Theological Tensions within GAFCON

Andrew Atherstone attended GAFCON and wrote an insightful review of the conference (here) including this:

Theological tensions were further exposed in a seminar on the complementary charisms of catholicism and evangelicalism by Gavin Ashenden (former chaplain of Sussex University, trained at both Oak Hill and Heythrop), an entertaining but provocative speaker whose comments demonstrated the chasm between the two movements. This is one of the biggest dilemmas for GAFCON – although overwhelming evangelical, how serious is it about bringing Catholic Anglicans on board? The North American contingent, in particular, is largely catholic, since so many evangelicals left the Episcopal Church in the nineteenth century. The Nairobi communiqué welcomes ‘all our different traditions’ (misleadingly caricatured as Evangelicals, Anglo-Catholics, and Charismatics) as all committed to ‘a renewed Anglican orthodoxy’. But what does this mean in practice? Is it just a temporary alliance, co-belligerence against the common enemy of radical liberalism, or something more? The Jerusalem Declaration of 2008 famously affirms ‘justification by faith’ (as did the Council of Trent) but not ‘justification by faith alone’. Some Anglo-Catholics at Nairobi were unhappy that the public worship was not more catholic in flavour; but they admitted there are only two viable options as they face an insecure future, GAFCON or the Ordinariate.

His “outside looking in”take on ACNA as largely catholic confirms my supposition that ACNA’s leadership is far more Anglo Catholic than the rank and file are, but it still isn’t proof.
Read the whole thing for what I think is a very balanced reflection on the week that was.
Also, Lee Gatiss wrote a positive review of the conference, but he also noted:

As for GAFCON, it contains its own fault lines and failures. The place of Anglo-Catholics within the broader movement may prove in the future to be problematic (and I spent many hours trying to negotiate some of this territory, with some friendly Anglo-Catholics who were kind enough to give me a great deal of their time). Some delegates expressed concern that justification by faith alone was not asserted clearly and unambiguously, and one senior Archbishop admitted that our fellowship may not be entirely gospel-focused, yet.






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