Monday, June 01, 2009

Overcoming schism - the nettle Protestantism must grasp

[The Ugley Vicar] 1 June 2009--These three suggestions —that bishops should call their clergy and people back to the Anglican heritage, that ministerial candidates should have engaged with the theology of the Articles, and that those candidates should also be made practically familiar with the Prayer Book —would go some considerable way to establishing that Anglicanism is a confessional faith. The denial of this is surely one of the great myths of our time. Indeed, the suggestion that Anglicanism is not a confessional faith, and specifically a Protestant confession, would have come as a surprise to the compilers of the Articles and the Prayer Book, the Marian martyrs and, not least, to John Henry Newman, who once wrote,

... it is notorious that the Articles were drawn up by Protestants and intended for the establishment of Protestantism ...

This is why the establishment of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans is so important. It is not just about ‘politics’, it is about theology —or rather two theologies, one that sees the individual as the final judge in matters of faith and doctrine, to be decided privately between himself and God, the other that sees the individual as the recipient of both faith and doctrine through means instituted by Christ, but reliant on others.

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