Bishop David Anderson on getting our AC statistics right

May 7, 2008 by

This is from a recent weekly letter written by David Anderson of the American Anglican Council.  He presents the ‘other side of the news’ and does so well.  Details to subscribe below.  ‘Under the Schori public mantra, we are about at the end of the churches leaving – most of those so disposed to leave have done so. In fact, she is terribly out of touch with the real world; churches are leaving on a weekly basis. Now it is true that as long as one or two people don’t leave with the rest of the parish, and the bishop can hold onto the name and the building (four walls and a janitor) then TEC will claim that they haven’t lost the congregation. The truth is that a viable church has been lost to the diocese, and down the street in a school cafeteria or gymnasium a new orthodox Anglican Church has been formed with most of the former Episcopalians, now under the care of an overseas Anglican province … We have read that the membership in the Anglican Church of Nigeria, using their highly successful 1+1+3 program, has increased in the last three years from 18 million 25 million. This growth has enabled the Province to tell the respective dioceses to stop sending assessments, as they are no longer needed, and to spend their resources on evangelism locally. The churches are encouraged to have fundraising projects, for which the members donate time, to assist in achieving financial independence. Additionally, the Province of Nigeria has been able to raise enough money internally to provide the means for the Nigerian bishops attend the GAFCON Jerusalem Pilgrimage. If the Anglican Communion is supposed to have 77 million members, but of England’s 25 million only 1.6 million can be found, and of TEC’s 2.4 million only 1.6 can be found, then just between those two provinces 24.2 million needs to be subtracted from the 77 million. That leaves a number 52.8 as a more realistic number. If you add back in the new Nigerian increase of 7 million new members, that bumps the total up to 59.8 million. Of that number Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya total 40-45 million or between 66.9% and 75.2% of the Anglican Communion. Dr. Williams, are you listening?’

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Archbishop of Canterbury – 'Religious Faith and Human Rights'

May 4, 2008 by

From ACNS The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams will gave a lecture yesterday at the London School of Economics entitled ‘Religious Faith and Human Rights’. Dr Williams sets out a fresh and original vision of how religious tradition – Christianity in particular – can help ground human rights thinking in ways that protect human life from violence, abuse or inequality. Dr Williams responds specifically to the challenge laid down by Alastair McIntyre to find a language, or ethics, for human rights which is robust enough to resist moral relativism on the one hand and political utility on the other. If McIntyre was right to say that the problem with the strict Enlightenment framework of human rights is that it leaves us ‘bereaved’, what might religion have to say about the ‘most secure foundations’ for a universal ethic of inalienable rights? In answering this question Dr Williams shows how theology can come to the aid of social, political and legal theory. Human rights cannot be allowed to become just a list of entitlements ‘dropped into the cradle’. If human rights theory is to be robust enough to rank as ‘the only generally intelligible way in modern political ethics of decisively challenging the positive authority of the State to do what it pleases’ it needs to be rooted more deeply than is possible within a purely secular rationale. Using the development of Christian thinking about slavery as an example, Dr Williams explores how the notion of bodiliness could be a key to a deeper rooting of our notion of inalienable human rights and how my rights and yours are inextricably linked: ‘my liberty not to be silenced, not to have my body reduced to someone else’s instrument, is nourished by the equal liberty of the other not to be silenced.’ ‘Equal liberty is at root inseparable from the equality of being embodied. Rights belong not to the person who can demonstrate capacity or rationality but to any organism that can be recognised as a human body, at any stage of its organic development.’ The full text of the lecture can be found HERE....

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