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  #1  
Old Jan 28, '10, 9:48 pm
Roman_Catholic Roman_Catholic is offline
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Default Anglican 39 Articles

What were they initially intended for (ie guidelines or a binding confession) and (if it is different today) what role do they play in the Anglican faith today? Are they Articles of faith which an Anglican must affirm to be in the Anglican Communion? Were they when they were initially created?

Thank you and God bless
__________________
10-10; 10-42

"I will bring you to the land not of questions but of answers,
and you shall see the face of God."

The Spirit to the Ghost;
C.S. Lewis The Great Divorce
  #2  
Old Jan 28, '10, 11:00 pm
gurneyhalleck1 gurneyhalleck1 is offline
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Default Re: Anglican 39 Articles

The Articles evolved steadily through the times of Henry, Edward VI, and culminated in Elizabeth's reign. They started off as 42 Articles by Cranmer in the early 1550's. The 39 Articles were the closest thing to a confessional Anglicanism that there ever was but their role is always up for debate. Low Church Evangelicals usually stick to the Articles tightly because the Articles are of a Calvinistic, evangelical nature. The Anglo-Catholics tend to ignore them and claim they're optional and wide open or to be disregarded because the Articles blatantly don't jive with their Catholic polity. The Articles have a Calvinistic approach to the Eucharist, oppose elevation of the Host, oppose reservation of the Sacrament, oppose Marian devotion and prayer to the saints, oppose purgatory, count the sacraments at two, and have a dynamic receptionist-type approach to the Eucharist.

The Articles were really an attempt to please both sides in a tough time but I think they're 80/20 protestant-catholic. In the 1570s Parliament made it a law to respect and follow the 39 Articles. Nowdays it's not mandatory but it really defines Anglicanism. I always wonder if they're so unimportant and up for interpretation or disregard why the American Church made it a point to put them in the Prayer Book and every other country has done so?

Until the last thirty years or so Anglican priests were required to affirm the articles upon their ordination. Anglo-Catholics dropped that because it doesn't fit into the equation, doesn't square up. Vernon Staley, an Anglo-Catholic I really enjoy reading, took a loosey-goosey approach to the Articles because he was a Tractarian-type who believed the Anglican Church was fully 100% Catholic.

You can ask ten Anglicans what the Articles mean to them and you'll probably get 11 answers


Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman_Catholic View Post
What were they initially intended for (ie guidelines or a binding confession) and (if it is different today) what role do they play in the Anglican faith today? Are they Articles of faith which an Anglican must affirm to be in the Anglican Communion? Were they when they were initially created?

Thank you and God bless
  #3  
Old Jan 28, '10, 11:16 pm
BernadetteM BernadetteM is online now
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Default Re: Anglican 39 Articles

Since the 39 articles are I believe in the front of the BCP, I can't remember it has been many years since I have a BCP at my side, I do believe that this is the official teaching of the Episcopal church. But since the Oxford movement, many Anglicans have moved more towards the Catholic traditions. Some Anglo Catholics do believe in the Real Presence, but as growing up Episcopalian we took the 39 Ariticles exactly as they are stated.

We had Holy Communion at 8 AM Sundays and the primary services were Morning Prayer. Once a month we had Holy Communion at the later services. The minister (that is how he referred to himself) was called Mr. or Doctor. I never heard anyone address him as Father until I was going to be confirmed and we had an Anglo Catholic associate priest who taught Confirmation. He referred to himself as Father.

Now days since the 1979 BCP it appears the church ususally has the "Eurcharist" on Sundays. All of a sudded the Body and Blood of Christ are recognized as the Real Presence.

Many of the articles appear to be pretty anti Catholic. My family always considered themselves protestants and no minister corrected this. My mother was horrified when my childrend were received into the Catholic Church at an Anglican Use Mass and would not take part even though many of the prayers and all the hymns were the same as in her church.

Although many Episcopalians/Anglicans say they believe in the Real Presence, it is not in the full sense of what the Catholic Church teaches. The Anglo Catholic do accept the Catholic position and have Benediction, but there are very few of them left now that so many Anglicans have left to start their many many groups. These groups differ from evangelical to Anglo Catholic and can't seem to agree on anything, except they want no part of the True Church with a Pope as they deny authority and want the freedom to do as they please in each individual parish.

