Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Mystery (2): How the Christians Lived

5:1  For Christians are not distinguished from the rest of mankind either in locality or in speech or in customs.
5:2  For they dwell not somewhere in cities of their own, neither do they use some different language, nor practice an extraordinary kind of life.
5:3  Nor again do they possess any invention discovered by any intelligence or study of ingenious men, nor are they masters of any human dogma as some are.
5:4  But while they dwell in cities of Greeks and barbarians as the lot of each is cast, and follow the native customs in dress and food and the other arrangements of life, yet the constitution of their own citizenship, which they set forth, is marvelousand confessedly contradicts expectation.
5:5  They dwell in their own countries, but only as sojourners; they bear their share in all things as citizens, and they endure all hardships as strangers.  Every foreign country is a fatherland to them, and every fatherland is foreign.
5:6  They marry like all other men and they beget children; but they do not cast away their offspring.
5:7  They have their meals in common, but not their wives.
5:8  They find themselves in the flesh, and yet they live not after the flesh.
5:9  Their existence is on earth, but their citizenship is in heaven.
5:10  They obey the established laws, and they surpass the laws in their own lives.
5:11  They love all men, and they are persecuted by all.
5:12  They are ignored, and yet they are condemned.  They are put to death, and yet they are endued with life.
5:13  They are in beggary, and yet they make many rich. They are in want of all things, and yet they abound in all things.
5:14  They are dishonoured, and yet they are glorified in their dishonour. They are evil spoken of, and yet they are vindicated.
5:15  They are reviled, and they bless; they are insulted, and they respect.
5:16  Doing good they are punished as evil-doers; being punished they rejoice, as if they were thereby quickened by life.
5:17  War is waged against them as aliens by the Jews, and persecution is carried on against them by the Greeks, and yet those that hate them cannot tell the reason of their hostility.

The Letter of Mathetes to Diognetus (2nd century)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Mystery: The “D” Word (part 3)

Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,   “‘The Lord said to my Lord,  “Sit at my right hand,     until I put your enemies under your feet”’? (Matthew 22:41-44)

At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. (Hebrews 2:8)

I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus… (Revelation 1:9)

Today, according to the lectionary, commemorates the conversion of St. Paul.  And it was Paul who was committed with the mystery that he declared to the Gentiles: “That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel…”

That the Gentiles would be blessed of God in an age to come was not a mystery in the Old Testament.  Paul, who had seen the Light on the Damascus road, saw himself as a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy of a “light to the Gentiles.”  

I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles” (Acts 26:22-23)

The mystery hidden from ages past, kept from the Gentiles, was that through the gospel they would be joined together with the believing Jewish remnant in one body, the Body of Christ.  Those who had been strangers to the commonwealth and covenants of Israel were now brought near in Christ.  They are now coheirs of His kingdom.  Let us briefly retrace the progression:

God made a promise regarding the “seed of the woman” to Adam.

God preserved a remnant of the human race through Noah.

God promised to bless the nations through Abraham.

God established David’s house and throne forever.

Through the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel, God promised to make a new covenant with Israel and Judah.

Christ, the risen Davidic king, is mediator of that new covenant.

In Christ, Gentile believers have been brought in, before the establishment of a visible, earthly kingdom, to an equal standing with the believing Jewish remnant.  That is the mystery.

There are other marvelous truths that Paul develops in his epistles.  The Church is the Body of Christ, who fills all in all, and of which He is the Head.  It is the Bride of Christ – or will be presented to Him as such in the eschaton.  It is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  It is the house of God.  It will be saved from the wrath to come.  Its citizenship is in heaven, where its life is hidden in God, from whence it awaits its Savior.  When He returns the adopted sons of God (including the daughters) will be revealed to the world.

Will be revealed.  For now, the kingdom of God is a mystery.  At present the kingdom is a field containing a hidden treasure.  It is a field of wheat and tares growing together, the latter to be bundled up and thrown into the fire.  It is a net of good and bad fish drawn up together, with the bad ones to be tossed aside.  It is a dinner party thrown by a nobleman whose servants have gone out in the streets and grabbed anybody and everybody to come in – though some do not have the appropriate attire and will get thrown out.  The wheat, the good fish, and the buried treasure all represent the true heirs of the kingdom.

