Pulling no punches, Ephraim Radner offers some knock-down arguments that TEC is out for the count on the canvas, and the future of the Anglican Communion, for those who Covenant to it, shines brighter than the stars TEC is seeing:
"The final text of the Anglican Covenant has now been sent out for adoption by the churches of the Communion. The slow process by which this text and its official dissemination for action has occurred has frustrated some, yet its persistent progress forward to this point at last puts the lie to the naysayers and early eulogists of the Covenant’s purpose. Joined to the restarting of the Anglican-Roman Catholic international dialogue, to be focused on substantive matters of ecclesiology and moral decision-making, what seemed merely slow now appears to be the visible sign of a tectonic shift in global Anglicanism and Christianity itself. It is one in which the Episcopal Church in the United States has placed itself on the far side of a widening channel separating the ballast of Christian witness, Catholic and Pentecostal, from marginal spin-offs of liberal Protestantism in decline."
"The Episcopal Church, as we have known it and given ourselves to its ministry, is over. But the Gospel is alive, and the Church that is Christ’s Body given, takes us to a new place."
I can imagine the scripted response from here. Episcopalians to the left crying foul blow below the belt. North American Anglicans to the right reacting to some left jabs Radner makes to their chins. But the essential point of what Ephraim is saying bears thinking about: Has TEC painted itself into a corner with its commitment to a non-traditional sexual ethic? Is it dying a slow death, measured by statistics its leadership will not own and lacking a remedy through gospel growth it can no longer provide because, to all intents and purposes, it preaches 'another gospel'?
One response, of course, is that most North American Christianity faces the same future as TEC, to one degree or another.
It is possible, however, that Radner is right, that there is a problem particular to TEC. If it will not change, it will die. Or at least keep withering on the vine.
But then, maybe Ephraim is wrong. What would be the evidence and the explanation which demonstrated that?
(H/T Titus One Nine)