The battle lines are drawn in what some believe will be the final showdown between liberals and conservatives in the Anglican Church. If the two sides can’t agree, the cracks which began to show over the ordination of women may well become an unbridgeable chasm and the church will split. The catalyst is the row over the consecration of a gay bishop in America, but Jonathan Clatworthy argues that it goes deeper than that, to the very roots of Anglicanism itself.
Different theories developed at different stages to produce the mix of ideas we have today. The Reformation, the Enlightenment, the nineteenth century revivals and fundamentalism all produced their own ideas about the authority of the Bible, reason, the Church and individual experience.
Clatworthy believes that classical Anglican theology is by definition liberal. It affirms tradition but is open to new insights and humble enough to accept that our knowledge can never be complete or certain. The Church should be inclusive, welcoming, and open to debate, allowing differences of opinion to continue until consensus is reached. Conservative Christians see it differently; this book explains why the two views may well be irreconcilable.