Heritage Anglican Network Posters: Please Take Note

March 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 54 Comments

Due to the sudden increase in comments containing accusations, innuendos, name-calling, personal attacks, and disparaging and scurrilous remarks, I am going to be looking more closely at comments and approving only those comments in which the poster displays a measure of charity and civility toward others consistent with being a Christian.


Some comments I may not approve because they in my judgment will inflame the tensions being manifest on this web log. The Heritage Anglican Network is a cyber meeting place for confessional Anglicans and those sympathetic to confessional Anglicanism or wanting to learn more about confessional Anglicanism. It is not a set for “Flame Wars.”


The sudden increase of  derogatory comments followed my response to the comment of a recent visitor from the Traditional Protestant Episcopal Church to this blog, in which I asked for an explanation of why an Anglican church body that claimed to be Protestant and Reformed would continue to use the 1928 Book of Common Prayer when the 1928 Prayer Book is the most Catholic of the American Prayer Books and shows the influence of Broad Church Liberalism, and why it would want to use the original name of The Episcopal Church when that denomination had not been Protestant and Reformed since the late 1800s. These are legitimate questions that I have raised in a number of articles.


I am willing to post a carefully-worded, well-reasoned explanation of the Traditional Protestant Episcopal Church position (or that of any other Anglican church body) on these questions on this blog. (The email address for the Heritage Anglican Network is heritageanglicannetworkatgmaildotcom.) I am also willing to post comments observing the inconsistencies between the various statements of a specific poster provided that such comments do not include negative remarks concerning his personality, his intellect, his mental status, and the like.


I have posted Bishop Del Murray’s explanation of his departure from the Traditional Protestant Episcopal Church and Phil Vietch’s letter to Presiding Bishop Charles Morley. Phil raises a number of legitimate questions. If Bishop Morley chooses to respond, I will post his letter (if I judge that it will not further add to the tensions being manifest on this blog.) However, I am not going to post a blow-by-blow account of the back and forth between any poster on the blog and another party or parties. The more appropriate means of communicating this information to interested parties is by private email and not in a public forum. One of the aims of the Heritage Anglican Network is to foster positive relationships between individuals who may not agree on every key issue. Such accounts do not serve this purpose.


If anyone would like to submit an article on a topic relevant to confessional Anglicanism, please send an attachment containing the article to me at the above email address. Please limit the article to 1500 words. I do reserve the right to reject an article, to edit it, or to return it to you for necessary changes or clarification.


Robin G. Jordan,


Heritage Anglican Network



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  1. Robin,
    You state, “I have posted Bishop Del Murray’s explanation of his departure from the Traditional Protestant Episcopal Church… ” But I have not been able to find this statement on this blog. Where did you put it?

    • Joe,
      I believe that he posted his explanation under “May We Dare to Hope,” which ever article that had a lot of discussion of the TPEC.

  2. I whole-heartedly endorse, decisively, Robin’s necessary note here.

  3. Robin,
    Indeed yes, Del Murray’s departure of TPEC is big news for Low Churchmen. Where’s this explanation?

    • Keith,
      I believe that he posted his explanation under “May We Dare to Hope,” which ever article that had a lot of discussion of the TPEC.

  4. All:

    Quite apart from all of this, I had planned to visit Appommattox, VA, to see Geoff Hubler. In planning the trip, I learned that he also pulled out of TEPC. I’ll ask for an “on the record” interview, to wit, why? Geoff will be fair, balanced, and kind. I, again, am thankful for Robin’s post here and the legitimate concern/questions raised. I think an objective news report would be helpful.

  5. Robin, thanks, now I see it.

    Hmmmm, 150 comments. Think I’ll make a cuppa tea first.


  6. It has been a concern of mine that too much dissension remains amongst “traditional” Anglicans. I gladly repudiate the Tractarians, standing instead on the Scriptures, Articles, Ordinal, and 1662 Prayerbook. But I need to ask: ” Has the category “adiaphora” been forgotten or lost?”
    Also, there is the issue of patience; it took awhile before I found the 1662 BCP. Patient weaning away from the ’28 is needed. This must be wedded to a sound, Reformed diet of preaching and liturgy. I have thought of this: In the Prayer for the Whole State of Christ’s Church, add the words “here on earth” and pray the text of the 1662. Before this is done the first time, the change could be explained in the sermon.

    The cancers of liberalism and popery cannot be eliminated overnight. That makes prioritizing a necessity. How about putting the imoportant things first? I don’t really see how one addresses a minister is of prime importance. In conclusion, please correct me if I have failed to understand the issues that are involved. Thanks. Charles

  7. Robin,
    I still haven’t found Del’s post. Did you click the right button to let it go through?

  8. Charles,

    I suppose if one addresses a minister as “reverend” or “pastor”, it is indeed a matter adiaphorous.

    It’s only becomes a primary issue when you address the minister as “Father”. He is not Our Father, and no amount of semantic gymnastics can make him so.

    The same may be said about “priest”. A “priest” mediates a sacrifice, upon an “altar”. Christ’s sacrifice was perfect and complete, we need no “priests” to add to it, and attempting this diminishes Christ’s work upon the Cross.

    The REAL problem in Divided Anglicanism is when people don’t think something is a primary issue, so they carry on despite what many of our founding authorities clearly say, and what many Confessional Anglicans clearly think.

    Do we want Confessing Anglican unity? Then Confessing Anglican individuals need to set aside their personal impulses like an affection for purple, titles and walking about in long robes because it makes them feel all clerical.

    Also, I like your suggestion about adding “here on Earth” and will suggest this to several pastors I know.

