Confessional Anglicanism

My colleague Dr. Roberta Bayer, editor of The Anglican Way (the publication of the Prayer Book Society), has edited a new book entitled Reformed and Catholic: Essays in Honor of Peter Toon.  It contains some fascinating essays about the Reformation in England, Richard Hooker, the Thirty-nine Articles, worship, and Thomas Cranmer (much of whose English rendition of the liturgy was carried over into the Lutheran divine service, including many of our collects).

I wrote a blurb for the book, and this is what I said:

“Anglicanism is not another flavor of liberal Protestantism, nor merely a via media between Protestantism and Catholicism, nor an open-ended range of beliefs from Puritanism to Anglo-Catholicism. The essays in this book disclose a confessional Anglicanism growing out of the conservative Reformation, a theology formed by worshipping with the Book of Common Prayer.”

 

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Other Gary

    “much of whose English rendition of the liturgy was carried over into the Lutheran divine service”

    Luther Reed, the Lutheran liturgical scholar of a generation ago (or more), noted how Cranmer and the English reformers had used Lutheran resources, especially adaptations of the Mass into German, to aid them in assembling the BoCP. Later, when German Lutherans in the United States wanted to translate Lutheran liturgics and hymnody into English, they used the BoCP in much the same way as a guide.

    The point is, over the centuries there’s been a fair amount of cross pollination between Anglicans and Lutherans. This area especially is one where we stand in each other’s debt.

  • Other Gary

    “much of whose English rendition of the liturgy was carried over into the Lutheran divine service”

    Luther Reed, the Lutheran liturgical scholar of a generation ago (or more), noted how Cranmer and the English reformers had used Lutheran resources, especially adaptations of the Mass into German, to aid them in assembling the BoCP. Later, when German Lutherans in the United States wanted to translate Lutheran liturgics and hymnody into English, they used the BoCP in much the same way as a guide.

    The point is, over the centuries there’s been a fair amount of cross pollination between Anglicans and Lutherans. This area especially is one where we stand in each other’s debt.

  • Dan Kempin

    Dr. Veith,

    “The essays in this book disclose a confessional Anglicanism growing out of the conservative Reformation, a theology formed by worshipping with the Book of Common Prayer.”

    Are you saying that the Bood of Common Prayer and the liturgy therein IS the confession? Or do you mean that the BCP, and thus the confession of Anglicans, was influenced and formed by Lutheranism. Just wondering.

  • Dan Kempin

    Dr. Veith,

    “The essays in this book disclose a confessional Anglicanism growing out of the conservative Reformation, a theology formed by worshipping with the Book of Common Prayer.”

    Are you saying that the Bood of Common Prayer and the liturgy therein IS the confession? Or do you mean that the BCP, and thus the confession of Anglicans, was influenced and formed by Lutheranism. Just wondering.

  • Cincinnatus

    As an Anglican, I may have to disagree with your blurb on empirical grounds.

  • Cincinnatus

    As an Anglican, I may have to disagree with your blurb on empirical grounds.

  • trotk

    Which part, Cincinnatus? I assume that you are talking about the first sentence. If so, I am inclined to agree with you, except to note that there are great exceptions to the nebulous via media (or perhaps better, the via omnia) that much of Anglicanism is.

    I was curious to hear the responses to this, but alas, the Lutherans obviously are either disinterested in Anglicanism or feel unworthy to discuss it. I am going for the latter.

  • trotk

    Which part, Cincinnatus? I assume that you are talking about the first sentence. If so, I am inclined to agree with you, except to note that there are great exceptions to the nebulous via media (or perhaps better, the via omnia) that much of Anglicanism is.

    I was curious to hear the responses to this, but alas, the Lutherans obviously are either disinterested in Anglicanism or feel unworthy to discuss it. I am going for the latter.

  • trotk

    Dan, as an Anglican, I have an answer to your question. But I would prefer to hear Dr. Veith’s answer first, because I am curious to hear someone outside the Anglican Communion speak on what they perceive.

    Keep in mind, though, that Anglicanism is as diverse as Lutheranism is. What is believed and practiced really depends on the province, the bishops, the rector, and the congregants in question.

  • trotk

    Dan, as an Anglican, I have an answer to your question. But I would prefer to hear Dr. Veith’s answer first, because I am curious to hear someone outside the Anglican Communion speak on what they perceive.

    Keep in mind, though, that Anglicanism is as diverse as Lutheranism is. What is believed and practiced really depends on the province, the bishops, the rector, and the congregants in question.

  • Cincinnatus

    trotk@4:

    When folks like Professors Bayer and Veith claim that Anglicanism is “x”–for some reason, in these discussions that “x” is usually some version of “Reformed”–they’re seeing in Anglicanism only what they want to see. As a matter of factual, lived experience, Anglicanism actually as a tradition actually does span a range of beliefs between Reformed theology and Catholicism (not Puritanism, though: they were kicked out). While the term is often abused as a justification for milquetoast theology, Anglicanism actually is a via media. There are times in its history when Anglicanism has looked much more Protestant and Reformed, but there have been other times–at its founding, for example, and during the nineteenth century–when it looked much more Catholic.

  • Cincinnatus

    trotk@4:

    When folks like Professors Bayer and Veith claim that Anglicanism is “x”–for some reason, in these discussions that “x” is usually some version of “Reformed”–they’re seeing in Anglicanism only what they want to see. As a matter of factual, lived experience, Anglicanism actually as a tradition actually does span a range of beliefs between Reformed theology and Catholicism (not Puritanism, though: they were kicked out). While the term is often abused as a justification for milquetoast theology, Anglicanism actually is a via media. There are times in its history when Anglicanism has looked much more Protestant and Reformed, but there have been other times–at its founding, for example, and during the nineteenth century–when it looked much more Catholic.

  • trotk

    Cincinnatus -

    That is what I thought you might mean. The fact of the matter is that currently, within the Anglican communion, there are examples of all of these groups, united by a liturgy that influences (and is supposed to guide) belief. The product of all of this is a via media that can learn from the various camps without plunging into the excesses or errors of any of them. But the via media is comprised of provinces and congregations that are quite distinct, as their practices and beliefs (not dogma or doctrine) are influenced by their bishops and rectors, and thus it is an overall via media, and not always a local via media.

    For example, I visited an APA church a couple months back that might as well have been Catholic, and I have been to Anglican churches that might as well be Reformed. Except, of course, that they all use the Book of Common Prayer, which keeps the Anglo-Catholic congregation from being fully Catholic and the Reformed Episcopal church from being Presbyterian.

  • trotk

    Cincinnatus -

    That is what I thought you might mean. The fact of the matter is that currently, within the Anglican communion, there are examples of all of these groups, united by a liturgy that influences (and is supposed to guide) belief. The product of all of this is a via media that can learn from the various camps without plunging into the excesses or errors of any of them. But the via media is comprised of provinces and congregations that are quite distinct, as their practices and beliefs (not dogma or doctrine) are influenced by their bishops and rectors, and thus it is an overall via media, and not always a local via media.

    For example, I visited an APA church a couple months back that might as well have been Catholic, and I have been to Anglican churches that might as well be Reformed. Except, of course, that they all use the Book of Common Prayer, which keeps the Anglo-Catholic congregation from being fully Catholic and the Reformed Episcopal church from being Presbyterian.

  • SKPeterson

    I think the first sentence hinges on the use of “merely”. I don’t think we Lutherans could look at the Anglicans and say that their place in the Church is simply to serve as a halfway point between Roman Catholicism and some sort of Reformed Calvinism. Lutherans bristle at being labeled Catholic Lite, so I think Veith is saying that there is more to Anglicanism than its representation as a via media. It may very well serve as a via media, but is that really all it is?

  • SKPeterson

    I think the first sentence hinges on the use of “merely”. I don’t think we Lutherans could look at the Anglicans and say that their place in the Church is simply to serve as a halfway point between Roman Catholicism and some sort of Reformed Calvinism. Lutherans bristle at being labeled Catholic Lite, so I think Veith is saying that there is more to Anglicanism than its representation as a via media. It may very well serve as a via media, but is that really all it is?

  • trotk

    SK, as an Anglican, I would say no, because when you are using the term, you mean something without its own essence.

    But it is a via media in the sense that it has aspects of Lutheranism, Catholicism, and Reformed Calvinism present in it. But that isn’t its definition or essence.

    For an actual positive definition of Anglicanism, see
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago-Lambeth_Quadrilateral

    Keep in mind that the Anglican Church existed for 300+ years prior to this, but it is a helpful summary. Other things that inform the Anglican identity are obviously the Book of Common Prayer and the 39 Articles.

  • trotk

    SK, as an Anglican, I would say no, because when you are using the term, you mean something without its own essence.

    But it is a via media in the sense that it has aspects of Lutheranism, Catholicism, and Reformed Calvinism present in it. But that isn’t its definition or essence.

    For an actual positive definition of Anglicanism, see
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago-Lambeth_Quadrilateral

    Keep in mind that the Anglican Church existed for 300+ years prior to this, but it is a helpful summary. Other things that inform the Anglican identity are obviously the Book of Common Prayer and the 39 Articles.

  • Dan Kempin

    Trotk, #7,

    “The fact of the matter is that currently, within the Anglican communion, there are examples of all of these groups, united by a liturgy that influences (and is supposed to guide) belief.”

    “For example, I visited an APA church a couple months back that might as well have been Catholic, and I have been to Anglican churches that might as well be Reformed. Except, of course, that they all use the Book of Common Prayer”

    I’m curious. How can two churches be practically Catholic or reformed if they are using the same liturgy? How could you tell the difference?

    On the other hand, how can a uniform liturgy be said to unify groups that think differently?

    That’s probably a question that has more to do with lutheran discussions of liturgy than with Anglicanism, but I am interested to know the role of liturgy in Anglican doctrine and practice.

  • Dan Kempin

    Trotk, #7,

    “The fact of the matter is that currently, within the Anglican communion, there are examples of all of these groups, united by a liturgy that influences (and is supposed to guide) belief.”

    “For example, I visited an APA church a couple months back that might as well have been Catholic, and I have been to Anglican churches that might as well be Reformed. Except, of course, that they all use the Book of Common Prayer”

    I’m curious. How can two churches be practically Catholic or reformed if they are using the same liturgy? How could you tell the difference?

    On the other hand, how can a uniform liturgy be said to unify groups that think differently?

    That’s probably a question that has more to do with lutheran discussions of liturgy than with Anglicanism, but I am interested to know the role of liturgy in Anglican doctrine and practice.

  • Railfan

    To the point Other Gary made, the 39 Articles draw a good bit on the Augsburg Confession though they deny real presence in the way Lutheran’s understand it (XXVIII “The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner.” and XXIX Of the Wicked, which eat not the Body of Christ in the use of the Lord’s Supper).

    Likewise, the English baptismal service is full of the language of regeneration and has Luther’s flood prayer. It’s very similar to the current Lutheran service.

    (The LCMS Lutheran service, though, lacks the part about “and do sign him with the sign of the cross, in token, that hereafter he shall not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified, and manfully fight under his banner against sin, the world, and the devil, and continue Christ’s faithful soldier and servant unto his life’s end.” To bad about that omission. Maybe it was too manly or warlike.)

    The English Communion service rubrics, though, take a more Calvinistic turn by saying that Christ is received not in the elements of bread and wine but only in a spiritual and heavenly manner for, they say, He is bodily in heaven with the Father and can’t be in two places at once. The rubrics also weigh in against adoration of the host and reservation of the consecrated elements.

    So there’s a common Anglican liturgy, but the various groups have nuanced explanations for the parts that are not in line with their Anglo-Catholic or Reformed beliefs.

