Thursday, February 13, 2014

Church of England Synod Report: Highlights and Extracts

By Andrew Symes
February 12th, 2014

Doxa Meeting: The implications of Pilling

The Evangelical Group of General Synod (EGGS) met on Monday evening after the first sessions of Synod, to air concerns about the current issues, and to pray. On Tuesday a lunchtime fringe meeting was hosted by Doxa, a broad conservative grouping, where at least 50 Synod members (including four Bishops) came to hear Professor Glynn Harrison and myself speak about the Pilling Report and its implications. Professor Harrison, a Psychiatrist and academic and long time Synod member, has written booklets and articles on the subject of homosexuality and the Christian faith. He focused on the forthcoming facilitated conversations, and pitfalls for the orthodox to avoid if they participate in them. For example, participation in the conversations may require agreement that certain fundamental issues are up for discussion, and it needs to be communicated in advance that this cannot be acceptable. Above all, Harrison warned that orthodox participants are likely to be underprepared and therefore vulnerable to the techniques of manipulation of which those advocating radical change are experts.

My short presentation followed on from the issues raised in my article last week. The Pilling Report follows a manifesto for church growth which assumes that changing core doctrines, or at least being relaxed and non-dogmatic about doctrine and especially sexual ethics, will make it easier to promote Christian faith to the general public.

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