Category Archives: Anglicanism

The End is Near!

Well, the end of the Episcopal Church’s relationship with Anglicans is near… N.T. Wright recently published a very clear rebuke and warning about the Episcopal Church on the Times Online the 15th of this month. Read the whole article, but here is an excerpt:

In the slow-moving train crash of international Anglicanism, a decision taken in California has finally brought a large coach off the rails altogether. The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church (TEC) in the United States has voted decisively to allow in principle the appointment, to all orders of ministry, of persons in active same-sex relationships. This marks a clear break with the rest of the Anglican Communion.

Both the bishops and deputies (lay and clergy) of TEC knew exactly what they were doing. They were telling the Archbishop of Canterbury and the other “instruments of communion” that they were ignoring their plea for a moratorium on consecrating practising homosexuals as bishops. They were rejecting the two things the Archbishop of Canterbury has named as the pathway to the future — the Windsor Report (2004) and the proposed Covenant (whose aim is to provide a modus operandi for the Anglican Communion). They were formalising the schism they initiated six years ago when they consecrated as bishop a divorced man in an active same-sex relationship, against the Primates’ unanimous statement that this would “tear the fabric of the Communion at its deepest level”. In Windsor’s language, they have chosen to “walk apart”.

Granted, the TEC resolution indicates a strong willingness to remain within the Anglican Communion. But saying “we want to stay in, but we insist on rewriting the rules” is cynical double-think. We should not be fooled.

[HT: James Grant]

The N.T. Wright Project

Some students from Princton Theological Seminary have started a research project for the purpose of studying the foundational works of theology by N.T. Wright. Here is their description of the project:

Rarely in the course of our seminary study do we have the opportunity to study theologians whose work is currently transforming the life of the church. Tom Wright is one such theologian, and a small group of us at Princeton Theological Seminary, together with one of our professors, Ross Wagner, have decided to spend this semester immersed in Wright’s work. We hope to carefully read some of his most foundational writings and to engage each other through this blog on the issues and ideas which emerge from this study. From time to time we will have guest authors from a wide spectrum contribute, and we also invite those of you in church, parachurch, or seminary communities to read and respond to our blog posts as a way of keeping this project closely grounded in the church today. Welcome and enjoy!

I encourage everyone to keep up with this blog, especially if you don’t have the ability to read Bishop Wright’s works in full by yourself. These students will be summarizing and analysing and discussing much of what he has written and I think we will all benefit from their work. May God bless this project!

A Sevenfold Prayer

Pray this prayer today. It is a modified form of the sevenfold prayer of the baptismal life found in the Book of Common Prayer.

Deliver me, Lord, from the way of sin and death.
Open my heart to your grace and truth.
Fill me with your holy and life-giving Spirit.
Keep me in the faith and communion of your holy Church.
Teach me to love others in the power of the Spirit.
Send me into the world in witness to your love.
Bring me to the fullness of your peace and glory.

Here is the original with the structured liturgy of the BCP:

Leader Deliver them, O Lord, from the way of sin and death.
People Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader Open their hearts to your grace and truth.
People Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader Fill them with your holy and life-giving Spirit.
People Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader Keep them in the faith and communion of your holy Church.
People Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader Teach them to love others in the power of the Spirit.
People Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader Send them into the world in witness to your love.
People Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader Bring them to the fullness of your peace and glory.
People Lord, hear our prayer.

The Celebrant says

Grant, O Lord, that all who are baptized into the death of Jesus Christ your Son may live in the power of his resurrection and look for him to come again in glory; who lives and reigns now and forever. Amen.

Pray for Rev. Peter Toon

I just found out that the Rev. Dr. Peter Toon has had a stroke and that his health is continuing to decline. He is a well known Anglican author and he has been on of the key figures bringing us the new Anglican Prayer Book that was recently published at the start of 2008 (updating the language of the Book of Common Book Prayer for all of us to enjoy in modern English). Here is a letter that Jamie Bennett passed along from Rev. Toon…

I shall be retiring later in 2008 from editing The Mandate (which I have done for 12 years) for The Prayer Book Society of the U.S.A. Further, my term as President of the PBS of the USA and Board membership run out this year. I rejoice to see a team of much younger persons taking the helm at the PBS.

