We previously reported the appointment of a new Bishop of Peterborough.
This got noticed in the Diary column of the Guardian.
The Church Times has a news report today, but that is subscriber-only for another week. However, the appointment is also discussed by Giles Fraser in his column, Liberals on the front line.
…All of this is why I had my head in my hands when I read the words of the new Bishop of Peterborough, the Ven. Donald Allister, currently Archdeacon of Chester. “Liberalism is one of Satan’s greatest weapons against the Church,” he wrote a few years back.
To be fair, at the press conference to announce his episcopate he did what all new bishops do and said that he found labels “unhelpful”. But that cannot have been his view when he wrote: “I am very happy to work with Anglo-Catholics in fighting battles against liberalism, but the day must come when we need to fight against the ritualism and sacramentalism which they have introduced into the Church of England.”
Why do people so consistently fail to understand the idea of liberalism? Liberalism is not a wishy-washy style of biblical interpretation, or an indifference to biblical truth — although the Bishop’s advice here is pretty amazing: “If in doubt what a passage means or how it applies we will believe it literally and obey it absolutely.” What about Psalm 137 verse 9?
No, liberalism is a commitment to human freedom and a hatred of authoritarianism. That is why many of us celebrate the Reformation as an emancipation from the abuses of Roman authority. To describe liberalism as satanic is to align oneself with flag-burning ayatollahs who chant against the United States as the “great Satan” and against Israel as the “little Satan”…
Source for the quotes is this PDF file at Church Society.
More writing by the new bishop can be found in this series on the Thirty-nine Articles.
And there is also a paper on Lay presidency at the Lord’s Table on the Reform website.