Why Archbishops must lead Theologically
The latest issue of The Australian Church Record (number 1906 / October 2012) is now available for download at their website.
Here’s the Editorial –
“One of the Abiding memories of Archbishop Peter Jensen when he leaves his archepiscopate will be his 10 September performance-under-fire on Q&A (ABC1). His sensible, informed, and compassionate input into questions about Asylum seekers warmed viewers up. Then came his calm and considered responses to questions and statements hurled in his direction, that varied in tone from incredulous or neutral, through mocking and impolite, through to heated and even vociferous. Jensen explained biblical submission non-defensively; attracted further flack from tactfully supporting fellow Christian-in-the-public-eye, Jim Wallace, for comments about health statistics in the homosexual community; and constantly appealed for a reasoned discussion of the issues. When given the last word he shared a simple statement of the gospel of God’s love in Jesus Christ.
A constant mistake in Sydney is to assume that everyone holds the same theological positions. But of course, this is just not true. There is a very great difference, for example, between ‘justification by faith’ as understood in the Reformation tradition and its reconfiguration in the hands of ‘new perspective on Paul’ slash ‘Federal Vision’ proponents; grace is not legalism; gospel work is not community building; Protestantism is not sacramentalism etc.
The most important question in 2012–13 as we seek our next Archbishop will be, ‘what is the shape of his theology?’; the second: ‘how does that theology shape his life and ministry?’.
The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney must provide firm, clear, and gracious theological leadership, for the sake of Sydney’s Anglicans. But also for the sake of the wider public, still so much in need of the gospel of Christ.”