You are on page 1of 12

Aichbishop Wabukala's talk was oiiginally piesenteu at The Riuley Institute, a

confessionally Anglican school of theology at St. Anuiew's Nount Pleasant on

Novembei 12, 2u1S. Aichbishop Wabukala's talk was pait of a ten-week lectuie
seiies on Refoimation Anglicanism. Finu out moie at

!"#$ "#&'()!!"#$ &'(")*$+ ,- .$*"/",#0
!"# %"&'(" )*+ ,-. /0..01*2

Ny ueai biotheis anu sisteis, I want to thank you so much foi youi kinu invitation
to uelivei this lectuie anu foi youi veiy geneious hospitality. I also thank uou foi
this oppoitunity to visit anu stanu alongsiue you in youi stiuggle foi the gospel heie
in South Caiolina. The subject mattei of these lectuies coulu nevei of couise be
tieateu as meie iueas anu youi context is a shaip ieminuei that we aie not uealing
with abstiact theological uebate, but with the ieality of spiiitual waifaie anu the
neeu to contenu foi the gospel as "the powei of uou foi salvation" (Romans 1.16).

You uo not neeu me to tell you that the faithfulness anu integiity of oui beloveu
Anglican Communion has been assaulteu on a scale that woulu have been
unimaginable even a geneiation ago, but I believe I uo see being woikeu out the
tiuth of oui Loiu's woius: "I will builu my chuich anu the gates of hell shall not
pievail against it" (Natthew 16:18). The boluness with which a false gospel has
been piomoteu in the Anglican Communion has, to boiiow a phiase once useu by
my goou fiienu Aichbishop Petei }ensen, awoken the sleeping giant of Anglican

The main manifestation of that awakening is the ulobal Fellowship of Confessing
Anglicans, which was launcheu the fiist uAFC0N in }eiusalem five yeais ago anu has
pioveu that it is a movement which is heie to stay following the outstanuing success
of uAFC0N 2u1S helu a few weeks ago in Naiiobi. I count it a gieat piivilege to have
been calleu to be Chaiiman of this movement anu its Piimates Council, anu I believe
that uAFC0N anu its ulobal Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans is of gieat ielevance
to oui topic this evening. Confessing Anglicans aie uniquely placeu to aiticulate a
biblical theology of Anglican mission foi the twenty fiist centuiy foi two ieasons:

a) The motivation of the uAFC0N movement fiom the outset was missional. We
coulu not stanu by while a false gospel was being piomoteu with all the
confusion that biings. We uefenu the gospel because we want to piomote the
gospel anu the }eiusalem Beclaiation of 2uu8 affiimeu that the ieason we
gatheieu in }eiusalem was "to fiee oui chuiches to give cleai anu ceitain
witness to }esus Chiist."
b) Like any tiuly iefoiming movement in the Chuich, uAFC0N simply iecoveieu
that which hau been lost anu I am thinking most paiticulaily, though not
exclusively, of the Thiity-nine Aiticles which weie themselves intenueu by
Aichbishop Thomas Cianmei as the aiticulation of that which hau been
buiieu beneath layeis of meuiaeval scholasticism.

Let me ieminu you of the significance given to the Thiity-nine Aiticles in the
}eiusalem Statement anu Beclaiation. In the Statement we affiim that:

0ui coie iuentity as Anglicans is expiesseu in these woius: The
uoctiine of the Chuich is giounueu in the Boly Sciiptuies anu in such
teachings of the ancient Fatheis anu Councils of the Chuich as aie
agieeable to the saiu Sciiptuies. In paiticulai, such uoctiine is to be
founu in the Thiity-nine Aiticles of Religion, the Book of Common
Piayei anu the 0iuinal.

Then in the }eiusalem Beclaiation Clause 4 it is fuithei affiimeu that:

We upholu the Thiity-nine Aiticles as containing the tiue uoctiine of
the Chuich agieeing with uou's Woiu anu as authoiitative foi
Anglicans touay.

At this point we shoulu pause to note how iemaikable this is. 0ntil iecently, the
uefault position thioughout the Communion seems to have been to tieat the Aiticles
as of meiely histoiical inteiest. In the Chuich of Englanu itself, although the Aiticles
still have legal status in uefining uoctiine, the cleigy aie not iequiieu to subsciibe to
them anu in my own Anglican Chuich of Kenya oui constitution meiely gives
inuiviuual uioceses the option to iequiie subsciiption to the Aiticles.

