Why EcclesiastiCAL? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Thursday, 18 September 2008 10:04
The Church as both the local and world-wide Body of Christ is absolutely essential to personal salvation in its fullest sense and to the work of Christ in the world.  The Church matters. Christ loves it and gave His life for it. The Church, as both a living organism and as a Christ-ordained institution, matters. I also want to believe that historic Denominations matter. The reality is that particular local churches come and go. They can both prosper and fail. Some are doing marvelous ministry. Some are an unjustified drain on the resources of everyone involved and should close their doors. The essays on this website are about the Church in various aspects and are written by me, hence the name EcclesiastiCAL.

Although I began my Christian life and my ordained Ministry in a Baptist church, I have become a convinced Anglican. That means I am persuaded that the Anglican Essentials and Heritage are the best (certainly not the exclusive!) expression of what “Church” should be. I will explore common Anglican beliefs and practices on this website, as I understand them as a layperson from some 30 years of observation and learning.  I speak for no one else. The local expression of Anglicanism known to me is the Episcopal Church.  I am not happy to say I am a confirmed Episcopalian. I am often embarrassed to tell my conservative evangelical friends (most of whom are in baptistic churches) that I am Episcopalian. In my mind, the current Leadership of The Episcopal Church (TEC) has left its Anglican moorings and is now adrift on the waters of “Liberalism” and Heresy. It is not evangelical or Reformed or Orthodox (with some major exceptions here and there- yes, there are lights in the darkness). This website is not a defense or promotion of TEC; rather, it is primarily dedicated to discovering and promoting what I consider to be Historic, Classic Anglicanism.

Anglican Essentials and The Episcopal Church PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Thursday, 18 September 2008 09:51
A true Church is a group of people who confess faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and regularly assemble in His Name to worship God and to hear the Gospel preached and the Scripture expounded.  They are Baptized and observe the Lord’s Supper.  This is a minimalist definition- the basic Essentials of a Church.

In a more complete definition, a Church would also have a 3-fold ordained Ministry (Bishop, Priest, Deacon) in historic continuity with the ancient Church, its Doctrine would be Apostolic and Creedal, its Worship Liturgical and its Ordinances (Baptism and Lord’s Supper) sacramental.  In a word, such a Church would be Anglican.

By these standards, the current Leadership is endangering of The Episcopal Church (TEC) as a true Church.  This is because that Leadership, in many of its pronouncements and decisions, has departed from The Faith. Officially the Church still has all the essentials, but the Leaders are not faithful to the Apostolic Creeds and Reformation Doctrine. The evidence includes not only the actions and resolutions of National Conventions and Councils of Bishops, but also the actions and pronouncements of local Dioceses, specific Bishops, including the current Presiding Bishop, the writings and statements of many Theologians in the Church and local parish Priests.
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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