Anglican Identity

In what follows, I will use the word “Anglican” for the Church of England, and the Anglican Communion that grew out of it, concerning the Reformation and post-Reformation periods even when writing of the times before that word came into use. This is for convenience and simplicity. My paper addresses the topic of “Anglicanism: Orthodoxy…

Is Anglicanism Reformed?

The very title of this post will give some folks the vapours, as they have been brought up in the Post-Tractarian World in which, if Anglicanism is seen as Reformed at all, it is with a small ‘r’ that is immediately followed by the word Catholic. No one on the Reformed side of Anglicanism would…

To Reap the Whirlwind

When, loud and lauded, grifters drift along Who crease their purple pants and sable jackets, I think to beg my memory for a song That bundles sunshine up in yellow packets. Sometimes, however, all I hear is a racket. When funnel clouds demolish mobile homes, We lose both cozy throws and stylish chromes.

Tract IV: What is Christian Spirituality?

Tracts for the Times 2.0 In my next series of tracts, I will be presenting a comprehensive outline of Christian spirituality, as embodied in the Anglican tradition. In Tract #4, I’ll define just what Christian spirituality is. What is spirituality? The word “spirituality” has taken on different connotations in Christianity. Originally, the word was derived…

Ordinary Time

On a sweeter day of sun and windy sky, The hermit stands in his doorway drinking tea. Though spring declares itself, it’s only January. These gentle southern mountains seem to sigh With longing. Above the trees, a hawk’s thin cry Unspools, a silver thread of hunger. He Listens. Hears his heart’s reply, its plea For…

Mascall on Justification

E. L. Mascall has featured in three recent pieces on The North American Anglican, Clinton Collister’s “Year in Reading,” Gerald McDermott’s “E. L. Mascall: A Theologian in, from, and for the Church,” and Preston Hill’s review of Mascall’s book Christ the Christian, and the Church. Along with Preston Hill and Clinton Collister I have been…

The Endurance of Memory

My sister Laurene at twenty returns as a vision: a young bride, slender in a blue suit carrying a simple bouquet of white flowers. It’s May 31st, the 35th anniversary of her death,warm and sunny in the Gulf South as hurricaneseason approaches. I am not surprised by this image, remembering her years before she bore…

Contraception and Lambeth: A Proposal

As Anglicans, the use of hormonal contraceptives ought to be scrutinized. I have never heard the topic of ‘the pill’ touched from the pulpit, but Christians who affirm the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death cannot practice a laissez faire attitude towards contraceptives, which may act as zygote-abortifacients. Much of the popular…

Navigating Troubled Waters, Part 1: Frankfurt, 1554-1559

Introduction “The Regulative Principle of Worship” (RPW) is a standard position in Reformed and Presbyterian churches, but not in Anglican or Lutheran churches. Briefly, the RPW states, “whatever is commanded by God for worship is required, and whatever is not commanded is forbidden.” The authors of this concise definition explain, “This principle therefore goes contrary…

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