Charles Raven

Fulcrum has a new ‘chair’, the Revd Stephen Kuhrt, and in last week’s Church of England Newspaper, he took the opportunity to review Fulcrum’s history and restate its vision in his article ‘Remaining at the Centre of the Church of England’. To readers outside England unfamiliar with its tribes, I should explain that Fulcrum is a grouping of self styled ‘open’ evangelicals which operates under the slogan of ‘renewing the evangelical centre’.

Unfortunately, Fulcrum is open towards just about anyone except those fellow evangelicals who are aligned with Anglican Mainstream, the GAFCON movement and of course the newly formed Anglican Mission in England (AMiE). Kuhrt ascribes Fulcrum’s origins to the ‘reactionary’ nature of the 2003 National Evangelical Anglican Congress (NEAC), but fails to mention that it met against the backdrop of the attempted consecration of gay champion Jeffrey John as Bishop of Reading and the actual consecration of the actively homosexual Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire earlier in the year. It has become clear that this group is really energized by what it is against and that opposition not infrequently takes on a visceral quality, such as Bishop Tom Wright’s bizarre attack on the GAFCON leadership in 2008 as false teachers, akin to the ‘super-apostles’ of 2 Corinthians 11:5.

The centre to which Fulcrum is committed is not in fact an evangelical centre at all, but an institutional centre, as the title of Kuhrt’s article suggests. Indeed he sees Fulcrum as ‘a positive and confident evangelicalism remaining right at the centre of the structures of the Church of England’. This does not simply mean being engaged. It is an ecclesiology which works on the naïve assumption that the institutional church is for all practical proposes the ‘body of Christ’ and so Kuhrt writes of his hope for ‘A renewed commitment to ecclesiology as the Body of Christ, including the commitment to remain together with others in the Church of England despite our differences and work through the issues upon which we disagree.’

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