From the Pew Forum: Is the Anglican Communion the First Stage in a Wider Christian Split?

Posted by Kendall Harmon

PHILIP JENKINS: The word schism means a split, and the great historical example is what happened in 1054, when the Eastern and Western churches had a tiff over such crucial theological issues as whether priests should wear beards. Everyone knew this was going to be resolved in just a couple of years; 950 years or so later, and counting, they're still divided into the Catholic and Orthodox churches, and it's not likely to be resolved any time soon.

Today I'm going to talk about the Anglican schism, but I want to look at the question of whether this is the first shot in a much larger war and whether instead of an East-West schism, we'll be looking at a North-South schism. I want to start this off with a quote you will find shocking or at the very least surprising. As you're aware, a number of Episcopal churches in the United States have placed themselves under the authority of African and Asian clergy because, basically, they don't trust the leadership of the Episcopal Church.

One of the African clerics they've turned to is a man called Emmanuel Kolini, who is the primate of Rwanda. When Kolini is asked why he is interfering in American affairs, he has a very simple answer: "Back in my country back in 1994, we had the genocide and the world stood idly by, nobody came to help us; we are not going to let that happen to you. We will not stand idly by while this dreadful thing happens to the Episcopal Church." Most of us, of course, look at that and think, "You're seriously comparing the 1994 genocide with the split in the Episcopal Church?" That seems astonishing. But I hope to suggest why some of the issues involved here are so very important for Global South churches.

Quick narrative: The U.S. Episcopal Church is not a huge body, but it's a very influential body. Realistically it has maybe two, two-and-a-half million members, yet its influence is far beyond those numbers. It's a very liberal body on issues of gender, sexuality; it's been semi-overtly ordaining gay clergy and carrying out gay marriages for a number of years. The turning point came in 2003 when an openly gay cleric, Bishop Robinson, was ordained. For some years before that, conservatives within the Episcopal Church had been looking to the wider Anglican world, and they'd had a lot of support from those Global South churches. Global South means, in this context, Africa and Asia.

In 2003, the skies fell in. Global South primates from countries like Nigeria and Uganda started using ferociously critical language about the ordination of Robinson. They called it a satanic attack on God's church. The U.S. Episcopal response here was, "Who are you to tell us this?" Then the primates in countries like Nigeria said, "Let us tell you who we are to be telling you this. There's two, two-and-a-half million members of you; the Nigerian church had, back in 1975, five million members, we're currently up to 19 million members; by 2025, we'll be at 35 million members. We're doubling every 25 years or so; what can you say to that?"

But of course, the Anglican Church is not just Nigeria; it's Uganda and Tanzania and Rwanda and all these other countries. Since that point in 2003 the Anglican Communion has developed an ever wider split. Most recently, of course, conservative churches within the U.S. Episcopal Church have placed themselves under the Episcopal authority of Global South churches. The most recent, of course, affected a number of very large, prosperous churches in Virginia, which are now part of a missionary diocese of the Nigerian church under its primate Peter Akinola.

The language, the sentiment and the depth of hatred in these events has been quite striking. We could have a competition as to which remark is the least conducive to Christian charity. (Laughter.) I have a couple of candidates. Candidate one is Akinola's remark that the U.S. Episcopal Church is like a cancerous lump that has defied all treatment, and the time has come for it to be excised altogether. Candidate two is from one of the gay pressure groups within the Episcopal Church, when someone said: "All I can say to you African bishops, is why can't you go back to the jungle you came from and stop monkeying around with the church?" We'll have a vote afterwards as to which is the more offensive remark....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisEpiscopal Church (TEC)Global South Churches & Primates

28 Comments
Posted May 25, 2007 at 5:22 am

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The URL for this article is http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/3134/



1. Philip Snyder wrote:

I heard Dr. Jenkins make similar remarks at the Church of the Incarnation earliers this year.  He is a good speaker and he has a long term view of the growth of Christianity.  The North and West ignores him at their peril.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

“I do not believe because I understand.  I believe in order that I might understand” - Anselm
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

May 25, 7:00 am | [comment link]
2. Ian Montgomery wrote:

This is a huge transcript and well worth reading - please take the time.
I was hugely encouraged by the link in African Christianity between conservative theology and radical politics.  Having ministered in Kenya over the last three years I see this.  This gives me real hope for the Church as a transformational community - for the Kingdom of God and not some religious veneer to a political ideology.  The challenge to the orthodox will go deep the more we become identified with what God is doing in the Global South.