But for now, as the mysterious writer to the Hebrews noted, we do not see everything subjected to the King.  I used to quip that if the kingdom has already come it is certainly a sorry one.  But that was based on faulty notion that the kingdom of God had been postponed until the Second Coming.  I had embraced the traditional dispensational idea that the present age, between the first and second comings, is a “parenthesis” or “intercalation,” a time during which God has suspended His dealings with Israel while calling out a “Gentile bride” for His Son.

That idea is only partially correct.  The present age is not a parenthesis but the next stage in the expansion of God’s kingdom.  While Christ will have a bride, it is not exclusively Gentile.  There is only one olive tree in view in Paul’s analogy in Romans 11.  Yet, the Church is a distinct people of God.  The “wild branches” were grafted in, not as an extension of Israel of old (or as a replacement of Israel) but in fulfillment of the promises to the patriarchs.  The new covenant is the springboard for the progression of the kingdom beyond Israel to form a new people who will inherit the kingdom.

In the present age the King rules in a mysterious manner.  Whereas Israel under the Mosaic economy was openly and outwardly blessed for obedience to the law, the heirs of kingdom today suffer, often wrongly and for no apparent reason.  As the King Himself was rejected and cast out by the religious leaders of Israel, so the heirs of the kingdom are being rejected by this present world. 

During Jesus’ earthly ministry to Israel the kingdom of God in its power was present in His person.  Now, the kingdom of God in its grace and peace is experienced in the Church.  The Church – the eschatological people of Christ – is the vanguard of the eschatological kingdom in the present dark world.  Note that the Church is not the kingdom (a sphere of rule that for now includes tares and bad fish) but is the representative reality of it.  The Church is where people taste the power and presence of God.  It is a testimony to Christ, to His kingdom, and against the powers of this world.  It is that nation Jesus foretold that would bring forth the fruits of the kingdom.

As the world grows darker, the kingdom miraculously and mysteriously expands.  We can look around the Western world and observe steady moral decline.  The apogee of Christendom in the West crested many centuries ago.  Here, “evil men and seducers wax worse.”  On the other hand, the gospel is spreading like wildfire in the global South – which brings us to one of Craig Blaising’s most salient points: that the Church is, among other things, a multicultural society.   As the gospel reaches into different areas and cultures the expression of the one true faith varies.  Unity does not mean uniformity.  It should not be surprising to find Messianic Jewish congregations in our own backyard; nor should it surprise us that the children of the powerful East African revival worship the Lord in a style and manner quite foreign to us in the West.  To say that theirs or ours is the “better” way is to err. 

It is not necessary that Traditions and Ceremonies be in all places one, or utterly like; for at all times they have been divers, and may be changed according to the diversity of countries, times, and men's manners, so that nothing be ordained against God's Word. (Article XXXIV)

What is utterly alike in all places where the gospel has prevailed is the persistence of biblical truth, such as is upheld in East Africa and other places.  God’s Word does not return to Him void.  Christ, the exalted son of David in heaven and a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek, is the mediator of better promises.

Ours is to remain faithful in the tribulation and kingdom and endurance that are in Jesus.  That the Church has done so down these two millennia is a great part of the mystery.  In the age to come the power and majesty of the Lord in His saints and the greatness of His kingdom will be further revealed.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Christ the Inaugurated King: The “D” Word (part 2)

One area in which traditional dispensationalism has proven extremely helpful is in the discussion of theodicy.  Norman Geisler in particular has done especially insightful work in showing how the different stewardships God commits to mankind result in a vindication of the necessity of His justice.  This is instructive to humanity, who throughout the endless ages to come will never have cause to wonder whether God was right in judging sin.

