…as if we should do things his way
[Sorry, evangelical worship song joke there.]
The Spring Harvest / Word Alive split was not all about Steve Chalke and the penal substitution issue, writes Bishop Pete Broadbent on the Ship of Fools forum website. Here is his post in full:
It’s quite hard to produce an understated response to UCCF’s propaganda. The Word Alive Committee had 3 partners; UCCF, Keswick, and Spring Harvest – though it was always SH’s event. There had been a 4th partner – Proclamation Trust – but they walked some time ago. There were also a number of independent members on the committee, one of whom was Wallace Benn, who chaired the committee.
It’s been an extraordinarily difficult relationship to sustain over a number of years. Keswick have always been easy to work with. UCCF and the independent members have been a constant source of arguments and disagreements – over the charismatic movement (Word Alive has been an event where the charismatic has been deliberately played down); over the nature of the Kingdom of God, where some of the partners were unhappy with anything other than a “spritual”/”Johannine” understanding of the KOG; over the understanding of the atonement; over the precise meaning of exclusivism/particularism in relation to interfaith issues; over whether the only way to do bible teaching is to preach through a book sequentially; over speakers who’ve wanted to produce their own “sound” notes, rather than use the Study Guide we produce and ask people to teach from. We’re talking several years of painful walking on eggshells to try to keep these guys on board and produce an event that would serve the breadth of evanglicalism.
In the end, we couldn’t sustain it, because it was too much like hard work. We had a formula for ending it well. We could have said much more about why, from the Spring Harvest side of fairly normal evangelicalism, it wasn’t working. We didn’t. We tried to end graciously. But they didn’t want to. The result has been gut-spilling all over the place. So be it. I’ve told them that if they continue to go public on their propaganda as to why it’s all about Steve, I’ll continue to go public in refutation of what they’re saying. But if they belt up, so will we.
All quite illuminating. UCCF really aren’t coming out of this looking great at the moment.
According to Tom (in the comments section below) UCCF are meeting to discuss their response to events on Monday. Bishop Pete (in the same comments section) notes that Spring harvest have not been invited to this meeting, and he hopes they will ‘cease the press releases and shut up‘. I think really they all need to sit down with a glass of fortified fruit juice and have a chat about it and hopefully sort the whole mess out.
To hear what the more conservative people are saying about these goings-on you could follow the links at this post. But only if you have been blessed with a bit too much spare time.
If you have only slightly too much free time you could see the preceding posts on the subject on my blog:
- Word Alive is no more
- More on the Spring Harvest / Word Alive kerfuffle
- Unusual Word Alive sightings: Women speakers and Steve Chalke books