  • Railfan

    To the point Other Gary made, the 39 Articles draw a good bit on the Augsburg Confession though they deny real presence in the way Lutheran’s understand it (XXVIII “The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner.” and XXIX Of the Wicked, which eat not the Body of Christ in the use of the Lord’s Supper).

    Likewise, the English baptismal service is full of the language of regeneration and has Luther’s flood prayer. It’s very similar to the current Lutheran service.

    (The LCMS Lutheran service, though, lacks the part about “and do sign him with the sign of the cross, in token, that hereafter he shall not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified, and manfully fight under his banner against sin, the world, and the devil, and continue Christ’s faithful soldier and servant unto his life’s end.” To bad about that omission. Maybe it was too manly or warlike.)

    The English Communion service rubrics, though, take a more Calvinistic turn by saying that Christ is received not in the elements of bread and wine but only in a spiritual and heavenly manner for, they say, He is bodily in heaven with the Father and can’t be in two places at once. The rubrics also weigh in against adoration of the host and reservation of the consecrated elements.

    So there’s a common Anglican liturgy, but the various groups have nuanced explanations for the parts that are not in line with their Anglo-Catholic or Reformed beliefs.

  • Other Gary

    Railfan @11: “the 39 Articles draw a good bit on the Augsburg Confession though they deny real presence in the way Lutheran’s understand it”

    Perhaps you are yourself an Anglican and are therefore in a position to correct a Lutheran, but I don’t recollect the 39 Articles _denying_ the Real Presence (according to the Lutheran understanding) so much as they leave it mostly as an unanswered question. By permitting various interpretations, the Anglican communion avoids the sort of specificity a Lutheran prefers, but does not actually deny the doctrine. Or am I mistaken?

  • Other Gary

    Railfan @11: “the 39 Articles draw a good bit on the Augsburg Confession though they deny real presence in the way Lutheran’s understand it”

    Perhaps you are yourself an Anglican and are therefore in a position to correct a Lutheran, but I don’t recollect the 39 Articles _denying_ the Real Presence (according to the Lutheran understanding) so much as they leave it mostly as an unanswered question. By permitting various interpretations, the Anglican communion avoids the sort of specificity a Lutheran prefers, but does not actually deny the doctrine. Or am I mistaken?

  • Joanne

    It’s a highly compromised confession. If Luther had had Henry VIII instead of the Wettin Dukes, he could have done no better than Cranmer. Henry was schizophrenic when it came to religion. Luther’s Dukes were always there like a solid stone wall of protection. The Dukes had to protect Luther from the Emperor. Henry one had to protect Cranmer from Henry two.

    Interestingly, Cranmer had a secret family (wife was niece of Osiander’ wife) with two children, when Henry and the Pope made him Arch-Bishop of Canterbury.

    During Henry’s life the Lutherans were invited and went twice to England to work out religious agreements, but Henry and England were just too unsettled; both failed and the Lutherans would come again.

    Everyday Cranmer had to get up and wonder which Henry he’d be dealing with. 95% of the jerkiness of Anglican belief goes straight back to Henry’s front door step. And, Canmer’s unfortunate friendships with wordy Calvinists like Bucer and Martyr did not help nor John Knox’s success in the north.

    And then of course there was bloody Mary. Yes, the Lutherans got much the better politicians to work with. Can you imagine the Duke of Brandenburg offering his head to bloody Queen Mary instead of Charles V. She’d a had it off in seconds.

    The poor English protestants are lucky they got any Reformtion statements out at all.

    P.S. Do you think that bloody Mary would have dug up Luther’s bones and burned them. Just a matter of how fast and how hot!

  • Joanne

    It’s a highly compromised confession. If Luther had had Henry VIII instead of the Wettin Dukes, he could have done no better than Cranmer. Henry was schizophrenic when it came to religion. Luther’s Dukes were always there like a solid stone wall of protection. The Dukes had to protect Luther from the Emperor. Henry one had to protect Cranmer from Henry two.

    Interestingly, Cranmer had a secret family (wife was niece of Osiander’ wife) with two children, when Henry and the Pope made him Arch-Bishop of Canterbury.

    During Henry’s life the Lutherans were invited and went twice to England to work out religious agreements, but Henry and England were just too unsettled; both failed and the Lutherans would come again.

    Everyday Cranmer had to get up and wonder which Henry he’d be dealing with. 95% of the jerkiness of Anglican belief goes straight back to Henry’s front door step. And, Canmer’s unfortunate friendships with wordy Calvinists like Bucer and Martyr did not help nor John Knox’s success in the north.

    And then of course there was bloody Mary. Yes, the Lutherans got much the better politicians to work with. Can you imagine the Duke of Brandenburg offering his head to bloody Queen Mary instead of Charles V. She’d a had it off in seconds.

    The poor English protestants are lucky they got any Reformtion statements out at all.

    P.S. Do you think that bloody Mary would have dug up Luther’s bones and burned them. Just a matter of how fast and how hot!

  • Joanne

    The Other Gary @12

    Anglicanism is unanswered questions that were too dangerous to answer then, or too indecorous now, using as few words as possible to say vague things, that could mean different things to different people and give you plausible deniability when the Queen of Hearts finally catches up to you.

    That feels about right.

  • Joanne

    The Other Gary @12

    Anglicanism is unanswered questions that were too dangerous to answer then, or too indecorous now, using as few words as possible to say vague things, that could mean different things to different people and give you plausible deniability when the Queen of Hearts finally catches up to you.

    That feels about right.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    I am saying that there is a core, distinct, positive Anglican theology, to be found in the Book of Common Prayer, the Thirty-Nine Articles, and theologians such as Cranmer and Hooker. Of course there are Anglo-Catholics, but their theology is mainly Catholic; of course there are Reformed Episcopalians, but their theology is mainly Calvinist. Of course there are liberal theologians among Episcopalians, but their theology is mainly modernist. That there is a distinct Anglican theology is the point made by Peter Toon, the various essay-writers in this book, and Dr. Bayer.

    My blurb draws on Charles Porterfield Krauth’s classic book “The Conservative Reformation,” which makes a distinction between the Lutheran Reformation, which continued to insist on a sacramental, liturgical, and historically continuous church, and the radical Reformation of the Calvinists, anabaptists, and others, whose tactic was to throw out the entire heritage of the church catholic up to that point and to start again more or less from ground zero. The Anglican Reformation was more in the Conservative camp, like Lutheranism. (Though it was too open-ended on many questions for Lutherans, leading to all of these other varieties, including the Calvinist one.)

    As for the “via media.” I do see that as describing the Anglican impulse, and Anglicans describe themselves that way. Lutheranism, though, is more like what Chesterton describes in Orthodoxy as the polarities and paradoxes of Christianity, with both poles heightened. Thus, Lutheranism is VERY Sacramental and VERY Biblical. In many ways VERY Protestant and VERY Catholic.

    The

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    I am saying that there is a core, distinct, positive Anglican theology, to be found in the Book of Common Prayer, the Thirty-Nine Articles, and theologians such as Cranmer and Hooker. Of course there are Anglo-Catholics, but their theology is mainly Catholic; of course there are Reformed Episcopalians, but their theology is mainly Calvinist. Of course there are liberal theologians among Episcopalians, but their theology is mainly modernist. That there is a distinct Anglican theology is the point made by Peter Toon, the various essay-writers in this book, and Dr. Bayer.

    My blurb draws on Charles Porterfield Krauth’s classic book “The Conservative Reformation,” which makes a distinction between the Lutheran Reformation, which continued to insist on a sacramental, liturgical, and historically continuous church, and the radical Reformation of the Calvinists, anabaptists, and others, whose tactic was to throw out the entire heritage of the church catholic up to that point and to start again more or less from ground zero. The Anglican Reformation was more in the Conservative camp, like Lutheranism. (Though it was too open-ended on many questions for Lutherans, leading to all of these other varieties, including the Calvinist one.)

    As for the “via media.” I do see that as describing the Anglican impulse, and Anglicans describe themselves that way. Lutheranism, though, is more like what Chesterton describes in Orthodoxy as the polarities and paradoxes of Christianity, with both poles heightened. Thus, Lutheranism is VERY Sacramental and VERY Biblical. In many ways VERY Protestant and VERY Catholic.

    The

  • Dan Kempin

    This is interesting to me. So the liturgy in the BCP is considered part of the Anglican confession. (The liturgy was not a part of the lutheran confession.)

    This makes me wonder how much the recent liturgical debates in lutheranism have been influenced by Anglicanism.

    Huh. Interesting.

  • Dan Kempin

    This is interesting to me. So the liturgy in the BCP is considered part of the Anglican confession. (The liturgy was not a part of the lutheran confession.)

    This makes me wonder how much the recent liturgical debates in lutheranism have been influenced by Anglicanism.

    Huh. Interesting.

  • Cincinnatus

    Three clarifications:

    1) The 39 Articles are not binding on any Anglicans. I myself object to a couple of the articles.

    2) All Anglicans (except some liberal heretics, who don’t count) affirm some version of the Real Presence. Some affirm the Lutheran view, others hold a much higher Catholic view. Some, like myself, prefer to adhere to the Real Presence without specifying the mechanism or indulging in metaphysical minutiae. But we all acknowledge the Real Presence.

    3) Anglicanism has no “Confession” except the Lambeth Quadrilateral, which affirms that 1) the Scriptures contain all things necessary for Salvation, 2) the Creeds (Nicene and Apostles) are sufficient statements of the contents of the Christian faith, 3) the Sacraments of Baptism and Communion/Eucharist, and 4) apostolic succession (the episcopate). That’s it.

    Beyond that, our theology is unsystematic and liturgical rather than thematic and confessional, participatory rather than formulaic. Attempts to find an Anglican Confession are, methinks, much in vain.

  • Cincinnatus

    Three clarifications:

    1) The 39 Articles are not binding on any Anglicans. I myself object to a couple of the articles.

    2) All Anglicans (except some liberal heretics, who don’t count) affirm some version of the Real Presence. Some affirm the Lutheran view, others hold a much higher Catholic view. Some, like myself, prefer to adhere to the Real Presence without specifying the mechanism or indulging in metaphysical minutiae. But we all acknowledge the Real Presence.

    3) Anglicanism has no “Confession” except the Lambeth Quadrilateral, which affirms that 1) the Scriptures contain all things necessary for Salvation, 2) the Creeds (Nicene and Apostles) are sufficient statements of the contents of the Christian faith, 3) the Sacraments of Baptism and Communion/Eucharist, and 4) apostolic succession (the episcopate). That’s it.

    Beyond that, our theology is unsystematic and liturgical rather than thematic and confessional, participatory rather than formulaic. Attempts to find an Anglican Confession are, methinks, much in vain.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@17), seems to me (ignorant as I am) that, among other potential sources, there does exist an Anglican Confession … in the 39 Articles. It’s just that some (many?) who call themselves Anglican simply do not subscribe to them.

    This would hardly be unique, as (Confessional) Lutherans define their Lutheranism in terms of the Book of Concord, even though there exist quite a number of (self-proclaimed) Lutherans who not only don’t subscribe to it, but might not be aware it exists.

    Furthermore, it would not be surprising that those who adhere to such confessions might object a little to those who reject them sharing the same denominational label, even if there are reasonable historical reasons for doing so.

    But whatever. If I’ve learned one thing about Anglicanism from you and Trotk, it’s that it’s like trying to nail currant jelly to the wall. I respect you guys, but you in particular, I almost don’t know what you believe. Because you’ll agree to define your beliefs in terms of certain words, but you refuse to say what those words mean. Which makes me wonder why you even bother to go so far as to concede to certain labels in the first place, if they remain undefined.

    But this is undoubtedly a Lutheran reaction.

    Still, I’m curious: in what was is the Catholic view of the Real Presence “much higher” than the Lutheran one?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@17), seems to me (ignorant as I am) that, among other potential sources, there does exist an Anglican Confession … in the 39 Articles. It’s just that some (many?) who call themselves Anglican simply do not subscribe to them.

