Tuesday, 1 July 2008

The (reactionary) Global Anglican Futures Network (GAFCON)

Well, I was wrong when I suggested to my friend (The Revd. Dr) Ian Douglas last week that GAFCON (the Global Anglican Futures Network) was fizzling out.

GAFCON claims to be "A Church within the Church"?

Well there is nothing new about that.

Evangelicals in England with their Church Society, and their patronage trusts (Church Pastoral Aid Society, Simeon Trust etc) functioned as such in the C of E

Anglo-Catholics did as much with the old Anglican Congresses and their own Patronage Trusts.

I am sure that good friend Andrew McGowan has seem the same in the Australian Church, not the least in his Diocese of Melbourne.

In fact much of the English Missionary endeavour in Africa was "Church within a Church" depending whether you were an SPG (Society for the Propagation of the Gospel) Diocese, a UMCA (Universities Mission to Central Africa) Diocese, a CMS (Church Missionary Society)
Diocese, or God help us, a BCMS (Bible Churchman’s Missionary Society) Diocese.

Tanganyika was one of the few places where Anglo-Catholics and Evangelicals o-existed - albeit in Catholic or Evangelical Dioceses. \

(Do remember that one of the great Anglo-Catholic Bishops was Frank Weston of Zanzibar, an organiser of the aforementioned Anglican Congresses.)

Tanganyika and Zanzibar joined to form Tanzania.

(Years ago my home City of Bristol had three Evangelical Seminaries. Dalton House (for women who were training to be "Parish Workers") , Clifton Theological School) (CMS) and Tyndale Hall

When the English Church decided to "rationalise" the Seminaries the late and great Dr. Oliver Tompkins, Bishop of Bristol (and no evangelical) knocked their heads together and got them to merge (as Trinity College)

(In the desolate enough Diocese of Bristol he wanted at least one seminary!

So there was "always" been a Church within the Church.

What is breathtaking is how the Gafcon statement is so
"Reformed/Protestant/Calvinist" It takes us back four centuries!

Would I be right in thinking that Peter Jensen (In theory the Archbishop of Sydney, in reality the Presiding Elder of the Classis/ Synod of Sidney) has out outmanoeuvred American reactionaries, and that the new "Church within the Church" (Gafcon) is in fact Jensenite?- i.e. Calvinist at its heart.

My good friends - a Seminary Dean in Australia, and a Seminary Professor in the U.S.A. think that I am on the right track here.

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