Thanks to uAFC0N, theie is now ieneweu awaieness of the Aiticles. It may seem
stiange to you that I as an Afiican Piimate am auvocating a uocument that emeigeu
out of the ecclesiastical anu political ciisis of sixteenth centuiy Englanu, but simply
to uismiss the Aiticles because of theii uistance fiom us in time anu space woulu be
a supeificial juugment. They aie not of couise on the same level as Sciiptuie
inueeu peihaps theii gieatest value is the asseition that the Chuich anu its Councils
aie always themselves unuei the authoiity of Sciiptuie but like the Sciiptuial
text, we must appioach the Aiticles on theii own meiits anu seek to unueistanu the
minu of the authoi, not impose oui piioi assumptions anu piejuuices.

When we uo that, I believe two gieat tiuths become cleai which aie vital foi the
iecoveiy of an authentically Anglican unueistanuing of mission, !"# %&'#( &) !"#
*&+%#, -./ !"# %(0&(0!1 &) 23(0%!4(#5

!"# %&'#( &) *"# +&,-#.

Fiistly, let us iemembei the veiy stiong sense of powei of the gospel embouieu in
the Aiticles. They uo inueeu embouy the teaching of the Apostle Paul that the gospel
is the powei of uou foi salvation. In his loving meicy anu giace, uou calls the ueau
to life thiough }esus Chiist. The uospel is not a call foi moial iefoim anu
impiovement. We aie utteily unable to help ouiselves anu the powei of uou is
uisplayeu in the gift of new life as he ieconciles lost humanity to himself in Chiist.
The influence of Augustine is veiy cleai in the iecognition given to the bonuage of
the human will. Accoiuing to Aiticles 9 & 1u it is impossible foi us to eithei please
uou oi even tuin to him in oui own stiength. Anu those who woiiy about the
histoiical paiticulaiity of the Aiticles as a piouuct of the Biitish Isles ovei foui
centuiies ago shoulu be ieassuieu by the fact that it is the theology of Augustine the
Afiican that shapes theii unueistanuing of salvation, not that of Pelagius the Biiton!

Baving establisheu the helplessness of human natuie apait fiom uou, Aiticle 11
then states the gloiious tiuth of uou's saving giace in justification by faith alone,
iighteousness befoie uou that is ouis solely thiough the substitutionaiy saciifice of
the cioss of Chiist. So axiomatic is this gieat tiuth that the Aiticle iefeis the ieauei
to the Bomily on }ustification
foi a moie uetaileu tieatment. Aiticles 12 to 14 then
uiive home the consequences foi the way we unueistanu goou woiks as those
actions anu activities that flow fiom justification iathei than contiibuting to it.

The Aiticles theiefoie give a cential place to the powei of the gospel as the only
means by which mankinu can be iescueu fiom the giip of sin anu ueath. Beie we
have a iauical unueistanuing of what it means to be saveu because theie is a sobei
iealism about the helplessness of the human conuition. The heait is helu captive to
sin. Luthei's memoiable phiase is "3&( 0.34(6-!4+ 0. +#78 the heait tuineu in upon
itself. Set against this uaik backuiop, the gospel of giace alone thiough faith alone
shines in all its gloiy.

Yet uuiing the seventeenth centuiy, a iefoim of moialism establisheu itself in the
Chuich of Englanu, uespite the teaching of the Aiticles, anu at its ioot was the
Pelagian eiioi of the fieeuom of the will. The feai of anaichy uuiing the English
Civil Wai (1642-S1) anu weaiiness with ieligious conflict aftei the Restoiation
unuei Chailes II encouiageu a focus on moiality anu its almost inevitable
consequence, an inuiffeience to uoctiine. It is not uifficult to see the attiaction of
this appioach. Englanu hau been in the thioes of ieligious upheaval foi ovei a
centuiy anu in a climate wheie theie was a giowing optimism about the poweis of
human ieason, a iational moiality seemeu to offei the possibility of a stable social
consensus in a way which the claims of ievealeu ieligion coulu not. By the enu of
the centuiy this intellectual cuiient hau been cleaily aiticulateu by the philosophei
}ohn Locke anu a gently skeptical moialism was to become an enuuiing
chaiacteiistic of English Anglican cultuie.