  9. Robin:
    I didn’t see the article either.

  10. Joe:
    It would appear that Del Murray is the one who did not post his article, if you read Robin’s note above. Originally, Robin indicated that he posted the article, but if you read his response above, it would appear to have been in Del’s orbit, to post or not.

  11. Keith:
    You mentioned that Del’s departure is blow for Low Churchmen. TPEC lists eight clergymen on its website. In my brief stay with them, I can count eight clergyman who disappeared, two of whom were Bishops.
    Rather, I think the real blow for Low Churchmen is when James Packer gave a terse and unhelpful answer–in a public forum–a response to Charlie Ray’s inquiry about AC-ish and the XXXIX Articles. That was troubling. The unity-euphoria in all of this at the expense of theological inquiry, I think, will be a ballgame with extra innings. I try to shield my children from all this.

  12. Charles, I am in total agreement with you, again.
    Keith, how about this: if it’s cool in the 1662, it’s cool to CEAs. If it’s proscribed in the 1662, it’s a no-no for CEAs. If it’s not mentioned in the 1662, it’s adiaphorous, unless a governing body (TBA) pronounces otherwise.
    The Ordinal in the 1662 refers to Priests. It’s cool.
    Or does everyone want their own BCP?

  13. Philip
    James Packer is a died-in-the-wool Reformed Anglican. Have you read his Theology book which integrates the 39 Articles and the WCF?
    I’d give Packer the benefit of the doubt on this, especially after seeing his performance and meeting him at ACiC last Spring.
    One additional comment. We’re talking about Confessional Anglicanism here. If we’re not remembering the “Anglican” part of this, which includes certain high church liturgical styles — not popish, not A/C, but CA high church, as in the 1662 — then we’re no longer talking about Anglicanism.
    I insist that one of the great (theoretical, at this point) appeals of Confessional Evangelical Anglicanism is that it’s wonderful Reformed theology in a beautiful reverent liturgical style.
    Let’s keep the Anglican in Anglicanism. I know Packer would agree.

  14. Correction for my post two entries above. I’m pretty sure that should be “dyed”, not “died”. 🙂

  15. Well, it’s two posts above now, but it was one post above for the initial correction. Someone stop me before I hurt myself with this keyboard…

  16. Keith:
    I’ll forego elaboration about James Packer, XXXIX Articles, Westminster Confession of Faith, 1662 BCP and related issues. I hear what you are saying, but do not see him working this out consistently, to wit, the absence of a polemic re: Tractarian theology and his continuuing adherence to ECT. It seems to me that that is better addressed elsewhere. The point of the current blog is the cautionary note issued by Robin. Related to that, and to Charles’s point earlier, a series of issues needs to be identified that are constitutive to CEA and the point of diviseness/division in the Continuuing World, which I suppose the new ACNA now is. Idenified and discussed. Perhaps another blog on that.

  17. Dom – the 1662 BCP is acceptable as a baseline, though it will need to be revised slightly for use in the US (unless Yanks want to pray for the Queen, which is ok by me 😉

    That said, it’s not perfect. So no, just because it’s used in the ordinal doesn’t make it cool. My suggestion as an REC low churchman would be to correct it.

    It’s not that everyone wants their own BCP. It’s that everyone wants their own WAY, and will grab at whatever BCP suits them, or so it seems.

    I find it difficult to envision High Church without A/C connotations, so I’d be grateful if you could provide an example or two (two would be better).

    Phil – never said Del Murray’s departure from TPEC*USA was a blow, just that it was big news. There’s a TPEC*USA parish about an hour+ for me, and they were under consideration as a bail-out church if REC melts down.

    Never brought up Packer. I like what he writes (ordered Concise Theology on Dom’s recommendation) but see his engagement with A/Cs as his blindspot. We all have’em.

    I’ll be off line for a few days, so take care all and God Bless Ye.


  18. Hi, Keith.
    Yes, the minimal adjustment to either Americanize or generalize those mentions of Britain or the Queen, but that’s it. I sincerely believe that one of the major errors of the REC was in creating their own BCP. You’re right, the 1662 is not perfect, but it’s the international standard and it’s what GAFCON has determined as one of the formularies.
    I’d make subscription to the 1662 a requirement, so the use of the word “Priest” would be entirely acceptable. It doesn’t say “our High Priest”, just “Priest”.
    Prior to the Oxfordista movement, there were plenty of classical High Church Reformed Anglicans. Or do we think that no one ever believed the Articles? I equate High Church with liturgy, not theology. Note Charles’ comment about his High Church Five-Point Calvinism.
    GAFCON, the Communion lifeline to non-TEC in America has endorsed the 1662, Ordinal and Articles. If that’s not good enough for CEAs here, then Reformed Anglicanism is, indeed, in trouble.

  19. Dom,

    I’m in agreement; let’s not mess with the 1662 BCP. Just omit the prayers for the royal family.
    I don’t like the term priest because it is unfortunately used to translate Khohen and Hierus but actually comes from presbuteros (elder)[my transliteration may be off]. Presbyter or minister (servant) may be better terms. So, just use these terms instead. There are other minor problems that can be blown all out of proportion but not if it is kept in context. I one were to take out three words of a whole prayer and ignore the context in which they are used much mischief may be made.
    Bottom line 1662 is the standard of the vast majority of Anglicanism. It is a Protestant and Reformed prayer book probably better than anything produced since with the possible exception of the Church of Ireland’s 1926 version. That version does deserve a thorough scrutiny.

