One of my comments to an open evangelical's blog was rejected because it mentioned a real person, and whether open evangelical boundaries would be drawn against that person. I understand the sensitivities here, but in the end all this jockeying for position comes down to people - actual people - who are either included or excluded. The Fulcrum Statement on Interventionist Anglican Mission in England makes the demand:
...the concern to continue the pressure for maintaining the Anglican Communion's conservative view on sexual ethics within the Church of England.
The real people I know about, in the Church of England, are completely and totally opposed to this position.
Given that such people exist, in holy orders or not, and with Church jobs or not, all the 'indabas' in the world are not going to create some result that is both the Fulcrum affirmation and the opposite, inclusive, view. One of them has to give way.
However, the AMiE strategy is as much against the so-called "liberal evangelicals" as against liberals proper, given how they were described by the Principal of Wycliffe College in his now infamous Reform lecture in 2006. In it Richard Turnbull stated that:
And thirdly, I want to note the challenge that liberalism brings to us. We are all aware - in this room you don't need me to say or to explain to you the challenge that liberalism brings to the Church at large. I need [?] also want to warn against the nature of liberalism within our own midst. What I mean by that is this whole idea of what it means to be evangelical being broadened so that it encompasses everybody and everything. If the liberals seek to capture the theological colleges in order to exercise strategic influence, the first step will be to encourage liberal evangelicals to capture the evangelical colleges.
In other words, to reverse this around as to what he actually meant, the first step is to take on the liberal evangelicals and then be able to tackle the liberals proper.
The point about AMiE and the whole GAFCON industry is precisely to have alternative episcopal oversight so as not to have the institutional compromises of the Fulcrum kind.
My own view about the future is this: the Church of England under present management will bend hell to get the Anglican Communion Covenant through. Whatever it's overall effect in broader Anglicanism, its effect on the Church of England must be to freeze the institution because the Church of England provides the Archbishop, on of the Instruments of Unity. So there will be no inclusion or indeed anything that compromises this provision. The Liberals have one chance now to bust the Covenant, and if they do, that it is somehow unworkable, they will save the Church of England to at least allow it to evolve sometime in the future (and they might just get rid of this dreadful Archbishop Rowan Williams - again, it comes down to real people).
If the Covenant is passed, then really the need for a sectarian inside approach for evangelicals will be just silly, or rather completely entryist. They will want to be the lead evangelicals regardless, rather as Militant wanted to set the agenda for Labour in the 1980s.
But we know what happened. They didn't have a Rowan Williams who could duck and weave and force through some kind of appeasement to the entryists at a higher level, but a Neil Kinnock who in the end realised he had to pull the plant up and dig out the roots. Doing that meant the SDP became unnecessary in and of itself: later, of course, Labour forgot what it was at all and drifted off in the opposite direction, to the benefit of the left of centre Liberal Democrats until - oh dear, they got into bed with the Tories.
I remember at the time trying to go our with a socialist woman, an ex-Roman Catholic (and boy did that show through - all the stronger rejection and yet it was a wopping shadow over her). She referred to entryists and the like, by which she turned it around and meant the Gang of Four. But she was wrong because the Gang of Four were leaving anyway. That was the point.
I'm like one of the Gang of Four. I've left. But there are the Denis Healeys and Callaghans left behind, and even those who are equivalent of the ones who were to the right of them. The Internet person I'm referring to basically blogs religious humanist arguments and plenty of psychology. Yes the correct doctrinal headline buttons are pressed every so often. Even her now husband when interviewing her for a tiny temporary radio station asked about any references to the Bible - and he is an Affirming Liberal. So what about the Affirming Liberals and their equivalent, all of whom will be inclusivists?
My tradition is that of Richard Baxter. I mention him because even some of those who left the Church of England in 1662 did so despite being regarded as 'sober' - not all Puritans were raving extremists. The chap whose money pays for my house and, pretty much, the church, was strict but not a raving extremist. Nevertheless a point is arriving again where something has to give. Either the liberals ought to go, or the extremists of the evangelicals.
Usually what happens is that the broad people and the liberals hang on, as well as the compromisers. The extreme or principled or whatever usually design their way out. The Puritans did; the Methodists did. AMiE looks like a design for a way out, in that at some point entryism results in the bodies involved being removed (or you get compromised and compromised - Methodists and Puritans were both entryists in their day). I'm just suggesting that if the Covenant goes through, then Rowan Williams won't have just betrayed his friend (twice), but he will have shafted every person who agreed with his original objection to Lambeth 1998 1:10 and who saw him as intellectual ballast and a thinker of reasonable religion.