Ephraim Radner: A Brief Statement of Resignation from the Anglican Communion Network

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It is with sorrow and deep disappointment that I tender my resignation from the Anglican Communion Network. Since the time I assisted in its founding, its leaders, members, and mission have been dear to me, even when I have disagreed with some of its corporate actions. The recent statements by the Moderator of the Network, Robert Duncan, however, so contradict my sense of calling within this part of Christ’s Body, the Anglican Communion, that I have no choice but to disassociate myself from this group, whom I had once hoped might prove an instrument of renewal, not of destruction, of building up, not of tearing down.

Bishop Duncan has now declared the See of Canterbury and the Lambeth Conference -- two of the four Instruments of Communion within our tradition – to be “lost”. He has said that God is “doing a new thing” in allowing these elements to founder and be let go. I find this judgment to be dangerously precipitous and unfair under circumstances when current, faithful, and hard work is being done by many to bolster these Instruments as servants of our common life in Christ. The judgment is also astonishingly self-confident and autonomously prophetic in a mode not unlike the baleful claims to visionary authority of those who have long misled the Episcopal Church. Finally, the declaration in effect cancels out the other two Instruments of Communion that also uphold our common Anglican life – the Primates’ Meeting and the Anglican Consultative Council. It is the entire Anglican Communion, therefore, that Bp. Duncan is declaring to be “lost”. The judgment is far too sweeping.

Bp. Duncan has, in the end, decided to start a new church. He may call it “Anglican” if he wishes, though I do not recognize the name in these kinds of actions that break communion rather than build it up – for such building is what I have long perceived to be the “thing” God was “doing” with the earthen vessel of our tradition. In founding his new church, furthermore, he is, I fear, not working for the healing of our broken Body, but repeating the mistakes of Christians in the past, whose zeal has not only brought suffering to themselves, but has wounded the Church of Christ. It is not only his own diocese that his statements and actions will affect; it is many others, including parishes within them, many of which have worked for faithfulness and peace, truth in love, for some time, and for whom new troubles and divisions are now promised. Enough of this. I cannot follow him in this way. There is great work to be done, with hope and with joy, if also with suffering endurance for the faith once delivered, in the vineyards of the Anglican Communion where the Lord has called us and still maintains His calling; just as there has been in the past, and all for the glory of the larger Church Catholic.

--The Rev. Dr. Ephraim Radner

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Communion Network

264 Comments
Posted July 31, 2007 at 5:35 pm

To comment on this article: Go to Article View

The URL for this article is http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/4770/



1. Jeff Thimsen wrote:

This is sad news. However, I have tried to follow Fr. Radner’s postings on this and other blogs, and have never figured out his solution to the dilemma in the Anglican Communion.

July 31, 5:40 pm | [comment link]
2. Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) wrote:

I keep getting these parallels to Erasmus and Luther.

I have one of those blog thingies

July 31, 5:47 pm | [comment link]
3. KAR wrote:

I’m not surprised. ACN is on a course to be outside reformers (Federal Conservatives) and ACI are working to be inside reformers (Communion Conservatives). It is best that ACI assume this role so that each organization can fulfill it’s role to the fullest.

I do hope all parties remain one in the Spirit of Christ though they may be receiving different instruction, may all parties ultimately trust the Lord just might have a plan that includes both at those moments when it seems the other in in the way. May the Lord continue to bless Ephraim and the Network as they strive to be faithful and protect them from all evils including that which lurks within.

July 31, 5:47 pm | [comment link]
4. The_Elves wrote:

I find this sad news to read at the close of the Council meeting where it seems there has been much work to GUARD unity.  May the Lord bless Radner’s ministry, and may He give wisdom for both those who support the Network’s direction, and those who can’t.

Interesting that the lectionary yesterday was Paul & Barnabas’ split.
I was encouraged to remember at the time I read it that Paul & Barnabas BOTH continued fruitful God-glorifying ministry.  And were later reconciled

Got questions about T19? E-mail us! .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

July 31, 5:51 pm | [comment link]
5. Grandmother wrote:

I never heard +Duncan call anything/anyone “Lost” except the American Province.  Even the headline says only that.

Yes, he’s upset with the ABC, so who isn’t?

I’m sorry to hear this news, he could have done much good for the Gospel.  But its his choice of course.
Gloria

July 31, 5:56 pm | [comment link]
6. Barrdu wrote:

“...for such building is what I have long perceived to be the “thing” God was “doing” with the earthen vessel of our tradition.”

With all due respect, I am at a loss to understand how one can have this perception in light of the facts on the ground as I see them through this and other sources.  Ditto to KAR # 3

July 31, 6:03 pm | [comment link]
7. Newbie Anglican wrote:

I am out of patience with the ACI.  Dr. Radner’s implying those who must leave are not Anglican is uncalled for.  I’ve been respectful toward the ACI, but if they continue to undercut orthodox Anglicans who feel they must leave TEC or even the Anglican Communion, I, for one, won’t put up with it.

now Wannabe Anglican again

July 31, 6:04 pm | [comment link]
8. Jeffersonian wrote:

I agree with Granny Gloria…Radner+‘s act was rash and unsupported by anything I’ve read from +Duncan.  Please reconsider, Father Radner.

TEC delenda est!

July 31, 6:05 pm | [comment link]
9. Steve Lake wrote:

I fear this is a precipitous, most unfortunate move for Radner+.  +Duncan did not even describe in what sense the IU, including the ABC, are lost.  Radner+ is normally hermeneutically so generous—generous to a fault, I sometimes feel!—but this is uncharitable and especially in a very difficult time.  His words alienate him from a brother in Christ and fellow churchman that he needs at this time.  And if Radner+ cannot appreciate that need, that alone is as damning an indictment of the rift within the orthodox Anglican cause.  Some (like +Duncan and the fedcons) are tired of waiting for yet one more meeting. . .and then another. . .and another. . .to bring resolution to these issues.  I think he was speaking in more moral and spiritual terms when speaking of them as lost; they have failed to seize the moment and lead.  I can respect that Radner+ disagrees, but why can he not simply display the same amount and kind of patience with the ACN leadership that he has and does with TEC? There is gross incongruity here and it may have tragic consequences.  For when Radner+ publicly renounces his affiliation with them, he not only lacks patience and charity, but he broadcasts it to the world in a way that can only aid and abet the progressive side of this dispute. 

I am deeply,deeply saddened to see this play out in real-time on the Internet.  I thought better of Radner+ than this, and hope he might just reconsider his decision.  We all need to stick together right now, and to purposely break cause with a brother who, all things considered, wants very much the same thing as you is to be blind, perhaps fatally blind, to the real consequences of actions taken in public.

—-
http://drlake.blogspot.com

July 31, 6:07 pm | [comment link]
10. Brian from T19 wrote:

Good for you Dr. Radner!  Keep the faith!

The view that has been expressed by all the Instruments of Communion in recent years is that <u>interventions are not to be sanctioned</u>. - Archbishop Rowan Williams

July 31, 6:11 pm | [comment link]
11. Brian from T19 wrote:

Grandmother and Jeffersonian:

Bishop Duncan expressed his disappointment that the Archbishop of Canterbury has not supported Network members in ways that he and other Network leaders had hoped.

“Never, ever has he spoken publicly in defense of the orthodox in the United States,” Bishop Duncan said of the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, adding that “the cost is his office.

“To lose that historic office is a cost of such magnitude that God must be doing a new thing,” he said.

A reporter for The Living Church asked Bishop Duncan to expand on his remarks about the cost of the archbishop’s office. “I was actually expanding on a remark that the Archbishop of Sydney made during a breakfast I had with him two weeks ago,” Bishop Duncan said, explaining that both the See of Canterbury and the Lambeth Conference have been lost as instruments of communion.

“The fact is that the Archbishop of Canterbury has not led in a way that might have saved his office and might have saved Lambeth,” Bishop Duncan said.

The view that has been expressed by all the Instruments of Communion in recent years is that <u>interventions are not to be sanctioned</u>. - Archbishop Rowan Williams

July 31, 6:16 pm | [comment link]
12. Steve Lake wrote:

One further thought—as I sit in utter bafflement at Radner+‘s actions—a question: why not write an open letter repudiating +Duncan’s words, asking for clarification?  Why not give the +Duncan and the ACN that courtesy first?  These intermediate steps are surely warranted, both practically and out of Christian charity. 

Radner+, who normally deplores airing dirty laundry on blogs, just made a huge misstep, in my estimate.  I pray he changes his mind and makes amends.

Sad, sad, sad.

—-
http://drlake.blogspot.com

July 31, 6:16 pm | [comment link]
13. Brian from T19 wrote:

Steve

asking for clarification?

Why does Dr. Radner+ need to ask for clarification?  Doug LeBlanc asked +Duncan to clarify his statement and he restated it.  How much do we need?

The view that has been expressed by all the Instruments of Communion in recent years is that <u>interventions are not to be sanctioned</u>. - Archbishop Rowan Williams

July 31, 6:26 pm | [comment link]
14. Jeffersonian wrote:

Ridiculous, Brian….these are [valid, IMHO] criticisms of ++Rowan and in no way reflect the sense of the ACN as a body.

TEC delenda est!

July 31, 6:31 pm | [comment link]
15. Steve Lake wrote:

Brian—

Because it is not clear what he means by “lost.”  Spiritually?  I can agree with that.  Both have lost much of their spiritual status as a result of decisions, taken and not taken.  But Radner+ assumed the worst sense of “lost”—meaning, repudiated by or irrelevant to +Duncan and Anglicans worldwide.  He took it to be a statement of ecclessial commitment.  Nothing he said, though, necessarily indicated that +Duncan meant it as such. 

Radner+ spoke rashly.  I know he does not agree with the Common Cause partnership, but IMO, he should have waited to see how things play out.  He has counseled that time and again vis-a-vis the ABC, why can’t he extend the same patience and grace towards the efforts of beleaguered reasserters to organize IN CASE a new ecclessial body emerges post-30 September.  Surely, that is not too much to ask.

—-
http://drlake.blogspot.com

July 31, 6:38 pm | [comment link]
16. Jeffersonian wrote:

I will, however, swing a brickbat at +Duncan insofar as his declaration of the ABC and Lambeth as “lost” is also rash.  It might well be prophetic, but he owes it to the ABC and Primates to let the process play out until Sept. 30.

TEC delenda est!

July 31, 6:42 pm | [comment link]
17. Dale Rye wrote:

Re #7: What is an Anglican? Is it anybody who chooses to call himself by that label, or is it someone who belongs to the Anglican Communion of churches under the presidency of the Archbishop of Canterbury? If the latter, one has the choice of abiding by the collective discernment of the Communion as expressed through its Instruments of Unity, or of “doing one’s own thing.” I don’t see much difference between claiming to belong to the Communion without heeding its discipline and claiming membership in an independent Anglican body. An “Anglican Communion Network” that feels free to disregard the guidance of the Communion is virtually indistinguishable from an “Anglican province” like TEC that feels equally free to disregard that guidance.

As I have observed here many times before, I believe that the great bulk of Episcopalians want to remain in communion with Canterbury. If TEC splits into two entities, one of which is in communion with the Church of England and the other of which is not, most of us are going to opt for the in-communion entity. A year or two ago, I would have bet that the entity in question was going to be basically reasserter in orientation and would become more so in time as more reappraisers chose to walk apart.  I would not make that bet today.

When the Windsor Report came out, I said that American reasserters were assured of their own province within the Communion if they just let the process play out. I also said that they could snatch defeat out of the jaws of that victory by pushing their position harder than moderates elsewhere in the Communion could tolerate.

That seems to be exactly what is happening. By taking increasingly extreme positions towards the central authorities of the Communion, parts of the reasserter leadership are leaving orthodox moderates such as Dr. Radner and Abp. Williams no ground to stand on within the emerging Global-South Communion, which makes the division of the existing Communion almost inevitable. To reiterate, I think most Americans are going to go with Canterbury, the very See that the ACN has decided to walk apart from. Moderate conservatives like the non-Network Windsor Bishops are going to have to chart their own course, which could lead to THREE major fragments of the former Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion. Glad I live in one of those dioceses!

July 31, 6:42 pm | [comment link]
18. Jeffersonian wrote:

#17, no matter how I try I cannot possibly parody your post any more than you already have.

If the latter, one has the choice of abiding by the collective discernment of the Communion as expressed through its Instruments of Unity, or of “doing one’s own thing.”

Haaaaaahahahahaha!!!  Great!!!

TEC delenda est!

July 31, 6:50 pm | [comment link]
19. Thunder Jones wrote:

This is the line that really matters in what Radner wrote:

He may call it “Anglican” if he wishes, though I do not recognize the name in these kinds of actions that break communion rather than build it up – for such building is what I have long perceived to be the “thing” God was “doing” with the earthen vessel of our tradition.

We are all located within Anglican tradition.  From within it, we struggle and fight and work towards a better understanding of what it means to be faithful.  By willingly discarding those whom are with us on this journey, +Duncan is crossing a line that TEC has never crossed.  TEC may upset conservative/evanglical/traditionalist/et al, but they have never told them to get out; TEC has never severed off a part of the body and declared it to be a good.

I doubt that Radner has ill-will towards those of a more brash disposition, but I don’t think he consideres such brashness to be better than longsuffering, much less the theological virtue of charity.

In the end, we have a theologian committed to ecclesiology that won’t follow into the free church wasteland that many in the ACN seem to be headed.

July 31, 6:50 pm | [comment link]
20. Publius wrote:

The ABC has badly mishandled this situation. Decisive action immediately following GC 2003 could have isolated the contagion in TEC and preserved the unity of the Communion and the ABC’s leadership of it. This is what I think Bp. Duncan means when he refers to “lincolnesque” leadership. But the ABC has stalled, kept his personal position vague, and seemingly favored TEC. Thus the contagion spread and intensified. In the end the Communion will now split, and the ABC lose his “position” as unchallenged “first among equals” among Anglicans. This is what I think Bp. Duncan means when he refers to the ABC “losing” his office.

Does anyone understand what Fr. Radner hopes to accomplish by remaining in TEC?

July 31, 6:51 pm | [comment link]
21. The Lakeland Two wrote:

Our prayers will be with Dr. Radner & Company.  We’re sure that the reappraisers will be overjoyed in this.  We think it was rash and done out without due prayer, but that is Dr. Radner’s choice and free will.

July 31, 6:52 pm | [comment link]
22. Jeffersonian wrote:

We are all located within Anglican tradition.  From within it, we struggle and fight and work towards a better understanding of what it means to be faithful.  By willingly discarding those whom are with us on this journey, +Duncan is crossing a line that TEC has never crossed.  TEC may upset conservative/evanglical/traditionalist/et al, but they have never told them to get out; TEC has never severed off a part of the body and declared it to be a good.

Nor did the ACN.

After getting thumbs in the eye from TEC’s official actions for four years, Radner+ kicks over the table for an ambiguous remark made in an interview of +Duncan, then attributes it to the ACN as a whole??  If I didn’t trust Father Radner, I’d suspect this as a manufactured outrage.

TEC delenda est!

July 31, 6:58 pm | [comment link]
23. tjmcmahon wrote:

While I wish Dr. Radner Godspeed and offer my prayers for the future of his mission and ministry, I must ask “What would you have us do?”  The Archbishop of Canterbury is, effectively, on vacation, while his Church burns.  All he had to do was appoint the pastoral council, as was recommended by the primates, he refused.  He could have withheld Lambeth invitations from the consecrators of Gene Robinson, as he was obligated to do under both the Dromentine and Dar communiques, he did not do this.  He, apparently, has not even communicated with his fellow primates, certainly not those of the Global South, over what is in his heart and his mind.  If he intends to fulfill his obligations to the Church, all he need do is take 5 minutes out from his travels and study to say so.  Until such time as he does, Bishop Duncan, is correct, he is not providing the needed leadership.  and for that matter, those bishops of TEC are correct who have portrayed the ABoC as an impotent figurehead.
  Read your own post from StandFirm just a few days ago, Dr. Radner.  If the ship is indeed foundering, and the captain is not to be found on the bridge, to whom would you have us turn?  Those who are putting more holes in the boat, or those trying to patch the holes and man the lifeboats?
  If ++Rowan is waiting for a dramatic moment, now would be a good time.  And what more could +Duncan, +Iker and the others do for the Communion that they are not pledged to do.  They will attend the HoB meeting to make one last attempt to save the Communion.  What else would you ask of them?

July 31, 7:01 pm | [comment link]
24. Jody+ wrote:

There are a lot of people thinking the actions or statements of others are “rash.”  That, if nothing else is rather humorous.

The supreme question is not what we make of the Eucharist but what the Eucharist is making of us.—Archbishop Michael Ramsey

adamantius.net

July 31, 7:01 pm | [comment link]
25. Anonymous Layperson wrote:

There is clearly no real place left for conservative Christians within TEC’s official structures

That was Radner back in March after the February HOB fiasco.  Since then he has fled his TEC parish, abandoning them to the whims of ultra-liberal O’Neill.  He left, but we should stay!  This is particularly disingenuous because the ACN is still going to give the “lost” ABC one more shot at the HOB in Sept.  That’s right, the ACN bishops will be there.  They are simply preparing for the inevitable.

July 31, 7:02 pm | [comment link]
26. Alan Jacobs wrote:

I agree with Steve Lake—Hi Steve!—that Fr. Radner would have done well to ask for clarification. what does Bp. Duncan mean when he says that the Archbishop of Canterbury is “lost”? I can’t even imagine what that means, and I certainly wouldn’t take any action based on a mere assumption about it. And the phrase “the See of Canterbury and the Lambeth Conference have been lost as instruments of communion” is not a quotation from Bp. Duncan but rather a summary, which I mistrust. Does he mean that the ABP and Lambeth have just lost an opportunity to exercise leadership, or does he mean that they have somehow permanently lost the ability to lead, or lost the charism of leadership? I just can’t tell. Surely Fr. Radner knows more about these things than I do, but in his statement he never explains what he takes Bp. Duncan to have meant. He must be sure that he knows, but I wonder where that confidence comes from.

July 31, 7:03 pm | [comment link]
27. Reactionary wrote:

#20 Publius,

I agree with your assessment of the ABC and your interpretation of Bp. Duncan’s statements.  By his inaction, ++Rowan has effectively admitted he’s just a figurehead, which leaves everyone begging the question of why they should bother themselves about Canterbury at all.  In this sense, I agree with Bp. Duncan that the gravitas of the ABC’s office has been irretrievably lost.

Lambeth is going to be a spectacle.  What a mess.

July 31, 7:05 pm | [comment link]
28. Steve Lake wrote:

+Duncan: Rash remark.
Radner+: Rash response.
Blogosphere: Rash reaction.
All guilty as charged.

Still, there is truth in the statements of each of the above.  My only plea has been that Radner+ take his brother +Duncan aside, one-on-one, before going public.  Or at least, take a stance that allows for conversation with +Duncan. 

The only rash thing I’ve ever seen out of Radner+ (i.e., today’s action) is probably the least helpful choice of any north American reasserter to date.

—-
http://drlake.blogspot.com

July 31, 7:07 pm | [comment link]
29. tjmcmahon wrote:

“TEC may upset conservative/evanglical/traditionalist/et al, but they have never told them to get out; TEC has never severed off a part of the body and declared it to be a good.”

#19….You must live in a different diocese and not read much on the “liberal” blogs if you have never been told to get out.  I certainly have, in no uncertain terms.  And tell the Connecticut 6 or any of the clergy who have suffered inhibition or presentment that no part has been severed.

July 31, 7:09 pm | [comment link]
30. Country Doc wrote:

I see this frequently when caring for dying patients.  ISTM that ECUSA has had a growing cancer for over fourty years.  It is now terminal.  At this point hospice and comfort care is recommended.  Some family members agree but there are always those who want to continue with a full court press thinking the patient will revive.  Sometimes this causes a rift in the family.  Usually the doctor is left out of the loop and because of the fear of litigation the maximum treatment is continued.  Now what is interesting is if the hospice position is rejected and the doctors are correct then if the patient dies anyhow, they are vindicated.  If not, then the other side wins.  At any rate after it is all over they usually come back together,  usuall at the funeral in most cases.  So I guess this is all over prognosis.  Time will tell who was right.  Of course, there is the question of whether the cancer has spread to the Anglican Communion also.  Time will tell about that also.  Jesus said that while good men slept the enemy came and sowed weeds in the field.  Be vigilant.

July 31, 7:10 pm | [comment link]
31. Brian from T19 wrote:

these are [valid, IMHO] criticisms of ++Rowan and in no way reflect the sense of the ACN as a body.

I agree that these are valid criticisms of his leadership, although not of his status as an Instrument of Unity.  As the Moderator, +Duncan speaks for the ACN.

The view that has been expressed by all the Instruments of Communion in recent years is that <u>interventions are not to be sanctioned</u>. - Archbishop Rowan Williams

July 31, 7:12 pm | [comment link]
32. Brian from T19 wrote:

Nor did the ACN.

After getting thumbs in the eye from TEC’s official actions for four years, Radner+ kicks over the table for an ambiguous remark made in an interview of +Duncan, then attributes it to the ACN as a whole??  If I didn’t trust Father Radner, I’d suspect this as a manufactured outrage.

Jeffersonian, you can not be serious.

The view that has been expressed by all the Instruments of Communion in recent years is that <u>interventions are not to be sanctioned</u>. - Archbishop Rowan Williams

July 31, 7:19 pm | [comment link]
33. Dale Rye wrote:

Re #18: Jeffersonian, if you didn’t like my parody, perhaps I should have been clearer:

The Communion is being torn apart by people whose personal attacks and invective are convincing people that Christianity lies elsewhere. Most of us cannot stand the chaos caused by individualistic egotists who are convinced that God has only their ear and is leading them to a New Thing that the community as a whole has not yet adopted. Many of us would rather drop out of this church entirely than participate in an organization where elementary Christian charity is so absent. The hateful behavior towards anyone who will not toe the party line, shared almost equally by reasserters and reappraisers, has destroyed the Anglican Communion that many of us loved but can no longer find. We just wish that the plague on both your houses had not spread to ours.

July 31, 7:21 pm | [comment link]
34. Jeffersonian wrote:

Nonsense on stilts, Brian.  First, as was aptly pointed out by #26, the phrase regarding ++Rowan’s status was not a quote from +Duncan but a characterization by the author.  It’s suspect until we see what +Duncan actually said.  Furthermore, while +Duncan may be head of the ACN, this author’s characterization didn’t even deign to say that it was the official position of the ACN.

TEC delenda est!

July 31, 7:26 pm | [comment link]
35. Jeffersonian wrote:

The Communion is being torn apart by people whose personal attacks and invective are convincing people that Christianity lies elsewhere. Most of us cannot stand the chaos caused by individualistic egotists who are convinced that God has only their ear and is leading them to a New Thing that the community as a whole has not yet adopted.

Odd that, insofar as you’ve toiled tirelessly here and elsewhere for those who precipitated this “chaos” and who were amply warned that it would indeed tear the Communion apart at its deepest level.  Physician, heal thyself.

TEC delenda est!

July 31, 7:31 pm | [comment link]
36. John D wrote:

Why the hysteria, friends? The Moderator initially indicated his intention to help move the Church to a more healthy position. Now he venerates the mighty leaders who have abandoned the(institutional) faith for new venues of their own creation. Liar,liar?
The good Fr. Radner at least respects common notions of the mutual respect and honesty with which Christians should treat each other, regardless of doctrinal disagreements. Kudos to him, from an orthodox progressive Episcopalian.

July 31, 7:37 pm | [comment link]
37. Brian from T19 wrote:

Well, I’m sorry that I don’t have time to teach reading comprehension.  I’m going to watch the live feed.

The view that has been expressed by all the Instruments of Communion in recent years is that <u>interventions are not to be sanctioned</u>. - Archbishop Rowan Williams

July 31, 7:43 pm | [comment link]
38. Larry Morse wrote:

See #20. This is the case in a nutshell. The ABC had an imperative need to act clearly and decisively and he failed to do it. We have been instead given endless talk, the result of which is…? TEC has shown a stiff necked contumacy and needed to be called ot account with hard words and hard actions. We gave them chatter and slack and more slack.
And we have gained what?  Larry

July 31, 7:47 pm | [comment link]
39. Jeffersonian wrote:

Well, I’m sorry that I don’t have time to teach reading comprehension.

If you don’t have a rebuttal, just say so.

TEC delenda est!

July 31, 8:00 pm | [comment link]
40. jamesw wrote:

Well, I tend to agree with Steve Lake’s comment in post #28.  The initial statement by Duncan ought to have been better explained, yet Radner’s response seems to be exceedingly rash and very interesting from one who has preached so tirelessly about properly understanding what one says before taking kneejerk reaction to it.

Let’s consider Duncan’s statement:

Bishop Duncan expressed his disappointment that the Archbishop of Canterbury has not supported Network members in ways that he and other Network leaders had hoped.

“Never, ever has he spoken publicly in defense of the orthodox in the United States,” Bishop Duncan said of the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, adding that “the cost is his office.

“To lose that historic office is a cost of such magnitude that God must be doing a new thing,” he said.

A reporter for The Living Church asked Bishop Duncan to expand on his remarks about the cost of the archbishop’s office. “I was actually expanding on a remark that the Archbishop of Sydney made during a breakfast I had with him two weeks ago,” Bishop Duncan said, explaining that both the See of Canterbury and the Lambeth Conference have been lost as instruments of communion.

“The fact is that the Archbishop of Canterbury has not led in a way that might have saved his office and might have saved Lambeth,” Bishop Duncan said.

I believe that Duncan spoke rashly by using the past tense, even though what he said is partially true.  Let me explain. 

First of all, in one sense, Radner is correct that the office is not yet lost.  That might happen, and many think it is very likely to happen, but it has not yet happened.  Rowan might still surprise everyone by actually having a backbone and enforcing the DES Communique.  He may still decide to exercise his power to withhold Lambeth invitations in line with what the primates have called for.  I also share Radner discomforture with the statement about God “doing a new thing.”  In this context that is a remark that is ripe for misinterpretation.  Duncan’s comments seem to throw in the towel early on the Anglican Communion process, and Radner is right to issue criticism. 

But in another sense, what Duncan said is actually currently true.  In the current situation in the Anglican Communion, what Instruments of Communion are clearly and publically serving to further a disciplined Anglican unity and which ones are not doing so?  Well, it seems to me that it is pretty clear that the Primates’ are the only group that is clearly working to discipline TEC.

Rowan Williams’ action (or inaction) as it relates to the Lambeth invitations and the Pastoral Council - whether or nor we properly understand it - have served to sow disunity and distrust amongst the primates, despair amongst the orthodox and confidence amongst the TEC schismatics.  The Lambeth Conference - under the leadership of Rowan Williams - has stopped becoming a focus of unity, but has instead become a focus of disunity - a visible sign of the brokenness and conflict that wracks the Communion.

So Rowan Williams actions [have] been at the “cost of his office.”  His office is no longer seen as a unifying force, but rather he is viewed with deep suspicion by many primates.  This much is simple fact.  So while I think that Radner is right to issue a critique of what Duncan said, I think he is very rash to take the important step of resigning from the ACN over them without first taking the trouble to confront Duncan personally or allow for a more sober consideration of what Duncan said.

July 31, 8:04 pm | [comment link]
41. Phil wrote:

Fr. Radner is one of the brightest guys out there, but, ultimately, his writing is a paean to an Anglican Communion that ECUSA will never allow to exist.  As such, he and ACI never had answers to the crisis.  It was a group of thinkers imagining they were contending against another group of thinkers, when, in fact, they were facing, in ECUSA, an aggressive and single-minded entity that would have its way, no matter who or what had to be destroyed to get there.

Of course, Fr. Jake having splashed this all over his blog, Radner has done nothing but give aid and comfort to the enemies of mainstream Anglicanism.  One would not be surprised to see him and the ACI cleave more and more to the path of “moderation,” in the grand tradition of Peter Lee.

Sorry, Fr. Radner.  That’s how I feel.  May God be with you - you’ll need Him in the Anglican Communion you’ve midwifed into existence.

July 31, 8:20 pm | [comment link]
42. Fred wrote:

The Rev. Dr. Radner has finally seen what many of us have been warning against: there is nothing acceptable to this group except schism. Nothing. It’s ugly and he got out. I don’t blame him!

July 31, 8:20 pm | [comment link]
43. RickW wrote:

Can anyone imagine that possibly God is doing a new thing?  Or rather than a new thing, eliminating an old thing?

Perhaps the goal is not to renew the anglican communion, but to eliminate it.  Wipe it from existence.

There is biblical precedent for wiping things and people out - and who wants to be around when that happens?

It seems that many people have had a chance to stand up and fix things, and often chose to go along rather than make a stir.

In 1961, the russians made it into space.  The premier said - “we have been to space and there is no God.”  On Christmas Day 1989, God said, “there is no Soviet Union!”

July 31, 8:22 pm | [comment link]
44. Daniel wrote:

I am not nearly as theologically sophisticated as many of the learned posters here, but I have to say I am not that impressed by the ACI.  It almost seems like a modern day update of “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.”  Unsaved people die every day, faithful believers are persecuted and sued, and the answer is to try harder to reform TEC.  This is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result - the definition of insanity as some term it.

