The Rev. Mark Rudolph, a Rwandan priest serving in Philadelphia, has offered a paper that interacts with Canon Kevin Donlon’s paper of last year. The situation has moved so far down the road from that point that these issues are becoming more historic than current, but it is worth reading Rudolph’s interactions. Remember that the first Washington Statement had appeared, followed by Donlon’s document. Rudolph’s paper is then a third work of substance, dealing with theological issues from a classical Anglican perspective. I wish that there had been more of this sort of thing, conducted in the open, rather than the murky situation that we encountered. It is worth noting that the AMiA’s foundational documents are thoroughly Reformed in their nature, while its practice, most notably at the Winter Conferences, has been indistinguishable from the wider evangelical world, by which I mean a-theological and lacking discernment.
Rudolph’s closing summary follows, and the entire paper can be downloaded here.
We are grateful that Donlon wants “to assist in widening the scope of understanding,” but his good intentions still leave many readers of his document unsatisfied. This is true for two reasons.
a. First, Donlon has demonstrated that he must reach quite deeply into his bag of canonical history and language – and that largely outside of common Anglican usage – to come up with an apologetic for the proposal that is coming from Pawleys.
b. Second, even if I grant that Donlon has entirely succeeded in making his argument, his response is irrelevant. Why? Because Donlon has purported to respond to the DC paper to make his case. Instead, we find that the most fundamental questions raised by the DC paper remain unanswered.
Does Pawleys have the moral right to drastically change the trajectory of AMiA(s) from that which a large majority of AMiA(s) clergy and churches and many in Rwanda thought it was?
I hope to have a paper out at some point that looks into Donlon’s theology as embodied in some of his presentations and papers from over the years, but that project is dragging on and on, so I thank Rev. Rudolph for filling this gap!