  20. The 1926 Irish Book of Common Prayer can be found at the following site:


  21. Hi, Joseph!
    I agree, “priest” is not my favorite term for a minister or pastor, nor am I totally in agreement with everything in the 1662 Communion service.
    But, they are in the BCP, and I honestly believe that we have to accede to them, or I don’t see how we’re going to get anywhere. So, while one may certainly prefer “pastor” — and I do — that the term “priest” is used in the 1662 means that we should accept it.
    Stuff that’s not in the 1662, like “Mass” and “Holy Eucharist” and “Father”, that’s where we can focus our prohibiting energies. 🙂

  22. Hello–I found this an interesting discussion–I thought I might add a couple of things.

    The term “Father” is used in reference to clergy–though only in a limited manner–in the Ordinal (that said, I must say that personally it’s not a term that I prefer).

    In the Services for Ordaining Bishops, Priests, and Deacons:
    “Reverend Father in God, we present unto you…”

    Allowance is made for the use of the term “Mass” (but not “Sacrifice of the Mass”) in the 1549 BCP–as was also the case in the German Reformation–although this use is certainly discouraged through the omission of the term in the later BCPs.

    Title of the Holy Communion Service in the 1549 BCP:

    Blessings in Christ,
    William Scott

    p.s. (Warning–I’m going off topic now) I’m a confessing Anglican–although I’m not a five-point Calvinist–I’m Augustinian (or “moderate Calvinist”) in my beliefs on predestination and therefore affirm with the Articles/Homilies/BCP such things as the reality of mortal or deadly sin or states of sin which choke or kill a living, saving faith–as Latimer states:
    But I say there be two manner of men: some there be that be not justified, not regenerate, nor yet in the state of salvation; that is to say, not God’s servants : they lack the renovation or regeneration ; they be not come yet to Christ. Now these persons who be they that be not come yet to Christ, or if they were come to Christ, be fallen again from him, and so lost their justification, (as there be many of us, which when we fall willingly into sin against conscience, we lose the favour of God, our salvation, and finally the Holy Ghost;)…

    Which be venial sins? Every sin that is committed against God not wittingly, nor willingly ; not consenting unto it : those be venial sins. As for an ensample : I see a fair woman, I am moved in my heart to sin with her, to commit the act of lechery with her : such thoughts rise out of my heart, but I consent not unto them ; I withstand these ill motions, I follow the ensample of that godly young man, Joseph ; I consider in what estate I am, namely, a temple of God, and that I should lose the Holy Ghost; on such wise I withstand my ill lusts and appetites, yet this motion in my heart is sin ; this ill lust which riseth up ; but it is a venial sin, it is not a mortal sin, because I consent not unto it, I withstand it ; and such venial sins the just man committeth daily. For scripture saith, Septiea cadit Justus, ” The righteous man falleth seven times;” that is, oftentimes: for his works are not so perfect as they ought to be. For I pray you, who is he that loveth his neighbour so perfectly and vehemently as he ought to do? Now this imperfection is sin, but it is a venial sin, not a mortal : therefore he that feeleth his imperfections, feeleth the ill1 motions in his heart, but followeth them not, consenteth not unto the wickedness are to do them ; these be venial sins, which shall not be unto us to our damnation…I put the case, Joseph had not resisted the temptations of his master’s wife, but had followed her, and fulfilled the act of lechery with her ; had weighed the matter after a worldly fashion, thinking, “I have my mistress’s favour already, and so by that mean I shall have my master’s favour too ; nobody knowing of it.” Now if he had done so, this act had been a deadly sin ; for any act that is done against the law of God willingly and if sin have wittingly, is a deadly sin. And that man or woman that committeth such an act, loseth the Holy Ghost and the remission of sins ; and so becometh the child of the devil, being before the child of God. For a regenerate man or woman, that believeth, ought to have dominion over sin ; but as soon as sin hath rule over him, he is gone: for she leadeth him to delectation of it, and from delectation to consenting, and so from consenting to the act itself. Now he that is led so with sin, he is in the state of damnation, and sinneth damnably.
    The whole sermon can be read here:

    Or, as the Anglican Homily of Justification says in brief regarding those who make themselves the members of the devil after having been justified and made the members of Christ:
    “Our office is not to pass the time of this present life unfruitfully and idly after we are baptized or justified, not caring how few good works we do to the glory of God and profit of our neighbors. Much less is it our office, after that we be once made Christ’s members, to live contrary to the same, making our selves members of the devil, walking after his incitements, and after the suggestions of the world and the flesh, whereby we know that we do serve the world and the devil, and not God.”

  23. Wow–my last post could use some serious editing

  24. The 1662 Book of Common Prayer is in no sense of the word open to “high church” views. It is just this sort of historical revisionism which leads to compromise which then leads to liberalism. If anyone here will take the time to read Cranmer’s writings on the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper it would become immediately clear that Cranmer was a low churchman. And Samuel Leuenberger’s book, Cranmer’s Immortal Bequest, shows clearly that Cranmer’s theology was Protestant, not high church, not Anglo-Catholic, and not open to the historical revisionism suggested by some. While it is true that the English Reformation deteriorated slowly over time and high church views crept back in, it is without a doubt a false assertion that “high church” views are “adiaphora” in the understanding of the English Reformers.

    While the English Reformers did not go as far as the Puritans in reforming the church, they most certainly were closers to the Puritans in their liturgy, worship, vestments, and views of the so-called “high church” theology which inevitably leads back to Rome.

    My view is that simply because the English Reformation lost momentum and compromised in later decades and centuries that is no reason for those of us pushing for reform to give up. Unless and until Anglicanism returns to its Protestant and Reformed roots, then there can never be any degree of purity in its liturgy or its preaching and teaching of the Gospel. As the old saying goes, a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Or if you want to put it in negative terms, a little rat poison is enough to poison the whole loaf.