I am comparing this with the lecture given by N.T.Wright at Nashota House last year and now published.  He sees three factors as critical to the Church today and for the future.  One if these is Imperialism and the corresponding tacit link between the powers of the Empire and the religious powers.  Wright’s response is to call the church to be the critical opposition to the secular and religious imperialism.  Jenkins gives the example of the Church in Kenya under the Moi regime where it played a significant part in the opposition to that dictatorship and oppression.  In Kenya the Church does indeed give hope to the poor and the bishops I know in the Anglican Church there are significant players politically and socially while zealously preaching Christ and building Kingdom communities of local Churches in which there is true transformation and thus transformation of societies - eg., slum ministry around Nairobi.

I have just started to read Jenkins new book which talks about the Bible and its critical role in Global South Christianity - a theme found in this talk and Q & A session.  I am so far thrilled and challenged by it as I was by his last book on Global Christianity.

I do believe we are participating in a new Reformation of a kind.  God is remaking the Church globally and what a thrill it is to be caught up in what God is doing as well as being deeply challenged by the same.

May 25, 8:24 am | [comment link]
3. hyacinth wrote:

Thank you Kendall for posting this article.  Simply superb!  A must read!

May 25, 8:40 am | [comment link]
4. Shirley wrote:

My thanks as well, Kendall.  It is long, but very much worth the read!

May 25, 9:19 am | [comment link]
5. Words Matter wrote:

Is the corporate reference to TEC as a treatment-resistance “cancerous lump” really analogous to the personal (and racist) reference to African bishops?

Words Matter

Reasonable people always fear nascent fascism.

May 25, 9:31 am | [comment link]
6. Dan Crawford wrote:

I appreciated the article for showing that several journalists are capable of asking intelligent, even informed questions. One does not often see that in the articles journalists write about religious issues.

May 25, 9:49 am | [comment link]
7. pendennis88 wrote:

Very interesting presentation, with many insights that are more typically glossed over or ignored.  Incidentally, I happen to note that at least three of the speakers, I think, attend CANA churches.  Sally Quinn’s questions, in turn, show how oblivious some can be.  She could have asked her questions of any number of people in her own circle beforehand, and gotten quite good answers, but is probably unaware of where they go to church.  She even appears to not know where the presenters attend church or she might have directed the question to one of them directly.

I think it is connected to another point that struck me from the presentation.  Jenkins says “If you’re an Episcopalian, particularly in the [American] South, if you’ve got eight generations of your family buried in the local churchyard, you are not going to go off and worship in a high school gym while you build a new church.”  His larger point, that episcopalians tend to love their historic buildings, is true, and they have more of them.  But the episcopal church just does not have that family, upper-middle class (to use Quinn’s characterization) connection it once did.  Despite the fact that the liberal diocese seem to view themselves (though will not speak of it but rarely) as a chaplaincy to the upper classes, that WASP world is dead.  Dead as the private commuter cars on the New Haven Line.  Not coming back.  Maybe it hangs on a little in smallish southern towns, as Jenkins suggests, but there aren’t many episcopalians in the SR any more.  If anything, catholicism has taken hold.  And there are more evangelicals at the R&T in New York or the Met and CCC in DC than people like Ms. Quinn realize, or would likely be comfortable with.  I think one point the liberals misjudged in 2003 was that they thought they could change the teachings and the old crowd and their money would stick through social pressure.  But the old crowd is gone, and the new crowd does not care as much.  If anything, they are embarrassed by what 815 has done to the brand, and don’t even want to be known as episcopalians any more.