I am sure the distinguished members of the ACI believe firmly in what they are trying do, but they come across as institutionalists who just cannot bear to be parted from the comfort of their first love, TEC.  I am reminded of the Hebrews after leaving Egypt when the unknown ahead of them seemed more frightening than the abomination behind them.

Thankfully I don’t get to decide how things play out; God does.  Now if I could just follow Biblical admonitions and stop worrying about it all.  We all need to pray unceasingly.

July 31, 8:25 pm | [comment link]
45. John D wrote:

Phil,
Fr. Jake merely noted Fr. Radner’s comments in a post.I missed the splashing till I came here. So sorry.

July 31, 8:29 pm | [comment link]
46. Anselmic wrote:

After the the Grace church / ACI debacle the ACI’s credibility was already pretty low, but I think Radners comments above might well have shorn it of what little was left. I understand the differences of strategy and perspective between the ACI and Network, and I can see why Radner would resign, but to publicly ‘torpedo’ Duncan in this way is ridiculous. Just as the world changed after 911, so the Anglican Communion changed after TEC’s latest general convention. As so many others have noted, it is still not clear what the ACI would have those struggling in TEC actually do. The conneticut 6, South Carolina ratification, Virginia’s pass… the list goes on.

At least Radner does reveal what in the end will prove to be the defining difference between the orthodox of the communion. It won’t be womens ordination, or catholic versus evangelical notions of the church it will be allegiance to Canterbury. Is this essential for Anglican polity. To my mind, (and I’m a communion conservative) Nigeria settled that question. I do not wish to take us off topic, but there’s a parrallel with the notion of disestablishment and the Church of England. For years Anglicans of all stripes have been saying it was impossible, the Gordon Brown at a stroke starts to put in motion the ‘unthinkable’ and suddenly the impossible is possible, mainly even desirable. The same with Anglicanism and the See of Canterbury - do you have to be in communion with Canterbury to be an Anglican - increasing numbers of us think not.

Anselmic

July 31, 8:31 pm | [comment link]
47. Brian from T19 wrote:

So then those who are arguing that Dr Radner+‘s reaction is rash must be saying that the ACN is currently trying to remain in communion with Canterbury.  This makes no sense in relation to their statements, especially the new theological statement.

The view that has been expressed by all the Instruments of Communion in recent years is that <u>interventions are not to be sanctioned</u>. - Archbishop Rowan Williams

July 31, 8:31 pm | [comment link]
48. Brian from T19 wrote:

I understand the differences of strategy and perspective between the ACI and Network, and I can see why Radner would resign, but to publicly ‘torpedo’ Duncan in this way is ridiculous.

How is this a torpedo.  He resigned as a result of what the ACN Moderator (+Duncan-reelected today) said was the direction of the ACN.  What was he supposed to do.

After the the Grace church / ACI debacle the ACI’s credibility was already pretty low, but I think Radners comments above might well have shorn it of what little was left.

The ‘debacle’ was disproved today in open testimony.  Once the judgment is issued, more and more people will see the lies told by Mr. Armstrong and why the ACI had to distance themselves.  As for this instance, it is simply a difference of opinion on the way forward.

The view that has been expressed by all the Instruments of Communion in recent years is that <u>interventions are not to be sanctioned</u>. - Archbishop Rowan Williams

July 31, 8:37 pm | [comment link]
49. Rocks wrote:

The whole thing has been blown out of proportion. Even if +Radner’s statement is a well thought out response he should have mulled it for a day. It seems out of proportion to the proceedings. I watched great parts of this and saw or heard nothing which required such immediate action.

There is a tendency among many shallow thinkers of our day to teach that every human act is a reflex, over which we do not exercise human control. They would rate a generous deed as no more praiseworthy than a wink, a crime as no more voluntary than a sneeze . . . such a philosophy undercuts all human dignity . . . all of us have the power of choice in action at every moment of our lives—Fulton J. Sheen

July 31, 8:49 pm | [comment link]
50. Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) wrote:

I think Dr. Radner’s role in the TEC will be increasingly difficult. The people who share his theological outlook are leaving. I too love the Episcopal Church. I understand his grief and his unwillingness to give up the fight for her soul. He will be in my prayers. He’s in for a hard and lonely fight.

That being said, I’m no longer convinced that, absent a miracle, the Episcopal Church can be redeemed. It’s time for the Believers to make their home elsewhere.

I have one of those blog thingies

July 31, 8:50 pm | [comment link]
51. wvparson wrote:

The Primates clearly set forth a timetable. The Windsor Report set out requirements for everyone. Parties allied to both sides have broken with or not complied with Windsor. Both have justifications and excuses galore. The clock is still ticking. 

Is it possible that the process adopted by the Canadians and the TECs over the ordination of women has now been embraced by traditionalists.  Act and then explain or not explain later? 

I hope the intention of the ACN is not to try and force Canterbury’s hand before the time certain by upping the ante (or in this case the anti!).  That has been the m.o. of liberals so far.

I watched part of the press conference this evening which incuded a fair amount of predicting what Canterbury wouldn’t do, why the primates won’t meet, why Lambeth Conference won’t happen. No one knows yet what will happen and to act on prophecies seems unwise and dreadfully unfortunate.

Under the circumstances I don’t see how Dr. Radner could stay on, or why he should.  None of his advice has been taken.

July 31, 8:53 pm | [comment link]
52. Anselmic wrote:

#48 - As I said I understand the resignation, the tropedoing is not in the fact that he resigned but in the manner of it. He could have resigned privately, a few days after the conference when the dust had settled. He could have resigned simply citing differences in stategy with regard to the future of US Anglicanism. As it is he resigned publicly, and intemperately, and to my mind was unjust and personal in his comments re Duncan. I saw nothing in the press conference that suggests he’s seeking to start a ‘new’ church. And to charge Duncan with conduct that will likely contribute to the ‘breaking of the communion’ is I repeat ridiculous. The actions of TEC which were predicted to lead to a ‘tearing of the communion at the deepest level’ have done just that. There is a re-alignment underway as a result of those actions both within North America and increasingly it seems the wider communion. The instruments of unity have failed to discipline TEC and thus have failed to mainitain that unity and discipline. To charge Duncan and others with breaking the communion and undermining the instruments of unity is like charging a battered wife who finally flees her husband after many years of abuse of - abandoning her spouse and undermining the institution of marriage.

Anselmic

July 31, 8:58 pm | [comment link]
53. Alice Linsley wrote:

I pray that Dr. Radner will continue to serve the Church in whatever way God leads him.  We have not agreed on some things, but I appreciate his conviction.  He seems to have a clear sense of where he is called to labor.

The realignment that we have heard spoken of these past 3+ years is coming to fruition.  Is anyone really surprised?  It is convenient to call this “schism” but Anglicans are already part of the Great Schism of East and West. That’s the schism that needs healing and this realignment may be part of a bigger plan to make that healing a reality.

http://jandyongenesis.blogspot.com

July 31, 8:59 pm | [comment link]
54. Id rather not say wrote:

Actually, I don’t entirely blame Ephraim Radner.  I think I get what he’s driving at, and it is not just a sentimental attachment to TEC.

What he cannot accept is that it is too late.  The path the ACN is taking is indeed perilous.  The odds of coming up with a united, continuing Anglican province that is more than a local denomination are very, very long.  The chances of Anglicanism surviving as a Catholic communion must be seen as seriously in doubt, and what has happened with the ACN can be resonably read as making that even more doubtful.

The problem is, the odds of things getting better any other way are longer.  He may not see it that way, but obviously a large number of men and women of intelligence and good will in Fort Worth do—-and so do I.

Of course, there are those of us who see Dr. Radner as, in fact, one of the chief proponents of the very disintegration of communion he so abhors by his determined support of WO, one of the principal acids acting on the “bonds of unity.” 

No, I don’t want this thread to go off in another direction—-but I thought I point it out.

July 31, 9:05 pm | [comment link]
55. David+ wrote:

As the years of this Anglican upheaval have unfolded, I have watched as first ++Rowan Williams failed to use the moral authority of his office to bring this to a swift end and now over these past months to make end runs around the decisions of the primates.  He is losing the trust and respect of more and more primates and others looking to him for leadership in keeping the Anglican Communion in the Orthodox fold.  So in that sense I agree with Bishop Duncan that Rowan has lost his office even if he continues to sleep in Lambeth Palace.  And he certainly is not acting like an instrument of unity for traditional Anglicanism.  That is why, I believe, the orthodox Primates are asserting thier own leadership more and more as time goes by.  The ultimate end being two communions of possible equal numbers rather than an “outcast” and minority group of revisionists joining together in their own communion outside of the Canterbury fold.  Interesting times we live in!

David+

July 31, 9:05 pm | [comment link]
56. Terry Wong wrote:

These are difficult days for orthodox Anglicans in US and all should be patient and work together. +Duncan may be disappointed with Lambeth silence but he is not saying that he is cutting off. The rest of the Communion is very much around (and growing!) and will make it easier for us to relate with orthodox Anglicans in US if you guys stick together, however clear or nuanced your difference are.

July 31, 9:05 pm | [comment link]
57. RalphM wrote:

Battle fatigue is everywhere…

July 31, 9:10 pm | [comment link]
58. Phil wrote:

Figure of speech, John D #45.  I hope you’re not claiming there won’t be plenty of schadenfreude among reappraisers.

July 31, 9:12 pm | [comment link]
59. physician without health wrote:

Country Doc, this urban pediatric subspecialist agrees with you 100%.  This will all get sorted out in God’s time.  Meanwhile, some of the orthodox are being called to leave while others are being called to stay.  I am sticking with my ECUSA parish because it has the best preaching teaching and fellowship I have ever experienced.  But not a penny of the money God has entrusted to me goes to the diocese or the national church.  But this is getting off topic…

July 31, 9:14 pm | [comment link]
60. Jeffersonian wrote:

He resigned as a result of what the ACN Moderator (+Duncan-reelected today) said was the direction of the ACN.

And was was Duncan’s statement, Brian?  Something in quotation marks, please.

TEC delenda est!

July 31, 9:20 pm | [comment link]
61. Alice Linsley wrote:

I’d Rather Not Say, as I’m sure you know Dr. Radner and I disagreed on women priests, but I hope that our conversations won’t end. There is to be acceptance of differences of opinion on this question, but let’s hope that doesn’t mean that reasoned discussion is permanently tabled. 

(BTW, Have you fixed the commments problem?)

http://jandyongenesis.blogspot.com

July 31, 9:29 pm | [comment link]
62. Larry Morse wrote:

Where, ladies and gentlemen, is the leadership that the present crisis demands? We observe the Pope stepping up to the RC church’s crises and making the church’s identity clear and decisive. What if many do not agree with him? He is not in the business of being agreeable and well-liked. His job is leadership.
  And the ABC? Is he not supposed to lead or is he supposed to be a “facilitator” and step on no one’s toes? Not that we have not seen leadership, but it has all come from Africa, hasn’t it? ANd what we have frequentlyheard here and elsewhere is quibbling and nay-saying. Look at the above. So many nice distinctions! Such repartee! And over a man who has just resigned because his sensitivities have been damaged, his preciosities bruised. Tell me, when do we get to the part where one acts? You all know TEC is not only dying but isn’t worth a tinker’s dam to save. This isn’t open to question, doubt, equivocation, vacillation, retrenchment, or reconsideration any more. All equivocation now will only lead to more equivocation, more indecision, because there are no principles so vigorously held in common that the principle can take the place of the leader. Failure to act is now cowardice. Read TEC out this very day, and let’s get on with living. As it is, we cannot even breathe without setting tremulosities pulsing through the Anglican atmosphere. Deep six TEC, and we will all start to breathe again. Isn’t tht true?  LM

July 31, 9:38 pm | [comment link]
63. Sarah1 wrote:

I do not think that the problem that Ephraim Radner had with Bishop Duncan’s words was that it was offensive.  I think that the problem that Ephraim Radner had with Bishop Duncan’s words was that he himself does not believe them.

And with that, a man of integrity must resign the organization.  Dr. Radner did so.

It is frankly ludicrous for him to be a part of the leadership of the think tank, ACI, which is overtly interested in the instruments of unity of the communion, and then also be a part of an organization that no longer believes in those instruments of unity of the communion and whose main point is Common Cause and moving outside of ECUSA.

I also believe that Bishop Duncan is a man of integrity.  But the two men simply do not agree, have not agreed, and it is now time to take the separate paths that have been laid out for them.  There is no shame in that.

I am proud to call both men brothers in Christ.

July 31, 9:39 pm | [comment link]
64. Dan Crawford wrote:

Dr. Radner’s tens of thousands of words in so many essays about the current troubles have never given the slightest indication of how he believes this struggle will be resolved. His convoluted sentences, and even more convoluted logic, suggest to me that, in the end, those faithful to the faith handed on to us by the saints must continue to bind themselves to those who have successfully torn the fabric of that faith.

I have no idea what Bishop Duncan said that so offended Dr. Radner. Apparently, he regards Duncan’s words as more offensive than the attacks on himself by the reappraisers after his presentation at the HOB debacle in March. Perhaps he might help those not as enlightened as he to see the wisdom of spending several more years with the Archbishop of Canterbury wringing our hands.

July 31, 9:43 pm | [comment link]
65. Brian from T19 wrote:

What Sarah said (except the brothers in Christ part;))!

The view that has been expressed by all the Instruments of Communion in recent years is that <u>interventions are not to be sanctioned</u>. - Archbishop Rowan Williams

July 31, 9:49 pm | [comment link]
66. Jody+ wrote:

Ditto Wvparson, #51.  Self fulfilling prophesies never work out…maybe we should all go read Oedipus Rex.

I also agree with Sarah.  I have great respect for both Dr. Radner and Bishop Duncan.

The supreme question is not what we make of the Eucharist but what the Eucharist is making of us.—Archbishop Michael Ramsey

adamantius.net

July 31, 10:13 pm | [comment link]
67. FrankV wrote:

The biggest probloem is that everyone is totally frustrated with the snails pace of resolving a basically simple theological/scriptural decision.

July 31, 10:14 pm | [comment link]
68. James Manley wrote:

If I may interject some levity, I can now finally say that I have read a “brief statement” penned by Dr. Radner.

July 31, 10:19 pm | [comment link]
69. Jody+ wrote:

FrankV #70,

I agree, but the issue is that there’s no structure to resolve it, and that’s what all the pushing back and forth is about—how it gets resolved.  Unfortunately ECUSA has never had a way to ultimately police itself except its own Bishops… no judicial body independent of the Bishops as the Methodists have, no international structures in place as the RCC has.  So, the issue may be simple but the process of resolution isn’t when ECUSA has refused (because her Bishops have refused) to discipline itself.  So does the discipline come by strengthening international instruments of unity, by breaking communion and jumping ship or a combination of different strategies?  And the biggest question now is whether there will be anything left of the Anglican Communion worthy of the name once everyone has their go at resolving the issue.  Can the structures and our unity withstand the centrifugal forces… 

God knows, and I trust in him that his will be done, whether I understand it or he agrees with me or not wink

The supreme question is not what we make of the Eucharist but what the Eucharist is making of us.—Archbishop Michael Ramsey

adamantius.net

July 31, 10:24 pm | [comment link]
70. Kendall Harmon wrote:

I know there is a great deal of frustration out there—just a word of encouragement that it is not up to us, and a word of caution not to make this personal about individuals but about arguments as much as possible.

July 31, 10:27 pm | [comment link]
71. An Anxious Anglican wrote:

Dr. Radner’s point is well-taken: I think that the Network and its international allies are free to disagree with Canterbury and the majority of the Primates, but I do not think that they remain free to call themselves “Anglicans.”  Baptists, Congregationalists, Neo-Protestant Evangelicals, perhaps, but not Anglicans.  To do so is little different than the ploy effected by our not-quite-worthy opponents who infiltrated our ranks in ECUSA calling themselves Episcopalians while having no allegiance at all to the values underlying the organization.  Dr. Radner is simply choosing to emulate our Lord, who died in place (as we say in the military), rather than flee the church and create yet another evangelical denomination among many.  I cannot help but admire his hope in resurrection (and his integrity).

July 31, 10:32 pm | [comment link]
72. BillK wrote:

AA,
Sometimes God calls his people out.  Our Lord did not simply die in place, he called people out of a dead religion into a relationship with him.  One could argue that he created another denomination among many when he prophesied that the temple would be torn down stone by stone.  Resurrection is not without transformation.

July 31, 10:37 pm | [comment link]
73. garyec wrote:

Please remember that this is how satan works. It is though chaos and confusion. Two very notible leaders, Bishop Duncan and Fr. Radner are now being posed against each other. I can’t say it enough, this is spiritual warefare, please let us be generous with each other and forgiving when necessary. The best approach is turn this over to Jesus, as this battle in not in our hands.

July 31, 10:40 pm | [comment link]
74. Rocks wrote:

I still say these were comments at a press conference and are being blown out of proportion. There is always a bit of hyperbole in any interview. Even KJS wasn’t completely written off till she repeatedly made heretical statements.

There is a tendency among many shallow thinkers of our day to teach that every human act is a reflex, over which we do not exercise human control. They would rate a generous deed as no more praiseworthy than a wink, a crime as no more voluntary than a sneeze . . . such a philosophy undercuts all human dignity . . . all of us have the power of choice in action at every moment of our lives—Fulton J. Sheen

July 31, 10:41 pm | [comment link]
75. James Manley wrote:

Anxious Anglican:

Whyever in the world would the Network describe itself as Baptist?

I suppose you think the word is some kind of theological slur.

July 31, 10:46 pm | [comment link]
76. wildfire wrote:

My respect and admiration for Bishop Duncan has grown with each year and each challenge he has faced so faithfully.  My opinion of him has never been higher than it is now after watching him lead the ACN in giving unanimous approvals to virtually all of its resolutions in a very difficult time.

July 31, 10:51 pm | [comment link]
77. Id rather not say wrote:

#62 Alice,

Alas, the comments problem is not within my control, but must be resolved by my masters in Canada.  It is why one reason why I am writing a bit less just now.

(Sorry, this is off topic, but I wanted to give #62 an answer.)

July 31, 10:59 pm | [comment link]
78. Sarah1 wrote:

RE: “Even KJS wasn’t completely written off till she repeatedly made heretical statements.”

Rocks, I didn’t read Ephraim Radner’s statement as “writing off” Bishop Duncan.  I simply saw a person coming to the conclusion that the Network does not share his goals . . . something rather manifest, I think . . . and who has, as a position of integrity, resigned that organization.

I don’t see it as “rejection” but simply “acknowledgement”.

Sure, it’d be great if all reasserting Anglicans shared precisely the same goals.  But we don’t.  The Network is about building an Anglican province outside of ECUSA and without Canterbury affiliation [although it sure would have been nice to have it!] and also about making Common Cause a centerpiece of its vision.  It is strikingly apparent that the ACI does not share either of those goals.

As a Communion Conservative myself, I also do not share the Network’s two main goals.  But that does not mean that I can’t cheer them on and wish them well and want the best for them in their direction and hope we meet up later on another common path.

July 31, 11:00 pm | [comment link]
79. Nasty, Brutish & Short wrote:

I hope people listen to Dr. Radner, because he is absolutely right.  I have been so dismayed after the past several years to witness what has happened in the last two days.  Our strength has always been because we have said with conviction: “We’re not threatening to leave.  We’re threatening to stay.”  The leaders who now say otherwise have betrayed those who have supported them.

July 31, 11:07 pm | [comment link]
80. Rocks wrote:

Sarah,
  In a way that is all I see it as, as a writing off. Radner+ repeatedly singles out +Duncan in his resignation despite the fact that 2 other Bishops agreed and expanded on what +Duncan. The quick response and intensly personal wording of this letter makes it seem very much a personal reaction by Radner+ to +Duncan. I have little doubt Radner+ did not mean it this way but never the less it comes off as such. Very little really happened here except some more manuvering IMHO. The Network is still part of the Communion.

There is a tendency among many shallow thinkers of our day to teach that every human act is a reflex, over which we do not exercise human control. They would rate a generous deed as no more praiseworthy than a wink, a crime as no more voluntary than a sneeze . . . such a philosophy undercuts all human dignity . . . all of us have the power of choice in action at every moment of our lives—Fulton J. Sheen

July 31, 11:12 pm | [comment link]
81. Craig Goodrich wrote:

I go along both with those who say both +Duncan’s words and Dr R+‘s reaction to them are uncharacteristically rash (for both men), and with Sarah’s perceptive #65.

If one writes off the ABC and Lambeth, given that the ACC has been pretty much written off for years (though increased Primate involvement may help bring it back), one is left only with the Primates, which, particularly given the recent turnover, seems to me to be putting an awful lot of crosiers into one umbrella stand.

Particularly given the ABC’s continual efforts to be fair—which admittedly give at least the appearance of wanting to have it both ways—and the fact that during his brief sabbatical the very liberal ACC staff is watching the store in Canterbury, it would seem to have behooved both the good Doctor and the good Bishop to avoid burning any bridges until the September 30 deadline.

<hr width=30%><font size=-2>“May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy.”
—G. Washington, Letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, August 1790</font>

July 31, 11:21 pm | [comment link]
82. Scott K wrote:

I’m with you, NB&S.  I have felt increasingly marginalized within the ACN because I am committed to being in TEC as long as it remains part of the Anglican Communion—which looks like it could be a long time.

July 31, 11:23 pm | [comment link]
83. VaAnglican wrote:

Dr. Radner should have made his concerns known privately, and frankly should have kept his counsel until after September 30th.  At that point it would be clear whether he was correct in his view, or whether Bp Duncan’s strong statement was indeed spot on.  As it is, Fr Radner has in fact given great aid and comfort to the revisionists, as they want and enjoy nothing more than seeing the orthodox turn on each other.  Even if he disagreed vehemently, he should have stopped and thought about the recklessness of his statement, and the harm it would do.  Indeed, to the degree it suggests a serious split (as opposed to a split between 99 percent of the orthodox and Fr Radner), then the Archbishop of Canterbury himself might feel more emboldened to pursue a strategy that seeks to find that non-existent middle—or a middle that is now represented by people far more liberal than Fr Radner would be pleased with.  I certainly think he over-read Bp Duncan’s comments, and today’s prudent and measured handling of the (defeated) motion to remove reference to the Episcopal Church’s canons should confirm to Fr Radner that the Network is not being reckless.  Fr Radner by this letter has merely reinforced the incorrect suspicions of many of the orthodox—that he is in the end unable to detach himself from the Episcopal Church, whatever the depth of its heresy.  That’s not his position, surely, but who would think it otherwise after today’s petulant tantrum.

July 31, 11:36 pm | [comment link]
84. GB wrote:

Try as I might, I have never been able to make much sense out of Dr. Radner’s remarks.  He always seems to be defending some point of view which is never actually stated.  Supporting the Christian Church is more important than supporting the Anglican Communio n—we need to keep our priorities straight. red face

July 31, 11:39 pm | [comment link]
85. Id rather not say wrote:

#82 wrote:

Our strength has always been because we have said with conviction: “We’re not threatening to leave.  We’re threatening to stay.”

I must point out that this is precisely what those who opposed the “ordination” of women but chose to stay with TEC said thirty years ago.  Look how well that worked out . . .

July 31, 11:40 pm | [comment link]
86. Peter A. Mitchell wrote:

Finally, the declaration in effect cancels out the other two Instruments of Communion that also uphold our common Anglican life – the Primates’ Meeting and the Anglican Consultative Council.

Really? How does it do that?

...[Radner implies that +Duncan] has wounded the Church of Christ. It is not only his own diocese that his statements and actions will affect; it is many others, including parishes within them, many of which have worked for faithfulness and peace, truth in love, for some time, and for whom new troubles and divisions are now promised.

Sounds like Radner trying out a little prophecy himself there. So now I’m to believe that the “new troubles and divisions…now promised” in the Network’s dioceses and congregations are the bad fruit of Bob Duncan and co.?

Enough of this. I cannot follow him in this way. There is great work to be done, with hope and with joy, if also with suffering endurance for the faith once delivered, in the vineyards of the Anglican Communion where the Lord has called us and still maintains His calling

Gosh, Sarah, if these are mere “acknowledgement”, I’d be interested in what you think “rejection” would look like. I re-read Radner’s letter, and I think he’s a million miles from you, a fellow communion conservative, when you said: “But that does not mean that I can’t cheer them on and wish them well and want the best for them in their direction…”

July 31, 11:44 pm | [comment link]
87. robroy wrote:

I, too, am sad to hear of Father Ephraim’s letter of resignation. As T-one-niners and SF’ers who have read my postings, I don’t agree with the path that ACI is trying to steer. I said months ago that I would like to end up in an orthodox Anglican province with Bob Duncan as Archbishop. At the time, Chris Seitz dismissed that as highly speculative.

I take exception to the statement, “I do not recognize the name in these kinds of actions that break communion rather than build it up.” I would ask him, what he thinks the covenant would do? If its final form has any merit whatsoever, it certainly and admittedly would lead to division. So the covenant is un-Anglican? He and many others have said that split is inevitable. I would actually say that that is incorrect. The division is in the past. Bp Duncan’s statement is a simple, honest acknowledgement of this.

The “problem” with the DeS communique’s deadline is that the orthodox’s expectations have been raised so that they (we) will not consider any plan that offers delays past this point. That is reality and the Common Causers understand this. There is no valid solution for the orthodox that allows for dithering past Sept 30th. Unfortunately, the ACI plan allows for precisely this.

The exciting aspect of the Common cause “solution” is that it carries the hope of bringing together the various continuing churches. We orthodox still in the TEC consider them much more our kith and kin than the likes of Father Jake, Elizabeth Kaeton or Louie Crew. With regards to the continuing churches, we have from the ACI silence or worse.

I see the ABC’s “loss of office” statement as merely a charge of nonfeasance if not misfeasance (if not both). What a miserable failure to “guard the unity” of the church.

As a parishioner, I can personally attest of the goodness and godliness of Ephraim Radner. Despite mine and many others disagreement with ACI, I would ask those that want to vent their spleen remember the cause of this mess, not so much KJS or VGR, but much more so the dithering Rowan Williams.

Non serviri, sed servire.

July 31, 11:45 pm | [comment link]
88. William#2 wrote:

Utterly fascinating.  Radner resigns the Network because its leader is makes statements which are truthfully critical of Canterbury—a man holding an office.  He will not, however, resign from TEC when its leader denies that Jesus Christ is the only means by which we are saved.

July 31, 11:46 pm | [comment link]
89. Unsubscribe wrote:

What are “instruments of unity”? Perhaps they are a bit like musical instruments, which when exercised in a certain way, make music (but if used inappropriately, just make a horrible racket). If that is right, perhaps an instrument of unity, wrongly used, may become an instrument of disunity. Pursuing the analogy, we may say that if a musical instrument is misused, the resultant non-music is not the fault of the instrument, but of the player.

Dr Radner seems to imply that the ABC and the Lambeth conference are two of four instruments of unity. Taking Lambeth first of all: as a talking-shop and as a body capable of reaching consensus, is an instrument that if it is exercised correctly will promote the unity of those who are invited. Now, it seems to me that to invite some bishops to Lambeth and not to invite others is, on the face of it, to make a division (or disunity) within the body of bishops. I say “on the face of it” because whenever a process of discrimination occurs, it matters whether there is a clear basis for the discrimination and whether it is accepted as reasonable or just. If there are grounds for discrimination that all the bishops accept, or regard as just, then to invite some (but not all) bishops is not a cause of disunity. But if the grounds for discrimination (i.e. whether a bishop is or is not invited to Lambeth) are unclear, or reserved to private discretion, then is not the very process of invitation to Lambeth an instrument of disunity? For example, if only female bishops, or only white bishops, were invited, then we could say with some justification that although Lambeth could in theory promote unity, it would have been misused to create disunity. If that is right, then the very potential of Lambeth to be an instrument of unity must depend upon the invitation process. If all bishops are invited, there is no discrimination, and no disservice to unity. Otherwise, the discrimination must be according to some rationale that is (a) accepted as fair, and therefore (b) explicit, so that its fairness may be assessed.

As I understand it, invitations to Lambeth are at the sole discretion of the ABC. So, would I be right in saying that in exercising that discretion, the ABC has the power to unite (if the grounds upon which he gives or withholds invitations are transparent and agreed by all) or divide (if the grounds are unclear or contested)? And would I therefore be right in saying that the “player” of this instrument - that is, the person whose responsibility it is that it work for unity rather than disunity - is the ABC?

Turning now to the ABC: we ought to distinguish between the office and its holder. Again pursuing the “instrument” analogy, it seems reasonable to think of the office as the instrument, and the incumbent as the player, whose responsibility it is to make the music of unity or the racket of disunity. I think there is no inconsistency in upholding the office as an instrument of unity, but simultaneously saying that its incumbent (the player) is not using the instrument correctly. For if I criticize Jones for making a horrible noise with his electric saw, I am not criticizing Jones’s musicianship: but if I criticize Jones for making a horrible noise with his violin, I certainly am. Therefore, if I were to criticize the present ABC for failing to uphold unity, I would be implicitly upholding the principle that the office of the ABC is to promote unity. Were it otherwise, my criticism would make no sense. So those who might criticise the present ABC are by no means denying a principle of unity: rather, they are making a criticism of an individual that would make no sense unless they fully accepted that principle of unity.