At least that is the way I see it. I am so glad to be in the Church that actually has defined beliefs that have not changed for 2000 years and I don't have to worry what the new Rector will say next week, or the disagreements within the congregation.

Catholics can have their own views on doctrines and disciplinces, but it doesn't affect the teachings held by the Church. Those Catholics should really think about joining the Episcopal church where whatever they want to believe will be accepted instead of making the True Church look disunified. Catholics cannot just leave and start up their own Catholic Church, although they can name it anything they want, it still is not Catholic and never will be.

It is wonderful to know what you believe and why and have the facts and history of 2000 years to back it up. It gives peace to the believer, not confusion.

Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary

Bernadette
  #4  
Old Jan 29, '10, 4:28 am
O.S. Luke O.S. Luke is offline
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Default Re: Anglican 39 Articles

Putting Eucharist in quotations as you have is disrespectful, in my opinion.

There is a difference between Transubstantiation and Real Presence. Just ask the Orthodox.
__________________
- Protestant, from the Latin protestans, protestantis. Literally, "Standing for a witness."
  #5  
Old Jan 29, '10, 7:12 am
GKC GKC is offline
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Default Re: Anglican 39 Articles

Quote:
Originally Posted by gurneyhalleck1 View Post
The Articles evolved steadily through the times of Henry, Edward VI, and culminated in Elizabeth's reign. They started off as 42 Articles by Cranmer in the early 1550's. The 39 Articles were the closest thing to a confessional Anglicanism that there ever was but their role is always up for debate. Low Church Evangelicals usually stick to the Articles tightly because the Articles are of a Calvinistic, evangelical nature. The Anglo-Catholics tend to ignore them and claim they're optional and wide open or to be disregarded because the Articles blatantly don't jive with their Catholic polity. The Articles have a Calvinistic approach to the Eucharist, oppose elevation of the Host, oppose reservation of the Sacrament, oppose Marian devotion and prayer to the saints, oppose purgatory, count the sacraments at two, and have a dynamic receptionist-type approach to the Eucharist.

The Articles were really an attempt to please both sides in a tough time but I think they're 80/20 protestant-catholic. In the 1570s Parliament made it a law to respect and follow the 39 Articles. Nowdays it's not mandatory but it really defines Anglicanism. I always wonder if they're so unimportant and up for interpretation or disregard why the American Church made it a point to put them in the Prayer Book and every other country has done so?

Until the last thirty years or so Anglican priests were required to affirm the articles upon their ordination. Anglo-Catholics dropped that because it doesn't fit into the equation, doesn't square up. Vernon Staley, an Anglo-Catholic I really enjoy reading, took a loosey-goosey approach to the Articles because he was a Tractarian-type who believed the Anglican Church was fully 100% Catholic.

You can ask ten Anglicans what the Articles mean to them and you'll probably get 11 answers
Twelve. And even more if you ask folks who are not Anglican.


GKC
  #6  
Old Jan 29, '10, 7:19 am
Tomster Tomster is offline
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Default Re: Anglican 39 Articles

Quote:
Originally Posted by BernadetteM View Post
Since the 39 articles are I believe in the front of the BCP, I can't remember it has been many years since I have a BCP at my side, I do believe that this is the official teaching of the Episcopal church. But since the Oxford movement, many Anglicans have moved more towards the Catholic traditions. Some Anglo Catholics do believe in the Real Presence, but as growing up Episcopalian we took the 39 Ariticles exactly as they are stated.

We had Holy Communion at 8 AM Sundays and the primary services were Morning Prayer. Once a month we had Holy Communion at the later services. The minister (that is how he referred to himself) was called Mr. or Doctor. I never heard anyone address him as Father until I was going to be confirmed and we had an Anglo Catholic associate priest who taught Confirmation. He referred to himself as Father.

Now days since the 1979 BCP it appears the church ususally has the "Eurcharist" on Sundays. All of a sudded the Body and Blood of Christ are recognized as the Real Presence.

