2 November 2004

Anglicans can be an odd lot, and we need that

AKMA puts in a few words on another recent Anglican controversy. 
I’ve often admired his theological thinking, because as a liberal,
orthodox Christian myself, it’s helpful to have intellectual comrades.

…Anglicans have always harbored oddball clergy. Anyone who’s
surprised that a couple of crypto-Druids turned up among Anglican
clergy hasn’t been paying enough attention to history.

I don’t
condone their muddle-headed theology; it’s wrong, and there’s an end on
it. I hope that Bishop Bennison deals more rigorously with clergy who
depart from Christian faith than he does those whose adherence to
traditional theology renders them intractable relative to the direction
of the rest of the diocese. On the other hand, I don’t see this as a
shocking novelty; it’s a perennial manifestation of the genius of
Anglican ecclesiology, that we endure crackpots in the interest of
avoiding inquisitions….

So far as I can tell, the strength of the Anglican Tradition lies
precisely in its willingness not to permit its decisions to be shaped
by panic over heterodoxy— in its confidence that the Truth
will always prevail in the long run, and in the humble awareness that
churches and councils err, not only in their living and manner of
Ceremonies, but also in matters of Faith. In that confidence, and in
the privilege of serving a church that observes its own limitations, I
cling to the truth handed down to me by the saints, I repudiate those
teachings and practices that contradict that truth, and pray that all
people (Anglicans especially included) come to understand the truth in
its fullness — which full understanding none of us can with integrity yet claim.

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