Sunday, April 30, 2006

Archbishop Peter Akinola among Time's top 100 most influential world figures

Time magazine has selected my favorite Anglican cleric, Archbishop Peter Jasper Akinola, Primate of all Nigeria, as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Megachurch pastor, and author of "The Purpose Driven Life," Rick Warren lays down some very thick demagoguery in his description of the Primate (emphasis mine):
Akinola personifies the epochal change in the Christian church, namely that the leadership, influence, growth and center of gravity in Christianity is shifting from the northern hemisphere to the southern. New African, Asian and Latin American church leaders like Akinola, 61, are bright, biblical, courageous and willing to point out the inconsistencies, weaknesses and theological drift in Western churches.

... Akinola has the strength of a lion, useful in confronting Third World fundamentalism and First World relativism. He has been criticized for recent remarks of frustration that some felt exacerbated Muslim-Christian clashes in his country. But Christians are routinely attacked in parts of Nigeria, and his anger was no more characteristic than Nelson Mandela's apartheid-era statement that "sooner or later this violence is going to spread to whites." I believe he, like Mandela, is a man of peace and his leadership is a model for Christians around the world.
According to Peter Boyer's New Yorker article two weeks ago, Warren was present at the 2005 meeting in Pittsburgh at which Akinola called on conservative Episcopalian to "s#!& or get off the pot" (my paraphrase; pardon the French), and pick the Network or the Episcopal Church. Warren made a similar call, saying "[w]hat’s more important is your faith, not your facilities ... The church is people, not the steeple. They might get the building, but you get the blessing."

I wonder if he knows about the famous legislation (pdf) that Akinola has endorsed? If not, he is directed here.

(photo lifted from Time article on Akinola)

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