Finally, it seems to me that in practical terms, both Lambeth and the ABC are currently not being effective in the cause of unity, and that both these failures may (rightly or wrongly) be said to be the responsibility of the present ABC. What has he in fact done?

1. He has issued invitations to Lambeth. Some bishops were invited, some were not.
2. Were the grounds for invitation, or non-invitation, made clear?
3. If the grounds for invitation were made clear, were they such as to be perceived as fair?
4. If the invitations generated controversy, what did the ABC do to remedy the situation?
5. Did the ABC take extended leave from office immediately after issuing the invitations?
6. What was the purpose of the extended leave: what higher good might it accomplish?

The above questions may raise a few others. As background, it may be helpful to reflect that the present pope has recently produced a book. Do we know how much study leave he took in order to write it? Did he remain incommunicado for (a) four hours? (b) four days? (c) four months?

July 31, 11:49 pm | [comment link]
90. chips wrote:

Dr. Radner has given his life’s work to an institution which has betrayed him and I would argue Christ. I do not know him but it would seem that emotionally and spirtutually he cannot separate himself from the institution that he clearly must love. Lets not judge him harshly - many lovely people will conclude as he has.  Because I do not know him I do not know if his inability to depart is because he does not recognize the reality of the character of the persons in charge of TEC or if he shares some but not all of their world and spiritual view (ambivalence can be painful). As a conservative and a traditionalist - I have great sentimental attachment to instituitons - the Episcopal Church is one such institution that I loved.  Because the ECUSA has fallen to those persons and forces which I feel honor bound to oppose - I believe that traditionalists within TEC and those like me who have already left should be excited by the prospect of starting over (without or without Canterbury) to preserve that which was good about the institution for ourselves and our posterity.  The Anglicanism that most of us here are drawn to no longer lives within TEC.

July 31, 11:50 pm | [comment link]
91. Larry Morse wrote:

Has it occurred to you that there aretoo many ACNs, ACIs, and the entire alphabet of in-group, involuted, handwringing, infighting, backstabbing, hair splitting precieuses? That part of Anglicanism’s problem is the Endless Committee, always traveling to somewhere else, always meeting at someone else’s expense, always talking without the necessity of decision making, the Synod Disease as systemic infection. All those reverse collars and not a man among them. Maybe TEC is right; maybe we need to turn the job of running a church over to women who may have more cojones than their nattering male counterparts.

  The dialogue above is a case in point. When was the last time you have seen so much hot air and effort expended on a matter of so little consequence. So Ephraim has quit . What difference does this make in the larger world, indeed, in the real world? He does not agree with ++Duncan. What difference does that make? What difference does it make to the Anglican world in general?

  I belong to a church in the ACA (another damned abbreviation) and we are about to be joined by Christ the King (I think it’s called) Our archbishop is in Australia doing nothing of any importance. He has apparently told all the bishops that they are to forget the episcobabblers and have their priests tend to their own flocks. And this is what is being done. As far as I can find out, none of the ACA BMOCs has taken to the press to add one more voice to the noisy throng. My own church views the hyperventilation that goes on here and in t he neighborhood with distant amusement. It has nothing to do with us. We have a church to run and to grow. We do not have women priests and will not.  In short, we take Voltaire’s advice and tend our own garden. We need an Ephraim Radner the way we need a bad kidney. And I might add, if I don’t like what my church is doing, I can darn right well take myself elsewhere. If you follow the same course, all the above will become obviated. LM

August 1, 12:04 am | [comment link]
92. Peter A. Mitchell wrote:

#92 (CPKS): very helpful to me. Thank you.
pm

August 1, 12:04 am | [comment link]
93. Steve Lake wrote:

#92 refers to the purpose of ++Rowan’s leave.  I have always hoped it was to steel his will through prayer and fasting to enact discipline, if the Sept HOB meeting delivers the expected ‘walking away.’  If that happens, methinks these differences between Radner+/ACI and +Duncan/ACN will quickly become outdated.

Regardless, I pray that the Lord’s will be done, for we never truly see all that is in play.  We may yet rejoice in the renewal and reunification of orthodox Anglicanism in the West in our day.

—-
http://drlake.blogspot.com

August 1, 12:13 am | [comment link]
94. Orthoducky wrote:

Well, once again, Jesus preached the Kingdom, but we got the Church. 

I hope it rights itself soon because it’s really starting to look like the booby prize. 

I agree with jamesw so often he’s probably starting to think I’m a groupie.  Sarah is also not too far off from where I find myself. 

I’ve said before that I enjoy reading Dr. Radner’s prose because I find it instructive and challenging.  I think, though, that it might pay to clarify Bishop Duncan’s statements before possibly taking them out of context. 

So many people have rightfully had enough.  While I admire their work, I think ACI should empathize with that. 

Like Dr. Radner I was lucky to get out of a corrupt TEC diocese into a good one.  Not everyone has that blessing or “luxury”.  I pray for my fellow traditionals still fighting the good fight in bad places, as their courage is unerring.  My spouse and I tried to be courageous, too, as long as we could, but, with special needs dependents in our picture, we could not just sit around waiting for the heretics’ hammer to drop, because drop it was going to. 

I don’t know what is going on behind the scenes, but I think a lot is going on behind the scenes.  But, regardless of that, to the layman in the pews, it LOOKS LIKE the man at the top is dithering while Canterbury burns.  Bishop Duncan is not wrong in calling attention to that, even if he did not do it in a perfectly clear and charitable way.  So, why has the Pastoral Scheme not been set up despite TEC’s nose-thumbing?  It could be set up, if the other principals, led by the AB of C, would act.  But, no action.  Why did those Lambeth invitations, despite the disclaimer of “they can be rescinded after consultation with the primates”, go out the way they did?  No one knows, and everyone wonders.  And again, no action or answers or explanations from the top. 

I usually agree with Dr. Radner.  I have no problem with it if he wants to resign, although I don’t know that I would have done it in this way.  I don’t find this prudent.  Plus, I think time would be better spent GOADING(or something; whatever WORKS) +++RW to some action, BEFORE ANY OF THIS GETS ANY WORSE. 

Even if it’s not a circus, it doesn’t pay for it to look like a circus. 

Prayers?  Well, they go without saying.  We need them. 

IC,

O.

August 1, 12:14 am | [comment link]
95. Alice Linsley wrote:

Dr. Radner has worked as a member of the Network to see that organization function as a “confessional movement” within TEC to bring TEC back to the historic faith (with some fudging on the question of women priests).  He became suspicious of a strategy change when the Network’s leadership “shifted perceptibly towards this goal [a separated Anglican Church in the USA], overtly transferring its energies from its work as a coalition of American traditionalist bishops working representatively with the larger Communion, to the strategy of a “Common Cause” formation of a new ecclesial structure that would function either as a new Anglican Communion province, or as a province in a new alternative Anglican Communion.” (See his The Common Cause of a Common Light, July 2007.) Radner has opposed this strategy change from the beginning.  Today he realized that he couldn’t continue as a member of the Network.  His decision is not surprising, and although the manner of his resignation could have been handled more delicately, his decision is consistent with his viewpoint and authentic.

http://jandyongenesis.blogspot.com

August 1, 12:20 am | [comment link]
96. Brian from T19 wrote:

Has it occurred to you that there aretoo many ACNs, ACIs, and the entire alphabet of in-group, involuted, handwringing, infighting, backstabbing, hair splitting precieuses?

That actually works really well for us reappraisers.  Not so well for the reasserters.

The view that has been expressed by all the Instruments of Communion in recent years is that <u>interventions are not to be sanctioned</u>. - Archbishop Rowan Williams

August 1, 12:21 am | [comment link]
97. Rocks wrote:

Plus, I think time would be better spent GOADING(or something; whatever WORKS) +++RW to some action, BEFORE ANY OF THIS GETS ANY WORSE.

I would agree with this completely, also with the Dr. Radner’s resignation being fairly inevitable. But if this is where he stands, so be it. I don’t doubt it’s a long time coming and it was a very deliberated decision but this letter makes it look as anything but that. I don’t see +Duncan et al’s press conference as a pronoucement from Sinai. It was an acknowledgment of where things currently stand and why they stand that way.  “Nature abhors a vacuum” as they say and so do Bishops it seems. If these Bishops feel the need to step into that vacuum and goad those, especially the ABC, who have created it I hardly think calling it “a new church” fits the situation.

There is a tendency among many shallow thinkers of our day to teach that every human act is a reflex, over which we do not exercise human control. They would rate a generous deed as no more praiseworthy than a wink, a crime as no more voluntary than a sneeze . . . such a philosophy undercuts all human dignity . . . all of us have the power of choice in action at every moment of our lives—Fulton J. Sheen

August 1, 12:27 am | [comment link]
98. Nasty, Brutish & Short wrote:

No. 88,
And I must point out that those who left 30 years ago over women’s ordination have faired no better.  They have no viable church structure, no realistic chance of growth, and no visable presence whatsoever outside a few parishes.
And I think we need to call a spade a spade here: Those who broke off 30 years ago over WO, 35 years ago over the Prayer Book, or 100+ years ago over Whatever They Were Upset About Then, would NOT have any legitimacy if they weren’t being gathered up in a common cause partnership with those who still have ties to a major historic see.  We are bootstrapping them, big time.  And I am overjoyed by the reconcilliation with folks with whom I agree.  But if we can’t promise them Canterbury, it’s nothing.

August 1, 12:29 am | [comment link]
99. trooper wrote:

I hate to repeat myself, but the whole Protestant thing just isn’t working out that well.

August 1, 12:36 am | [comment link]
100. Hursley wrote:

I find Dr. Radner’s actions and thoughts here to be consistent, thoughtful, and right. I do not support TEC’s current “path,” but neither do I like the manner in which ACN is proceeding. I continue to pray for the whole Church, and to be very much against schism, whether from one “party” or the other.

August 1, 12:39 am | [comment link]
101. Steve Lake wrote:

I see every good motivation for holding ++Rowan up in prayer, while his feet to the fire.  IMO, that is all that the ACN has done, just in case nothing comes of the 30 September deadline.  And yes, make no mistake, they are prepared to act. 

All of this could have been avoided.  ++Cantaur has always had the prerogative to declare himself in broken/impaired/suspended communion with those in TEC who consecrated +Robinson, thereby flouting Lambeth 98 I.10 and the counsel of the primates.  But he has not and seems ready to ride this thing out until there is no conservative element left within TEC to press the cause anymore.  He alone is responsible for that reality, that perception.

And that others take reasonable actions in response to his actions/non-actions is only to be expected.

What really baffles me still is that even after the March HOB meeting where Radner+ was vilified by the TEC illuminati, he still saved his best vitriol for his supposed friends.

—-
http://drlake.blogspot.com

August 1, 12:40 am | [comment link]
102. Going Home wrote:

Why the public statement? To my knowledge, Radner has had little ongoing role in the ACN. It is not as if the ACN is using his name to bring in recruits, or has him on its stationary or in its fund raising letters. 

Read Radner’s recent publications and you see he is making an argument to stay indefinitely in a Canterbury based Anglican Communion, and for US parishioners to stay indefinitely in TEC, regardless of the hope for reform or its tolerance or embrace of apostasy.  Sure, the ACI also argues that reform is still possible and that the ABC has a can be relied on to impose discipline on TEC.  But in the end, regardless of the outcome, he says you should stay in these existing structures. It’s the faithful and honorable thing to do.

In making this argument, Radner has become TEC’s Marshall Petain, a leader with strong conservative credentials who earnestly argued that to be faithful Frenchmen had an obligation to remain loyal to the Vichy authorities. 

By contrast, Bishop Duncan has just become General DeGaulle.

August 1, 1:04 am | [comment link]
103. Eclipse wrote:

there is nothing acceptable to this group except schism. Nothing. It’s ugly and he got out. I don’t blame him!

Did you actually WATCHany of the ACN meeting?  For those of us who did, we saw, unity, peace, purpose and willingness to step out in Faith when the stakes for these men are HIGH and very low for me and thee.

What I am trying to say is this:

The ACN meeting was filled with Unity and a Future - neither of which TEC can even pretend to have.  Those who have ‘stepped from the shadows’ into the light can tell you it might be at the cost of membership or building ownership, but it is with the gaining of Unity, Purpose and Freedom.

I feel sorry that Dr. Radner chooses to stay on the railing of the Titanic in hopes of clinging to the metal bars with his nails will somehow prevent it from going under water into a 2 mile trench.  (Reminds me very much of Lot.) 

There’s not even a great moment with Jack telling him how much he will accomplish in the future… as the water is 28 degrees and will not allow for such frivolity.  However, it is Dr. Radner’s choice.

Reality is this:  division is coming and stares us blank in the face.  We can meet it with our heads held high and do what God has called us too or we can pretend it is not occurring and have it meet us unawares.  However, it WILL happen.  Some of our brothers and sister will stay with the Titanic in hopes of salvaging it.  Some of us will leave in order to survive and spread the Gospel to people beyond the ship.

Personally, I thank Jesus that there IS a life beyond trying to save ECUSA.  AB Venables encouraged us to rejoin the mission to help others to know Christ and spread His Word.  I think we would be wise to heed such advice.

August 1, 1:26 am | [comment link]
104. Bill C wrote:

Thank you, Terry Wong.  (#57)  Those are comforting words.

August 1, 2:10 am | [comment link]
105. Bill C wrote:

Pure conjecture on my part but I very much doubt that Radner+‘s statement was an isntant reaction to +Duncan’s words but rather a thought out consequence of +Duncan’s staments decided in advance ....and I also would not be surprised if he had not communicated this to +Duncan.

August 1, 2:17 am | [comment link]
106. seitz wrote:

Right you are Bill. I am just getting up in the UK and am somewhat surprised by this long list of responses. It is unclear why is anyone surprised by this, or even the timing. ACI was at the initial theological meeting of Network, and wrote the charter (December 2003, Orlando). From the very beginning, however, the issue of reformation versus separation was unclear amongst Bishops, and hamstrung unity and wider appeal. Invariably one of these would get priority. +Duncan made clear which one has priority. As Sarah indicates, this is fine for him and his movement, but it will not be a position that others can embrace; simple logic requires acknowledgment of this reality, and that is proper. Radner indicates that he will continue to work for discipline by the Primates. Only when that work is over can ACI know where we stand. Here wvparson is rightly tracking ACI’s logic: maximal coordination with the Instruments of Communion and work to assure their effectiveness, so long as possible. Common Cause has another vision and to that they are fully entitled. I’m not sure any of this is very surprising – consider the mood of vast swathes of bloggers, encouraging people to separate, declaring ACI’s work vain or past its sell-by date (Lot in Sodom!), and genuinely excited about the New Anglican Province; cf the recent letter of Steve Noll. This drum beat has been going on for a long time. People who want this are naturally enthusiastic about by the Common Cause College idea. This is a logical development, but it is not one ACI is in a position to embrace or encourage. As the psalmist says when he draws a breath. Selah. May God bless the Communion which is His gift for mission and reconciliation. Grace and peace.

August 1, 2:30 am | [comment link]
107. jayanthony wrote:

Fr. Seitz,

Thank you so much for posting and for your words.  However, I still do not understand when enough is enough for ACI.  Will it be at the end of September? Will it be when the ABC refuses to call the Primates together to judge for themselves whether or not ECUSA’s HOB adequately responded to the DES statement?  How many times does ECUSA have to say ‘no’ to the Primates before that instrument of unity is no longer taken seriously?  How many times do they have to say ‘no’ to Lambeth resolutions before that instrument of unity is no longer of moral force?

What many are asking here is: what would the ACI have us do? what would the ACI have the Primates do?

August 1, 2:55 am | [comment link]
108. seitz wrote:

PS—I note on the blog news above that this week is especially difficult for Fr Armstrong and of course his church. ACI will be praying for Don, parishioners, and his family at this time.

August 1, 2:56 am | [comment link]
109. seitz wrote:

At the risk of repeating, 110: 1) a process for consultation with all the primates needs to be pressed for, and effected (this need not entail a meeting; stamps still work); 2) a proposal for Dar requests’ compliance needs to be made in the presence of the ABC at the New Orleans meeting, and Windsor Bishops need to indicate support and compliance for what was asked by the Primates; 3) God needs to be allowed to exercise his judgments in time, His time. Beyond that, as the great hymn ‘Breathe on me Breath of God’ says, ‘to do, or to endure’—usually both in my experience. This is what ACI believes should be done. The separation scheme is not what ACI regards as either desirable (theologically) or workable (prolonged legal and other conflict in the US zone, due to the persistence of warring factions both claiming to be anglican; divisions within the Primates Meeting, watching things unravel in confusing ways in the US). Dar needs to be prosecuted. We have said this umpteen times, and believe there are ways to see this through. More than that I am not able to say. Let us pray for God’s mercy and for his strength, that the Communion might right itself in accordance with the Instruments’ fullest counsels, in their proper time, and not preempting them. I hope this helps. I will now brace myself for the full wrath of blog attacks (smiley face picture). Grace and peace. (It will be a full day for me here and I may not follow this very closely, and I certainly don’t want to cause any commotion; I tried to answer your question as best I could).

August 1, 3:07 am | [comment link]
110. Rolling Eyes wrote:

Fred: “there is nothing acceptable to this group except schism.”

Fred, it is tempting to chalk up the content of your post as either a lie or ignorance.  Considering the consistency of your posts I shall chalk it up to an unwillingness to tell the truth.

You see, it is not the orthodox who are schismatic.  We are determined to hold fast to the faith as handed down by the apostles.  It is YOU, and other reappraisers, who are choosing to REJECT this faith and the teachings of the Church of Christ and the example laid out plainly in scripture, and thus are choosing to distance yourselves from not only the Anglican Communion, but the Church, and all of Christendom as well.  YOU, Fred, are the schismatics.  YOU are choosing to go your own way.  And anything else is simply a LIE.

Just sayin’...

August 1, 3:21 am | [comment link]
111. Graham Kings wrote:

It seems to me that:

1. people are still underestimating the importance of the ‘Windsor and Covenant Clause’ in the Archbishop of Canterbury’s letter of invitation to the Lambeth Conference and the seriousness of his intention in including it in his letter. It reads:

‘My hope is that as we gather we can trust that your acceptance of the invitation carries a willingness to work with these tools to shape our future.’

2. The Primates Communique from Dar es Salaam gave the deadline of 30 September 2007 and we are not there yet. The response of The Episcopal Church to the communique may be predictable: the response of the Archbishop of Canterbury to their response may well relate to point one above.

August 1, 3:39 am | [comment link]
112. Newbie Anglican wrote:

Dr. Seitz, at the risk of posting too early in the morning, I’m surprised you are surprised at the response here.  The reason for the 100+ posts isn’t Dr. Radner’s resignation.  The reason is his offensive undercutting of orthodox who feel they must leave TEC and perhaps the Anglican Communion.  He could have resigned with grace.  Instead he questioned whether faithful orthodox Anglicans who feel they must leave are really Anglican.  At least, that is certainly what has me rather heated here and on my blog.

now Wannabe Anglican again

August 1, 6:52 am | [comment link]
113. Karen B. wrote:

Might as well add my $.02 here since I was one of those who was chatting about this news a bit in the live chatroom yesterday.  I find I quite agree with Newbie and others who state it’s not so much the actual news, but the timing and the wording of it.  Rather than merely issuing a resignation with regret and stating the reasons why he feels otherwise called and cannot support the Network’s direction, Radner+ seems to turn this into a personal attack on +Duncan.  And the timing *seems* to those of us who are mere observers to be a deliberate attempt to wound and undercut the Network. 

As others have said above, having this issued in the final hours of the Network Council when they had made quite extraordinary efforts to guard unity on issues like Women’s Ordination, and especially the matter of the ECUSA Acession clause, to have this letter made public in this way at this time is hurtful.

I don’t deny Radner+ has an obligation to speak up for what he believes are errors in Network theology or choices, as much as I wish he and the Network could simply say to one another “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord” and leave it at that.  No these days are such that public exposure of perceived error is probably necessary. 

But I truly hope this letter was first conveyed privately.  I hope that fact (yes or no) will be made clear and quickly.  We need to know.  And I do wish that Radner had not turned it into such a personal attack on +Duncan.  Of course +Duncan is not perfect.  I was concerned by a few things he said during the Council meetings.  But all I saw, and I watched all but maybe 1 1/2 hours of the live stream broadcasts (Anglican news junkie that I am) revealed to me Duncan’s courage and humility.  I saw him honoring others and fighting for unity and trust.  There was no evidence of a man seeking to build a personal kingdom. 

Frankly, I started the week VERY concerned about the Network’s direction.  Deeply pained and even angry about what seemed to be the looming and inevitable split between the group of +Duncan, +Iker, +Schofield et al, and +Stanton, +Howe, +Salmon et al.  It seems, thanks be to God, that a way was found to keep +Duncan and +Stanton at the table.  +Stanton’s concerns were heard and dealt with.  But the needs of those now outside ECUSA were also recognized and dealt with.  I hope and trust that was very specific answer to prayer and wisdom provided by the Holy Spirit.  I am more hopeful than I have been in many months, frankly, and greatly renewed in my support for the Network and its leaders. 

I will continue to respect and consider the words and work of the ACI scholars.  Their work has been crucial and most helpful to me personally in this battle.  But I would hope for their similar respect and consideration to those in the Network who are fighting for the same Gospel, albeit with different strategy.  I don’t see that respect in Dr. Radner’s letter.  And it grieves me.

August 1, 7:24 am | [comment link]
114. KAR wrote:

I’d certainly agree that there are better ways to handle this situation. Yet, Ephraim Radner+ probably did watch the ACN live stream by what he says and probably feels a deep sense of betrayal. Not that he was betrayed, but he felt betrayed.

This does seem to happen, when AMiA left there was a feeling of betrayal on both sides, some of that is remembered today in some of the comments about the newly elected APO bishops. Let’s not drag that up in specifics but I bet there was sense of betrayal when EMS left seven years before AMiA or the Continuing Churches before that.

Now history does not have to repeat itself. We can choose a better path.

I love what the Elves said Paul & Barnabas. We should give both +Duncan & Radner+ the benefit of doubt and say in prayer both men are where the Lord has called them to be and they are obeying His voice, though it may appear to be contradictory or they are working against each other, there could very well be things we do not see or understand like Paul and Mark had different callings which impact our lives today though they didn’t see it at the time.

I do think Radner+ is in error of form, but it’s too late words already published on T19, +Duncan has the ball and can affect the future. Neither man is a worse sinner than other, but we can pray the Lord intervenes and different course is chosen.

August 1, 7:27 am | [comment link]
115. Br. Michael wrote:

112, I think that you need more time than is available.  The fragmentation you currently see is the result of continued delay.

August 1, 7:31 am | [comment link]
116. Karen B. wrote:

Oops, one other thing I wanted to add, although it is much less “serious” than my words above.  And perhaps another commenter has already beaten me to it.  I’ve not carefully read all the comments above.

But was anyone else struck by the deep irony of Radner’s action and words.  His stated disagreement with the Network is the Duncan’s declaration that he has lost hope in any reform of ECUSA and for constructive action or support by ++Canterbury.  Radner writes:

I find this judgment to be dangerously precipitous and unfair under circumstances when current, faithful, and hard work is being done by many to bolster these Instruments as servants of our common life in Christ.

He would rather the Network stay in ECUSA and continue to work for reform.

So, what does Radner do when he reaches a point of fundamental disagreement with the Network: he leaves! precipitously!, rather than stay in and be a voice of dissent within the Network, like +Stanton has done this week, and successfully I might note.  Radner+ has me shaking my head in confusion, frankly.

August 1, 7:34 am | [comment link]
117. Karen B. wrote:

Amen KAR #117.  I fully agree with what you wrote.  And may God give much grace to the Network leaders to respond with grace and humility in a way that will not create further wounds and divisions.  A good reminder as to an important prayer point.  Thanks!

August 1, 7:37 am | [comment link]
118. The_Elves wrote:

Good morning all!
Stand Firm has an interesting piece posted this morning.
http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/article/4781/

It’s an open letter from Dr. Stephen Noll to Dr. Radner, and I assumed naturally that it was in reference to Dr. Radner’s letter of yesterday.  Wrong!  It dates back to 2000, but it is very interesting in light of yesterday’s news.  Read it and see what you think.

Got questions about T19? E-mail us! .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

August 1, 7:52 am | [comment link]
119. Id rather not say wrote:

#101,

I actually agree with you.  As I said, the odds are very long that this new Network strategy will work.  The question is, are they any shorter by going Radner’s way?  I simply think not.  The Network strategy is a Hobson’s choice; what’s more, the move by the Network, plus the threat of a Lembeth boycott by both Global South and now even some C of E bishops actually creates “facts on the ground” for our side for a change, creating conditions for the ABC’s meeting with the HoB in September quite other than what they might have been (re: the “threat” that Matt+ Kennedy saw awhile ago).

August 1, 8:39 am | [comment link]
120. seitz wrote:

119: If one judges Common Cause espousing leaving, forming a New Province, then one cannot ‘stay’ with it without leaving too, or identifying with a movement which, as Noll has said, must separate and come out from TEC—even if one is staying in the name of order and adjudication. One can disagree with this judgment, but Radner is not being illogical.

August 1, 8:42 am | [comment link]
121. Brian from T19 wrote:

<i>You see, it is not the orthodox who are schismatic.  We are determined to hold fast to the faith as handed down by the apostles.  It is YOU, and other reappraisers, who are choosing to REJECT this faith and the teachings of the Church of Christ and the example laid out plainly in scripture, and thus are choosing to distance yourselves from not only the Anglican Communion, but the Church, and all of Christendom as well.  YOU, Fred, are the schismatics.  YOU are choosing to go your own way.  And anything else is simply a LIE.</i>

We hear this statement (in various phrasings) repeated ad nauseum.  The problem is that it is not a lie.  We reappraisers are a part of an existing organization.  Those choosing to leave for whatever reason have broken away from that organization.  They may indeed be that ‘faithful remnant’ for God, but they are no longer a part of the Anglican Communion - we are.

The view that has been expressed by all the Instruments of Communion in recent years is that <u>interventions are not to be sanctioned</u>. - Archbishop Rowan Williams

August 1, 8:44 am | [comment link]
122. Brian from T19 wrote:

Instead he questioned whether faithful orthodox Anglicans who feel they must leave are really Anglican.  At least, that is certainly what has me rather heated here and on my blog.

There are several things going on here that I think are confusing people:

1. Anglican Communion - there is no question that those who leave are no longer a part of the Anglican Communion.

2. Continuing Anglicans - this term is self-applied to those who feel they are still Anglican in tradition.  I find that it is often misleading and do not believe it should be used, however, it has become common practice among those groups who want to feel a part of something larger.

3. Anglican - this is when it is used as an adjective, which I believe Radner+ meant to do here.  t is a way if ecclesiology and polity.  A way of behaving in relationship to each other in the Church.

I believe that Radner+‘s criticism relates to Anglican as an adjective and that is how we should view it.

The view that has been expressed by all the Instruments of Communion in recent years is that <u>interventions are not to be sanctioned</u>. - Archbishop Rowan Williams

August 1, 8:57 am | [comment link]
123. Id rather not say wrote:

#123 Seitz,

You are correct.  Given the ACI’s assumptions, Radner is not at all being illogical.  I don’t even think, pace the comments of others, that his letter showed any pique or lack of grace.  I believe his view that the “separation” strategy is fraught with danger for those who want Anglicanism to be a true “communion” is correct.  It isn’t only the past fate of “continuing churches” or protestantism generally that demonstrates this.  Anyone who knows the current jurisdictional mess in Eastern Orthodoxy can see how this could all turn out badly.  Those who are cheering on the new direction of the ACN and the new formal structure of the Common Cause should be advised of the very great dangers here.

Where he errs is first in believing that there is another option, and second is his diagnosis of the current cause of division.  If acting in a manner consistent with one’s original premise is logical, then Dr. Radner is indeed being logical, and the alleged heat of his letter is simply the passion of his conviction, which I do not begrudge him at all.  But if one’s original premise is wrong, then a person can indeed wind up in an apparently contradictory position, and that is what has happened here.

August 1, 9:10 am | [comment link]
124. Phil wrote:

IRNS, I take a slightly different view: were we to end up with the jurisdictional situation of the Orthodox, I would count that an unqualified success.  In fact, I believe that’s a very possible outcome.  One can’t gainsay the value of a shared faith (as much as possible given the issue of WO, about which I share your view) and communion, even if the jurisdictional lines should happen to overlap.

August 1, 9:26 am | [comment link]
125. Widening Gyre wrote:

Too bad I didn’t read this until after the post on the ACN voting not to remove the accession clause, which I found promising.  I wonder if that might have helped Radner hold on just a little bit longer.  All the same, I still support his decision.

August 1, 9:36 am | [comment link]
126. tired wrote:

#116: I agree

When I observe the ABC’s actions, particular those in contravention of the actions of the Primates and the WR/DC, I conclude that resolution could lie with the Primates, but not the ABC.  The prospect of resolution by the ABC, *based on his words and deeds*, appears slim or “lost.”

Then I read “Radner indicates that he will continue to work for discipline by the Primates.”  I do not see much difference here.

As an aside, it will be a wondrously ugly outcome (and poor witness) if those who abandon the faith, thereby causing schism, are embraced by the ABC as “anglican” - the same ABC who provided no succor for those who sought to cling to the faith and appealed to the ABC for help - to no avail.

