Thursday, October 18, 2018

Retired bishops rebuff letter from fellow Evangelical bishops that warned of schism over marriage

From The Church Times-

TWO retired bishops, both Evangelicals, have criticised a letter from 11 serving bishops that hinted at a schism in the Anglican Communion should the Church of England change its teaching on marriage.

The 1800-word letter, posted on the website of the Church of England Evangelical Council last week, defines traditional teaching in the light of Resolution 1.10 from the 1998 Lambeth Conference, stating: “We believe that this vision of (1) sexual intercourse as ‘an act of total commitment which belongs properly within a permanent married relationship’, (2) marriage as a union of a man and woman in a covenant of love marked by exclusivity and life-long commitment, and (3) faithful, sexually abstinent love in singleness and non-marital friendships, is the teaching of scripture. It therefore expresses the character and will of God.”

It is addressed to the Bishop of Coventry, Dr Christopher Cocksworth, who chairs the co-ordinating group of the Living in Love and Faith (LLF) project. The project was set up by the House of Bishops as an attempt to look more deeply into matters of sexuality after earlier attempts failed to heal divisions (News, 30 June 2017).

In a critique of the letter, posted on the ViaMedia website, the Rt Revd David Atkinson, a former Bishop of Thetford, argues that, far from being fixed: “Christian understanding of the ‘scriptural teaching’ on marriage and sexuality has developed from Augustine, Aquinas and Cranmer, and within Anglican theology in recent decades, not least post-Freud.”

More here-

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