In the fifties and sixties of the last century John Stott and Jim Packer with others clearly defined the identity of evangelical Anglicans and biblically faithful Anglicanism. This process enabled evangelical Anglicans to have a space in the midst of a church which they saw as expressing principled comprehensiveness. None of the various elements that made up the Anglican church seriously denied the fundamentals of the faith.
Stott and Packer and their colleagues defined the space for evangelical Anglicans and this was taken up throughout the Anglican Communion to the extent that it existed then. It was still the Church of England writ large and English evangelicals were able to define what evangelical Anglicanism was and the space it occupied throughout the Communion. The vehicles they used were organisations like Eclectics, the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion, the Church of England Evangelical Council, and their own writings and preaching.
This all came to full expression in the Keele Congress of 1967. What was important about that conference was not a decision for evangelicals to seek for places in the formal leadership of the Church of England: Stott and Packer never aspired to that. What was important about the conference was that it gave evangelical Anglicans
in the UK but also around the world the confidence that they could be Anglican and evangelical. They enabled evangelical Anglicans to resist the pressures to opt out of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. Read the rest of this entry »