Theological Education

The following is a portion of the Provincial Eastertide Statement by The Most Revd Gregory Venables, Primate of the Province of the Southern Cone commenting on the recent Anglican PrimatesÂ’ meeting in Ireland.

“You may also know that I continue to chair the Primates Commission for Theological Education for the Anglican Communion (TEAC). That has proven to be a very important group. The current crisis that assaults the Communion would not have risen if we had adequate theological education.”

I find it quite funny, if not sad, to hear Venables make this kind of statement. I do not wish to denigrate the education of the clergy of his province, but the implication of this statement is that Canadian, American, and other Northern Hemisphere provinces are sorely lacking in theological education. In many provinces, priests do not have to undergo any formal theological education.
If only we had adequate theological education Gene Robinson would not be bishop, homosexuals would not be welcome in Anglican churches, and a strict and narrow fundamentalist interpretation of Scripture would be enforced as Anglican dogma. In other words, we would not be Anglican as Anglicanism has historically been understood and practiced, but just another fundamentalist denomination.
What he is talking about, of course, is not education but indoctrination.
Click below for his entire statement –

An Easter Message from ++Greg Southern Cone
Thursday March 24th 2005, 8:22 am
Provincial Eastertide Statement by The Most Revd Gregory Venables
President Bishop of the Southern Cone of America
Dear Friends in Christ,
Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ this Holy Week. How wonderful to know that He is risen and alive today! What a great privilege to know our sins are forgiven and that we have a message of love and hope for this troubled world.
It is my joy to greet you, the members of my diocese and the Province of the Southern
Cone of America this Eastertide to update you on some international issues and share with you some thoughts about our common future.
First of all, I know you are interested in the outcome of the Primates Meeting in Northern Ireland. You will have seen some news in the secular press, but I want to give you my thoughts as well.
It was a meeting of historic proportions for several reasons.
1. The Primates of the Communion have made it abundantly clear that the
teaching of the Anglican Communion is the teaching to which we are
committed here in the Southern Cone. It is the faith of the Bible and
the faith of history. We have no reason to be ashamed of what we believe
and practice. Not only that, but we can be encouraged that
overwhelmingly, the majority of Anglicans around the world believe, practice, and
teach the same things.
2. Despite the very gracious and diplomatic language, The Episcopal
Church in the USA (ECUSA) and the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) have
been asked to withdraw from the councils of the church and decide
whether or not they wish to return to Anglican (and Biblical) teaching,
or choose to “walk separately” from the Anglican Communion.
Naturally, the leaders in the US and Canada are trying to minimize this
because they apparently thought that they could introduce their
same-sex agenda to the Communion with little or no cost. However, they
vastly underestimated the strength of the commitment to Scripture in
the churches of the Global South and of many in the North.
3. The meeting in Ireland was also important because it brought the
Primates of the Communion into a more significant role of leadership.
Though it is subtle, it is a change of direction in the polity
(organization) of the Anglican Communion. The Primates expressed no
interest in having a heavy handed hierarchical structure, but agreed
that they should take on the enhanced responsibilities that the Lambeth
Conference has been asking for more than 15 years.
4. We also agreed that those who believe and practice historic,
Biblical faith must be protected. Those of us who have ongoing
relationships protecting faithful clergy and congregations will
continue to do so until there is a faithful provincial structure that
conforms to agreed norms of Anglican theology. In order to give
the new structure that is being put into place a chance, we agreed
not to take on new initiatives. It is our great hope that the Panel
of Reference that is being designed to insure protection of those
faithful parishes will fully and effectively carry out their responsibilities.
You may also know that I continue to chair the Primates Commission for Theological Education for the Anglican Communion (TEAC). That has proven to be a very important group. The current crisis that assaults the Communion would not have risen if we had adequate theological education.
It is clear that the commitments of the Southern Cone to Biblical faith and life are having a significant impact on the Anglican Communion. I know that this involves a measure of sacrifice. I have had to travel to a number of meetings outside the province. There will be other gatherings as well that are crucial to the healing of the Anglican Communion that I will have to attend as well. I am certain of two things, though. First, the problems that assault the Communion must be addressed. If they are not dealt with, things will only get worse. Secondly, I know that the ministry of Christ and His redemptive work will go on in this province. That is a great joy and source of immense satisfaction.
For that reason I encourage you to follow the Apostle PaulÂ’s injunction to Timothy:
“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.” 2 Timoteo 4 v2
You are a wonderful people to serve, and I thank God for the opportunity to do so.
May God Richly Bless you,

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