Across the sea and around the world 03

1. Wheaton Theological Conference sessions on-line. I’ll be listening to Hays, Vanhoozer, and the bishop himself.

2. Final update from the Bruce Waltke resignation saga. Waltke’s response to the whole saga is really commendable. To sacrifice himself for the sake of the community that he loved.

3. Thanks to Ko Tjeli, tomorrow I’ll be attending the Fourth Global Anglican South to South Encounter opening service! I’m an Anglo-Presbyterian now! (or a Presby-Anglican, whatever)

4. Exam is here. As the call for worship usually goes, our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth (Psa 124.8).

5. New kids on the blog: Monica’s and Arifin’s.

6. The latest academic catalogue from Eerdmans. Lots of interesting books.

By the way, speaking of books and reading, I think there is a mystery with a Story. When you read a Story, it did not merely tell you about the plot, but it also invites you into the Story itself. That’s why reading a fiction is profoundly different from, say, a textbook. A good narrative does not only explain; it invites you to take part in it. It has its own life, or at least a potential for it. Currently I’m reading Gilead, and this passage immediately strucked me when I read it:

“But I’ve developed a great reputation for wisdom by ordering more books than I ever had time to read, and reading more books, by far, than I learned anything useful from, except, of course, that some very tedious gentlemen have written books.” (Marilynne Robinson, Gilead, p. 39)


6 thoughts on “Across the sea and around the world 03

  1. pedro

    3. So you are going there as a spy? Or to offer olive branch? I don’t have that big a heart. I salute you. Peace be with you.

    By the way, don’t make this Global South event sound like it’s an Anglican event (I wouldn’t call it that), or in any way Lambeth-related.

    You may need to elaborate to your readers, lest they get confused.

    1. septian Post author

      Officially I went there to accompany Tjeli who was invited as an observer and guest for the opening service. They invited many other guests as well, e.g., your principal Dr Ngoei, your profs Roland Chia and Simon Chan, then I also met Bobby Sng, Lim K Tham, Terry Kee.. you got the idea. Ecclesiastical luminaries of Singapore were there (minus Kong Hee, Joseph Prince.. you got the idea again).

      I went there of course because personally I am interested (and Tjeli knew that I did, hence the extended invitation) on what’s still happening in the Anglican communion which perhaps is in the brink of schism now. Sadly at least it has been that way spiritually if not structurally.

      I will elaborate further on my next post which will reflect on today’s opening service.

  2. pedro

    I would ask, why should those people be there in the first place? Whatever luminaries. Does attending mean/ equal to a statement on Lambeth?

    I think this is what I would challenge.

    Just as if Najib invites me to KL, or Hu invites me to Beijing, would I accept such invitation?

    Interest is one thing. Keeping one’s stand is another thing. As I said in the last post, I think it’s a good thing that you went. (Really I mean it.) I salute you. But I don’t have that big a heart.

    At the end of the day, this is to me the most important question (with regarding to attending the event): What message would I send by attending Global South?

    I am sure Rowan or Tom would be interested too, but I seriously doubt if they would attend, even “if” they were invited. And that is wisdom.

    Last but not least, don’t forget:

    By the way, don’t make this Global South event sound like it’s an Anglican event (I wouldn’t call it that), or in any way Lambeth-related.

    You may need to elaborate to your readers, lest they get confused.

    1. septian Post author

      A quick comment:

      Global South (to be more accurate, South to South Encounter) is an Anglican event. It’s different from the GAFCON, which, you could argue, is not, though of course recently they are closely related because of the personnels involved in the two. The first South to South Encounter was held in Limuru, Kenya in 1994, much earlier than the gay bishop controversy.

      Seriously, Rowan recognized the event:

      I should say, a true Rowanist will try to listen to the Global South as well. (:

  3. pedro

    Thanks for pointing this out. I wasn’t following these two groups as closely as you did. However the overlapping of the two is, to me, worrying. From the first South to South Encounter in 1994, to the development of GAFCON, I can only see the divide is worse, not better. The rebel force is more consolidated than weakened. (p.s. I will look for that Akinola guy.)

    Reading Rowan’s letter though, you can see very clearly there is an “us-and-them” if not “us-verses-them” difference in words.

    “I want to comment on one or two things that relate to YOUR agenda, and indeed to the agenda that WE share as Anglicans in OUR worldwide fellowship.”

    “So while the tensions and the crises of OUR Anglican Communion will of course be in YOUR minds as they are in MINE, I know from what YOU have written, what YOU have communicated about YOUR plans and hopes for this conference, that YOU will allow the Holy Spirit to lift YOUR eyes to that broader horizon of God’s purpose for US as Anglicans, for US as Christians, and indeed for US as human beings.”

    Such tone in language can be found throughout Rowan’s address. He tries to draw them back for the sake of Anglican/ Church unity. The unease is clear in the whole address though, and all the issues/ agendas (mentioned in Rowan’s address) that South to South Encounter wants to address are divisive issues.

    The address, if in anyway helps, is to ‘reach out’ to the rebels. Good on Rowan. But I seriously doubt if any of these ‘big shots’ care to listen to Rowan.

    If I try to put my feet in Rowan’s shoes (too small for his big size), I would make a statement too but would the S2SE truly welcome Rowan in their mist? I doubt so.

    As I said, I don’t have so big a heart for these people. May God has mercy on me.

    1. septian Post author

      I would say, let us just follow first what would come out from this conference. This is the time that they should discuss the recently published Anglican Communion Covenant anyway. It was their duty to discuss the covenant. As the Archbishop himself said,

      “So as you discuss the Covenant—and as the Covenant is discussed in your Provinces—I hope that that larger dimension will always be in people’s minds. I was particularly pleased to see the ways in which the titles of the various bible studies and lectures during your meeting reflected that sense that we need to go deeper into the idea of covenant. Few things could be more important for us. So, in all those discussions and reflections I wish you every blessing, and I look forward with great eagerness to hearing what you have discovered in your thinking and praying together.”

      Follow closely


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