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WOMEN'S ORDINATION TO THE PRIESTHOOD

Streams of the River: Articles Outlining the Arguments Against the Ordination of Women

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Categories and Monthly Archives

       Death to the Beast

                           Click for music.  Player will open on separate page.              

                Celebrating 400 Years of Anglicanism in America at the Old Jamestown Church

Friday
Oct312014

Reformation Day 2014: Quotable Quote

"The Law saith, Where is thy righteousness, goodness, and satisfaction? The Gospel saith, Christ is thy righteousness, goodness, and satisfaction.”
Patrick Hamilton

Friday
Oct312014

Reformation Day 2014: The Battle for the Bible in the English Reformation

Wednesday
Oct292014

"What must we do to be saved?", by an Anglican Catholic Priest

Here.

Sometimes, it is harder to know the right question to ask, than it is to come up with the right answer. In today's gospel Jesus was asked by someone: "Lord, will only a few people be saved?" It is a question that I am sure all of us, at one time or another, wondered about, but it is still not the right question. 

The question Jesus wants us to ask, is: What must we do to be saved? 

And to this question Jesus responds that, whatever we do, we must be ready. Ready, not only in the sense of being on the lookout for when He will return, but ready by avoiding evil such as failing to keep the Lord's day holy, disrespecting our parents, murdering, taking someone else's spouse or coveting someone else's spouse, taking someone else's property or coveting it, ruining someone's good name, or failing to help the poor or disadvantaged when we could have done something for them. 

Are we avoiding evil and doing good is the question Jesus wants us to ask ourselves in preparation for His return. Asking the right question now can save a lot of grief later.

Father Ed Bakker 
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province 
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne 
Bendigo, Australia 

In a word, no:

"Then said they unto him, 'What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?' Jesus answered and said unto them, 'This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.'"  (John 6: 28-29)

"But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, 'Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.' Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, 'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?' And they said, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.' (Acts 16:28-31)

"For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.  But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, 'Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven?' (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, 'Who shall descend into the deep?' (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)  But what saith it? 'The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart': that is, the word of faith, which we preach;  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:4-10)

"And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2: 1-9)

XI. Of the Justification of Man.
We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by Faith, and not for our own works or deservings. Wherefore, that we are justified by Faith only, is a most wholesome Doctrine, and very full of comfort, as more largely is expressed in the Homily of Justification. 

XVII. Of Predestination and Election.
Predestination to Life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he hath constantly decreed by his counsel secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honour. Wherefore, they which be endued with so excellent a benefit of God, be called according to God's purpose by his Spirit working in due season: they through Grace obey the calling: they be justified freely: they be made sons of God by adoption: they be made like the image of his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ: they walk religiously in good works, and at length, by God's mercy, they attain to everlasting felicity.

As the godly consideration of Predestination, and our Election in Christ, is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to godly persons, and such as feel in themselves the working of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh, and their earthly members, and drawing up their mind to high and heavenly things, as well because it doth greatly establish and confirm their faith of eternal Salvation to be enjoyed through Christ as because it doth fervently kindle their love towards God: So, for curious and carnal persons, lacking the Spirit of Christ, to have continually before their eyes the sentence of God's Predestination, is a most dangerous downfall, whereby the Devil doth thrust them either into desperation, or into wretchlessness of most unclean living, no less perilous than desperation.

Furthermore, we must receive God's promises in such wise, as they be generally set forth to us in Holy Scripture: and, in our doings, that Will of God is to be followed, which we have expressly declared unto us in the Word of God.

Wednesday
Oct292014

Quotable Quotes

"In the progressive demotion of the (39) Articles as the already ambiguous detritus of the pluralistic English Reformation, we confront for the first time the problem of Anglican identity."  (Aidan Nichols, O.P., The Panther and the Hind: A Theological History of Anglicanism, p. 35)

"The raison d’etre of subscription to the Thirty-nine Articles is the necessity, in a divided Christendom, of agreeing on a version of the Catholic Faith. In the Articles we have the Anglican version of the Catholic tradition of Faith and Discipline. It is not open to any loyal Anglican to form any other.

Alike for negotiations with other branches of the Church, and for the instruction of its own members, some authoritative statement of specifically Anglican teaching and practice is really indispensable. Such an authoritative statement is provided by the Thirty-nine Articles, and, if they were abandoned, it would be necessary to provide a substitute."  (H. Hensley Henson, Bishop of Durham, 1920-1939)

Wednesday
Oct292014

Fr. Munn Replies

Fr. Jonathan Munn has posted another thoughtful and irenic article, in which he reflects on recent exchanges he has had with me on the vexing matter of Anglican identity.   His article seems to be a reply to this blog entry, in which I thank Fr. Munn for the candid admission he made there concerning his Continuing Anglican church, the Anglican Catholic Church (ACC), which is that it isn't truly "Anglican", but, as its name implies, "Anglican Catholic"  (or "English Catholic").  Of course, Fr. Munn has suggested, and I would agree, that whether one is an Anglican largely depends on how one defines "Anglicanism."  He and I would seem to agree that if the term “Anglicanism” refers to "the reformed and established church in England" and her daughter churches in the Anglican Communion, then "Anglican Catholics" are not Anglicans.  Not only are they not in communion with that church established in the Elizabethan Settlement or with the wider communion, neither are they “reformed”, which is to say “Protestant.”  This would be in keeping with the scholarly conclusion of a number of historians, including and especially that of Peter Nockles, that there are simply too many theological discontinuities between Tractarianism (and its Continuing progeny) and what preceded in the Church of England, including even the catholicizing Caroline Divines, for "Anglican Catholics" to make a valid claim to being Anglican.   As Richard Turnbull puts it,

The Oxford Movement has had a significant influence upon the spirituality and shape of today’s Church of England.  The movement comes with its own heroes and house histories (written from the inside as apologies for the movement), its own spirituality, theology and worship, its own followers and successors.  Yet most scholars assert that the Oxford Movement itself represents a significant discontinuity in the historical understanding of the Church of England, a serious misreading of the religious history of England in the sixteenth century.