May 25, 9:55 am | [comment link]
8. Tikvah wrote:

I have little to add to the above comments, but I must point out the following: I did not leave ECUSA because I didn’t “trust the leadership of the Episcopal Church.”  Trust had nothing to do with it. I left because of the apostasy. I left because my bishop claimed God is “evolving” and we need to learn “new truths,” (which, of course, are totally at odds with, and contrary to, what the Church embraced from the beginning.) I left because the +Spongs were tolerated and embraced. +Pike should never have been allowed to continue and it’s been downhill ever since. Like it or not, the House of Bishops is largely to blame for the demise of the Episcopal Church, IMHO. But then, crying over spilt milk isn’t going to change anything, is it?
In His Shalom,
Tikvah

May 25, 11:07 am | [comment link]
9. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

From the Pew Forum: Is the Anglican Communion the First Stage in a Wider Christian Split?

Yes.

The Rabbit.

May 25, 11:22 am | [comment link]
10. Sarah1 wrote:

I appreciate the article very much.  I could probably quibble over a few details of Jenkins but by and large I agreed with his points.  I also found the questions from the reporters to be quite revealing with regards to their prejudices and hopes.  ; > )

The one place that simply did not ring true was Jenkins’s answers to the oblivious Sally Quinn.

Here is the question:

“You talk about the African church, and how it is understandable that they would be so closely connected to the Bible, because it is only a generation or so away from the way so many of them live. But then I find it difficult to understand what the churches in America, particularly this group out in Virginia, which is white, upper-middle class – very, very far away from the origins of the Bible – what they have in common with them. I don’t understand how those two can connect, and why they would put themselves together, particularly in Virginia where we all know there is still some vestige of racism.


And here is her followup question:

“QUINN: I still am not clear about why this group of upper-class white Southerners would reach out to the Africans. It’s not clear to me what it is about, since they are so far from each other in terms of their relationship to the Bible and their intimacy with the daily lives of the Bible.

Jenkins’ answer is very far off the mark, consisting of lines like this:

“But just think of the rhetorical, political advantages of being aware that this is the future of Christianity. “We are allying ourselves not with the decadent, Northern world, but with the future of the church.” Think of the advantages that gives you, if you’re trying to put on a spokesperson for a conservative cause, and the person you put on is an African or an Asian who is going to present the issue in terms of fighting cultural imperialism. Oh boy, that’s good. Politically, that’s enormously powerful.”<blockquote>

And this: <blockquote>“I’d have problems dividing things like that, because homosexuality especially has become such a difficult issue for conservatives to defend their positions on, in the U.S. and particularly in Europe, where it’s much, much tougher. Suddenly, this provides a way of doing it in an acceptable way. “We’re not speaking for ourselves; we’re speaking for the many millions of black and brown people around the world.”


He is way off the mark in so many ways here.  First, conservatives don’t have a difficult time at all defending the Christian stance on homosexuality.  All of us have strong tendencies to particular sinful behavior and disorders.  But one should confess those sins and allow the Holy Spirit to transform us.  And when we fall into sin, we should repent and return to the Lord.  I—and a whole bunch of other Episcopalians—are not at all ashamed of that “defense”, as Jenkins implies.

Second, I have much much much more in common with African Anglican Christians, with regards to my relationship to the Bible and belief about its authority and applicability than I do with the average progressive Episcopal bishop.

I may not have much in common with an African Anglican on living conditions, or all sorts of other things.  But our beliefs on the Bible would have a whole lot of commonality.

This leads me to the “missing piece” I think in Jenkins’s thoughts about all of this.  He still *needs to believe* that there aren’t a whole crew of Episcopalians out there who now have more in common with the religion of African Anglicans than with the religion of Katherine Jefferts Schori. 

That’s a fatal misreading of a subset of *his own people*—traditional Episcopalians who are Americans.

May 25, 11:37 am | [comment link]
11. Phil wrote:

I’d like to follow up on Sarah’s comments by noting two things.  First, this question by Ms. Quinn:

“I still am not clear about why this group of upper-class white Southerners would reach out to the Africans.”

is embarrassingly tendentious.  What I object to is the word “Southerners;” it seems clear Quinn says it that way to invoke some kind of (bigoted, by the way) image of the uneducated hayseed.  These churches are in Northern Virginia, which is about as “Southern” as Westchester County or the Main Line communities outside of Philly – and Quinn knows it.

And, I agree with Sarah on Mr. Jenkins’ answer.  What we have in common is that we’re brothers and sisters in Christ, which is probably a foreign concept to Quinn, but shouldn’t be to Jenkins.