    This would hardly be unique, as (Confessional) Lutherans define their Lutheranism in terms of the Book of Concord, even though there exist quite a number of (self-proclaimed) Lutherans who not only don’t subscribe to it, but might not be aware it exists.

    Furthermore, it would not be surprising that those who adhere to such confessions might object a little to those who reject them sharing the same denominational label, even if there are reasonable historical reasons for doing so.

    But whatever. If I’ve learned one thing about Anglicanism from you and Trotk, it’s that it’s like trying to nail currant jelly to the wall. I respect you guys, but you in particular, I almost don’t know what you believe. Because you’ll agree to define your beliefs in terms of certain words, but you refuse to say what those words mean. Which makes me wonder why you even bother to go so far as to concede to certain labels in the first place, if they remain undefined.

    But this is undoubtedly a Lutheran reaction.

    Still, I’m curious: in what was is the Catholic view of the Real Presence “much higher” than the Lutheran one?

  • trotk

    tODD,

    It seems that the primary place where Lutherans think that we refuse to define terms is in the Lord’s Supper. And that may be an accurate representation of us. We do believe in the Real Presence, which is to say that we believe it really is the body and blood of Christ. But from scripture, how can I legitimately add to that statement, even if for the purpose of clarification? How do I know what He meant other than by what He said? And all that is said is that it is His body.

    This is why I reject the Reformed explanation, which says, “It is His body, but only in this way…” How do they know the “but only?” I have less issue with the Lutheran clarification because it doesn’t limit Scripture, but its clarification is definitely an addition that assumes that man knows how it is Christ’s body.

    Call that currant jelly, but the only thing I can trust is the Word of God.

  • trotk

    tODD,

    It seems that the primary place where Lutherans think that we refuse to define terms is in the Lord’s Supper. And that may be an accurate representation of us. We do believe in the Real Presence, which is to say that we believe it really is the body and blood of Christ. But from scripture, how can I legitimately add to that statement, even if for the purpose of clarification? How do I know what He meant other than by what He said? And all that is said is that it is His body.

    This is why I reject the Reformed explanation, which says, “It is His body, but only in this way…” How do they know the “but only?” I have less issue with the Lutheran clarification because it doesn’t limit Scripture, but its clarification is definitely an addition that assumes that man knows how it is Christ’s body.

    Call that currant jelly, but the only thing I can trust is the Word of God.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Trotk (@19), sure, I was mainly thinking of conversations I’d had with Anglicans (well, mainly Cincinnatus) about the Real Presence. Maybe I erred in assuming the lack of definitions extended into other areas.

    I have less issue with the Lutheran clarification because it doesn’t limit Scripture, but its clarification is definitely an addition that assumes that man knows how it is Christ’s body.

    I guess I’d want to know which “Lutheran clarification” you’re referring to, specifically. Because I’d certainly want to know if the BoC says something that goes beyond Scripture.

    Anyhow, as just one example, I think the text of 1 Corinthians 11 precludes the Catholic teaching of transubstantiation, precisely because of what it says the communicant eats and drinks. That’s the easier point to make, at least with you.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Trotk (@19), sure, I was mainly thinking of conversations I’d had with Anglicans (well, mainly Cincinnatus) about the Real Presence. Maybe I erred in assuming the lack of definitions extended into other areas.

    I have less issue with the Lutheran clarification because it doesn’t limit Scripture, but its clarification is definitely an addition that assumes that man knows how it is Christ’s body.

    I guess I’d want to know which “Lutheran clarification” you’re referring to, specifically. Because I’d certainly want to know if the BoC says something that goes beyond Scripture.

    Anyhow, as just one example, I think the text of 1 Corinthians 11 precludes the Catholic teaching of transubstantiation, precisely because of what it says the communicant eats and drinks. That’s the easier point to make, at least with you.

  • Cincinnatus

    tODD@18:

    1) As I’ve already noted, the 39 Articles are not officially binding or normative in any province of the Anglican Communion. Furthermore, they do not constitute a complete/comprehensive account of Anglican faith and praxis, and many congregations and provinces explicitly dissent from various tenets. In addition, some of its tenets are of little more than historical interest. In the end, many Anglicans–including High Church Anglicans like myself–consider the Articles entirely too Cavlinist (indeed, their acceptance centuries ago marks the zenith of Calvinist influence on the Church of England). There’s a reason they’re confined to the “historical documents” section of the BCP.

    2) If you don’t know what I believe, it’s probably because I don’t talk about it much here–or anywhere? Yes, Anglicans refuse to define some terms–at least in a sense that would be binding on other Anglicans. Yes, it’s probably true that my own thoughts on, say, the Real Presence are not more specific than simply affirming the Real Presence. That’s probably frustrating for a Lutheran, but I’ve never been comfortable with confessions and creeds that claim to be comprehensive. This is perhaps why I’m an Anglican, but the fact that Anglicanism exists in this way is also why I am a Christian at this point in my life and not some kind of non-practicing agnostic. So there’s that.

    3) The Catholic view is “higher” in that it affirms outright transubstantiation. This is just the typical theological language, not a claim of moral superiority. A “low” view of communion would be the Baptist view, holding that the bread and wine (er, grape juice) are only a reminder of Christ’s death. Slightly higher would be the claim that they are symbols. Then the Methodist view: spiritual presence. Then you have consubstantiation (many Anglicans who care to be specific hold this view). Then the Lutherans with their somewhat bizarre language of “in, with, and under.” And so on and so on until you have the Catholics proclaiming that this literally is the body and blood of Christ in a non-metaphorical, indivisible, unfathomable way. Feel free to dispute the hierarchy; I’m not in the mood to argue semantics.

  • Cincinnatus

    tODD@18:

    1) As I’ve already noted, the 39 Articles are not officially binding or normative in any province of the Anglican Communion. Furthermore, they do not constitute a complete/comprehensive account of Anglican faith and praxis, and many congregations and provinces explicitly dissent from various tenets. In addition, some of its tenets are of little more than historical interest. In the end, many Anglicans–including High Church Anglicans like myself–consider the Articles entirely too Cavlinist (indeed, their acceptance centuries ago marks the zenith of Calvinist influence on the Church of England). There’s a reason they’re confined to the “historical documents” section of the BCP.

    2) If you don’t know what I believe, it’s probably because I don’t talk about it much here–or anywhere? Yes, Anglicans refuse to define some terms–at least in a sense that would be binding on other Anglicans. Yes, it’s probably true that my own thoughts on, say, the Real Presence are not more specific than simply affirming the Real Presence. That’s probably frustrating for a Lutheran, but I’ve never been comfortable with confessions and creeds that claim to be comprehensive. This is perhaps why I’m an Anglican, but the fact that Anglicanism exists in this way is also why I am a Christian at this point in my life and not some kind of non-practicing agnostic. So there’s that.

    3) The Catholic view is “higher” in that it affirms outright transubstantiation. This is just the typical theological language, not a claim of moral superiority. A “low” view of communion would be the Baptist view, holding that the bread and wine (er, grape juice) are only a reminder of Christ’s death. Slightly higher would be the claim that they are symbols. Then the Methodist view: spiritual presence. Then you have consubstantiation (many Anglicans who care to be specific hold this view). Then the Lutherans with their somewhat bizarre language of “in, with, and under.” And so on and so on until you have the Catholics proclaiming that this literally is the body and blood of Christ in a non-metaphorical, indivisible, unfathomable way. Feel free to dispute the hierarchy; I’m not in the mood to argue semantics.

  • Joanne

    Here’s an idea. Think of Anglicanism as the movie “A Room With a View. It’s a movie about a young English girl who just can’t make up her mind and denies what she really feels and wants.

    Near the happy ending, the scene in the Vicar’s parlor, with the lovely Anglican psalm chanting heard distantly from the church just up the hill, Poor Cousin Charlotte tricks Miss Lucy into the room to sit just opposite Mr. Emerson, senior.

    Mr. Emerson is the father of the handsome, dashing, uninhibited , free-thinking young man that Lucy Honeychurch really loves but denies it. He looks avucularly into Miss Lucy’s tear stained face, and says, I think you’re in a muddle, and you have been lying to all of us. Well, she hadn’t meant to lie, she was only following the decorous habits of the English Gentry.

    This whole movie is full of Anglicanism as both religion and way of life. One should admire art, but not too much. Mr. Vyse is the jilted but proper and settled young man Lucy should marry, though no one likes his stoggines.

    Aglicanism is a set pattern of social decorum, and as a religion it is the same. However, they may love to shock, but it wouldn’t shock if they weren’t so proper usually.

    And, of course there is the old saw, “Excuse me, are you religious? Oh heavens no, we’re Episcopalians.” It’s impolite to talk about religion even at church, except within the decorous pattern. If one feels too strongly about religion, it will have to be excused and one will be avoided on the street.

    Dr. Veith, you’re trying to find something solid in a cloud. Perhaps reading Barchester Towers would help as well. Then, the Hanovers, right through Queen Victoria and Furst Albert, had 19th century attitudes toward religion. It’s good for the family and it’s good for England. Perhaps it was the Hanovarian connection since George I, that put a bit of backbone in Anglicanism, and maybe that’s what you sense in Mr. Toon’s writings.

    Anglicanism is like a sponge when it comes to genteel ideas, but German’s as a rule always believe in something, whereas the English needn’t ever believe in anything, but England.

  • Joanne

    Here’s an idea. Think of Anglicanism as the movie “A Room With a View. It’s a movie about a young English girl who just can’t make up her mind and denies what she really feels and wants.

    Near the happy ending, the scene in the Vicar’s parlor, with the lovely Anglican psalm chanting heard distantly from the church just up the hill, Poor Cousin Charlotte tricks Miss Lucy into the room to sit just opposite Mr. Emerson, senior.

    Mr. Emerson is the father of the handsome, dashing, uninhibited , free-thinking young man that Lucy Honeychurch really loves but denies it. He looks avucularly into Miss Lucy’s tear stained face, and says, I think you’re in a muddle, and you have been lying to all of us. Well, she hadn’t meant to lie, she was only following the decorous habits of the English Gentry.

    This whole movie is full of Anglicanism as both religion and way of life. One should admire art, but not too much. Mr. Vyse is the jilted but proper and settled young man Lucy should marry, though no one likes his stoggines.

    Aglicanism is a set pattern of social decorum, and as a religion it is the same. However, they may love to shock, but it wouldn’t shock if they weren’t so proper usually.

    And, of course there is the old saw, “Excuse me, are you religious? Oh heavens no, we’re Episcopalians.” It’s impolite to talk about religion even at church, except within the decorous pattern. If one feels too strongly about religion, it will have to be excused and one will be avoided on the street.

    Dr. Veith, you’re trying to find something solid in a cloud. Perhaps reading Barchester Towers would help as well. Then, the Hanovers, right through Queen Victoria and Furst Albert, had 19th century attitudes toward religion. It’s good for the family and it’s good for England. Perhaps it was the Hanovarian connection since George I, that put a bit of backbone in Anglicanism, and maybe that’s what you sense in Mr. Toon’s writings.

    Anglicanism is like a sponge when it comes to genteel ideas, but German’s as a rule always believe in something, whereas the English needn’t ever believe in anything, but England.

  • Cincinnatus

    Thanks for that bucket of slop, Joanne@22. I never knew that I was an Anglican simply because it was the decorous thing to do.

  • Cincinnatus

    Thanks for that bucket of slop, Joanne@22. I never knew that I was an Anglican simply because it was the decorous thing to do.

