Trenton New Jersey State Building, c. 1800
Episcopalians are generally raised on the myth the original Protestant Episcopal Church (PECUSA or PEC) never formally adopted the Articles of Religion as a standard for doctrine. More critical observers may qualify this claim by mentioning the later adoption of the 39-Articles, amended to American circumstances, at the General Convention of 1801 and their ultimate insertion into the American Prayer Book. More skeptical persons insist the Articles never made their way into PECUSA’s subscription formula when compared to the English. Indeed, if contrasting the terms of subscription between American and English forms, the matter evidently boils down to what early-PECUSA meant by its “doctrine and discipline”. However, the Articles were part of a larger theological settlement and had import for making a national church.
de Bibliotheca de Annapolis
Perhaps it’s well-known that Anglicans suffer an acute identity crisis. Once modern higher criticism– with its advanced social agenda– is questioned, we’re often left to ponder the war-weary and topsy-turvy landscape left behind by Victorian Party strife. However inimical to one another these factions might have been, they seem to often mutual in their abuse or dismissal of the Georgian Church. Such joint-criticism usually amounts to the 18th-century Era being characteristically sluggish, superficial, worldly, and excessively whiggish. However, the 18th-century– called by some historians the peak of the Church of England’s “Long Reformation”– was likely ‘torpid’ for very good reasons; namely, it was a relatively stable and triumphant period for the Established Church. And, if the stagnant nature of the Georgian Church is true, why not ground one’s hermeneutic upon the Divinity which advanced this relative dominance? This post will briefly discuss something of the historical framework our blog, Anglican Rose, has been slowly moving toward as well as our other related projects. Continue reading
the Good Samaritan
Modern liberals have basically run amok with the Christian notion of Love, turning it into a radical leveling or egalitarian creed disconnected from other salutary virtues such as Duty or Justice. The older Protestant view better joined these categories. I’ve discussed this subject in relation to John Wesley’s recommended ‘circles of reproof‘ with the second-half of the same essay touching wider Anglican divinity. Not long thereafter I came across the same in Bishop Gilbert Burnet’s Exposition of the Church Catechism, and it appears to be quite a familiar notion in England’s Long Reformation as to what it means to ‘love thy neighbor’. Below are relevant extracts from Burnet’s Exposition coupled with his late-contemporary, the Rev. Dr. White Kennett, on Christian charity. Continue reading
I usually keep posts related to Liturgical matters confined to the River Thames Beach Party (RTBP) blog. However, since the following essay is basically a continuation of ‘Cummins’s Lost Evangelicals’, I felt it worthwhile to link the post here. This essay examines a third-point of relief wanted by mid-19th century Evangelicals, namely, amending the Baptismal Office for Children by either omitting or explaining the controverted term “regenerate”. Indeed, this is an old demand, and one considered nugatory by successive reviewers of the Prayer Book on the Anglican-side. Even for the 1689 Commission (which sought comprehension with moderate Dissent) this was true, and from that same sensibility the 1785 American Book was also based. Anyway, here is the post at the RTBP blog.
Bp. George D. Cummins
The Rev. George D. Cummins (former assisting-bishop of Kentucky for the Protestant Episcopal Church [from 1866-73], then, first Bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church in New York [until his death in 1876]) gives something of a retrospect of the Book of Common Prayer respecting the ‘germs of Romanism’ or sacerdotalism therein. In the midst of this letter, Cummins interestingly reflects upon those conditions that might have kept the Evangelical clergy in the Episcopal Church, at least prior to his own departure.
Background: In 1688 the growing crisis caused by James II, a Roman Catholic sovereign over the church of England, came to a head. James II, alongside his catholic clients, were using Indulgences granted to religious Dissent to divide Churchmen from their Presbyterian and Independent counterparts. Meanwhile, James was busy advancing the Papal Interest. However, seven Anglican bishops, galvanized by the political networks of London clergy, refused to read the King’s Declaration (an unusual request on the Crown. Normally, reading of injunctions were left to the lower clergy not Bishops). Instead, the Seven took opportunity to petition James II, explaining their intention to protect England’s constitution while uniting Protestant Dissent to the established Church. Of course, the Bishops were arrested, but their speedy trial ended with their declared innocence and subsequent release into jubilant crowds. The Petition became a high water mark for national Protestantism, resolved to halt the Romanist party and the Arbitrary Power of James II.