May 25, 12:46 pm | [comment link]
12. Deja Vu wrote:

Great Interview. Pulled this quote from Jenkins from near the end:

...There’s one dialogue I love from an African man who’d been converted. He was fascinated reading the Bible, especially about Daniel and all these great prophetic texts. So he went to his local Anglican church and said, “Will you interpret this for me?” And the church said, “Don’t bother with those sayings, they’re very hard, and anyway, they’re just dreams.” Golden rule: never tell an African that something is just a dream…

May 25, 1:28 pm | [comment link]
13. Reactionary wrote:

Quinn’s questions were unintentionally hilarious.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to sip my julep and supervise the cotton-picking.

May 25, 1:35 pm | [comment link]
14. pendennis88 wrote:

The Quinn questions continue to intrigue me, and I have thought in the past that Kendall would indulge amateur sociologists, so I want to revisit them.  The guts of the question is “I find it difficult to understand what the churches in America, particularly this group out in Virginia, which is white, upper-middle class – very, very far away from the origins of the Bible – what they have in common with them.”  There is a huge amount to unpack in that sentence.  I called Quinn oblivious, which was unkind.  I really meant something more like “out-of touch with something going on around her”.  To me, the question is almost like “these people seem almost like me - I wouldn’t do this, so why are they”?

I’d like to take a rambling initial stab at an answer from a NE corridor perspective.  First, some of us can remember when membership in an episcopal church was almost a social register (green book in DC) kind of club.  In Manhattan, ushers in leading parishes wore morning suits.  Pew rentals died out only in the early 80s.  Coffee and sherry were served after Service and no one thought of it.  It was a much smaller world.  It would have been inconceivable to have much connection at all with a third world bishop, except as a curiosity.

But times really have changed.  The children of the parishioners of that day often attend no church.  If they do attend church there is usually a reason.  It rarely has to do with status.  I’m sure there are still a few DC parishes where that is dying out more slowly, as there are in NYC, but dying out it surely is.  The CANA parishioners who are of a certain elevated age are there because of the roads we’ve traveled, by and large.  If things had been easy, I’m sure, like many of my fellows, I would nominally be on the role of some cardinal parish and attend Easter and Christmas Eve.  Or not bother to go at all.  But the children are another matter.  The children, thankfully, have picked up almost none of our stuffiness.  If I told my kids there was an enormous social gulf between the Racquet & Tennis and the Tennis & Racquet, they would look at me like I was mad.  They just don’t care.  Those trappings just don’t matter anymore.  They go where they hear something that hits them as the truth, whether that is Redeemer Pres or Truro (where there are an awful lot of under 40s).  Or they go to no church.  They are certainly not inclined to waste a Sunday morning for appearance’ sake. 

Also, a lot of the younger generation in Northern Virginia is in high tec industry, or the financing of it.  Again, not inclined to the stuffiness of our generation.  Much more comfortable with the praise worship, bands, and so forth.

Another factor is simply globalization.  The world is becoming a very small place.  Even folks like me have become comfortable traveling the world on business, much more than even my father, and he was no slouch.  And the prevalence of American media and goods everywhere means that the poor African knows almost as much about America as your children do.  Maybe more. 

Further, the racial views held by the younger generation at places like the CANA churches are completely different from those of people raised in the 1950s.  Quinn would be right to ask about the reaction of someone raised in those times.  But asking it of a 30 year old is to ask for an answer you can’t fully understand.

As a final point, Quinn suggests that people like her are far removed from the origins of the Bible.  I’d suggest that indicates some unfamiliarity with the Bible and history.  There have always been rich and poor.  Many of the rich come off poorly in the Bible, but others not so much.  Nor do I think character has changed much in thousands of years.  There is more commonality of the Bible with our times than not, Jenkins’ good points notwithstanding.

And for evangelical folks who take the Bible seriously, that means that Africans are their brothers and sisters in Christ.  They may even find they have more in common with poor African Christians than with their rich friends who are not.  In light of all this, it should actually not be that surprising that an American might have a lot in common with an African bishop.  But, apparently, it is.