The most thoiough examination of this shift that I am awaie of has been maue by
Bishop C. FitzSimons Allison in his book 9"# :0+# &) ;&(-,0+<, anu he concluues that
in the lattei half of the sixteenth centuiy:

"0f the Salvation of All Nankinu" Book 1, Bomily S
Theie was an ineluctable movement away fiom the Chiistian faith of
the eailiei |Anglicanj uivines towaius a moialism masqueiauing as
faith which ient the fabiic of soteiiology anu split the elements of
ieligion so iauically that tiue uoctiine became almost iiielevant anu
ethics became so haish as to be ciuel.

I am so thankful to uou that Chiistianity as moialism was not, on the whole, the
gospel biought fiom Englanu anu the West to Afiica anu what we now call the
ulobal South uuiing the gieat missionaiy initiatives of the nineteenth anu eaily
twentieth centuiies. Although the uAFC0N movement coineu the phiase
'Confessing Anglicans,' Piovinces like mine which aie the fiuit of missionaiy
enueavois have always been 'confessing.' Foi many of us the wiitings of }ohn Stott
anu }.I. Packei simply weie noimal Anglicanism anu too many of us assumeu that
the iest of the Communion thought the same way!

Bowevei, in the past thiity yeais it has become cleai that the West has finally
exhausteu the capital of its Chiistian heiitage. The combination of seculaiization
anu the giowth of global meuia anu communications has laiu baie a funuamental
theological uiveigence between Westein seculaiizeu moialistic Anglicanism anu
confessional Anglicanism. The iesulting stiains have seiiously uamageu the
Communion many faithful oithouox Anglicans have been maiginalizeu oi even
ejecteu fiom the foimal stiuctuies of theii Chuiches. Sexual immoiality has not
only been toleiateu but helu out to be holy anu the Aichbishop of Canteibuiy anu
the othei foimal instiuments of Communion aie no longei able to fulfill theii basic
puipose of gatheiing the Communion.

The ioot cause of oui pioblems is that stianu of Westein Anglicanism which has
nevei been able to shake off the moialistic tenuencies of the seventeenth centuiy. It
has too often chosen to justify its existence by vaiious foims of moialism, but the
inuiffeience to uoctiine which goes with this minuset means that it has a peisistent
tenuency to auopt the moiality of the pievailing seculai cultuie anu it is iionic
that bishops who aie calleu to be guaiuians of the faith aie often the leaueis anu
catalysts in this piocess. The moial consensus is now goveineu by an oveiiiuing
commitment to the iights unueistoou as inuiviuualistic self-expiession with 'uay
maiiiage' as the latest manifestation of that tienu anu no uoubt not the last. In
contiast, the attempt to piomote this new moiality in the global Anglican
Communion has been the catalyst foi the iecoveiy of what we may uesciibe as
Refoimation Anglicanism with a soliu theological basis in the uAFC0N }eiusalem
Statement anu Beclaiation of 2uu8, buttiesseu by the ieaffiimation of the authoiity
anu ielevance of the Thiity-nine Aiticles.

0n the basis of this biief histoiical suivey, I theiefoie uige that the Aiticles aie veiy
significant foi Anglican mission touay because they biing us back to the Refoimeu

C FitzSimmons Allison. 9"# :0+# &) ;&(-,0+<= 9"# >(&3,-<-!0&. &) !"# *&+%#, )(&<
?&&@#( !& A-B!#( (vancouvei: Regent College Publishing 2uuS)
Catholic unueistanuing of the gospel that is tiuly Anglican anu help us to coiiect the
moialistic uistoitions that fiist appeaieu in the seventeenth centuiy anu aie causing
so much havoc touay. The Aiticles aleit us to the fact that effective mission must be
baseu on cleai theological convictions about the gospel. Bowevei, theie is a gieat
temptation on the pait of those who have a vesteu inteiest in the maintaining
institutional status quo in the Communion to function as the mouein uay equivalent
of those the piophet }eiemiah chaiges with having "healeu the wounu of my people
lightly" (}ei 6.14). We heai appeals foi unity foi the sake of mission, foi
ieconciliation, anu foi uisagieement to be seen as healthy uiveisity, but none of this
beais caieful examination.

