The latest from Ephraim Radner

Updated with this from Christopher Seitz. This is fascinating. He’s appointed himself head of the Camp Allen bishops and begun dictating their course of action to them. It will be interesting to see how many follow his lead.

Read it here.

I am not sure Radner has taken into account that the Primates have not expressed their support for the course of action that he advocates in their name. I have pointed out two items downstream.

The piece, for all its scholarly prolixity, feels rooted in personal grievance. It also feels badly timed. Radner is coming off a difficult performance before the House of Bishops during which he alienated some existing supporters and gathered no new ones. There has probably never been a time when the house’s theological minority was less likely to follow him and his five colleagues from the Anglican Communion Institute. (Keep in mind that one of those colleagues just joined the Church of Nigeria, not exactly a booster shot for the Institute’s credibility.)

Remember just a week or so ago that Radner objected strenuously when I mentioned that he was a board member of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, which is devoted to undermining the mainline Protestant churches in the U. S.. Guilt by association he said. Highlighting divisions when we should be striving for unity. Now here he is, these few days later, leading a movement to provoke confrontation with the leadership of the Episcopal Church.

Something to keep an eye on: will N. T. Wright and Fulcrum insert themselves into this situation to shore up the ACI? Fulcrum is a close ally of the ACI. Indeed, Andrew Goddard is a member of both organizations, and Wright has certainly displayed a willingness to issue toothless ultimatums to the Episcopal Church (and to do so in a way that benefits his opponents and dismays his friends.)

It may be, however, that in advocating internal revolt in the Episcopal Church, Radner will alienate those in Britain who favor squeezing us out more gradually. And it may be that leaders of the Communion will understand that Radner, through is affiliation with the IRD and his sudden turn toward confronttion, has damaged the political fortunes of the Covenant more than any of the document’s opponents ever could have.

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