Many of the articles appear to be pretty anti Catholic. My family always considered themselves protestants and no minister corrected this. My mother was horrified when my childrend were received into the Catholic Church at an Anglican Use Mass and would not take part even though many of the prayers and all the hymns were the same as in her church.

Although many Episcopalians/Anglicans say they believe in the Real Presence, it is not in the full sense of what the Catholic Church teaches. The Anglo Catholic do accept the Catholic position and have Benediction, but there are very few of them left now that so many Anglicans have left to start their many many groups. These groups differ from evangelical to Anglo Catholic and can't seem to agree on anything, except they want no part of the True Church with a Pope as they deny authority and want the freedom to do as they please in each individual parish.

At least that is the way I see it. I am so glad to be in the Church that actually has defined beliefs that have not changed for 2000 years and I don't have to worry what the new Rector will say next week, or the disagreements within the congregation.

Catholics can have their own views on doctrines and disciplinces, but it doesn't affect the teachings held by the Church. Those Catholics should really think about joining the Episcopal church where whatever they want to believe will be accepted instead of making the True Church look disunified. Catholics cannot just leave and start up their own Catholic Church, although they can name it anything they want, it still is not Catholic and never will be.

It is wonderful to know what you believe and why and have the facts and history of 2000 years to back it up. It gives peace to the believer, not confusion.

Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary

Bernadette
Thank you Bernadtte.
  #7  
Old Jan 29, '10, 7:32 am
GKC GKC is offline
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Default Re: Anglican 39 Articles

This is a subject always good for a volley or two.

The Articles are not confessional; Anglicanism is creedal, not confessional. They are historical, how Elizabeth I finally decided to control her fractious Church.

Way back when, there were Six Articles, then Ten, when Henry ruled. A quick look at the Six is often confusing to folks who think of Articles as something defining Anglicanism. But in all cases they were how the Head/Governor of the CoE choose to rule at the time, given the perceived conditions; in Henry's case almost completely theologically, in Elizabeth's a mixture of theology (she really opposed the elevation, personally) and more basically, politically. They were intended (what became the 39) to be a balance between what was seen at the time as the two opposite threats, from a sectarian point, to a stable English regime: Roman Catholicism, and Puritanism. The Articles are how she choose a central path, the original via media.

They are not binding, by virtue of being the Articles, on any Anglican, even within the Church of England, save the clergy, since they are erastian civil servants, and bound to affirm (technically) the Articles by the Act of Subscription (1571). No other Anglican is bound to do so, in that sense. Anglicans may choose to affirm, deny (and that's a little difficult, given the "mere Christianity" of many of them) or pick and choose from them.

One might learn a little from a couple of quotes from 17th century bishops, on the Articles:

Archbishop Bramhall:

"We do not hold our Thirty-nine Articles to be such necessary truths, `without which there is no salvation;' nor enjoin ecclesiastical persons to swear unto them, but only to subscribe them, as theological truths, for the preservation of unity among us. Some of them are the very same that are contained in the Creed; some others of them are practical truths, which come not within the proper lists of points or articles to be believed; lastly, some of them are pious opinions or inferior truths which are proposed by the Church of England as not to be opposed; not as essentials of Faith necessary to be believed."

Bishop Bull:

"The Church of England professeth not to deliver all her Articles as essentials of faith, without the belief whereof no man can be saved; but only propounds them as a body of safe and pious principles, for the preservation of peace to be subscribed, and not openly contradicted by her sons. And, therefore, she requires subscription to them only from the clergy, and not from the laity."

"The Articles are to be subscribed to in the sense intended by those whose authority makes the subscription requisite."

In brief, Anglicans generally take a variety of attitudes toward the Articles, or to the propositions in each of them. No Anglican, not subject to the Act of Subscription, needs take any particular attitude toward them, though certainly many choose to affirm some or all of them (and I'll bet I can find a handful that any Trinitarian Christian would affirm). The 1979 prayer book used by the Episcopal Church has at least a few good points. The primary is is that the Articles are now in a section for historical documents. Which is what they are. Which is why some parishes will cut them from a prayer book and used them to kindle the new fire at Easter.