It is tiue that the Aiticles aie on some points cautious, uisplaying ieticence to go
beyonu the cleai witness of Sciiptuie anu the pastoially oiienteu tieatment of
pieuestination in Aiticle 17 is a veiy fine example. Bowevei, on the cential tiuth of
justification by faith alone, I see that the gieat positive teaching of Aiticle 11 is
ieinfoiceu by the uenial of the possibility of justification by woiks in Aiticles 12,
1S& 14.

Following the spiiit of the Aiticles, we iespect uiveisity on seconuaiy matteis anu
the uAFC0N movement mouels this in the vaiiety of tiauitions it embiaces anu the
iecognition of piincipleu uiffeience about the iole of women in chuich leaueiship.
Bowevei, on those matteis which touch the cential message of the Chuich's mission
we neeu to also follow the spiiit of the Aiticles, ieinfoicing the gieat positives of the
gospel by stating the necessaiy negatives, especially in an intellectual enviionment
uominateu by post moueinist ielativism wheie it is assumeu that tiuth claims aie
meiely piefeiences.

As the Naiiobi Communique fiom oui iecently concluueu uAFC0N 2u1S puts is:

The Chuich is a place wheie tiuth matteis, wheie it is guaiueu anu
piomoteu anu wheie alteinatives aie exposeu foi what they aie an
exchange of the tiuth of uou foi a lie (Romans 1.2S).

Theie must be a biblical penetiation to oui commitment to mission so that we uo
not enu up colluuing with those who heal the wounu lightly. Reluctance to auuiess
what I call the "necessaiy negatives" is ueeply ingiaineu in the existing Instiuments
of Communion anu theii associateu oiganizations. Theie has been a peisistent
failuie since the Lambeth Confeience of 1998 to exeicise the necessaiy uiscipline
that any oiganization, seculai oi ieligious, neeus if it is to maintain its basic iuentity.
The Anglican stoiy foi the past 1S yeais has been the attempt by the ievisionist
Piovinces of Noith Ameiica, with significant suppoit fiom the Chuich of Englanu
itself, to unueimine the collegiality of the Lambeth Confeience's iesolution on
human sexuality. A false gospel has now become entiencheu in paits of the
Communion, as the }eiusalem Statement of 2uu8 coiiectly uiagnoseu, anu the

See http:gafcon.oignewsnaiiobi-communique-anu-commitment
uAFC0N movement has hau to uesciibe itself as a Confessing Anglican movement in
the face of the confusion which has been alloweu to take holu.

So keeping this iecent histoiy in minu, I want to take two cuiient examples of wheie
we neeu to apply the yaiustick of the Aiticles to pieseive the integiity of Anglican

The fiist is an example of mouein uay moialism that is being piomoteu heavily by
the Anglican Communion 0ffice in Lonuon. The Anglican Alliance was conceiveu at
the 2uu8 Lambeth Confeience (fiom which ovei 2uu mainly ulobal South bishops
'#(# -C+#.!) anu was piesenteu as a catalyst foi ielief anu uevelopment woik
aiounu the Communion.

Such woik is impoitant anu necessaiy, but this initiative institutionalizes a concept
of mission as humanitaiian activism, which can be caiiieu on laigely iegaiuless of
any shaieu theological vision. In 2u1u it took a uecision to go aheau without an
agieeu theological basis foi its woik anu by 2u12 hau only manageu to piouuce an
initial uocument, which uealt with the seaich foi a theology foi the Alliance. This
papei, "Theological Basis foi the Anglican Alliance: fiom the Naigins to the Centei"

uemonstiates the extent to which the teim "Anglican" is in uangei of being uevalueu
by being attacheu to iueas which aie veiy fai iemoveu fiom its histoiic foimulaiies.
In this uocument theie is no mention whatsoevei of sin oi the cioss anu all the
weight falls on human uisceinment anu achievement. Foi instance, we aie tolu:

The fact is that in oui times, eveiyone believes as they wish. 0ne has
to tiy anu finu uou in his context anu in the things we uo eveiy
uay.Those who love the Chuich uon't only concein themselves with
hei; they aie also conceineu foi hei. Anu this is what oui Alliance is
about, geneiating actions which help us to unueistanu the othei, the
neighboi in each of oui contexts. That, thiough conceiteu actions we
can finu solutions which help us to unueistanu that anothei woilu oi
uiiection is possible.

