where is james jones in all of this?

as a younger christian I have come across james jones before. always with a level of respect and warmth for his missional and evangelical convictions.

and so I cannot understand what has happened to create such a miscarriage of justice (in my opinion) at wycliffe hall. james jones is the chair of the council of that institution and as such has the last word on the 'requirement to leave' of elaine, andrew and lis.

what has happened?

here is an interesting thing that I came across - it is the preface to a book written by james jones together with andrew (goddard):

This book is a treble conversation. It is a conversation between two Christians, between a bishop and a lecturer in ethics. It is a correspondence between Andrew and me, begun when I responded to an invitation to give the 2001 London Lectures on Moral Leadership. Shortly after the lecture series I went on study leave back to the theological college where I trained and whose Council I now chair. Perchance I found that the room I was given was on the same corridor and exactly opposite Andrew's!

The conversation between us is within the evangelical tradition that has nurtured us both. It is the evangelical tradition of Cranmer and Wilberforce and not of the parodied transatlantic tele-evangelists! It is a noble tradition within the European Church that has shaped and continues to shape the church in England. Evangelicalism at its best is stereophonic, listening to both the Word and the world. These pages and our dialogue are definitely set within that second conversation.

As our conversation reveals, we are not without disagreement! Indeed, reading Andrew's erudite responses to my lectures made me feel again something of that furrowed brow when you get your essays back after being marked by your tutor. At least Andrew has spared me a publishing of a grade. That is left to the reader!

Andrew's responses stimulated and encouraged me. I resisted the temptation to answer his responses to each chapter: bishops are too often perceived as wanting to have the last word. What we both would like is for this, the third conversation, to continue with you the reader.

Evangelicalism is often seen today by its critics as a closed system that forecloses dialogue and argument. The renaissance of the evangelical tradition within the Church of England and the Anglican Communion and the flourishing of community churches and ethnic churches with a distinct evangelical and charismatic emphasis presents evangelicals and the church at large with a fresh challenge to understand and learn from one another. We hope that this book will help evangelicals move beyond our ghettos and enable those of other traditions to take seriously the evangelical contribution to church and society.

The Rt Revd James Jones
Bishop of Liverpool
July 2002
'The Moral Leader: For the Church and the World' by James Jones with Andrew Goddard (IVP, 2002)

well, indeed, evangelicalism is too often seen as a closed system which gags and silences its questioners and, I suspect, this new development within evangelicalism (because, make no mistake, the behaviour at wycliffe, is a microcosm of a paradigm shift in the whole CofE) will seriously undermine our ability to move beyond our ghetto and enable the openness that james jones desires.

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