Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Sorry, couldn't resist that one. Nor could Andrew Brown, I see. I am travelling at the moment, and so only logging in fitfully (yes, it does happen), but I see that Riazat Butt writing on the front page of the Guardian this morning, no less, reports an "unusually robust" response from Lambeth to the declaration from GAFCON - one that Theo Hobson describes as more of a coup than a schism: an observation which is both politically true and theologically literate... it seems that most people who use the latter term have nary a clue as to what it really means, assuming it just to be a synonym for 'split', when historically it has referred to a major uprooting of the tradition, not simply a division within a denomination (which, in the case of Anglicanism, has never claimed the kind of permanency that would be necessary to make sense of this kind of description).

That said, there are many evangelicals (including some quite conservative ones) who are unhappy with the attempted putsch, so while Theo is right on one paradigm, he is in danger of succumbing to another mistaken one. Anyway, it is all rather unpleasant and diversionary to the major challenge Christianity faces in an era where a top-down, institutional version of church is being threatened as never before. In all this, a certain kind of bogus anti-colonialism has arisen, where the abuse of power and attempts to impose a new version of the old imperial order is disguised with guilt-tripping rhetoric about liberation. About which more, later.

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