frgavin on February 17th, 2015

A Book Review by Dr Martin Daviehttp://anglicanmainstream.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Living-Reconciliation.jpg

Dr Martin Davie, a widely respected Church of England theologian, has exposed serious flaws in ‘Living Reconciliation’, a book published recently by the Anglican Communion Office to champion its ‘Continuing Indaba’ project.

While recognizing that there are some helpful insights, he describes the book as ‘sadly lacking’ because it offers a highly distorted account of reconciliation, one that is not grounded in the teaching of the Bible, despite the claim by the Anglican Communion Office that ‘The Bible is central.’ See here.

Dr Davie shows that biblically the ministry of reconciliation is first and foremost evangelism and he writes ‘The New Testament’s emphasis is not on people learning to live with what divides then, but learning to live out what unites them’.  In sharp contrast, the writers of ‘Living Reconciliation’ are focused inwards on what they see as the pressing need to live with difference within the institutional Church.

Furthermore, there seems to be no limit on what those differences may be. The book assumes that the deeply divisive teaching of such Anglican Churches as the Episcopal Church of the United States on same-sex sexual relationships are within the bounds of what is acceptable within a fellowship of Churches.

But the problem goes well beyond this particular flash point. Dr Davie sees that the ‘Continuing Indaba’ model of reconciliation actually undermines the Anglican Communion’s witness to the gospel because it is ‘effectively a blank cheque for the acceptance of any and every possible form of deviation from New Testament Christianity.’

The review is published by the Church of England Evangelical Council and can be found at http://www.ceec.info . It is a powerful reminder of how essential GAFCON is for the future of the Anglican Communion when confusion about the gospel is actually being encouraged by its central institutions.

Until recently Dr Davie was Secretary to the Faith and Order Commission of the Church of England, Theological Secretary to its Council for Christian Unity and Theological Consultant to its House of Bishops.

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