Dr. Barnett has written many books. Is the New Testament Reliable? is a good start to Dr. Barnett's work on the New Testament. But the book that I have kept coming back to over the years as a reference and a resource is Jesus and the Rise of Early Christianity. Shameless plug.
Number 7 from Paul Barnett:
'Seventh, "historic" Anglicanism is episcopal and parochial, requiring that only those who are duly recognized by the bishop engage in preaching in the congregation and in ministering the sacraments among the people. The role of ordaining and licensing in churches is placed in the hands of the bishop. Provision is made for the deposition of "evil ministers", (Article 26) which regrettably, has been under-utilised. The existence of the episcopate has provided laity aggrieved with their ministers with a place of appeal, sometimes justified, sometimes not.'The point here is that pastors are "men under authority". And that authority is local. A minister is not a law unto himself, and he is not to act as such. There is someone who, under Jesus, gave them the authority they have, and therefore they have someone to whom they are to 'report'. There is a path for discipline (as well as support). Churches that have pastors who have no authority over them are in great danger. (And by oversight, I don't mean a bunch of peers to whom they 'share' with occasionally).
But Dr. Barnett opens a door when he says that one aspect of the 39 Articles has been 'under-utilized'. That is, Anglicans haven't kept their own 'rules' (not just the one mentioned here).
The current mess in the Anglican church (and especially here in the US) has been, in part, a failure of the Bishops and leaders to be faithful the the Faith Once Delivered. If the Bishop is not faithful to the Scripture, then that means that Episcopos can't function properly.
That's called a crisis, as far as I can tell.
One of Anglican proportions.
Pic by Flickr by petervanallen.