August 1, 9:38 am | [comment link]
127. Phil wrote:

This is the absurd thing, isn’t it, tired?  We are placed in the situation of watching those who desire to stand where Anglicans have always stood get thrown over the side, while the proponents of the Clown Mass, reciting the Creed only for dramatic effect and the Marcionized Scripture are feted as heroes.

This is what has undercut Anglicanism for me.  I look back at the undivided Church, with its ethos of transmitting “the Faith once delivered,” and I compare it to the warm embrace of those that deliver a revised faith every week.  Or, I compare those that chose to be tortured and brutally murdered rather than recant the smallest part of their belief to a church that proudly proclaims it has no answers, only questions.

Maybe the parousia will reveal the latter to have been right in both cases, but forced to choose between the martyrs and Church Fathers on the one hand, and Schori’s view of the world on the other, one seems to clearly be a better bet.

August 1, 9:47 am | [comment link]
128. The Lakeland Two wrote:

Agree with Eclipse and Karen B, as we L2 also watched most of the meetings (Thanks, Kevin Kallsen!). 

We can respect that Radner disagreed with the course that is being charted, but how he executed his departure was ungracious and IMHO intemperate and without thought to the consequences.  However, he, Seitz, ACI, et al., may be called to stay in TEC to salvage those unawares or otherwise blinded.  That’s God’s call.

As far as Brian from T19. “We reappraisers are a part of an existing organization.” - No, Brian, you reappraisers connived an existing organization from us orthodox that we want back.  Some of us are have finally realizing that what was “carjacked” might be better off “totalled” because how badly it was “chopped”.  There was no appreciation for what it was by the reappraisers, only what could be “tricked” (new term for gussied up) out of it, then what could be sold off out of it - hence the litigation by TEC of those choosing to leave.

We L2 don’t know what the future holds post 9/30.  However, we can easily follow leaders like ++Venables because they are focused on Jesus and are pointing to Jesus.  That is Christian leadership.  Follow the links to ustreat.com/channel/ACN-council-meeting-2007  to listen to his three teachings.  They are tremendous.

August 1, 9:48 am | [comment link]
129. Nyssa wrote:

It is not just that Radner resigned.  It is the way that he did it.  He isn’t just resigning from the Network, he’s publicly castigating Duncan and throughout his statement the tone is indignant (ex. “He may call it Anglican if he wishes, but…”) 

Some on this site have defended Radner saying that his resignation is appropriate given his fundamental disagreement about strategy, but that nevertheless Radner and Duncan are on the same team…one inside and one headed outside the official structures of TEC.  The commenters might believe they are on the same team, and Duncan might believe this, but Radner doesn’t seem to see it this way.  I wish that he did.  But read the statement.  He accuses Duncan of breaking communion (ex. ” these kinds of actions that break communion rather than build it up.).  This is not a respectful parting of ways.  This is a bitter resignation.

I have always admired Radner’s words and approach to the issues of Anglicanism and Ecclesiology, however, this present statement and his previous (Cliff Notes version: let’s all go down with the ship) are strange and disappointing. 

If Radner was remaining in parish ministry his words would also carry more credibility.  However, leaving his parish in the midst of this chaos and going to an academic institution (where employment is not contingent upon the whims of a revisionist bishop) while the rest of us slog on is particularly hard to swallow.

I wish the Instruments of Unity would do what they are supposed to.  Maybe the ABC will follow through the Dromantine and Dar Communiques (I pray he does), but he’s not done much to give us confidence that he’s taking this route; quite the contrary.  So, while the ABC slowly and inconsistantly plods on, kicking the can further and further down the road, whence my parish?

Ephraim, brother, I have new Christians to care for in my congregation.  Tell me, what, exactly should I do?  When my bishop tells them prior to Confirmation that Jesus is ‘a way, but not necessarily the way’ should I correct them or not.  If I do correct them, I will not be long for this diocese.  If I do not correct them then they are formed into something other than Chrisitianity.  This is not a hypothetical.  These are the facts on the ground.  It happened in our parish hall. 

When I look into the eyes of these new Christians, full of passion and excitement for the faith they have recieved, am I to tell them that they are to go down with the Anglican ship?  When I am driven out of the Diocese and a new revisionist priest is put in my place, are these baby Christians going to have the ability to hold their own?  Will they be able to, in good faith, bring others to a saving faith in Jesus Christ in the parish?  No.  The answer to each of these questions is “No.”

I will gladly tell them to die for Christ, but I will not have them die for your version of Anglicanism.

Perhaps the more tolerant atmposphere in the Diocese of Colorado has clouded your perceptions of the gravity of the situation.  I fear academia isn’t going to help that.  Come to my diocese, and try to preach the gospel, and lead the faithful.  Maybe then you will better understand the Network that you once founded. 

Kendall,  I saw above that you have asked that these comments remain about the arguments and not become anything personal.  I understand why you said this, but please note that with the exception of the first sentence, Radner spent the remainder of his letter talking about Duncan, not the Network.  For Radner, this sounds pretty personal.  I don’t fault him for that too much.  In these days there is a personal element to all of these conversations.  There just is.  The fact is that Ephraim Radner has done more to try to maintain this Church than I will probably ever do, and I have looked up to him as a leader in this battle.  I do not question Radner’s integrity, but I do question his judgment. 

I can no longer see Radner’s approach (“hold tight, see what happens, and if necessary go down with the ship”) as a faithful one.  It sacrifices new Christians (and old) for an institution that has ceased to be a church.  Duncan understands the score and the stakes.  Radner is putting his faith in an Archbishop of Canterbury who authored the sub-group report. 

For a long time I have wanted Radner to be right, and a Communion solution to prevail.  I will continue to hope that he is vindicated in the end, but it is clear to me that by the time that end comes (if it comes) my parish, like countless others will have been destroyed.  Therefore it is to Duncan that I must turn.

August 1, 9:58 am | [comment link]
130. evan miller wrote:

As usual, Sarah has stated what is essentially my view of this.  I have a great deal of sympathy with Fr. Radner’s position and appreciate Fr. Seitz’s elaborations.  I do wish, however, that his resignation had not been made in this manner that only encourages the reapraisers. 
I also think #101’s post was spot on.  I find no joy in the prospect of a “new” communion.  Just more wounds to the body of Christ. I don’t see TEC turning aside from it’s headlong rush into the arms of the Enemy, but an alternative province within North America in communion with Canterbury would seem a desirable possibility and what the Network should be working toward.  If the orthodox are no longer in communion with Canterbury, the revisionists are left in possession of the field in the eyes of the world, secure to continue to delude the unsuspecting cloaked in the respectability and prestiege of communion membership.

August 1, 10:06 am | [comment link]
131. The Lakeland Two wrote:

132. Nyssa - you have written most eloquently anything that I ever could have.  Thank you.

August 1, 10:13 am | [comment link]
132. DavidBennett wrote:

I hope people listen to Dr. Radner, because he is absolutely right.  I have been so dismayed after the past several years to witness what has happened in the last two days.  Our strength has always been because we have said with conviction: “We’re not threatening to leave.  We’re threatening to stay.” The leaders who now say otherwise have betrayed those who have supported them.

I think part of the problem is that the Network has really tried to have it both ways, claiming to want to reform ECUSA, while making plans to leave. In the process, this has failed to please anybody, because those who want to leave ECUSA cannot fathom their insistence on “threatening to stay” and those who want to stay in ECUSA and reform are suspicious of the Network’s ultimate goals. It was this incoherence that led me in 2004 to realize the Network was not viable, and I left ECUSA. I could be proven wrong, but the Network still seems to want it both ways.


David Bennett

Per Christum Blog

August 1, 10:14 am | [comment link]
133. Brad Page wrote:

Nyssa (#132).  I think that yours is the experience of many parish leaders (it was mine).  Your statements are right on, especially this summary:

“I can no longer see Radner’s approach (“hold tight, see what happens, and if necessary go down with the ship”) as a faithful one.  It sacrifices new Christians (and old) for an institution that has ceased to be a church.”

I, too, have great respect for Fr. Radner, but fear the time for his approach has long passed.

August 1, 10:19 am | [comment link]
134. Id rather not say wrote:

Actually, Phil, I wasn’t referrring to the various ethnic overlapping jurisdictions of Orthodoxy, but the various subgroups—call them “continuing Orthodox” if you like—such as HOCNA based in Brookline, MA, who have separated and broken communion with the Greek Archdiocese and larger Orthodoxy over such matters as the calendar and ecumenism.  I know and respect these people, but I should very unhappy if the fate of North American Anglicanism should be like theirs—an ecclesiastical ghetto, albeit one based on principle, which hampers mission and makes the question of “where is the church?” even more problematic, not less.  If I understand him aright (and I may not), that is Dr. Radner’s fear as well, and he is right so to fear.  I just think that a) there is no longer any choice, as Dr. Radner himself came close to admitting in his comments after the last HoB meeting, and b) some of the positions Dr. Radner himself has espoused in the past, e.g. WO, have contributed significantly to the very situation he decries.

Everyone reading this comment thread ought to take Dr. Radner’s warnings seriously.  He does have a point. History is on his side, and he needs to be proven wrong.  I trust that he would be happy were such to be so.

August 1, 10:20 am | [comment link]
135. Planonian wrote:

Sheesh. The “reappraiser” movement devolves into alphabet soup (ACN, AMiA, ACI, ANiC, APA, CANA, AEF, FIF/NA, “Windsor Bishops,” etc…), T19/Strandfirm commenters turn on each other, arguments about whether the ++ABC is even a Christian,... You guys are really turning into just another “Anglican” splinter group like the AMiA.

There’s a famous, and true, quote about this: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”—-George Santayana, Life of Reason, Reason in Common Sense (1905)

As for Dr. Radner, I disagree with his theological arguments & his assoc with the IRD, but he’s a thoughtful and honorable man. I vote for him as the first nominee for “Episcopal Straight Shooter of the Year”

August 1, 10:33 am | [comment link]
136. Chris Taylor wrote:

It seems that the split between “Federal Conservatives” and “Communion Conservatives” has come earlier than expected, but we all knew that it was coming.  I would hope that we can recognize that it’s essentially a profound difference of opinion about strategy, and not a difference about essential matters of faith.  We should all work hard to maintain our respect and love for those with whom we disagree over strategy.  We should do what we think is right, but remember that God is in the driver’s seat, not us.  This will all play out according to His plan, not ours.  A VERY healthy dose of humility all around would be a good thing.  We should move forward as we hear the spirit calling us, but we should also recognize that we might be wrong.  We should also accept the possibility that there simply are NO “good” solutions.  The problems that brought us to the present point were a long time in making, they will be a long time in resolving.

I think both the Network strategy and the ACI strategy are the best guesses of thoughtful, dedicated, and sincere people, but they are both just that, best guesses.  For me yesterday’s events clarify more than anything that this whole struggle has now become truly global.  I do not think the Network is acting on its own.  One only has to listen to Archbishop Venables comments on Mon. afternoon to grasp the larger picture here.  There is a deep split within the Communion as a whole—and the ACI-Network division over strategy is merely a reflection of the larger reality.  My sense is that a minority of very significant Primates of the Global South have come to some firm conclusions—about what needs to happen if the soul of Anglicanism is to be saved.  These important Global South Primates (roughly 6 or 8) account for well over 50% of the population of the Communion—and it’s in their jurisdictions that Anglicanism is growing, not declining.  I suspect that we are witnessing a seismic shift in Anglicanism of historic proportions.  Whatever happens over the next few months and years, things are likely to be profoundly different than we have known them.

I personally still have enormous faith in this particular ABC.  I consider him one of the true intellectual giants who has occupied the See of Canterbury—so I would not be so quick to count him out.  At the same time, I recognize that it’s a real question at this point how significant Canterbury-based historic Anglicanism is as a future reality.  I think the current ABC understands this question better than anyone, which is why I’m not counting him out—but the global fissures that are now tearing at the historic Communion are profound indeed—and if the current ABC can’t hold it altogether after Sept. 30th, I wouldn’t invest a whole lot in what’s left of the historic Communion—that’s clearly not where the future lays for Anglicanism, the momentum is shifting to other places.

The See of Canterbury has served as an important focus of unity for a global Communion over the past century and a half, but I’m no longer convinced that it’s an essential focus.  Anglicanism has been around for nearly 4 centuries, and it’s not a spent force by any means.  It has a logic and a witness for the Church catholic which remains essential—the Anglican mission is not yet complete—and I don’t think that it needs the See of Canterbury to realize its mission.  I think the current occupant of the See of Canterbury understands that truth better than anyone, which is why I’m not counting him out yet by a long shot.  At the same time, if he fails to hold it together after Sept. 30th, it won’t be with the historic Communion that I travel, it will be with the future of the Anglican witness, it will be with the vast majority of my Anglican brothers and sisters who live in the Global South.  But if God calls us to travel different paths, let us do so with love and prayer for those who cannot travel with us.  Let us not question their motives but respect their integrity and their faith.  Let us never forget that most important of Anglican words: CHARITY!  God bless you all.

August 1, 10:34 am | [comment link]
137. Id rather not say wrote:

#138 Platonian wrote

Sheesh. The “reappraiser” movement devolves into alphabet soup (ACN, AMiA, ACI, ANiC, APA, CANA, AEF, FIF/NA, “Windsor Bishops,” etc…)

Actually, that is the very opposite of what happened yesterday.  The “alphabet soup” already existed.  What has happened is (one hope’s) a step in the direction of uniting what had been a divided witness.  The historical odds are not in its favor, nor are the odds of forming a “new province” that is part of what we have historically understood as the Anglican Communion, but the chances of TEC returning to apostolic faith are even less, and it does the Anglican Communion less good, not more, to wait upon still more meetings.

August 1, 10:44 am | [comment link]
138. Peter A. Mitchell wrote:

#119, EXACTLY what I was thinking when you said: “So, what does Radner do when he reaches a point of fundamental disagreement with the Network: he leaves! precipitously!, rather than stay in and be a voice of dissent within the Network, like +Stanton has done this week, and successfully I might note.  Radner+ has me shaking my head in confusion, frankly.”

Chris Seitz (#123), apply your “logic” then to ACI: “If one judges TEC espousing leaving, forming a New Religion, then one cannot ‘stay’ with it without leaving too, or identifying with a movement which…must separate and come out from the Christianity—even if one is staying in the name of order and adjudication [O heck, throw in conciliarity]. One can disagree with this judgment, but ACI is not being illogical.”

Really?

August 1, 10:48 am | [comment link]
139. William#2 wrote:

“I find this judgment to be dangerously precipitous,” Dr. Radner says, but it appears he is the dangerously precipitous one after all.  I read the same words that he read and continue to live in Missouri regarding the Network’s intentions.  It could simply be rhetoric on Duncan’s part rather than the clear statement of what the Network intends to do, and when, that we have all waited patiently for since Plano.  Precipitously indeed, Radner as a leader in the Anglican Communion translates Duncan’s rhetoric into an open statement that ACN is leaving TEC.  Precipitously indeed, since South Carolina did not even show up for the meeting.  Precipitously indeed, since it is unknown what Primatial sponsorship, if any there will be for the new Anglican church that Radner claims Duncan intends to create.

Precipitousness piled on precipitousness, because if there was any presumption to give ACN the benefit of the doubt, especially when Stanton caused the written charter to include remaining under the canons and constitution of TEC, is that now gone with Radner’s statement?  If TEC wants to stab ACN, Radner now provides the knife, with “the inside word” on what ACN is really up to.

What really just happened at the Anglican Communion Network meeting?  A theological statement.  Another charter of some kind.  Duncan criticizes the ABC.  If something else happened, I would like to know.

On a more important level than the tactical one, I have to ask Dr. Radner boldly, what he thinks a “church” is, anyway?  His actions and statements over the past several years strongly suggest that he adheres to Brian from T19’s definition as he revealingly puts it, an “organization.” When Jesus first used the word “church” He said that Peter’s confession of faith in Him as the Christ was the rock upon which his “church” would be built.
Dr. Radner, is the “church” built on the instruments of unity as you proclaim, or is it built upon Peter’s confession as Jesus stated?  When you answer my question, and I believe you will or have either publicly, or privately, consider the answer of your presiding Bishop, not mine, that Jesus Christ is one of “many” ways to salvation.  Your counsel sir, is to remain within an institution in which the foundation is NOT what Christ proclaimed it to be, is a counsel that seems like sheer madness.
When you say you are catholic in understanding, is it with a little C or a big one?  As a protestant, it has to be with a little c.  Since the AC is not self proclaimed as the one true church, then surely salvation and discipleship—the two purposes of Jesus’ ministry, can be accomplished by means other than the AC.  The Anglican Communion is simply a tool, Dr. Radner, to accomplish what Jesus commands of human beings.  If through sin and error we have corrupted and damaged the tool to the point of its usefulness to that mission being compromised, then its time to pick up another tool to do the mission, instead of this incredibly obtuse exercise in futility that you seem to counsel.       
“Enough of this,” indeed.  The lack of pastoral sensitivity to the daily struggle of mission and ministry on the ground that the academicians and theologians seem to have is utterly astounding.  We are supposed to endlessly wait as Dr. Seitz counsels, for more proposals, more process, and more meetings.  We are supposed to simply watch as people leave our churches, ministry bleeds, and finance dwindles.  Moreover, and most critically, we are supposed to assume that TEC or the AC is NOT, as Kendall Harmon says, a “church under judgment.”  Dr. Radner, you would have us assume that because there is a faithful remnant within Sodom that this time God will stay his hand for the righteous who remain.  You would have us further assume that God’s supernatural power to equip and encourage those who do His work within the church still remains, that the lampstand has not been removed as He clearly said it would to those churches who abandon the faith in Revelation.  I do not demean the work of theologians, academics, or even ACI.  I think that those called to this work are like the engineers who design the planes, and I want a great design before I get in the cockpit, but when I fly the plane Dr. Radner, its me up there in the clouds while you guys are on the ground.  But now its clear that your plans are awry.  Your position looks more like stubborness and less like vision.  The church that hosted Plano is gone; the church that hosted ACI is also gone, Dr. Radner, who is also gone–to Canada, and university.  The place upon which you stood has literally vanished in practical terms and yet you still cling to it. 

I have said repeatedly over the years that if the Network does not offer a clear vision of what, and when, it will wake up one day and find itself alone, isolated, and irrelevant.  Perhaps Duncan and those who follow him have grasped this reality at last.  Many orthodox are not going remain in an apostate institution forever waiting for it to reform.   
Since leaving TEC I have come to many truths, and one that will never be shaken.  I believe God in his mercy tolerates our denominational separations.  No institution can claim an exclusive mantle of being the true church of Christ above all others.  Perhaps there is merit in Anglicanism in its efforts to follow a Biblical model of church organization and leadership; but the form without the substance is the most damnable lie imaginable.

In conclusion I do want to clearly express despite the criticism I offer here,  admiration and respect for Dr. Radner and say openly that from what I see, he is a good man trying to do the right thing.  He may be right for his own individual call, but he is not the right leader for this time, and ironically, it is wise for him to step down.

August 1, 10:55 am | [comment link]
140. Robert Easter wrote:

In case anybody gets this far down the list, Mouse Stalker, your name reminds me of Reepicheep,  that bold rodent in Dr. Lewis’ Narnia books.  To remember such as Luther or Wesley, neither of them declared war on, or cut the phone lines to, the larger Church but set themselves to the work of the Gospel.  As a result, well, Rome put a price on Luther’s head but never got him, and Wesley remained an Anglican priest through his life, though his own aim was for people rather than steeples.  If +Bob’s statement was as Dr. Radner described it, then I’m concerned about our (my!) focus!  There’s a related reflection at   Sanctifusion]

Robert

August 1, 11:03 am | [comment link]
141. Eclipse wrote:

I agree with NewbieAnglican said & Karen B.  Nyssa should get an award for good writing.

I, too, have great respect for Fr. Radner, but fear the time for his approach has long passed.

I suppose this is what the issue comes down too… there was a time for waiting and hoping.  However, that’s past.  Its as if Radner is standing in the midst of a siege of revisionists on traditional Christianity after negotiation has failed and saying (through the trench warfare) “We should talk this out!”  and stomping off to the other side because those who are trying to hold the fort choose to finally defend it. 

However, the stomping off part is not the issue - as Newbie says it was HOW it was done and WHEN it was done - just curiously distracting from an otherwise wonderful and beautiful conference.

Re:  ABC

You know, I only know of this man through his actions.  He did not call KJS to account when she said no one agreed to the communique, he did not call the HoB to account when they ignored what the primates asked them to do, he did not call them account in his invitations, and he chooses - though it was NOT part of the Communique - to meet with the HoB before the Sept 30th deadline. In addition, he was part of a council that put out a rather lame excuse for ECUSA NOT keeping up their portion of the Windsor report at Dar Salaam.

So, forgive me if by those actions, I doubt his intent to actually apply the recommendations of the Primates anytime in the near future.

Radner’s hope in the ABC reminds me of begging someone to play a role in a play when they repeatedly ignore practices and never pick up a script and then being affronted others don’t believe they will show up to play the lead role on opening night…

August 1, 11:05 am | [comment link]
142. PapaJ wrote:

Radner’s resignation is no surprise.  He and the ACI have, from the beginning, been in denial about the state of TEC.  They indulge in a sentimental Christianity which has little basis in Scripture.  Stephen Noll’s recent letter showed this.  It’s better that Radner leaves the ACN.  But I have to wonder how long it will finally take for him to see the light.

August 1, 11:11 am | [comment link]
143. wvparson wrote:

I don’t understand the argument that Cantuar et al meeting with the TEC House of Bishops undoes the decisions of the primates or takes the place of the primates in decision making. 

+Rowan had been criticised for not being willing to meet with the American bishops. One remembers the Bishop of Bethlehem’s stinging blog on that subject. +Rowan met with the Canadian bishops prior to their crucial meeting of General Synod.  Thus +Rowan could hardly not meet with the American House of Bishops without being accused of failing his duty.

I have seen no indication that he will meet the bishops to negotiate for the Communion or for the Primates Meeting or for the ACC. He will be there to listen to the bishops and respond to the bishops if he so wishes. The bishops will then decide what to do about their response and the deadline set.

It is probably much more likely that the primates have not and will not have consensus on how to deal with TEC. The Welsh and Irish primates and the Scottish Primus, Southern Africa, Mexico and Brazil seem less than enthusiastic about breaking ties with the North American provinces.  I should think that one could add New Zealand, and most of Australia and perhaps the CofE to the list, or to the “slap on the hand and be good in the future” group.

Certainly the GS primates must realize this and not all of them are ready for a break at least until after Lambeth. If it has been decided to jog the process along by unilateralism, one fears that the strategy may backfire. True a rival Communion would be numerically strong in terms of communicant strength and defection would gravely affect the rump Communion.  Such a division, I suspect will cause internal division and even schism within the Global South and other provinces in both camps.  It is possible that in the end there will be three groups!

There’s no room for rejoicing here.

August 1, 11:28 am | [comment link]
144. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

Dr. Radner writes:

It is with sorrow and deep disappointment that I tender my resignation from the Anglican Communion Network.

and Sarah (#65) concurs:

a man of integrity must resign the organization.

However, I have a quibble. I was not aware that it was possible for an individual to join the ACN. In fact, I heard it reiterated by +Duncan that not even parishes can join the ACN, only certain governing/associative organizations (that contain parishes?).

If it is impossible to join the ACN as an individual person, then it must also be impossible to resign from ACN. What is Dr. Radner saying? Is he saying that his organization is withdrawing its support (?membership?). What, functionally does this letter represent? It would seem to have no force or function whatsoever.

But perhaps I am totally mistaken in the above view. If so, I would be delighted if there were someone out there who could correct me. Matt?

The Rabbit.

August 1, 11:37 am | [comment link]
145. TonyinCNY wrote:

“We reappraisers are a part of an existing organization.”

Which until 9/30 will be part of a larger existing organization.  Post 9/30, unless pecusa does an about-face, pecusa will be an existing organization apart from its founding organization.  What Brian doesn’t seem to yet understand is that many of us (not a small, insignificant number) will not be a part of the spin-off company.

Banned by the Head Totalitarian at Stand Firm in Faith

August 1, 11:42 am | [comment link]
146. Reason and Revelation wrote:

Both Radner and Bp Duncan have good points, and both are also speaking rashly.  I hold out zero hope for TEC to return to the fold.  However, I definitely disagree with Bp Duncan that the ABC has been lost as an instrument of Communion and leadership.  This is simply not a fair shake.

First, while I disagree with his prematurely issuing invitations to Lambeth, this must be in the backdrop of the fact that the ABC has decided not to call a primates’ meeting after 9/30 to evaluate TEC’s response.  The ABC knows full well that both Canada and Scotland are on record as opposing a new American province, and probably England, Northern Ireland, and Australia too.  This packs a big punch, there is no denying it.  It is virtually indisputable that the preferable way is for someone to disinvite themselves from the Communion, not to expel someone.

The method of enacting discipline is therefore an Anglican covenant, which will be discussed at Lambeth.  A province can either agree or disagree.  TEC will refuse to sign on, it will be out, and that will be the end of it (IF the Global South will play along, which, as Gomez has pointed out here, is questionable right now).  We can disagree as to whether the ABC’s method of shepherding the covenant to fruition is the right course of action, but it must be acknowledged that the ABC is presenting a reasonable solution to an extraordinarily thorny problem in an organization without any disciplinary mechanisms.

Thus, to declare the See lost is vastly premature.  Bp Duncan would be reasonable to declare that the covenant process is unrealistic or that +++Williams is being ineffective, but he is way out of line by saying that +++Williams has abdicated his See altogether.  That is not consistent with what +++Williams is trying to do.

It should not be forgotten that, if we were simply to hand the reigns over to +++Williams altogether and allow him to enforce his views via the bully pulpit, we may regret that “leadership” immensely, given +++Williams’s liberal past.  He is being in many ways pretty deferential to conservatism.

August 1, 11:42 am | [comment link]
147. Steve Lake wrote:

#147, check out:

http://www.acn-us.org/join/

Individual clergy CAN affiliate if they are not in an ACN diocese or parish.

—-
http://drlake.blogspot.com

August 1, 11:44 am | [comment link]
148. Frances Scott wrote:

What i see here is two dear brothers in christ who, by both their committment to Jesus and to one earthly manifestation of His Church and by circumstances beyond their control, are taxed to the limit of mental and physical endurance.  I am convinced that were it not for the Holy Spirit upholding them, both would have burned out long ago.  They need our continued prayer, not our censure.

August 1, 11:46 am | [comment link]
149. Phil wrote:

Nyssa: thank you for what you wrote.  It needs to be saved and read every time another meditation is released by the ACI.  There’s the academy, and then there’s the real world.

August 1, 11:50 am | [comment link]
150. Steve Lake wrote:

#149 wrote:

We can disagree as to whether the ABC’s method of shepherding the covenant to fruition is the right course of action, but it must be acknowledged that the ABC is presenting a reasonable solution to an extraordinarily thorny problem in an organization without any disciplinary mechanisms.

Yes and no.  It has gotten thorny because ++Cantaur and others let it be.  His role as the focal point of Communion has ALWAYS included the prerogative vis-a-vis TEC to break/suspend/hold in impaired communion or not to invite to Communion events (i.e., Primates meeting, etc.).  For me, this has always been the giant pink elephant in the room that the ACI/Fulcrum/open evangelical crowd refuses to acknowledge.  Instead, they celebrate the ‘concilliar’ nature of ++Rowan’s ecclesiology—so-called “keeping everyone at the table”—when it is acting on that very ecclesiology that has created this pressure cooker.  The ABC could have simply stood by Lambeth I.10 and the Primates call before—and now AFTER—GenCon 2003 and 2006.  Do not act as if the extremists have created this.  No, ++Rowan consistently refuses to stand for the very teachings of the Church he is sworn to uphold.  His discipline could have and should have been the precursor to the Covenant; in fact, the Covenant would only make sense, then, because everyone would understand that Anglican identity is not to be subject to dramatic revision without grave, grave consequences.  Now, the Covenant is, I am afraid, a paper tiger that scares no one. 

Merely keeping everyone at the table is a great, great diminution of ++Cantaur’s role in the Communion.  Discipline is also a part of that role, as much as some downplay or ignore it.  I believe that is all that +Duncan meant and he was exactly right.

—-
http://drlake.blogspot.com

August 1, 11:56 am | [comment link]
151. Reason and Revelation wrote:

Steve, I agree that the covenant may turn out to be a paper tiger and we would have gotten what we wanted if +++Williams had simply not invited TEC and declared game over.  However, given that +++Williams believes that the See is not magisterial in nature and never has been, his method makes some sense.  I’m not sure it will work, but it is reasonable.

It would be a perilous tact to say that the ABC should simply enforce Lambeth I.10, kick out TEC, end of story.  That cedes critical power to a See that is appointed by the prime minister and has zero accountability to the Communion.  That would be strange.  Even the Catholic Church has a College of Cardinals that is actually an ecclesiastical body.  The prime minister of England is just some bloke who is the head of a party that was elected by the whims of an increasingly secular British society.

