What ever happened to “Ryle” Anglicans?

Have you ever wondered what happened to Anglicans in the tradition of J. C. Ryle who preached the gospel with clarity and passion? There are still some in Britain like John Cheeseman and in Austrailia like Peter Jensen, the Archbishop of Sydney. However, it’s the African Anglicans who are holding the line with their lives, at times, literally on the line. In a recent issue of  First Things (August/September, 2007), Ugandan Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi details their obvious passion for God’s Word. This causes me to wonder, would American Episcopals die for their putrid articulation of eternal realities? These African Anglicans write with more clarity and with their finger on the issue than just about anybody in the Evangelical Theological Society or from among the leaders of any North American denomination.

Orombi writes, “We are convinced that Scripture must be reasserted as the central authority in our communion. . . . The Bible cannot appear to us as a cadaver, merely to be dissected, analyzed, and critiqued, as has been the practice of much modern higher biblical criticism. Certainly we engage in biblical scholarship and criticism, but what is important to us is the power of the Word of God precisely as the Word of God–written to bring transformation in our lives, our families, our communities, and our culture. For us, the Bible is ‘living and active, sharper than a doubled-edged sword, it penetrates to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart’ (Heb. 4:12). The transforming effect of the Bible on Ugandans has generated so much conviction and confidence that believers were martyred in the defense of the message of salvation through Jesus Christ that it brought. . . . We would not be facing the crisis in the Anglican Communion if we had upheld the basic Reformation convictions about Holy Scripture: its primacy, clarity, sufficiency, and unity. . . . Without a commitment to the authority of the Word of God, a confidence in a God who acts in the world, and a conviction of the necessity of repentance and of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we will be hard-pressed as a communion to revive and advance our apostolic and missionary calling as a church.”

HT: Ref21

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One response to this post.

  1. “. . . would American Episcopals die for their putrid articulation of eternal realities?”

    Since leaving the Episcopal church nearly 20 years ago I have bemoaned and lamented the decline of the Episcopal Church in the United States. But not till I read this essay had I wept for the church of my youth. Praise the Lord that Anglicans in Africa still hold fast the the Word of God.

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