May 25, 2:05 pm | [comment link]
15. Larry Morse wrote:

How am I going to get the time to read this as it ought to be read. This is an article of real substance. I asked for it and Thump it’s on my head.
This needs to be read several times just to organize thematically everything Jenkins has said. It is a great pleasure to be able to say, “This time, I am really impressed.”  LM

May 25, 3:06 pm | [comment link]
16. Brian of Maryland wrote:

Is TEC leading the way for a global Anglican split?  Yes.  Does this merely highlight the larger impending split?  Yes.  Well, at least TEC is leading something.

May 25, 3:13 pm | [comment link]
17. Danny Garland Jr. wrote:

umm…the Great Schism of 1054 was not about whether or not priests should have beards. It was over the filioque clause and the authority of the Pope.

-Danny Garland Jr.

http://www.irishanddangerous.blogspot.com

May 25, 4:52 pm | [comment link]
18. Janis wrote:

Overall, insightful and informative. But at least one of his comments sounded not so very objective:  “What Akinola’s done recently is push the limits of church law; he shouldn’t be doing it.”
Quite interesting that he should reveal further on in the interview(rather sheepishly, I thought) that he is an Episcopalian. Who knew?

Maybe that is why his answer to Sally Quinn sounded to me more like a personal opinion (or way off the mark as Sarah put it) and not so much like a real understanding of how conservatives think.

And what’s with his glib comment regarding the Great Schism of 1054? Puzzling…

May 25, 5:52 pm | [comment link]
19. Bob Maxwell+ wrote:

Ms. Quinn needs to read or reread with a farther view, Friedman’s “The World is Flat.” to which we can say “and so is the Church.”

Still ridin’ for the brand in the Rio Grande. . .

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

May 25, 6:01 pm | [comment link]
20. Tegularius wrote:

#8 writes: “Is the corporate reference to TEC as a treatment-resistance “cancerous lump” really analogous to the personal (and racist) reference to African bishops?”

One could just as easily ask, “Is it really appropriate to compare a statement from the Archbishop of Nigeria to one from an anonymous member of a pressure group?”

I mean, one could search the web and find all kinds of individuals saying all kinds of nasty things, but those who support TEC are not holding those individuals up as spiritual leaders.

Whereas CANA folks have chosen to follow a leader who says that hate crime and anti-discrimination laws are mocking God.

“Morality precedes Scripture”

May 25, 6:40 pm | [comment link]
21. Catholic Mom wrote:

The word schism means a split, and the great historical example is what happened in 1054, when the Eastern and Western churches had a tiff over such crucial theological issues as whether priests should wear beards. 

Hopefully Mr. Jenkins has a lot more historical education than that. The rift was about authority and about how the Church as a catholic body should reach decisions.  It was also a function of massive demographic and cultural shifts as Constantinople and the Greek world began to give way in importance to Rome and the Europeans.  In the same way, the rift in the Anglican world is about a lot more than ordaining homosexual bishops and will involve equally seismic shifts before things settle down.

May 25, 7:42 pm | [comment link]
22. Ross wrote:

#14 pendennis88 says:

As a final point, Quinn suggests that people like her are far removed from the origins of the Bible.  I’d suggest that indicates some unfamiliarity with the Bible and history.  There have always been rich and poor.  Many of the rich come off poorly in the Bible, but others not so much.  Nor do I think character has changed much in thousands of years.  There is more commonality of the Bible with our times than not, Jenkins’ good points notwithstanding.

I think the observation that the African churches are closer to the Biblical world is not so much about rich versus poor—although there is that—but that the Church in Acts was a struggling minority, in a cultural milieu actively hostile to it, and not merely persisting but growing triumphantly on nothing more than a shoestring, faith, and the kerygma.

Many of the African churches can relate pretty strongly to that circumstance.  By contrast, being a Christian in the U.S. is a pretty safe proposition.  In some venues, it’s almost required—it will be a long time before you see a self-declared atheist make a viable run for President, for instance.

But a casual reading of this blog reveals that many reasserters do feel themselves to be in a persecuted minority, at least in TEC and the larger American culture; but they persevere because they’re convinced they have the true Gospel.  That, I think, may be one reason the African connection seems to be natural for them.

———————————————————————-
Who am I?  Visit my web page or my blog  to find out.