As some of you know, I have had several major setbacks to my bodily health recently. Happily, I am not confined to bed and do seek to work a normal day! But I have not got the physical stamina that I had a year or six months ago. In a few days time, I am due to spend 3 days as an outpatient at Boston University Hospital, at its specialized Amyloidosis Research and Treatment Center. Amyloid is a rogue protein produced by the human body, which seems only to exist in order to seek to injure or destroy primary bodily organs like brain, heart, kidneys and so on. Why, and how, one gets this rare disease, which affects only a minute proportion of the population, is a mystery. (But see what the Service for the Visitation of the Sick in The BCP 1662 has to say about it for a clue as to the why for baptized Christians!)

Specialist centers dealing with it are very few in the U.S.A. and there are none in the Pacific NW, where we live. Thus the visit to Boston on the East Coast is going to where we know the experts are. There is no known cure for this disease, but there are ways of slowing down or stopping its effects in those persons, where it is not already too advanced. Thank you for your interest and attention. In you charity, kindly remember us in your prayers. Goodbye and God bless you.

Please keep him in in your thoughts and prayers over the coming weeks and months.

[HT: James Grant]

The Global South Anglican: its origins and development

Here is a very helpful article for those of you interested in the conservative and orthodox churches of the Global South that exist withing the World Wide Anglican Communion. Peter Toon has a good summary that is well worth your reading. Please pray for the Anglican denomination, as it is going through a crisis that seems to be leading towards its ultimate demise and death for those we desire to maintain the unity of the Church in the bond of sexual immorality and abominable practices.

Here is a portion from Toon’s blog entry:

Though the expression, “Global South,” has been in use for a decade or more in the spheres of international relations, global economics, third-world development, and the like, its use in Anglican ecclesiological discourse is very recent. To refer to “The Global South” as one of the various constituencies of the Global Anglican Communion of Churches is now common; but; it has only been so for four or five years. (see the essay by Dr Poon listed at end of this article.)

Further, the economic and political use of the expression refers solely to the poorer countries of the world, the so-called developing nations, situated south of Europe and the U.S.A. (see for details of all this the work of “The Center for Global South” at American University in Washington D.C. founded in 1992); but, the Anglican use strangely includes both the provinces that are in developing countries and one or two that are in developed countries (e.g., S E Asia).

Today, 2008, the constituency called the Anglican Global South is generally associated with both a conservative theology and also opposition to the liberal-progressive agenda in sexuality of provinces in the West, especially North America. This has not always been so, for the original stance of this grouping was a continuation of the former South-South Encounters of representatives of Anglican Provinces not in the West or the North. As such it had admirable aims and sought primarily to do justice to the vocation and experience of being Anglican outside of the West and North and after colonialism. This explains why the relatively affluent province of S E Asia is in The Global South.

Totally separate from the work at, and between, the South to South Encounters, and beginning before the Lambeth Conference of 1998, continuing during that Lambeth Conference, and then more intensely afterwards, has been the persistent work of various American “ambassadors.” They have both made visits to Africa and Asia, and also invited to the U.S.A. bishops from these continents. The aim was to enlist these overseas bishops as orthodox allies in the battle being fought in and around The Episcopal Church over the innovations in sexual practice and ethics.

An Anglican Life

For those of you interested in learning more about the Anglican branch of the Church, I would like to suggest this book by Louis R. Tarsitano:


Here is an interesting tree of church history from the book that chronicles the life of the Church all the way back to Adam and up to the Present. Enjoy!

History of the Church

Here is the relevant portion from the book that discusses the image above:

The general history of the Church of Christ is shown as three main branches diverging after the undivided Church of the first thousand years. The sub-branches represent the movements and churches that have claimed a separate identity since the time of the 16th century Reformation. The dates given for the sub-branches stemming from the Anglican branch indicate the time of their institutional separation from Anglican churches. The theological differences involved are serious and complex, and require respectful study. Also remember that this is a chart of historical relationships, rather than ecclesiastical validity.