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June 30, 2012


“A Double-Minded Man”

A brilliant editorial by Gerald Bray in the current Churchman, one of the most astute reflections upon Rowan Williams I’ve read in a long time: “A double-minded man” [pdf].

Evangelicals have never warmed to him, partly because he is too different in temperament and interests to have much appeal to them, and partly because his views on some things, like the gay agenda, are anathema to any orthodox Christian. to his credit, Dr. Williams attempted to draw a line in the sand by stating publicly that he would not pursue that agenda while in office, but his fundamental convictions are known to all and have made it impossible for him to forge a serious working relationship with the evangelical constituency either at home or abroad. Given that the evangelical wing of the church is the one that is expanding the most, this has been a serious handicap that nothing short of a complete change of heart on his part could have removed. that was not to be and the result has been a split in the Anglican Communion that may now be impossible to heal.

American friends will appreciate this observation:

Another person who belongs in this category [of friends who used him to pursue their own agenda] is Ms schori, the presiding bishop of the American episcopal Church, whom Dr. Williams did his utmost to win over, but to no avail. In dealing with Ms schori and her colleagues compromise is not possible, and whenever Dr. Williams suggested it, it was thrown back in his face. At one point Ms schori even went around the world trying to drum up support for an opposition movement to the archbishop, a tactic which failed but which demonstrates just what a wonderful person she is to work with.

The conclusion:

Those who do not submit to the Word of God will pay a heavy price and harm the church more than they know. this, sadly, must be the final verdict on Dr. Williams as archbishop of Canterbury. As the Apostle saw so clearly, a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8). Dr. Williams’ instability has brought the church to the point where the Anglican ship of faith is about to capsize. His successor’s first task will be to steady it by tossing the Americans and their ungodly allies overboard, and by setting its course firmly towards the Morning star that is Christ, who alone can give us light. Whether that will happen only time will tell, but the agenda for the next Archbishop of Canterbury is clear. the spiritual renewal of the church will come at a price, but without it the Anglican Communion is doomed. We must pray that those charged with making the appointment will be aware of this and be prepared to do what is necessary to ensure that there is at least some hope for what is bound to be a turbulent future.

The whole thing is well worth a read.


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8 comments

I rather like this phrase:

  Dr. Williams’ instability has brought the church to the point where the Anglican ship of faith is about to capsize. His successor’s first task will be to steady it by tossing the Americans and their ungodly allies overboard,

Lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater. I doubt he means to throw out all of TEC.  Maybe he does.  We may be few but there a few orthodox Anglicans remaining TEC. Although the way TEC is going after the remaining conservative/orthodox bishops in TEC, perhaps they really do.

[1] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 6-30-2012 at 01:03 PM · [top]

“His successor’s first task will be to steady it by tossing the Americans and their ungodly allies overboard, “

With the vast majority of the nominating commission being people who view ++Rowan as too conservative, one wonders how Gerald Bray comes to this conclusion.  Given the makeup of the commission, one might expect the next ABoC’s first task will be to actively promote gay marriage at Synod, and consecrate the several uber-revisionist women on the short list to become bishops, to ensure the cooperation of the HoB.
At an international level, his first task will be to jettison the 50-60 million stodgy orthodox Anglicans in Africa and Asia (and let’s face it, that is also the goal of the current British Government, or they wouldn’t be doing what they are doing), and strengthen ties with the US, Canada, NZ, etc and aid them in eliminating such pesky bishops as ++Sydney and +South Carolina.

[2] Posted by tjmcmahon on 6-30-2012 at 01:40 PM · [top]

Double-minded man,” eh? I find that I remain quite thoroughly unconvinced of the assertion.

Rowan is a person who appears capable of discussing any difficult topic and stating propositions, serially, in the following form

On the one hand, [postulate A] … on the other hand, [postulate B], on yet another hand [postulate C] … repeat (potentially ad infinitum).

Given that demonstrated propensity of his, I don’t see how it is possible to reduce the cardinality of his mindS anywhere in the vicinity of the order 2. He has as many minds on any (as yet undecided for him) issue as the number of hands he is capable of imagining. The parallels with the other well-known Briton named Rowan (think Mr. Bean) are glaringly obvious.

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

[3] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 7-1-2012 at 01:00 PM · [top]

To the question, “Are you wishy washy?”, I always answer, “Well, yes and no.” But re TEC, perhaps the adage, “You can negotiate in good faith with a psychopath” applies.

[4] Posted by Don+ on 7-1-2012 at 02:30 PM · [top]

Rowan Williams has done tremendous damage to the fabric of the Anglican Communion.  It is no excuse that at least some of this was due to well-meaning bumbling rather than malice - he did not have to accept the post of Archbishop of Canterbury.  He should have known he was unsuited to it. 

By accepting, he kept out an obviously qualified and suitable candidate who most likely would have kept the communion together - Michael Nazir-Ali.

[5] Posted by MichaelA on 7-1-2012 at 06:07 PM · [top]

“Double-minded”?  Why stop at double?  RW has as many points of view on a subject as there are days in the week.  The temptation of the self-styled intellectual is to always keep pondering the alternatives and never reach a decision.  RW is a classic example of this. 

It’s hard to tell if his obtuseness is a strategy or a character flaw.

[6] Posted by Bill2 on 7-1-2012 at 06:31 PM · [top]

A great quote from Gerald Bray’s article:

“Alas, Christian truth is not decided by balancing acts or majority votes but by the teaching of divine revelation. As Dr. Williams knows only too well, Arius had the majority of the church on his side, but he lost out to Athanasius and the orthodox because he was wrong and his opponents were prepared to suffer for the truth. That was a long time ago, but the basic principle still holds good. Church councils can vote for whatever they like, but if they are wrong, the people of God will rise up in protest, as the emergence of GAFCON has shown.”

[Note that the mention of Gafcon must be understood in an English context]

[7] Posted by MichaelA on 7-1-2012 at 07:50 PM · [top]

Given the makeup of the commission, one might expect the next ABoC’s first task will be to actively promote gay marriage at Synod, and consecrate the several uber-revisionist women on the short list to become bishops, to ensure the cooperation of the HoB.

tjmcmahon, I came to the same conclusion independently:

https://www.vulcanhammer.org/2012/07/03/a-tough-but-realistic-assessment-of-a-double-minded-man-rowan-williams/

[8] Posted by vulcanhammer on 7-3-2012 at 12:56 PM · [top]

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