The ABC’s See would truly be lost in the long run if he arrogated power to himself for the Communion that is not rightly his.  +++Williams surely knows how he was appointed and where his authority does and does not lie.  Again, if we gave him the reigns, it is possible, if not likely, that he would dance with the New Thang and reappraise everything for the Communion (in keeping with new British laws on homosexuality and so forth, by the way).  Let it not be forgotten that his study group before DeS declared TEC mostly compliant.

He knows that his authority in the Communion is convening.  This is very delicate authority that comes with little or no power.  He does not want to alienate Scotland and Canada or others, and he does not want to put the See in the position of having to evaluate any given province by some amorphous yardstick the next time people have this or that theological disagreement.

Point being: You can’t just say Lambeth I.10 is the end of the story, enforce it and move on.  The long view is important, and that is where he appears to be looking.

That being said, it would help a great deal if he would be clear about the path forward.  The mysterious, hedging-his-bets way is maddening and increasingly ineffective.

August 1, 12:12 pm | [comment link]
152. jamesw wrote:

A few thoughts:

1. I agree with Karen (#119) and Peter (#141) about Radner’s decision.  I realize that Seitz is correct and that Radner had obviously become increasingly concerned about the ACN’s direction but it did NOT change its Charter and its legal position has not changed.  Radner’s main attitude towards TEC has been “stay and work for reform”, yet he has left TEC to take a teaching job at an evangelical seminary in Canada and publically resigned from the main orthodox grouping within TEC.  I agree that Radner would be very justified in criticizing Duncan’s comments and expressing his concern over what this might mean for ACN’s leadership, but the reality is that the ACN - as was also made clear by Duncan - is planning to work within the Communion structures for now (by attending the HoB meeting in September).

2. I have observed two responses to the TEC dilemma and I respect both.  One response (Radner’s) is a more theoretical one focused on the long term survivability of an orthodox international Communion.  The other response (Duncan’s) is a more practical one focused on the mission of the Church in the United States today.  Under the Radner approach, the practical needs of evangelism to ordinary Americans is put at risk in the greater service of preserving the AC.  Under the Duncan approach, the survivability of an orthodox Anglican Communion is put at risk to allow individual parishes the freedom to effectively evangelize.  A down-to-earth example that I can offer is a wonderful Christian couple we met back in 2002 who attended the same TEC parish as we did.  They were very active in the Church and regularly brought others to church with them.  But after 2003, they could no longer in good conscience bring friends to a TEC parish, nor could they recommend anyone attend a TEC parish.  They had to leave TEC so that they could - in good conscience - fulfill the Great Commission.  On the other hand, we have remained in TEC, and have determined to work to reform within the Anglican Communion.  We evangelize where we can, but to be truthful, I cannot in good conscience work to bring non-Christians into TEC, nor can I in good conscience send our youth to any TEC or diocesan sponsored youth event.

3. I am not sure that this Radner/ACN split necessarily bodes ill for the orthodox.  What are the effects?  Well, it will clearly embolden the ideological progressives, who will feel increasingly confident of their ability to spit in Rowan’s face without consequence.  It will burnish Radner’s reputation with Rowan Williams as being a “good cop” (with Duncan/Orombi/Akinola as the “bad cops”).  It will burnish Radner’s reputation with the institutionalist progressives within TEC who will realize that all this talk from the last HoB meeting about Radner being part of the anti-TEC extremists was so much hot air.

This development seems to increase the likelihood that the ideologues will openly defy the DES Communique and refuse any compromise, and that Rowan Williams will look to Radner et.al. for what to do next (which would be good for us).  I see no problem at this point with heightened rhetoric and future planning by the orthodox which is meant to raise the stakes for the dithering Rowan Williams.  The key is not to actually take irreversable steps, and I don’t believe that Duncan has yet.  I also see no problem at all with any activity that gives the ideologues arrogant overconfidence at this stage in the game.  The Achilles Heel of the ideologues in their interCommunion relationships with timid conservative primates is arrogant overconfidence.

If Williams does continue to dither after Sept. 30 and refuses to adhere to his commitments regarding DES, then Radner et.al. will lose all credibility as will Williams, and the ACN will be able to put wheels onto Duncan’s agenda.

August 1, 12:26 pm | [comment link]
153. Steve Lake wrote:

R&R:

It would be a perilous tact to say that the ABC should simply enforce Lambeth I.10, kick out TEC, end of story.  That cedes critical power to a See that is appointed by the prime minister and has zero accountability to the Communion.  That would be strange.  Even the Catholic Church has a College of Cardinals that is actually an ecclesiastical body.  The prime minister of England is just some bloke who is the head of a party that was elected by the whims of an increasingly secular British society.

The ABC’s See would truly be lost in the long run if he arrogated power to himself for the Communion that is not rightly his.

Let me be clear: I would not have counseled him either to “kick out TEC” tout court, but suspend those consecrating bishops from the councils of the AC, yes.  Suspend them until they repent, or indicate they genuinely want to walk apart.  All the while, he could have still taken advice from the primates and have kept the door open for TEC to rejoin the AC if they reversed course.

Again, I think that power was rightly ++Cantaur’s and it could have operated perfectly well within the bounds of a healthy concilliarity.  But the concilliarity practiced by ++Rowan is dysfunctional.  And it is sad to see men as wise as Radner+, Seitz+, Kings+, et al. laud it as virtue.

—-
http://drlake.blogspot.com

August 1, 12:32 pm | [comment link]
154. jayanthony wrote:

Dr. Seitz,

Thank you for responding to my questions (#110).  Though you and ACI have answered these questions many times, I appreciate the answer:

1) a process for consultation with all the primates needs to be pressed for, and effected (this need not entail a meeting; stamps still work); 2) a proposal for Dar requests’ compliance needs to be made in the presence of the ABC at the New Orleans meeting, and Windsor Bishops need to indicate support and compliance for what was asked by the Primates; 3) God needs to be allowed to exercise his judgments in time, His time.

Does +Duncan not support the first two points as well? All the Network bishops will be at the Sept. HOB meeting.  All of the Network bishops want the Primates to speak one way or the other.  It is that third point that indicates that there will be forever waiting by the ACI.  How will you know that God has worked out His will and judgement?  How will you know that God is not using +Duncan et al to accomplish His will?

These are sincere questions from a simple man who hates to see discord amongst the faithful.  Blessings,

August 1, 12:32 pm | [comment link]
155. Going Home wrote:

146 “I have seen no indication that he will meet the bishops to negotiate for the Communion or for the Primates Meeting or for the ACC.” —I would encourage you to read the Task Force Report he authored, holding TEC to be in substantial compliance with Windsor. When coupled with the Lambeth invitation list, you should have sufficient evidence.  But we will know for sure in two months.  When you get reports from the ABC and some Standing Committee members in New Orleans of “encouraging news” and “progress”  and a call for further conversations in the Windsor “process”, and a reaffirmation of the important place that TEC holds in the Anglican Communion.

Whose strategy do you prefer, that of DeGaulle or Petain?

August 1, 12:52 pm | [comment link]
156. wvparson wrote:

Timothy:

Churchill’s. “The biggest cross I have to bear is the Cross of Lorraine.”

August 1, 12:56 pm | [comment link]
157. Widening Gyre wrote:

Maybe I’m just too contrarian for my own good, but I for one didn’t much care for Nyssa’s comments and tone back around #132ish.  I sensed that Nyssa was reading a whole lot of Nyssa’s personal history into Radner’s comments, which, although real to Nyssa, have led Nyssa to interpret Radner in a less than charitable manner.  I’m I the only one who sees it this way?

August 1, 12:59 pm | [comment link]
158. robroy wrote:

Brian, a couple of weeks ago, stated that CANA, AMiA and other continuing churches are not Anglican because their bishops didn’t receive an early invitation from the ABC. I posed the question to him whether those members of the TEC in New Hampshire were Anglican, and he said that was “difficult” and went no further.

A week ago, ABp Sentamu wrote that those who did receive an invitation but didn’t show up were not Anglicans. Apparently, the vacationing ABC quickly distanced himself from that through his channels, however.

Now we have Bp Duncan talking about the possibility of his intention of leaving the TEC and joining hands with our brethren in the continuing churches to form an alternative orthodox province. This, apparently, will receive the ecclesiastical blessing of bishops of over half the world’s Anglicans. Father Eprhaim has rejected this and said he doesn’t recognize this as Anglicanism.

I seem to recall a certain priest in a “continuing” church that was ordained bishop by foreign bishops. Not only was he not recognized by the Archbishop of Canterbury, he was not recognized by any of the CoE bishops. He was never invited to Lambeth. Despite this, he and that continuing church came to reach magnificent heights in the Anglican Communion. Unfortunately, that church has been has fallen into disgrace of late. His name?...Samuel Seabury.

So if I could be so bold as to disagree with the good Bp Duncan, this is not a “new thing.” But I expect the new “continuing church” to rise to the heights of the former glory of the Episcopal Church.

Non serviri, sed servire.

August 1, 1:01 pm | [comment link]
159. jamesw wrote:

Excellent posting by Chris Taylor #139.  A very well-written and generous post that substantially communicates my thoughts as well (except that I am less confident of Williams’ leadership abilities).

August 1, 1:08 pm | [comment link]
160. Craig Goodrich wrote:

William writes in #142:

On a more important level than the tactical one, I have to ask Dr. Radner boldly, what he thinks a “church” is, anyway?  His actions and statements over the past several years strongly suggest that he adheres to Brian from T19’s definition as he revealingly puts it, an “organization.” When Jesus first used the word “church” He said that Peter’s confession of faith in Him as the Christ was the rock upon which his “church” would be built… 

... The lack of pastoral sensitivity to the daily struggle of mission and ministry on the ground that the academicians and theologians seem to have is utterly astounding. 

As to the question of what Dr. R+ believes a “church” is, he discusses that very question in great (not to say inordinate) depth here, here, and here.  His view of the Christian obligation to maintain unity within a faithful Church has remained unchanged, and indeed he regards the entire Church as being “under judgment” for its fragmentation.  This is hardly a simpleminded loyalty to the 815 organization.

As to his appreciation of the pastoral difficulties ECUSA’s apostasy is causing, after nearly five years I still find his letter written shortly after GC03 one of the best and most heartfelt expositions on the subject.

Whatever one’s views of Dr. R+‘s resignation—I personally regard it, as I said, as uncharacteristically rash—one can hardly attribute it to either oversimplified ecclesiology or ivory-tower detachment.

<hr width=30%><font size=-2>“May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy.”
—G. Washington, Letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, August 1790</font>

August 1, 2:38 pm | [comment link]
161. Bob Maxwell+ wrote:

Everyone, please read the link posted by the elves that Matt put up on Stand Firm! It sheds great insight.

http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/article/4789/

Here you will find a review of Dr. Radner’s view of history that actually leaves no room for anything but sorrow and staying in a broken branch of divided Christianity. With the Church under God’s judgment for the great division, one’s incremental steeps to further the gospel mission thus become, as I see it, a walk to ease the soul.

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

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

August 1, 3:29 pm | [comment link]
162. Widening Gyre wrote:

removed—elfgirl
inappropriate comment about another commenter

August 1, 3:32 pm | [comment link]
163. Bob Maxwell+ wrote:

Widening Gyre, Stephen Noll does know him and I have heard Radner teach here in the DRG this last spring at our clergy conference. I now understand his historical worldview more than before. Do you? Check out the link. I would have expanded on several questions raised at the time had I read this before the conference.

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

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

August 1, 3:42 pm | [comment link]
164. Dale Rye wrote:

Re #161: Historically, the analogy doesn’t work. The reason that the English bishops could not consecrate Seabury had nothing to do with his personal qualifications or the legitimacy of his church, but everything to do with the British statutes that required oaths of allegiance to the Sovereign and of obedience to the Archbishop as a condition precedent to consecration. The Episcopal Church of Scotland, being a dissenting body from the (presbyterian) Church of Scotland, could consecrate him because it was under no obligation to the British Crown (or at least to the House of Hannover).

The C of E initially did not recognize Seabury because it did not recognize the Scottish church; it fully recognized the legitimacy of the American church. The Diocese of Connecticut was not a “continuing church” in the sense that it had voluntarily left the Church of England (most of its clergy, including Seabury, and many of its laity were Empire Loyalists). Once these United States became independent, so did its Anglican Church. Under its own principles (see Art. 38), the Church of England could claim no jurisdiction outside the Realm of England.

This is no parallel at all to the unilateral consecration of bishops to exercise ministry within the territorial jurisdiction of one national church by the national church of another country. Seabury’s consecration was a story about Anglicans in America, England, and Scotland operating within their respective canonical frameworks. It was not a story about Anglicans rejecting existing canonical frameworks to “help God do a new thing.”

From the beginning, Dr. Radner has been a strong supporter of allowing the Communion to work things out within the framework of its evolving rules, rather than of individualistic “prophetic” actions, whether reappraiser or reasserter in effect. If the governing bodies of the Communion decide to expel TEC and recognize another Anglican province in North America, Dr. Radner will be among the charter members, I suspect. He will never join a body that has chosen to act on its own without reference to the consensus of the Communion. To do that would be to concede the legitimacy of TEC acting alone on its private interpretation of what God is saying to the churches.

August 1, 4:01 pm | [comment link]
165. Graham Kings wrote:

At least four further questions may be posed and comments offered:

1. Has Bob Duncan moved from being a Communion Conservative to being a Federal Conservative? It seems that the events of the last few days, show that indeed he has made such a move. In the Fulcrum newsletter for June 2006, I came up with the above suggested categories, together with Communion Liberal and Federal Liberal, and included him (with ACI and Fulcrum) amongst the Communion Conservatives and Peter Jensen amongst the Federal Conservatives.
    http://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/page.cfm?ID=114

2. Amongst Anglicans in the USA, has Bob Duncan moved stream four (ACN) to combine with stream five (AMiA and CANA)? Again, it seems that the events of the last few days show that indeed he has. For these suggested categories, see the Fulcrum newsletter for February 2007 ‘To Cleave or To Cleave: The Primates’ Meeting in Tanzania’:
    http://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/page.cfm?ID=188

3. Has Bob Duncan taken any irreversible steps yet? Not quite yet, but he has given the strongest indication that he plans to advise the convention of the Diocese of Pittsburgh to leave TEC when it meets in early November. If, as I expect, Rowan Williams at the House of Bishops meeting in September does indeed insist on his own ‘Windsor and Covenant clause’ in his invitation letter to Lambeth, then Bob Duncan could still advise against leaving TEC, at least until after Lambeth.

4. What is the meaning of Canterbury and the Lambeth Conference ‘being lost’, according to Bob Duncan and Peter Jensen? Does this mean to them: (a) ‘lost to our cause’ or (b) ‘we have given up on the present holder of the office and next year’s Lambeth Conference’ or (c) we no longer believe at all in the office of Canterbury itself as a pivotal role for the Anglican Communion nor in the Lambeth Conference as a 10 yearly meeting of Anglican bishops.

It seems to me that (a) and (b) are meant. Now if (c) is also meant, then that is very serious indeed, and needs stating clearly. Then the irony would be that for Peter Jensen and Bob Duncan there would be no longer four instruments of unity, but only two - and one of those they have already given up on, the Anglican Consultative Council, and the other, the Primates’ Meeting, is presided over by one the instruments of unity they don’t believe in, Canterbury. This would make it plain that they would be emphatically against the Windsor Report and the Covenant process. It is that serious.

August 1, 4:04 pm | [comment link]
166. Steve Lake wrote:

#168, Graham Kings wrote:

4. What is the meaning of Canterbury and the Lambeth Conference ‘being lost’, according to Bob Duncan and Peter Jensen? Does this mean to them: (a) ‘lost to our cause’ or (b) ‘we have given up on the present holder of the office and next year’s Lambeth Conference’ or (c) we no longer believe at all in the office of Canterbury itself as a pivotal role for the Anglican Communion nor in the Lambeth Conference as a 10 yearly meeting of Anglican bishops.

It seems to me that (a) and (b) are meant. Now if (c) is also meant, then that is very serious indeed, and needs stating clearly.

—-
http://drlake.blogspot.com

August 1, 4:10 pm | [comment link]
167. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

#150 Thank you! I had seemed to remember that, at the time of the formation of ACN, I was ineligible to join. It had escaped me that ordained persons were eligible, so I was unaware that (since January) I am now eligible to join ACN. I probably will not, although someone may be able to convince me that it is to my benefit, or to God’s glory that I do.

The Rabbit.

August 1, 4:13 pm | [comment link]
168. Steve Lake wrote:

Oops!  Typing error. . .

Anyway, #168, Graham Kings wrote:

4. What is the meaning of Canterbury and the Lambeth Conference ‘being lost’, according to Bob Duncan and Peter Jensen? Does this mean to them: (a) ‘lost to our cause’ or (b) ‘we have given up on the present holder of the office and next year’s Lambeth Conference’ or (c) we no longer believe at all in the office of Canterbury itself as a pivotal role for the Anglican Communion nor in the Lambeth Conference as a 10 yearly meeting of Anglican bishops.

It seems to me that (a) and (b) are meant. Now if (c) is also meant, then that is very serious indeed, and needs stating clearly.

And it is precisely reading (c) which Radner+ assumed in his letter of resignation.  There were many, many indications that +Duncan meant (a) and (b).  To address those reasons, the second paragraph of Radner+‘s letter would have sufficed, rather than his precipitous resignation and undermining of +Duncan and the ACN.

—-
http://drlake.blogspot.com

August 1, 4:14 pm | [comment link]
169. seitz wrote:

Seabury—chaplain for the British. Ardent Tory. Desired mightily to be consecrated in the C of E. Had some personal history in Scotland and viewed it as a backup. Tried to return with friends for consecrations, vs White, and the Scottish Church said no. Until the end of his days preferred to speak of the Episcopal Church as the Church of England in America and signed his name thusly. Not a good exemplar of anti-Canterbury anglicanism and indeed to the day he died an arch Tory.
I am travelling for 24 hours and will be out of the loop. From the Edinburgh airport.
We will do all we can to pursue the strategy I spoke of in my initial response to Jayetal. If +Duncan is with this, all the better. But indications are that Noll and others involved with Common College view separation as the chief desideratum.
Grace and peace. God is in charge, as we seek to hear him and do his will, imperfect servants as were his Twelve.

August 1, 4:15 pm | [comment link]
170. Orthoducky wrote:

“Radner indicates that he will continue to work for discipline by the Primates. Only when that work is over can ACI know where we stand…the Dar Communique must be prosecuted”...

I agree with this and I’m willing to hang on till about 10/31—poetic, I guess.  But, I’m blessed and happy to be able to hang on under the “skirt”, if you will, of an orthodox bishop.  For the record, we all know that a lot of those in the HOB are no better than Hoffman-hippies with purple shirts.  Some are outright paganists.  My former bishop was the latter. 

I respect the work of ACI but they should read Nyssa’s great post(I think #132), as it illustrates the facts on the ground as opposed to in the academic ivory tower.  The former there is an important perspective to understand.  ACI should remember its makeup—Dr. Seitz who teaches at St. Andrews, Dr. Turner who, I believe, is also not currently in active parish ministry; I don’t know if Drs. Goddard and Walker also serve parishes in synods or dioceses.  Dr. Radner is probably the one with the most recent and comprehensive parish experience, and he just got out for academia. 

When you read Nyssa’s post and have empathy for said experience, it’s not hard to understand why anyone, clergy or lay, wants to bolt with +Duncan.  I respect and admire ACI and their work but they should make effort to understand the conditions at this particular Ground Zero. 

I thank Bishop Stanton for his insight, common sense, and cool head.  It’s only my HO but I believe that if the Network had changed its charter reflecting a nose-thumbing of TEC’s Constitutions and Canons, then Katie Corruption would not have hesitated to declare all the Network Sees vacant.  That would have been an even worse bag of worms. 

Meanwhile, back at the farm, I hope some of these things are sewn up better come 9/30.  And, it’s Archbishop Akinola we have to thank for that deadline, if I remember correctly.  Otherwise I guess the Canterbury can would continue to have been kicked down the street. 

I can only hope that the AB of C is using his quiet time to write his book for academic therapy and girding his loins for the coming struggle.  That’s what it will be.  I can only pray he’s on the side of the CHRISTIAN Anglican Communion, and the Scriptural angels. 

Time will tell…

August 1, 4:54 pm | [comment link]
171. Anonymous Layperson wrote:

I think the appropriate time for Radner to so publicly resign from the only real organization in TEC fighting for reform (and contrary to all assertions still fighting from within) is when ACN actually announces its intention to leave TEC.

August 1, 4:58 pm | [comment link]
172. FrankV wrote:

The maelstrom rages on.  The “armada” is in the tempest tossed. In the end, Larry Morse is right bang ON. Is +++Williams Anglican?
Who cares?

August 1, 5:06 pm | [comment link]
173. Widening Gyre wrote:

Bob,

Perhaps you could explain what you mean when you wrote that “Dr. Radner’s view of history ... actually leaves no room for anything but sorrow and staying in a broken branch of divided Christianity.”  Thanks.

August 1, 5:30 pm | [comment link]
174. Dale Rye wrote:

Re #175: Anyone who doesn’t care if the Archbishop of Canterbury is Anglican has clearly opted for the theory that “An Anglican is anybody that I choose to recognize as Anglican.” That is just a variation on “An Anglican is anybody who calls himself Anglican.” As the Red Queen said, “Words mean exactly what I choose them to mean, no more and no less.”

Anglicans and other orthodox Christians used to say, “Christian words mean exactly what the Church recognizes them to mean, no more and no less.” The breakdown of any corporate definition of what Anglicanism is and its replacement by a myriad of individualistic definitions is both symptomatic and causative of the breakdown of Anglicanism as a corporate communion.

If nobody can identify wherein the Church subsists, nobody can submit to its authority. Who do I follow if my rector, vestry, diocesan council, bishop and provincial synod are all in disagreement, along with General Convention, Executive Council, Presiding Bishop, Primates’ Meeting, Lambeth Conference, Anglican Consultative Council, and Archbishop of Canterbury? If the answer is that I can follow any one of them that I happen to agree with, then we are again back to making my private judgment the measure of Anglican orthodoxy.

It is that chaos that we are slipping towards and that the ACI and Fulcrum folks are trying to warn us of.

August 1, 5:53 pm | [comment link]
175. Publius wrote:

In the maelstrom that is deepening as we approach 9/30, it is important that we keep our eyes on the ball.

There is nothing we can do to control the ABC or TEC.

We CAN control what we do. We should tell the truth clearly, forcefully, and calmly. Bp. Duncan did exactly that in his speech criticizing the ABC. We can, and should, behave differently from the spin machine that is TEC. This is part of our witness to the ABC, to TEC, and to the world.

TEC is hopeless, for the reasons articulated by Sarah Hey on SF. TEC will not repent. They will not, period.

The damage the ABC has done to his See as an Instrument of Unity is done. The Communion WILL split now, no matter what else happens. I lay much of the blame for this debacle at the ABC’s feet. But even now, at this late hour, he still can still stop further damage and keep most of the Communion together (the poor part), plus some of the reasserters in the West. The ABC needs to understand what the cost will be of his siding with TEC on Sept. 30.

If the ABC sides with TEC, then we must move on. As Abp. Venables said, we must be loyal to Jesus.

August 1, 6:03 pm | [comment link]
176. Craig Goodrich wrote:

Bob+ #164—That is indeed an excellent article by Dr. Noll, found at his blog here and discussed on SF here.

Dr. R+‘s response, way back then, to Dr. Noll is here.

Interesting to observe yet more evidence that we freely argue theology, ecclesiology, history, and so on, while the revisionists seem to only argue tactics…

<hr width=30%><font size=-2>“May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy.”
—G. Washington, Letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, August 1790</font>

August 1, 6:25 pm | [comment link]
177. Neal in Dallas wrote:

I find the subject of this whole thread heartbreaking.  My two cents’ worth is this.
In my view, the chief aim for Anglicanism is a united and orthodox Anglicanism.  Anything short of that will likely result in a couple of undesireable scenarios, all undesirable:

1.  Anglicanism will turn into a federation of “provinces”—both geographical and relational. 

A second (orthodox) province in the United States results in institutionalizing within the Communion the departure from the apostolic faith of ECUSA, Canada, et al.  ECUSA will be just one more Anglican brand.  So will AMiA, CANA, REC, Common Cause partners, Uganda’s American churches, Kenya’s American churches, and so on, are simply Anglican flavors.  The result will be not one organic Anglican presence in the US, but numerous ones.  We’ve already seen rather unhealthy churches move from one province to another when actions of their bishop or diocese did not suit them.  How much “province-jumping” will there be? 

2. Anglicanism will split, roughly along North/South lines, with both sides claiming the brand name.  The orthodox will claim to be the true heirs of Anglicanism and its doctrine; the innovators will claim the Anglican brand because they will (probably) have the Archbishop of Canterbury and the claim to historic Anglican values of inclusivity and broadmindedness.  Then we really will have a multiplicity of Anglican brands.

I believe that the whole development of Common Cause was untimely.  To do the right thing at the wrong time can be a terrible mistake.  Just as you can take a cake out of an oven too soon, in my view, the whole formation of the Common Cause partnership was untimely.  It should have waited until the sexuality ECUSA’s-relationship-within-the-Communion issues were settled.  Rather than strengthening the voice of the orthodox in America, it has weakened it.  Too many disparate voices.  There is simply no critical mass for a united front within ECUSA for the discipline of ECUSA.

We need both apostolic faith and apostolic order for the fullness of the church.  With the proliferation of Anglican bodies we are seeing the breakdown of apostolic order.  A church without apostolic order is not the fullest expression of the Church.  A church with out apostolic order is simply another denomination. 

Many denominations and non-denominational networking of churches do much really good ministry.  I will not denigrate those Christian brothers and sisters, but I prefer both apostolic faith and order.

August 1, 6:29 pm | [comment link]
178. Orthoducky wrote:

“It should have waited until the sexuality ECUSA’s-relationship-within-the-Communion issues were settled”.

Yes.  I UNDERSTAND and empathize with the reasons for the formation of Common Cause, but I agree with Neal above.  No shock there, since I believe he is part of MY “apostolic order”.  grin 

But, one must remember, not all dioceses are like Neal’s.  What of the faithful in places like say, Newark, or New England?  Bill Murdoch, John Guernsey, Kenya and Uganda are their lifelines, and where would they be without them? 

Common Cause does have a purpose and a place, even though I believe its “season” should have waited until after 9/30.  And yet I am glad for the souls God and the above have saved thus far.  They needed it. 

I pray the primates, possibly spearheading the actions of the AB of C, sort all of this out…

IC,

O.

August 1, 7:19 pm | [comment link]
179. jayanthony wrote:

Neal in Dallas, please help me out. What was accomplished in the Network meeting was a strengthening of the Common Cause but not an organizational structure to the point of bring all partners under one roof or constitution.  Please tell me why this was too early when in fact the Network is waiting until after 9/30 to leave ECUSA or formalize any Common Cause structure/umbrella.  It seems to me, and I would love clarification if I am mistaken, that the pieces are in place should the HoB thumb their nose at DES and the Primates.  Is this not the waiting that you and ACI are calling for?  Is not the Network doing the prudent thing in planning for the inevitable but not formalizing until after the inevitable?  I’m at a loss as to why ACI and others are upset.

August 1, 7:42 pm | [comment link]
180. Spiros wrote:

I wish Dr. Radner had been this quick to disassociate and resign from EcUSA as he just did with ACN.
Is this not the same reverend gentleman who since Plano ‘03 has been relentless in asking everyone to stay the course and work from within?

Why is Dr. Radner not staying the course and working from within with ++Duncan?
Why is Dr. Radner not handling this situation ++Duncan in the same patient manner as he (Radner) has been treating and handling the uncountable in-your-face nonsense and clearly unChristian statements and positions that EcUSA and her executive leadership and bishops have been spewing forth and celebrating for years now?

As a matter of fact, many Episcopalians have been listening to Radner and staying in spiritually injurious churches longer than they needed to.
Now, how should the Reasserters regard this gentleman who is seems to be moving more and more to the other side, literally and figuratively?

As far as my understanding of what ++Duncan said and what the ACN is doing, Dr. Radner’s characterization of this situation and his public resignation –read the his own words -are not helpful to the cause - and to the Cause, that is.

August 1, 8:34 pm | [comment link]
181. Neal in Dallas wrote:

Why, Orthoducky, thank you very much!  I am blessed by that comment.

Yes, not all dioceses are like mine.  I can still wish they had waited on the Communion to respond.  I still aver that their leaving ECUSA was precipitous and did damage to the orthodox presence in and pressure on ECUSA.  However, different people are granted different measures of grace.  Some have the grace to leave, while others have the grace to remain in a less that ideal situation.  I have no stones in any of my pockets to cast.

Jayanthony,  I would say that the whole Common Cause movement was untimely for the reasons I stated above.  Yes, the Network kept itself together and seems to be giving the +ABC time to respond to the 9/30 deadline.

However, the real damage by the Network was done long before this week.  When so many people and churches and leaders in the Network left ECUSA, the Network became a coalition that failed to attract any other bishops and dioceses to it.  That caused the Network to fail to be a rallying place for the Orthodox in ECUSA to oppose the nonbliblical innovations within ECUSA (and Canada) and made those opposed to the Robinson family of innovations to appear to be a minority.  The departure of many fine Network leaders from ECUSA went hand in hand with the growing embrace of the Common Cause partners.  The embrace of the Common Cause partners by the Network became a further deterrent to attracting other Windsor-leaning bishops to the Network.  It was too complicated.  Too much ecumenical dialogue and issues that these other bishops were not able nor willing to engage in at this time.

