Christopher Seitz on the Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church
Wednesday November 14th, 2007
Christopher Seitz, Professor of Biblical Interpretation
In an address, delivered at Wycliffe College on November 7, 2007, entitled, "The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion: An Appraisal at a Time of Waiting" Christopher Seitz, Professor of Biblical Interpretation, Wycliffe College, spoke of the Anglican Christianity as a successful missionary movement, spanning the globe whilst maintaining—it has been hoped—an Anglican catholic face. What is required is that we understand how to preserve and steward what God has provided.
But this must be done in accordance with certain basic assumptions about the character of Christian life provided by the Scriptures, and not in the name of institutional survival or peace-keeping only – two sure-fire ways to get in the way of God’s purposes in the church, even in, or especially in, times of stress and strain. Ironically, these ‘peace-keeping’ instincts are now shared on both ends of the theological spectrum: autonomy arguments on the part of national churches seeking to accommodate a new understanding of sexual ethics, on the one side; and on the other, efforts of individual dioceses and parishes, linked to individual Primates, to carve out zones of confessional purity and integrity – the zeal for which is in proportion to perceptions of how dire the situation is, or the knock-on effect of how pressured their existence appears to be, given efforts to move out of The Episcopal Church (TEC) and form new structures.