Thinking Anglicans

Responses to the Windsor Report

A book has just been published which is entitled Gays and the Future of Anglicanism but which is in fact a series of 22 essays (plus an Introduction and an Afterword) all of which are critical responses to the Windsor Report.

The book information can be found here, from the publisher, and from Amazon (American version of that page here).

titusonenine has already mentioned it here and here and also Fr Jake here.

Ekklesia has this report.

The full text of what Archbishop Barry Morgan said about it can be found below the fold.

Review of Book
Gays and the Future of Anglicanism Ed. A Linzey and R Kirker

There are three things which characterise this book. It is quite hostile to the Windsor Report (I write as one of the people responsible for that report); it argues cogently for gay people’s inclusion within the Anglican Communion and its ministry; and the essays are by some of the finest theological minds in the Communion. The Windsor Report, whatever its shortcomings – is at least remarkable in that its seventeen members from across the whole Communion, and from widely different backgrounds and theological viewpoints, did at least manage to achieve unanimity. Its aim was to find a way of enabling different theological perspectives within the Communion to co-exist with tolerance and patience that is usually characteristic of Anglicanism whilst respecting the autonomy of churches on the one hand with the need for mutual inter-dependence and accountability on the other, but without the setting up of a central curia. But perhaps I protest too much.

The arguments advanced for including gay people within the church and its ministry deserve to be read and pondered by all who are involved in the debate on human sexuality. They deal in depth with the issue from the perspective of scripture, tradition and experience, by scholars who know what they are talking about. The arguments advanced here show up the superficiality and even the shallowness of the 1998 Lambeth plenary on the same topic and should also give the Anglican Church in many places cause for penitence for the way it has treated and thought about gay people. We desperately need a listening and study process on this topic in the Communion as has long been recommended to no avail and it is good that the ACC at its meeting this year has now agreed to gather material from across the Communion. It might find, as the WCC found when it gathered material from all its member churches and as this book demonstrates that sexual sins are not the only sins and are not even the main sins according to scripture; that theology has to be open to the possibility of encountering God’s revelation of truth in new and novel ways – that’s what the doctrine of the Spirit means and that what is often lost in the so called debate about human sexuality is the fact that we are talking about real persons with real feelings. This book throws down a formidable challenge to the Anglican Communion. It cannot afford to ignore it.

Barry Morgan

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DaveMerseymikeAnnaJ. C. FisherJohn Henry Recent comment authors
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Anna
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Interesting. Hope to read the book soon.

Morgan’s response is interesting as well, but his comments don’t really clarify a major misunderstanding of the Windsor Report: the commission’s members were not tasked with addressing questions of human sexuality, but with addressing how Anglicans can maintain the highest possible degree of communion.

Both positive and negative reactions to the Report have missed this highly significant point. Does anyone know if the book addresses that?

Dave
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Dave

“…remarkable in that its seventeen members from across the whole Communion, and from widely different backgrounds and theological viewpoints”

I presume that he means widely different *liberal* viewpoints! and I already in this short piece see the usual liberal asumptions that non-liberals are “shallow” not “cogent” and don’t include the “finst minds”.. and that liberals are nore “inclusive” because of who/what they include and reject, compared to other groups… ZZzzzz!

Anna
Guest

Dave, he’s talking about the seventeen authors/signatories of the Windsor Report, among whom were many non-liberals.

Dave
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Dave

Dooh! Now I’m jumping to conclusions! Sorry. The rest of the coments stand though. I’d add that if the ABps summary is a reasonable then the book is stating a lot of obvious stuff: eg that “sexual sins are not the only sins and are not even the main sins according to scripture”, that “we are talking about real persons with real feelings”, and “that theology has to be open to the possibility of encountering God’s revelation of truth in new and novel ways” (though conservatives would argue, not contradictory revelations!!) If these are supposed to be novel concepts that… Read more »