Similarly, Aidan Nichols avers, “(Hooker’s) Ecclesiastical Polity has been called the beginning of Anglicanism, and this is a credible claim in the sense that in the work Anglicanism first achieved a relatively coherent theological form."  He adds in a footnote, “Peter Lake goes further, arguing that Anglicanism ‘came to exist in the Elizabethan church, largely because Hooker invented it.”  However, Nichols also writes that it was “in the progressive demotion of the Articles” after the English Reformation that “we confront for the first time the problem of Anglican identity”, which suggests that Anglicanism is bound up in some essential way with the 39 Articles.

Whether Cranmer or Hooker was the true architect of Anglicanism, the long and short of it is that Anglicanism is a Protestant thing, and Anglican Catholics want no part of Protestant things, any more than principals in the Oxford Movement did.  (“Anything which separates the present Church from the Reformers I should hail as a great good.” – Keble; “I am every day becoming a less and less loyal son of the Reformation.” – Pusey.)  Diarmaid MacCulloch and Alister McGrath are among many scholars who, responding to Anglo-Catholic claims, have made indisputable cases for the essentially Protestant nature of Anglicanism.  Since Anglicanism is essentially a Protestant thing, it would seem to follow that anti-Protestants can't be Anglicans. 

Fr. Munn clearly agreed with that proposition in his earlier article.  However, he now seems to be backpedaling, or at least qualifying his earlier remarks.  He writes that he and I 

. . . disagree on the nature of what it means to be Anglican: while I argue that "Anglican" is a meaningful adjective from before the Reformation, he would argue that in order to be truly Anglican, it is necessary to embrace the Articles from a Reformed viewpoint. His description of me would be that I am not an Anglican but an English Catholic.

I don't object to being described as an English Catholic, but I do feel that I have some claim to the adjective "Anglican". My orders, for example, were bestowed by Bishop Damien Mead last year. He in turn was consecrated by Bishop Rommie Starks in 2008, and one of Bishop Starks' consecrators (back in 2000) was then Bishop, later ACC Archbishop, Br John-Charles Vockler who was consecrated bishop in 1959 during the days of the orthodoxy of the Anglican Communion and received into the Anglican Catholic Church in 1994. Br John-Charles was Bishop of Polynesia, but also served a time as an assistant bishop in the Church of England. Thus, the Anglican Communion cannot claim that the ACC Diocese of the United Kingdom is without direct links to the Established Church when it was actually orthodox. My point is that I believe that the ACC has at least one point of continuity with the Anglican Church through its bishops, at least until the Church of England ceased to be orthodox and introduced doubt into the validty of the Sacraments that they now claim to distribute.

I will grant that “one point of continuity”, but I hasten to observe that it is a point only regarding ecclesial form, not one of theological substance.  Apostolic succession involves not only a laying on of hands, but a passing on of substance, and as Nockles et al. have argued, the substance of Anglo-Catholicism differs radically from the substance of earlier Anglicanism.  This is largely why Fr. Munn using the analogies of Theseus' Ship and the body’s replacement of cells won’t do.  In the case of Theseus' Ship, the replaced planks must substantially reproduce the decayed ones.  In the case of human cells, the body creates identical copies of dead cells, subject to whatever mutations may have occurred.  These analogies simply aren’t apt,  for in the case of Tractarianism and its successor Anglican Catholicism, the claim, as noted above, is that it represents a serious theological discontinuity with the earlier (Protestant) theology.

However, Fr. Munn concludes this section of his article by stating that he’s “not using this to convince Deacon Little of my Anglicanism - I doubt that I can given that his idea and my idea of what it means to be Anglican are so diverse - but rather more to demonstrate that our traditions have commonly spun out of that period called the Reformation."

Yes, “spun” wildly, which is why Anglicanism, even taken as broadly as he’d like to construe it, has an identity problem.

He then shifts the subject somewhat:

My Archbishop, Mark Haverland, has been seen at various inter-Anglican events, most notably at the investiture of Archbishop Foley Beach as primate of ACNA. I cannot comment nor wish to do so about what my Archbishop was doing there save that I am convinced that he was there in the spirit of Christian Charity and with a desire to express the well-wishing and prayers of the Anglican Catholic Church whom he serves as Metropolitan. 

However, if I were there, for what reason would it be?

His Grace has indeed written about the fragmented nature of the Anglican identity and has stated quite clearly that he believes that it is necessary for us to adopt the identity of Anglo-Catholicism as what it means to be properly Anglican. Given that the later Anglo-Catholics were Romanisers whose seeking re-union with the Roman Church has produced the Ordinariate, our rejection of the Papal claims must mean that we have to look to the original identity of Anglo-Catholicism as Anglicanism reviewed through Patristic eyes. The Anglican Catholic Church is a Truth-seeking Church and in order to seek the truth faithfully, it must start somewhere. One cannot begin an inquiry without stating the basis of that inquiry. The Continuing Anglican movement is forty years old, the AMiA even younger, but we come with baggage amid the fog of confusion which we have inherited. We are still in early days: while there is much of which we can be, there is much that is still in a state of flux.

If I were primate, and most assuredly I am not and think it statistically impossible that I would ever be so, then I would attend an ACNA investiture out of respect for the common ground out of which the ACNA and the ACC have sprung and to which we claim continuity.  I would attend because, though there are many issues over which we disagree both practically and theologically (even seriously so), because I would see in ACNA a serious and heartfelt attempt to seek the same truth which I would be seeking. We might be walking apart, but we might be walking apart in the same direction which can only lead to unification in Christ Jesus. As I say, that is what I would do. However, I am a newly minted priest and not privy to issues involving the polity of my Church. It is not my place to draw any conclusions on matters which don't concern me. I trust His Grace and his leadership, and pray that he may continue to lead us faithfully in the way of Our Lord to Whom I am most sure he is committed.

This section of his article is a reply to my speculation as to why Haverland attended the investiture when he has politely declined to attend events of equal significance, like the ACNA’s inaugural assembly in 2009.  Now, the responses Fr. Munn gives are fair, although there are possibly some tantalizing things to be read between the lines.  I won’t speculate about that just now, however, though it all clearly gives rise to all sorts of speculation.  I speculated a couple of weeks ago about something that happened among bishops present at ++Beach’s investiture, and as it turns out, I was right.  However, there is less to go on here, so along with other Anglican watchers with whom I communicate about such matters I’ll just watch and wait to see what happens, if anything, with ++Haverland and ACNA.  If nothing more is “up” than what Fr. Munn suggests, so be it.

