Evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics in the Future of Anglicanism
Q: Do you stand with Forward in Faith and Anglo-Catholicism? Can Evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics be in one communion?
Peter Jensen [Archbishop of Sydney, NSW, Australia]: Yes, we have been in one communion. In 2003, one group in the Communion made a terrific blunder breaking through the boundaries. This freed up the rest of us. The Communion will never be the same again. We are one Communion but far looser, and this enables great spiritual movements like GAFCON to arise. The blunder is being turned to good. The Communion is going forward and those who can sign off on something like the Jerusalem statement can work together.
Jim Packer [Emeritus Prof. of Theology at Regent College, Vancouver, BC, Canada]: It is important to know who our friends are. Anglo-Catholics generally believe in Trinity, Scripture, atonement, resurrection, judgement, prayer, etc. A ‘higher’ view of sacraments and priesthood seems secondary in the light of those primary correspondences. I can be friends with Anglo-Catholics. Modern Anglo-Catholicism has a different agenda from in the past. I can, with qualifications, be friends with Anglo-Catholics. I have good will towards Forward in Faith. Liberals are different, denying many of the aforementioned. We have let Liberals get away with too much with regard to leadership in the past.
RWF resumes: On the whole, I am pleased. If these two men, who have a well-deserved reputation as neo-Puritans, can take this eirenic attitude toward Anglo-Catholics it bodes well for the future of orthodox Anglicanism in the post-GAFCON era. I think we can "reason together." (While I wish the account of Dr. Packer's remarks didn't have that "with qualifications" reservation, its tone toward Anglo-Catholicism is remarkably positive for a self-described Calvinist. Besides, the Ugley Vicar tells us these are "summary notes." Perhaps this account is not precisely what Dr. Packer said. I eagerly await video or audio of the actual event.)
I am encouraged. Summary notes of all the talks at All Souls' are available from the Ugley Vicar.
UPDATE: Newbie Anglican has called our attention to further positive remarks from ++Jensen:
The last two weeks have been two of the most extraordinary in my life. What we are dealing with here is not a split, but a movement possibly as significant as the Evangelical Revival, or even the Anglo-Catholic movement if you prefer, and it may bring Evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics together [applause].
These statements come from the archbishop's remarks in his individual talk at All Souls' as reported by the Ugley Vicar.