An Apology, and clarification

I’m a hothead.  I have been as far back as I can remember.  My wife and friends can surely attest to this.  Perhaps it is my fake red-dyed hair, perhaps it’s genes; whatever it is, I’ve been known to fall headlong into being an ass.

Michael Spencer, the famous “internetmonk,” recently wrote a piece about the new Anglican Church in North America.  Somehow, what started on my part as a mere clarification on matters of fact turned into a rather confusing exchange that can only happen on the comment thread of a blog.  The kind where it gets exceeding difficult to properly preface and explain and there is a two-way confusion as to the tone of the other people.  By the end I was left exasterbated, feeling that I had both not communicated clearly and not been understood generously.

In a delicious piece of irony, just as I was feeling ‘ok’ about it, I gave my twitter feed one last check before I went to work the night shift.  Low and behold I was mentioned there and I left angry.

In the end it doesn’t really matter.  As I made a fool of myself in public I might as well do it again.

Michael, for being uncharitable, rude, arrogant, and confusing I apologize.  In the end I have massive amounts of respect for you and am concious of the fact that you have been preaching probably about as long as I’ve been alive.  It’s not the first time I’ve been stupid, and it won’t be the last.

*     *     *     *     *
Still, I would like to clarify a few points if you are still interested
–  I never once said nor implied that the honorable Dr. J.I. Packer is a schismatic.  What I said was that, if we have indeed been given the “ministry of reconciliation” then it will always be a part of our calling, even if we have been wronged.  I don’t defend what happened to him.
–  I never said TEC has got its act together.  What I meant was that there are still a large majority of parish priests who are orthodox.  TEC has not apostocized.
–  The first line prefacing the first Anglican Prayer book says this:  “There was never any thing by the wit of man so well devised, or so sure established, which in continuance of time hath not been corrupted” This was the line I had in mind when I suggested that one of the reasons that I do not “fully” support the ACNA is because, though it be now full of evangelistic zeal and faithful adherence to Scripture, if it stands the test of time, it too will need reforming.  We none of us can long avoid the consequences of sin in our midst, which is why searching for a/the pure church is an empty quest.  I never called them schismatics.
–  Referencing N. T. Wright was not meant to be analagous to the situation with Packer.  I know he was not served papers.  What I meant to imply was merely that some Evangelicals have stayed despite the ‘liberalism,’ Wright being one of the chief among them.  But, it is not a goood example I concede
–  Once again, I’m sorry for being an ass


  1. Hi, Tony. I was puffing on some Escudo and reading the blog, and I actually went to the imonk site and read the comment thread. I even posted my own comment. But honestly, if this is the worse thing you ever have to apologize for, your sainthood is a sure thing! Your comments were right on. And not a bit confusing.

    Packer is a schismatic who has behaved shamefully and permanently injured his reputation. I suppose he can claim old age or advancing dementia, but he really did conspire in secret to split congregations and deter reconciliation. Though I live only an hour from J.I. Packer, I have never had the pleasure of meeting him or hearing him speak other than on the web. I have had the misfortune of his followers forming a secret schismatic group and plotting to take legal control of my parish buildings….

    As an “orthodox” Episcopal layman involved in planting new missions, I don’t have the energy to worry about the schismatics. I hope that someday we will all be reconciled to one another and to God. But I’m too busy helping the Episcopal Church grow and evangelize to worry about the people who are upset with it. Arguing about women in ministry and gay priests is not the work of the Church. Our work is to love one another and to make disciples of Jesus in the world. And that is all that most Episcopalians are worried about.

    I hope you recharge your batteries and post again soon. As for you being a hothead, you’ll have to do better than this…

    God bless you and your blogmates.


    1. Scott,

      Thanks for the encouragement! I still wonder if there will be a place for me in Anglicanism, ultimately I’ll go with the Communion at large, but it is great to hear from people doing Gospel work. Peace


  2. I posted this comment at the iMonk discussion thread but then saw a link there to this blogpost of yours and thought you would be more likely to read this comment here.


    You wrote at iMonk (25 Jun 2009 at 10:18 pm):

    Keep in mind that thought Packer left, Wright stayed. Two powerful Evangelicals. Who’s right and who’s wrong? Perhaps you can enlighten me as it seems you understand the issue intimately


    Well, whatever you think about the rights and wrongs of JI Packer’s decision (and I’m
    not going to comment on that here), I would humbly suggest that you are wrong to draw a comparison here between Wright in the Church of England and Packer and in the Anglican Church of Canada for the simple reason that the C of E is not the ACC (or indeed that the Diocese of New Westminster is not the rest of the ACC). In other words, Packer in Canada and Wright in England are responding to two very different local contexts and you can only judge a decision to “stay” or “leave” in relation to the provincial church (or diocese thereof). “The Anglican Communion” doesn’t exist in a vacuum but necessarily exists in relation to its local parts. Packer’s decision to “leave” and Wright’s decision “to stay” are not just decisions to “leave” or “stay” in “the Anglican Communion” but rather are decisions to “leave” or “stay” in their respective local Anglican churches (the ACC and the C of E). They are two fundamentally different decisions. As a communicant member of the Church of England I can tell you that the thought of leaving the C of E has never crossed my mind for the simple reason that the C of E has not (yet?) done anything that would make me question whether I should stay or leave; but the hypothetical situation of what would I do if I were in TEC or ACC certainly has for the simple reason that TEC and ACC *have* done things which would make me ask these questions.


    1. Apodeictic,

      If you would not in this post that you are commenting on I indeed say that the comparison between Wright and Packer was not as analogous as I was going for. So, I agree. thank you though for checking out the site


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