In the light of what is happening in Newcastle, I have started longing for a clearly articulated and authoritative Anglicanism – an obedient via media.
What I am thinking is that the con-evangelical position on the Bible is not sustainably Anglican (as it denies the present authority of the church) and the trad-catholic position on women in ministry is not sustainably Anglican (as it also denies the present authority of the church).
We won’t get anywhere until we understand what the authority of the church both is and is for.
If we believe – as I believe – that Christ granted authority to the church in many matters, and that the Church of England truly bears witness to the gospel (which is what clergy stand up and say in public before they get started in any ministry) then a key part of bearing witness to the gospel within the context of the Church of England involves offering due obedience to church authorities – on matters of interpretation of Scripture, the ordination of women, and indeed anything else that they may choose.
The situation in Jesmond could not be more egotistical if it tried. It is pride, with all that that implies, including the consequences both temporal and spiritual.
I rather think we need a restoration of classical Anglicanism. Hmm – where do I go to find that?