  25. The 1662 refers to “priests” but it should be remembered that ALL Christians who are truly born again are “prophets, priests, and kings.” The old line REC referred to their ministers as “presbyters” to avoid confusion.

    The Declaration of Principles lists these errors:

    This Church condemns and rejects the following erroneous and strange doctrines as contrary to God’s Word;

    First, That the Church of Christ exists only in one order or form of ecclesiastical polity:

    Second, That Christian Ministers are “priests” in another sense than that in which all believers are “a royal priesthood:”

    Third, That the Lord’s Table is an altar on which the oblation of the Body and Blood of Christ is offered anew to the Father:

    Fourth, That the Presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper is a presence in the elements of the Bread and Wine:

    Fifth, That Regeneration is inseparably connected with Baptism.

    The term “Father” is forbidden in Scripture so it goes without saying that no Anglican should call the minister “Father.” It is not adiaphora according to Matthew 23:8-10.

    I might add that the 39 Articles forbids any “Lutheran” or “high church” view of the sacraments. There is no real presence in the elements of either sacrament. The only efficacy there is comes from God Himself, not the elements.


  26. I must also beg to differ on the point of James I. Packer. Packer distinguishes between his “personal” views, which are without a doubt “dyed in the wool Reformed and Anglican.” The problem is that Packer signed the Evangelicals and Catholics Together document and Packer openly endorsed the “Anglican Quadrilateral” at his lecture in Orlando in Feb. 2009. This is a reference to the Chicago Lambeth Quadrilateral of 1881 I believe. The Lambeth Quadrilateral is essentially a sellout to Anglo-Catholicism and is at best reductionism. If there is any minimalist document for unity it is clearly not the Lambeth Quadrilateral but the 39 Articles of Religion.

    The 39 Articles are Protestant and forbid high church and Anglo-Catholic views of the sacraments, soteriology, and ecclesiology. The problem with Packer’s view is that he wishes unity among moral and ethical conservatives in the Anglican communion and wishes to make the distinction between Anglo-Catholicism and Reformed Protestant Anglicanism simply a matter of adiaphora. This is clearly a sellout of the Gospel to both Roman Catholicism and Anglo-Catholicism.

    While I greatly admire Packer’s theology and work, he is absolutely wrong to compromise the doctrines of grace with the false gospel of salvation and justification by merits and good works. This is no secondary matter but a primary one!

    Although it may be unpopular to stand for the truth, for those who are committed to the Gospel as the primary matter, rather than ecumenical unity as Packer has, then the path is clear. We must not and cannot stop pushing for reform until it is accomplished. We push on toward the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus.

    Sincerely in Christ,


  27. There are many classical Reformed High Churchmen, Charlie. As I said, it’s liturgical style, not doctrine. There is a difference, as many have noted.
    If you want to evict James Packer from the in crowd, go ahead, but I’m afraid that’s cutting of noses to spite faces. Packer’s not perfect in God’s eyes, either.
    The 1662 says “Priests”. So, it’s “Priests”. Yes, not in the Roman sense, of course, but it’s “Priests”.
    I don’t think that the point here is to get involved in any neo-Gnostic “you have to read this book to understand blah blah”, but rather to agree to the basics and evangelize. The way to do that is the plain reading of the 1662 BCP, Ordinal and Articles. GAFCON has made that clear.
    If the 1662 isn’t good enough, then go ahead down the one-off REC path and see where that gets you. I’m sure that’s definitely not the path to restoration of Reformed Anglicanism.
    If this is a REC discussion site, let me know, and I’ll bail. 🙂

  28. Apologies for the neo-Gnostic jab! Heading off to read James now. 🙂

  29. Dom,

    I am no longer REC. And furthermore, I hold to the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, not the 1874 REC BCP or the latest REC BCP either. I joined the REC because I thought it was truly a Calvinistic church, “Reformed” Episcopal Church. I was wrong about that.

    That being said, however, minimalist theology is inexcusable. The Chicago Lambeth Quadrilateral is so minimal as to open the door to just about anything and we can see the results of that today in the Anglican Communion.

    Regarding Packer, what is the point of being a 5 point Calvinist if you must keep your opinions to yourself when in the company of other Anglicans?

    And I might add that LUTHER taught the priesthood of believers because he rediscovered the doctrine in Scripture. “High church” is not simply a preference of liturgy and vestments, etc. It is indeed a precursor to Tractarianism. This is precisely WHY there are no high churchmen today. They have all gone over to Tractarianism.

    As for your remark about “neo-Gnosticism”? That would be the anti-intellectualism of pentecostals, arminians, and various other broad church/evangelicals who refuse to do the hard work of actually studying Scripture and using their “mind” to worship God. Theology is not all that difficult if you’re willing to work at it.

    Intellectual laziness is the bane of Evangelicalism at large. I for one refuse to dumb down the Gospel. The Bible is so plain that even a child can understand it and be saved. However, it is also so deep and rich that one never understands all there is to learn from it. Don’t sell yourself short.

    I stand by what I said about Packer because it came out of his own mouth. He more or less said that the Anglo-Catholic/Protestant controversy within the Anglican Communion is a matter of adiaphora. This is totally false judging by the 39 Articles of Religion. I’m not referring to the 35 Articles of the REC either.

    I think the REC went too far in rejecting the 1662 BCP and the 39 Articles for these are solidly Protestant, Augustinian, and Calvinistic. And several of the 35 Articles are Arminian. This might be because Cummins was a former Methdodist.