GKC

Anglicanus-Catholicus





Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman_Catholic View Post
What were they initially intended for (ie guidelines or a binding confession) and (if it is different today) what role do they play in the Anglican faith today? Are they Articles of faith which an Anglican must affirm to be in the Anglican Communion? Were they when they were initially created?

Thank you and God bless
  #8  
Old Jan 29, '10, 7:59 am
BernadetteM BernadetteM is online now
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Default Re: Anglican 39 Articles

Quote:
Originally Posted by O.S. Luke View Post
Putting Eucharist in quotations as you have is disrespectful, in my opinion.

There is a difference between Transubstantiation and Real Presence. Just ask the Orthodox.
As a youth until at least the 70's most of the Episcopal churches called the Eucharist only Holy Communion. There were very few high church or Anglo Catholic parishes and they were the only ones who called it the Eucharist. It was not meant to be disrespectful, it is just a fact. As far as any of the parishes I attended the term Eucharist was never used. Neither was the word Father. Apparently that is the norm today. By the way were you ever an Episcopalian? If not it seems you have no idea of what was the teaching in many or most Episcopalian churches years ago.

Also the word Transubstantiation is just the word used to define how the Body and Blood are changed. That is what I like about the Catholic Church, it defines their beliefs, I don't see that the Orthodox clarifies some of the doctrines in the same manner. The Orthodox might not define the Real Presence in the same terms, but I do believe there is no difference in their belief than in the Catholic Church. Ask them if they would accept your belief as a Methodist as the Real Presence. The Orthodox are not all the same and some recognize Catholic Sacraments, some probably don't. I don't believe that there was anything in my post that should be taken as a negative, I really don't care or hold no ill will towards my Episcopal background, but it was what I stated, protestant and the theology of the Body and Blood of Christ was not considered the Real Presence in the fullness of the Catholic Faith. The majority of Episcopal parishes were like the one I attended until I was 17 and started going to an Anglo Catholic parish. I never heard of going to Confession or any of the other Sacraments, except for confirmation.

I do believe that the Orthodox have the True Presence and a few Anglicans whose orders were valid, but illicit if they were ordained by an Old Catholic Bishop. Actually I am glad that I was brought up Episcopalian, although in a very low churchmenship teaching, as it led me to search out the Catholic Church. I will say that there was no anti Catholic teaching, except for the priest who taught us confirmation. He was not treated very well because of his Catholic leanings.

Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary

Bernadette
  #9  
Old Jan 29, '10, 8:39 am
Usbek de Perse Usbek de Perse is offline
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Default Re: Anglican 39 Articles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman_Catholic View Post
What were they initially intended for (ie guidelines or a binding confession) and (if it is different today) what role do they play in the Anglican faith today? Are they Articles of faith which an Anglican must affirm to be in the Anglican Communion? Were they when they were initially created?

Thank you and God bless
One interesting note about the Articles: One needed to subscribe to them to enter either Oxford or Cambridge. This kept out non-jurors, both Catholic and Protestant, out.

Hence, the University of London was established for non-jurors, and it seems to have been filled initially by both Catholics and Protestants.
  #10  
Old Jan 29, '10, 9:00 am
Roman_Catholic Roman_Catholic is offline
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Default Re: Anglican 39 Articles

Quote:
Originally Posted by GKC View Post
This is a subject always good for a volley or two.

The Articles are not confessional; Anglicanism is creedal, not confessional. They are historical, how Elizabeth I finally decided to control her fractious Church.

Way back when, there were Six Articles, then Ten, when Henry ruled. A quick look at the Six is often confusing to folks who think of Articles as something defining Anglicanism. But in all cases they were how the Head/Governor of the CoE choose to rule at the time, given the perceived conditions; in Henry's case almost completely theologically, in Elizabeth's a mixture of theology (she really opposed the elevation, personally) and more basically, politically. They were intended (what became the 39) to be a balance between what was seen at the time as the two opposite threats, from a sectarian point, to a stable English regime: Roman Catholicism, and Puritanism. The Articles are how she choose a central path, the original via media.

