Monday, October 03, 2005

Regarding the "Why Anglicanism" Series


+ Augustine of Canterbury

So what on earth did that have to do with Anglicanism?

Surprisingly little. I just didn't know that three years ago. Oh well, live and learn.

But seriously, when it comes right down to it, I found elements of those things in the Church of England when I was in Confirmation class at St. Aldates. I was hoping that the same would be true in ECUSA. I found it here and there -- or rather, "there" but not "here." I found these values to be held by various clergy and churches in the Diocese of Dallas, but not locally. I was pleased to discover this sooner rather than later, which is why I ended my time as an aspirant for Holy Orders in Lexington and considered my discernment time to be a success.

Does Anglicanism really exist? Does it really have a theology of its own? I'm really not certain, and I've not been thinking about it lately. There are Anglican theologians, but there is little "official" (read: binding) Anglican theology. The Communion as a whole seems to run on "instruments of unity" and warm feelings, and all of these things have been at the breaking point for a couple of years now.

I liked the Windsor Report, as far as that goes. Will I call myself an Anglican? Sure. Would other people call me that? Some would, some not. Do I care? Not a bit. Is there a future for Anglicanism in North America? We'll have to wait and see. I might be part of it. I'm not going to sit at the edge of my seat and fail to participate in the Kingdom while I'm waiting. Will I continue to write and answer my own rhetorical questions regardless of what happens? You betcha.


12 comments:

Aaron said...

its funny, having been raised in pentecostal, assembly of god churches, and having nearly completed a pastoral studies degree at an A/G school, i am wrestling with the same questions concerning our portion of the body.

more specifically, do the positives that come with such a fellowship outweigh or at least hold at bay the negatives. still trying to figure that out. maybe i'll just go to school forever so i dont have to decide:)

Peter said...

"I'm not going to sit at the edge of my seat and fail to participate in the Kingdom while I'm waiting. "

Well said. Anglicanism seems like a means to another end. For many of us evangelical folk it is a way to find catholicity. That in and of itself should speak to the precarious nature of anglicanism.

Kyle said...

I'm with you, Aaron. I've been pragmatic in considering denominational ties for the past few years, asking whether or not the connection will help empower my work and that of my community. In ECUSA, the answer was a resounding 'no.' As far as other Anglican bodies are concerned, that remains to be seen.

Nice point, Pete. What happens when we don't stop at Anglicanism's precarious balance and want to go further, but can't? Anglo-Catholics, maybe? Who knows.

+ Alan said...

I ain't takin' no oath to no Queen!

And I'm not even English, soooo to be Angli-can would be a little bit out - yeah, they need to disassociate with the United Kingdom of Great Britain (and I refuse to say Northern Ireland) and change their name. OK, done with that.

Peace to all in this house.

Peter said...

God save the Queen!

Kyle said...

See, I don't think of it as being a problem, as I am not a resident member of the CofE. Anglican simply doesn't mean English anymore; Anglicanism as such is developing more of a global South attitude, and I'd like to hear what Peter makes of that notion.

So maybe that can be the Church in England. But the other Churches are 'anglican' but that doesn't mean any longer 'the church of england in wherever.' It's the Church of Nigeria, and of Sudan, and of Scotland and of South India, etc.

Peter said...

Most anglicans around the world today would see anglicanism as a way of being Christian rather than a designation for being attached to the C of E.

There are Anglican groups -- such as the Traditional Anglican Communion -- who are not connected to Canterbury but who embrace the Anglican way.

The Church of Nigeria just rewrote its constitution to define itself as Anglican in terms of doctrine and piety rather than in terms of its relationship to England.

If the Anglican communion splits, much of it will no longer be in communion with the Church of England -- heck -- there might even be churches in England no longer in the C of E!

So I would hold that being Anglican is about a way of being Christian. Kyle, your series on Anglicanism is a good summary on this point.

But, as the Beatles say, "her majesty's a pretty nice girl." (tee hee)

A said...

Peter said, "For many of us evangelical folk it is a way to find catholicity."

And Kyle said in reply, "What happens when we don't stop at Anglicanism's precarious balance and want to go further...."

Rome.

I shall return to my corner now.
Peace

+ Alan said...

Aaahhh, logical conclusions.

Peter said...

must resist, must resist, must resist.......

Kyle said...

Any balance between the extremes of Church history will be precarious. Maybe the real danger to our souls is being uninterested in that balance.

C'mon, Peter, go for it. I might find it enlightening. ;0)

Tim Mathis said...

Hi Kyle, fascinating stuff. It was great to happen across this old series of posts late on a Friday when I can't sleep. It's always interesting to hear about the spiritual path of other whippersnappers who become Anglican. I posted a similar series of blogs back in May--written originally at about this time last year for my discernment process. I hope you'll check it out starting at:
http://relativelyfaithful.blogspot.com/2007/05/intro-to-reposting-of-my-spiritual.html