What would reform of the Church of England take?

Jun 24, 2019 by

from Northern Souls blogspot:

There is an ongoing debate among conservative evangelicals about whether to stay or go with respect to the Church of England. We have seen a number of principled defections in recent months, although, especially with Lee Gatiss’ recent blog series written up into a book Fight Valiantly, the majority, following the Church Society lead, seem committed to fighting for the reform of the Church.
One important question to ask in light of that is: What would reform of the Church of England take? The most obvious line of argument to take for an episcopally governed church would be to suggest the reform of the House of Bishops. This was, of course, significant in the original reformation.
If you were following that line of argument, you would might also want to consider: (a) the reform of General Synod (a new force since the reformation) and (b) the reform of the links with parliament, a much more secular (and anti-Christian) lay influence than initially intended. But let’s start with reflecting on the key issue of reforming the House of Bishops.
We need to start with the observation that there isn’t a single conservative evangelical diocesan bishop – nor has there been for many years. In fact, since the advent of women bishops, there has been no bishop consecrated who is conservative on women’s ordination – despite efforts with conservative catholic Philip North. In fact, the mere suggestion, seems to be treated as important to campaign against making an open mockery of the 5 guiding principles.
For conservative evangelicals who want to point to egalitarian evangelical bishops who they would like to think of as generally “good eggs” with the small blip on the ordination of women, I think it would be worth pointing out that the little blip is rather important in terms of reform of the church, because it is an ecclessialogical blip. I.e. I would want to think twice before being too positive, with respect to reform of the church, about bishops who have only been allowed to be bishops because they haven’t got a biblical understanding of ministry (I know they would disagree on that)…

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