Bishop Pete Broadbent, Chairman of Spring Harvest, who commented on this blog a few days ago, has had more to say about the split between Spring Harvest and UCCF in this discussion forum, where he goes by the name “pete173” – two posts on the first page, one on the third, several short ones on the fourth.
Here is some of what he writes:
The UCCF statement is a piece of nonsense. It’s inaccurate and untrue.
(Link added.) In response to some of the points in this statement:
1. Steve Chalke has never been proposed by the Spring Harvest Leadership Team as a speaker at Word Alive
2. Spring Harvest are not in partnership with Fusion.
3. UCCF have never allowed women speakers to speak on their own on the main stage at the Student Celebration, despite SH requiring it as policy
4. We never said we were putting “personality ahead of partnership”
5. We did not end the partnership over Steve Chalke, though it suits UCCF’s myth-making to pretend that we did
I suspect Broadbent has misunderstood this point from UCCF:
Spring Harvest said they regretted they were putting a personality ahead of partnership.
as probably the second “they” here is intended to refer to UCCF. I wonder, did Spring Harvest in fact say that UCCF were “putting a personality ahead of partnership”?
UCCF also wrote:
Mr Chalke had publicly confirmed he had not changed his personal theological views.
When did Chalke make any such public announcement? Has anyone seen any public announcement from him on this matter since 2004? It would be very interesting to see anything relevant he has written or said more recently. But he has probably been too busy with his fundraising work, and leading several organisations, to get involved in these debates.
Broadbent’s third post in this discussion gives fascinating insight into the tensions within Word Alive over several years, such as
We’re talking several years of painful walking on eggshells to try to keep these guys on board and produce an event that would serve the breadth of evanglicalism.
In the end, we couldn’t sustain it, because it was too much like hard work. We had a formula for ending it well. … We tried to end graciously. But they didn’t want to. The result has been gut-spilling all over the place. So be it.
Hat Tip: The Cartoon Blog, from another Essex Christian blogger. See this link also for a great cartoon on this subject. Among the commenters is Broadbent himself. See also this Cartoon Blog post: no cartoon, but a great post title and first line!