Bishop NT Wright's "spirit of cultural superiority"

I greatly respect the theology of NT Wright, Bishop of Durham, although I don’t claim to understand all of it. I have referred to it several times, mostly positively, on this blog.

However, a letter from Dr Vinay Samuel reported by Anglican Mainstream alleges a different side to Wright’s character. Samuel, a well respected Indian theologian and evangelical Anglican, is a director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life. In his letter Samuel was responding to a commentary by Wright in the Church Times, which can be read here. In this article Wright attacks the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), concerning which he refers to

the small group represented by Chris Sugden, Martyn Minns, and Peter Jensen. It is clear that they are the prime movers and drafters, making a mockery of Canon Sugden’s claim … that GAFCON is about rescuing the Churches from Western culture.

Samuel responds firmly to this. He writes that Wright

has suggested in particular that that this whole movement is now following the lead and the agenda of three white men, Bishop Martyn Minns, Archbishop Peter Jensen and Canon Chris Sugden.

I am part of the leadership team of this movement. I have known and worked with Archbishops Akinola, Kolini, Mtetemela, Nzimbi and Orombi and Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali for many years. I have to say that if the scenario were as BishopWright imagines it to be, neither I nor any leader of Christians in the non-western world who have stood for years for the identity, selfrespect and dignity of Christians from the “global south” and their right to self-theologise and organise their own networks independent of influence from the former metropolitan centres of power, would have anything to do with it.

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"What is at stake is the very nature of Anglicanism"

I don’t often write here about the situation in the Anglican Communion, of which the Church of England to which I belong is a part. But the long and sorry saga of the last few years seems to be building up to a climax which can only be a split, at least in all but name. Here I give a rather simplified summary of the situation and my own reflections on it.

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Muslim leaders call for peace

As Ruth Gledhill among others reports, 138 Muslim leaders are calling for peace between Christians and Muslims, but are also warning that if there is no peace

The “survival of the world” is at stake.

How should Christians react to this call? The issue is not a simple one because the Muslim leaders are calling for this peace to be based around “the common essentials of our two religions”. Continue reading