Lastly, some responses to Fr. Munn’s penultimate paragraph:

Deacon Little would claim that his understanding of Anglicanism is also Patristic. I believe him to be sincere about this and would humbly suggest that he has more in common with Anglican Catholics that he might like to think. After all, Protestant is not the opposite of Catholic and I am sure that he would agree that he is much a part of the One Holy Catholic Church as he confesses with me in the Nicene Creed. I am sure that he would reject with me the heresies of the revisionists in ECUSA and the CofE on largely the same grounds, that we look for the same faith from the Source, and have an appreciation for the ritual of the Prayer-book. Again, he and I would differ on the use and authority of the Book of Common Prayer but one can see the tenacity of American Anglicans as they fight for their Anglican identity against a body whose wholesale rejection of the 1928 BCP in favour of a revisionist 1979 BCP. This latter revisionist, heretical attitude of the ECUSA has led to the existence of ACC, ACNA and AMiA as well as other noble Anglican bodies. We have much in common.

Yes, I do claim that my understanding of Anglicanism is patristic, but as I state in my “About” page,

When I say that Anglicanism is "Catholic" . . . I don't mean what the Tractarians and their modern successors mean.  Anglicanism is an expression of Protestant Christianity.  Period.  It is an expression of Catholic Christianity too, but only in the sense that it accepts the historic Creeds and Ecumenical Councils of the Church, venerates the Fathers to the extent that they agree with the Apostles, stands squarely in the Augustinian theological tradition, which for over a millennium was the dominant theological tradition in the Catholic West, and has preserved historical Catholic church order.  It confesses its faith in the "one, holy, catholic and apostolic church", but it adds that the best way to ensure the authentic catholicity of the Church is to make sure it is authentically holy and apostolic.   Sometimes that means reform.

Yes, Protestant is not the opposite of Catholic, but I do believe the Protestant Reformers are every bit as important to the Catholic faith as were the Fathers, a belief most Anglican Catholics would utterly repudiate.  As I stated on the “About” page,

The Reformation, Continental and English, represented an attempt to correct, mainly in the areas of soteriology and sacramentology, a Catholic church that had gone off the rails regarding these matters and others.  The Reformation represented both the ecclesial and theological triumph of Augustinianism, and because neither Rome nor Orthodoxy had a place for it, it was forced to branch off into separate churches. That did not affect the catholicity of the Reformation churches, however, and this is arguably especially true with the Church of England since it preserved Catholic church order.  Anglican blogger "Death Bredon" gives us this succinct and brilliant assessment.  (Emphases are mine):

The genius of the Protestant Reformation is the recognition that, during the Middle Ages, "ecclesial creep" in both the Western and Eastern portions of the Church had for all practical intents and purposes replaced Old-Law works righteousness with a new works righteousness based on the respective "New Law" of the West (the Penance-Merits-Purgation-Indulgences doctrinal phalanx) and of the East (the imposition of the Monastic Typicon upon the laity).

Furthermore, . . . the formularies of classical Anglicanism did a better job of retaining the wheat of the orthodox catholicism of the ancient Church while jettisoning the chaff of innovative medieval accretion than did any other segment of the Reformation. This is why Anglicanism can, perhaps uniquely, lay equal claim to the appellations Protestant and Catholic and affirm both without any sense of inconsistency or incoherence. Indeed, strictly speaking, in proper understanding of each term, to truly be one, you must be both.

And yes, I reject the heresies of the revisionists in ECUSA and the CofE largely on those grounds, and it is there that classical Anglicans and Anglican Catholics find some important common ground.  If it only weren’t for the latter’s rejection of the claim, often attributed to Martin Luther, that justification by grace alone through faith alone “is the article by which the church stands and falls.”  Because that article, to us Protestants, constitutes the essence of the Christian Gospel.  Again, Nichols:

Contrast a modern Anglo-Catholic who asserts that:

the centre if Paul’s theology is not justification by faith, but rather participation in the body of Christ, and the reconciliation of Jew and Gentile,

and taking justification by faith itself as:

meaning one can only live a truly good life through incorporation in the social body dedicated to Christ’s memory – out of the resources which this provides. . .

writes off as ‘residual Lutheranism’ any anxiety that here ‘social elements’ are displacing ‘theological ones’ (Citing J. Milbank, Theology and Social Theory: Beyond Secular Reason (Oxford 1990), p. 120)

As Fr. Paul F.M. Zahl writes in The Protestant Face of Anglicanism (emphasis mine),

The underlying premise for this study of the Protestant face of Anglicanism is an understanding that Anglicanism is a tension between two divergent schools of thought within Christianity.  Anglicanism is an umbrella that stretches, for reasons relating primarily to the history and politics of Tudor, Jacobean, and Stuart England, over two different and perhaps ultimately irreconcilable presentations of the religion of Jesus.

Therein lies the true issue between the classical Anglican and the Anglican Catholic, and to Fr. Munn and any other Anglican Catholic reading this who shares Keble's, Pusey's and so many others' antipathy to the Protestant Reformation (though I ask them to kindly disregard the source of this quotation), "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken."

(See recent entries on Anglican identity here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.)

Thursday
Oct232014

Christians for Biblical Equality?

What if "biblical equality" is an oxymoron?

Homo Hierarchicus and Ecclesial Order.  I have a copy of Horne's article from the International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church if anyone desires one.  Contact me if you do.

Abstract

To argue that the concept of hierarchy is a profoundly theological concept is peculiarly difficult at the present time in which there is a general assumption that all hierarchies are hierarchies of power, intrinsically oppressive, and incompatible with human freedom. Consequently there is a deep-seated suspicion of the notion whenever it is invoked – not least in the context of church ‘order’. Such a suspicion would have been inexplicable to those writers from whom we gain our earliest knowledge of the Christian Church. Though we cannot, nor should we try to, recreate the conditions of earlier ages in which the concept was understood with a richness and depth that are lacking in our own age, it is vital to expose the contemporary misuse and degradation of the concept and see that, in the life of the Church, the concept of hierarchy is not intended to be an articulation of power, but an eschatological expression of order. The recognition of the inhuman abuse of the concept down the ages should not blind us to the truth that its purpose is to act sacramentally as a sign of the heavenly kingdom. 