  • Joanne

    (from #23)
    You may talk crudely like that to me here in the carriage, but when we arrive at the Honeychurch’s, you had better mind your manners and hold your tongue. Young man, do you hear me? If you engage Mr. Vyse in one of your awful religious discussions, I will box both your ears when we get home. I will not be crossed in this matter. Besides, Mr. Vyse is only leading you on to make a fool of you. Not another word!

  • Joanne

    (from #23)
    You may talk crudely like that to me here in the carriage, but when we arrive at the Honeychurch’s, you had better mind your manners and hold your tongue. Young man, do you hear me? If you engage Mr. Vyse in one of your awful religious discussions, I will box both your ears when we get home. I will not be crossed in this matter. Besides, Mr. Vyse is only leading you on to make a fool of you. Not another word!

  • Cincinnatus

    Joanne@24:

    Are you really using a movie to critique the theological claims of an entire denomination?

  • Cincinnatus

    Joanne@24:

    Are you really using a movie to critique the theological claims of an entire denomination?

  • SKPeterson

    I don’t know about “A Room with A View” as a descriptor of Anglicanism. I think it might be more like Will Ferrell’s “Anchorman,” especially the news team gang fight scene.

  • SKPeterson

    I don’t know about “A Room with A View” as a descriptor of Anglicanism. I think it might be more like Will Ferrell’s “Anchorman,” especially the news team gang fight scene.

  • trotk

    Joanne, I can’t believe that garbage that you posted.

    Whether or not there are Anglicans like your description, I can’t say, but your judgment is as if I were to judge the LCMS based on the ELCA.

  • trotk

    Joanne, I can’t believe that garbage that you posted.

    Whether or not there are Anglicans like your description, I can’t say, but your judgment is as if I were to judge the LCMS based on the ELCA.

  • Cincinnatus

    @27: “…as if I were to judge the LCMS based on the ELCA” as depicted in a bad German movie.

    It’s one thing to critique the role that a certain watered-down kind of “civic religion” may have played in a particular society at a particular period in history. It’s another to use that critique to lambast an entire religion.

  • Cincinnatus

    @27: “…as if I were to judge the LCMS based on the ELCA” as depicted in a bad German movie.

    It’s one thing to critique the role that a certain watered-down kind of “civic religion” may have played in a particular society at a particular period in history. It’s another to use that critique to lambast an entire religion.

  • Rainfan

    Other Gary, I’m aware that Anglicans claim a belief in Christ’s presence in the Supper. I was just observing 2 points of difference with Lutheran doctrine. Lutherans insist on a physical presence, which runs counter to the Articles and 1662 BoCP rubrics. Lutherans believe that the wicked do receive Christ in the supper, contrary to Article XXIX. (Both teach that the wicked eat and drink to their own harm.)

    Cincinnatus, while the AC doesn’t require adherence to the 39 Articles, the Articles are doctrine for some of the member bodies. Church of England, in its Canon A.5, defines its doctrine this way “The doctrine of the Church of England is grounded in the Holy Scriptures, and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures. In particular such doctrine is to be found in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, The Book of Common Prayer, and the Ordinal.”

    Church of Ireland, Preamble to the Constitution, also “receives and approves” the Articles.

    Of course, it’s one thing for a church body to identify its doctrine and another to require a clear subscription to that doctrine by the people it ordains.

  • Rainfan

    Other Gary, I’m aware that Anglicans claim a belief in Christ’s presence in the Supper. I was just observing 2 points of difference with Lutheran doctrine. Lutherans insist on a physical presence, which runs counter to the Articles and 1662 BoCP rubrics. Lutherans believe that the wicked do receive Christ in the supper, contrary to Article XXIX. (Both teach that the wicked eat and drink to their own harm.)

    Cincinnatus, while the AC doesn’t require adherence to the 39 Articles, the Articles are doctrine for some of the member bodies. Church of England, in its Canon A.5, defines its doctrine this way “The doctrine of the Church of England is grounded in the Holy Scriptures, and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures. In particular such doctrine is to be found in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, The Book of Common Prayer, and the Ordinal.”

    Church of Ireland, Preamble to the Constitution, also “receives and approves” the Articles.

    Of course, it’s one thing for a church body to identify its doctrine and another to require a clear subscription to that doctrine by the people it ordains.

  • Cincinnatus

    Rainfan@29:

    As far as I know, the Episcopal Church also “accepts” the 39 Articles (as does the Anglican Church in Canada). They are in the BCP, after all. But, as you note, this doesn’t imply normative force. Other Anglican bodies are more exacting: my brother belongs to the Reformed Episcopal Church, and I believe that the 39 Articles are binding there.

    My point–as it was the last time this conversation came up on this blog–is that, when looking for an Anglican theology, it’s not sufficient or appropriate to point to the Articles.

  • Cincinnatus

    Rainfan@29:

    As far as I know, the Episcopal Church also “accepts” the 39 Articles (as does the Anglican Church in Canada). They are in the BCP, after all. But, as you note, this doesn’t imply normative force. Other Anglican bodies are more exacting: my brother belongs to the Reformed Episcopal Church, and I believe that the 39 Articles are binding there.

    My point–as it was the last time this conversation came up on this blog–is that, when looking for an Anglican theology, it’s not sufficient or appropriate to point to the Articles.

  • Joanne

    “Watered down civic kind of religion.” Precisely, you nailed it right on the head. But, to some extent, every state religion, especially in today’s Germany, has to play that role. In Norway they want to call it the Peoples’ Church now. Love that Labor Party, a socialist name even for the church.

    As for movies of lovable and kind, good Lutheran pastors, has no one here really never had to sit through an Ingmar Bergman film? Any one will do, but more than 5 of his films and we’ll get suspicious.

    I’m not critiqueing a whole religion, heavens you English do believe God is an Englishman. England is a mighty small place and none of it’s subject neighbor states could be interested in a religion named after a country. (Look into my eyes, no one will remember or mention that Missouri is a geographical place!!!)

    If it hadn’t been for the Empire, Anglicanism would be a totally though not completely insular religion. It didn’t do all that well in it’s primarily European settled colonies, either, did it?

    There were those 2 small councils between Cranmer and the English and a group of Lutherans, both of which failed to reach agreement. Henry was looking over Cranmer’s shoulder each time. After the 2nd council, the Lutherans couldn’t be persuaded by Cranmer to come again. They thought it pointless, just like the Colloquy of Marburg was.

    However, there should be both Anglican and Lutheran reports of these meetings, if not the entire minutes, both countries being champion bureaucrats. I’d love to read the reports, because they surely wrote to Luther at Wittenberg to recount what happened, both times. These discussions will probably make it abundantly clear why we are separate.

    I believe there is a Danish film about a pastor, convicts, and an apple tree that’s considered a classic. And, wasn’t there a film titled “Ole the Great” or something like that where a Danish pastor is particularily nasty, and his kids too.

    Oh, here’s an oldie, it’s a British made, WWII film about the resistance in Norway. At the end, the town pastor (played by Charles Laughton), goes up into the bell tower of the village church overlooking the square, where the Natonal Socialist invaders (the Germans) are going to kill almost the entire village for not divulging the hideouts of the resistance. But, just in time from his perfect perch high above the scene, the pastor shoots most of the German soldiers with a Tommy gun, and gives the villagers and the resistance the upper hand. Yea!! It was a propaganda film, very bad when I saw it again as an adult, so disappointing.

    Surey Ibsen has savaged a few Lutheran clergy. Oh, and yes, Angela Merkel’s reverend father was a stasi collaborator. He actually moved his family from Hamburg to East Germany so he could help the communists control the church. There, now you really do have a rotten Lutheran pastor. Can you imagine the pastors who trusted him and possibly died because of it. Is there a biography out on him yet? He’s only recently dead (well, he’s mostly dead). That will be a doozy, all the stasi records are there.

    Angela was estranged from him. I believe she sent a bucket of ice to the funeral.

  • Joanne

    “Watered down civic kind of religion.” Precisely, you nailed it right on the head. But, to some extent, every state religion, especially in today’s Germany, has to play that role. In Norway they want to call it the Peoples’ Church now. Love that Labor Party, a socialist name even for the church.

    As for movies of lovable and kind, good Lutheran pastors, has no one here really never had to sit through an Ingmar Bergman film? Any one will do, but more than 5 of his films and we’ll get suspicious.

    I’m not critiqueing a whole religion, heavens you English do believe God is an Englishman. England is a mighty small place and none of it’s subject neighbor states could be interested in a religion named after a country. (Look into my eyes, no one will remember or mention that Missouri is a geographical place!!!)

    If it hadn’t been for the Empire, Anglicanism would be a totally though not completely insular religion. It didn’t do all that well in it’s primarily European settled colonies, either, did it?

    There were those 2 small councils between Cranmer and the English and a group of Lutherans, both of which failed to reach agreement. Henry was looking over Cranmer’s shoulder each time. After the 2nd council, the Lutherans couldn’t be persuaded by Cranmer to come again. They thought it pointless, just like the Colloquy of Marburg was.

    However, there should be both Anglican and Lutheran reports of these meetings, if not the entire minutes, both countries being champion bureaucrats. I’d love to read the reports, because they surely wrote to Luther at Wittenberg to recount what happened, both times. These discussions will probably make it abundantly clear why we are separate.

    I believe there is a Danish film about a pastor, convicts, and an apple tree that’s considered a classic. And, wasn’t there a film titled “Ole the Great” or something like that where a Danish pastor is particularily nasty, and his kids too.

    Oh, here’s an oldie, it’s a British made, WWII film about the resistance in Norway. At the end, the town pastor (played by Charles Laughton), goes up into the bell tower of the village church overlooking the square, where the Natonal Socialist invaders (the Germans) are going to kill almost the entire village for not divulging the hideouts of the resistance. But, just in time from his perfect perch high above the scene, the pastor shoots most of the German soldiers with a Tommy gun, and gives the villagers and the resistance the upper hand. Yea!! It was a propaganda film, very bad when I saw it again as an adult, so disappointing.

    Surey Ibsen has savaged a few Lutheran clergy. Oh, and yes, Angela Merkel’s reverend father was a stasi collaborator. He actually moved his family from Hamburg to East Germany so he could help the communists control the church. There, now you really do have a rotten Lutheran pastor. Can you imagine the pastors who trusted him and possibly died because of it. Is there a biography out on him yet? He’s only recently dead (well, he’s mostly dead). That will be a doozy, all the stasi records are there.

    Angela was estranged from him. I believe she sent a bucket of ice to the funeral.

  • Cincinnatus

    Joanne,

    This is some of the most idiotic, reductionist, overbroad comments I’ve read on this site. You’re like a slightly more literate version of Grace.

    If you want to critique the Church of England as a state religion in England, again, that’s one thing. But it’s really, really silly to use a British movie to critique Anglicanism as a theology and vital tradition of worship.

  • Cincinnatus

    Joanne,

    This is some of the most idiotic, reductionist, overbroad comments I’ve read on this site. You’re like a slightly more literate version of Grace.

    If you want to critique the Church of England as a state religion in England, again, that’s one thing. But it’s really, really silly to use a British movie to critique Anglicanism as a theology and vital tradition of worship.

  • Cincinnatus

    Er, “these” are some*

  • Cincinnatus

    Er, “these” are some*

  • Joanne

    Anglicanism as a theology, now there’s an idea. However, it certainly has been and can still be a vital tradition of worship. The Anglicans developed their very own way of chanting the psalms which is quite lovely and they’ve maintained the choirs needed to do it. Lutherans never did that but have continued with the Gregorian chant sound. American Lutheran hymnals have contained the Anglican chant in their morning and evening services. I love to sing them.

    But, referring to a recent festschrift in honor of Peter Toon, an Anglican writer of some significance, Dr. Veith is asking us, is there an Anglican Theology when all else is removed, i.e. Calvinism, Methodism, Lutheranism, Catholicism/Orthodoxy, etc. Dr. Veith thinks that after reading this festschrift that perhaps there is a kernel in there somewhere that is this elusive thing called A.nglican Theology.

