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By David W. Virtue, DD
August 9, 2021

The book, Peter Akinola, Who Blinks First? is shaking up the Anglican communion and now awaits global pushback, recriminations and spin. Repercussions will surely follow.

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams cannot let it go unanswered. It paints him as devious, duplicitous, scheming and not the least bit orthodox on morality. It views him as engaging in deliberate acts of conspiracy, complicity and collusion, wily, deceitful, and thoroughly sold out to western pan Anglican pansexuality; while trying to placate and pacify African Anglicans. At the end, it shows that Williams was more comfortable with American Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori than with his nemesis, Peter Akinola.

While Williams played his cards close to the chest, he thought he held all the aces. He thought the Nigerian Primate would blink and accept the inevitability of an Anglican universe that would accept practicing homosexuals, pursue homosexual marriage and normalize the abnormal.

He was wrong. Dead wrong. Williams underestimated the biblical tenacity of an African archbishop steeped in reform biblical thinking, and theological absolutes. Akinola is an archbishop who will not lie down for western arrogant bishops who believe they own the communion. African Anglicans are steeped in primitive forms of biblical fundamentalism, and not willing to be enlightened and informed by "superior" forms of western Anglican life.

But as it turned out, Archbishop Peter Akinola would yield to no one, he would stand his ground, take no prisoners and force Williams to declare his hand.

It worked. In the end, Williams blinked. He settled for the west and abandoned the Global South.

Now the truth is out. In the book, Williams is revealed for what he truly is, and if he is to salvage his reputation, he must act quickly.

You can be sure Williams will engineer a rebuttal. He will go to people like former ACC General Secretary Kenneth Kearon, his close personal friend Welsh bishop Geoffrey Cameron of Asaph and Toronto theologian Ephraim Radnor.

But will it work?

The book Who blinks First? is irrefutable evidence of Williams' total failure to contain the arrogance of western sexually revisionist bishops, buy him time and hope he could win them over. This strategy failed. All the time he was in lockstep with the West's pansexual drive.

From one conference and venue to the next across the globe, Williams ducked and weaved, using his considerable negotiating skills and brilliant mind. Finally, he offered an unenforceable Covenant in an effort to appease the Global South. Akinola saw through it and said so.

From the book: "Akinola was not known for giving idle threats. He was unflinching when it concerned principled decisions. On the other hand, almost legendary was the survivalist trait of Rowan Williams. Until now, in all matters concerning the Communion crisis, he had succeeded in having his way. He had firmly held the apparatus governing the global church in his hands. Among the two, who would back down at the end of the day? Would it be Williams or was it going to be Akinola?"

The deeper truth is that at no time was the west ever going to repent of its theological positions because Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold had totally sold out, consecrating the homoerotic V. Gene Robinson because of Griswold's own conflicted sexuality. When Jefferts Schori emerged on the scene, it was a slam dunk for revisionists.

Jefferts Schori's hatred of all things orthodox soon became apparent both in doctrine and Scripture. She took a no-holds barred approach to parishes leaving her embrace. There would be no compromise. As she told one judge, she would sooner sell fleeing parishes for saloons than allow another Anglican jurisdiction into her progressive spider web.

In retirement, Williams tried to put a spin on the mess he left behind by telling a gathering of Episcopalians in 2019 that the Anglican Communion is "fractured" and we are now an Anglican family. "The Anglican 'family' is less about problem-solving and more about creating opportunities for mutual gratitude, connection and understanding," Williams said.

What he didn't say was that he was the prime cause of its fracture and there is no "mutual gratitude". The net has not been mended, the breach has not been repaired and a realignment now sees two competing Anglican communions (Lambeth vs GAFCON) facing off with each other. Okoh also blasted the covenant proposal saying it was "doomed to fail from the start", as "two cannot walk together unless they have agreed".

The truth is Williams let it all happen. When Akinola's successor came along in the person of Nicholas Okoh, it was the Nigerian primate who roared at Williams as he departed the leadership of the Anglican communion; "You have left behind a Communion in tatters, with highly polarized, bitterly factionalized, issues of revisionist interpretation of the Holy Scriptures, and human sexuality as stumbling blocks to oneness."

The new Nigerian archbishop noted that when Dr. Williams took over the leadership of the Anglican Communion in 2002, it was a happy family. He left it with decisions and actions that are stumbling blocks to oneness, evangelism and mission all around the Anglican world. Okoh went so far as to say that it was like being "crucified under Pontius Pilate".... these are words that will ring in Williams' ears all the way to his grave and to the Last Judgement.


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