    At any rate, what Anglicanism needs is robust, Calvinist theology and men who are willing to stand for the truth rather than sell out to ecumenical concerns for an apostate communion. The church should always be reforming.

    As for “high” church liturgy? I prefer following the 1662 BCP to the letter and I would prefer the cassock and surplice and black stole just as Cranmer himself did. And Cranmer advocated the use of the Table rather than an altar with no candles upon it just as the REC has said in the Declaration of Principles. While the REC didn’t get it all right, the Declaration of Principles are on the mark.

    Sincerely in Christ,


  30. GAFCON and the ACANA are no better than ECUSA because the CCP is dominated by Anglo-Catholics.

    If Anglicanism is to be consistent with the 1662 BCP, the Ordinal, and the 39 Articles of Religion, then high church and Tractarianism are excluded from the get go.

    Anything “repugnant” to Scripture is automatically excluded. This would include real presence, transubstantiation, etc. The 39 Articles even go so far as to exclude Luther’s view of consubstantiation. In fact, in the original 42 Articles the exclusion of the Lutheran view was even stronger.

    The 39 Articles of Religion do not allow for Tractarianism or high church views because they are in fact Protestant and Calvinistic/Augustinian.

    The GAFCON statement is flawed because it says absolutely nothing about justification by faith alone or anything else that is absolutely essential to the Gospel.

    These are not REC issues but PROTESTANT issues. Either you’re a Bible believing, confessing Evangelical Protestant or you’re something else. I am an Evangelical first and an Anglican second. I don’t make any apologies for that.

    You might find that the Sydney Diocese is also Evangelical first and Anglican second. What a revolutionary idea!

    Sincerely in Christ,


  31. Charlie and others:

    Has anyone noticed the GAFCON statement, to wit, that the XXXIX Articles addressed issues of “their times,” as if those are not abiding in our time, as if AC-issues are rather unimportant or irreelvant?

    I just noticed one “clause” that would appear to “relativize” the XXXIX Articles, something the three (3) of four (4) ACNA dioceses would like. I need to re-read it, but am I alone?

    How can Iker subscribe to the XXXIX Articles as an SSC-man? Has VOL caught that?


    • Phil,
      You draw attention to something that the Common Cause Theological Statement, the GAFCON Statement, and the Fundamental Declarations of the ACNA all do–they refer to the 39 Articles as addressing issues of “their times.” In all these statements the 39 Articles are received by the organization concerned but then their authority is blunted with this kind of clause that suggests that they are not fully relevant for our times. This language is a compromise with Anglo-Catholics who do not completely subscribed to the Articles. They may be safely ignored because what they say is to a large extent relevant to a particular time, the time in which they were compiled and adopted. The Common Cause Theological Statement and the Fundamental Declarations of the ACNA do the same thing with the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. They receive it as “a” standard of Anglican doctrine and discipline and of the Anglican worship tradition with “the books that preceded” it. The latter include the 1549 Prayer Book which is different in its theology from the 1552, 1559, and 1604 Prayer Books, all of which are also are different in their theology from the 1662 Prayer Book. In a sense the inclusion of the last three Prayer Books is not a bad thing since they are more Reformed than the 1662 Prayer Book. What we are offered, however, is an unclear standard that is open to a variety of intrepretations. A clearer standard are those of the Constitutions of the Church of England in South Africa and the Anglican Church of Australia which not only affirm the 39 Articles and the 1662 Prayer Book as doctrinal and worship standards of these church bodies but also affirm a number of important legel decisions that affect the interpretation of these formularies. They go well beyond the token affirmation of Common Cause Partnership and the ACNA.

  32. Dom’s jab at REC’s is not very significant. REC-ers had/have more to offer–from the past–than the moderns realize; the modern REC-ers are non-shadows of their past. The old REC-ers corrected some potential matters for abuse. As for me, the 1552 BCP, calling priests “ministers” was one good start. Regrettably, Erastian governments erred. From a fellow priest amongst many priests, Phil

  33. Charlie:

    The Ritualisers used ritual as a bridge to Romanism, or, as they stated, Catholicism (code for Romanism, since Anglicanism was Catholic and Protestant, e.g. Jewel).

    Intellectual laziness informs much of evangellifishdom. I suspect the same for Anglo-Romewardizing Romanists. The pew is not well-read while the abusive priests tout their sovereignty. That’s my suspicion.

    Packer IS WEAK, period. FACT. ECT is ECT. He offended many, many Reformed leaders in this nation. He was NOT imvited back to speak at many forums. I intend to write Sproul about it, but–can tell u this–Packer lost his credibility in the USA after ECT.

    In fact, don’t even want to write more. His absence of a polemic, like Toon, against AC’s is not just problematic, but it is weak, wrong, and justifiably worth a few hot blasts. Count me in on that, the hot blasts.


  34. GAFCON allowed AC’s to sign aboard. What about Iker, Ackerman and Schofield? The XXXIX Arts allow a tolerable AC-interpretation. Look at the fooled “True Unity in the Cross” at http://www.recus.org for the mish-mash REC toleration of APA-Tractarians. This by-passed Akinola in his affirmation of the APA-REC intercommunal concordat. Akinola is weak on this point. So is Venables. All of this, if you care for clear, theological thinking and history.

  35. Dom, I don’t know that standing by the prayer book qualifies as High Church anymore. That would make me a High Churchman, and I don’t think I am.

    The best example of practising High Church that I can think of would be an insistance upon Confirmation before letting a child go to Communion.

    Dom wrote:
    “But, they are in the BCP, and I honestly believe that we have to accede to them, or I don’t see how we’re going to get anywhere.”