This year my family had opportunity to attend the UECNA’s 2014 General Convention. There was an anticipation this Convention would have a tremendous bearing upon the future of the continuing church. Anglican Rose has taken liberty to infer several ideas not neccesarily shared by Bp. Robinson.
2013 Predictions. In an earlier essay called “Post-Brockton“, I offered a few predictions regarding the ultimate failure of the ACC’s staunch non-involvement policy, namely, forbidding unity with Anglican churches which are in communion with other churches that ordain women, or “double non-involvement”. Of course, the ACC was targeting ACNA and FACA-related bodies like the APA, DHC, and especially the REC(1). I also predicted the APA and UECNA would grow restless of any hard isolationist policy, sooner or later breaking from it in favor of a larger unity with North American churches besides ACC. While much remains to be seen, the UECNA has apparently left the ACC-orbit. Continue reading
A Prussian immigrae, Phillip Schaff (1819-1893) was committed to the idea of uniting Lutheran and Reformed churches which began in Germany under the aegis of Prince Frederick William IV. Dr. Schaff is perhaps better known for his voluminous writings on Church history and the ancient fathers. His contribution alongside John W. Nevin in making “Mercersburg Theology”(1) is also significant as a traditional Protestant answer to American revivalism. Initially scandalized by the proliferation of enthusiastic sects, Schaff gradually found a silver-lining in American disestablishment, concluding God’s Providence set aside the United States to play a crucial role in forging an Evangelical Christendom by voluntaristic means. His change of opinion on freedom of religion is worth study, answering questions perhaps vexing for Anglicans-abroad who normally are ambivalent about their Republican advantages and not-too-distant past with Royal Supremacy. Continue reading
Earlier posts mentioned “ministry partnership” as an example of a third relationship for Anglican churches that neither wish “full-communion” nor strict a “non-involvement” with ACNA or like jurisdictions. Is it possible for Continuers to cooperate with ‘orthodox’ parishes, dioceses, and (sub)provinces who have ties to Canterbury yet themselves resist the ordering of women as priests and bishops, as Affirmation’s preamble suggests? The question sadly becomes polarized between two extremes (“full merger” or “ecclesiastical abstinence”) while graded possibilities exist with ACNA and even some TEC. Ministry partnership is used today among pro-unity continuers (i.e., FACA aligned churches like EMC, APA, ACA, and DHC) who are open to helping ACNA. However, what duties accompany Ministry Partnership (MP) is murky. This post is an attempt to define MP status by looking at ACNA (and related) documents.
Normally I try to stay on topic, or follow some sort of theme, but last week Anglican Rose received a very nice plug from Fr. Anthony Chadwick who’s a chaplain in the Traditional Anglican Communion serving Normandy, France. Our Pax Dei page was used at Chadwick’s blog, As the Sun in its Orb (SarumUse), to bounce around questions regarding a ‘northern catholic’ identity. Chadwick broaches this subject by asking, “What is classical Anglicanism?”
The history of the Continuum has been marked by on-and-off ecumenicism with “orthodox” parts of TEC, these being dioceses and parishes that have more or less suppressed women’s ordination. In the course of this ecumenicism two opinions emerge. The first opinion recognizes various degrees WO has been accepted, holding out a possibility that certain quarters of realignment Anglicanism might reverse ordinations into priesthood or even diaconate. The second is certain that wrong intent and compromise of sacramental integrity automatically nullifies every charism for Holy Orders, making extreme disassociation with respect to neo-Anglicanism necessary. Since the receding of FACA, the latter opinion has made headway among Continuing churches, justifying de facto policies of strict non-involvement (1). Non-involvement has direct bearing upon the future of North American Anglicanism, hindering what might be dubbed “solidarity” with faithful parts struggling in Lambeth.