I don't think so. Here's why. The JD (full text below
) offers several difficult clauses:
(a) when so much of current Anglican debates turns on the interpretation of Scripture
the following sentence in Clause 2 (C2) of the JD is an inadequate statement of what Anglicans might agree together about the interpretation of Scripture:
"The Bible is to be translated, read, preached, taught and obeyed in its plain and canonical sense, respectful of the church’s historic and consensual reading."
What does 'plain and canonical sense' mean? What is 'the church's historic and consensual reading?' Given that the JD brought together both anglo-catholic's and evangelicals, this is a surprising sentence because what is 'plain' to evangelicals and 'plain' to anglo-catholics are quite different understandings of the eucharist. 'Canonical' sense to anglo-catholics includes giving more weight to the Apocrypha than evangelicals give (and thus greater anglo-catholic openness to praying for the dead)' As for 'historic' reading, how far back does history reach? The English Reformers understood the Bible differently to (say) St Augustine and St Anselm of Canterbury. 'Consensual' begs a lot of questions, including why evangelicals do not read the Bible 'consensually' with Roman Catholics (who have a strong argument in favour of their readings being the oldest and most widely subscribed to in the history of Christianity). Better by far are the careful and more elaborate statements about Scripture and its interpretation in the Anglican Covenant (S1).
(b) when a number of those involved in forming the JD were also involved in episcopal cross-territory administration in North America it is quite shocking that the JD would include this sentence (C3):
"We uphold the four Ecumenical Councils and the three historic Creeds as expressing the rule of faith of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church."
Those four Ecumenical Council include the Council of Nicea and one of its canons specifically forbids more than one bishop per territory. That is the JD upholds something some of its adherents disregard. Integrity calls for a different relationship to the first four Ecumenical Councils than expressed here. (Incidentally, such upholding of the four Ecumenical Councils goes well beyond what the 39A themselves say about the Ecumenical Councils!)
(c) the statement (C4) on the Thirty Nine Articles (39A) is implausible:
"We uphold the Thirty-nine Articles as containing the true doctrine of the Church agreeing with God’s Word and as authoritative for Anglicans today."
First, again referring to the involvement of Anglo-Catholics in the formulation of the JD, this is a surprising statement given the great difficulties Anglo-Catholics have had in agreeing to the 39A jot and tittle, including some specific disagreements with the notion of the church tied up in the word 'congregation' in A19.
Secondly, the 39A are regularly disregarded by all Anglicans, of all hues and stripes. A35 requires ministers of the Church of England to read the homilies in the first and second Books of Homilies to their congregations. Anyone doing this?
Thirdly, the 39A includes articles which are now irrelevant to the life of the church (and the life of the churches of the Communion). A21 forbids the calling of a General Council of the church except with the concurrence of 'Princes'. But we have moved a long way in the Communion (and even in the C of E) from being beholden to 'Princes' when we wish to meet together. GAFCON itself invoked no princely or magisterial authority in coming into being and we don't expect the ABC to seek permission of either the British Prime Minister nor the Queen before calling the next Lambeth Conference. Such a clause is not authoritative for our life today.
Again, the Anglican Covenant has a better considered, relevant way of speaking about the role of the 39A in the life of Anglican churches today (S1.1).
(d) No definition of 'orthodox' is given in relation to C13,
"We reject the authority of those churches and leaders who have denied the orthodox faith in word or deed. We pray for them and call on them to repent and return to the Lord."
One might presume that 'orthodox' has to do with treating the 39A as authoritative (which rules out a lot of people not prepared to do that because not all the Articles are relevant to today), with upholding the four Ecumenical Councils (which rules out the North American, African and South American bishops who do not do this), with reading the Scriptures according to their plain and canonical meaning etc (which only begs questions of definition), and, noting C6, upholding the 1662 BCP as the authoritative standard of worship (which rules out a lot of Anglicans who otherwise are creedally orthodox) but do not hold the BCP as 'the' authoritative standard of worship, not least because they have been party to considerable liturgical revision within their own Anglican churches.
There is much that is agreeable in the JD and many of its clauses offer clear and concise statements of beliefs that all Anglicans, if true to their heritage in the Church of England as part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, should welcome. But there are problems in its wording, the most important difficulties, in my view, being noted here. It is not yet a statement to bind Anglicans together en masse.
THE JERUSALEM DECLARATION
"In the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit:
We, the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, have met in the land of Jesus’ birth. We express our loyalty as disciples to the King of kings, the Lord Jesus. We joyfully embrace his command to proclaim the reality of his kingdom which he first announced in this land. The gospel of the kingdom is the good news of salvation, liberation and transformation for all. In light of the above, we agree to chart a way forward together that promotes and protects the biblical gospel and mission to the world, solemnly declaring the following tenets of orthodoxy which underpin our Anglican identity.
1.We rejoice in the gospel of God through which we have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Because God first loved us, we love him and as believers bring forth fruits of love, ongoing repentance, lively hope and thanksgiving to God in all things.
2.We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God written and to contain all things necessary for salvation. The Bible is to be translated, read, preached, taught and obeyed in its plain and canonical sense, respectful of the church’s historic and consensual reading.
3.We uphold the four Ecumenical Councils and the three historic Creeds as expressing the rule of faith of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
4.We uphold the Thirty-nine Articles as containing the true doctrine of the Church agreeing with God’s Word and as authoritative for Anglicans today.
5.We gladly proclaim and submit to the unique and universal Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, humanity’s only Saviour from sin, judgement and hell, who lived the life we could not live and died the death that we deserve. By his atoning death and glorious resurrection, he secured the redemption of all who come to him in repentance and faith.
6.We rejoice in our Anglican sacramental and liturgical heritage as an expression of the gospel, and we uphold the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as a true and authoritative standard of worship and prayer, to be translated and locally adapted for each culture.
7.We recognise that God has called and gifted bishops, priests and deacons in historic succession to equip all the people of God for their ministry in the world. We uphold the classic Anglican Ordinal as an authoritative standard of clerical orders.
8.We acknowledge God’s creation of humankind as male and female and the unchangeable standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman as the proper place for sexual intimacy and the basis of the family. We repent of our failures to maintain this standard and call for a renewed commitment to lifelong fidelity in marriage and abstinence for those who are not married.
9.We gladly accept the Great Commission of the risen Lord to make disciples of all nations, to seek those who do not know Christ and to baptise, teach and bring new believers to maturity.
10.We are mindful of our responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation, to uphold and advocate justice in society, and to seek relief and empowerment of the poor and needy.
11.We are committed to the unity of all those who know and love Christ and to building authentic ecumenical relationships. We recognise the orders and jurisdiction of those Anglicans who uphold orthodox faith and practice, and we encourage them to join us in this declaration.
12.We celebrate the God-given diversity among us which enriches our global fellowship, and we acknowledge freedom in secondary matters. We pledge to work together to seek the mind of Christ on issues that divide us.
13.We reject the authority of those churches and leaders who have denied the orthodox faith in word or deed. We pray for them and call on them to repent and return to the Lord.
14.We rejoice at the prospect of Jesus’ coming again in glory, and while we await this final event of history, we praise him for the way he builds up his church through his Spirit by miraculously changing lives."