    There’s also a monarchy in the BCP, and we don’t all accede to that. I’m not being glib, because it was that Civil Power that kept the church in balance (for a time). Without that power, these high church tendencies lead us toward Rome time and again.

    Personally, using the term “priest” as in we are all a royal priesthood is fine by me – only some people will hear “priest” and conflate “father”. I’d rather err on the side of the Gospels, where we rarely hear the term except when referring to Christ (High Priest/Melchezidek) or those of Baal, Jupiter or the Pharisees.

    BTW, I’m Old Style REC, but that certainly doesn’t mean you should bail. 🙂

    Dom wrote: “Stuff that’s not in the 1662, like “Mass” and “Holy Eucharist” and “Father”, that’s where we can focus our prohibiting energies.”

    Oh, HECK yeah. Strike that nonsense, then come back to debate “priest”.

    Which I’ll wager is what some planned in 1661, only they were being driven back by the return of the cavaliers, royalists and high churchmen.

    • Keith,

      In the 1637 Scottish Prayer Book “priest” was replaced by “presbyter” as a concession to the Presbyterians. However, with the restoration of the monarchy and the episcopate and the ascension of Charles II, the surviving bishops of the Church of England, who were all Laudian High Churchmen, were not in the mood to bargain with the Presbyterians. They were satisfied enough with the 1559 Prayer Book to not make too many changes in the Prayer Book. They also remembered the reaction of the Scots to the 1637 Scottish Prayer Book and how its imposition upon the Scottish church was one of the factors that precipitated the English Civil War and the abolition of the English monarchy, episcopacy, and the Prayer Book and adopted a policy of avoiding radical changes. The changes, however, that they did make did alter the theology of the Prayer Book. I am planning an article examining these changes and how they affected the theology of the Prayer Book.

      The Restoration bishops, while they were High Churchmen, had no sympathies with the Church of Rome. Cosin and Bramball, while in exile in France, had defended the Church of England against the attacks of its Roman Catholic detractors and has sought to prevent the Queen Mother, a Roman Catholic, from converting her sons with the help of her Roman Catholic chaplains to Roman Catholicism. They were only partially successful.


  36. Dom – one more thing: Liturgy IS Theology.

  37. I don’t think the problem is the 39 Articles of Religion. Rather the problem lies with modern leaders who have forgotten the historical roots of the Articles and what they mean in that context. Revising the Articles’ meaning to fit Tractarian views is unjustified.

  38. I wouldn’t be so quick to side with Mr. Murray. In the video I saw of him he was wearing the dreaded purple shirt with the AC cross in his pocket.


  39. GAFCON is definitely making room for the ACs. Both ACs and Evangelicals are concerned that they might be marginalized. Unfortunately, the Evangelicals have more to worry about than ACs.


    • Charlie,

      As as for being marginalized, I believe that confessional Anglicans who have an Evangelical – Reformed theological outlook are more at risk in the ACNA than in GAFCON. They are a relatively small group scattered throughout the different Common Cause Partners froming the ACNA. None of these church bodies is an enclave for Evangelical – Reformed theology. The Reformed Episcopal Church has abandoned that theology as a church body albeit there are still pockets of Reformed Episcoplians who remain Evangelical – Reformed in their theology. A number of the church bodies forming the ACNA are Anglo-Catholic. They include Forward in Faith North America. Anglo-Catholics are represented in AMiA, CANA, and the Ugandan Convocation. They are a minority in the AMiA but they are nonetheless influential. At least one AMiA bishop in Anglo-Catholic and the other AMiA bishops show a willingness to accomodate the Anglo-Catholics in the AMiA for the sake of unity. With the publication of An Anglican Prayer Book (2008), this came at the expense of confessional Anglicans in the AMiA with a Evangelical – Reformed theological outlook. From my conversations with Anglo-Catholics and others on the Internet, confessional Anglicans with an Evangelical – Reformed theological outlook are perceived as something of a threat to the unity of the ACNA because they tend to be more dogmatic in their views and less willing to accomodate Anglo-Catholics for the sake of unity. For example, they are less willing to use a Prayer Book that is Catholic in tone than other “Evangelicals” in the ACNA who are much less dogmatic and who from their perspective sit rather loosely to a number of positions on key theological issues that set Protestants apart from Catholics and have characterized classical Anglican Evangelicalism. There is a place for Evangelical Anglicans in the ACNA if they are fuzzy in their theology and accept a revisionist interpretation of classical Anglican Evangelicalism but there appears to be little room for Anglican Evangelicals who hold onto their evangelical, Protestant, and Reformed principles.


  40. Peter Toon is an out and out Anglo-Catholic. He gives lip service to justification by faith alone but keeps pushing the 1928 BCP and even said that we should not go all the way to the 1662.

    Packer is more Reformed but too willing to compromise to get along.


    • Charlie.