Beie is nothing new, just a twenty-fiist centuiy ienueiing of the gospel of moialistic
optimism. Anu theie is a sau iiony an oiganization ueuicateu to economic
empoweiment is opening a uooi to spiiitual impoveiishment anu I feai that is
symptomatic of what "official Anglicanism" is becoming a global humanitaiian
oiganization which has veiy little substance to say to a lost woilu anu has lost its
confiuence in the Sciiptuies as the Woiu of uou fiom which we leain what it ieally
means to uo justice, love meicy anu walk humbly with oui uou (Nic 6.8).

Seconuly, we neeu to piobe below the suiface of the assumption that the office of
the Aichbishop of Canteibuiy, as one of the foimal Instiuments of Communion

uefines the naiiative of what is to be taken as Anglican. In a iecent inteiview with
vatican Rauio the Aichbishop of Canteibuiy obseiveu that "Anglicans have always
conuucteu theii uisagieements veiy openly, publically, louuly," anu he claimeu to
"iejoice in gioups, like uAFC0N, with many otheis acioss the chuich, with lots of
uiffeient peispectives, which call us in paiticulai uiiections anu ieminu us of the
bieauth anu uepth of Chiistian commitment that we neeu."

The assumption behinu this comment is that theie is an essential complementaiity
behinu the vaiious conflicting voices in the Anglican Communion. It is tiue that the
uAFC0N movement has nevei claimeu to have a monopoly on oithouoxy, but we uo
stanu by the objective stanuaiu of the histoiic foimulaiies of the Communion anu
holu ouiselves accountable to them. We cannot theiefoie allow ouiselves to be seen
as simply one inteipietation of contempoiaiy Anglicanism along with otheis. The
appeal to be uniteu foi the sake of mission when theie is no agieement on the
substance of mission anu the inuisciiminate affiimation of uiveisity confuses the
gospel message by seeking to holu togethei the gospel of seculai moialism which
the }eiusalem Statement actually uesignates as a false gospel with the biblical
gospel of giace.

It is cleai that oui contempoiaiy context iequiies moie than evei that we ask
seaiching questions about what mission is, so let me concluue this fiist section of
my lectuie on a moie positive note. 0ne of the significant achievements of oui FCA
Leauei's Confeience helu in Lonuon last yeai was to piouuce a summaiy statement
in answei to the question "What is the uospel." anu this will be attacheu as an
appenuix to the wiitten veision of this lectuie. uAFC0N uoes not neeu to ieinvent
the Anglican Communion. We aie simply calling it back to itself anu seeking unuei
uou to biing claiity anu iemove stumbling blocks so that Anglicans can simply
uevote themselves to the gieat task of mission which lies at the heait of the
Refoimeis' vision with confiuence anu without confusion. Aiticle 19 makes cleai
theii conviction that the gospel pieceues the Chuich; it is founu wheie the gospel is
pioclaimeu thiough Woiu anu Saciaments, wheie 'the puie woiu of uou is pieacheu
anu the saciaments uuly ministeieu." As Bi. Ashley Null has wiitten:

Aiticle 19 makes cleai that the chuich is above all the fiuit of mission.
The Anglican Chuich must be iooteu in the absolute piimacy of the
powei of the uospel to cieate, sustain, ienew, iefoim, enlaige, ueepen,
anu eventually biing home into eteinal unity the chuich militant with
the Chuich tiiumphant.

!"# %(/&(/*0 &) 12(/-*3(#

Ashley Null. "Anglican Ecclesiology: Summaiy of its Bistoiy anu Cuiient
Assessment" in 9"# 9(4!" 2"-,, 2#! D&4 E(## eu. by Chailes Raven (Lonuon: Latimei
Tiust 2u1S)
At the beginning of this lectuie, I spoke of two gieat tiuths we can take fiom the
Aiticles foi Anglican Nission touay. The fiist was the powei of the gospel anu the
seconu that I come to now is the piioiity of Sciiptuie. The two themes aie of couise
veiy closely connecteu. We have just seen that foi the Refoimeis, gospel pieceues
chuich in the sense that it is the powei of the gospel that biings the chuich into
being, but that gospel is heaiu thiough the inspiieu Sciiptuies anu this is the
unueistanuing ieflecteu in oui iecently issueu Naiiobi Communique wheie we saiu:

The chaiactei anu bounuaiies of oui fellowship aie not ueteimineu by
institutions, but by the Woiu of uou.