Wednesday
Oct222014

Augustine, Bernard and Luther

Tuesday
Oct212014

I Received an E-Mail from an Old Friend. . .

who, at his request, will remain nameless, as will his church and the hierarch of whom he speaks.  The lion's share of it is as follows:

Chris, I've been following with interest your own blog on all things Anglican, and I have to say my own journey has taken, not a detour, but a little bit of a re-calibrating.

I am an Anglo-Catholic.  But even with all the resistance to the 39 Articles I read from the Ritualists (I will explain later what *I* mean by that), I feel at heart like a traitor to the English Reformation if I simply ignore it.   The early Oxford movement indeed morphed into something later on that kept very little of the original spirit of Anglicanism.  Some are okay with that; I'm not.  I have an irrepressible Augustinianism (I owe to Luther, Calvin, Cranmer, and Hooker) that I cannot simply discard.  It formed me.  I am an unashamed predestinarian, no matter how uncomfortable Newman, Lewis, or Laud would be by that fact.  I am not a 5-pointer (never did become convinced the later mutations of Reformed theology are necessary to preserve the fullness of biblical Augustinianism), but I do subscribe to the Articles here because they are true.  I am a Reformed Catholic, without question.  I think the Oxford Movement was right in recovering certain practices without having to throw into Rome.  Papalism was still a non-starter for the original Oxford Movement guys, and the later anglo-papalists seem to undo most everything from the English Reformation up to the 19th century.  Even the high church Arminians were unambiguously anti-Romanist.  But I don't have to convince you.
 
Saying all that to say this: I am a high church Anglican.  I reject the "charismatic" movement without flinching, but for me to ignore those Anglicans in our tradition who are committed to the Articles as if they weren't authentic is disingenuous.
 
When I was a Lutheran, I learned a high theology of the sacraments co-exist quite nicely with justification by faith alone.  I affirm sola fide.  I affirm predestination and the inability of man to cooperate with prevenient grace.  I affirm the primacy and authority (and dare I say it? *COMPLETELY* inspired nature) of Holy Scripture.  The dirty secret among us Anglo-Catholics is the deep biblical ignorance.  There's no revival of Scripture learning on a broad scale.  This is why we are doomed, and for no other reason.  We actually undermine Tradition because we will not attend to Sacred Scripture as our Protestant forebears fought so diligently to instill.  
 
I used to be annoyed, somewhat ashamed, of my Protestant roots.  Now I see, by God's grace, they are essential to my growth.  The sacraments, rituals, and liturgies must serve the Gospel, for that at the end of the day is why we do what we do.
 
I will make some Protestants angry that I insist in the inviolable nature of the Seven Ecumenical councils, and that the episcopacy is the divinely ordered polity of Christ's body on earth, the efficacy and necessity of the sacraments, but these must be set in the Biblical light.  I do honestly question the utility and necessity of all the "merit" language in our Missal.  The Eastern Orthodox don't seem to need it, and frankly sends confusing signals to an already illiterate laity among us.
 
Just wanted to reach out to you in confidentiality that I appreciate your blog, I don't always agree, but you have valid concerns. . . . When I told (my bishop) I am thoroughly Augustinian in my soteriology, he simply minimized its importance in the high church tradition.  For my money, Augustinianism makes the best sense of Church and Sacrament and the whole of Biblical data.  I even preached from James 1.17 from an Anglican pulpit the full force of the doctrines of Grace, and got the feeling only one or two actually understood what I was saying (because it was so new, not because I was unclear).
 
That said, brother Christopher. I am an Anglican.  The Eeeeenglishness (as you hilariously put it) is part of my blood, but only because I see what God did there in the 16th century, and I fell in love with that body of divinity when I was young man.  I feel most whole when I can uphold the Articles unashamedly.  I am an Anglican Catholic -- Catholic in the *most* Anglican sense, and Anglican in the *most* Catholic sense.  Still insufferably high church and still unapologetically more catholic than most Roman Catholics.  But still.... Protestant, thankfully, in its best and most historic sense.   
 

To which I replied:

Good to hear from you!

As it turns out, I'm doing a bit of recalibrating myself as I'm taking a second look at the English Reformation's Lutheran legacy, and how that may have contributed not only to the structure of the Articles (and the content of some of them, even after the Edwardian revisions), but also to monarchical resistance to further Calvinization of the formularies (e.g., Elizabeth's smackdown of the Lambeth Articles), the end result being that our formularies remain solidly Augustinian but only mildly-to-moderately Reformed.  I've had some experiences with some Truly Reformed Anglicans on a certain Facebook page, and these experiences have created in me a desire to hold that kind of Anglicanism at more of an arm's length from me, despite my own leanings toward Reformed theology in some areas.  As I review this stuff, it seems the Lutherans made more sense, for example, on the use of images in the church.

I'm happy to read what you wrote about the Reformation and your commitment to Augustine's doctrines of grace.  If you haven't read it yet, see George Tavard's Justification: An Ecumenical Study.  Now, granted, Tavard was a somewhat liberal Roman Catholic scholar, but this little book of his is a pretty compelling argument about how Luther's doctrine of justification was simply the expected fruition of Augustine's doctrines of grace -- which are at the end of the day nothing more than Paul's and the other apostles' doctrines of grace.  Tavard shows how all this developed in the historical context of the struggle between Augustinianism and resurgent Pelagianism in the West.   (Our old Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Bradwardine was a player in this struggle, shortly before the Reformation.)  All this is to say that it is VITAL to be an Augustinian.  Even J.B. Mozley got that, though he still recoiled from some of the implications of the doctrine of predestination.  In his book, A Treatise on the Augustinian Doctrine of Predestination, he argues that if we have to err, we MUST err in the direction of Augustine and not Pelagius.  C.B. Moss and other high churchers argue similarly.  I'm afraid His Grace . . . is representative of Anglo-Catholics who err in the direction of Pelagius.

I also agree with what you had to say about the complementary nature of sola fide and the sacraments.  There again is an area where classical Anglicanism follows Lutheran theology more closely than Reformed theology.  And I also agree with your assessment about Scriptural ignorance among Anglo-Catholics, though it could be argued that such ignorance is confined to that circle.  I've seen examples among even the Evangelicals, which is why the cry of the Reformation - Ad Fontes!! -- is applicable everywhere.