As a result, the orthodox within ECUSA who want to work things out with the Communion have no real group to be a part of and to look for protection or even counsel.  None of the Network Deans are currently in ECUSA.  As it stands, those clergy and lay leaders in ECUSA but who are in non-Network dioceses don’t get any encouragement to “hang in there and fight;” rather the counsel is for them to leave.

Why are ACI and others uspet?  I can’t speak for them, but I lament the breakup of an organic, whole Anglican Communion.  I don’t want to be a part of a federation of immigrant-based Anglican bodies with a multiplicity of American bishops, none of whom speak Swahili or Spanish or Igbo, etc. from the country of their province’s origin.  There’s no real cultural integrity in that.  I prefer the organic unity of Communion over a federation of churches.  The course we are on seems to be headed toward a federation rather than a Communion. 

In my view, the grass on the other side is only dirt painted green.  We are backing into a mess of Anglican alphabet soup.  I don’t see how nor do I believe that we will ever put Humpty Dumpty back together again.  I would rather work on keeping Humpty Dumpty on the wall rather than on trying to put him back together again.

August 1, 8:50 pm | [comment link]
182. Nyssa wrote:

Widening Gyre, If my experience as a rector in a revisionist diocese is anomalous then it would be just my experience…nothing more.  However, I would submit that every orthodox rector in those revisionist diocese which are led by ideological progressive bishops is currently facing the exact same dillema.  If one is in a network diocese, a windsor diocese, or the diocese of an institutionalist bishop, then the facts on the ground are different.  However, there are a lot of us out here hiding in the bushes trying to figure out how to preach and teach without getting ‘picked off.’  It is an increasingly untenable situation.

So don’t get me wrong, I will not fault Radner for going to the academy (it has its own battles, different ones, and perhaps not as personally costly, but very important battles nonetheless) as long as he doesn’t take a swing at the only folks who are offering a realistic solution (Duncan & the Network) to folks in my situation.  If you have time to spare then a long-wrought Communion solution will work for you.  We don’t have time.  Every extension the Primates have made to allow for TEC’s repentence has only given my bishop more time to develop ways to tighten the noose.  If the Primatial Vicar proposal had been adopted by TEC, then I might have both the security and the luxury of time to let it all unfold in a slow, neat, and tidy Radnerian progression. Once the Pastoral Vicar proposal was torpedoed, the clock began ticking again.  We can hold our breath till October.  Lambeth ‘08?  We’ll be rooted out by then, and it will be too late.

Lakeland, Phil, and everyone else who responded to my post: Thank you for your empathy, and please keep myself and especially my parish in your prayers.  Peace friends.

August 1, 10:29 pm | [comment link]
183. robroy wrote:

To Dale Rye #167 and C. Seitz #172 responding to my post #161:

Did I ever say that Seabury’s circumstances were similar? That would be ludicrous. Of course, circumstances are dissimilar. Tory-ness/border crossing/shoe size/paper or plastic, etc.,... all straw men, all irrelevant.

What is similar is that circumstances were extraordinary, in fact Anglicanism’s Christian witness in this country was/is threatened. Agreed? What I said was that he was ordained irregularly by foreign bishops. Agreed? Yet we all consider him Anglican. Agreed?

Or perhaps you do not consider Bp Seabury Anglican???

Non serviri, sed servire.

August 1, 11:45 pm | [comment link]
184. RazorbackPadre wrote:

As a “moderate,” Dr. Radner seems halted between two positions:neither forcefully opposing his enemies nor standing to fight with his friends. He now retreats to the ivory towers of his famed intelligence and published integrity. But History demands courage. Dr. Radner has only another “think tank” which has, in the end, spilled much ink in the pursuit of a plausible justification of the status quo. And for this reason, I’m am not surprised by Dr. Radner’s blusterous decision for inaction. This seems to be his signature product. We should expect more of the same from Dr. Radner: Elite criticisms and high-brow condemnations - words, words…more and more words. But one need not worry. Dr. Radner probably won’t do anything more than just talk. He is, after all, a moderate man.

August 2, 12:19 am | [comment link]
185. Ephraim Radner wrote:

Many of the postings here are quite angry at me, and I hope I will be forgiven for not having read every one of them.  I suppose I can understand some of the negative feelings directed towards me.  I have no desire, however, and despite my weakness in wanting to avoid this conflict, to slink away silently.  One should be willing to face criticism, and there is that aplenty.  So let me say a couple of things in response to some of the concerns raised here.

One view is that I have somehow “betrayed” the cause of orthodoxy within Anglicanism.  Obviously, I do not think so, and although there are more liberal bloggers who see all this as a matter of “Radner finally seeing some sense”, that is not the right take on this whole affair at all.  I am as adamant as anyone here that TEC has lost its way, perhaps irreparably in its present configuration, and in so doing has and continues (in its “official” Convention structures of Executive Council especially, and 815 bureaucracy) to subvert the Gospel witness we are bound to “propagate”.  And I believe this must be opposed and without dilution of effort and heart.

But my resignation from the ACN itself was a necessary move to make.  It simply made no sense – logically, theologically, and morally— for a member of the Covenant Design Group like myself to remain a member of an organization that has, through its chief leader and spokesperson, repudiated the very basis for the work I accepted and accepted willingly and under the Lord.  I vowed at my ordination before God to “take my share in the councils of the Church”, and the Covenant process is at the center of these councils within Anglicanism and its Communion at present.  There was no question in my mind, when faced with this choice, about which direction I am bound to go. I need to say very clearly, however, that it is not a choice I wanted to make, nor a choice that I wish had been forced upon me.  Yet, for all that, I did not seek it out or invent it.  Someone else did.

But the vow is not empty or merely “formal” here, nor merely personal and private.  I also believe – and I have argued this, I hope consistently for some time —that these councils, agreed-upon and worked out and followed through (however slowly), are the only means by which both to further the Gospel’s preaching and witness and (as an essential part of that Gospel) by which to act as a measure of unity in the Lord’s truth.  To say that this is all “over” and “lost” and that it is time to invent some new and better means to pursue this – in the midst of a broken church no less!, as if we have nothing to learn from the past as to what the dangers and failures are of this kind of desperate giving up on the mechanisms of our common life! – to say this is, as I said, not only a mark of uncalled-for desperation, but an arrow into the heart of the calling God has in fact given us.  Time has not “run out”, faith has not simply vanished from among us and those who labor for the Communion’s faith and witness, and the councils of the church, however unsanctified by our long-standing divisions and disdain of our gifts from the Scriptures, from the saints, from the past and from our separated brethren, are still the vessels God has given us for our repentance and renewal through His Spirit given where we find ourselves.  It is possible to feel, privately, that this is not the case;  but we are not free, as servants of the Church of Christ, to pronounce upon the Church’s own viability in her structures of authority.  Even David respected Saul, and was commended for it.

This leads to the question of the method and tone of my resignation announcement.  Who am I to judge Bp. Duncan’s declarations?  And with such dark evaluations?  And at a time when conservatives are both desperately trying to hold together and to mount a coherent and unified alternative to the drift and actual deliberate shift towards a subverted Gospel?  Whom am I indeed – not much of anyone.  I can only speak in such a context with trepidation and with trembling, and so I have;  and with a good deal of personal second-guessing.  But in the end, there are several reasons for the when and how in this – about all of which, of course, I could be wrong.  Among them are the following: 

I must be as honest in my disagreements with colleagues, even friends, as with opponents, and even hostile ones;  anything else shifts into hypocrisy.  I have come to the conclusion that unity among conservatives has not in fact been a goal for many, and that to pretend otherwise is confusing matters gravely;  it should be, of course, but until there is greater honesty, it will not be. The unity of the Communion is under such serious threat, and is of such a value, that allowing words, actions, and strategies that are undermining our future go unquestioned, immediately and forcefully, is a dereliction of Christian responsibility.  We are becoming the mirror images of our opponents on the Left, in too many and too destructive ways;  we are not offering a true alternative in spirit and in Christ.  There are many, many people, both inside and outside TEC/Anglicanism, who are yearning for a future that is not simply one of Christian warfare, and we dare not disappoint them.  The “mission of the Trinity”, that the Primates said in Dromantine was being “obscured” in this struggle, is being obscured for more than a few, and the march to unilateral separation is proving a costly and sorrowful scandal to the Gospel’s spread and the good Name of our Lord Jesus.  I cannot stand by, out of courtesy, and watch our common work and life – among faithful Christian, no less!— hurtle over the cliff.  There are better ways forward (e.g. the reconvening of a General Convention faithful to its Constitution, by willing bishops and their diocesan deputies, seeking the recognition of the Communion). 

These are some of my reasons for being so forthright.  There are others. Are they enough, adequate, legitimate?  I am hardly certain;  but they are the best I have to go on, and they are consistent, I believe, with both the “way” of Jesus in His Church, not only explicated in the Scriptures but in the Church’s history at its best. And I have only words – as many have pointed out before, nothing but words, no actions! – and so am but a weak instrument in this time and struggle. What is there to fear from even my potentially ill-directed remarks?  I will bear their burden, but I carry no votes and wield no authority.  Further, I bear no ill-will towards Bp. Duncan. Just the opposite:  he is a man whose Christian faith I salute and yield to.  I have said, and will continue to say, that he has offered more courage than many a bishop stacked one upon another.  It is, however, the wisdom of this new direction he has formally announced that I question, and question resolutely.  And even more than that, it is the angry refusal to allow such questioning by so many that I believe has weakened the substance of our Christian witness.

August 2, 12:23 am | [comment link]
186. alfonso wrote:

On Chris Johnson’s MCJ blog, I speculated as to some root causes of Radner’s statement/theology. Under the slight chance I may be on to something, I’m reposting here:

As I understand Radner, he believes he is called to not merely suffer, but to be a victim. And Radner is calling the (comparatively) faithful in TEC to his vision of Good-Friday Christianity. And Duncan’s (soon-to-be-tangible?) hope for Easter is a betrayal of Radner’s vision.

Dr. Radner is a martyr, which can be great, and/or terrible, depending upon the circumstances and God’s will. I actually believe (only a hunch, but I’ve learned to see this in myself and others) martyrdom is part of his personality, and has served him well in rejecting worldly temptations and aspirations. His personality bent taints and narrows his Biblical foci. God, whom we call “Lord, Lord” also is Lord of our personality; for we can hold nothing back from Him.

I submit that the example of Christ which Dr. Radner enjoins us to follow, includes not only suffering and victimhood, but also authority and victory. The path to balance is not to downplay Christ’s suffering—(Dr. Radner is correct in its importance); but to make sure the reality of Christ’s victory and authority receive proper emphasis as well.

Dr. Radner is likewise correct to note that St. Paul responded in more than one way to false teachers. But just because victimhood is one viable option to communicate love, if the situation is right, why should we be excluding the dominant examples of St. Paul from our “repetoire.” Surely it is also loving to demonstrate “tough love” as he more often does to false teachers.

Finally, kudos to Chris Johnson and his analysis. I believe the ball is in the court of those who don’t think Christ’s analogy of salt applies to TEC. I pray Dr. Radner and others think about that text. If not TEC, then who are the modern examples to whom this text applies? After consideration, doesn’t it indeed apply to TEC? Is TEC still salty or no? And if “no” as seems most certain, what to do? Is there room to respond with authority and victory? Or is martyrdom the only example of Christ we should follow to the exclusion of others?

August 2, 12:29 am | [comment link]
187. Robert Easter wrote:

For the sake of Christian love and objectivity, let’s all remember to write from a heart of love, prepared before God by the Holy Ghost.  I don’t know either Bob or Ephraim, but I understand that each of them has a singular calling to fulfill.  Bob has been called on to shepherd a fairly disparate flock of disaffected American church people (not an enviable task on a good day!), and Ephraim to teach theology in an Evangelical seminary attached to the Anglican Church of Canada.  Ephraim apparently sees that he cannot reasonably expect to do his job well and help Bob with his at the same time, but that Bob has a number of qualified people already in place.  I think God has who He wants where He wants them, and would like us to be on our knees to pray assistance for those He has chosen.  This is a difficult and trying time for the Body.  The Lord is at hand!  Sanctifusion- (Back to the basic stuff)  grin

Robert

August 2, 1:34 am | [comment link]
188. Rob Eaton+ wrote:

You know, Alfonso, that martyrdom is only one part of the Way of the Cross.  When teaching on spiritual gifts I have often told my students that martyrdom is a one-time gift.
Perhaps you didn’t quite mean it in that sense - since he is still alive, or yet to be crucified (although some here have attempted) - when you said that Ephraim “is a martyr.”  Unless you meant that in the way some do as a pejorative judgment.
But I really think you mean to call Radner an ascetic, rather than Martyr.
Some feedback on that observation?
RGEaton

August 2, 2:18 am | [comment link]
189. Terry Wong wrote:

I like to share some thoughts, out of a sense of Christian duty and perhaps offer some perspectives from where we are here (Singapore, Province of Southeast Asia). I don’t represent the Global South body in making these comments, I should clarify. I speak as an Anglican clergy who like many here, love the Church and seeking for coherence and direction for the days ahead.

Firstly, I like to interact with to Graham Kings’ comments (#168).

On his first question, “Has Bob Duncan moved from being a Communion Conservative to being a Federal Conservative?” I don’t think it is helpful at all (nor fair) to come up with these categories and label the various orthodox Anglican leaders in our midst. There are currently enough labels to divide our church and I don’t think coming out with more will help us to come together.

As far as I know about Bp Duncan, he does, like many of us, love the Anglican Church. The battles that he and others have been facing on the ground have been a firsthand experience, long and bitter. The perceived lack of support from Lambeth in these struggles, I can imagine, must be difficult for him to handle, especially when he has held out for so long and not gone the AMIA way. Remaining within TEC means facing up to the tension, threats of presentment and whatever else etc. I can never understand the pressures he has been facing and so I will use a American term here – “Cut him some slack.” Graham is right in question 3 – Duncan has not taken irreversible steps.

I will be slower to lump CANA with AMIA (under question 2). While the CANA move is somewhat controversial in the eyes of some, it is in my personal conversations with Bp Martyn Minns which opened my eyes (and heart) to the ground realities and pressures they have been facing. I come from a church where my establishment love and support what I believe in and work for. I will never completely understand what it means to experience otherwise. For this, I believe Duncan, Minns and all deserve our prayers and every possible support.

Unlike Ephraim Radner (#188), I don’t see how what Duncan has declared tantamounts to abandoning the Windsor process or the work done at Dar. Whatever pastoral provisions (CANA etc) are temporal measures (already publicly declared by the Primate who are involved, and here is where CANA defers from AMIA)) and the last word still belong to those who issues the Dar communiqué (Primates) e.g. on how non-Windsor compliance will be responded to and pastoral provisions for those who do.

So, we wait for post-Sept. Meanwhile, countless declarations & statements have been made for pastoral concerns (even if they lack coherence and imperfect semantically -  to keep the faithful in the church, encouragement etc) since 2003 and I don’t see Duncan’s latest as anything unusual.

I honestly think our key responsibilities (clergy, theologians, bishops) is to:
1.  Hold together in spite of our differences.
2.  Trust the Primates to do the work – and let them! (if you look back at the real work being done these past years, it will be the Primates (working with ++RW) who are making a real difference to well-being of the Communion – quite in spite of the millions of words written in essays and other statements. Many of the Primates do not even have the luxury of time to read them but when called to act on what they have been entrusted with, you can count on them.) Some are of the opinion that as “king-makers,’ they should do all we can to influence the outcome of the Primates in their meetings. To do that is to underestimate the godly wisdom of some of our Primates. Sometimes, some of us may even be standing in the way of their work, even if we are well-meaning.

As for question 4, we can expect disappointments in the way the crisis has been handled by Canterbury and the various things said about the coming Lambeth Conf. But I won’t be quick to suggest that this means they are abandoning the Communion-wide supported process or the other instruments of unity. The Communion is a ‘torn fabric’ – and the brokenness is affecting the nature and role of the instruments as well. But I believe the process of not just healing, but transformation is already taking place.

Through that, the instruments of unity will only emerge stronger in the years to come. By this I mean (and pray for):

Archbishop of Canterbury – whoever holds this office will have a better grasp of global communion realities and his responsibilities towards them.

Primates Meeting – This crisis has only serve to awaken many Primates to their role, not just in their own Province, but Communion. While some will see it as a jostling of power, I (and many) see it as a good development where the work of the Canterbury office is supported by fellow-brothers, sharing in the burden of global pastoral leadership. 

ACC – that this will be truly be a body of lay representatives of our Provinces (representing their Primates, Bishops and Church) and not a domain controlled by a few with specific agendas (?)

Lambeth Conf – changes to the above instruments will ensure that this 10-yearly gathering becomes a true expression of the family life and mission of the Church. In fact, we can expect many other Anglican conferences in future which will address Mission as it should be done (not socio-political agendas) and where there will not just be more ‘talk’ but resulting in actual work done and progress made.

If one were to reflect deeper, the Communion can only get better from here. I am hopeful as The Lord of His Church will continue to guard and strengthen this part of His Church. The Anglican Church has some unique roles to carry within the Catholic Church and world at large. She will continue to grow, especially globally. 

The Lord will ensure that. We keep praying.

Terry Wong

August 2, 2:33 am | [comment link]
190. Rob Eaton+ wrote:

Yes, to Neal, and looking and praying for the next great umbrella organization for when AAC and ACN have “no more Episcopalians in them”, as Anderson+ and +Duncan have both suggested or said outright this past 6-month period since Dar Es Salaam.  It won’t be ACI because that’s not their purpose.  Perhaps Dave Roseberry’s old vision of a network of parishes and clergy for mutual support within (P)ECUSA will be given breath, except without David, of course.
(Hi, Dave).

RGEaton

August 2, 3:39 am | [comment link]
191. Karen B. wrote:

Neal, I am fan of your ministry and appreciate many of your comments in #184, etc. 

However, I submit that maybe there is a different cause/effect at work than what you’re proposing.

You seem to be saying: few dioceses and bishops joined the Network because it was too radical.  Too committed to leaving ECUSA.

I don’t see that.  I see the opposite.  I see rather that the Network became more “extreme,” more focused on Common Cause instead of staying within ECUSA because too few joined. 

Even dioceses like Dallas struggled to get the diocesan approval to join the Network.  I recall that took hard lobbying and the vote was tense.  Western Kansas did not succeed in getting diocesan support to join the Network.  This was all long before any of the recent departures, when the Network was still very firmly committed to the inside strategy.  We watched as San Diego was lost to a revisionist bishop.  And Florida. We watched SW Florida decline to join the Network.  We watched +Pittsburgh get sued when they wanted to allow reappraisers to depart with their churches. We watched the incredible drama of the election in Tennessee…! As you’ll probably recall that was one of the longest threads in TitusOneNine history.  Hundreds of folks were tuned in watching the ballot results live for each election attempt.  Praise God the diocese DID get a faithful bishop in the end.  But still, the writing was on the wall about the likelihood of the election of any future solidly orthodox bishops as the extraordinary questions to +Love before granting consent at GC06, and of course the debacle in South Carolina have now only made clear.

We watched +Smith get off the hook for blatant canonical violations of destroying a parish.  While +Cox got presented for performing confirmations at the behest of an orthodox Primate in a church that no longer was a member of ECUSA having negotiated an amicable settlement with the diocese.  Settlement no matter.  +Cox was still charged.

We watched a dozen or more bishops and dioceses whom at one time we thought would be reliably orthodox and take a stand:

Eau Clair, Fond de Lac, North Dakota, Central Gulf Coast, Mississippi,
Alabama, Northern Indiana, Texas, West Texas, Western Tennessee, Louisiana, Upper South Carolina, ...etc.

all do little to nothing for TWO WHOLE YEARS.  Or worse than nothing.  Bishops like +Parsley and +Don Johnson actively persecuted the Network members in their diocese.

Basically in most of these dioceses, NOTHING happened between the publication of the Windsor report and GC06.  Nothing.  I can’t claim to know whether there was a failure on the part of the Network to actively try to pull in some of these bishops and dioceses.  But I think in some cases there was work to try and pull folks together and it failed.  To my eyes, ONLY +Herlong and +MacPherson have truly acted as Windsor bishops consistently in actions as well as words. +Lipscomb did at times, but not reliably.

So faced with the appearance of a domino theory, of mounting losses, of diocese after diocese falling, of dozens and even hundreds of families leaving many orthodox parishes and dioceses, what was the Network to do?  There were no obvious gains only losses.  At some point it seemed clear that perhaps the only option was/is to consolidate what you’ve still got and move on.

Don’t blame the Network alone for failing to be bigger or more attractive.  Blame those dioceses and bishops who stuck their heads in the sand.  Who refused to teach their people.  Who prefered and still prefer comfort and lack of conflict.  Who refused to take a stand.  To my read, that’s where most of the blame lies.

August 2, 7:47 am | [comment link]
192. KAR wrote:

#192 - I agree with much of your logic, but I think some of the presentation is in error.

Whatever pastoral provisions (CANA etc) are temporal measures (already publicly declared by the Primate who are involved, and here is where CANA defers from AMIA))

While ++Akinola has stated this publicly, CoN is the one one to go as far as to change it’s canon law and it’s kind of open and could be read that CoN could move anywhere in the globe if needed. So words and actions are giving two different impression.

CANA is lumped with AMiA in the Common Cause partnership as opposed to ICON and FiFNA.

This part of your post hurts your argument, CANA is more like AMiA than different as opposed to other APO and some of +Minns actions or words are more a liability to +Duncan’s defense of Windsor and Dar Es Salaam.

However, Kenya and Uganda may not expressly stated this is a temporary measure but their actions by setting up limited join structures under the ACN combined with the retention of the ACN being associated with TEC clause in its charter bolster your position. I also believe it was wise not to have either +Minns or +Murphy at the meeting which may not add to +Duncan defense of working inside Windsor, but removes that level of criticism (interesting that all parties Common Cause partners sent suffragans).

August 2, 8:24 am | [comment link]
193. Graham Kings wrote:

Thanks, Terry, for your thoughtful and significant comments at #192, which I have also copied over into the Fulcrum forum thread on this subject.

I enjoyed some time with Bob Duncan at a recent conference and appreciate the enormous pressure he is under, and has been for some time and that he chose not to go the way of AMiA. It is good to read your comment that what he has done recently is not irreversible - though I still think a public change has happened in the last few days.

Your comments about CANA being different from AMiA, in that it is designed to be a temporary body, are well made, but CANA still has chosen the path of splitting over patient pressure, (which is Ephraim Radner’s main point about his resignation from the ACN) - 

see http://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/page.cfm?ID=168  -

and is based on an earlier constitutional change in the Church of Nigeria -

see http://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/page.cfm?ID=19

which includes Mouneer Anis’ comment at the time, September 2005: “After the unilateral action of ECUSA, all African Bishops accepted The Windsor Report as the way ahead. This remains the right process, and should not be delayed, nor anticipated unilaterally.”

At the same conference I also enjoyed time with people involved with Martyn Minns in Truro Church in Faifax and, again, appreciate the huge pressure they have been under - yet I still think the way of patient pressure, following the Windsor and Covenant process is the way forward.

Your comments on the Primates’ Meeting and its enormous significance ring true indeed - your own Primate has had a key role in those meetings and in the Covenant Design Group - and your elucidations of how you see the four Instruments of Communion developing are helpful, especially in that there are still four.

So thanks for all of these responses and also for the GSA site.

August 2, 8:48 am | [comment link]
194. BJ Spanos wrote:

My hat is off to Ephraim Radner for his courage and directness.  I believe the orthodox within the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion may learn much by his witness and conviction to principle.  May God bless you!

August 2, 9:03 am | [comment link]
195. Grandmother wrote:

PROCESS, PROCESS…...... and on and on.  Has the ECUSA structure become an idol?  Does anyone care how many souls are being lost, not just to Anglicanism, but to Christ?  How many truly care what is being taught in the Sunday Schools?  How many children are being led astray by involvement in questionable theories?  How many people are being led to Christ as opposed to membership in a church?
Why has the “Process” become the end-all and be-all?

Where, in all this is the command “Seek ye first”? Where is the “Go ye”, and preach the Gospel?

While we argue about who’s right or wrong, how many of us have to say “I’m Episcopalian but I’m a Christian”?  Even, discribing ourselves as Anglican as opposed to Episcopalian. has to have an explanation.

Where should we be?  On our knees, begging forgiveness for our arrogance; begging forgiveness for attacking our Godly brothers and sisters; and begging forgiveness for our idolatry of earthly things.

Are there so few warriors who will stand up for the Gospel as we have received it? 

I do understand the clergy who are “under” unGodly bishops and I pray for them. The only witness we have to the salvation given thru the sacrifice of Our Lord, is ourselves, our souls and bodies! What are we doing with it, are we standing for Christ, or wallowing in process?

Forgive me folks, I’m just an old “greyhead”, but it breaks my heart to see and hear this, and wonder IF there will ever be an end to it, so the CHURCH can get back to the task it was given to do.

Blessings, and prayers for all
Grannie Gloria

August 2, 9:08 am | [comment link]
196. AnglicanFirst wrote:

Dr. Radner said,
“It is, however, the wisdom of this new direction he has formally announced that I question, and question resolutely.”

We are coming to a “hard point in time” at which decisions will be made, either by action or inaction.

It is totally appropriate for a leader such as +Duncan to be open and clear in his leadership. Particularly when that openness and clarity send a clear signal to those who follow him, those who have made themselves his opponents and those pew sitters who have been uninformed or who have buried their heads in the sands of “Episcobabble.”

If, at the coming “hard point in time,” the orthodox/traditional Anglicans who follow +Duncan, and the ACN, are not mustered and standing in ranks in accordance with some sort of agreed upon position and organizational structure, then +Duncan is not leading.

However, +Duncan is leading and we should be thankful for his leadership.  Public and internal disagreement and squabbling at this point should be avoided.

We need to “stand shoulder to shoulder.”  We musn’t break ranks.  And above all, we must not repeat the behavior of Clan MacDonald at the Battle of Culloden in 1746, when it’s leaders refused to join the battle because Clan MacDonald had not been assigned to the right flank of of the Highlander’s battle line, the position of honor for the most esteemed clan. In the end, the people of Clan MacDonald were as badly persecuted after losing the battle as those who took part in it.  Clan MacDonald may have been the cause of defeat.

Today we are preparing ourselves for a spiritual battle.  That unwanted battle may be upon us soon.  Things of a theological matter are being contested.  Not things of an ecclesiological nature. 

First let’s win the spiritual battle for the Church and then after the battle restore those things of ‘church order’ that are necessary for the health of the Church.

August 2, 9:09 am | [comment link]
197. tired wrote:

It is really a stretch for me to construe Duncan’s statements as inconsistent with DES, which envisioned a negotiated reconciliation with mission efforts by various primates.

#192: “pastoral provisions (CANA etc) are temporal measures…here is where CANA defers from AMIA”

Please provide support for this comment, as I have heard Kolini say exactly the opposite - hence the name “mission” to denote AMiA’s provision, temporary nature.

August 2, 9:16 am | [comment link]
198. Karen B. wrote:

Preach it Grannie! (#198)  Amen sister.  Thanks for that exhortation and reminder of eternal priorities.

August 2, 9:24 am | [comment link]
199. Larry Morse wrote:

Anglicanfirst is on the mark, and I do wish the rest of the Anglican church adopted the same attitude. There is in fact a war on, and for the church, the stakes are very high. Is Kendall fearful of strife? Then he better not stand to arms. Will Duncan lead? Well, someone has to to, and he might as well be the one. If not him, then who? The ABC?
We need a clear and decisive act, one that will allow the sheep and the goats to sort themselves by standards that are comprehensibly sheepish and goatish.

  What we should not want is peace and reconciliation with TEC, for that is self-deception at a high price. TEC is a snakeoil salesman, and if we debate whether this stuff in the bottle is really snakeoil or holy water, we will end up by buying some to try it out. Even snakeoil can taste good.

  The worst outcome is the impotence of being unable to bring any issue to clear resolution. This, THIS, will bring a war of all against all whose resolution is “the last man left standing.” LM

August 2, 9:28 am | [comment link]
200. wildfire wrote:

Karen B #194

Thank you for your comment.  That really needed to be said.

August 2, 9:28 am | [comment link]
201. Neal in Dallas wrote:

Dear Karen B. #194

We are, I am sure, a mutual admiration society.  I appreciate so much of what you are doing and how you are doing it. 

I recognize many of the injustices visited against faithful people and clergy in ECUSA.  I also acknowledge that much of the reluctance of other bishops to join the Network have equally as much to do with their own timidity, self-defined institutional loyalty, and modernist smugness against anything that smacks of evangelicalism and passionate Christianity.

My chief concern in all of this is that the appropriate solutions for many of these issues are “above our pay grade.”  We are part of a worldwide Communion.  That Communion has embarked on a plan that is aiming to deal with those injustices; agonizingly slowly, not as directly as most—myself included—prefer, but it is a plan that requires global participation.