    Well, bless his heart, he wants so hard to find something there, but when you take away all the above, all you have left is the muddled way of Anglicanism.

    Poor Cranmer, he was good enough to keep one foot ahead of Henry’s unpredictability, but his age at Queen Mary’s time put him right into her flaming maw. It’s like the story of a gladiator who was successful for decades, only to fall into a fiery intrigue set by an evil woman.

    Cranmer was successful in filling several professorships at Cambridge with his continental Calvinist friends, but was never able to get Melancthon to come as Henry urged him to do. Henry, apparently admired Melancthon, but Henry thought he liked Anne Bolyn at one time too. Melancthon didn’t even reply to the last entreaty, which was after Luther’s death.

    And England had its powerful dukes as well, some who helped Canmer and some who sang psalms at his fiery passing. But the English dukes were never the total rulers of their lands as were the German dukes. The Anglican divines never got the time to come togeather, as a faculty of Religion and work out their theology. The Calvinists were agressive reformers wherever they went, causing aggressive reactions to themselves. Muenster in Germany was such a horrible reaction. The Calvinists had the upper hand on the protestant side in England. There was little to no Lutheran presence in the development of Anglican thinking except from what they read.

    When Elizabeth, the fairie Queen finally came and set all to right, sinking the Spanish Armada, 1588, it was late in the game of forming a new theology. The moment for biblical rediscovery was pretty much over. She was never as secure on the throne as she seemed. The slightest misstep, or loss of support among her nobles, and she was a target for the destablizers, both Catholic and Calvinist. It was Elizabeth’s exquisite muddling through that brought England through to be all that came after.

    It was for the 17th century to break it all to hell.

    Now, is not this the most idiotic, reductionist, overbroad comments you’ve read to date on this site. I’ll bet I can even do better.

  • Joanne

    Anglicanism as a theology, now there’s an idea. However, it certainly has been and can still be a vital tradition of worship. The Anglicans developed their very own way of chanting the psalms which is quite lovely and they’ve maintained the choirs needed to do it. Lutherans never did that but have continued with the Gregorian chant sound. American Lutheran hymnals have contained the Anglican chant in their morning and evening services. I love to sing them.

    But, referring to a recent festschrift in honor of Peter Toon, an Anglican writer of some significance, Dr. Veith is asking us, is there an Anglican Theology when all else is removed, i.e. Calvinism, Methodism, Lutheranism, Catholicism/Orthodoxy, etc. Dr. Veith thinks that after reading this festschrift that perhaps there is a kernel in there somewhere that is this elusive thing called A.nglican Theology.

    Well, bless his heart, he wants so hard to find something there, but when you take away all the above, all you have left is the muddled way of Anglicanism.

    Poor Cranmer, he was good enough to keep one foot ahead of Henry’s unpredictability, but his age at Queen Mary’s time put him right into her flaming maw. It’s like the story of a gladiator who was successful for decades, only to fall into a fiery intrigue set by an evil woman.

    Cranmer was successful in filling several professorships at Cambridge with his continental Calvinist friends, but was never able to get Melancthon to come as Henry urged him to do. Henry, apparently admired Melancthon, but Henry thought he liked Anne Bolyn at one time too. Melancthon didn’t even reply to the last entreaty, which was after Luther’s death.

    And England had its powerful dukes as well, some who helped Canmer and some who sang psalms at his fiery passing. But the English dukes were never the total rulers of their lands as were the German dukes. The Anglican divines never got the time to come togeather, as a faculty of Religion and work out their theology. The Calvinists were agressive reformers wherever they went, causing aggressive reactions to themselves. Muenster in Germany was such a horrible reaction. The Calvinists had the upper hand on the protestant side in England. There was little to no Lutheran presence in the development of Anglican thinking except from what they read.

    When Elizabeth, the fairie Queen finally came and set all to right, sinking the Spanish Armada, 1588, it was late in the game of forming a new theology. The moment for biblical rediscovery was pretty much over. She was never as secure on the throne as she seemed. The slightest misstep, or loss of support among her nobles, and she was a target for the destablizers, both Catholic and Calvinist. It was Elizabeth’s exquisite muddling through that brought England through to be all that came after.

    It was for the 17th century to break it all to hell.

    Now, is not this the most idiotic, reductionist, overbroad comments you’ve read to date on this site. I’ll bet I can even do better.

  • Cincinnatus

    Now, is not this the most idiotic, reductionist, overbroad comment you’ve read to date on this site. I’ll bet I can even do better.

    Gee, I can’t wait. I guess I’m being trolled? Because otherwise, it seems like your point–insofar as you have one–is that Anglicanism has “no” theology. Folks like John Stott, Richard Hooker, J.I. Packer, and C.S. Lewis might beg to differ. And there exists more than one book with the title “Anglican Theology”: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=anglican+theology

    I get it: you’re Lutheran, and you think that’s pretty great. Well, neato. I’m Anglican, and I think that’s pretty great. If you’d like to discuss it in terms other than vague, pejorative historical generalizations, by all means. Otherwise, I’m not sure what you’re up to. Heck, I can’t even understand what your historical narrative is even about.

  • Cincinnatus

    Now, is not this the most idiotic, reductionist, overbroad comment you’ve read to date on this site. I’ll bet I can even do better.

    Gee, I can’t wait. I guess I’m being trolled? Because otherwise, it seems like your point–insofar as you have one–is that Anglicanism has “no” theology. Folks like John Stott, Richard Hooker, J.I. Packer, and C.S. Lewis might beg to differ. And there exists more than one book with the title “Anglican Theology”: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=anglican+theology

    I get it: you’re Lutheran, and you think that’s pretty great. Well, neato. I’m Anglican, and I think that’s pretty great. If you’d like to discuss it in terms other than vague, pejorative historical generalizations, by all means. Otherwise, I’m not sure what you’re up to. Heck, I can’t even understand what your historical narrative is even about.

  • trotk

    Cincinnatus,

    I am not sure that the “historical narrative” is historical. After all, Joanne claimed such broad and vague things that the only thing that I can conclude is that she has gotten her history and opinions from movies and historical fiction. She certainly hasn’t read the primary sources.

    Anyway, I am content going to my Anglican church on Sunday, and Joanne’s diatribe will bring me amusement as I recite the liturgy.

  • trotk

    Cincinnatus,

    I am not sure that the “historical narrative” is historical. After all, Joanne claimed such broad and vague things that the only thing that I can conclude is that she has gotten her history and opinions from movies and historical fiction. She certainly hasn’t read the primary sources.

    Anyway, I am content going to my Anglican church on Sunday, and Joanne’s diatribe will bring me amusement as I recite the liturgy.

  • Railfan

    Cincinnatus@30:

    I think you’re saying that the articles, prayer book and ordinal are no longer the widely accepted source of Anglican doctrine. That it’s better to read well-known Anglican theologians.

    As you say, some groups like REC still consider them normative. Many Anglican bodies, though, no longer require subscription to these specific doctrinal standards during ordination.

  • Railfan

    Cincinnatus@30:

    I think you’re saying that the articles, prayer book and ordinal are no longer the widely accepted source of Anglican doctrine. That it’s better to read well-known Anglican theologians.

    As you say, some groups like REC still consider them normative. Many Anglican bodies, though, no longer require subscription to these specific doctrinal standards during ordination.

  • http://acroamaticus.blogspot.com Pr Mark Henderson

    “Anglicanism is not another flavor of liberal Protestantism, nor merely a via media between Protestantism and Catholicism, nor an open-ended range of beliefs from Puritanism to Anglo-Catholicism. ”
    Funny, as an ex-Anglican I can testify that Anglicanism is indeed all those things. That the Anglican confessionals – including the late Dr Toon, whose work I have long read and have immense respect for – can happily co-exist (OK, maybe not “happily”, but they do co-exist) in the same communion as all the above seems to confim my impression.

  • http://acroamaticus.blogspot.com Pr Mark Henderson

    “Anglicanism is not another flavor of liberal Protestantism, nor merely a via media between Protestantism and Catholicism, nor an open-ended range of beliefs from Puritanism to Anglo-Catholicism. ”
    Funny, as an ex-Anglican I can testify that Anglicanism is indeed all those things. That the Anglican confessionals – including the late Dr Toon, whose work I have long read and have immense respect for – can happily co-exist (OK, maybe not “happily”, but they do co-exist) in the same communion as all the above seems to confim my impression.

  • Dan Kempin

    No one has taken up my original question, though it still intrigues me: What is the Anglican view of “the liturgy?” What role does it play in theology, in confession, and in unifying the church?

    Admittedly, I am asking for a secondary reason. There has been a narrative in the LCMS for the past fifteen years or so on the importance of the liturgy as confession and on the value of a standardized liturgy used throughout the synod.

    I don’t consider this narrative to be bad or inherently wrong, but it has puzzled me a bit, because it is not particularly lutheran. The lutheran confessions do not speak like this of the liturgy. It does not sound like the lutheran emphasis that I was taught in my youth.

    However, a light has come on in this brief conversation. It DOES sound very Anglican–or, at least, I’d like to learn from the Anglicans if it does. This potentially makes a lot of sense, considering the number of influential professors in the synod who have taken terminal degrees in England, and the fact that both seminaries send students to Westfield House, Cambridge.

    So, as I say, interesting. Apparently the Anglican view of liturgy has had some influence on american lutheranism. (Unless someone would be kind enough to explain that I am all wet. Or not. It is the weekend, after all.)

  • Dan Kempin

    No one has taken up my original question, though it still intrigues me: What is the Anglican view of “the liturgy?” What role does it play in theology, in confession, and in unifying the church?

    Admittedly, I am asking for a secondary reason. There has been a narrative in the LCMS for the past fifteen years or so on the importance of the liturgy as confession and on the value of a standardized liturgy used throughout the synod.

    I don’t consider this narrative to be bad or inherently wrong, but it has puzzled me a bit, because it is not particularly lutheran. The lutheran confessions do not speak like this of the liturgy. It does not sound like the lutheran emphasis that I was taught in my youth.

    However, a light has come on in this brief conversation. It DOES sound very Anglican–or, at least, I’d like to learn from the Anglicans if it does. This potentially makes a lot of sense, considering the number of influential professors in the synod who have taken terminal degrees in England, and the fact that both seminaries send students to Westfield House, Cambridge.

    So, as I say, interesting. Apparently the Anglican view of liturgy has had some influence on american lutheranism. (Unless someone would be kind enough to explain that I am all wet. Or not. It is the weekend, after all.)

  • trotk

    Dan, I was waiting for Dr. Veith to answer your question, because I was curious about a non-Anglican’s take on it, but in the absence of another response, I will let you know in brief that the liturgy is phenomenally important to Anglicans, and is perhaps the greatest unifying and teaching force in the church (in practice, even if not it theory). We are a group for whom the average congregant is taught more by how the church worships than by any other factor.

    That is probably true of most churches, though, because most people don’t read theology, get catechized, read their confessions, etc. It is just that in the Anglican communion the liturgy is recognized as this instructive and unifying force.

  • trotk

    Dan, I was waiting for Dr. Veith to answer your question, because I was curious about a non-Anglican’s take on it, but in the absence of another response, I will let you know in brief that the liturgy is phenomenally important to Anglicans, and is perhaps the greatest unifying and teaching force in the church (in practice, even if not it theory). We are a group for whom the average congregant is taught more by how the church worships than by any other factor.

    That is probably true of most churches, though, because most people don’t read theology, get catechized, read their confessions, etc. It is just that in the Anglican communion the liturgy is recognized as this instructive and unifying force.

  • Dan Kempin

    Thanks, trotk. That’s as it seemed to me, but I appreciate the verification.