May 25, 8:57 pm | [comment link]
23. George Conger wrote:

Good article by Jenkins ... however, I would question his distinction between the real Episcopalians and the later day interlopers—-the evangelicals and charismatics.  Surely those who have come in and changed things are the liberals—-Jefferts Schori, Louie Crew, et al, who seek to create a church to their liking—-changing what has been to what they would like.

A great many of the historical bits about the Episcopal Church and its players, names, and groups are somewhat off ... but not so much as to detract from his argument.  The charismatic movement started out West—-Dennis Bennett and not in suburban Washington or in Pittsburgh, for example.

I also agree with comments post above about the mindset of some of the reporters ... they don’t get it.

May 25, 10:08 pm | [comment link]
24. PaulJ wrote:

It was intriguing to read Ms. Quinn’s questions, Mr. Jenkins’ answers, and the various comments.  What indeed do Northern Virginia “Southerners” have in common with Anglican Christians in Africa?  It does not seem strange at all to those of us like myself who have been Truro parishioners for a long time.  The connections go back a long way, long before the battles of the present church politics, and are entirely natural and based on long-standing personal relationships. 

Ugandan evangelist Bishop Festo Kivengere spoke several times at Truro and in the Diocese of Virginia in the 1970’s.  I also heard Bp. Alpha Mohammed of Tanzania speak in a (now liberal) Virginia parish around that time.  My own daughter was confirmed in 1982 at Truro by Bp. William Rukirande, Bp. Festo’s successor in Kigezi, Uganda.  Bp. William was studying at Virginia Seminary at the time, and he and I attended the same New Testament Greek adult education class at Truro. I still run into him occasionally.  Over the years the Africa connection with Truro expanded greatly, with many visits back and forth: priests and bishops at the Seminary visiting Truro and mission teams from Truro heading to Africa.  We developed many old friends.  Many dozens, if not more, of our parishioners, have been to Africa over the years, to Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, and more recently Nigeria.  Some serve in permanent mission.  A capital campaign outreach tithe from Truro helped build an eye clinic in Uganda that serves thousands of people.  A Truro sponsored tree replanting project in Tanzania has brought reforestation and a small income to Tanzanian villagers.  Our own parishioners have reached deep into their own pockets to provide monthly support through our TOUCH program (TOuch One Ugandan Child) for over 1000 children and AIDS orphans in the diocese of Kigezi.  A number of parishioners have visited these children personally during mission trips, and parishioners regularly correspond with their children. 

Our many visitors from Africa over the years, whether priests, bishops, or lay, report on shared mission, and are welcomed into our parish family and our homes at Truro.  This has been going on for years, and is a part of out identity as a church committed to outreach for the sake of the gospel.  When Africans come, we rarely hear anything about church politics from them.  Rather we will hear news from home and shared stories of the gospel.  When bishops preach, they preach the gospel, not politics.  The Episcopal Church is mostly irrelevant.  For years we rarely had visits of any length from more nearby Episcopal bishops or diocesan representatives, or much interest expressed by them in our ministry (there was interest in our diocesan pledge, however).  Our shared bonds of personal history and common mission unite us with our African friends in ways that are far deeper than more casual relationships with many nearby Episcopalians.  Our long history with East Africa makes us receptive to our newer connections with West Africa.

Our parishioners are mostly ordinary Northern Virginia surburbanites (which means many nationalities—local elementary schools have dozens of languages spoken by their students) who seek to live ordinary faithful Christian lives in the midst of extraordinary times.  It is refreshing to know that the silly stereotypes that everyone likes to throw around are simply inconsistent with reality. Ms. Quinn should visit us.  Perhaps that would help her understand what it means to serve the world in the Name of Christ.

May 25, 10:09 pm | [comment link]
25. Militaris Artifex wrote:

#20 Tegularius, writes in response to #8 Tikvah that

One could just as easily ask, “Is it really appropriate to compare a statement from the Archbishop of Nigeria to one from an anonymous member of a pressure group?”

I mean, one could search the web and find all kinds of individuals saying all kinds of nasty things, but those who support TEC are not holding those individuals up as spiritual leaders.

Whereas CANA folks have chosen to follow a leader who says that hate crime and anti-discrimination laws are mocking God.

