The Rev. Canon Mark Rudolph has written this paper which shows his frustration with what passes for Anglicanism today. Rudolph provides a look at a dilemma that is very well known by those of us who have been in these circles for any amount of time:
- A key leader in ACNA has publicly opined that the Thirty-nine Articles are not a sufficient statement of faith around which Anglican unity can be built.
- It was explicitly stated by an Anglo-Catholic brother in a private conversation with me that any attempt at defining Anglicanism beyond the Nicene creed and whatever piety had occurred in Britain would be a recipe for division, if not dissolution.
- Defining oneself as a child of the “English reformation” and its formularies (39 Articles, 1662 BCP, and the Elizabethan Homilies as commentaries thereon) sets some brothers’ and sisters’ teeth on edge as too “reformed” sounding and narrow.
- Others argue that the Articles were never meant to be a confession or creed, just a statement of faith (the subtleties of this argument still escape me).
Rudolph’s point is that realignment structurally without realignment theologically is bound to fail. He is right, but there is also no way to reverse the trend towards a broad, mushy ACNA. It reflects descriptive Anglicanism and the many errors that have taken up home within it over the past three centuries. The best you can do is find a good local parish and try to live out your life in peace.
And as I never tire of pointing out, alignment with African churches that are complicit with tyrannical governments is an idea whose time has past.