Thursday, February 7, 2008

Jerusalem edging ahead of Athens?

Since my last post, during some days when I have been away from the internet, a lot has happened. First up, in my own reflections I have been revising my 'the Anglican Communion is splitting in two and no one can stop it' theme. I suspect that what is happening is that a chunk of the Anglican Communion is splitting off, but its more of an 80:20 thing than a 50:50. Numbers here are trickery - when Nigeria is part of any Anglican calculations is it 1 member church or tens of millions of individual Anglicans? I think from a "Communion" perspective its 1 member church, though a very significant member because of the huge number of individuals which make it up.

Next there is the decision of the Sydney bishops, led by Archbishop Peter Jensen, not to go to Lambeth. A sad mistake. Communication matters. It is always the way forward - what did God do when all was lost for humanity? God sent his Word!! By way of brilliant contrast, read this piece from Bishop James Jones of Liverpool in which he sets out how his own thinking is developing due to engagement with conversations around sexuality and the Anglican Communion, and manages a very, very big apology for a decision he made.

Then there are two great documents which have been published. The first will receive a lot of attention in coming months. Its the latest draft of the Anglican Covenant (to be known as the St Andrew's version, in contrast to the earlier Nassau version). I think this is a vast improvement on the first - better on Scripture, clearer on how to deal with controversy, better on acknowledgement of the autonomy of member churches, clearer that the Covenant is about the life of the Communion and its rules of membership. The second document is an offering from the Global South on an Anglican Catechism. Look closely at its authorship - very distinguished.

Could it be, that in the tussle over whether Jerusalem or Athens (i.e. Scripture or reason) is to be capital city for the Communion, this week has seen Jerusalem edging ahead?

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