      Peter Toon has been strongly influenced by the seventeenth century Caroline High Churchmen–Cosin, Andrews, Taylor, Bramball, and others. He wrote a book a number of years ago supporting the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. He has in at least one article in Mandate expressed support for a modified doctrine of the eucharistic sacrifice. He subscribes to a two stage theory of Christian initiation in which confirmation completes or “tops up” baptism. This theory was popularized by Dix, Fischer, and others in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It is a view to which a number of the Caroline High Churchmen also subscribed. Toon can be regarded as a “Anglo-Catholic” in the sense that the Caroline High Churchmen can be regarded as “Anglo-Catholic.” They were more Catholic in their theological thinking than churchmen in the reign of Elizabeth I and James I. This can be attributed to their study of the early Church Fathers and to their remoteness from the English Reformation. They, however, generally were not Romanists. The few who were became Roman Catholics. During the Interregnum Cosin and Bramball would defend Anglicanism against the Roman Catholic Church which declared that the Anglican experiment had failed and that Anglicans should convert to Roman Catholicism as had the king’s sons under the influence of their Roman Catholic mother. Charles II would return to Anglicanism but his brother James II would remain a Roman Catholic. Charles II converted back to Roman Catholicism on his deathbed. Toon’s leanings explain his preference for the term “Reformed Catholicism” over “Protestantism.” Toon in his earlier writings was much more Evangelical and was a popular speaker at the New Orleans Baptist Seminary. His years as the president of the Prayer Book Society and as a professor at Nashotah House, however, would reinforce in him any Anglo-Catholic leanings. Like a number of Anglicans, he uses the Caroline High Churchmen to justify these leanings. One even hears the argument that the Caroline High Churchmen, sometimes called the Laudians or Arminians, should be regarded as a late phase of the English Reformation. This theory is known as the “Long Reformation” and is an attempt to muddy the waters. Those who promote this theory will argue that English Reformers were a more diverse group than Evangelical writers would have us believe and that the Reformed theological stream was not the only theological stream represented in the English Reformation. In a sense this theory is an attempt to claim the English Reformation as a part of the heritage of contemporary Anglo-Catholics instead of rejecting it altogether as previous generations of Anglo-Catholics have done. I would classify the theory as a form of historical revisionism.


  41. Toon wrote an article back about the varied, godly, churchmanships. He taught at RES for one year. He taught at Nashotah House also. He refuses to address AC-theology, like Packer.

  42. Robin:

    I’d like to see what some of those legal decisions are re: the Australian Church. Discussing those here, at HAN, in the future would be an helpful contribution. This “temporizing” clause is no oversight, but, as you note, is designed to make room for AC’s. The neo-Tractarian-REC tolerants, allowers, granters have made a similar move in “True Unity in the Cross” at http://www.recus.org. That is, with about 10 bishops signing, the XXXIX Articles allow an Evanglical and Catholic interpretation. It’s well—that is, craftily—written to allow an APA rector to do, for example, a Requiem Mass, while an Evangelical would never so allow. This is how someone like Archbishop Venables—a putative Evangelical—can preside over an APA-REC Mass in Grunsdorf’s Chapel…with a BVM Chancel to the side, an area with an inscription on the wall informing readers how to pray to Mary. I remain the resident, inhouse, critic of ACNA—while listening and, hopefully, posting with Christian charity. Surely, I post with sorrows in the heart. I’m glad I’m not the only one who caught the GAFCONeering “escape clause.” That escape clause will work well for the ACNA leadership, but God help the Protestant, Confessional, Reformed, and Evangelical Churchman who opposes others. He’ll be DOA.

    • Phil,

      I gave up trying to read “True Unity in the Cross.” It was too wordy. I did not find the part where it permits both an Evangelical and Catholic interpretation of the Articles of Religion.

      If the Common Cause Theological Statement, the ACNA Fundamental Declarations, and the GAFCON Statement were not loosely worded where the Articles, the Prayer Book, and the Ordinal are concerned, the Catholics would not sign it. The language of these documents is intended to make them palatable to Catholics who are not particulary keen on the Articles, the Prayer Book, and the Ordinal, and certainly do not want them to have more than a token place in the ACNA and GAFCON. Right now we are seeing a phase in Catholic and Evangelical relations in which Evangelicals are making all kinds of compromises in order to maintain a united front with the Catholics against the liberals.

      In “The Tribunals” section of the Anglican Church of Australia’s Constitution you find provisions that refer to the history of the Church of England in England as it relates to the faith, ceremonial, ritual, and discipline of the Anglican Church of Australia and the decisions of the judicial authorities in England on questions of the faith, ceremonial, ritual, and discipline of the Church of England in England. While these provisions do not bind the Australian church to accept these precedents, they do recognize them as having bearing on decisions of the Australian church upon questions of the faith, ceremonial , ritual, and discipline of the Australian church. The Constitution of the Church of England in South Africa affirms the faith of the Church of England as established by law at the time of the adoption of that constitution and embodied in the Articles, the Prayer Book and the Ordinal.


