Skip to comments.Laying the Foundation [North American Anglicanism]
Posted on 07/13/2006 5:32:03 PM PDT by sionnsar
The Common Cause Partners, an association of conservative North American Anglican bodies including American Anglican Council, the Anglican Communion Network, Anglican Essentials Canada, Anglican Mission in America, the Anglican Network in Canada, the Anglican Province of America, Forward in Faith North America and the Reformed Episcopal Church, has proposed the following Theological Statement:
We, the representatives of the Common Cause Partners, do declare we believe the following affirmations and commentary to contain the chief elements of Anglican Reformed Catholicism, and to be essential for membership.
1) We receive the Canonical Books of the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Scripture as the inspired Word of God containing all things necessary for salvation, and as the final authority and unchangeable standard for Christian faith and life.
2) We confess the historic faith of the Undivided Church as declared in the Catholic Creeds.
3) We believe the teaching of the Seven Ecumenical Councils in so far as they are agreeable to the Holy Scriptures, and have been held by all, everywhere, at all times.
4) We hold the two sacraments of the Gospel to be ordained by Christ Himself, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord, and to be administered with unfailing use of Christs words of Institution and of the elements ordained by Him.
5) We accept the 1549 through the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and its ordinal as the foundation for Anglican worship and the standard for doctrine and discipline.
6) We believe the godly Historic Episcopate to be necessary for the full being of the Church.
7) We affirm the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion as foundational for authentic Anglican belief and practice and as correctives to doctrinal abuses.
Number 5 is particularly interesting. The Episcopal Church's problems escalated when the Prayer Book was eviscerated in 1979. Whether that means conservative North American churches will be able to return to using the 1662(and presumably the 1928) Book of Common Prayer or whether an entirely new orthodox prayer book will be published is unknown. But it looks as if North American Anglicans really do mean to shake a good deal of dust from their feet.
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I hope you are feeling better! This is an interesting development. Anglican Reformed Catholicism, hmm.
local FYI update:
Faith Church - Allen wishes to disassociate itself with TEC as soon as possible per snail mail I received today from the Senior Warden.
The last note is that the church will remain orthodox and will remain Anglican.
You will notice that any reference to being Episcopal has been removed.
The Diocese of Dallas may be doing something similar but has to wait until the Diocese Convention this fall to make its move.
What's wrong with just using the Nicene Creed? It worked well for over 1600 years.
Thank you. I bid your prayers -- it's a dark time here and I don't know why...
The last note is that the church will remain orthodox and will remain Anglican. http://www.faith-church.org/ You will notice that any reference to being Episcopal has been removed.
This is not the first time I have seen this. Although I am long since gone, it's sad to see -- but the spirit here is encouraging!
I like the Apostles creed the best. A simple but complete expression of faith in the Holy Trinity.
A quick, slightly off-topic question. Which canon of Scriptures does the Anglican Communion recognize? The Catholic canon, or the Protestant canon?
Apparently, both? I am not comlpletely sure what is meant by "selections" used in the following paragraph. However, it is clear that not all of the Apocrypha is contained in the BCP.
"The Apocrypha is a collection of books written by people of the Old Covenant. The Articles of Religion note that these books may be read "for example of life and instruction of manners," but are not used to establish any doctrine (Art. VI, BCP, p. 868). Selections from the Apocrypha are included in the BCP lectionaries for the Holy Eucharist and the Daily Office."
"All persons ordained as bishops, priests, or deacons in the Episcopal Church must solemnly declare at their ordination that they "do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary to salvation. . .." (BCP, pp. 513, 526, 538). Selections from scripture for the Episcopal Church's services of the Holy Eucharist and the Daily Offices are provided by the lectionaries of the BCP (pp. 889-1001)."
I am sorry, I forgot that not all BCP are the same, and that not everyone is going to have one handy. MY (my husband's actually - though I use it too) BCP has the Bible contained therein (1928 with Apocrypha).
We have more 1928 BCPs about the house than I can count (including my grandfather's Confirmation BCP), but the newest also has the KJV Bible with Apocrypha.
Okay, I find this a little confusing.
Are the books found in the Catholic bible, but not found in the Protestant bible considered canonical (considered part of Divinely-inspired Scriptures) for Anglicans? Or just nice writings?
If they're used in the BCP lectionary, does that sort of imply canonical status?
Or is this an issue where there is a certain amount of studied Anglican ambiguity, and thus, perhaps I'm asking the wrong question?
Historically, the Catholic Canon of Scripture is what the Angilcan Church has used. However, more recently, I am not sure that this has been used. I *thought* the Episcopal church used the Revised Standard Version. Upon closer study, the RSV may or may not contain the Apocrypha (you can get the RSV Bible either way - my old third grade RSV Bible does not contain the Apocrypha). Now you have me curious. I will have to check the Pew Bible in church now! :-)
The NRSV is the translation currently in use. More inclusive and gender neutral. Very important to TECers.
TEC is replacing its sunday eucharist lectionary with the Revised Common Lectionary by 2008 according to the 2006 general convention. Also, the 1979 book has bible quotations from the RSV instead of the NRSV. So the 1979 book is going to need a "newly revised" version soon.
The RCL is used by whom? The Presbys, TEC, who else?
What is Scripture? The 39 Articles of Religion are the only place in the Anglican formularies where the books of the Bible are actually listed. The Articles list the books of the Hebrew Masoretic Scripture as authoritative (i.e. the Protestant Old Testament) along with the New Testament canon established by the Council of Carthage in 395. The books of the Septuagint not appearing in the Masoretic (i.e. the O.T. Apocrypha) are also listed as godly and worhtwhile to read and study, but not as a source of doctrine (in another words, doctrinal items that are in them may be found elsewhere in the Bible). This is in contrast to the Westminster Confession, which states that the Apocrypha is completely worthless. The lectionary includes, from time to time, selections from the Apocrypha.
It really wasn't until the invention of the printing press and the mass production of Bibles that Christian leaders began to seriously resolve the question of what books constituted the Old Testament canon.
Thanks. That clears it up some.
From a Catholic perspective, then, the Anglicans use the Protestant bible.
"It really wasn't until the invention of the printing press and the mass production of Bibles that Christian leaders began to seriously resolve the question of what books constituted the Old Testament canon."
I think that most informed Catholics and Orthodox wouldn't agree with this statement.
The Bibles in the pews are Protestant ones. In many ECUSA parishes, they are also covered with dust.
I am not aware of an authoritative body laying out the canonical books of the Old Testament prior to the Council of Trent. I know several of the Apostolic Fathers and Doctors of the Church have given their say on what those books are (e.g. St John of Damascus's Exposition of the Orthodox Faith). I don't think it was seen as a priority for the ancient and medieval church since "the extra books" don't contradict the rest of the Bible.
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