Anglican Samizdat

March 9, 2009

Does the Anglican Church of Canada actually know what the Gospel is?

Filed under: Anglican Church of Canada — David Jenkins @ 8:16 pm

If it does, it has done a remarkable job of concealing it from prying eyes.

One of the commentators to this post pointed out, with some justice, that when Fred Hiltz was asked what he understands by the Gospel,  he responded by giving examples of activities that proclaim the Gospel – but he never got around to saying what he thinks the Gospel is.

Here is the clip again:

Fred’s own explanation of why he didn’t give a straight answer seems to be that he didn’t have enough time to think about it (so much for 1 Peter 3:15) before giving an answer.

I have my own theories:

1.       He doesn’t know what the Gospel is. For an Anglican Primate in charge of an entire Province, this seems unlikely, although not impossible.

2.       He does know, but is ashamed to explain it. This is a distinct possibility: to explain the gospel in simple terms would expose Hiltz as a closet fundy and would provoke a great chorus of weeping and gnashing of teeth.

3.       He really does think the Gospel is so complicated that it can’t be explained in 6 minutes. A liberal such as Hiltz would be a man of the people, able to communicate at the pedestrian level of the vulgar masses, would he not? He could not be a member of the species of liberal elitist that populates academia, closeted at stratospheric heights in Orthanc-like towers, peering down at the miserable ants scurrying around below, could he? Surely not.

4.       He  believes the gospel is a mish-mash of social policies and knows that admitting it would cause an uproar. This is my favourite.

5.       He is so muddled, that he thinks that the gospel is actually doing stuff to disseminate something no-one either understands or is able to articulate. This is my second favourite

Eager to discover the truth behind Fred’s embarrassed evasion of a simple question, I diligently scoured the Anglican Church of Canada’s website looking for a coherent explanation of what it believes the Gospel to be. Nothing.

The closest I came was at the Vision 2019 page, where To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom is touted as the First Mark of Mission. Surely the answer will be here, I thought. It isn’t; instead, we find anecdotes of the spreading of this mysterious and unidentified Gospel, not an explanation of what it is.

If anyone does find the pearl of great price buried somewhere in the ACoC’s website, please enlighten me.


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