How can the Anglican Church maintain its unity while recognising the wide diversity of opinion about homosexuality
The Anglican Church faces what may turn out to be the biggest crisis in its history over questions of sexuality and authority, prompted by the consecration of Canon Gene Robinson as bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire in 2003.
The Archbishop of Canterbury set up the Eames commission to determine how the Anglican Church could maintain its unity while recognising the wide diversity of opinion about homosexuality. In October 2004 the commission released The Windsor Report.
The cogently-argued articles in this book, by liberals involved in the discussions, claim that the kind of status quo offered by The Windsor Report is no answer.
The Anglican Communion has traditionally accepted a wide diversity of views. The opponents of homosexuality are trying to forbid diversity, and to impose their view on the whole communion. Their attempt to make everyone agree with them is the real change, and must be resisted.
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You need to read this book to understand the battles going on within the Anglican Church, as well as other churches. The fundamental battle is betwen those who wish to control the churches with their interpretation of what is should be, and those who wish to let the Church of Jesus Christ be where ever it may be. Although six authors are involved, the book is very well integrated, without overlap, and well written by all. The Dean of Southwark sets the present spat in the context of history both present and past. David Taylor then exposes the present attempt by evangelicals to stitch up the present situation to their advantage. Gill Cooke challenges the bishops and authors of The Windsor Report over their failure to listen and be objective. Anthony Woollard backs up with the story of the Church in the 4th century when Augustine took on the Donatists, the fundamentalists of his day. Jonathan Clatworthy then makes clear the present and historical positions over Scripture, tradition and reason. By their nature the conservatives are sure they are right. So while the liberals defend the right of conservatives to express their views, the conservatives do not extend the same respect to liberals. Jesus challenged the conservatives of his day; we must challenge those of today and recover the Church for Jesus. Read it and make up your own mind. ~ David Storey, CANA newsletter
Colin Slee says some good and interesting things about the misguided pursuit of purity-a common feature of all kinds of fundamentalism. David Bruce Taylor is properly damning about hypocrisy. Gillian Cooke is first rate on the report's nonsensical use of the language of health and illness, and its desire to silence proper debate. For this reader it is worth it simply for Jack Spong's Foreword, and his scathing account of George Carey's chairing of the 1998 Lambeth Conference. How badly we ordinary Christians need bishops of Spong's integrity and honesty to ensure that we are not discounted! ~ , PCN