  43. A quote from Mr. John Henry Newman with a few comments below that.
    “They—the religious professors this day—consider Justification to be nothing more than God’s accounting them righteous, which is just what justification was to the Jews. Justification is God’s accounting righteous; yes, but it is in the case of the Christian something more; it is God’s making him righteous too. As beasts live, and men life, and life is life, and yet life is not the same in man and beast; but in man consists in the presence of a soul; so is somewhat the same way Jews were justified and Christians are justified, and in the case of both, Justification means God’s accounting men righteous; but in Christians it means not only an accounting, but it involves a making; so as the presence of a soul is in the mode in which god makes men live, so the presence of the Holy Spirit is the mode in which God makes men just. That is the promise of the Spirit of life, because of which the Gospel is called a ‘ministration of righteousness.’ But the multitude of religious professors at this day whom I speak of, do not admit this; they even protestant against the notion. They think Justification to be something not inward, but merely outward; that is, they acknowledge themselves, they claim to be, I the state of the Jews, and though of course they content that they are justified, yet they own that their Justification is not more than an outward or imputative Justification. There is no room here for difference in the use of words, and mutual misunderstandings.” Newman’s Parochial Sermons, Vol.vi, Sermon 13.
    Mr. Newman above gives an unlearned, non-doctrinal, non-Confessional, non-historical and un-exegetical approach to justification by faith (alone). He offers not the slightest hint of exposure to the great Confessions of Faith. Or, perhaps the exclusion of such was intentional? Intentional deceit was justifiable for Mr. Newman (see Walter Walsh’s Secret History of the Oxford Movement, freely available as a pdf.file at http://www.books.google.com.) Either way, it’s an hustle-job of poor quality on Newman’s part.
    Mr. Newman is much less able that Louis Berkhof, for example, a twentieth century Reformed divine. He doesn’t compare to Drs. James Montgomery Boice or R.C. Sproul of the Presbyterian tradition. Or, Dr. Robert Preus’s work on Rome and Justification from the Lutheran perspective. Never mind the long catena of Anglican divines on the issue. In short, Newman is a scholarly fraud. The original REC founders understood that, but appear to lack the insights on the matter.
    It is increasingly evident to this reader that the clergy who allowed the REC to drift towards Tractarian-tolerances were—quite simply—(1) not well read on Tractarianism, (2) did not care about the doctrine of justification, (3) counted the cost of fighting and determined that it was not worth it and/or (4) were cowards. I am inclined to believe (1) and (2) obtain widely. I belong to (3) as did others who simply voted with their feet, clergy and laity. I suspect some of the vassals of the baronial lords, seeing the powers of the feudal chieftains, fit into (4) at points.
    The REC XXXV Articles and the C o E XXXIX Articles, along with the homilies, the Reformation doctrine of justification by faith alone apart from the works of the law is/was well-established and indisputable. What Newman offers above re: justification—quite poorly—is a simple Romanist rehash of a works-salvation.
    Many REC clergy simply left since the levers and centres of power were increasingly controlled by the monarchists and hegemonists, including doses of persecution for resistors. I know one very able, scholarly and successful REC rector who left Philadelphia because Mr. Riches was “too toxic” and “was creating health problems.” I know of another from NYC who claimed the same thing.
    The REC is a study in denominational decline, a study in the abandonment of the fort; the Tractarians breached the walls with the help of REC-turncoats. Some objected, but many did not. Those who did were rewarded with calumnious sobriquets.
    I officially abandoned the fort in/around 2005, largely over Mr. Riches’s obnoxious leadership style. Right or wrong, my view in 2005 after years of sea duty and separation from the life blood of the RES and REC was that the fort was occupied and the resistors were not interested in theology, but a movement. Further, internet behaviours by some neo-REC apologists convinced me that the REC was gone, done, finished, over. They too were obnoxious, calling old REC-ers names and belittling them.
    I suspect the REC will morph into something else. At present, its raison d’être is gone. It’s only purpose now is to morph into the ACNA, be accepted, and work along comprehensive lines that tolerates Anglo-Roman thought , including the Romanist interpretation of the Articles—the REC document at http://www.recus.org entitled “True Unity in Christ.” But that doesn’t matter to the neo-Tractarian-operators. It is good to be out, but then, where can an Anglican worship that has rock-solid pulpit content, as well as doctrinal integrity and world-class theology?

  44. Robin:
    Am writing a critique of the verbose, crafty document, “True Unity in the Cross.” It reminds me of the post-Vatican Two efforts in ecumenical approaches. I am not called to union with False Prophets, such as Anglo-Romewardizing APA clerks. I am called to say that their Gospel is false and constitutes an attack on the Person, Dignity, and Work of the LORD Jesus Christ. Regrettably, the biblical Gospel and the false Gospel are mixed and matched in the broader Anglican world. I’ll worship with Bible-Baptists, PCA-OPC Presbyterians, or LCMS Lutherans before being conjoined to something like the APA. I wish to be polite, civil and kind to AC’s, but will not yield one inch to them. Am writing a critique of this poor document on offer from the REC.

  45. For all: The English word “priest” is a shortened form of “presbyter” (elder…) I firmly hold to a non-sacerdotal ministry which “dispenses” the Word and Sacraments. Cf. 1662 ordinal. Related question: Isn’t it possible to be liturgically ceremonial without being Popish? What have we come to if being “high church” means A/C?
    That isn’t Anglican at all; it is Roman. Charles

  46. Charles,
    The English work “priest” is a shortened form of “presbyter” (elder), that is true BUT in the KJV NT presbuteros is translated “elder” whereas “khohen” and “hieus” are translated “priest”. As any linguist know some words change meaning overtime. This is one that causes a confusion and unfortunately can and has been used to cause mischief. Both meanings can be used and sometimes at the same time. But in others the term may used knowing the hearer undersstands its meaning is elder while the speaker truly means sacerdotal priest. The 1552 BCP had it right in using minister instead of priest; it clears up all confusion. Hence, that is my preference and the preference of Low Churchmen for four centuries.

  47. Charles,
    The English word “priest” is a shortened form of “presbyter” (elder), that is true BUT in the KJV NT presbuteros is translated “elder” whereas “kohen” and “hieus” are translated “priest” as in one who offers a sacrifice. As any linguist knows some words change meaning overtime. This is one that causes a confusion and unfortunately can and has been used to cause mischief. Both meanings can be used and sometimes at the same time. But by some the term may be used knowing the hearer understands its meaning is elder while the speaker truly means sacerdotal priest (speaking with forked tongue). It can be a code word what has a set meaning once wording has been obtained then these same people can claim that the word is proper for the translation of sacerdotal priest and not strictly as an elder. True, this is deception, but the Anglo-Catholics have been at it since the middle of the 19th century. The 1552 BCP had it right in using minister instead of priest; it clears up all confusion. Hence, that is my preference and the preference of Low Churchmen for four centuries.

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