4.7.08

The Theology of Rowan Williams and his response to GAFCON

We should all meditate with Rowan Williams' on Matthew 18:15-18
Matthew 18:15-18 (The Message) ©Eugene H. Peterson

15-17"If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you've made a friend. If he won't listen, take one or two others along so that the presence of witnesses will keep things honest, and try again. If he still won't listen, tell the church. If he won't listen to the church, you'll have to start over from scratch, confront him with the need for repentance, and offer again God's forgiving love.

18-20"Take this most seriously: A yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this. When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I'll be there."

Craig Uffman of Covenant-Communion.com is

... deeply thankful that the Lord has given us Rowan as Cantuar at this time. What extraordinary moral courage it must take for him to resist the demands of those who would have us turn away from our embarrassing moment and place our trust in the power of a confessional plumbline. My prayers are with and for him.

... one cannot expect Rowan to allow his relation to others to be determined by their actions, for he has resolved in advance to remain in a relation of Christ-centered fellowship to them no matter how much their actions testify to the Fall rather than to Grace. And when a brother sins, he goes to Matt 18:15-18 in order to help them see what Christian fellowship demands, but with the understanding that we are called always to provide sanctuary even for the brother who rejects our fellowship through his volition as reflected in his refusal to repent.

The notion that Rowan will choose to turn his back on either TEC or GAFCON does not take account of Rowan’s theology of what it means to be a resurrection community. He acts consistently, I think, according to that theology. It is maddening to those of us who want things resolved in a timely manner, or in line with a particular result (cast out the sinners, now! said the crowd in a frenzy). For these calls for a primatial separation of the sheep from the goats is exactly that: our own prideful reversion to the ways of the world.

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