In traditional dispensational theology, the motif of stewardship/failure/judgment/redemption represented the cardinal purpose of the dispensations.  Progressive dispensationalism builds beyond this, seeing the development and expansion of the kingdom of God in a fallen world as the overarching theme of Scripture.  When Adam was placed in the garden he was charged with having dominion as God’s viceroy in the created world.  Adam’s failure produced the proto-evangel of Genesis 3:15.  After man revealed his lost condition over the post-Adamic generations God saved Noah out of the flood and put the power of the sword in his hand to bring justice and order back into the world (Genesis 9:5-6).   With the call of Abraham, God’s regal purposes begin to take more shape.  Through Abraham God would bless all the nations of the earth.  A particular line through Isaac and Jacob would be separated, however, for a special purpose.  With the Mosaic economy, the children of Israel (Jacob) were separated from the other nations of the world as a theocracy, a testimony to the presence and power of the one true God, YHWH.  Whereas God’s promises to Adam, Moses and Abraham had been what Craig Blaising would call grant promises (i.e. unconditional), the manifestation of God’s kingdom in the Israelite theocracy demanded strict punishment for sin and the threat of forfeited blessings for disobedience. 

The Israelite nation rejected God’s theocratic rule by clamoring for a king.  What Israel might have intended for their satisfaction God turned into a greater good.  He rejected Saul (a prototype of bad government, among other things) and chose for himself David, a man after his own heart.  Another grant promise appears in the Davidic covenant (2 Samuel 7).  It is the messianic nature of this covenant that Blaising seizes upon in developing progressive dispensationalism.  The Davidic king now becomes the mediator of blessings to Israel.  As the king goes, so goes the nation.  If he walks in God’s statutes the nation is blessed.  So it was when both David and Solomon adhered to God’s commandments.  At its height the splendor of Solomon’s reign took the breath away from the Queen of Sheba.  But where Solomon failed (chiefly in taking pagan wives and concubines) the seeds were sown for the nation’s demise. 

The Davidic covenant is an everlasting covenant that ultimately prevails; but it is conditional in regard to the conduct of David’s offspring.  The wickedness of the subsequent kings of Israel and Judah was such that God removed His presence (shekinah) from Jerusalem and handed over earthly authority to the Gentiles, beginning with Babylon. 

Later we find the Jews, back in Palestine, under Roman occupation when Jesus comes into their midst.  The kingdom of God, which had passed into the hands of the Gentiles during the judgment and exile of Judah, is now at hand in the person of Jesus.  Like John the Baptist (the forerunner, “Elijah”), Jesus calls the lost sheep of the house of Israel to repentance.  He performs miracles that clearly testify to the presence and power of the kingdom of God.  His preaching is like no other that came before.   But the “blind guides” (the leaders of the people) lead a rejection of His teaching and His person.  In His final week, at the Temple, Jesus warns them,

“Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits…  (Matt. 21:43)[i]

So history, as one sage put it, does indeed rhyme.  As the shekinah was taken from Jerusalem before, so Jesus will leave the nation desolate. 

But before His atoning death as substitute for sin on the cross, Jesus gathers His own and institutes the Lord’s Supper, which includes “the cup, the new covenant in my blood.”  There is no reason to doubt that this new covenant is the same prophesied by Jeremiah and Ezekial.  After the resurrection Jesus breathes the Holy Spirit on His disciples.  After 40 days of appearances and counsels, the disciples ask, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”  (Act 1:6).  Intriguingly, Jesus does not dismiss their question as erroneous, but states simply that the times and the season have been fixed by the Father’s authority. 

Ten days after the ascension the glorified Lord Jesus Christ pours out the Holy Spirit on His disciples in a dramatic way, from the right hand of the majesty on high.  For Blaising, this underscores that Christ as the resurrected Davidic king has mediated the blessings of the new covenant to “another nation,” i.e. the Church that, in its embryonic state, consisted of a tiny remnant of Jews.  Traditional dispensationalists reject the idea that Christ has now assumed the Davidic throne, since He now sits with His Father in heaven and not on an earthly throne in Jerusalem – something they see as awaiting fulfillment in the millennial reign.  But Blaising demonstrates that the royal enthronement Psalms foreshadowed the union of God the King of the universe with the king of Israel.  In the person of Jesus the Messiah, the “king of the Jews,” that union is complete.   For Blaising it is crucial that Paul bookends his magnum opus, the letter to the Romans, with these words:

“the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh…” (Rom. 1:2-3)


“in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written… “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope” (Rom. 15:9, 12)
“Behold, one greater than Solomon is here.

