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An interesting Anglican blog: “Once again I thank You”

June 1, 2015

Tonight I wanted to mention a most interesting blog, titled Once again I thank You.  Written by Adam Young, curate at Emmanuel Church in Saltburn, UK, this blog has some very good thoughts on classical Anglicanism.  An example would be the post The Five Points of Classical Anglicanism, where Rev. Young makes an observation I myself have noticed before: “when a person tells you they are Anglican you have no idea what they mean.”  He then proceeds to say what it should mean to be “classical Anglican”, and he outlines five central points.  This is part of what he has written about the Thirty-Nine Articles:

That The 39 are the true confession is seen clearly in how it is they that interpret the BCP and not the other way around.  The Gorham Trial affirmed in law that The 39 give the correct reading of the doctrine of the BCP and not vice-versa.  This limits the ‘High Church’ readings of some BCP passages by keeping their official doctrinal meaning firmly within the boundaries of the theology of The 39.

The 39 Articles according to their subtitle were written and made legally binding for the “avoiding of diversities of opinion and for the establishing of consent touching true religion” that is to say, they are a confession of faith which on matters of dispute rule which side is Anglican and in so doing establish the contents of ‘true religion’ – that is Anglicanism.  The declaration of Charles II which is prefaced to the Articles shows their confessional nature in crystal clear language in that it requires all ‘loving subjects’ of the King to “continue in the uniform Profession thereof, and prohibiting the least difference from the said Articles”.  You don’t get more confessional than that.

Classical Anglicanism is Confessional Anglicanism – it affirms and declares proudly the faith as set forth in the 39 Articles and witnessed to in the correct reading of the BCP and Ordinal.  To disagree with The 39 is to disagree with Anglicanism.  You truly can measure how ‘Anglican’ a person is by how faithful they are to the inheritance of faith laid out in the Historic Formularies.    As Thomas Rogers, who within forty years of The 39 being written wrote the first commentary upon them said:

“The purpose of our Church is best known by the doctrine which she does profess: the doctrine of the Thirty-nine Articles establish by Act of Parliament; the Articles by the words whereby they are expressed: and other doctrine than in the said Articles is contained, our Church neither hath nor holdeth, and other sense they cannot yield than their words do impart.”

As you might guess, I do agree with this, and I’ll certainly spend some more time reading Adam Young’s blog, Once again I thank You.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 9, 2015 6:53 am

    This is indeed an interesting article, and also one with which I agree on several points. However, I question two things. First, while I respect Cranmer and his contemporaries, I think “classical Anglicanism” is a bit later- from Elizabeth to the Restoration. Secondly, while acknowledging Calvinist influence among Anglicans, I would deny that classical Anglicanism is truly or strictly Calvinist even on the sacraments or predestination. I have a fuller response on my blog, “A BCP Anglican.”

    • June 9, 2015 10:14 am

      Father, thanks for your comment. I have read your post and will respond a bit later, linking to your post. From my perspective, though, “classical Anglicanism” goes from Cranmer to the Restoration: that is, I’d include the Carolines, for example, and actually stop short of the Oxford Movement.


  1. Another perspective on “What is classical Anglicanism?” | Prydain

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