We deny to claim "any Superiority to ourself
to defyne, decyde, or determyn any Article or Poynt
of the Christian Fayth and Relligion,
or to chang any Ancient Ceremony of the Church
from the Forme before received and observed
by the Catholick and Apostolick Church."

Norman Simplicity

Norman Simplicity
Click image for original | © Vitrearum (Allan Barton)

Friday, December 12, 2014

S.O.S. Titanic

William Tighe, an inveterate and uncompromising critic of all things Anglican, has anatomized as follows:

All this twaddle about Canterbury, Canterbury, Canterbury is just evidence how, among all the “denominational” traditions of Christianity, Anglicanism is the one that most remarkably fails at the Socratic maxim of “Gnothi seauton/Know thyself” ...

The success which a small group of anti-Calvinist divines, which formed around Lancelot Andrewes at the very end of Elizabeth’s reign, and which for a long time consisted of his friends (Overall, Buckeridge), admirers (Laud, Neill) and disciples (Montague, Wrenn, Duppa) had in transforming the understanding of many “Anglicans” about the nature of the Church of England, as well as inventing the very concept of “Anglicanism” as both, and in some unique way, “Catholic and Reformed,” “Reformed” in this context meaning simply “generically Protestant, as opposed to RC,” is little short of astonishing. From being anti-Calvinist on the subjects of double predestination and church polity they went on to being anti-Reformed generally (and managed the great trick of convincing the young Prince Charles in the early 1620s that Calvinist = Puritan and Puritan = Calvinist without exception), invoking Dutch Arminians (who were in most respects, however, simnply anti-Calvinist Reformed Christians) and Lutheran theologians, before eventually finding their ground in the “consensus quinquesecularis,” the “Vincentian Canon” and the Church Fathers (the latter two always embraced rather selectively).

On this view, Anglicanism is a (long-standing, historical) delusion. To which I would respond, reject the reality, embrace the delusion. Anglicanism never was: but it ought to have been.

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