John Henry
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John Henry

It is so sad that ‘reasserters’/ traditionalists are so focused on sex — sexual sins, especially the sins of homosexuals. There are other, more serious sins adversely affecting people’s lives. In the U.S. most ‘reasserters’ are not even appalled at the inhumane treatment of U.S. detainees at Gitmo, Cuba, by the ‘godly’ Bush Administration. In violation of U.S. laws, the Muslim detainees are being tortured (what else is “sleep deprevation” while being interrogated?) and detained without having been charged of any crime or being allowed to be represented by legal counsel. The prisoners will be detained for the duration of… Read more »

Anna
Guest

I don’t see why Archbishop Akinola must speak out against the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. If every religious leader had to make public statements on every atrocity, miscarriage of justice, or human rights violation, they’d never have time to do anything else! I think Archbishop Akinola spends way too much time talking about sexuality and planning ways to take his church away from Canterbury. But he and other Nigerian clergy do address other issues in their national life: see the Onitsha 2005 Message to the Nation, where sexuality concerns come second to last, right before a message of… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
Guest

“Let’s be fair here– many liberals who decry all this focusing on sex/sexuality are themselves talking about it an awful lot.”

Anna, when LGBTs get their *equal rights* from the State, and (Anglican LGBTs) get their *equal claims to the sacraments of the Church*, I GUARANTEE YOU that you’ll *never* have to hear about “sex/sexuality” from us ever again! :-p

[i.e. the sound you hear is my screaming in pain from—when I try to respond to the Lord’s call—the *doors that reactionaries keep slamming in my face*. Cause-and-effect, much?]

Dave
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Dave

Dear JCF, It’s not about equality or rights, it’s about sinfulness and righteousness. This is Christianity, not the United Nations!

Following Christ means dying to self in many ways, not just sexually. We ALL have to *deny* our rights if we want to “take up our crosses”. I have to deny myself in many ways, including sexually. So why shouldn’t you too!

After all, sexuality is neither the greatest sin nor the greatest fullfilment (in my theology at least).

Anna
Guest

JC, I didn’t say liberals shouldn’t spend a great deal of time talking about sex and sexuality. I was pointing out that everyone seems to be talking about sex and sexuality a great deal.

Liberals shouldn’t point fingers at conservatives and tell them to cut it out when, in reality, we’re focusing on it just as much, if from different perspectives. There’s a plank in everyone’s eye these days, including yours and mine.

Merseymike
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Merseymike

no, Dave, it is about equality and rights. Respect for persons and respect for the essential humanity of individuals.

Central to liberal Christianity – we don’t go for all that depraved and utterly sinful stuff…and you are asking all gay and lesbian people to permananently ‘deny’ a part of them,in my view an integral and created part of them, whereas you are not expecting this of all heterosexuals

That is discriminatory and unacceptable, and your only justification is a literalistic interpretation of the opinions of some of the biblical authors, who wouldn’t have had any understanding of sexual orientation in any case.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Merseymike wrote “Respect for persons and respect for the essential humanity of individuals… Central to liberal Christianity – we don’t go for all that depraved and utterly sinful stuff…” Dear Merseymike, Neither do I. I think that we are all made in the image of God, but that that image is marred in all of us to some extent, in various ways. Sexually it could be lust, abusive attitudes, perverted desires, etc etc.. Homosexuality is hardly the only “marred” sexual desire (and this is hardly just *my* “literalistic” interpretation!) I can respect someone even when I see the “marred” part… Read more »

Merseymike
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Merseymike

Only that part of me is not ‘marred’, Dave. Its the part of me which gives me much joy, pleasure and comfort, through my relationship.

Until you appreciate and accept that, there will always be a barrier. I’m afraid I don’t do ‘conditional’ acceptance, which is why I don’t do your idea of God.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Dear Merseymike, that is of course where we disagree. I think that man and woman were “made” for each other – to form an permanent chaste relationship which includes (along with the complementary strengths, aptitudes and perceptions) a sexual element – to both deepen their relationship (if not done selfishly) and to procreate the human race. Physically, emotionally and pyschologically, male and female are complementary.. they form a unit comprising both halves of the human race and link generationally into society. Devoted sexual relationships between two people of the same sex can’t fullfil the role intended for men & women,… Read more »