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Dr. Peter Toon on "High Church Evangelical" Anglicans
Prydain ^ | 11/06/2005 | Will

Posted on 11/06/2005 5:28:12 PM PST by sionnsar

Via Anglican Books Revitalized, a most worthwhile website done by Irene Teas where she is making various books available on the Web, I found a book by Dr. Peter Toon on The Anglican Way: Evangelical and Catholic. This is well worth examining, and I found the below quote on "High Church Evangelical" Anglicans to be of interest:

In 1833 the Tractarian, or Oxford, or Anglo-Catholic Movement was born. Those within this movement went further in their commitment to, and enthusiasm for, patristic and medieval principles, practice and spirituality than the traditional High-Church school had ever done. And, fear that the leaders-John Henry Newman, John Keble and Edward B. Pusey – and their disciples/friends were seeking to restore major aspects of imbalanced or erroneous medieval worship and doctrine in the Church of England caused not only the traditional Evangelicals but also other Churchmen, including High Churchmen, to express misgivings and concern. By 1840 a major controversy had begun and it continued throughout the Victorian period. (For details see my Evangelical Theology: A Response to Tractarianism, John Knox Press, 1979.)

As the division between Anglo-Catholics and Evangelicals widened in the 1840’s there were those from the Evangelical and High-Church Schools who believed that the extremes of their positions – as exhibited in the controversy – were unacceptable and denied the Reformed Catholicity of the Church of England. So a few men chose to call themselves Evangelical High-Churchmen or High-Church Evangelicals. The particular name reflected the route taken toward the position and also reflected the particular way that Reformed Catholicity was expressed. There was a common conviction that the Church of England already had a Reformed or Evangelical Catholicity and should not exaggerate its evangelical or its catholic nature in such a manner as to detract from the dynamic nature of Reformed Catholicity.

Those who sought to take this position of affirming what was true in each of the contesting positions were only a minority. The magazine and publications in which they expressed their convictions did not last long. Their influence was minimal in their own time and the Church of England apparently soon forgot about them. (See further my article ‘Evangelicals and Tractarians: then and now’ in The Churchman, 1979.)

It was (and is) so much easier to adopt one neatly packaged position or expression of Anglican Christianity than to seek to affirm and to hold truths expressed in various packages. There is nothing wrong in belonging to a School (better than the word ‘party’), but the major commitment of the Anglican Christian is to the exalted Lord Jesus and to his whole Church. Schools of thought and practice should exist as complementary expressions of the one Faith and one commitment to the Lord Jesus, just as a variety of ministries needs to exist to complement one another and to point to the one ministry of Christ himself. Unity, without uniformity, is the right idea.

The continuance of the genuine ‘Liberal’ or ‘Latitudinarian’ School has a place in the Anglican Way that is simultaneously evangelical and catholic. To this School belongs the task of constantly bringing before the whole Church the kinds of questions it should be facing, and of constantly pioneering new ways of thinking about Faith and about the relations of the Faith and Church to the world in which they are set. Yet this questioning and creative thinking will be done in faithfulness to the Gospel and to Catholicity.

To put the matter simply, I see in the Anglican Way those who are EVANGELICAL and catholic, those who are CATHOLIC and evangelical, and those who are LIBERAL, evangelical and catholic (or LIBERAL, catholic and evangelical) – together with other possible permutations. The point is that together, as a body, we shall reflect and exhibit a simultaneous commitment to the Gospel and Catholicity.
I find it interesting that in this book, copyrighted in 1983, Dr. Toon mentioned three differing perspectives as seen in the last paragraph quoted--which I now wonder if one might say form the basis for the three possible ways many see now that Anglicanism might fracture--liberal, Anglo-Catholic and evangelical.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: anglicans

1 posted on 11/06/2005 5:28:13 PM PST by sionnsar
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2 posted on 11/06/2005 5:28:48 PM PST by sionnsar (†† || (To Libs:) You are failing to celebrate MY diversity! || Iran Azad)
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To: sionnsar
He was spot on, because those ARE in large part the divisions that we see today.

The "high" crowd, however, do tend to drift to Rome . . . whether it's John Henry Newman or yours truly (at opposite ends of the ecclesiastical spectrum).

3 posted on 11/06/2005 6:39:56 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (. . . Ministrix of ye Chace (recess appointment), TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary . . .)
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