for those of you who have been praying and following the sad story of Wycliffe Hall, you will either be devastated or satisfied to hear the most recent news - depending on your theological bent.

I, you will not be surprised, was devastated to hear that Elaine Storkey, Andrew Goddard and Elisabeth Goddard have left Wycliffe Hall. I've written a post on this thread on fulcrum, which probably says all there is to say about what I think of the matter for the moment and so I will reproduce it here:

'and so now we have the news that Elaine, Andrew and Lis are leaving Wycliffe (see this newswatch item)

this is deeply sad, and in my humble opinion, deeply deeply disturbing. It is bad news for Wycliffe, no matter what anyone says about this being in the 'best interests of the college' as the council apparently decided.

I'm sorry, in the 'best interests of the college'? That in two years the college has gone from having an excellent academic record and evangelical reputation under Alistair McGrath and the two principals before him, to being refused the privilege of being able to shape young school leavers' minds! 'Best interests'? *raised eyebrows*

That the three tutors at Wycliffe Hall who happen (cough) to be on the Fulcrum leadership team have felt so badly treated that they have left under trying circumstances is simply barely disguised ousting, and it is time someone put a stop to this power wielding - both in this theological college and in churches up and down the country for whom this has been happening for the last decade in a theological warfare that has left people wounded and some fatally at that.

and no my rant is not over.....

what do we have to do? in my prayers I cry out to God - am I missing it, are you really the wrathful despot they say you are, am I just too proud and thick to get it? did you make a mistake God when you made me a woman? and made me the particularly passionate woman that you made me? what is going on here, why are you letting people be so hurt that they leave the church because those in charge are happy to use the Bible as a weapon to demolish, rather than a sword to bring healing and truth? how long Lord? how long?

Richard Turnbull describes open evangelicals ('liberal' evangelicals) as tantamount to the cancer infecting the 'true' evangelicals. is it any surprise to us that he is trying to cut it out? as open evangelicals we must ask ourselves serious questions.

1. are we compromising the gospel, as some accuse us of?
2. if we believe that this is not the case, how long can we walk alongside those we disagree with when they are actively running away from us?
3. if walking together with this type of conservative evangelicalism (as distinct from the CEism of John Stott type openness) is not possible, how do we move on from here?
4. why is it that there appears to be a cloak of secrecy and fear regarding the knowlege of 'bad behaviour', such that
Simon Butler's article is an anomaly in the evangelical world, even though I know of many stories of this type. but people are afraid. why are people not able to speak up? they fear that they will be declared paranoid or that they will be shunned.

there are of course many other questions to ask ourselves as open evangelicals, but that will do for now. where do we go from here? the absence of Elaine, Andrew and Lis will be a bereavement for Wycliffe and of course for them too. it is a public announcement that Richard Turbull's power is not to be messed with - conform or leave.'

answers on a postcard - or in the comments box, your choice.

1 comment:

Jonathan Mobey said...

The concerns that Oxford University have had over the PPHs clearly pre-dates Richard Turnbull's principalship, and the charge that they do not provide the full 'Oxford experience' for undergraduates can hardly be laid at his door: it is simply a reflection of the specialist (i.e. theological) nature of the PPHs, in contrast to the 'regular' colleges.