The media are already describing him as "unashamedly part of the evangelical tradition". That may be so. Frankly I don't really care very much. All I care is that he evangelize. So my own plea to him, in the words of the ASV translation of 2 Timothy 4:2, is "preach the word; be urgent in season, out of season."
Too often when it comes to senior appointments, an "evangelical background" means just that: evangelicalism in the background. And that is where evangelism stays as well, whilst the foreground is occupied by soft-socialism, managerialism or some other personal priority.
What the Church of England needs right now, though, is someone who is clear that there is a gospel, that the gospel is about Jesus, the Saviour and Lord, who died for our sins according to the Scriptures, who was raised from the dead, who is seated at the right hand of the Father and who is coming to be the Judge of the living and the dead.
And the Church needs someone clear on that because the people of England need a Church that will proclaim that message of salvation.
As far as I'm concerned, therefore, Welby could almost be from a Mormon Tabernacle Choir background, provided his foreground now is to seek 'the conversion of England' in the terms put forward in 1945:
“To evangelize is so to present Christ Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit, that men shall come to put their trust in God through Him, to accept Him as their Saviour, and serve Him as their King in the fellowship of His Church.”Of course, it could still turn out to be someone else, though all the indicators are otherwise. It doesn't matter, so long as they get us all to be gospel preachers and Bible-believers.
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