    “Lex orandi, lex credendi” seems very Anglican as well. Does that phrase have long standing in Anglicanism? (I’m betting it does.)

  • Dan Kempin

    Thanks, trotk. That’s as it seemed to me, but I appreciate the verification.

    “Lex orandi, lex credendi” seems very Anglican as well. Does that phrase have long standing in Anglicanism? (I’m betting it does.)

  • http://acroamaticus.blogspot.com Pr Mark Henderson

    Dan,
    I’ll chip in as well; it’s a good question.

    Anglicanism has had liturgical influence on Lutheranism in English-speaking churches in the New World (in Europe the influence tended to be the other way), but not in the way you think. Lutherans have borrowed Anglican prayers and hymnody, and occasionally even used the BCP as a service book before English versions of the Divine Service were translated. But all the while the Lutheran doctrine remained intact, because the Lutheran Church is a confessional church. “Lex credendi lex orandi” could well describe her approach from the beginning, since Luther used doctrine to critique and reform the liturgy (Rome has tended to go the other way, allowing growths in the liturgy to determine doctrine).

    The current interest in liturgy in the LCMS is due not to the influence of Anglicanism but is part of a larger movement going back many decades – even to the founding of the LCMS in the 19th C. actually – whereby Lutherans are seeking to recover their liturgical heritage after its suppression by the Reformed, largely through political power in Europe and cultural power in the US and elsewhere. As in all such movements, some tend to extremes, but over time they will be corrected and things will settle down. You may not have encountered this in your upbringing, but believe me it was there, bubbling away under the surface.

    In summary, Lutheranism can and does accomodate different forms of liturgy but the same doctrine is believed by all (all things being as they should be!). In Anglicanism the existence of different liturgies since the 1960s/70s actually reflects different – and mutually exclusive – doctrinal positions held by parties within the Anglican communion, including the liberals. This is something that Dr Toon, going back to the book Dr Veith posted on, wrote about and critiqued extensively. Dr Toon’s attempts to establish a sort of “Anglican confessionalism” were, imv, doomed because the confessional statement of Anglicanism, the Thirty-Nine Articles, was from the start subject to different interpretations and in the modern period became completely relativized through the inroads of liberal theology.
    An interesting postscript: Queen Elizabeth I, the real royal founder of Anglicanism (not her father, Henry VIII), was probably more Lutheran than anything else in her personal beliefs. For example she was tutored in theology using Melanchthon’s ‘Commonplaces’ in Latin! Alas, even the pious virgin Queen could not overcome some of the more fractious religious influences in the land.

  • http://acroamaticus.blogspot.com Pr Mark Henderson

    Dan,
    I’ll chip in as well; it’s a good question.

    Anglicanism has had liturgical influence on Lutheranism in English-speaking churches in the New World (in Europe the influence tended to be the other way), but not in the way you think. Lutherans have borrowed Anglican prayers and hymnody, and occasionally even used the BCP as a service book before English versions of the Divine Service were translated. But all the while the Lutheran doctrine remained intact, because the Lutheran Church is a confessional church. “Lex credendi lex orandi” could well describe her approach from the beginning, since Luther used doctrine to critique and reform the liturgy (Rome has tended to go the other way, allowing growths in the liturgy to determine doctrine).

    The current interest in liturgy in the LCMS is due not to the influence of Anglicanism but is part of a larger movement going back many decades – even to the founding of the LCMS in the 19th C. actually – whereby Lutherans are seeking to recover their liturgical heritage after its suppression by the Reformed, largely through political power in Europe and cultural power in the US and elsewhere. As in all such movements, some tend to extremes, but over time they will be corrected and things will settle down. You may not have encountered this in your upbringing, but believe me it was there, bubbling away under the surface.

    In summary, Lutheranism can and does accomodate different forms of liturgy but the same doctrine is believed by all (all things being as they should be!). In Anglicanism the existence of different liturgies since the 1960s/70s actually reflects different – and mutually exclusive – doctrinal positions held by parties within the Anglican communion, including the liberals. This is something that Dr Toon, going back to the book Dr Veith posted on, wrote about and critiqued extensively. Dr Toon’s attempts to establish a sort of “Anglican confessionalism” were, imv, doomed because the confessional statement of Anglicanism, the Thirty-Nine Articles, was from the start subject to different interpretations and in the modern period became completely relativized through the inroads of liberal theology.
    An interesting postscript: Queen Elizabeth I, the real royal founder of Anglicanism (not her father, Henry VIII), was probably more Lutheran than anything else in her personal beliefs. For example she was tutored in theology using Melanchthon’s ‘Commonplaces’ in Latin! Alas, even the pious virgin Queen could not overcome some of the more fractious religious influences in the land.

  • Dan Kempin

    Mark, #42,

    I agree with your summary statement, (lutheranism can accomodate various liturgical forms with united doctrine), but not necessarily where you say, “The current interest in liturgy in the LCMS is due not to the influence of Anglicanism but is part of a larger movement . . . whereby Lutherans are seeking to recover their liturgical heritage”

    That thread does exist, to be sure, but there is a great deal more than lutheran liturgical heritage in the discussion. There are identifiable influences of both Roman Catholic and Orthodox practice and now, it seems, an Anglican influence as well. (Just consider how the Anglican vocabulary has come back into lutheran vogue in liturgical conversation. I find myself with need to consult my library just to remember where “Michelmas” and “Whitsunday” fall in the church year.)

    I was aware that we used much of the Anglican rite in the english lutheran hymnal, but the new insight for me is the (apparent) influence of the Anglican view of liturgy itself. (“The” liturgy, as it has become.) Liturgy and the BCP are the warp and woof of Anglican habituation of the faith. It is what binds them together and gives commonality to their confession, as well as defining the “decency and good order” of their practice. (If I understand correctly from the Anglicans who have commented here.) I see this influence in a lot of lutheran conversation.

    I see this influence in the development of the new Lutheran Service Book, for instance. The attempt has been made to make it a “lutheran BCP,” as it were–a resource for personal devotion and daily use instead of just a “hymnal” for use in corporate worship.

    Is this wrong or problematic? No . . . No. But if we are going to embrace an influence from outside our tradition, I would rather say so and do it boldly in our Christian freedom than to claim, somehow, that we are repristinating lutheran practice.

    Lutheran habituation of the faith, from my understanding, used the vocabulary of “agendas” (containing the liturgy), “hymnals” (for corporate use in worship), and for daily devotional study and the practice of piety there was the catechism, devotional books, published sermons, luther’s works, and theological publications. Doctrine is what drives lutheran practice. If liturgy is the heart of Anglicanism, doctrine is the heart of lutheranism. They both, (I hope), have something of value in their emphases, but their emphases have historically been different.

    In short, this whole notion of a united liturgy and the IMPORTANCE of a united liturgy is not something I find while shoveling around the foundations of lutheranism. I’m not saying it is bad, but perhaps it is not quite as “lutheran” as we have come to accept.

  • Dan Kempin

    Mark, #42,

    I agree with your summary statement, (lutheranism can accomodate various liturgical forms with united doctrine), but not necessarily where you say, “The current interest in liturgy in the LCMS is due not to the influence of Anglicanism but is part of a larger movement . . . whereby Lutherans are seeking to recover their liturgical heritage”

    That thread does exist, to be sure, but there is a great deal more than lutheran liturgical heritage in the discussion. There are identifiable influences of both Roman Catholic and Orthodox practice and now, it seems, an Anglican influence as well. (Just consider how the Anglican vocabulary has come back into lutheran vogue in liturgical conversation. I find myself with need to consult my library just to remember where “Michelmas” and “Whitsunday” fall in the church year.)

    I was aware that we used much of the Anglican rite in the english lutheran hymnal, but the new insight for me is the (apparent) influence of the Anglican view of liturgy itself. (“The” liturgy, as it has become.) Liturgy and the BCP are the warp and woof of Anglican habituation of the faith. It is what binds them together and gives commonality to their confession, as well as defining the “decency and good order” of their practice. (If I understand correctly from the Anglicans who have commented here.) I see this influence in a lot of lutheran conversation.

    I see this influence in the development of the new Lutheran Service Book, for instance. The attempt has been made to make it a “lutheran BCP,” as it were–a resource for personal devotion and daily use instead of just a “hymnal” for use in corporate worship.

    Is this wrong or problematic? No . . . No. But if we are going to embrace an influence from outside our tradition, I would rather say so and do it boldly in our Christian freedom than to claim, somehow, that we are repristinating lutheran practice.

    Lutheran habituation of the faith, from my understanding, used the vocabulary of “agendas” (containing the liturgy), “hymnals” (for corporate use in worship), and for daily devotional study and the practice of piety there was the catechism, devotional books, published sermons, luther’s works, and theological publications. Doctrine is what drives lutheran practice. If liturgy is the heart of Anglicanism, doctrine is the heart of lutheranism. They both, (I hope), have something of value in their emphases, but their emphases have historically been different.

    In short, this whole notion of a united liturgy and the IMPORTANCE of a united liturgy is not something I find while shoveling around the foundations of lutheranism. I’m not saying it is bad, but perhaps it is not quite as “lutheran” as we have come to accept.

  • http://acroamaticus.blogspot.com Pr Mark Henderson

    Well, you’re on the ground there (in the LCMS/USA), Dan, so I’m certainly willing to concede your points. I was merely going by my historical knowledge and familiarity (at a distance) with the LCMS. However, it should also be said that synods have historically had as one of their objectives “to cultivate unity in worship”. The corresponding article from the LCMS constitution is 3.7: “Encourage congregations to strive for uniformity in church practice, but also to develop an appreciation of a variety of responsible practices and customs which are in harmony with our common profession of faith;” (that second part looks like it has been added at some stage…?). Anyway, presumably “church practices” here refers to/includes liturgy. I’m sure if you go back to Walther you’ll find similar objectives being espoused in the formation of the LCMS.
    If you mean to suggest, though, that the significance of this unity is conceived differently in Anglicanism and Lutheranism, I’d agree with you. For Lutheranism, we might say, unity in liturgy is a relative but not an absolute good; i.e. it is relative to unity in doctrine, which is an absolute. Thus, one of the great liturgical revivalists of the 19th C., Wilhelm Loehe, could even imagine Lutheranism surviving without liturgy if it had to. It’s difficult, I grant to imagine an Anglican or more so a Roman Catholic, saying that.

  • http://acroamaticus.blogspot.com Pr Mark Henderson

    Well, you’re on the ground there (in the LCMS/USA), Dan, so I’m certainly willing to concede your points. I was merely going by my historical knowledge and familiarity (at a distance) with the LCMS. However, it should also be said that synods have historically had as one of their objectives “to cultivate unity in worship”. The corresponding article from the LCMS constitution is 3.7: “Encourage congregations to strive for uniformity in church practice, but also to develop an appreciation of a variety of responsible practices and customs which are in harmony with our common profession of faith;” (that second part looks like it has been added at some stage…?). Anyway, presumably “church practices” here refers to/includes liturgy. I’m sure if you go back to Walther you’ll find similar objectives being espoused in the formation of the LCMS.
    If you mean to suggest, though, that the significance of this unity is conceived differently in Anglicanism and Lutheranism, I’d agree with you. For Lutheranism, we might say, unity in liturgy is a relative but not an absolute good; i.e. it is relative to unity in doctrine, which is an absolute. Thus, one of the great liturgical revivalists of the 19th C., Wilhelm Loehe, could even imagine Lutheranism surviving without liturgy if it had to. It’s difficult, I grant to imagine an Anglican or more so a Roman Catholic, saying that.