They are not binding, by virtue of being the Articles, on any Anglican, even within the Church of England, save the clergy, since they are erastian civil servants, and bound to affirm (technically) the Articles by the Act of Subscription (1571). No other Anglican is bound to do so, in that sense. Anglicans may choose to affirm, deny (and that's a little difficult, given the "mere Christianity" of many of them) or pick and choose from them.

One might learn a little from a couple of quotes from 17th century bishops, on the Articles:

Archbishop Bramhall:

"We do not hold our Thirty-nine Articles to be such necessary truths, `without which there is no salvation;' nor enjoin ecclesiastical persons to swear unto them, but only to subscribe them, as theological truths, for the preservation of unity among us. Some of them are the very same that are contained in the Creed; some others of them are practical truths, which come not within the proper lists of points or articles to be believed; lastly, some of them are pious opinions or inferior truths which are proposed by the Church of England as not to be opposed; not as essentials of Faith necessary to be believed."

Bishop Bull:

"The Church of England professeth not to deliver all her Articles as essentials of faith, without the belief whereof no man can be saved; but only propounds them as a body of safe and pious principles, for the preservation of peace to be subscribed, and not openly contradicted by her sons. And, therefore, she requires subscription to them only from the clergy, and not from the laity."

"The Articles are to be subscribed to in the sense intended by those whose authority makes the subscription requisite."

In brief, Anglicans generally take a variety of attitudes toward the Articles, or to the propositions in each of them. No Anglican, not subject to the Act of Subscription, needs take any particular attitude toward them, though certainly many choose to affirm some or all of them (and I'll bet I can find a handful that any Trinitarian Christian would affirm). The 1979 prayer book used by the Episcopal Church has at least a few good points. The primary is is that the Articles are now in a section for historical documents. Which is what they are. Which is why some parishes will cut them from a prayer book and used them to kindle the new fire at Easter.


GKC

Anglicanus-Catholicus
Thanks GKC. Exactly what I was looking for. I know I have asked this of you before, but do you have any good books that you can recommend on what you explained above? Perhaps an overview of the of the 16th century from the Anglican perspective. I have read what Belloc says, who I consider to present the Catholic perspective, in his How the Reformation Happened. Or do you see Bellocs summation as generally what happened?

God bless
__________________
10-10; 10-42

"I will bring you to the land not of questions but of answers,
and you shall see the face of God."

The Spirit to the Ghost;
C.S. Lewis The Great Divorce
  #11  
Old Jan 29, '10, 1:28 pm
GKC GKC is offline
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Default Re: Anglican 39 Articles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman_Catholic View Post
Thanks GKC. Exactly what I was looking for. I know I have asked this of you before, but do you have any good books that you can recommend on what you explained above? Perhaps an overview of the of the 16th century from the Anglican perspective. I have read what Belloc says, who I consider to present the Catholic perspective, in his How the Reformation Happened. Or do you see Bellocs summation as generally what happened?

God bless
You are very welcome.

As to the Articles, I must repeat, it is as with all things. You have to know which Anglicans you are talking to, and which you are talking about, and when. It matters.

Books. My books on the Articles are packed, but there is Bicknell's A THEOLOGICAL INTRODUCTION TO THE THIRTY-NINE ARTICLES. Mostly what I would check into would be general histories, of the Church and the era. Moorman's A HISTORY OF THE CHURCH IN ENGLAND, very good, esp. p. 214. Also Jennings' ECCLESIA ANGLICANA, Carpenter's (rather elementary) POPULAR HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND, Wakeman's HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND are the ones closest to hand. To get another perspective (always good, you will recall), Zahl's THE PROTESTANT FACE OF ENGLAND, by a gentleman who thinks he see one. Staley, as previously noted. You will find Bramhall and Bull referenced there. And do not, under any circumstances, overlook Scarisbrick's HENRY VIII; superb for Hank, and what was happening in the day. There are other titles, when you get through these.

