10 Comments on “Anglicanism is Inherently Lutheran. Discuss.

  1. Reformed catholic, but not tied to any of the continental manifestations. Luther had it wrong on the eucharist, on two kingdoms theology. Jewel and Hooker – and the complexity of an inherited church. Despite the uncomprehending and simplistic analysis of the Americans who mutter on Anglican Unscripted, the via media makes more sense than a non-nuanced approach.

    • Well Pete, you do know that there are Anglican in the USA, don’t you? When I read comments like yours I wonder if you realise that Anglican Communion issues are not all down to the CofE alone anymore. Right?

      • If you listen to the edition of Anglican Unscripted cited above, they were commenting on Justin Welby. They misunderstand the CofE (though Peter Ould attempts [sometimes] to correct their lack of understanding). I would say that AU represents at root a Puritan understanding of Anglicanism – which is a perfectly respectable development, but, like Lutheranism, is not what we’re signed up to in the CofE. To agree that ECUSA has lost the plot (which it has) doesn’t mean that we will necessarily agree that the ecclesiology of Anglicans on the other side of the pond who remain true to the historic faith is necessarily one in which we can acquiesce. It’s a debate we need to have going forward as the Anglican Communion realigns itself.

        • I’ve listened to every single episode of AU since the beginning. I don’t always agree with Kevin and George, but the segment about Abp. Welby (and especially Geo. Conger’s remarks) were, let’s face facts, spot on.

          The problem with Welby, as was the problem with Williams, is that he is a company man. Not likely to rock the boat or clean out the dross of the CofE and all the time-serving bishops who do nothing but Synod politicking. And I don’t see—at all—where in this video either George or Kevin were advocating for a “Puritan” view of Anglicanism. That remark of yours is quite odd and incongruous.

          As for what Anglicans are “signed up for”, it’s quite clear that it is the authority of Holy Scripture primarily, followed by the Prayer Book and Ordinal as well as the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion. Anglicanism in the West has lost their first love. What Anglicanism needs desperately today is a solid back-to-basics movement, which should mean teaching the Bible fearlessly, expository preaching, and the sacramental ethos of our faith. Catechetical teaching is also at a low ebb.

          It is precisely because Anglicans in CofE, TEC, ACC, and other parts of the former empire have capitulated to the cultural zeitgeist of postmodernism that they find themselves so weak and ineffectual—or, in Welby’s terms, intoxicated by situational ethics and drunk on liberal theology.

          May the Lord God call faithful clergy, unashamed of the Gospel, to preach the undivided faith. That is my prayer.

  2. The storied “via media” is, if we commit ourselves to good scholarship and historiography, between Wittenburg and Geneva, not (as is often taught today) between Rome and Geneva. Anglicanism originally was a state Church and very much part of the broader, pan-Reformed movement on the Continent. She is essentially a Reformed Catholic Church originating in England but very influenced in her formation by Luther and Melanchthon’s movement in Germany. Would that every Anglican clergyman had a dog-eared copy of Three Treatises—I think our church would be a better place for it.

  3. From the pen of Dr. Alister McGrath on this topic:

    “Yet historians such as Diarmaid McCulloch have rightly pointed out that the ‘middle way’ developed in England in the late sixteenth century was between Lutheranism and Calvinism – two quite distinct versions of Protestantism. The ‘middle way’ which resulted was neither Calvinist nor Lutheran – but it was certainly Protestant.

    “From an historical perspective, the English national Church must be regarded as a Protestant variant – the ‘Protestant Episcopal Church of England and Ireland’, as state and parliamentary documents regularly describe it. And, as many readers will recall, the body which now prefers to describe itself as ‘The Episcopal Church’ was originally entitled ‘The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America.’ (Indeed, this remains the Church’s legal title).”


  4. I’d spend some time engaging with you on this, but I’m not prepared to spend time in debate with people who hide behind the cloak of anonymity and make fatuous generalisations (not backed up with any evidence) about “time-serving bishops” and assertions about a lack of bible teaching and expository preaching. If there was one iota of evidence that you know what you’re talking about, we could converse about ecclesiology (which is not the same as the historic faith which I and my fellow bishops believe, confess and teach). But no deal with a one-sided conversation with yet another anonymous blogger who just trades in negativity. Sorry.

    • While you post anonymously! Nice hypocrisy you’re showing. But don’t deal with the arguments or the content, just focus on the identity of the person who you’re responding to and your inability to discover it. And you should note that I’m hardly off-base on the issue of time-serving. Dr. Gerald Bray, someone who has a great store of credibility to use up, said this about General Synod on this very site not long ago:

      “Church administrators, including many bishops, have no theology of their own and cannot understand why anyone else does, or at least, why they would let it interfere with the practicalities of everyday life. Making special arrangements for perceived nutters is uncongenial and they try their best not to have to do it.”

      “…the trouble with [House of Synod] is that the best clergy tend to be so busy in their parishes (and uninterested in church politics) that they do not stand for election and the places go to politically-minded types who would rather sit on committees than do the work of a minister. As a result, they are a disaster waiting to happen and an embarrassment, especially when they start pronouncing on subjects they know little or nothing about – like theology.”

      This is precisely what I meant above by “time serving”, as well as the fact that many of these bishops are not the sort of clergypersons who have done parish work.

      Furthermore, who equated ecclesiology with the historic faith? Not I. You came up with that completely on your own.

      I see what you did there, Bishop. Make a negative comment (the one that began this thread), then when someone with a brain counters you, make an accusation of negativity. Do people in your diocese fall for this little ploy?

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