Brian McLaren, the prominent de facto spokesperson for the emergent church movement, gave a plenary address at Lambeth earlier this week. He writes of his time there:
I know that most people think the “news story” here is about divisive controversies over sexuality, but my sense is that the real news story is very different. There is a humble spirit here, a loving atmosphere, a deep spirituality centered in Bible study, worship, and prayer, and a strong desire to move beyond internal-institutional matters to substantive mission in our needy world.
In every conversation and gathering I’ve participated in, the spirit has been kind and holy and positive. That sort of good news doesn’t attract the media the way a salacious or pugilistic story does … It will be interesting to see whether the press reports what is actually happening here, or if they need to rewrite the narrative to fit the shape of war-tales they are more accustomed to telling.
My sense is that the quiet, prayerful, and humble patience of Archbishop Rowan Williams is leading the way to better days for the Anglican Communion. It feels like the bishops gathered here are turning a corner together. I feel that I’m witnessing the emergence of something good, beautiful, true, and blessed … Hearts here are sincerely open to the Spirit of God.
From his blog, here.
Bishop Alan has a wonderful recap of McLaren’s address here in case you missed it.
In a three-page interview with McLaren, Christian Today talks with him about his fondness for the Anglican church and tradition; how scripture, virtue and mission are three pillars on which Anglicans can rely for a way forward through conflict; the dangers of capricious interpretation of Scripture; and the paradigm shift from modern to postmodern presently under way. He adroitly handles the interesting question of what the “Global South and Global North” can learn from one other. Finally, he offers these perspectives on the future of Christianity:
First, I think our future is more about the Christian way of life than it is about a rigid and polemicized systems of belief. Second, I think our future is mission-oriented – meaning that we focus on forming disciples who advance God’s mission in their daily lives.
Third, I believe our future is ecumenical – with Catholics, Anglicans, Pentecostals, Eastern Orthodox, and Evangelical Christians taking a humble posture as fellow learners and collaborators for the common good rather than as competitors or us-versus-them enemies.
And fourth, I think our future will also require us to join humbly and charitably with people of other faiths – Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, secularists, and others – in pursuit of peace, environmental stewardship, and justice for all people, things that matter greatly to the heart of God.
You can read the whole interview here.