Monday, January 21, 2008

#2: Historic Anglicanism is Protestant

Here, Dr. Barnett echo's the sentiment of J.I.Packer that, "Anglicanism embodies the richest, truest, wisest heritage in Christendom." A strong claim, right? Such a strong claim requires a hearing. Read the introductory posts HERE.

Dr. Barnett continues with his second element:
'Second, it is protestant. Article 6 states, "...whatsoever is not read therein," that is, in the Bible, "is not required an any man, that it should be believed as an article of faith." The church upholds the right of the individual to read and understand the Bible for his salvation, as opposed to salvation truth being mediated by the church.'
I know several people who are considering Roman Catholicism. Personally, I don't understand the appeal to swim the Tiber. But I have tried to listen and speak to those who have. I have written (cheekily) about the appeal of becoming Roman Catholic in a previous post (Click HERE.)

The truth is this: I can grasp that some want the certainty of a centralized and unified interpretation of Scripture; an authority outside of me to determine the meaning of Scripture; something to mitigate against a million individual interpretations.

But I simply cannot see how Rome answers the questions that some are asking. Turning to Rome seems to raise more questions than it answers.

I read the New Testament and it appears that God seems to take a risk on people: God expects that each believer, reading his or her own Bible; accountable to pastors and elders; mindful of the great thinkers of the past, and in faith in Jesus our Lord, will 'work out their own salvation with fear and trembling.' More than that, God promises to 'work in you, to will and to work for his good pleasure.'

The point here is that being Anglican allows for this very activity...

All, it appears, without a Pontiff in Rome!

Pic on Flickr by *Toshio*.


Samuel Lago said...

Well, I think the "beauty" of anglicanism, is that it is both Protestant and catholic (note, catholic with a little "c").

That is, while it affirms the supremacy and centrality of scripture, it also seems to affirm the importance of church authority (XIX-XXI) and the rule fo faith (art. VIII) as the "framework" within which we read, interpret and apply Scripture (although, in both cases, still subject to Scripture).

That is, we read the Scripture in and with the church, together, prayfully and humbly, correcting each other when neccesary. I find this to be true catholicity.

No breaking off to form a new denomination as soon as disagreements appear. At least, in theory...

Peter said...

The thought of one human being (aka one who is inherently fallen and sinful) having real spiritual authority is very scary, not comforting.

The idea of the wisdom of the crowds has been popular lately; I think it is real. When billions of Christians, not just those in current time but including those from centuries and millenia past, can help each other engage the Scriptures together, there is much more likelihood that we will arrive at Truth than if we were to assign one man to be that arbiter of truth.

Justin said...

Peter -- yes, its interesting. The word catholic means whole or complete. Together, we have worked these truths out over time and space.

And yet the irony in Roman Catholicism is that they should give undue weight to a person living in Italy.

That is one of the things that bug me.