Albert Mohler posted an essay on his blog a couple of days ago in which he argues that the middle can no longer exist because there is no middle ground left:
“In his rather amazing address to the Anglican Communion last week, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams made this point clear.
On the issue of openly homosexual clergy and bishops, he said, one side paints the issue as a matter of justice and cannot imagine being in a church that does not welcome homosexuals into all ranks of clergy and leadership. The other side sees the issue as inescapably theological and cannot imagine remaining in a church that would defy Scripture, tradition, and communion in order to justify ordaining, electing, and consecrating openly homosexual persons in ministerial leadership.
The middle ‘is losing members’ because the middle has disappeared. When these two positions meet, there is not room for a principled middle ground. This is a titanic clash of worldviews and theological understandings.
There is a simple and irredicible question here. The church will allow openly homosexual bishops or it will not.”
I wonder if the reason that I hear people list Albert Mohler and +Robert Duncan claiming one thing – “the middle has collapsed” and people like +Peter Lee and others’ talking about how the “center held” is because we are actually talking about two different things. The “no middle ground” folks mean “one of two choices must be made” as a political act. Whereas others mean the “Center has spoken” as a political body. One group is speaking about an “action” and the other about a “coalition.” If you view the statements with this lens, then at least they aren’t mutually contradictory.
I would disagree with the idea though that there are only two possible choices. I think a third was made at Convention (are at least attempted to be made) which is essentially that of the Windsor Commission – “Maybe.” By “maybe” I mean, we choose not to choose definitively yet. Instead we will try to slow down and consider carefully, even though there are those who would have us choose definitively one way or the other…
(But then, what else would you expect an Ent to say. Grin.)
Read the rest here: The Evaporation of the Middle — A Sign of the Times