Speaking of the other side, you may know that I am a Belloc fanatic, long time collector. Reading his HOW THE REFORMATION HAPPENED, well and good, in fact, the best of Belloc's writings on the period. Also see his CHARACTERS OF THE REFORMATION, vol. IV of his A HISTORY OF ENGLAND, and maybe his ELIZABETH, CREATURE OF CIRCUMSTANCE. One might add his CRANMER, but it's not very good. But read the man, he's a delight, even when I wouldn't quote him as an authority.


GKC
  #12  
Old Jan 29, '10, 6:03 pm
bpbasilphx bpbasilphx is offline
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Default Re: Anglican 39 Articles

Quote:
Originally Posted by O.S. Luke View Post
Putting Eucharist in quotations as you have is disrespectful, in my opinion.

There is a difference between Transubstantiation and Real Presence. Just ask the Orthodox.
Orthodox generally do not commit themselves the Aristotelian metaphysic with the distinction between substance and accidents (whence "transubstantiation").

But some Orthodox have used these terms, and even more have come very close to it.

The Greek equivalent "metaousiosis" is used frequenetly in Greek theological writings.

I've seen Latin translations of the Divine Liturgy done by Orthodox which render the Epiclesis "....transubstantiando illus per Spiritu Sancti Tui."

So you see, the idea is not completely rejected.

Most Orthodox simply content themselves with saying that the bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ.

There are any number of proper terminologies to explain this msytery. "Transubstantiation" is just one of them.
  #13  
Old Jan 29, '10, 8:00 pm
Roman_Catholic Roman_Catholic is offline
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Default Re: Anglican 39 Articles

Quote:
Originally Posted by GKC View Post
You are very welcome.

As to the Articles, I must repeat, it is as with all things. You have to know which Anglicans you are talking to, and which you are talking about, and when. It matters.

Books. My books on the Articles are packed, but there is Bicknell's A THEOLOGICAL INTRODUCTION TO THE THIRTY-NINE ARTICLES. Mostly what I would check into would be general histories, of the Church and the era. Moorman's A HISTORY OF THE CHURCH IN ENGLAND, very good, esp. p. 214. Also Jennings' ECCLESIA ANGLICANA, Carpenter's (rather elementary) POPULAR HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND, Wakeman's HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND are the ones closest to hand. To get another perspective (always good, you will recall), Zahl's THE PROTESTANT FACE OF ENGLAND, by a gentleman who thinks he see one. Staley, as previously noted. You will find Bramhall and Bull referenced there. And do not, under any circumstances, overlook Scarisbrick's HENRY VIII; superb for Hank, and what was happening in the day. There are other titles, when you get through these.

Speaking of the other side, you may know that I am a Belloc fanatic, long time collector. Reading his HOW THE REFORMATION HAPPENED, well and good, in fact, the best of Belloc's writings on the period. Also see his CHARACTERS OF THE REFORMATION, vol. IV of his A HISTORY OF ENGLAND, and maybe his ELIZABETH, CREATURE OF CIRCUMSTANCE. One might add his CRANMER, but it's not very good. But read the man, he's a delight, even when I wouldn't quote him as an authority.


GKC
Thanks GKC. My wife will be truly pleased to know that I will be buying more books. And by pleased I mean the most angry pregnant woman you have ever met.

Thanks again and God bless you
__________________
10-10; 10-42

"I will bring you to the land not of questions but of answers,
and you shall see the face of God."

The Spirit to the Ghost;
C.S. Lewis The Great Divorce
  #14  
Old Jan 29, '10, 8:07 pm
GKC GKC is offline
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Default Re: Anglican 39 Articles

And thank you. And be careful. I'm lucky (among many other ways) in that my wife is as book-crazy as I am. We went to the library sale last week. 30 books, 21 for me, 9 for her. All was well.

I have no idea how many of these are available, or how readily. Scarisbrick should be no problem, at least, but some of the Church histories are elderly. And make that Zahl title THE PROTESTANT FACE OF ANGLICANISM. If you can't locate these, I'll try to suggest others.

GKC






Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman_Catholic View Post
Thanks GKC. My wife will be truly pleased to know that I will be buying more books. And by pleased I mean the most angry pregnant woman you have ever met.

