Bishop Duncan addresses GAFCON

Bishop Bob Duncan’s address to the gathered at GAFCON has been posted to the Anglican Communion Network webpage. In his address Bishop Duncan claims that the Elizabethan settlement, out of which has grown modern Anglicanism, has now failed and a new model must be found.

From his address:

“‘We who are gathered here recognize that the Reformation (Elizabethan) Settlement of Anglicanism has disintegrated. We know that we are at a turning point in Anglican history, a place where two roads diverge. One road is faithful to Jesus’ story. The other road is about some other story…The choice before us is a choice before all Anglicans. It is just as certainly a choice before the upcoming Lambeth Conference. Which road will the Anglican Communion take?

[…]‘The present structures of the Anglican Communion all reflect a British colonial past. Some new instrument(s) of unity reflecting a global and post-colonial communion must emerge.’”

He elaborates on what he means regarding the failure of the Elizabethan Settlement further on in his address:

“The great 20th Century apologist and Anglican C.S. Lewis wrote about “Mere Christianity.” In the last several years, Fitz Alison, author, scholar, and sometime Bishop of South Carolina, has, with a group of colleagues, organized annual conferences on “Mere Anglicanism.” The idea being exalted here is that Anglicans at their best have no distinctives beyond what is representative of all Christians, merely Christian. We are evangelical in the way evangelicals are Christian. We are catholic in the way catholics are Christians. We are pentecostal (charismatic) in the way pentecostals are Christian. Anglicans are all three of these streams. Anglicanism in the 21st century will recover our place as a bridge between the Churches. The historic accidents that combined to place Anglicanism as a “middle way,” a via media, between Rome and Geneva, between Christian West and Christian East, and between the Holy Spirit outbreaks at Azusa Street and Duquesne University are a gift of God to us. The gift is re-embraced whenever we Anglicans humble ourselves in our vocation as “mere Christians,” simply evangelical and catholic and pentecostal claiming nothing peculiar of our own.

The distortion of Anglicanism in the West – the deceit the Enemy has sown – is that Anglicanism should be the bridge between the Church and the world. Anywhere on the old bridge – the bridge among Christians – one was always a Christian. Not very far over the new bridge Christianity is soon so badly distorted and quickly compromised that those who begin to cross are soon not recognizably Christian anymore. GAFCON knows on which bridge it is to travel. Lambeth 2008 flirts with the bridge to that new destination toward which U.S. and Canadian Anglicanism is well advanced. 21st century Global Anglicans will be “merely Christian” in the very fullest sense.

Read the full address here (links to PDF format).

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