Anglicanism and the Reformation
In order to answer the question “What is Anglican theology?,” we must first ask another question the answer to which will inevitably determine how we answer the first question: How does one view the English Reformation, particularly in relation to the history of the western Roman Catholic Church that had preceded it?
Stephen Neill, in his book Anglicanism, has nicely laid out the following different ways in which this question has been answered.1
1) The “Protestant Revolt” was not a Reformation at all, but the sundering of the unity of Catholic Christendom. This is the way the question was typically answered by pre-Vatican II Roman Catholics, by English Recusants, and by many formerly Anglican/Episcopalian converts to Roman Catholicism even today.
2) The Protestant Reformation was mostly a bad thing, but had some good results, for example, putting worship and the Bible in the language of the people. This is way that the question has been answered historically by many Anglo-Catholics.
3) The English Reformation was generally a good thing, but was too violent, and lost some elements of Catholicism that should have been retained. (This was Neill’s own position.) Continue reading “William Witt – What is Anglican Theology?”
I have introduced to you recently the blog of William G. Witt, a former Baptist, turned Anglican, like myself, and equally a lay theologian. Our pilgrimages on the’ Canterbury trail’ are quite similar, in spite of the fact that he interacted with Catholicism on his way, while I have dialogued with Orthodoxy on mine.
Witt’s post titled Evangelical or Catholic? gives the author the opportunity to outline his spiritual pilgrimage and to discuss various issues in the process, including the Evangelical vs. the Anglo-Catholic versions of Anglicanism, in response to the question received from one of those who comments on his blog.
I paste below a number of fragments from this post, because they illustrate a spiritual experience that is quite similar to mine and also because they may respond to some of the (implicit or explicit) asked by people reading my blog. Here they are: Continue reading “Baptists on the Canterbury Trail”
William G. Witt
I have published recently HERE a blog post on defining Anglicanism, having as a starting point a blog post by Carson Clark, another Evangelical turned Anglican, like me.
Reacting to some discussions on Facebook around this subject and a fierce attack on Carson Clark by Robin Jordan, and Anglican fundamentalist (yes, there is such a thing as Anglican fundamentalism; the devil continues to disguise himself as an angel of light even among Anglicans, not only on the left – if you know what I mean, but also on the right) – Jordan is the author of the Anglicans Ablaze blog, my colleague Perry Mansfield, another former Evangelical traveling on the ‘Canterbury trail’ recommended me the blog of William G Witt. As you can see in his short life story at the link under his picture, Bill is himself a former Baptist that became an Anglican, mostly in dialogue with Catholicism. Continue reading “Non sermoni res – An Anglican blog worth exploring”