Michael Poon of Singapore has just written a brief summary of the present situation and its challenges, entitled "Undercurrents in the Anglican Communion." Percipiently he asks whether the different blocs in the Communion will take up some lurking questions which he enunciates:
"1.To church leaders in sub-Sahara Africa, does the strong protest against Western decadence in fact reveal a deep anxiety on your ecclesial identity? Jean-François Bayert in his seminal essay "Africa in the world: A history of extraversion" pointed out that African leaders are disposed to mobilise resources from their relationship with the external environment in order to legitimise their own authority and enhance their social status. [See African Affairs, No. 395 (2000): 231-237.] External connections, therefore, are indispensable to African societies. The Church of England and the Episcopal Church have acted as chief reference points for African churches. Does not then the perceived Western decadence provoke a deep identity crisis? Can African churches in fact use the present crisis as an opportunity to rediscover the sources of their inner security? Which means African churches need to develop a more coherent understanding of their ecclesiologyThat should keep us all busy! Importantly, Poon directs us to questions which between them challenge all the main blocs in the Communion's present struggles, questions which could be answered in such a manner as to keep us all drawn towards the love of God which empowers our love for one another in Communion. We have until 2018, I suggest, to answer these questions in such a manner that Lambeth 2018 will represent a Communion on the mend. If not, Lambeth 2018 will likely be the last hurrah of the broken Communion.
2.Is GAFCON the only valid expression of Anglican evangelicalism, especially the only way to keep faith to John Stott's legacy in today's world? Arguably, John Stott created evangelical structures and helped to shape most of the present leadership in the southern continents. The formation of many top Anglican leaders worldwide can be traced to EFAC, Langham Trust and related networks. GAFCON organisers Chris Sugden, Michael Nazir-Ali and Vinay Samuel merely inherited the infrastructures that John Stott left behind. At the same time, does not John Stott offer a more generous ecclesial vision, and a more charitable way to speak the truth in love, than what GAFCON offers? The deeply-divided evangelical Anglican fraternity worldwide –across the GAFCON and Global South networks – needs to come together to sort out their internal wars. They owe this to their fellow Anglicans – and to John Stott.
3.Is American Christianity in fact using the churches worldwide to be theatres for its domestic religious wars? In what ways should American Christians moderate their imperialist ambitions to set standards and offer solutions to the rest of the world? From the end of the 1940s, American Christianity has been exporting their religious quarrels overseas. The conflict between two Princetonians in the 1940s and 1950s – Carl McIntire of the International Council of Christian Churches and John McKay of the World Council of Churches – is a case in point. Since then, ecumenicals and evangelicals have fought turf wars in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Do patriotic American Christians – with huge suspicion on what is 'un-American' – really want to come under foreign church leadership? Or are many of the present ecclesiastical arrangements matters of marriage of convenience?"