I have met one other Anglo-Catholic who is an Augustinian and therefore believes in the biblical doctrine of predestination.  St. Bernard, a thoroughgoing predestinarian, is one of his heroes.  I have to believe that there are more such Anglo-Catholics out there if there are two.  May their tribe increase.

All this goes to show the fundamental accuracy of Nockles' analysis.  "Anglo-Catholicism" isn't uniform in belief and practice, and some who call themselves Anglo-Catholics are amenable to the truths recovered by the Protestant Reformation.

Friday
Oct172014

ACC Archbishop Mark Haverland: "What Is Anglicanism?"

"A fair question and one that in recent weeks has been much on my mind."  (Monty Python's Flying Circus -- "Flying Sheep" skit)

In connection with recent posts here, here and here, which have largely to do with the vexing question of Anglican identity, I thought it would be helpful to note Archbishop Havlerland's take on it.  This is an article of his that dates back to 1995 but was reposted at the Continuum blog in 2007 shortly before it became a copyrighted article on the ACC's old web site.  (See the ACC's new and improved web site here.)

It is clear from Haverland's article that "Anglicanism" is pretty much whatever one says it is.  Referring to Fr. Aidan Nichols' book The Panther and the Hind: A Theological History of Anglicanism (see my recent post on that book here), Haverland argues essentially that since Anglicanism has been long plagued by doctrinal chaos, it's better to jettison the Anglican ideal of "comprehensiveness" and pick one of the strains.  As for him and his house, they will serve Anglo-Catholicism:

Soon, I am willing to prophesy confidently, the official Anglican Communion will consist of nothing but a liberal Protestant rump. Those who do not want to be liberal Protestants will become Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, stop going to church entirely, or (probably what will prove to be the smallest group) join the ACC (and similar bodies.)

Interesting that Haverland neglects to mention those Anglicans who are conservative Protestant Evangelical/Charismatics, arguably the fastest growing party in Anglicanism.  But I digress for the moment:

What The Panther and the Hind shows is something well known to those who have studied Anglicanism closely. That is, Anglican history shows several broad strains of tradition, all of which can plausibly claim to be classically Anglican in that they have a long pedigree within the Church of England and her daughter Churches. Yet no one of these strands can claim to be Anglicanism in an exclusive sense if that claim means to imply that most Anglicans in fact historically held to that particular strand. Furthermore, these strands were and are often mutually contradictory and hostile. . . .

So how are we to define Anglicanism in this situation? It seems to me that there are two live possibilities before us. One possibility is that we define Anglicanism precisely by reference to its multiplicity of traditions and lack of uniformity, by its "comprehensiveness". This definition, however, reduces Anglicanism to liberal Protestantism and to the current state of collapse. The irony of Anglicanism-as-comprehensiveness is that persons with theological integrity have no desire to be comprehended by such a communion.

Persons with theological integrity have no desire to be comprehended by such a communion.

I have to say that I agree with that statement, and have quoted other notable Anglican writers here -- Packer, Pascoe, Mascall, Henson -- to the effect that Anglican comprehensiveness, which on the surface seem like such a broad-minded and intuitively unifying ideal, has turned out rather to lead only to shoddy theology and no true unity.   It is truly either creed or chaos, "creed" meaning not just the Apostles', Nicene and Athanasian Creeds, but the confession on which the "reformed and established church in England" was established.  It also means consistency in praxis, specifically in the area of holy orders. These dioceses and societies that practice an oxymoronic "dual integrity" need to repent, and stop ordaining women to the priesthood.  Period.

Haverland continues:

The other possible definition is in fact something of a redefinition: we may redefine Anglicanism by reference to one of its classical strands or parties and then assert that that single tradition should henceforth be normative to the exclusion of the other classical Anglican parties. If we take the first option, as the old Anglican Communion has done, we are doomed. The ACC, therefore, has adopted the second approach. This approach does not, of course, require us to reject everything ever thought or prayed or developed within the other classical traditions. However, it does establish a norm and it does reject the longstanding Anglican tendency towards "comprehensiveness" or, if you prefer, vagueness. We say, in effect, that what was once merely a minority party within Anglicanism is the sole legitimate form in which Anglicanism can continue.

Here Archbishop Haverland attempts to co-opt the title "Anglicanism" for his church "and similar bodies."  Not so fast, this Anglo-Protestant says.

Haverland may be correct in saying that the best way forward for Anglicans who desire theological integrity is to "redefine Anglicanism by reference to one of its classical strands or parties and then assert that that single tradition should henceforth be normative to the exclusion of the other classical Anglican parties", but it is by no means evident that the Anglican Catholic Church "and similar bodies" may lay claim to the term "Anglican", as the magisterial work of scholars such as Diarmaid MacCulloch and Peter Nockles shows.  One of Haverland's priests, Fr. Jonathan Munn, has recently taken a more intellectually honest approach to that question, arguing that Anglican Catholics aren't truly Anglicans, but rather English Catholics, a position I have set forth for some time.  A position I defend as a corollary to the former is that Anglicanism began with the English Reformation, and has a set of formularies established by Reformed divinity, monarchy and acts of Parliament.  The subsequest "theological history of Anglicanism" was one in which several successive parties who eschewed the Reformed theology of the English Reformation and its Articles moved, in stages, away from it, branching into Arminian High Church, Tractarian/Ritual/Anglo-Catholic and Liberal parties.

As I said, Haverland is likely correct that the only way to obtain theological integrity is to choose a strand and go with it.  If the ACC has determined that this is true for itself "and similar bodies", Evangelical Anglicans could theoretically come to the same decision, and it's not at all evident that even Evangelicals would hang together, divided as they are over the Articles, the charismata, and the ordination of women.

I'm not necessarily arguing against some kind of Anglican comprehensiveness, but I do believe that if it is to survive in the future it must be far less comprehensive than it has been in the past.  And that whatever that may look like, our historic formularies and specifically the 39 Articles need to be at the heart of it.  Bishop Henson was right:

The raison d’etre of subscription to the Thirty-nine Articles is the necessity, in a divided Christendom, of agreeing on a version of the Catholic Faith. In the Articles we have the Anglican version of the Catholic tradition of Faith and Discipline. It is not open to any loyal Anglican to form any other.

