Tuesday, January 22, 2008

#3: Historic Anglicanism is catholic

Please read the introductory posts HERE. In this article, Dr Paul Barnett echo's J.I. Packer that Anglicanism is the 'richest, truest, wisest heritage in Christendom.' As I type, I realize that this case can only be made by hearing out all ten elements. There are many churches that are biblical (#1) and protestant (#2). More will have to be said. I'm looking forward to reading the next 7. Make comments along the way!
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We work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Yes. But has God been gracious to us to stop us wondering down our own individualistic path? Indeed, he has. Here is Number 3:
'Third, this church (Historic Anglicanism) recognises that great truths of biblical revelation have been secured in creeds and confessions at moments of high theological controversy. Significantly, Articles 1-5 affirm the doctrines of the trinity and the incarnation and resurrection of Christ which were in dispute in the early centuries. Thus, "historic" Anglicanism is committed to views on trinity and christology which are catholic, that is, 'according to the whole' church, as opposed to heretical or sectional teachings. The creeds - the Apostles', the Nicene and the Athanasian - are important as expressions of "catholic" Christianity, to which "historic" Anglicanism has committed itself.'
Someone pointed out to me that there is a significant deviation between Historic Anglicanism and it's current expression here in the US and Canada (and it appears to have moved a long way from the creeds). It is worth pointing out that the battle that currently exists is, in part, a calling back to the creeds.

Has anyone else noticed that the creeds are making a comeback? I was at a church recently that was far from traditional. And yet they wanted to embrace the past. What did they do at this church? They embraced and recited the Apostle's Creed.

There is not a week that goes by at our church were one of the creeds is not affirmed and read.

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Pic on Flickr by Eglantine.

1 comment:

Peter said...

Yeah, I don't know if you've read much about the emerging church movement but many of the churches in the movement embrace a return to the use of creeds and liturgy.

I had a conversation with Nathan this past Sunday about how I think the distinctives between different denominations is getting blurred. I noticed that you wrote in a previous post that you think that denominations are more significant in the US than in Australia. I have no idea what the church scene is like in Australia, but in my opinion, denominations in the US are becoming less important and that the only people who still really care about denominations are people who have spent their whole lives in the church.

My perception is that Christians are focusing less on particulars of theology and an intellectual understanding of faith; instead, focusing on living out the Gospel. And that focus on being Christ to the world does not change that much depending on whether someone is a hard-line Calvinist vs. soft Calvinist vs. Arminianist etc.

That doesn't mean that I don't think theology is unimportant but I believe that having the theology just 75% right but living out the Gospel 100% is more God-honoring than having the theology 100% right yet sitting on your butt all day and having zero impact on the people and world around you.

Anyways, now I'm starting to ramble. I'm genuinely interested in learning more about Anglicanism because there seems to be so much diversity in the modern Anglican church, so please keep posting about it. My first Anglican experience was that of charismatic Anglicanism at Holy Trinity Brompton but I know that experience does not represent all of Anglicanism (unfortunately, in my opinion). :)