For progressive dispensationalists, the “mystery that was kept secret for long ages” (Rom. 16:25) was not that the Gentiles would be brought into special favor with God, but rather the timing, form and scope the blessing would take (more on this to come).  In the book Progressive Dispensationalism, Blaising in one place suggests that the current age or dispensation could be called the dispensation of the mystery of the kingdom,” referring to the kingdom parables in Matthew 13.  According to those parables, the scope of the kingdom has expanded beyond Israel to the whole world.  At the end of this age, the Son of Man will come to gather out the wicked for destruction and bring the sons of the kingdom to their inheritance.

The death, burial, resurrection, ascension and glorification of the Davidic king has inaugurated the blessings of the new covenant and given birth to the Church.  Borrowing from George E. Ladd, progressive dispensationalists would say that the present dispensation is the “already/not yet” of the eschatological kingdom.  But what exactly does this mean with regard Israel and the Church?  Is the Church simply an extension of the faithful of Israel?  Does the nation of Israel as a political entity have no future?

[i] Ironically, this passage was in this morning’s gospel reading for  January 23, in the 1662 lectionary.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The “D” Word (part 1)

Sometime in 1998 I said to myself, “When Christ does not return around the turn of the century, we’ll see dispensationalism and premillenialism wane.”

I think I was correct.  Many of my friends in Baptist and other evangelical circles have quietly moved in a generally “Reformed” direction.  Prominent teachers and preachers identifying as “Reformed” are in ascendance.  Premillenialism, where it is still held, is moving from the dispensational to the covenantal variety.  In many parts the premillenial view is being surrendered.  Interest in the “rapture” (1 Thesslanonians 4:17) has been boxed up and tossed in many a believer’s attic.  

That’s why I find articles such as this ( so perversely fascinating.  Do most American evangelicals really desire to see the U.S. and Israel provoke a conflagration that hastens Armageddon?  Judging from conversations I have with other evangelicals it seems to me that most of them, far from having apocalyptic expectations, are given to a worldview that sees the federal government’s first duty as enforcing “family values,” and its second as destroying the radical Islamic threat.  The Duggars, for example, have been compassing the country promoting the presidential candidacy of Rick Santorum, a Catholic who makes no bones about legislating morality and bombing Iranians. 

More disturbing than the doomsday pining of the John Hagee’s and Pat Robertson’s of pop Christendom is the sense of nationalistic duty and devotion among evangelicals, as confronted in this piece ( recently shared on Joel Martin’s blog.  There is a genuine conflation of American church and state going on that has unnerved me for some time.  I see it as a terribly ominous development.  Afghans and Iraqis, it seems, don’t deserve the gospel.  “Kill them all,” said an acquaintance who is a deacon at a local Baptist church.  “All of them combined are not worth my daughter’s life.”

So much for 2 Timothy 1:7.

But nothing could have been further from the convictions of the “classical” dispensationalists, John Nelson Darby[i] and C.I. Scofield.  Darby had experienced with much disgust the corruption of the etablished church in Ireland, while Scofield, a veteran of the defeated Confederate Army, lost all hope in human institutions.  The old dispensationalists had no political program whatsoever.  They were quietists and pietists par excellence.  Their relatively peaceful, ascetic theology was built on a post-Englightenment dualism that saw a clear distinction in God’s program between heavenly and earthly spheres.  The 69th week of Daniel’s prophecy had ended with the rejection, death, burial and resurrection of the Messiah.  Having received Christ on high to sit at the Father’s right hand, God had suspended the “prophetic clock,” and the seventieth and final week would not commence until He had called to Himself a heavenly bride – the Church – a mystery hidden from past ages.  The Church constitutes God's “heavenly” people and Israel, with whom He would resume his dealings and bring to national repentance during the “final week” (the Great Tribulation), His “earthly” people.  Then comes the millenium, with Christ and the glorified Church reigning above the earth while the resurrected David and renewed Israel reign below.