Unless I completely misinterpret what he is saying, this appears to be an assertion that the two comments are somehow morally equivalent. I would flatly assert that such is not the case. Even considering only a grammatical analysis, how does one equate a simile (that which +Akinola is reputed to have said) to an inferentially slanderous statement that is clearly neither a metaphor nor an analogy. Neither statement is particularly charitable in its tone, but there is no need for the vote suggested by Philip Jenkins, as the two comments are patently not commensurable. And given the implicit cultural and racial condescension in the choice of words, the latter statement (not attributed in the transcript), wins “hands down” for hatefulness, whether intentionally, or simply unconsciously, so.

If Jenkins, or Tegularius, wishes to search for another example from TEC for a winning slander, no tedious search is required. Consider the following, from someone that TEC does hold up, officially in point of fact, as a “spiritual leader’, characterizing the orthodox Episcopal minority:

“I think it is the Evil One who is at work here, distracting us from our central focus, which ought to be on feeding the hungry, relieving the needs of the poor, healing the sick. This obsession is keeping us from doing that. To focus on issues of sexuality when people are dying is a distraction from our mission.”*

If I have misunderstood Tegularius meaning or intent, I think we would likely all appreciate if, in future, he were more explicit in making his point.
——————
* Quoted here attributed to the current Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, Katherine Jefferts Schori.

———————-
“The common belief that whisky improves with age is true. The older I get, the more I like it.”[Ronnie Corbett]
“Si vis pacem, para bellum.”[classical adage, believed based on a quotation from Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus]
—[i[]If you can keep your head while all those around you are losing theirs, you obviously don’t understand the gravity of the situation!”—[author unknown]

May 25, 10:44 pm | [comment link]
26. Karen B. wrote:

Bob #19, Martyn Minns recently made exactly the same comparison with Friedman’s book and wrote an essay “The Church is Flat”—here’s the link over at Drell’s. 

http://descant.classicalanglican.net/?p=2857

May 25, 11:14 pm | [comment link]
27. Wilfred wrote:

“...what happened in 1054, when the Eastern and Western churches had a tiff over such crucial theological issues as whether priests should wear beards.”
I almost stopped reading after this remark, which trivializes the Great Schism.  The issue of whether the pope has authority over the whole Church, or is he just the (admittedly important) Bishop of Rome, is not a minor one.
If Mr Jenkins wanted an example of schism for trivial reason, he could have looked no further than the founding of the Church of England.  Would Anglicanism even exist if Henry VIII had been content with his first or second wife, or if he had been granted the divorce he wanted?

May 26, 1:39 am | [comment link]
28. Ian Montgomery wrote:

Thank you George #23 concerning innovators and changers.
<blockquote>Good article by Jenkins ... however, I would question his distinction between the real Episcopalians and the later day interlopers—-the evangelicals and charismatics.  Surely those who have come in and changed things are the liberals—-Jefferts Schori, Louie Crew, et al, who seek to create a church to their liking—-changing what has been to what they would like.</bolckquote>

Historically one of the tragedies of the Anglican history of the USA is the departure of the Reformed into REC in the 1870s.  With that departure the Evangelical presence was largely lost as was the influence of the Holiness movement in the C of E led by Bishop Handley Moule et al.  Add the influence of the Oxford Movement, also of the later 19th century and we get a church into which the evangelical and charismatic movements of the mid to late 20th century may seem like interlopers to the average US Episcopalian.

Notwithstanding this and not wanting in any way to disparage the Oxford Movement, this has IMHO created an environment in which we would hear that the Evangelical and Charismatic were interlopers. 

On a global platform the nature of the Anglican world has been Reformed Catholic and very Protestant with some provinces emphasizing one aspect more than another.  To translate this a tad we then find ourselves as a Communion of sacramental and liturgical, evangelical and now, charismatic people.  In the Global South of which Jenkins speaks so eloquently and knowledgeably this is the dominant spirituality and the cutting edge of church growth and vitality.  It is not enough for those who have assumed leadership in TEC to dismiss leaders and churches such as Truro or The Falls Church as not authentically Anglican or Episcopal.  In fact they are more Anglican (historically and presently) than those who oppose them and are leading TEC in its poisonous and arrogant stand off with the rest of the Communion.  Who is indeed the interloper?

May 26, 8:53 am | [comment link]


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