Alike for negotiations with other branches of the Church, and for the instruction of its own members, some authoritative statement of specifically Anglican teaching and practice is really indispensable. Such an authoritative statement is provided by the Thirty-nine Articles, and, if they were abandoned, it would be necessary to provide a substitute.

Which is to say that only confessional cats can be successfully herded.

Friday
Oct172014

"Christianity With an Anglican Accent"

That's how an Anglican priest I know describes the outreach efforts of the Anglican organization in which he is involved.

When I left the Orthodox Church, I did so with the intent to never again be an ecclesiastical ideologue.  Orthodox theologian Bradley Nassif apparently feels the same way, as he castigates Orthodoxy for its ideological and parochial bent:

Outside of Orthodoxy, have you noticed how the healthiest Christian communities around today are the ones who preach Christ, not their own denomination? They speak of Jesus, not their "Baptist," "Methodist" or "Pentecostal" identities. Yet, all we seem to hear from our pulpits is "Orthodoxy, Orthodoxy, Orthodoxy!" We are obsessed with self-definition through negation. It is a sick religious addiction. We often shore up our identity as Orthodox by constantly contrasting ourselves with Evangelicals or Catholics. I wish we would talk more about Christian faith, and less about "Orthodoxy."

Amen, amen, amen.  I think Anglicanism tends to suffer from the same pathology.  And that's why I welcome the idea of us Anglicans not being about an "ism", but about Christianity -- and the Gospel -- with a mere "Anglican accent."  It should not be about us: our Eeeeeeenglishness; our devotion to the Book of Common Prayer; our thrice-glorious liturgy and musical tradition; our pride in Oxbridge learning.  It should be all about Jesus, his person, his work, his word, his apostles' writings.  Our liturgy, along with our Anglicanness, should be a heartfelt response to those things.  Our "culture" and our "ism" be damned.

Friday
Oct172014

Christianae Apologetica

New to the blogroll.  Stay tuned for some stuff on the New Perspective, etc. from this site.

Friday
Oct172014

Peter Nockles on "Anglican" and "Anglo-Catholic"

Excerpted from his book The Oxford Movement in Context: Anglican High Churchmanship, 1760-1857, pp. 38-43. (Review here):

The labels 'Anglican' and 'Anglo-Catholic', so familiar in current theological discourse, also underwent a modification of their original weaning in the Tractarian era. The term 'Anglican' is of relatively modern origin. In the seventeenth century, it was mainly used in its Latin forms of `Anglicanus' or `Anglicanae' as a description of the reformed and established church in England. Early examples of its usage to denote individual membership of that church, i.e. an `Anglican', can be dated to Edmund Burke in 1797, and to George Stanley Faber in 1804. . . . 

'Anglican' took a long time to acquire an '-ism'. Its earliest modern use as denoting a particular theological tradition was by Newman in his formulation of the via media in 1837. Yet even as late as 1846, its use in this sense was of sufficiently recent date for Edward Churton to refer to 'what is now called Anglicanism' when describing the Orthodox tradition bequeathed by Hooker and the Caroline Divines. In the Tractarian controversies, 'Anglican' acquired party connotations. The term now denoted a particular understanding of the Church of England, rather than simple membership of that Church itself. Thus William Gresley applied the title as a substitute for a 'High Churchman' and in direct contradiction to 'Evangelical' which he used interchangeably with `Puritan'.  Certainly, the term 'Anglican' acquired sufficiently unacceptable 'High Church' resonances in Evangelical eyes for it to become suspect and almost synonymous with 'Puseyite'.

On the other hand for the Tractarians, the term 'Anglican' came to denote a 'High and Dry' form of attachment to the Church of England. Thus, Palmer, Hook and Edward Churton were dubbed `mere Anglicans',' 79 to distinguish them from those whom the Tractarian leaders regarded as unequivocal followers of 'apostolical' principles. Only old High Churchmen took pride in the 'Anglican' label and increasingly criticised the Tractarians for being 'essentially un-Anglican'.' Significantly, in his famous article on church parties in the Edinburgh Review in 1853, W. J. Conybeare distinguished an 'Anglican' or 'normal type' of High Churchman from the ‘High and Dry' as well as from a `Tractarian' or 'exaggerated type' of High Churchman.

The label 'Anglo-Catholic' also underwent transmutation.  The original meaning of Anglo-Catholic, like that of that of 'Anglican', had been a descriptive term for mere membership of the Church of England, and was of seventeenth-century lineage.  The term could be used interchangeably with ‘Anglican’.  The non-party meaning of the term endured well into the nineteenth century as was witnessed by Newman's use of the phrase 'Anglo-Catholic Church' in his Lectures the Prophetical Office of the Church.  The same usage was employed in the very title Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology by its Tractarian editors. Similarly, William Palmer of Worcester used the term interchangeably with the 'orthodox Church of England position' in his Treatise on the Church of Christ (1838), and William Gesley adopted the same meaning in his theological manual, Anglo-Catholicism (1844).

The addition of the '-ism' symbolised a new degree of theological 'vision in the title. For Gresley, 'Anglo-Catholicism', like Anglicanism', represented a distinctive theological tradition; a reinvigorated version of traditional High Churchmanship. Yet the label increasingly was appropriated by the Tractarian party. In short, 'Anglo-Catholic'_ceased to he a merely descriptive term for the Church of England as a whole and instead became a particular sub-division of the Church of England itself.