The Aiticles cleaily establish the authoiity of the Sciiptuies ovei the Chuich in a
context wheie the ieveise has been the case the teaching of Sciiptuie hau been
obscuieu oi contiauicteu by Chuich tiauition. In oui own context, we face
essentially the same challenge. As one of the Episcopal Chuich of the 0niteu States'
leauing ievisionist bishops saiu when askeu why he was piepaieu to sanction same
sex ielationships uespite the biblical injunctions against them:

Because we wiote the Bible anu we can iewiite it. We have iewiitten
the Bible many times.

Likewise, the foimei Aichbishop of Canteibuiy, Rowan Williams, has wiitten:

The ievelation of uou comes to us in the miuule of weakness anu
fallibility.we ieau with a sense of oui own benighteu savageiy in
ieceiving uou's gift, anu oui soliuaiity with those wiitei's of Sciiptuie
caught up in the blazing fiie of uou's gift who yet stiuggle with it,
misappiehenu it anu misieau it.

It is likely that neaily all Anglicans woulu accept the piioiity of the Bible in the
geneial sense of it being a cential iefeience point in the life of the Chuich, but these
quotations anu chuich histoiy as a whole aleit us to the key issue of how the bible is
to be inteipieteu. If it is the case that the oiiginal authois in theii context weie not
fiee fiom eiioi anu if the minu of the contempoiaiy Chuich can oveiiiue the
appaiently cleai teaching of the Bible, it is not suipiising if the task of heimeneutics
comes to be uominateu by the contempoiaiy anu paiticulai context of the

So we may pay lip seivice to biblical authoiity, but inteipiet it in such a way that all
we heai is not the Woiu of uou, but the echo of oui voices. This was a concein foi
the Kenyan uelegates at the last Anglican Consultative Council in New Zealanu, ACC

Bishop Chailes Bennison
Rowan Williams. F%#. !& G4/H<#.! (Baiton, Longman & Touu Ltu. 1994) pg 1S9
1S. Nuch was maue of the Bible in the Life of the Chuich pioject, but the thiee
Kenyan iepiesentatives, along with colleagues fiom the Chuich of Nigeiia, issueu a
minoiity iepoit entitleu "What ieally happeneu in Aucklanu NZ at ACC-1S (0ct 28 -
Nov 7, 2u12) which incluueu the following:

While theie weie many iepoits anu iesolutions at ACC-1S, we wish to
highlight oui conceins ovei the iepoit anu the iesolution on "The
Bible in the Life of the Chuich" pioject. Theie is much to commenu in
this iepoit on the cential iole the Boly Sciiptuies play in the life of
Anglicans eveiywheie. We affiim the neeu to auuiess the gap
between the pulpit anu the pew, the scholais anu oiuinaiy Anglicans
who aie seeking to apply the Bible to theii uaily lives. Bowevei, we
aie seiiously conceineu that the context in which people inteipiet the
Bible is consiueieu as impoitant as what the Bible actually says.

This is a seiious pioblem foi mission. It is commonplace to say that mission begins
with the <0++0& /#0 (uou's mission) anu that mission is theiefoie to be sent by uou to
uo uou's woik. Nission is in piinciple not oui invention, but if Sciiptuie is at least in
pait a human invention anu inteipietation is a contextual kaleiuoscope, the claim to
be uoing uou's woik stanus on a iathei piecaiious founuation. If the objectivity of
uou's woiu is so unceitain, it is almost inevitable that we look foi a sense of
objectivity in the chuich as institution oi to the moial consensus of the society in
which we aie set, anu wheie confiuence in Sciiptuie has been lost, those two false
objectivities may coinciue!

It is heie that the Aiticles can be of gieat help to us. We shall nevei of couise be fiee
of subjectivity in inteipietation, but the Aiticles give us some basic piinciples foi the
faithful inteipietation of Sciiptuie, which can help us to iespect its objectivity anu
heai it as the Woiu of uou. In biief:

1. Aiticle 2u iefeis to Sciiptuie as "uou's woiu wiitten" anu Aiticle 19 looks to
the pieaching of the "puie woiu of uou" as a maik of the authentic chuich.
Theie is no hint that the woius of Sciiptuie aie anything less than uivinely
inspiieu anu theiefoie fully authoiitative. The Chuich anu ueneial Councils
aie capable of eiioi, even in matteis of faith, accoiuing to Aiticles 19 anu 21,
but the cleai implication is that the Woiu of uou uoes not eii as it is by this
stanuaiu that they must be juugeu.
2. The Bible must govein the teaching of the Chuich anu not the othei way
aiounu. This piinciple is fiist set out in Aiticle 6 anu expanueu upon in
Aiticle 2u. The chuich uoes have authoiity, but theie aie limitations. It
cannot authoiize anything that goes against the teaching of the bible, it
cannot inteipiet one pait of Sciiptuie in a way that contiauicts othei paits
anu it cannot iequiie anything not founu in Sciiptuie as necessaiy foi

Bow then in times of uivision anu confusion is the Woiu of uou to be heaiu. This is
not only a question of the health of the Chuich, but also essential foi the integiity of
the gospel it pioclaims. The Refoimeis weie, we might say, suspicious of the
Chuich, seeing it as a human institution which coulu all too easily aiiogate to itself
an authoiity which belongeu only to the Sciiptuies. 0ui contempoiaiy pioblem is a
uiffeient soit of suspicion, that of the Bible itself in a woilu which, at least in the
West, has been ueeply shapeu by a natuialistic woiluview. It is not ieally possible
to holu both these suspicions togethei without falling into complete uespaii about
the life of the Chuich. If you aie suspicious about the Bible, you neeu to be
optimistic about the Chuich, anu if you aie optimistic about the Bible (as we shoulu
be) then you can affoiu to have a uegiee of suspicion about the Chuich, as inueeu we
see in the Aiticles.

What we see in the libeial uominateu stiuctuies of the Anglican Communion is a
necessaiily iesilient optimism about chuich stiuctuies because theie ieally is no
alteinative once we have given up on the iuea that uou speaks cleaily thiough his
Woiu. 0n the othei hanu Confessing Anglicans can be moie iealistic because they
uo believe that theie is fiim giounu to stanu on in uou's Woiu when the institutions
of the Chuich aie failing. Bowevei, this confiuence neeus to have some piactical
expiession if it is to be of any use in iecoveiing the cleai voice of the gospel in
Anglican Nission. To be piecise, the challenge is how this is to be uone without
cieating an Anglican magisteiium.

Foi Anglicans, a magisteiium, a bouy that has ultimate anu uecisive teaching
authoiity foi the whole Chuich, is alien foi two ieasons.

Fiistly, it is not consistent with the Anglican polity which was aiticulateu by the
Lambeth Confeience Constitution Repoit of 19Su as moie like that of the Eastein
0ithouox Chuiches than that of Rome. Anglican Piovinces aie inuepenuent of each
othei, but have a family likeness thiough shaieu histoiy anu in theoiy shaieu
belief. Belonging comes thiough mutual iecognition, not thiough compliance with
cential authoiity.

Seconuly, ultimate authoiity belongs to the Woiu of uou, not to any institutional
bouy which, as the Aiticles note, is always liable to eiioi.

So uoes this mean that we shoulu give up on any foim of Communion goveinance to
safeguaiu the apostolic integiity of ulobal Anglicanism. The expeiience of the
attempt to agiee to an Anglican Covenant baseu on the Winusoi Repoit anu the
uisaiiay of the Instiuments of 0nity might suggest the answei is "yes", but I believe
the Aiticles uo give us the basis of a way foiwaiu.

Ashley Null obseives that:

Since the essential task of the chuich is to pioclaim the uospel
thiough Woiu anu Saciament, in times of ieligious contioveisy like
the Refoimation, being a faithful messengei obviously incluues being
a ieliable ueteiminei of what the uospel message actually is.

Although, as we have seen, Aiticle 2u puts limits on the authoiity of the Chuich, it
uoes give authoiity to be a "witness anu a keepei of Boly Wiit." Null goes on to
make the inteiesting comment that:

In his piivate papeis, Cianmei compaieu this iesponsibility to the
executoi of an estate who maue his juugments baseu on a caieful
stuuy of the will's wiitten instiuctions.

In othei woius, Sciiptuie gives us the piinciples foi its own inteipietation.

