A Tough (but Realistic) Assessment of a “Double-Minded Man”, Rowan Williams

From Gerald Bray at the Churchman, the best wrap on the man and his role I have seen yet:

The shipwreck of the Covenant brings us to the heart of Dr. Williams’ long-term failure as archbishop. He sincerely wanted to keep the Anglican Communion together but believed that he could do this by political compromises that ignored the fundamental truths of the Christian faith. We are back to what Sir Humphrey said twenty-five years ago in “Yes, Prime Minister”-‘the Church of England likes to keep the balance between those who believe in God and those who do not.’ Sir Humphrey knew what he was talking about-in real life, he too was a gay activist.

Alas, Christian truth is not decided by balancing acts or majority votes but by the teaching of divine revelation. As Dr. Williams knows only too well, Arius had the majority of the church on his side, but he lost out to Athanasius and the orthodox because he was wrong and his opponents were prepared to suffer for the truth. That was a long time ago, but the basic principle still holds good. Church councils can vote for whatever they like, but if they are wrong, the people of God will rise up in protest, as the emergence of GAFCON has shown.

It’s good to hear someone other than on the left see the Anglican Covenant for what it is, the worst thing to hit the religion of Cranmer and Laud since the Contract on the Episcopalians.  But Bray’s whole piece deserves a read, it’s well written and insightful.

There is one thing, however, that Bray is too optimistic about:

His successor’s first task will be to steady it by tossing the Americans and their ungodly allies overboard, and by setting its course firmly towards the Morning Star that is Christ, who alone can give us light. Whether that will happen only time will tell, but the agenda for the next Archbishop of Canterbury is clear. the spiritual renewal of the church will come at a price, but without it the Anglican Communion is doomed. We must pray that those charged with making the appointment will be aware of this and be prepared to do what is necessary to ensure that there is at least some hope for what is bound to be a turbulent future.

His call to prayer is appropriate but the most likely outcome of the nomination and election process for Archbishop of Canterbury will be a leftie who will ally himself with the Episcopalians and their ilk.  I just can’t see the present government allowing otherwise, given its insistence, for example, that same-sex civil marriage be a prerequisite for UK foreign aid.  Both the government and the new Archbishop, however, will find that alternatives abound.  The Chinese, who are very active in economic aid and activity, don’t care what the Africans do with civil marriage. For their part, if Anglicans everywhere will finally get with the idea that Canterbury is portable, the course will be towards the Light indeed.

HT VirtueOnline.

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