Later generations of the Movement's followers, including the `Ritualists', would claim the term 'Anglo-Catholic' exclusively for themselves. Old High Churchmen objected to this hijacking of a once neutral, unequivocal terminology. They strove to reclaim the term for supporters of what they deemed Orthodox Church of England principles. As a writer in the Church of England Quarterly Review put it in 1843, 'because the writers of the Tracts choose to call themselves Anglo-Catholics, surely we are not to give up our own claim to the title, nor yet to concede to those individuals, a designation which they have assumed, but which belongs to all sound members of the Anglican Church'.  G. S. Faber, who had proclaimed himself an 'Anglican' as early as 1804, maintained in 1842 that his opposition to `Tractarian principles' was based 'on the real principles of our Reformed Anglo-Catholic Church .186 Some old. High Churchmen even appropriated the term exclusively for themselves. George Ayliffe Poole, a 'Z', and friend and ally of W. F. Hook in Leeds, in 1842 distinguished three separate parties in the Church of England; the 'Evangelical or Low Church', the ‘moderate churchmen or Anglo-Catholics', and the 'ultra-churchmen of Oxford school'. Likewise, the elder Christopher Wordsworth in 1845 asked his son, Christopher junior, whether he might induce the editor of the English Churchman, an avowedly Tractarian publication, to make it 'a really Anglo-Catholic paper'.  It was a conscious throw-back to an older meaning, when Charles Wordsworth in his Annals (1891) made his indictment of the Oxford Movement that it had so soon ceased to be "bona fides" Anglo-Catholic'.  As late as 1877, Anglo-Catholic principles' were defended as synonymous with the 'old historic High Church school'.

The history of changing nomenclature points to that divergence of Tractarianism from old High Churchmanship which will be a theme this study. It illustrates a common perception among contemporaries of the divergence of a Tractarian minority from a High Church majority, in contrast to later historical assumptions that many distinctive features of the High Church tradition were attributable to the Oxford Movement alone. 

I believe the the terms "Anglican" and "Anglo-Catholic" have undergone additional transmutations since then.  Instead of "Anglican" meaning "the reformed and established church in England", whose Protestant faith was inherited by its daughter churches around the globe, it is to many today a reference to the English Church from its beginning until now, encompassing the whole range of theological beliefs (and unbelief) now held in tension: Reformed, Arminian, Wesleyan, Old High Church, Anglo-Catholic, Anglo-Papalist, Charismatic, and Liberal.

I sense as well that many today who refer to themselves as "Anglo-Catholics" are really just Old High Churchmen who, like their predecessors, believe in justification by faith alone and value the 39 Articles.  My sympathies to all you who are new to Anglicanism and trying to make sense of it all.

Thursday
Oct162014

And That Having Been My First Foray Into Intra-Anglican Realignment Politics. . .

I can say with certitude that it will be my last.  Oy.

Wednesday
Oct152014

Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs

Regarding my recent posts, both now deleted, about a certain event:

Time to let it go.  Instead, I want to say a word about my bishop, the Right Reverend Philip H. Jones.

I don't know him all that well.  My only exposure to him thus far, other than what I've learned online and from others who know him, has been at the AMiA clergy/postulant retreat last June and at my ordination two and a half weeks ago.  What little exposure I had in those two events has nonetheless provided me of a clear example of what a godly man he is, and after observing his response to the matter on which I blogged about, I can say he's a class act as well.

Philip (he's the sort of man who is somewhat uncomfortable at being addressed as "Your Grace"), if you read this, don't let it go to your head. ;>)  I know you know what a sinner you are.  But it is the distinct honor of those of us who have been ordained by you, as well as of the laity who have found their home in this mission society of ours, to have you as our bishop.  I remember how in your sermon at the clergy/postulant retreat you mentioned a couple in your church who had a baby that had a genetic condition which resulted in her death shortly after she was born, and the tears you shed as you talked about your pastoral role in that awful situation and what you learned from it.  I remember also what you had to say to us back on September 27 at the ordination in Little Rock.  It was a wonderful sermon, and your words, indeed that whole ceremony, served as the capstone of confirmation to me that the Holy Spirit had indeed called me into ministry.  And I can't think of a more fitting place for me to fulfill that ministry to which God has called me than the Anglican Mission in the Americas. 

I am saddened that you had to experience what you did at that event.  It hurt my heart to watch it.  But let's just chalk it up to the growing pains Realignment Anglicanism in North America is having to experience as it finds its footing, which pains sometimes involve personal affronts.   In the end, all of us -- those who affront and those who are affronted -- are sinners saved by the grace of God.  (Gen. 50:20).

God bless you, Your Grace.

Tuesday
Oct142014

Deacons (Rise Up O Men of God)

Rise up O men of God,
Have done with lesser things.
Give heart and soul and mind and strength,
To serve the King of Kings,
To serve the King of Kings.

Rise up O men of God,
His Kingdom tarries long,
Bring in the day of brotherhood,
And end the night of wrong,
And end the night of wrong.

Rise up O men of God,
The Church for you doth wait.
Send forth to serve the needs of men
In Christ our strength is great,
In Christ our strength is great.

Lift high the Cross of Christ,
Tread where His feet have trod,
As brothers of the Son of Man,
Rise up O men of God,
Rise up O men of God.

Rise up O men of God,
Have done with lesser things.
Give heart and soul and mind and strength,
To serve the King of Kings,
To serve the King of Kings.

Monday
Oct132014

Sidebar Augmentation

Readers might have noticed that I have been organizing and expanding my sidebar with new blogs and sites as well as additional articles regarding the confessional nature of Anglicanism.  I have added and will be adding Reformed and Lutheran blogs, as it was these two reform movements on the Continent from which the English Reformation drew, and whose theologies on various issues are reflected in our confession the 39 Articles.  In this regard, I am very happy to see Realignment Anglicanism's ecumenical overtures toward both the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and the North American Lutheran Church, and in the future I hope to see greater efforts made toward ecumenical engagement with orthodox Reformed churches.  These are classical Anglicanism's natural allies, as Anglo-Catholicism's natural allies remain Rome and Orthodoxy.

Monday
Oct132014

John Henry Newman's 'Lectures on Justification': The High Church Misrepresentation of Luther (Updated)

One of the features of Alister McGrath's monumental work on the doctrine of justification, Iustitia Dei, is the demolition job he performs on Newman's Lectures on Justification.  I was happy to find the demolition job in essay form.

Update: Forgot to provide the link to the essay.

http://archive.churchsociety.org/churchman/documents/Cman_097_2_McGrath.pdf

Sunday
Oct122014

ISIL

Da pacem, Domine, in diebus nostris
Quia non est alius
Qui pugnet pro nobis
Nisi tu Deus noster.

1. Fiat pax in virtute tua: et abundantia in turribus tuis.

Da pacem, Domine, in diebus nostris
Quia non est alius
Qui pugnet pro nobis
Nisi tu Deus noster.