Many of the responses have been unilateral in nature which have not honored the collegiality (by that I don’t mean ‘friendliness’) of the whole.  The result of this unilateralism will be further fragmentation and sad divisions.

At the Network meeting we received greetings from bishops from the Common Cause partnership.  One dear bishop, in giving the history of their denomination, spoke of one split after another after another.  He was not lamenting those splits so much as he was relating his own history.

We all have friends who are now bishops in various jurisdictions now in the same country—the US.  Anglicans, yes, but now they are Rwandan, and Kenyan, and Ugandan, and Nigerian. 

I have applauded the apostolic reasons for the Nigerian initiative. When African Anglicans come to this country many of their friends who greet them will discourage them from attending an Episcopal Church because they are told, ‘the Episcopal Church is not Christian.’  So, it is helpful in some dioceses to establish African immigrant churches apart from the local Episcopal diocese because the local bishop will neither accommodate the cultural concerns for these immigrant Anglicans nor honor their evangelical convictions.  Most bishops effectively say to these immigrants, ‘If you don’t want to go to an Episcopal Church, tough.’  So, to provide African Anglicans a church in America where these brothers and sisters can remain Anglican they have had to develop churches outside the local Episcopal Church structure.  And, yes, they need a local bishop to provide them with episcopal leadership and ministry.

However, to mix this appropriate missional initiative among African immigrants with the internal theological issues facing ECUSA has done damage to the pressure that should be brought to bear on ECUSA from the orthodox within it. 

These are short term gains that will result, in my opinion, with the long-term loss of the fracturing, if not the break-up, of the Anglican Communion.

August 2, 10:16 am | [comment link]
202. Widening Gyre wrote:

Radner wrote: “I have come to the conclusion that unity among conservatives has not in fact been a goal for many, and that to pretend otherwise is confusing matters gravely….”

Now that took some guts to say that.  I certain feel that way but have been afraid to speak it out loud for fear of the slings and arrows from my fellow conservatives.  My prayers are with you, brother Radner.  Your words are greatly appreciated by me.  Thank you.

I so dislike the labels that Matt developed over at SF (federal, etc).  My sense that each of us has a particular call if you will when it comes to serving Christ.  I mean by that the “essence” of that individual’s faith.  The “when all else becomes confusing, I come back to this” sort of thing.  For me, the “essence” of my faith is reconciliation.  For others, the “essense” of their faith appears to be “proclamation.”  I think that helps explain the divergent paths we conservatives are following.  Funny how we’re all pursuing Christ but seem to be heading in different directions.

August 2, 10:19 am | [comment link]
203. William P. Sulik wrote:

Thanks Karen, your note above is must reading.

“Let the reader, where we are equally confident, stride on with me; where we are equally puzzled, pause to investigate with me; where he finds himself in error, come to my side; where he finds me erring, call me to his side. So that we may keep to the path, in love, as we fare on toward Him, ‘whose face is ever to be sought.’”

—Augustine of Hippo, The Trinity 1.5

August 2, 10:29 am | [comment link]
204. Planonian wrote:

#180, “Neal in Dallas” (who I assume is the Rev. Canon Neal Michell) wrote, “In my view, the chief aim for Anglicanism is a united and orthodox Anglicanism.”

Forgive me, but as a mainstream Episcopalian in the same diocese, stmts like the above by (I assume) a powerful member of the diocesan bureaucracy scares the _____ out of me. It says, “We’re going to cram our narrow version of church down your throat, no matter what you believe or desire.”

I realize I’ll get little sympathy from the T1:9 crowd, the vast majority of whom would be supportive of such a pogrom against the pagans. But perhaps it’ll help the Rev. Michell to understand why relations between our mainstream parishes and Diocesan House are so cool. (and to Karen, this is precisely why the vote to have our Diocese “join” the Network was so hard-fought - the mainstream representatives felt like they were fighting for their spiritual lives - tho’ I again expect no sympathy from you on that).

August 2, 10:40 am | [comment link]
205. Nyssa wrote:

Drs Radner and Turner, In your writings you have used the prophets of Israel as the model for the present.  Clearly the prophets of Israel are a biblical example of truthful witness in the face of an incalcitrant heirarchy, but I think that it should also be noted that they were individuals called to that specific purpose and sacrifice; they were not leaders of parishes charged with the nurture and care of souls. 

I understand and appreciate the place that God has called you both to, and I see how the life and calling of an academic might parrallel the ancient prophets, but you still have not answered the questions:

What about those of us (either of ancient Israel or today) who are trying to head the call to repentence and are, for that very reason being driven out? 
Why should we sacrifice the people in the pews for your version of Anglicanism?

TEC’s leadership isn’t changing its course.  The Bishops letters that I read following the March HOB meeting largely ignored your presentation (though expressed dismay that someone as ‘extreme’ as you was on such an important task force), and lauded Grieb’s misrepresentation of the truth. 

Why should we have confidence in the ABC?  He has shown that he will fudge the truth (sub group report), and has stated his goal is to ‘try to keep everyone together.’ 

It does no good to say, “We don’t have the structures in place right now to expel a province.”  Expelling a province right now isn’t what is needed.  What is needed are the initial steps toward discipline and those are entirely within the capabilities of the Instruments of Unity.  The problem is not with structures right now, the problem is that there is a lack of will on the part of the ABC

The ABC could have set up the Primatial Vicar scheme, he could have withheld invitations to non-Windsor bishops, he could have set the date for the next Primates meeting, he could have at the very least sent a letter with some stiff language to TEC showing his resolve to uphold Dromantine and Dar.  He could have done any or all of these things to show that there would be more than just words in this Communion.  What did he do?  Invited all but Robinson, and said that he sees his responsibility as that of keeping everyone around the table. 

On October 1st he may show some resolve and do what needs to be done.  If he does, then some of us will have survived to benefit from his faithfulness.  If he kicks the can to Lambeth, many of us will have been picked off by then.

August 2, 11:02 am | [comment link]
206. William#2 wrote:

Well here we are, back to the staying versus leaving argument again.  In the end, it always seems to look like rationalizations for a lack of leadership, courage, willingness to sacrifice for the Gospel.  Saying “I have a call from God to stay” is the ultimate trump card in the churchmanship game, for who can question that?  Neal Michel’s case for Apostolic faith and order remains mystifyingly obscure.  The problem with this claim, which no one on this blog ever seems to recognize, is that Anglicanism is a way to Jesus, and its not an end of itself.  It is so broken that it actually prevents people come from coming to the Lord, but those interests who personally benefit from it stubbornly cling to a tool that doesn’t work. Radner preaches concilarity as the orderly, Biblical way to do things in a church that denies the core meaning of the faith—the uniqueness of Christ as that only means by which we are saved.  It looks and is, bizarre to say the least.  Its Perrier water, Dr. Radner; not living water.
As Neil Young said, “they do their thing, I do mine.”  So be it.  We all have to live with the consequences of our decisions or the lack thereof.

August 2, 11:12 am | [comment link]
207. Widening Gyre wrote:

Nyssa,

Could elaborate on what motivated these questions: “What about those of us (either of ancient Israel or today) who are trying to head the call to repentence and are, for that very reason being driven out?  Why should we sacrifice the people in the pews for your version of Anglicanism?”

Help me with the (implied?) statement that those preaching repentence are being driven out by their bishops (I presume).  Also, who does Radner’s version lead to the “sacrifice” of “people in the pews?”  It would help me get a better understanding of where you are coming from.

August 2, 11:33 am | [comment link]
208. Mike Bertaut wrote:

Dr. Radner and All:
As one who has repeatedly been given a clear call (beyond anything I want or am comfortable with) to stay within TEC, I applaud your actions and your motivations.  In all battles there are those who must fight from within. 

Strangely I am called to this, unhappily at times, but when I sit in church and look at all those “lambs” who are not intellectually engaged in this debate, and I think of them being led to the “slaughter” by a heretical and unrepentant HOB, I will not leave them.  Others will, and I am happy for them, but its not my turn yet.  For whatever reason.

I have read the arguments about someone in my position possibly setting up the Church as Idol, as the act of staying is Idolatry.  I considered this deeply, but it does not apply to me.  I have no worship for the Church (far from it) but feel compelled to be the thorn in the side of the reappraisers.  As a minister friend of mine says, his job is to comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.  This is what has been laid before me.  But the idea of worshipping the Church or setting up TEC as some sort of idol has no traction within me at all. 

No, I will be around for a while longer, until the Lord tells me its time to go.  Until then, false doctrine will not pass through a Church I am attending unchallenged.  That is the mission I am given for a season and that I am accepting (unenthusiastically at times).  So for me, Dr. Radner’s position makes perfect sense. 

There is a lot to do, but making the Princes of the Church live up their installment and ordination promises will be one of them.  I cannot imagine it being undone in my lifetime, especially when one compares the ordination language of the 1979 BCP to the much more faith language from 1928 BCP:

And seeing that ye cannot by any other means compass the doing of so weighty a work, pertaining to the salvation of man, but with doctrine and exhortation taken out of the Holy Scriptures, and with a life agreeable to the same; consider how studious ye ought to be in reading and learning the Scriptures, and in framing the manners both of yourselves, and of them that specially pertain unto you, according to the rule of the same Scriptures; and for this self-same cause, how ye ought to forsake and set aside, as much as ye may, all worldly cares and studies.
(BCP 1928 Ordination of a Priest)

and for the higher authorities

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (for if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. (BCP 1928 Ordination of a Bishop)

Not time to go just yet.  There is much to be done, though.

God bless you all!.....mrb

Mike Bertaut
Time to Go

August 2, 11:37 am | [comment link]
209. Widening Gyre wrote:

William#2,

I recognize this comment might be better suited for the SF crowd (more pop culture oriented), but here goes,  your comment brings to my mind the following lyrics : “This indecision’s bugging me
Esta indecision me molesta.” 

Dare I say we have a Clash of visions here?

August 2, 11:38 am | [comment link]
210. Phil wrote:

I have great respect for both Canon Neal and Karen B.  Neal, I understand so much what you’re saying, but I recall history the same way as Karen: the Network was marginalized from the beginning, even by many bishops that should have been first on board.  I’ll go farther and claim that those same bishops have behaved, even outside the Network, in a way that tends to advance ECUSA’s agenda and discredit their fellow conservative brethren.  Thus, we’re all left to make a judgment as to which option is “least bad.”  That is, unfortunately, a recipe for sharp disagreement among those that are, ultimately, allies committed to the same goal.

My disagreement with Fr. Radner is as I said (way) above: he has offered no answers, in my opinion, to the reality of ECUSA or the Communion as it is constituted in real life.  Were he to offer a realistic path - heck, some path - as to how ECUSA might be reformed, that would be a different matter.

I appreciate his reply above, but, even there, he so much as admits separation is necessary when he writes:

“There are better ways forward (e.g. the reconvening of a General Convention faithful to its Constitution, by willing bishops and their diocesan deputies, seeking the recognition of the Communion).”

I’m sorry, but convening a so-called General Convention by willing bishops (and how many are going to do something like that, when they don’t even have the guts to be listed as a member of the Network?) and seeking the recognition of the Communion is nearly just as separatist, and probably more fanciful, than anything the Network has proposed.  But, again, it does show that even Radner+ recognizes there will be no turning back by ECUSA - and that’s not much of an insight: ECUSA loyalists will be glad to tell you the same thing.

August 2, 11:40 am | [comment link]
211. Brad Page wrote:

I very much appreciate Dr. Radner jumping into the thread and making some comments of clarification (#188).  The logic of his decision to resign seemed to be summarized here:

“But my resignation from the ACN itself was a necessary move to make.  It simply made no sense – logically, theologically, and morally— for a member of the Covenant Design Group like myself to remain a member of an organization that has, through its chief leader and spokesperson, repudiated the very basis for the work I accepted and accepted willingly and under the Lord.”

This makes sense to me.  However, it strikes me that given Dr. Radner’s views about the General Convention, The Episcopal Church’s Executive Council, and 815 Second Avenue (whose “chief leader and spokesman” is the Presiding Bishop) he should also issue another summary statement - similar to this one except he should replace “ACN” with “TEC”.  That would be perfectly consistent.

August 2, 11:48 am | [comment link]
212. Ed the Roman wrote:

Re #164 and the link, how in the name of rational thought does Dr. Radner justify the CoE separating from Rome in the first place?

August 2, 11:53 am | [comment link]
213. Fisherman wrote:

It seems that +Duncan has take the statements of the House of Bishops’ meetings at Camp Allen, Texas in March 2005 and again in March 2007 for what they are; a declaration that they have no intention of honoring the wishes of the ABC or primates of the Anglican Communion as expressed in the Windsor Report and Dar es Salaam Communiqué.

As well, +Duncan must have considered the position taken by the Executive Council at their meeting in March, 2007. If one were to consider the meaning of these declarations and position statements one can reasonably reach the conclusion that it is ECUSA that is abandoning the communion and has no interest in the proposed Anglican covenant, not +Duncan.

In fact, the only thing that +Duncan failed at in the ACN council meeting is the removal of the last 13 words of Article I of the Structural Charter of the ACN itself.

Daniel New

August 2, 12:02 pm | [comment link]
214. William#2 wrote:

WG, here’s the thing, you’ve got your Federal Conservatives and your Communion Conservatives, but then you’ve got your Neil Young Conservatives and The Clash Conservatives.
I guess we should all throw darts at each other or something.

August 2, 12:05 pm | [comment link]
215. Larry Morse wrote:

Mike Bertaut. I said it before and say it again. Hang in there and fight from the inside. Hard work. Good luck. It’s a relief to hear someone say that something is worth fighting for.  Larry

August 2, 12:16 pm | [comment link]
216. Mike Bertaut wrote:

LM, thanks for your support.  Our Bishop (+Jenkins) is a strong and sensible fellow who understands my place here.  He has been an asset to all of us, making it a bit easier to stand.
KTF!...mrb

Mike Bertaut
Time to Go

August 2, 12:24 pm | [comment link]
217. Don Armstrong wrote:

Might I add a few words, as it seems everyone else ever involved in ACI has chosen to do so.

ACI has long held the view that the problems with TEC could be cured from the inside—holding things together, even in a flawed unity within the current structures, believing this was the most efficient way to get the church back to work.

The Network and Common Cause Partners have believed that the quickest way back to work, to be about the gospel, was to withdrawn from the secularly determined and misguided TEC, and to establish themselves as a true missionary operation: converting souls, building new churches, and focusing on the gospel.

One year ago this month, at meetings in St. Louis and Camp Allen, it was agreed to give the ACI/Windsor Bishop’s inside plan one year to get some traction, and make some headway. The Network and its like minded leaders agreed and supported with grace and integrity this one year Windsor Bishops option.

I must say, having participated in the St. Louis meeting and both Camp Allen meetings, that Bob Duncan was clearly the single natural leader of his peers and also was the most effective participant, always most gracious, and perfectly open to ACI and its own hopes. Bob has never been anything but all ears and an open heart to ACI.

As it turned out, it was a year full of opportunities for the Windsor Bishops to assert themselves and to add to their numbers in the face of a defiant TEC and HOB. My own close-in observation is that Bishop Salmon has expended untold hours at the task envisioned by ACI and agreed to by the Network and Camp Allen Bishops. But when it came to drawing a line in the sand or standing up to TEC powers, the Windsor Bishops were simply AWOL.

So the year is up, the Windsor Bishops have simply failed to act in any visible or overtly effective way—and so it is now perfectly appropriate for Bishop Duncan, according to the agreement of last August, to lead the Network and Common Cause Partners to do what they have long wanted to do. The behavior of TEC over this last year makes it all the more urgent for this to happen: to separate from the wayward TEC, to establish a replacement Anglican presence in America, and to get the church back to its important work, using its particular Anglican gifts to the glory of God and the building up of the very body that TEC is trying to destroy.

It was a clear calling to this vision, and as a party to the Network/ACI/Windsor Bishops agreement, that I myself left to become a CANA priest. As a microcosm, the reality in Colorado Springs is quickly vindicating the wisdom of the Common Cause vision . Already in Colorado Springs there are about four times as many CANA/AMiA Christians worshipping on a given Sunday as there are TEC worshippers. TEC has already effectively been replaced as the Anglican presence in Colorado Springs by Common Cause—-and I believe this will soon be true across the United States as TEC uses it resources suing to gain possession of old buildings, while the Network and Common Partners use their resources to make new Christians.

August 2, 12:40 pm | [comment link]
218. Sarah1 wrote:

RE: “Forgive me, but as a mainstream Episcopalian in the same diocese, stmts like the above by (I assume) a powerful member of the diocesan bureaucracy scares the _____ out of me.”

Planonian, you are not a “mainstream Episcopalian”, you are a revisionist.  Revisionists are NOT “mainstream”—mainstream Episcopalians are moderates who wish folks like you and me would shut up.

When Neal says ““In my view, the chief aim for Anglicanism is a united and orthodox Anglicanism” we all understand that for folks with your views, the “chief aim for Anglicanism” is your progressive agenda and certainly not an “orthodox Anglicanism.”

That’s cool by me.  You can have yours and I’ll have mine.  And you know what?  It’ll happen someday, I am confident, for both of us.

But . . . you won’t get anybody but fellow progressives to admit that you are “mainstream” . . .

August 2, 12:50 pm | [comment link]
219. Id rather not say wrote:

I have just a moment, but may I point out (if someone hasn’t already—-I lose track) that, even if one accepts the “communion conservative/federal conservative” distinction—-and I only do with severe qualifications—-well, I for one would probably count as a “communion conservative,” but I still think the recent decisions of the ACN are the right ones.  Oh, I have my quibbles, but on the whole I believe the cause of the communion as a true communion is better served by the recent actions of the ACN than its detractors think.

August 2, 1:04 pm | [comment link]
220. Dale Rye wrote:

Re #209: I think everyone here recognizes that Anglicanism is just a way to Jesus and not an end in itself. However, many Christians over the past 400 years have been called to Jesus in this particular way and not some other way. To the extent that the current crisis makes following this way difficult or impossible, it is a stumbling block to those who might be called to Jesus now or in the future along this path and not another path such as Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, liberal or Evangelical Protestantism, etc.

It may be that this tool is not working, but if you have a broken hammer you try to fix it or get another hammer—-you do not try to drive nails with a screwdriver. If reappraisers disagree with the goals of historic Anglicanism and prefer to be a Unitarian-Universalist, they should have the integrity to adopt that path rather than trying to turn a hammer into a screwdriver. Similarly, if reasserters prefer Nondenominational Evangelicalism, they should go there rather than try to convert Anglicanism into something it inherently cannot be while remaining true to its own principles.

Many of us agree that “the uniqueness of Christ as the only means by which we are saved” is the core of the faith, but we also believe that Christ mostly acts in this world today through the Body of Christ and its means of grace. For people in this tradition (including, but not limited to, Anglo-Catholics and other High Churchmen), our ecclesiology is not an optional extra but an essential part of our orthodox Christian theology. We take the maxim “No salvation outside the Church” seriously, and we see the Church as being in large part a visible organization, not just an invisible fellowship.

We believe ourselves bound to follow what the Church teaches. Therefore, we cannot regard identifying who has the authority to teach on behalf of the church as just a matter for private judgment, rather than collective discernment. Asking us to give up that vision of the Gospel, whether in favor of reasserting Evangelicalism or reappraising neo-Protestantism, is to ask us to surrender a critical element of our understanding of our Christian calling. It is to ask us to abandon our vision of what Anglicanism (our way to Christ) essentially is. Calling the alternative vision “Anglican” does not make it so. Nor does it make it any more attractive for those outside the Church who might be called out of the world along the Anglican way to Jesus and not one of the alternatives.

August 2, 1:27 pm | [comment link]
221. Planonian wrote:

Sarah,

You really don’t know a thing about me or my faith (tho’, by virtue of my opposition to the Network and the fact that I don’t share the “orthodox” distaste for gays & lesbians, you might think you do).

I’m a middle-aged, married white guy, cradle Episcopalian, raised in a “low church” setting in Texas, can say the Creeds w/o crossing my fingers behind my back, etc… Here in the South, I’m just barely left of center as far as TEC goes - which makes me a bog standard Episcopalian in most parts of the country.

August 2, 1:29 pm | [comment link]
222. seitz wrote:

The Windsor Bishops will have an opportunity to respond to Dar in the presence of the ABC at the HOB meeting in September, as they have done in forceful letters. This is an opportunity to make a maximal link to the Primates Meeting. I saw nothing of the vidoes from Texas—it is simply too busy a time, and I am travelling—but it is clear there are tensions between the Bishops and others in favour of full separation/new province, and those wishing to continue the fight for Communion adjudication of TEC. This is not ‘inside’ versus ‘outside’ strategy. It is a struggle to see if the Instruments of Communion, in Christ, can come into full maturity, and so exercise the roles of stewardship critical if a Communion is to emerge, in Christ. ACI and Bishops Salmon and others are fighting for this, and we pray that Bishop Duncan can maintain his own battle for this goal, should that be the path he takes. He and the Windsor Bishops are in our prayers, as the next weeks are quite crucial. Grace and Peace.

August 2, 1:43 pm | [comment link]
223. Brian from T19 wrote:

It was a clear calling to this vision, and as a party to the Network/ACI/Windsor Bishops agreement, that I myself left to become a CANA priest.

Then why leave prior to the 1 year ‘deadline’?

As a microcosm, the reality in Colorado Springs is quickly vindicating the wisdom of the Common Cause vision . Already in Colorado Springs there are about four times as many CANA/AMiA Christians worshipping on a given Sunday as there are TEC worshippers. TEC has already effectively been replaced as the Anglican presence in Colorado Springs by Common Cause—-and I believe this will soon be true across the United States as TEC uses it resources suing to gain possession of old buildings, while the Network and Common Partners use their resources to make new Christians.

Why continue fighting your suit for Grace Church property if you are making new Christians?

The view that has been expressed by all the Instruments of Communion in recent years is that <u>interventions are not to be sanctioned</u>. - Archbishop Rowan Williams

August 2, 1:47 pm | [comment link]
224. Phil wrote:

“The Windsor Bishops will have an opportunity to respond to Dar in the presence of the ABC at the HOB meeting in September, as they have done in forceful letters.”  That’s the problem in a nutshell, isn’t it?  The DES requests didn’t come from the ABC, weren’t directed to the “Windsor Bishops” and it isn’t the ABC’s place to adjudicate any response.  The proper forum is another Primates’ meeting.

Whether it was his intent or not, Rowan Williams has undercut the Primates, and his interference at the September meeting is likely to be the coup de grace.

August 2, 2:12 pm | [comment link]
225. Stu Howe wrote:

Planonian

Your post #207 is what decided me to comment on this thread and your #225, reinforces that decision. 

Be thankful you live in Texas.  Based on what you disclose about yourself, you and I are pretty much the same demographic, and in the needs of disclosure here, I will add divorce and maybe a little more high church on to my plate.  Was I living where you are, I would still be attending a TEC church.  Instead, I walked away earlier this year and currently attending a local Presbyterian church until we can figure out a better option for the family. 

I have been very privileged these last few years, read the thoughts and insights of others, in some cases from around the world.  This is a great change from when I was in college.  I for the most part have remained silent, others posted comments, that my words would only echo and I did not see the use of piling on so to speak.  Time zones are both a blessing and a curse, living in California I am three hours behind our gallant host, if not further.

But, one of the things which has been hammered home in the last few years, is that in the end the choice of moves comes down to two things, personal integrity and where you live.  I can truly respect both Radner+ and the rest of the ACI in their thoughts and commitment to argue from within the organization.  However, where I live that has become less and less of a viable option.  I understand and respect how Fr. Radner’s interpretation of his vows, drives his choices.  I not having similar vows and in looking at the conditions locally, was driven to a different choice.  Being very blunt my read on my former parish was that there was nothing; I could do to bring it back closer to the center, where I wished to be.  In the end, this is what drove my decision to leave.  I saw no “good fight”, with a chance to affect the outcome.

Stu Howe

August 2, 2:31 pm | [comment link]
226. john scholasticus wrote:

Global warming ratchets up ever more alarmingly - sky-high temperatures in the Med., vast forest fires, dreadful floods in Britain, drought in many parts of the States, and Iraq and Afghanistan are falling to bits - and THIS is what Anglicanism bothers itself about and its silly self-important leaders jet round the globe making everything worse. It’s disgusting and come the judgement day there’s be some interesting verdicts. But it’s not really Anglicanism - many, many Anglicans of all persuasions (good for you, Planonian) ignore this rubbish and just get on.

August 2, 2:31 pm | [comment link]
227. Briane wrote:

Seitz-ACI may have provided his best commentary to date on our current situation. And perhaps this comports well with what Sarah Hey noted in an earlier post about “separate paths.”

Might I add that as we love one another as our Lord loves His Church, we may discover ways to move away from antithetical bickering toward godly synthesis. I do not, and perhaps should not, expect ACI fully to comprehend the Network’s sense of mission at this time, nor can we possibly hope that everyone in the Network recognize that ACI is accomplishing something of value in the Communion. Yet I think that those in both (or perhaps “a variety of) camps might prayerfully consider that God may be (I mean JUST MAYBE) working in and through each of us toward the establishment of a stronger, more mature Communion. Personally, I believe that ACI has not fully grappled with what the delays in the process are costing and how a feisty, activist ACN has made it possible for thousands of us to remain Anglican. On the other hand, I am more than ever aware of how desperately ACN needs theologians (historical, systematic), a precious commodity that ACI may some day provide us.

I receive Dr Seitz’s comments as a well-timed olive branch and pray that those of us who honor the work of ACN will pray for Ephraim Radner and ask that God work through him and everyone associated with ACI for God’s greater glory and for the upbuilding of his Kingdom. Our variances on the way forward may actually be healthy. Ad hominem remarks and attempts to psychoanalyze Dr Radner and others is unhelpful (from what I have seen, erroneous) and potentially divisive.

August 2, 2:33 pm | [comment link]
228. Chris Taylor wrote:

Dr. Seitz+ (#226 above) states: “The Windsor Bishops will have an opportunity to respond to Dar in the presence of the ABC at the HOB meeting in September, as they have done in forceful letters. This is an opportunity to make a maximal link to the Primates Meeting.”  Yes, they will have an opportunity, but will they actually act upon the opportunity (in something more forceful than letters)?  That remains the real question.  Fellow ACI participant, Don Armstrong+ (#221 above) has his doubts, which he states as follows: “But when it came to drawing a line in the sand or standing up to TEC powers, the Windsor Bishops were simply AWOL.”  When the term “Windsor Bishops” first began to appear as a distinction from “Network Bishops” there was a lot of discussion about the emergence of a bigger group of bishops who were united with the Network bishops in doctrine, but who shared a more gradual approach to dealing with the problem.  My fear is that their approach is SO gradual, that events are simply overtaking them.  I agree with Rev. Armstrong’s assessment that in terms of the Windsor Bishops being a supposed body capable of coordinated and coherent action, there’s not much of a track record over the past year to pin one’s hopes on.  If that group of bishops is indeed capable of taking a unified and meaningful stand in this crisis, my sense is that the HOB meeting in September is THAT moment when we will know decisively whether there REALLY is a meaningful body we can identify as the “Windsor Bishops,” or if that group, as well-intended as its individual members surely are, is simply a phantom.

August 2, 2:50 pm | [comment link]
229. Sarah1 wrote:

RE: “Here in the South, I’m just barely left of center as far as TEC goes . . . “


“Left of center” in TEC itself?!!!???  LOL.  ; > )

Yep, Planonian . . . that makes you a revisionist.  That’s fine.  Why not claim it and be proud of it rather than try to obscure it and hide it and use rhetorical sophism to pretend otherwise?  Left of center does not mean you are mainstream.  It means you are left of center.

Sheesh . . . like me claiming to be a “moderate” . . .

August 2, 3:46 pm | [comment link]
230. Larry Morse wrote:

#225: “bog standard,” Oh I love it Oh I love it…bog standard…..I have got to remember that and use asap. ha ha ha ha ha Larry

August 2, 3:58 pm | [comment link]
231. Larry Morse wrote:

John S: I really hate to say this , but your assessment is correct. This makes thrice, I think and it is emgbarrassing. The battle above is between the Big Endians and the Little Endians. Let’s take some more church funds and call another meeting in a far away place - like Texas, rich in standard bogs - or Far Rockaway NJ -and let’s all go there and spend a lot of money and do nothing. I wish someone would pay MY costs so I could go to Pasadena and utter Thoughts in a clericus. The I could write an essay puddled with cliches. This really brings out the cynic in me. Larry

August 2, 4:09 pm | [comment link]
232. Brian from T19 wrote:

Planonian

The title of reappraiser or revisionist is applied based on your views of Scripture and not based on your political, social or eclesial views.

The view that has been expressed by all the Instruments of Communion in recent years is that <u>interventions are not to be sanctioned</u>. - Archbishop Rowan Williams

August 2, 4:30 pm | [comment link]
233. Dale Rye wrote:

Re #233: Again, I think a major part of our problem is that we are speaking separate languages in which the same word has two different meanings. Tell an American to throw his surplus “paraffin” in a fire, and he will dispose of a solid petroleum wax; tell a Briton the same thing and he will blow himself up with what Americans call “kerosene.” Self-styled Anglicans no longer agree on the meaning of basic terms like “Church,” “orthodox,” “mainstream,” “moderate,” or even “Anglican.” As a result, they end up arguing past each other. Everyone feels free to develop their own individual definitions and impose them on others (hence, IMHO, both the Robinson and AMiA consecrations).