Thanks again and God bless you
  #15  
Old Jan 29, '10, 8:43 pm
gurneyhalleck1 gurneyhalleck1 is offline
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Default Re: Anglican 39 Articles

Who doesn't love a good volley! Of course Anglicanism is creedal and not confessional. But my point was that the 39 Articles were the closest thing to a confession of faith that Anglicanism has had. The problem with Anglicanism and that lex orandi lex credendi mode is that nothing is coherent, nothing defined, nothing proclaimed with any confidence or lasting foundation to grab onto. The fact that the Church of England clergy are bound to believe in and uphold the articles and the laity are not points to the absurd contradiction of the whole thing? It's as if the priest or bishop says, "yes, I have to believe that works of supererogation are folly but you can go for broke with them! I have to believe that prayer should only be directed toward Christ and that devotion to the saints is fruitless and actually repugnant to the word of God, but you can all pray to Mary, Jude, and Francis till your heart's content! I will believe that Article IV is correct that Jesus truly rose from the dead bodily but you can all deny the resurrection and feel free to think like gnostics." It just defies logic to ignore the Articles? I wonder what the precedent is for ignoring the Articles prior to the mid 1800's when Anglo-Catholics decided they didn't like the smell of them and wanted to make things try and fit a retro-fitted Anglicanism? It's the legacy of the Elizabethan Compromise...be deliberately vague and you can get anyone to be happy. It's like inviting Liza Minnelli, Liberace, William F. Buckley, George Burns, Victor Davis Hanson, and the Village People into one room. Something for everybody!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GKC View Post
This is a subject always good for a volley or two.

The Articles are not confessional; Anglicanism is creedal, not confessional. They are historical, how Elizabeth I finally decided to control her fractious Church.

Way back when, there were Six Articles, then Ten, when Henry ruled. A quick look at the Six is often confusing to folks who think of Articles as something defining Anglicanism. But in all cases they were how the Head/Governor of the CoE choose to rule at the time, given the perceived conditions; in Henry's case almost completely theologically, in Elizabeth's a mixture of theology (she really opposed the elevation, personally) and more basically, politically. They were intended (what became the 39) to be a balance between what was seen at the time as the two opposite threats, from a sectarian point, to a stable English regime: Roman Catholicism, and Puritanism. The Articles are how she choose a central path, the original via media.

They are not binding, by virtue of being the Articles, on any Anglican, even within the Church of England, save the clergy, since they are erastian civil servants, and bound to affirm (technically) the Articles by the Act of Subscription (1571). No other Anglican is bound to do so, in that sense. Anglicans may choose to affirm, deny (and that's a little difficult, given the "mere Christianity" of many of them) or pick and choose from them.

One might learn a little from a couple of quotes from 17th century bishops, on the Articles:

Archbishop Bramhall:

"We do not hold our Thirty-nine Articles to be such necessary truths, `without which there is no salvation;' nor enjoin ecclesiastical persons to swear unto them, but only to subscribe them, as theological truths, for the preservation of unity among us. Some of them are the very same that are contained in the Creed; some others of them are practical truths, which come not within the proper lists of points or articles to be believed; lastly, some of them are pious opinions or inferior truths which are proposed by the Church of England as not to be opposed; not as essentials of Faith necessary to be believed."

Bishop Bull:

"The Church of England professeth not to deliver all her Articles as essentials of faith, without the belief whereof no man can be saved; but only propounds them as a body of safe and pious principles, for the preservation of peace to be subscribed, and not openly contradicted by her sons. And, therefore, she requires subscription to them only from the clergy, and not from the laity."

"The Articles are to be subscribed to in the sense intended by those whose authority makes the subscription requisite."

In brief, Anglicans generally take a variety of attitudes toward the Articles, or to the propositions in each of them. No Anglican, not subject to the Act of Subscription, needs take any particular attitude toward them, though certainly many choose to affirm some or all of them (and I'll bet I can find a handful that any Trinitarian Christian would affirm). The 1979 prayer book used by the Episcopal Church has at least a few good points. The primary is is that the Articles are now in a section for historical documents. Which is what they are. Which is why some parishes will cut them from a prayer book and used them to kindle the new fire at Easter.


GKC

Anglicanus-Catholicus
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