The topics, except That Topic, which involve our Anglican Communion response to the post-modern world.
Topics whose discussion involve strengthening the Anglican Communion.
That conference could be Lambeth
What might we usefully discuss? Here be some thoughts. Some not original but sourced from commenter here (see beginning of yesterday's post). You make yours in the comments ... we might yet get a (C) post.
Caveat: I know that most if not all of what follows is "Western" in outlook whereas the Communion is "Western," "African," "Asian," "Oceania," etc.
Some pretty big picture stuff
What shifts in the tectonic plates of culture are taking place? What responses are appropriate for Christians, for churches, for Anglican churches? What responses are sustainable? Are we entering an epoch like the Dark Ages for which the "Benedict Option" us required?
Do we concentrate on making the church truly Christian in a post-Christian age, and worry less about evangelization/Christianization?
(Do we understand the tidal wave of hostile post-Christianity which is bearing down on the West? See, for instance, this article about the "Benedict Option" and the trickle down effects of post-Christianity in our academies. H/T B. Black.)
What is the gospel? What is "good news" for the world today?
Is its core point of connection with this post-Christian world "justification by faith"? (What was going on in 1517 which made that pertinent and is 2017 the same kind of era?)
Or is it John's Gospel's cri de coeur that abundant life is available through Christ?
Luke's emphasis, is that the better connection to our hurting world, that God loves the last, least and lost?
Perhaps Matthew comes into play: the blessed life lies inside God's kingdom, secured through recognition of our poverty of spirit and sustained through obedience to Jesus' ethics of the kingdom?
Wow, imagine an Anglican version of Vatican 2 which aggiornamentoed (updated) our understanding of the gospel, precisely by engaging with the aggiornamento of the NT documents themselves as they translated the gospel of Jesus for the new worlds into which the first Christians migrated!
A strength of the Anglican way is the ways within its ways: evangelical, catholic, liberal, (in our case) Maori, Pasefika pathways. Woven together these strands make us stronger.
But what does it mean to be (say) a catholic Anglican in the 21st century (cue discussion of rites, lace, divides between "modern" and traditional catholics, etc)? How can catholic Anglicanism be the best catholic Anglicanism? What specific charisms does it offer the Communion?
I have a specific, tribal concern for Anglican evangelicalism. 1517/2017 Reformational celebrations highlight that concern for me which I put like this here: how can we evangelicals look forwards as much as we look backwards as we promote gospel, Scripture, doctrine and liturgy? An alternative way of saying this is this: if Luther and Cranmer (respectively) catalysed the transformation of German and English medieval churches (weighted towards works rather than grace, guilt rather than peace, transubstantiation rather than transformation, Latin Scripture/liturgy), notably ending with churches speaking their own indigenous languages, who are our Luthers and Cranmers today? What is the work they need to do to translate the gospel into the language of post-Christianity?
To give a specific example: when both Luther and Cranmer highlighted the importance of justification by faith and not by works, their renewed understanding of the gospel scratched the itch of medieval Christianity which weighted achievement of salvation towards our works and away from Christ's work. That itch no longer exists in the world around us. (It can exist within the church!) What itch is it that 21st century Luthers and Cranmers need to discern in order for their new scratch to relate to it?
There are various "dittos" in this section so that we could do with a Vatican 2-style Anglican Lambeth Conference which looks at science, at social ethics and social justice.
A pretty big picture issue
Then, surely, such a conference needs to re-look at what it means to be "Anglican Communion." Great idea in theory - the best idea. Interdependency. What is not to like about such ecclesiology? But why is it not proving a great idea in practice? What might we do to ensure that we are what we say we are? That the label on the tin matches the contents within?
Yes, that could mean renewed discussion of "the Covenant." But it could also mean looking at the current Instruments? Are they fit for purpose? Do we need an ABC who has less responsibilities within the CofE?
All of this is worth doing because of the biggest picture of them all ...
God's will in the long run
Let's leave that to tomorrow. Today's time remaining is pressing against today's To Do List!