Essential marks of a truly Anglican Church PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Thursday, 18 September 2008 09:45
Historic continuity with the Church of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury (and, through this continuity, to the Church in England, back to those who brought the Faith of the 1st Century Church to the British Isles)

Liturgical and Eucharistic (Sacramental) Worship according to a Book of Common Prayer which is in direct line, and faithful to, The 1662 Book of Common Prayer

A Trinitarian Faith that is both Catholic and Reformed 

This means the Anglican Faith is grounded in the Creeds and Practices of the early Church (1st-6th  Centuries), as well as the Doctrine of the Protestant Reformers of the 16th-17th Centuries, represented by The Thirty Nine Articles of Religion. Being Catholic and Reformed also means that the pietist, revivalist, charismatic, fundamentalist and much of the contemporary evangelical Faith and practices of American Protestantism are not historically Anglican, although they are found among Episcopalians.

A Theological Method that involves what is known as Thomas Hooker’s 3-Legged Stool: Scripture + Tradition + Reason. The application of this method varies greatly.  Simply put, the more Reformed members, like Hooker himself, emphasize Scripture above Tradition and Reason; the more Catholic members emphasize Tradition above Scripture and Reason; the more Liberal members emphasize Reason above both Tradition and Scripture (in that order).  What is crucial to the “Method” is that all 3 “legs” are involved in “doing theology” the Anglican way and the effort is made to keep them in tension with each other.

A Spirituality that flows from all of the above, nurtured by a sense of continuity with the ancient Church and its practices, by its sense of communion with the Holy and Sacred in its worship (and in sacred spaces), by its grounding in classical and historical Theology, by its respect for ancient Tradition and by its reliance on both Scripture and the mind to plumb the depth of God’s revelation of Himself and to seek His will in all things.

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