On Friday, blogger Christopher Johnson predicted that today's release of the Lambeth Commission on Communion's Windsor Report would be one of the five biggest moments in Anglican Christianity "since Henry VIII first noticed Anne Boleyn."
Conservatives, bolstered by news reports, believed the commission would recommend strong censure of the Episcopal Church USA for consecrating a bishop involved in a homosexual relationship, and would strengthen efforts to reject liberal leadership in the church.
As late as Saturday, The Times of London reported a "scoop" that the commission would create a "star chamber" to rule when Anglican provinces (such as the Episcopal Church USA) have violated church teachings, and would allow conservative parishes in the U.S. to leave their dioceses with their property.
To quote The Daily Show's Jon Stewart, "Eh, not so much."
The 49-page Windsor Report (93 pages with appendices, index, and introductory material) starts with lengthy treatments of the nature of communion (as in unity, not Eucharist), Anglican principles and history, and the Anglican Communion's "instruments of unity"that is, its global structure.
There's some very good stuff in these sections, particularly the first, where church unity is described as a means to an end (the proclamation of the gospel), and the church's call to "radical holiness." The first few paragraphs are saturated with Scripture (leading some to speculate that they were written by biblical scholar N.T. Wright, one of the orthodox evangelical members of the commission).
After that, Scripture gets quieter and quieter, though its importance does get several nods. "It is by reading Scripture too little, not by reading it too much, that we have allowed ourselves to ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more