's post on being evangelical is part of a series - read them all!