NT Wright's awakening

GAFCON's ideas are "ridiculous" and "deeply offensive" says the Bishop of Durham, the Rt. Rev. N.T. Wright. According to a BBC report on a radio interview with the bishop:

"For me this is particularly frustrating. I spend 90 to 100 hours a week doing the work of the gospel and the kingdom of God in my diocese and around the place.

"And to be told that I now need to be authorised or validated by a group of primates somewhere else who come in and tell me which doctrines I should sign up to is not only ridiculous it's deeply offensive.

"The idea that they have a monopoly on Biblical truth simply won't do and we must stand up to this, it's a kind of bullying. 'We're the true gospel people, therefore you must listen to us'."

He said most traditionalist bishops in England did not support Gafcon and were "deeply worried about it".

"When one finds people coming high-handedly, who don't actually know what's going on, and say, 'We've now drawn up this list of 14 points and you've got to sign up to them and then we'll authorise you and you can be part of our club, and if you don't then we're going to sweep you aside'... anyone has a right to feel angry when faced with that kind of thing."

Wright said Gafcon was "taking a global sledge hammer to crack the American nut".

"There's a lot of bits that's going to fly around the room if you do that, especially here in England where we do not have the same problems that they have in America," he added.

"The coalition of Gafcon is a very odd combination of hard-line evangelicals, who would never use incense in a communion service, who would never wear Eucharistic vestments, along with Anglo-Catholics from America for whom those things are absolutely de rigeur.

"You've also got people who are totally and passionately opposed to the ordination of women, and others who are not only happy with it, but promoting it. That's not a coalition that's going to last very long, to be honest. The idea that they have a monopoly on Biblical truth simply won't
do and we must stand up to this, it's a kind of bullying.

You can listen to the 3 minute interview with the bishop here on the BBC.

The interview reveals more of what he truly thinks than the diplomatic statement he issued earlier in the week.

Comments (4)

N.T. Wright's comments are good news for an Anglican church that has lived (and God willing, will continue to live ) by shared worship and ongoing (even contentious) discussion of scripture, reason, and tradition. Thinking conservatives value his voice and perspective, making his comments even more a contribution to continuing dialogue.

I have only one reservation or question - does he really believe this? -

"...here in England ...we do not have the same problems that they have in America,"

But can he see that the Windsor Report, in which he actively participated, was just as offensive? The answer, I believe, is "No."

Thank you, Bill. I posed a similar question over at my blog. I hope the light might dawn, though, and he'll make the connection. Why is it that the obvious is so often hidden from "the wise"?

Wonderfully ironic, from the man who casts himself as the last living author of the Windsor Report.

Bishop Wright delivered a densely-argued 4,500 word tome to our General Convention in the hands of the vice president of David Anderson's American Anglican Council dictating the terms on which we could remain in the Anglican Communion. The document commented on resolutions that had been public for two months, yet arrived just hours before the first open hearing on the issues.

Imagine the nerve of these GAFCON people inserting themselves into NT Wright's Church as though it were their own. Who would treat another member of the Communion in such a way? And he works so hard!

Still, one takes the allies one can have. So bully for the bully, I guess.

Add your comments

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Reminder: At Episcopal Café, we hope to establish an ethic of transparency by requiring all contributors and commentators to make submissions under their real names. For more details see our Feedback Policy.

Advertising Space