  • http://acroamaticus.blogspot.com Pr Mark Henderson

    PS
    Dan @43,
    I just looked at an old LCMS service book I have in my library. It’s undated, but must be from the 1950s. It’s called “The Lutheran Liturgy” [nb: "THE" Lutheran "LITURGY" ;0) ] and indeed lists the feast of “Whitsunday”, although “Michaelmas” is simply called St Michael and All Angels. The Collects appear to be those of Cranmer from the BCP. The whole thing has a very Anglican-ophile feel about it. I’m sure these things go in cycles.

  • http://acroamaticus.blogspot.com Pr Mark Henderson

    PS
    Dan @43,
    I just looked at an old LCMS service book I have in my library. It’s undated, but must be from the 1950s. It’s called “The Lutheran Liturgy” [nb: "THE" Lutheran "LITURGY" ;0) ] and indeed lists the feast of “Whitsunday”, although “Michaelmas” is simply called St Michael and All Angels. The Collects appear to be those of Cranmer from the BCP. The whole thing has a very Anglican-ophile feel about it. I’m sure these things go in cycles.

  • Robert Placer

    Thank you Gene Edward Veith for inviting to comment on your blog. I have been for many years a supporter of the Prayer Book Society and I still receive the Society’s Publication which was called “The Mandate”now called “Anglican Way”. I have a blog on the Wittenberg Trail called “Anglican Augustana Fellowship” . I invite everyone here to read the posts on my blog on the Wittenberg Trail website to learn more about where I stand on the future of the Anglican Church if there is to be a future for such a confused body of churchmen fighting apostasy. I was an ordained Anglican priest in the Continuing Anglican Church until four years ago I begin an intensive study of the original Anglican Lutheran Church at the beginning of the English Reformation. Lutheran Theology produced the first Lutheran Anglican Book of Common Prayer in 1549. I studied the writings of Martin Luther and the Book of Corcord, along with the writings of Martin Chemnitz, his books “On the Lord’s Supper” and “On The Two Natures of Christ”. Both Thomas Cranmer and Martin Chemnitz wrote books on the Lord’s Supper and clearly Chemnitz is the superior theologian. Cranmer is the superior liturgist who was inspired to compile the Book of Common Prayer 1549 not only from the Old Sarum rite but especially from the Lutheran Church Orders that he barrowed from his time in Germany. If you read my blog you will learn that I believe the only way forward out of the current Anglican mess is to trade in the 39 Articles for the Book of Concord while maintaining our Anglican ethos by adopting the 1549 Lutheran Anglican Prayer Book for our liturgy with some additional prayers from the 1662 Prayer Book that are in accordance with the Book of Concord. I am looking for Anglicans interested in forming the Anglican Augustana Church that is in full communion with the LCMS and the Mission Province of Sweden from which we could establish the threefold order of ministry (deacons, priests, and bishops). The Mission Province of Sweden maintained the apostolic succession of bishops and yet the Mission Province is in full communion with the LCMS. There is a lesson here for Anglians to learn about the true meaning of apostolic succession of doctrine. All efforts by churchmen leaving the Episcopal Church beginning in 1977 have failed to establish an alternative to the official apostasy of the Episcopal Church. Even the new organization called the Anglican Church of North America will fail and is failing over the meaning of doctrine. There are at least 52 separate Anglican Jurisdictions in North America claiming to be the alternative to the Episcopal Church, so Anglicans have no doctrinal unity and hence no visible unity. This post is a call to action. I am searching over the Internet for Episcopalian and Anglican laymen and clergy interested in forming the Anglican Augustana Church of North America. The word “Augustana” refers to the Latin title for the Augsburg Confession, Confessio Augustana. I have clergy connections in the LCMS who would foster such an effort to bring Anglicans back home to their true Lutheran Reformation and first Lutheran Prayer Book 1549. Please visit my blog on the Wittenberg Trail.

  • Robert Placer

    Thank you Gene Edward Veith for inviting to comment on your blog. I have been for many years a supporter of the Prayer Book Society and I still receive the Society’s Publication which was called “The Mandate”now called “Anglican Way”. I have a blog on the Wittenberg Trail called “Anglican Augustana Fellowship” . I invite everyone here to read the posts on my blog on the Wittenberg Trail website to learn more about where I stand on the future of the Anglican Church if there is to be a future for such a confused body of churchmen fighting apostasy. I was an ordained Anglican priest in the Continuing Anglican Church until four years ago I begin an intensive study of the original Anglican Lutheran Church at the beginning of the English Reformation. Lutheran Theology produced the first Lutheran Anglican Book of Common Prayer in 1549. I studied the writings of Martin Luther and the Book of Corcord, along with the writings of Martin Chemnitz, his books “On the Lord’s Supper” and “On The Two Natures of Christ”. Both Thomas Cranmer and Martin Chemnitz wrote books on the Lord’s Supper and clearly Chemnitz is the superior theologian. Cranmer is the superior liturgist who was inspired to compile the Book of Common Prayer 1549 not only from the Old Sarum rite but especially from the Lutheran Church Orders that he barrowed from his time in Germany. If you read my blog you will learn that I believe the only way forward out of the current Anglican mess is to trade in the 39 Articles for the Book of Concord while maintaining our Anglican ethos by adopting the 1549 Lutheran Anglican Prayer Book for our liturgy with some additional prayers from the 1662 Prayer Book that are in accordance with the Book of Concord. I am looking for Anglicans interested in forming the Anglican Augustana Church that is in full communion with the LCMS and the Mission Province of Sweden from which we could establish the threefold order of ministry (deacons, priests, and bishops). The Mission Province of Sweden maintained the apostolic succession of bishops and yet the Mission Province is in full communion with the LCMS. There is a lesson here for Anglians to learn about the true meaning of apostolic succession of doctrine. All efforts by churchmen leaving the Episcopal Church beginning in 1977 have failed to establish an alternative to the official apostasy of the Episcopal Church. Even the new organization called the Anglican Church of North America will fail and is failing over the meaning of doctrine. There are at least 52 separate Anglican Jurisdictions in North America claiming to be the alternative to the Episcopal Church, so Anglicans have no doctrinal unity and hence no visible unity. This post is a call to action. I am searching over the Internet for Episcopalian and Anglican laymen and clergy interested in forming the Anglican Augustana Church of North America. The word “Augustana” refers to the Latin title for the Augsburg Confession, Confessio Augustana. I have clergy connections in the LCMS who would foster such an effort to bring Anglicans back home to their true Lutheran Reformation and first Lutheran Prayer Book 1549. Please visit my blog on the Wittenberg Trail.

  • Robert Placer

    The Anglican Via Media is often described as a middle way between Rome and Geneva. This is not correct. The Via Media was really between Wittenberg and Geneva. I am familiar with George Herbert’s poem entitled “The British Church” in which Herbert describes the difference between she of the hills (Rome and the Vatican RC Church) and she of the valley (Geneva, Reformed Church). George Herbert was an High Church Caroline Divine whose understanding of the means of grace was Lutheran. The 17th century Caroline Divines were Lutheran in their understanding of the sacraments as the means of grace and they were Anti-Calvinist. The tragic error of some Anglican Divines was their attempt to reconcile Lutheran and Calvinist Theology, but even more harmful for Anglicans was the developing mindset that compromise must keep a national church together even at the cost of doctrinal truth. Look at the current state of the Anglican Communion so called and the Continuing Anglican Churches. There is no doctrinal unity within the Anglican Church or the Continuing Anglican Churches. The first wave of Continuing Anglicans began in 1977 with the Congress of St. Louis. The following year the unity of the Congress of St. Louis fell apart over doctrinal disunity and this is the same problem with the Anglican Church of North America. Let me cite one example of doctrinal disunity that keeps Anglicans from a united stand against the official Anglican apostasy most apparent in the Episcopal Church USA. Apart from some of the original Continuing Anglican groups such as the Anglican Catholic Church and the Episcopal Missionary Church, there is no doctrinal agreement why women should not be ordained as deacons, priests, and bishops. A separate order of deaconesses engaged in mercy ministry is in accordance with Holy Scripture. To get behind the Scripture citations prohibiting women from having preaching and teaching authority over men in the church, we need to understand the reason why the prohibition against the ordination of women namely the order of creation. No matter what society outside the church may or may not decide concerning the roles of men and women, we in the Church are not free to conform to the ways of the world. If you do not believe that God created man first and woman out of man then the order of creation affirmed by Christ when He sent out men only to proclaim the gospel will make no sense. If you believe that men and women are products of random selection and evolution, that men and women are not created in the image of God but are just more advanced animals, then the order of creation makes no sense. We are all the children of the Enlightenment. The most traditional conservative Episcopalian stumbles over the ordination of women as contrary to reason. I suggest reading from C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man, the chapter: “God in the Dock” to understand how modern men and women today think about God. Bishop Duncan and his Anglican Church of North America refuse to reject the ordination of women and so once again we have doctrinal disunity among Anglicans. This is just one example of doctrinal disunity but we must understand in Holy Scripture how one truth relates to another truth. The term “impaired Communion” is an Anglican invention to hold the Church together. There is no such thing as Impaired Communion, one is either in communion or out of communion. Are we now ready to return to the Lutheran Reformation in organizing the Anglican Augustana Church?

  • Robert Placer

    The Anglican Via Media is often described as a middle way between Rome and Geneva. This is not correct. The Via Media was really between Wittenberg and Geneva. I am familiar with George Herbert’s poem entitled “The British Church” in which Herbert describes the difference between she of the hills (Rome and the Vatican RC Church) and she of the valley (Geneva, Reformed Church). George Herbert was an High Church Caroline Divine whose understanding of the means of grace was Lutheran. The 17th century Caroline Divines were Lutheran in their understanding of the sacraments as the means of grace and they were Anti-Calvinist. The tragic error of some Anglican Divines was their attempt to reconcile Lutheran and Calvinist Theology, but even more harmful for Anglicans was the developing mindset that compromise must keep a national church together even at the cost of doctrinal truth. Look at the current state of the Anglican Communion so called and the Continuing Anglican Churches. There is no doctrinal unity within the Anglican Church or the Continuing Anglican Churches. The first wave of Continuing Anglicans began in 1977 with the Congress of St. Louis. The following year the unity of the Congress of St. Louis fell apart over doctrinal disunity and this is the same problem with the Anglican Church of North America. Let me cite one example of doctrinal disunity that keeps Anglicans from a united stand against the official Anglican apostasy most apparent in the Episcopal Church USA. Apart from some of the original Continuing Anglican groups such as the Anglican Catholic Church and the Episcopal Missionary Church, there is no doctrinal agreement why women should not be ordained as deacons, priests, and bishops. A separate order of deaconesses engaged in mercy ministry is in accordance with Holy Scripture. To get behind the Scripture citations prohibiting women from having preaching and teaching authority over men in the church, we need to understand the reason why the prohibition against the ordination of women namely the order of creation. No matter what society outside the church may or may not decide concerning the roles of men and women, we in the Church are not free to conform to the ways of the world. If you do not believe that God created man first and woman out of man then the order of creation affirmed by Christ when He sent out men only to proclaim the gospel will make no sense. If you believe that men and women are products of random selection and evolution, that men and women are not created in the image of God but are just more advanced animals, then the order of creation makes no sense. We are all the children of the Enlightenment. The most traditional conservative Episcopalian stumbles over the ordination of women as contrary to reason. I suggest reading from C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man, the chapter: “God in the Dock” to understand how modern men and women today think about God. Bishop Duncan and his Anglican Church of North America refuse to reject the ordination of women and so once again we have doctrinal disunity among Anglicans. This is just one example of doctrinal disunity but we must understand in Holy Scripture how one truth relates to another truth. The term “impaired Communion” is an Anglican invention to hold the Church together. There is no such thing as Impaired Communion, one is either in communion or out of communion. Are we now ready to return to the Lutheran Reformation in organizing the Anglican Augustana Church?