2. Propter fratres meos et proximos meos loquebar pacem de te:

Da pacem, Domine, in diebus nostris
Quia non est alius
Qui pugnet pro nobis
Nisi tu Deus noster.

3. Propter domum Domini Dei nostri quaesivi bona tibi.

Da pacem, Domine, in diebus nostris
Quia non est alius
Qui pugnet pro nobis
Nisi tu Deus noster.

4. Rogate quae ad pacem sunt Jerusalem:et abundantia diligentibus te.

Da pacem, Domine, in diebus nostris
Quia non est alius
Qui pugnet pro nobis
Nisi tu Deus noster.

5. Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen

Give peace, O Lord, in our time
Because there is no-one else
Who will fight for us
If not you our God

(The following are from Psalm 122)
1. Let there be peace in your strength, and abundance in your towers
2. I wish you peace for the sake of my brothers and my family
3. I have sought good for you because of the house of the Lord God
4. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee
5. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

                              

Friday
Oct102014

A Priest of the Anglican Catholic Church Finally Admits That "Anglican Catholics" Aren't Anglicans (Updated 10/16)

Update: Fr. Munn and I had a pleasant discussion offline, and he's assured me that when he wrote of "Protestant heresies that came out of that turbulent time", he wasn't referring to classical Anglicanism.  He added that while he agrees the differences between us regarding soteriology are substantial, he is personally committed to the ideal of Anglican comprehensiveness, and believes that Archbishop Haverland is likewise committed to it.  I would argue that Archbishop Haverland seems to reject that ideal in certain of his published essays, but Fr. Munn knows him better than I do.   Time will tell on that particular question, I guess.

Our dispute, of course, largely revolves around what the term "Anglican" means.  I will be posting more on that question very shortly.
_____________________________
Fr. Jonathan Munn recently posted this article over at his blog.  Some highlights:

The original meaning of Anglican was simply as an adjective notably used in the 13th century to mean “English”. Of course, many Anglicans now disagree with that definition because it has come to acquire Reformation connotations. That is why Anglicanism is often seen to be defined by adherence to the 39 articles or to Protestant confessional formularies.

If that is what Anglicanism has come to mean, then the Anglican Catholic Church is not really Anglican.

Even then, I suspect there are many in the ACC who would disagree with me, such as the reverend Father Robert Hart. The way I see the Anglican Catholic Church is not a concerted attempt to forget the Reformation but to look further back beyond it, rather than as a defining mark of Anglicanism. Others find this a betrayal of the Reformation. Given that there are a lot of Protestant heresies that came out of that turbulent time, the ACC is rather justified in trying to continue Anglicanism across that era as well as the 20th Century. If a rejection of Protestant doctrine means that an Anglican Catholic is not Anglican then the answer should be that they never were Anglican, but rather that they have always been Anglican Catholic.

I would not describe the Anglican Catholic Church as being Anglican. I would describe it as being Anglican Catholic. I do not see the two adjectives which describe my Christianity as being separable, but unified in their intention. True Catholicism is rooted in the visibility of the Church as the distributor of God’s grace and proclaimer of His word. We Anglican Catholics strive to be visible in our Catholicism and do so in a characteristically English way. This does not mean dressing up in fancy robes, though our vestments are part of our expression. Our true visibility MUST be bound up with how we live our lives with other people.

Now, all this is very interesting for a couple of reasons.  The first one is that I have consistently maintained to anyone who would listen that the Anglican Catholic Church is really not an Anglican Church but rather an English Catholic Church.  I have argued similarly to Anglo-Catholics in the ACNA that when they argue that we should bracket the English Reformation and stress a continuity with the English Church of the 6th through 15th centuries, they have effectively renounced their claim to be "Anglicans" and are English Catholics instead.  Just the other day, in fact, an Anglo-Catholic form the ACNA proudly reported to me that he considers himself an "English Catholic".  These folks are nevertheless generally adamant in their counter-argument that they are just as "Anglican" as I am.  However, Fr. Munn implies the truth of the matter: Anglicanism is indeed a manifestation of Protestant Christianity, and therefore to extirpate Protestantism from Anglicanism is to fall back on its pre-Reformation state, and then see in the modern Oxford, Ritualist and Anglo-Catholic movements a continuation of the pre-Reformation status, kind of like a colectomy and resection.  If "Anglican" refers to any and all kind of churchmanship, it means nothing. 

The second reason for my interest is that despite this sudden appearance of intellectual honesty from Fr. Munn on this point, his archbishop Mark Haverland was an observer at the investiture of Archbishop Foley Beach last night in Atlanta.  What is the significance of that, I wonder, if the Anglican Catholic Church isn't an Anglican Church like the ACNA?  I suppose it might be answered that Haverland was there representing the ACC, as representatives of other non-Anglican churches -- Orthodox, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Methodist -- were there as well, so he wasn't observing as an "Anglican".  Or maybe he was there as a presence to ACNA Anglo-Catholics who choose to leave ACNA down the line.  Or maybe he was just providing a postive gesture to ACNA because of Beach's opposition to the ordination of women to the priesthood.   

Well, no matter.  The fact is that Fr. Munn has vindicated my argument, over which I have received much flak from ACs in the ACNA, and for that I thank him.

There is this one point at the end of Fr. Munn's recent article that warrants further commentary, however.  He writes,

Are Anglican Catholics actually Anglican? Not in my understanding. It is of no consequence: we should make sure we are Christians first!

That is very true, of course, but the question then becomes how we know we are Christians.  The answer to that question differs radically between those who embrace the doctrines of the Reformation and those who do not, opting instead for a soteriology centered around justification by faith + works + doled out sacraments.  If the Reformation represents nothing more than "a lot of Protestant heresies", as Fr. Munn seems to suggest, then we'd do well to listen more carefully to him as to how to make sure we are Christians (and hope it's nothing like this).  If, on the other hand, and as we hold, the Reformation was the recovery of something genuinely apostolic in the area of soteriology, and accordingly indispensible to the question of how to make sure we are Christians, then being an "Anglican" as opposed to an "English Catholic" might be just the ticket.

Thursday
Oct092014

I'd Add an AR-15

;)

Well, after all, Whitefield's preaching inspired the faith and spiritual lives of a whole generation of American Evangelicals who, shortly after the Great Awakening, put down the plow and picked up the musket in defense of liberty.