As we run up to the General Synod in less than a couple of week's time, I offer for readers here a critique of the Doctrinal Commission's report. It is written by the Rev Dr Bryden Black, a Christchurch based priest.
The critique is here.
An annotated bibliography which accompanies the critique is here.
Here are a few excerpts from the critique, beginning and end:
"Right up front I wish to thank the members of this Commission for their time and work; we are in their debt in this respect. I also have to acknowledge the customary constituency of the ACANZ&P to be a rather political body. To this end, the dictum, “politics is the art of the possible”, would seem to have been uppermost in their mind as they did their work. And yet one still needs to ask, what undergirds that political practice? For any organization exhibits its specific ideology (to use that word in its non pejorative sense). How coherent and/or cogent therefore is the ideology of the ACANZ&P - or, to give it its formal name, its theology?
Consequently, I wish to highlight what I consider to be some serious deficiencies in their theological method, since it is this methodology that has foreclosed certain vital options which would have been otherwise before us, just as it has also steered the Commission in a given direction from the start. In addition, we might have been better able to see the wood for the trees if other approaches had been tried. To that end, I will first examine some of the basic terminology used by the commission, since it underlies both consciously and yet also unconsciously much of the way they proceed."
then to the conclusion ...
"Whereas previously we simply had the Estate of Holy Matrimony, within which all sexual behaviour was deemed to be permitted and fruitful in a number of ways, now we in the West are succumbing to a hermeneutical ploy, rich in secular political hubris, that would subvert at the deepest level the very Imago Dei in which the triune Creator has made us human beings. As with MacIntyre, a profoundly “disquieting” thing has developed, and it concerns the very nature of human being. The result is a counterfeit, tragic irony of enormous proportions. While there are elements of this Rationale, as assembled by the Commission, which are helpful, overall, given the enormity of what lies before us, I have to conclude their deliberations are far from ideal.
We in ACANZ&P deserve more than what is in effect unfortunately only “gruel”. To which end this all too brief 15 page commentary, which tries to put its finger on major outstanding matters ... Ecc 11:1."
What do you think?