  • http://acroamaticus.blogspot.com Pr Mark Henderson

    Thank you Robert for your fascinating contributions to the topic.

  • http://acroamaticus.blogspot.com Pr Mark Henderson

    Thank you Robert for your fascinating contributions to the topic.

  • Robert Placer

    Queen Elizabeth the First believed the Lutheran doctrines that the sacraments are the means of grace. She believed in the real bodily presence of Jesus Christ in the bread and wine. She preferred the 1549 Lutheran Book of Common Prayer but she could not enforce her will against Reformed clergy, so she had to compromise with the Calvinist clergy hence the compromise 1559 Book of Common Prayer. The Elizabethan Settlement left the door open for a future return to the Lutheran Confessions. We need to go through that open door. The Anglican attempt to merge Lutheran and Calvinist Theology is a 400 year old failed experiment. The Anglican via media to keep the Church together at all cost through doctrinal compromise is a failure that has brought about the ruin of the Anglican Communion. I most heartily recommend dear reader that you seek out the writings of the Reverend Doctor John Stephenson of Concordia Seminary St. Catherines Ontario Canada. A Confessional Lutheran Theologian who studied in England, Dr. Stephenson understands the Anglican malaise. Read his articles on the website called Logia. After reading his articles you will understand the current mess that is Anglicanism and how through Henry VIII and Thomas More, both of whom hated Luther, we lost our opportunity to become a Confessional Anglican Lutheran Church.

  • Robert Placer

    Queen Elizabeth the First believed the Lutheran doctrines that the sacraments are the means of grace. She believed in the real bodily presence of Jesus Christ in the bread and wine. She preferred the 1549 Lutheran Book of Common Prayer but she could not enforce her will against Reformed clergy, so she had to compromise with the Calvinist clergy hence the compromise 1559 Book of Common Prayer. The Elizabethan Settlement left the door open for a future return to the Lutheran Confessions. We need to go through that open door. The Anglican attempt to merge Lutheran and Calvinist Theology is a 400 year old failed experiment. The Anglican via media to keep the Church together at all cost through doctrinal compromise is a failure that has brought about the ruin of the Anglican Communion. I most heartily recommend dear reader that you seek out the writings of the Reverend Doctor John Stephenson of Concordia Seminary St. Catherines Ontario Canada. A Confessional Lutheran Theologian who studied in England, Dr. Stephenson understands the Anglican malaise. Read his articles on the website called Logia. After reading his articles you will understand the current mess that is Anglicanism and how through Henry VIII and Thomas More, both of whom hated Luther, we lost our opportunity to become a Confessional Anglican Lutheran Church.

  • Cincinnatus

    Robert Placer,

    Why would we want to become a “Confessional Lutheran Church”? What is distinctive about Anglicanism–and why I remain Anglican–is its theology of worship and liturgy.

    If you want to be a confessional Lutheran, join a confessional Lutheran. Why must everyone insist on making their church something it is not?

    And no, the via media properly understood is not a failure.

  • Cincinnatus

    Robert Placer,

    Why would we want to become a “Confessional Lutheran Church”? What is distinctive about Anglicanism–and why I remain Anglican–is its theology of worship and liturgy.

    If you want to be a confessional Lutheran, join a confessional Lutheran. Why must everyone insist on making their church something it is not?

    And no, the via media properly understood is not a failure.

  • Robert Placer

    The answer to your first question depends upon much you know about the history of the Church of England during the time of the Reformation. The bishops of the Church of England, namely Thomas Cranmer and other clergy and laity, started the English Church along the Lutheran Way and my contention is that the Church of England should never have departed from the Lutheran Way. Our classical editions of the Book of Common Prayer teach Lutheran doctrine on the sacraments. No less a critic of the Book of Common Prayer than Dom Gregaory Dix stated that the Holy Communion or Mass in the Book of Common Prayer represents the best effort to express the doctrine of Justification by Faith in liturgical form. His observation was correct; the Prayer Book Mass is indeed quite an Anglican accomplishment in presenting Law and Gospel in liturgical form. A confessional church is one that understands how one truth relates to another truth instead of ambiguity. Read the three Creeds and note how one truth about God relates to another truth about God. Anglican doctrinal statements are capable of different interpretations, note the many distinctive teachings in the Anglican Church today. When you refer to worship if you mean the Book of Common Prayer then Archbishop Thomas Cranmer compiler of the liturgy was inspired by Lutheran Church Orders in use for 20 years before the first English Prayer Book Liturgy in 1549. The baptismal service in the BCP 1549 contains the flood prayer composed by Martin Luther and Archbishop Von Wied of Koln. Please read through the 1549 BCP. Yes, one could just join a Confessional Lutheran Church, and not all Luthean Churches are Confessional. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America by its own declarations have rejected the Book of Concord and they are actively pushing for merger with the Episcoapal Church. When I speak of a Confessional Lutheran Church I mean the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and all the Lutheran Churches in communion with her including the Mission Province of Sweden. Anglicanism is capable of many interpretations often politely referred to as Anglican Comprehensiveness. And that comprehensivness ranges from Unitarian/Liberal over to Anglo-Catholic Papalist, and everything in between including the Charismatic Movement. Anglicanism is capable of a Lutheran interpretation if you are an Anglican dedicated to the ues of the classic editions of the Book of Common Prayer because these Prayer Books up until the American 1928 edition and the Canadian 1962 edition still teach Lutheran doctrine that the Sacraments are the means of grace not conversion experiences. Not all ot the 39 Articles are in accordance with the Book of Common Prayer Lutheran doctrine of the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. You have stated that the via media is not a failure, how do you contend that the via media is not a failure given the current state of the Anglican Church? If you approve of the ordination of women, homosexual lesbian ordination and marriage, along with ever changing doctrine and liturgy then one could argue that the via media is a success, but we must also define our terms. What do you mean by via media? Please explain to me why the via media properly understood is not a failure given the current doctrinal divisions within the Anglican Communion?

    Yes, one could just join the LCMS and attend a church that uses the Common Service in The Lutheran Hymnal and that beautiful sung Liturgy is very close to the 1549 Liturgy. I believe that Anglicans have a valuable contributiuon in liturgy to bring into the English speaking Lutheran Way and Anglicans would benenfit from the doctrinal stability found in the Book of Concord. This is why I seek after lost Anglicans intersted in forming the Anglican Augustana Church, which would be Anglican in ethos especailly the Book of Common Prayer 1549 but Lutheran in doctrine in that we trade in the 39 Articles, which few Anglicans have read let alone know about, for the Book of Concord. The Anglican Church will never reverse its slide into anarchy and apostasy. The time is now for us to enter the lifeboats from the sinking RMS Anglican Communion and row towards the USS Missouri Synod rescue ship. After our rescue from apostasy we need to build a new ship called the Anglican Augustana Church (AAC).

  • Robert Placer

    The answer to your first question depends upon much you know about the history of the Church of England during the time of the Reformation. The bishops of the Church of England, namely Thomas Cranmer and other clergy and laity, started the English Church along the Lutheran Way and my contention is that the Church of England should never have departed from the Lutheran Way. Our classical editions of the Book of Common Prayer teach Lutheran doctrine on the sacraments. No less a critic of the Book of Common Prayer than Dom Gregaory Dix stated that the Holy Communion or Mass in the Book of Common Prayer represents the best effort to express the doctrine of Justification by Faith in liturgical form. His observation was correct; the Prayer Book Mass is indeed quite an Anglican accomplishment in presenting Law and Gospel in liturgical form. A confessional church is one that understands how one truth relates to another truth instead of ambiguity. Read the three Creeds and note how one truth about God relates to another truth about God. Anglican doctrinal statements are capable of different interpretations, note the many distinctive teachings in the Anglican Church today. When you refer to worship if you mean the Book of Common Prayer then Archbishop Thomas Cranmer compiler of the liturgy was inspired by Lutheran Church Orders in use for 20 years before the first English Prayer Book Liturgy in 1549. The baptismal service in the BCP 1549 contains the flood prayer composed by Martin Luther and Archbishop Von Wied of Koln. Please read through the 1549 BCP. Yes, one could just join a Confessional Lutheran Church, and not all Luthean Churches are Confessional. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America by its own declarations have rejected the Book of Concord and they are actively pushing for merger with the Episcoapal Church. When I speak of a Confessional Lutheran Church I mean the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and all the Lutheran Churches in communion with her including the Mission Province of Sweden. Anglicanism is capable of many interpretations often politely referred to as Anglican Comprehensiveness. And that comprehensivness ranges from Unitarian/Liberal over to Anglo-Catholic Papalist, and everything in between including the Charismatic Movement. Anglicanism is capable of a Lutheran interpretation if you are an Anglican dedicated to the ues of the classic editions of the Book of Common Prayer because these Prayer Books up until the American 1928 edition and the Canadian 1962 edition still teach Lutheran doctrine that the Sacraments are the means of grace not conversion experiences. Not all ot the 39 Articles are in accordance with the Book of Common Prayer Lutheran doctrine of the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. You have stated that the via media is not a failure, how do you contend that the via media is not a failure given the current state of the Anglican Church? If you approve of the ordination of women, homosexual lesbian ordination and marriage, along with ever changing doctrine and liturgy then one could argue that the via media is a success, but we must also define our terms. What do you mean by via media? Please explain to me why the via media properly understood is not a failure given the current doctrinal divisions within the Anglican Communion?

    Yes, one could just join the LCMS and attend a church that uses the Common Service in The Lutheran Hymnal and that beautiful sung Liturgy is very close to the 1549 Liturgy. I believe that Anglicans have a valuable contributiuon in liturgy to bring into the English speaking Lutheran Way and Anglicans would benenfit from the doctrinal stability found in the Book of Concord. This is why I seek after lost Anglicans intersted in forming the Anglican Augustana Church, which would be Anglican in ethos especailly the Book of Common Prayer 1549 but Lutheran in doctrine in that we trade in the 39 Articles, which few Anglicans have read let alone know about, for the Book of Concord. The Anglican Church will never reverse its slide into anarchy and apostasy. The time is now for us to enter the lifeboats from the sinking RMS Anglican Communion and row towards the USS Missouri Synod rescue ship. After our rescue from apostasy we need to build a new ship called the Anglican Augustana Church (AAC).

  • Robert Placer

    How often I have heard Episcopalians or Anglicans say that Anglican doctrine is “comprehensive” meaning that the doctrine embrances a wide spectrum of belief and even unbelief. The word “comprehensive” is really a polite Anglican term for doctrinal confusion and incomprehension. The posts I read on this blog from Anglicans prove my point. The only folks more “comprehensive” than Anglicans are Quakers.

    I still support the Prayer Book Society USA because I believe the starting point for bringing doctrinal light to Anglicans begins with the classic editions of the Book of Common Prayer especially the 1549 BCP which teach Lutheran doctrine of the Sacraments as the means of grace.

    As we approach 2017 we need Anglicans to assemble a conference on the Lutheran foundation for the English Reformation of the Church of England along with the Lutheran foundation for the BCP.

  • Robert Placer

    How often I have heard Episcopalians or Anglicans say that Anglican doctrine is “comprehensive” meaning that the doctrine embrances a wide spectrum of belief and even unbelief. The word “comprehensive” is really a polite Anglican term for doctrinal confusion and incomprehension. The posts I read on this blog from Anglicans prove my point. The only folks more “comprehensive” than Anglicans are Quakers.

    I still support the Prayer Book Society USA because I believe the starting point for bringing doctrinal light to Anglicans begins with the classic editions of the Book of Common Prayer especially the 1549 BCP which teach Lutheran doctrine of the Sacraments as the means of grace.

    As we approach 2017 we need Anglicans to assemble a conference on the Lutheran foundation for the English Reformation of the Church of England along with the Lutheran foundation for the BCP.


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