The second generation of dispensationalists found flaws in this scheme.  From Scripture it seemed clear enough the Church would have an earthly role in the age to come.   This was confirmed by the Apostolic Fathers, who pointed to an earthly millenial reign with Christ for all the elect.  The problem for these “revised” dispensationalists (e.g. Lewis Sperry Chafer, John Walvoord, Charles Ryrie, J. Dwight Pentecost) was the new covenant.  If there was to remain a sharp distinction between the Church and Israel (not in terms of salvation, since Christ’s death provides this for all, but in identity and function), how does one get around the new covenant?  Darby said the church has no relation to it, that it is strictly for the houses of Israel and Judah for a future day, and that New Testament references to it are analogical.  Scofield said the Church enjoys the “spiritual” blessings of the new covenant (forgiveness of sins, the Spirit), while these as well as “physical” blessings will be given to redeemed and restored Israel in the future.

The revisers realized that an intersection of Israel and the Church within the new covenant could undermine the sine qua non of traditional dispensational interpretation.  Chafer and (initially) Ryrie tried to defend the notion of two new covenants, one for Israel and the other for the Church, a position that proved simply untenable.  Others (including Ryrie) wisely gave up this distinction, but labored to maintain the strict distinction between the two peoples. 

By the late 1980’s a new form of dispensationalism was actively engaged with Reformed, covenant theology.  It is a small group, led from the beginning by Craig Blaising, Darrell Bock, and Robert Saucy.  Blaising coined the term “progressive dispensationalism” – progressive not in a liberal, political sense, but as denoting the progressive nature of God’s salvific plan.  As it turns out, Anglican theologian W.H. Griffith Thomas beat Blaising to the punch about a century earlier.  According to John D. Hannah,

In organizing and interpreting the Scriptures, Thomas adopted a dispensational framework that included three dispensations of the Divine revelation to man, involving a progressive economy of grace.

Like Darrell Bock, Thomas was a dispensationalist with a small “d.”  The system proved an extremely helpful way to interpret Scripture and understand the course of biblical history; but not a dogma worth emphasizing to the point of breaking fellowship with other believers.  

[i] Dispensational interpretations of Scripture long pre-date Darby, beginning with St. Irenaeus (c. 175).  Others include St. Augustine, Grotius, Cocceius, Witsius, Poiret, Isaac Watts, Fletcher, and Fairbanks before the 19th century.  What Darby introduced was an ecclesiology that sharply delineated the New Testament church from Israel.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Second Washington Statement on AMiA

In 2007, under the direction of [former Archbishop] Kolini, Kevin Donlon revised the canons for the Province of the Church of Rwanda. These revised canons were rushed through an approval process in the Rwandan House of Bishops in early 2008 without careful study. Many changes were made by Donlon, including adopting Roman Catholic sacramental theology (thus deviating from the 39 Articles of Religion) and giving [Chuck] Murphy almost unlimited power in AMiA as Primatial Vicar. These changes, made without any prior input from clergy and the parishes, have been a major source of contention in AMiA ever since.

Last month, [current Archbishop] Rwaje stated that he and the Rwandan House of Bishops would welcome any efforts to revise the Rwandan canons in accordance with the Articles of Religion. Several other Rwandan bishops have also affirmed this commitment.

Read it all here.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Darrell Bock on Tradition

Another aspect of how we approach the [Bible] is the way tradition – or often better, our sub-tradition – functions for our understanding.  Interpretation is never really an individual affair, since we all are called to function in the context of community.  Each of us enters community by joining different bodies, which themselves are affiliated with distinct theological traditions.  Such traditions frame how we ask questions of a text.  Tradition in this sense is valuable, because it helps provide perspective and a grid for understanding.  Serving as a guide, and often reflecting the collective judgment of many believers over time or within a locale, a tradition gives identity and can provide an additional basis for unity.  Tradition can also operate as a potential check against individual idiosyncrasies in interpretation, but it should not be an all-ruling tyrant.
There is a limit to the value and authority of tradition.  A tradition is not to be equated with the authority of Scripture.  It is not canon.  This means that it too should be subject to Scripture.  Some aspects of tradition are really matters of corporate preference, rather than something required by the Bible.  And being comfortable in our community often includes matters of personal preference and taste.
…Tradition, though it impacts us significantly, should only be authoritative (versus merely preferred) when it reflects Scripture.
Darrell L. Bock, “Interpreting the Bible – How We Read Texts” (1993)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Richard Hooker on Justification

