Promoting Christ-centred Biblical Ministry

Index of Articles


reprinted from the Winter 2008 edition of Essentials



In this issue of Essentials we have chosen to focus on reports from GAFCON. This movement of mission-minded orthodox Anglicans will continue to have massive implications not just for our Communion, but for the Church in our Asia-Pacific region and in Australia.


Essentials hopes to be a forum for disseminating information and opinion to help us keep doing those good works that evangelicals have always believed that the Lord has set aside for us to do. Among these are the works of evangelism, discipleship-building, social justice, mercy and political reform.


We will have reports from Lambeth in our next issue, with further reflection on the impact on our evangelical ministries. We could not manage to have both in the same issue, but are committed to hearing from evangelicals who attended both Lambeth and GAFCON.


While these international gatherings were literally thousands of miles away from our ministry contexts, their impact will be felt here sooner or later. The issues are present here already in the Australian Church: theological liberalism, wayward interpretation of Scripture, the commitment to freedom in matters of sexuality as a matter of justice, open universalism and panentheism.


I was deeply privileged to have attended GAFCON and the subsequent EFAC International Conference in Bristol. My impression of the Bristol conference was that it was, frankly, underwhelming by comparison. It was perhaps inevitable that GAFCON would overshadow it.


The GAFCON Primates' Council met in late August and have called for expressions of interest in joining a new Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans. These are Anglicans who assent to the Jerusalem Declaration and who will work together in a new fellowship to encourage and support each others' ministries. It seems to me that this is exactly the role that EFAC International has failed to play.


We Australians at Bristol kept being told by others that we were 'so organised'. We have a journal, and we have a Training Officer, and we have a National Conference. But it was all relative: Africa, a traditional EFAC stronghold, was not represented at Bristol.


Yet, here at home, EFAC Australia still has an important role in encouraging evangelicals within our national Church. GAFCON, for good or ill, comes with a bad taste in the mouth for many of our diocesan leaders. Many EFAC members will fully endorse GAFCON and its aims and methods, but others will be less eager and enthusiastic: some for theological reasons, others because the perceived politics of GAFCON will make Gospel ministry more difficult in their contexts.


Whichever position you find yourself drawn to, please recall EFAC's raison d'etre: it exists as a fellowship, a Gospel partnership, of evangelicals within the Anglican Communion. The issues at stake in the Communion are our issues, and EFAC Australia is uniquely placed to keep evangelicals working together to promote evangelical faith and ministry both here at home and abroad. Please pray for us as we conference together in Melbourne this September.




Some questions for discussion, stimulation and prayerful action!


What does GAFCON mean for my local church ministry?


What does it mean for my diocese?


What is my response to the Jerusalem Declaration and the EFAC Commitment? Would my vestry endorse them? Would my congregation?


What does it mean for me to be in fellowship with orthodox North American Anglicans who are being persecuted? How can I support them?


What does Gospel partnership with Anglicans in Africa, Asia and Latin America mean to me?



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