Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Prof. Stephen Noll: The Pilling Report and the Anglican Communion

By Rev. Prof. Stephen Noll
Vice Chancellor (retired), Uganda Christian University
3 December 2013

On 28 November 2013 The Church of England House of Bishops' Working Group on Human Sexuality released its Report, which is more commonly known as the Pilling Report (PR). The full text of the 200-page document is found here.

An introduction and commendations by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York are found here.

 Initial reaction from conservatives in the Church of England can be found here.

 No doubt there will be much commentary yet to come, especially from within the Church of England.

 The following analysis is restricted to those parts of the PR that most directly relate to the Anglican Communion in general and the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GFCA) in particular. Although the Report does have chapter divisions, I shall refer to it by section (§).
Analysis here

The Pilling Report – Bishop of Birkenhead's dissenting statement
...I believe Scripture and Christian tradition offer a clearer and better vision from God for the world in his gift of our sexuality as men and women and that this is sufficient for directing the Church at this critical time of major cultural change. In particular, I am not persuaded that the biblical witness on same sex sexual behaviour is unclear.     

 I believe the trajectory in the Report will undermine the discipleship and pastoral care of many faithful Christians and, by leading the Church into the kind of cultural captivity which much of the prophetic writings warn against, weaken our commitment to God's mission.

 I believe in the unity of Christ's Church and think the Report has not heeded the view of General Synod expressed in February 2007 that 'efforts to prevent the diversity of opinion about human sexuality creating further division and impaired fellowship within the Church of England and the Anglican Communion… would not be advanced by doing anything that could be perceived as the Church of England qualifying its commitment to the entirety of the relevant Lambeth Conference Resolutions (1978: 10; 1988: 64; 1998: 1.10)'...

The Pilling Report (pdf)

Anglican Mainstream: Pilling roundup (updated as new items appear) Great resource!


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