"Doubtless," saith the Apostle, "I have counted all things but loss, and I do judge them to be dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God through faith."[Phil 3:8f] Whether they [the Church of Rome] speak of the first or second justification, they make the essence of it a divine quality inherent, they make it righteousness which is in us. If it be in us, then it is ours, as our souls are ours, though we have them from God and can hold them no longer than pleaseth him; for if he withdraw the breath of our nostrils we fall to dust; but the righteousness wherein we must be found, if we will be justified, is not our own: therefore we cannot be justified by any inherent quality. Christ hath merited righteousness for as many as are found in him. In him God findeth us, if we be faithful, for by faith we are incorporated into him.
Then, although in ourselves we be altogether sinful and unrighteous, yet even the man who in himself is impious, full of iniquity, full of sin, him being found in Christ through faith, and having his sin in hatred through repentance, him God beholdeth with a gracious eye, putteth away his sin by not imputing it, taketh quite away the punishment due thereunto, by pardoning it, and accepteth him in Jesus Christ as perfectly righteous, as if he had fulfilled all that is commanded him in the law: shall I say more perfectly righteous than if himself had fulfilled the whole law? I must take heed what I say; but the Apostle saith, "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."[2 Cor 5:21] Such we are in the sight of God the Father as is the very Son of God himself. Let it be counted folly, or phrensy, or fury, or whatsoever. It is our wisdom and our comfort; we care for no knowledge in the world but this: that man hath sinned and God hath suffered; that God hath made himself the sin of men, and that men are made the righteousness of God.

A Few Thoughts on Iowa

The results from the 2012 Iowa Caucuses were unsurprising but still disappointing.  In my view Ron Paul had to win in order to establish himself as a viable alternative candidate.  The high-profile caucus format was his best chance.  Having come up short it is highly unlikely he will win any state primaries.  I predict Santorum will fade, and Romney will be the eventual GOP nominee.  That will pit two status quo candidates in a clash of establishment titans in November.  Ron Paul’s supporters will not get behind Romney and there will be no cross-over “Blue Republican” support.  President Obama will be re-elected.

One interesting footnote to the Iowa race: the “evangelical” vote was split fairly evenly between Romney, Santorum, and Paul.  This debunks an annoying notion among hardcore libertarians that “evangelicals” are consistently against Paul and for big government candidates.  A lot of them are, but the younger ones like Paul.  They know they will foot the bill for the welfare/warfare state, and have a genuine problem with bombing people into embracing Western secular democracy. 

Nothing will change in the foreseeable future; there will be no voluntary return by the electorate to the country’s original principles, what Richard Hooker called “authority derived at the first…consent.”  We can only sit back and watch the unstoppable laws of economics gradually work themselves out against the hubris of “yes we can!”

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Mysterious “theophorus” on the Rwandan Church Canons

Can’t say how I know, but I can assure you the Rwandan bishops are intent on revising the canons asap. The Province of Rwanda is an evangelical church with it’s roots in the CMS and the East African Revival. Roman doctrine and language is foreign to their DNA...  many of the AM leaders/bishops were not happy with these canons. These present canons are the creation of Murphy/Donlan for their agenda of papal authority on Murphy’s side and Byzantine Catholic sentiments on Donlan’s side. Neither the AM bishops or the Rwandan bishops were happy with these when they got a good chance to look at them. Both of the AM council of bishops and the Rwandan house of bishops were hustled into signing these canons without time to fully consider them.  Considering the immediate pressing issues of structure and relationship it may take a while, but these canons will be revised.  (emphasis added)
From a comment thread at StandFirm.