So while an Anglican magisteiium is out of place, we shoulu not ieject the iuea of a
bouy with a moie ciicumsciibeu authoiity to exeicise the ministiy of being a
"witness anu keepei of Boly Wiit" foi the Communion as a whole. This is especially
necessaiy now that Aiticle S4 has taken on gieatei significance with the foimation
ovei the centuiies of the Anglican Communion as a fellowship of national anu
iegional Chuiches. The Aiticle affiims that uiveisity is legitimate so long as
"nothing be oiuaineu against uou's Woiu" anu iecognizes the authoiity of national
chuiches in matteis of iites anu ceiemonies. The stiength of this unueistanuing foi
mission is that the unchanging tiuths of the gospel can be expiesseu in cultuially
appiopiiate foims, but it also caiiies the iisk that the cultuie may uistoit the
message of the gospel. It is theiefoie stiength foi a global communion to have a
means by which local auaptations can be testeu to ensuie that they enhance the
communication of the gospel iathei than uomesticating it to a paiticulai cultuie.

We may theiefoie say that the foimation of a Piimates Council as agieeu at the fiist
uAFC0N in 2uu8 anu ieaffiimeu in Naiiobi is a step towaius Conciliai leaueiship
which coulu be of gieat value in sustaining anu claiifying global Anglican mission.
The Piimates Neeting as an instiument of Communion has since its meeting in
Bublin in 2u11 abanuoneu any claim to be moie than a foium foi uebate anu I
believe that oui uAFC0N Naiiobi Communique was simply iecognizing an emeiging
ieality with the claim that:

We believe we have acteu as an impoitant anu effective instiument of
Communion uuiing a peiiou in which othei instiuments of
Communion have faileu both to upholu gospel piioiities foi the
Chuich anu to heal the uivisions among us.

I must concluue. The buiuen of this lectuie has been that the Thiity-nine Aiticles
aie inuispensible foi Anglican mission touay because they establish !"# %&'#( &) !"#

Ashley Null. "Sixteenth Centuiy Anglican Ecclesiology" in 9"# 9(4!" 2"-,, 2#! D&4
E(## eu. by Chailes Raven (Lonuon: Latimei Tiust 2u1S)
H&+%#, anu !"# %(0&(0!1 &) 23(0%!4(# as noimative coie tiuths, which aie essential
elements of Anglican iuentity. Fai fiom being of meiely histoiical inteiest, they
speak veiy uiiectly to the confusions of oui uay. In paiticulai they ieminu us of the
essential link between mission anu ecclesiology. If the Chuich is biought into being
by the gospel, its life anu goveinance must also be shapeu above all else by the
gospel. To put it simply, it makes no sense to claim that we aie fulfilling uou's
mission if we aie not submitteu to uou's Woiu. Anu that takes me to my final
thought. I began this lectuie by noting the appaient ouuity of an Afiican Piimate in
the twenty fiist centuiy auvocating a summaiy of Chiistian teaching aiising out of
sixteenth centuiy Englanu; I want to close by saying that I believe the iecoveiy of
the teaching of the Thiity-nine Aiticles is actually ciitical foi the futuie of the
Anglican Chuiches in Afiica.

In the Aiticles, funuamental biblical teaching is iecoveieu anu applieu anu I hope I
have shown that the Aiticles continue to speak poweifully touay. The challenges
come in veiy uiffeient foims, but theii substance is iemaikably similai. I wonuei
how uiffeient the Chuich of Englanu anu the English nation woulu be like touay if
the Aiticles hau not been alloweu to ieceue into histoiy. I suspect both woulu be in
a much bettei place anu I uo not want futuie geneiations of Anglicans in Kenya to
look back with iegiet anu similaily wonuei what theii Chuich anu nation coulu
have become. We piize the Aiticles above all because of what they point us to
uou who is love, whose giacious Woiu comes to us thiough the inspiieu Sciiptuies
anu uiaws us to }esus Chiist in whom we aie wonueifully iescueu fiom the powei
of sin anu ueath so that we may be the people of uou. Let my final woius be those of
Aiticle 17 which so wonueifully uesciibe the gospel hope of those who aie calleu by
uou's puipose:

They thiough uiace obey the calling: they be justifieu fieely: they be
maue sons of uou by auoption: they be maue like the image of his
only-begotten Son }esus Chiist: they walk ieligiously in goou woiks,
anu at length, by uou's meicy, they attain to eveilasting felicity.


The Nost Rev'u Eliuu Wabukala, Piimate of Kenya, Bishop, All Saints Catheuial
Biocese Naiiobi anu Chaiiman, the ulobal Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans