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Akinola in combat

By Diogenes (articles) | Oct 18, 2005

Your Uncle Di makes no secret that he's a fan of Anglican Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria. Here's a link to his recent letter in response to the Primate of Ireland, Robin Eames. A good read.

Content apart, Akinola writes some of the most un-episcopal prose on the market, and for an author I can think of no higher compliment. His writing is almost entirely fat-free, almost all muscle. Try cutting out a clause without loss and you'll find you can't do it. C.S. Lewis once wrote that the secret of a good style is to decide exactly what you want to say and to say that just that. Akinola clearly knows what he's about.

I also admire the way he refuses to be patronized, refuses to have his head patted, refuses to be talked out of the Faith by that div school jargon that impresses -- or at least cows into submission -- less robust souls.

His challenge to his opponents is quite simple: I claim that you have abandoned the biblical faith, the 'faith delivered to the Saints.' You deny it. Yet you can point to no orthodox Christian in the history of the Church -- outside your own contemporary clique -- who did not abominate the opinions you profess. I can't join in your beliefs without cutting myself off from the Church that preceded us, without ceasing to be a Christian -- not because I'm narrow, but because the thing is a logical impossibility.

Akinola is a Protestant, but his reasoning owes more than he acknowledges to Catholic readings of Scripture and the development of doctrine. It seems that a split from Canterbury is inevitable. He might end up a new Wesley, using moral rigorism to rescue Anglicanism from itself, or he might end up on our side of the Tiber. Not for his good alone, I pray it's the latter.

Richard Cross holds a doctorate in psychology, who has taught at the university level, including at Franciscan University. He is currently an educational researcher and consultant in the field of psychology and related disciplines.
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