I think Planonian’s point was that being barely left of center in the Diocese of Dallas puts him way right of center in TEC as a whole. If you think that everybody left of the Dallas midpoint is a “revisionist,” then you are essentially saying that only about 10-15% of the TEC membership (and less than 5% of the clergy) is orthodox. It is an odd notion of “mainstream” that excludes 85-90% of the population as “extremists.” Of course, I guess “mainstream,” like “Anglican,” can be redefined as “anybody who agrees with me,” but that has the Red Queen quality I alluded to far, far above.

Dr. Radner and Bp. Duncan have fundamentally different visions of how the Church should reach decisions and enforce them. Their common opposition to reappraisers sometimes masks their differences, but the distinction will always be there. If the reappraisers and reasserters were in separate bodies, the internal differences among reasserters (women’s ordination, sacramental theology, ecclesiology, polity, etc.) would move to the fore. Once the fragmentation of Anglicanism has begun, there is no logical stopping point before every congregation is its own denomination and every pastor is his own bishop.

Those of us who affirm all the propositions of the Athanasian Creed (let alone the Apostles’) and who are considerably more conservative in theology, economics, and politics than the average Episcopalian—-but who think that keeping TEC within a united Anglican Communion is desirable—-are getting pretty tired of (1) being called a fundamentalist by reappraisers, and (2) being called a revisionist by reasserters, often within a matter of minutes of one another with reference to the same statement. It is easier to just go away. I, for one, am glad Dr. Radner, ACI, and Fulcrum are still in there fighting.

August 2, 4:51 pm | [comment link]
234. Steve Lake wrote:

zxsubscribe

—-
http://drlake.blogspot.com

August 2, 4:54 pm | [comment link]
235. tired wrote:

One other puzzlement I have with T. Wong’s comment in #192, in trying to distinguish CANA from AMiA, is that his characterization contradicts the clear language of the Common Cause Partnership (CCP) document itself.

Article 3.1 of the CCP document states that its first task is: “[f]urthering mutual understanding of its Partners with a view to eventual union when deemed appropriate[.]”

Perhaps he is thinking of a different entity…?

August 2, 4:59 pm | [comment link]
236. Tom Pumphrey wrote:

#188: I admire you, Dr. Radner. Keep the faith, and keep holding us to account for our actions so that we may truly seek the unity of the church under Christ.

August 2, 5:08 pm | [comment link]
237. Planonian wrote:

Sarah’s cheeky comments aside, #237 Dale has captured my meaning perfectly. And yes, his observation that It is an odd notion of “mainstream” that excludes 85-90% of the population as “extremists” is spot on.

I am mainstream based upon my, admittedly casual & amateur, observations that my theological views are roughly within one std. deviation from what I perceive to be the “mean” for Episcopalians as a whole (slightly to the “left” only here in uber-conservative Dallas).

Oh, and I’m afraid my long-ago British is showing. “Bog standard” is slang referring to something which is boringly bland & well,... mainstream smile  i.e. nothing unique or out of the ordinary.

August 2, 5:20 pm | [comment link]
238. William#2 wrote:

Dale, when you and Seitz and Radner start waxing poetic about “Anglicanism,” it makes me want to quote Pilate: “What is Anglicanism?”

You say, “therefore, we cannot regard identifying who has the authority to teach on behalf of the church as just a matter for private judgment, rather than collective discernment,” whats that Dale, the collective discernment of women’s ordination in the Anglican Communion?

You say “our ecclesiology is not an optional extra but an essential part of our orthodox Christian theology,” what ecclesiology is that Dale, Canterbury under Rome, or Canterbury under the British monarch?

You say, “many Christians over the past 400 years have been called to Jesus in this particular way,” you might need to have a “come to Jesus” meeting about why your membership numbers are in free fall and officially statistically insignificant in the U.S., if “Anglicanism” really calls people to Jesus.

Dale, lets all on this thread get real for just a moment, if thats possible with “Anglicans.”  For just one second, lets put all the baloney and fudge back in the fridge and openly talk about what this is really about:

If Canterbury and the Primates sanctioned a second, orthodox Anglican province in the U.S., your church would disappear, my friend.  There’s just too many folks getting paid to let that happen, so it won’t.

August 2, 5:27 pm | [comment link]
239. Neal in Dallas wrote:

Planonian,

I would be happy to visit with you personally.  I do not know who you are, so I have no way of contacting you.  Please call the diocesan office and ask for Virginia, and she can reach me, as I am on vacation.  I’d be happy to buy you a cup of coffee and visit.

Neal in Dallas, yes I am he, but I did not realize that I am a high-powered anything. grin

August 2, 5:33 pm | [comment link]
240. Dale Rye wrote:

Re #242: Why do people who hold Anglicanism in contempt give a tinker’s dam (note spelling) what Anglicans do? If you think this is all about clergy protecting their pensions, you do well to be somewhere else.

As to women’s ordination, a substantial majority of those who chose to stay in the Communion regarded it as within the limits of inter-provincial toleration. That decision, like the one on gay bishops, was reached through a process of collective discernment. You may not like the outcome (that all but a handful of Anglican provinces ordain women deacons, a majority ordain women priests, and nearly a majority have no formal bar on women bishops), but it was done decently and in good order. The Robinson consecration—-like the various border-crossing consecrations—-was done in the face of a corporate discernment by the Communion to the contrary. They are simply not the same situation.

Obviously, Anglican ecclesiology is not the same as the ecclesiology of the pre-Reformation Province of Canterbury. That is why it is Anglican rather than Roman Catholic. Whatever the role of the late Tudors in forming that ecclesiology, it is a coherent theological position in its own right that is different from other options such as papism, presbyterianism, and independency.

Again, a key point of that ecclesiology is that important decisions (including setting the bounds for theological teaching) are made by reference to Holy Scripture interpreted by reason under the guidance of tradition. It is clear that “reason” in this formula is not just “private judgment,” but the common sense of a particular worshiping community, including not only its bishops but laity and clergy as well. If the community in question is the Anglican Communion as a whole, neither the Robinson nor Minns consecrations had consensus support.

As I have said many times, I personally believe that the free-fall in TEC membership is due to the acrimony between reasserters and reappraisers which makes joining an Episcopal Church an exercise in masochism. Most of the losses have come in dioceses torn by strife (or in moderately conservative dioceses like Dallas, Florida, and Virginia), not in strongly reappraiser jurisdictions. If TEC became a uniformly reappraiser institution and ACN became a uniformly reasserter denomination, the membership hemorrhages in both groups would substantially lessen. Of course neither group would have anything to offer those of us who value belonging to a diverse church, which is probably why some of us keep going on about preserving Anglican values in the face of this chaos.

August 2, 6:19 pm | [comment link]
241. William#2 wrote:

Now Dale, lets keep discussin, no cussin and fussin! 
—WO and gay bishops was arrived at through a process of “collective discernment?” What are you drinkin’ today, dude?  WO in the U.S. violated the canons of your church.  It chaotically spread throughout the communion and became a fait accompli.  But it was decently and in good order?  You have got to be kidding me!  It wasn’t Anglican, it wasn’t a product of collective discernment, it wasn’t done decently and in good order, it was done in blatant violation of all those things, because as YOU Dale Rye repeatedly point out, the canons are the rules, and we all have to live by them, right? Robinson a process of collective discernment?  What?  How about Lambeth 98, and the “tear the fabric of the communion stuff,” boss?
—You dodge the issue on eccliesology with big words, including eccliesology.  The minute before Henry did his thing, Canterbury was Roman Catholic; the minute after, he was Anglican.  You stand on sand, partner, sand, arguing that because Anglicanism has got some history behind it means its valid.  In the current context, my friend, I am the Anglican and you are the Roman Catholic!  Ironic, dontcha think?
—-The TEC free fall is due to acrimony between reasserters and reappraisers, do what?  Your leaders say the reasserters are the tiniest of insignificant minorities and your church isn’t growing because you’re all too busy being smart to indulge in grubby things like having children.  Funny how I missed out on all that prior to 2003 BTW.
—-Your best riposte is the “diverse church” thing.  As I have said to you Dale many times, when you and I went to the same church, I suppose thats what we had.  But your bosses couldn’t hack it.  They had to have it their way.  They had to have their gay Bishop and their gay blessings, and their new brand of Christianity that says I can get to Jesus without ever talking to Him or even knowing His name.  Whatever.

August 2, 6:45 pm | [comment link]
242. Sarah1 wrote:

RE: “Of course, I guess “mainstream,” like “Anglican,” can be redefined as “anybody who agrees with me,” but that has the Red Queen quality I alluded to far, far above.”

Dale Rye . . . I was *perfectly clear* above that I am not at all “mainstream” in the Episcopal church . . . and neither is “Planonian”—thus I have not said that “anybody who agrees with me” is “mainstream”.  I am right of center in the Episcopal church [and a “flower child hippy” in other circles outside of the Episcopal church]. 

Why not yield to the perfectly good research by our own national church’s Director of Research?  He has some pretty clear survey work describing the makeup of our churches.
http://www.episcopalchurch.org/documents/Episcopal_Overview_FACT_2005.pdf

And by his own admission [and of course, by reading his comments over the past year] Planonian is no more “mainstream” than I am.  The average person in the pew has never heard of “Kendall Harmon”, “T19”, “Susan Russell”, nor even “Integrity”.  Just by our being on this blog, interested in the discussion, and talking about these things, we’ve immediately “outed” ourselves as not being “mainstream.”

If Planonian would like to claim, however, that he is “mainstream” in the setting of the General Convention deputies, I would be happy to agree with him.  But as far as the average person in the pews, not a chance.

However, he is more than welcome to form his lips and tongue into the syllables and vowels of the word “mainstream” in order to describe himself, just as I am more than welcome to form my lips and tongue into the syllables and vowels of the words “Buddhist” and “blond” in order to describe myself.

I’m just saying . . . only progressives will believe it about Planonian.  And only my very very dear friends will . . . pretend as if they agree about me.  ; > )

August 2, 7:19 pm | [comment link]
243. BillK wrote:

Maybe the emotion and words of both men are just what the ABC needs to consider before letting TEC off the hook without discipline.  True expression of ones views even if in disagreement is the only honest way for people to come to understand and learn from one another.  If we all hold it in for the sake of unity, we risk letting the ABC, primates, bishops, etc. assume that we agree with them.

August 2, 10:28 pm | [comment link]
244. robroy wrote:

Respectively, I think that Father Ephraim needs to
1) Apologize to Bp Duncan.
2) Direct his invective against the ABp of Sydney. (He can’t resign from the diocese of Sydney.)
3) Then, apologize to the ABp of Sydney.

I listened to the actual interview (thanks Kevin!!!) found here whose text is below.

Two very important points that one hears when one listens to the actual words of the interview rather than the Living Church reporting:
1) The “lost”-ness of the ABC and Lambeth is an idea of the ABp of Sydney that the good Bp Duncan is putting out for the conference to consider. See the bolded portion of his response in the transcript below. Discussion of ideas is one of the main functions of conferences.
2) A critical mis-transcription: The living church states that Bp Duncan said that the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lambeth Conference has be lost as an “instrument of the Communion.” The actual words were lost as an “instrument of unity.” Father Ephraim has said himself that the ABC has made some major gaffes. Is there anybody here who thinks that he helping rather than hindering unity??? And the early invitations to Lambeth, is there anybody who doesn’t think that this hasn’t increased polarization??? Thus, they are lost as instruments of unity.

========

Moderator Douglas LeBlanc: Bp in your remarks you had referred to the cost of the Archbishop’s actions or inactions is his office. Could you elaborate on this?
Bp Duncan: I was actually expanding on a remark that the ABp of Sydney had made two weeks ago in a breakfast we had together. He said it is a peculiar irony what the American church has done. It has not only cost us the office of the Archbishop of the Canterbury but also the Lambeth Conference and that two instruments of Unity had been lost as a result of the American innovations and the inability of the Communion to reign it in.

Again in our system which is an auxiliary(?) system, it is not altogether right to lay the blame on just one person. and it’s certainly appropriate to place some of the blame on a system which in fact is not a healthy family system. It doesn’t have any system of discipline. It doesn’t have any means of holding people accountable. It seems to be the Episcopal church redux(?). But the fact is the archbishop of Canterbury has not has not lead in a way that might have that might have saved his office, that might have saved Lambeth.
Moderator 2: Do you mean save them as centers of unity for the whole community, where the can function for the whole community.
Bp Duncan: Sure. Again, people can ask the other bishops what they think about this. (emphasis mine) In American history, American presidents have acted twice beyond what the law and the precedence allow. Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt went further than what the law actually allowed. In the case of Lincoln, the supreme court eventually overruled his emergency powers. In the case of Roosevelt, his WPA went beyond what the government was allowed to do. But in both cases, the people overwhelmingly supported the president. And the leaders overwhelmingly supported the president. Because in a crisis if a leader leads, the people will follow. That’s the record. Again, if you look at British history, the classic difference is to know when to be a Chamberlain and when to be a Churchill.

Non serviri, sed servire.

August 2, 10:41 pm | [comment link]
245. Larry Morse wrote:

#241. I do know what you mean, though I didn’t know it was British. It’s STILL a howl of an expression, so vigorous and slangy and suggestive.
Ta gotta love it. I’ll use it as soon as I get an excuse. Larry

August 3, 12:06 am | [comment link]
246. Larry Morse wrote:

#242: “belong to a diverse church.” Well.What does diverse mean here? This word has come to give me the willies because it is commonly the cant or jargon of the left, but in your use, it may not be so.
How do you know when you have a diverse church? Must it have blacks, Hispanics, homosexuals, WASPS, and even, perhaps, Democrats? If none of the above, is it therefore homogeneous? Is homogeneous bad for some religious reason? Or is it a matter of political agenda? Does diverse mean heterogeneous? Or must a good church have a number of people who do not agree on doctrine, liturgy, or alter frontals? I hope you will give me a clear picture of a diverse church and why it is desirable.  Larry

August 3, 12:19 am | [comment link]
247. Dale Rye wrote:

RE #245: I clearly stated that the Robinson consecration broke the bonds of unity because it was not the result of Communion-wide group discernment, so don’t try to pin that on me. I agree with you that the TEC leadership grossly underestimated the depth of opposition, so don’t act as if I agree with them. They are no more my bosses than yours. Roman Catholics have a boss; Anglicans don’t.

As to women’s ordination, the first official ordination was in Hong Kong, not the USA (i.e., in the Global South, not the West); Kenya and Uganda were among the next four provinces to ordain women to the priesthood. The first official ordinations in the US were held under the authority of General Convention, so they were canonical (I agree that the two unofficial ordination services were uncanonical, but I did not support them at the time, so you can’t pin them on me, either). The initial official ordinations in both HK and the USA were held only after the Anglican Consultative Council and other Instruments of Communion had stated that doing so would not break the bonds of Anglican affection and should not form a basis for breaking communion. That sounds like group discernment to me. Again, I think your quarrel is with the result… not the process.

My major point (and I think Dr. Radner’s) is that result-oriented actions in complete disregard of the agreed rules for Anglican decision-making are ripping the Communion apart. Whether it is a reasserter or a reappraiser who decides that his personal understanding of God’s will trumps the Church’s corporate understanding, the disobedience is the same. Every lawless action provokes retaliation until there will soon be no order at all. The Covenant process set in motion by the Windsor Report is the last remote hope of salvaging the existence of Anglicanism as an ordered society (as distinct from a collection of quarreling sects). Dr. Radner is pleading with the rest of us to let that process work. If we do not let it do so, we will have only ourselves to blame.

August 3, 12:23 am | [comment link]
248. seitz wrote:

232. Thanks for reiterating a point ACI has insisted on, viz., that the Primates be consulted in their entirety after RDW witnesses the response of TEC HOB, including Windsor response. Not sure where the confusion entered in here.

I thought this was clear:
“At the risk of repeating, 110: 1) a process for consultation with all the primates needs to be pressed for, and effected (this need not entail a meeting; stamps still work); 2) a proposal for Dar requests’ compliance needs to be made in the presence of the ABC at the New Orleans meeting, and Windsor Bishops need to indicate support and compliance for what was asked by the Primates; 3) God needs to be allowed to exercise his judgments in time, His time.”

In fairness to Fr Armstrong (in the heat of an imbroglio in Colorado) re: ‘neutral’ analysis of ACI. One should fully accept that his fate is now tied up with CANA; that obviously will drive any verdict he has about ACI, naturally enough, and about Communion affairs. (Fr Armstrong has not been involved in any ACI work since February, including important work at Oxford with key leaders, to be continued in the weeks to come; in the light of his declarations and his decision to join CANA, he has moved on).

For our part we have pledged our prayers and our concern and our hopes – that he will be exonerated and the parish healed. God does mighty works. As many have noted, let this not be a forum where Armstrong vs ACI gets any air time. It makes no public sense.

On a personal note: I confess I find it curious to hear that the profession of theology and biblical studies—as against the parish—is some peaceful retreat. It just confirms how out of touch church and academy truly are, which is sad. But that is the subject for a long account of theology in the public square, from the early 19th century on. Blogs are no place for that (I can recommend my new book, if you are interested…smiley face thing appears here…). Having watched colleagues betrayed, battles fought over scripture and theology, good women and men sacked or moved on, I judge church battles a worthwhile down-throttling. Teach theology and biblical studies in a public university: it is a real challenge, so far as I am concerned. And at the risk of sounding defensive, I am very involved in church life and have always been.

The work of ACI remains as always: seeking maximal links to the Dar communiqué and prosecution of its aims. It is good to hear this reiterated in # 232.

Many good comments are to be found here. 231 is very perceptive. Grace and peace.

August 3, 8:22 am | [comment link]
249. William#2 wrote:

Dale, you said: “That decision, like the one on gay bishops, was reached through a process of collective discernment.”  Lets just say you weren’t very clear here.
But I am not trying to “pin anything” on you, and you haven’t refuted my point about WO, so we will just have to agree to disagree. (BTW, I am an agnostic on WO.  In my current situation its not an issue so I haven’t engaged it prayerfully and Scripturally)  That WO didn’t destroy the Communion is no argument that it was done in a concilar manner, or as collective discernment.  Its quite ironic that you would hold WO up this way, as your church is celebrating the anniversary of illegal, canon-violating consecrations of women recently while it simultaneously invokes, then ignores its canons in South Carolina and Virginia.  So be it. 
Your “major point,” and that of Radner’s and Seitz consistently refuses to acknowledge what the facts are on the ground for many of us.  Gene Robinson is simply a symptom of a much greater disease that inflicts your church; I didn’t leave because of him, I left because he was simply a catalyst that enabled me to see what I had not seen.  No amount of meetings and covenants or process will cure that disease.
We can agree to disagree about that as well.  I do think there is some value here, in this discussion.  I think that informed decision making is a good thing.  The leaders of your church, both orthodox and progressive, need to know what the results of their actions are, and will be.  I think that my views are not isolated but representative.  When your PB says openly to Time magazine as the Primate of your church that Jesus Christ is not the only means by which we are saved, Radner, Seitz, Rye, you can’t paper over that with a meeting, a charter, a covenant, or a process.  People like me are going to vote with our feet, and I’m not the only one, and I’m not easily marginalized as a fundamentalist nabob.  I’ll happily stand toe to toe, professionally, educationally, or intellectually against anyone you like, because in the end, before Christ, we are all equals.
Mark it well, my friends.  Jesus said that a house divided against itself cannot stand.  To analogize to parish ministry, a wise man once told me that the person your rector chases into the parking lot will destroy your church.  When you have a group of people that are on conviction and principle so irretrievably divided on matters that are core to their being, there are two alternatives and only two: separation, or war.  The via media or so called third way, is a recipe for destruction, and we are seeing it every day and I exhoriate you all to come out from your blindness!  Relationships are destroyed; churches are closed; lawsuits filed; ministries ended; priests deposed an endless list of pain I don’t have the heart to comprehend here. The course you propose is one of annhilation; either one side will vanquish the other, or both will be destroyed.  Radner is wrong, Seitz is wrong, and you are wrong.  You should really step back, pray some more, and count the cost of what you have already done, and failed to do before you counsel yet more discussion and process without result.

August 3, 9:54 am | [comment link]
250. seitz wrote:

“Radner is wrong, Seitz is wrong, and you are wrong.”
Well, that certainly settles that!

August 3, 10:16 am | [comment link]
251. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

A brief statement of resignation it may be but a brief thread this certainly is not.

It is depressing to read the divisions between Christians who share so much and I wish all could appreciate the different efforts they are all putting in towards healing the broken links; ACI, ACN, Lambeth et al.  In reality there is only one who we can look to for healing where we have gone astray.

Some days I sit and think. Other days I just sit!!

August 3, 10:24 am | [comment link]
252. KAR wrote:

Well, that certainly settles that!

That’s a good Proverb 15:1 answer!

#255 - “It is depressing to read the divisions between Christians
Amen!

August 3, 10:31 am | [comment link]
253. William#2 wrote:

Dr. Seitz:
Well, at least we can finally say that SOMETHING in Anglicanism was settled, today, between you and I on T19.  Those of us who populate churches have been listening to our leaders for a long time.  This engenders spiritual flabbiness and what some call “pew sitting” Christianity.  Now, our leaders need to start listening to us.  I still have a stake here because I am in Rwanda.  I appreciate that you listened, and responded with humor.  I sincerely wish you well, but we remain in profound disagreement, and I am convinced that I speak for many.
Peace,
William

August 3, 10:51 am | [comment link]
254. Planonian wrote:

#246 Sarah wrote, “If Planonian would like to claim, however, that he is “mainstream” in the setting of the General Convention deputies, I would be happy to agree with him.  But as far as the average person in the pews, not a chance.”

It’s always puzzled me when (even nominal) Episcopalians complain about how the makeup of the GC Deputies is so very different than the “avg pew-sitter.”

Good lord woman, we elect them! They don’t just fall from the sky. Pure representative democracy. How can they not, at least most of the time, represent us ?! To claim otherwise is pure wishful thinking…

(Now the majority of the Deputies may not represent the views of most T1:9 posters, but that’s simply because those views aren’t held by most of the Episcopalians who are voting for their GC Deputies at the Diocesan level in the first place.)

August 3, 11:38 am | [comment link]
255. Chris Taylor wrote:

Dr. Seitz+,(#252 above), as one also deeply involved in both the academy and the parish, I concur completely with your assessment that the academy is no “peaceful retreat” from the parish!  If Dr. Radner+ was truly hoping for an escape, he would be in for a very nasty surprise indeed!

I also understand your point in clarifying that Fr. Armstrong is not currently involved with ACI, and I share your prayers concerning the struggles he is currently involved in.

Finally, I wonder if you might share with us how visible and what form a response by Windsor Bishops might take at the HOB meeting in September?  This may not be something you are at liberty to share on the internet at this point, but I think it’s important that observers from the outside, who have much less access to information than you have, begin to develop some sense of what to expect.  It dawns on me that if one doesn’t know what to look for in public reports of the HOB meeting, it might be very possible to completely miss something of great import.  In other words, will we know it when we see it?  If the Windsor group does indeed exist as a substantive body, and it does manifest itself in September, is it likely that those of us watching from the outside will clearly see some action that will demonstrate the reality that they are working in concert to achieve the (very worthy and important) objectives that ACI has laid out?  I think that if you can lay out for people what they might expect to see/hear from the Windsor Bishops in September, that would be very helpful—especially if it’s likely to be more subtle than some of us may be looking for.  Thank you and Dr. Radner+ both for your continuing courage and contributions.  All blessings!

August 3, 12:21 pm | [comment link]
256. wvparson wrote:

Anyone who knows much about how delegates to diocesan convention are selected, how deputies are elected, how well they are known to the electors and the finanicial and time constraints involved, may hardly call our system democratic.  It was established in the pre Constitutional days of America and reflects the notions then in place.

When the parish membership votes to elect deputies representing areas of a diocese, as in other Provinces, we will have achieved representative democracy.

August 3, 12:34 pm | [comment link]
257. Ed the Roman wrote:

Planonian,
“Good lord woman, we elect them! They don’t just fall from the sky. Pure representative democracy. How can they not, at least most of the time, represent us ?! To claim otherwise is pure wishful thinking…”

Do you recall a Dave Barry column from around 15 years back that referred to US Senate thus:

“...(motto: 100 White Male Millionaires Working For You!)...”

Do you recall the immigration reform debate of, oh, June?

The representatives may not think the way the represented do.  FOr starters, they stood for office, something most of the voters would not do on a bet.

August 3, 12:41 pm | [comment link]
258. Sarah1 wrote:

RE: “It’s always puzzled me when (even nominal) Episcopalians complain about how the makeup of the GC Deputies is so very different than the “avg pew-sitter.”

I wasn’t complaining at all—merely observing.  Planonian . . . have you ever attended a GC?  If so, then you would know how beautifully you would fit in.  ; > )

RE: “Good lord woman, we elect them! They don’t just fall from the sky. Pure representative democracy.”

Afraid not, Planonian.  And how troubling it is to realize that you don’t even understand “representative democracy”.  First of all, parishioners don’t “vote” for them—their “delegates” vote for them at diocesan convention.  And those delegates are often themselves APPOINTED by the vestry and rector or a parish, not “elected.”

Then the delegates elect deputies to convention at the convention. 

Even more fun, each diocese—no matter the slimness of the numbers—gets to elect the same number of deputies, which makes the House of Deputies even farther from the “House of Representatives” of the U.S. if that is possible—it makes it a Senate of deputies, elected by a very few appointed delegates of “the people” and though it may pretend otherwise, it is in no way “representative” of the pewsters opinions, save that it gets to vote, much like a Roman imperium, on what it wishes to inflict upon “the people”.

And revisionists know good and well that the vast majority of deputies do not remotely “represent the people back home” either in theology or in voting duties, since they proudly explain that their action as “deputies” is not to represent others but to represent their own consciences, which consciences are formed in much the same way, Planonian, as yours.

Yes—you would be “mainstream” in the House of Deputies.

And no, you still aren’t “mainstream” in the pews of ECUSA.

August 3, 2:03 pm | [comment link]
259. Widening Gyre wrote:

Does anyone know where Duncan said what Radner said he said:  “Bishop Duncan has now declared the See of Canterbury and the Lambeth Conference—two of the four Instruments of Communion within our tradition – to be “lost”. He has said that God is “doing a new thing” in allowing these elements to founder and be let go. ”

August 3, 2:45 pm | [comment link]
260. Dale Rye wrote:

The debate between ACN and ACI continues:
Philip Turner (ACI)—Here
Stephen Noll (ACN)—Here
TitusOneNine Comments—Here

August 3, 3:44 pm | [comment link]
261. Stu Howe wrote:

Sarah, thank you for replying to Planonian, with less heat than I would have.  Planonian, thank you for a much needed laugh this afternoon.

August 3, 4:36 pm | [comment link]
262. grottokid wrote:

Rev. Dr. Radner,
Tradition, especially Holy Tradition, has its place but not before Holy Scriptures.  The Anglican Communion has its place, but not before the Gospel.  According to Dr. Peter Kreeft the Roman Catholic Church failed to preach the Gospel for the two centuries prior to the Reformation.  The core of the Reformation wanted just two things.  First was as a return to the Holy Scriptures as the supreme criterion to all truth.  Secondly, that salvation is by faith alone through Christ alone by grace alone.  As you know the Roman church at the time refused to change.  So, the Protestant Church was born.  Similarly, you have a TEC that does not cherish Scripture above all else and does not preach the Gospel.  There are three things that are foundational to a church, any church.  One, is the real and living God, the Trinity, especially our interface with the Living God namely His Son, Jesus Christ.  Two, is His infallible Word, the Holy Scriptures, especially that part of the Word of God called the Gospel.  Three, is the People of God who are committed followers to God, who are born again and who are indwelled and even filled with His Holy Spirit.  Everything else is just the superstructure.  This applies to the local congregation all the way to the Anglican Communion.  Without that foundation you do not have a Christian church.  This also applies to every parishioner, deacon, priest, bishop and archbishop.

August 4, 10:11 am | [comment link]
263. Dale Rye wrote:

Re #266: A wonderful justification of Protestantism and an articulate dismissal of Anglicanism. You may have noticed that some Christians, including many orthodox Christians, would include the Church in the foundation, not the superstructure. I doubt you are going to convince us that we are wrong at this late date.

August 4, 3:03 pm | [comment link]
264. grottokid wrote:

Re #267:  Mr. Rye.  What I said is not a “dismissal of Anglicanism.”  What I said includes the Church.  What do you think the “People of God” means?  I could have said the “Body of Christ” which in the New Covenant is the same thing.  What I said is if you do not have Jesus or the bible or born again Christians you do not have a Christian church.  If all churches agreed to this you would have solid basis for unity in the Body of Christ.

August 9, 8:20 pm | [comment link]


© 2014 Kendall S. Harmon. All rights reserved.

For original material from Titusonenine (such as articles and commentary by Dr. Harmon) permission to copy and distribute free of charge is granted, provided this notice, the logo, and the web site address are visible on all copies. For permission for use in for-profit publications, please email KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com


<< Back to main page

<< Return to Mobile view (headlines)