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Anglican Theology Conference Highlights 'What is Anglicanism'?

Anglican Theology Conference Highlights 'What is Anglicanism'?

Submitted by David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
December 19, 2018

The 2018 Anglican Theology Conference was held recently at Beeson Divinity School's Institute of Anglican Studies at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Hosting the occasion was The Rev. Gerald McDermott; Anglican Chair of Divinity, at Beeson Divinity School.

YOU TUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=rVAh3kMwS8k&feature=youtu.be
What is Anglicanism?

SPEAKERS:

The Most Rev. Foley Beach; Archbishop and Primate Anglican Church in North America

The Rt. Rev. Mouneer Anis; Anglican Bishop of Egypt for the Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa, Anglican Province of Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East -- Cairo, Egypt

The V. Rev. Andrew Pearson Jr.; Dean, Episcopal Cathedral Church of the Advent -- Birmingham, Alabama

The Rev. Gerald McDermott; Anglican Chair of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School of Samford University -- Birmingham, Alabama

The Rev. John Yates III; Rector, Holy Trinity Anglican Church -- Raleigh, North Carolina

Dr. Barbara Gauthier; Teacher & Catechist, Anglican Church of the Resurrection & the Greenhouse Movement -- Wheaton, Illinois

++BEACH: What I am suggesting is that the real danger has come in through the back door. Liberal innovations in theology, in sexual ethics are pushing Anglicans toward embracing an understanding of God, gender, and sexuality that has much more in common with pagan theology and ethics than with historic Christianity.

PEARSON: The problems that face us as Anglicans are not new problems. It is not primarily a "cultural problem," a "leadership problem," an "academic problem," or a "power problem." It is a SIN problem! This ought to be of some comfort to us because God is able to deal with sin. Anglicanism is the English witness to the Biblical convictions of the Reformation (1517-1648). Like those who have gone before us, we must find out answers there -- that is the Bible.

YATES: If we are to steward a "New Reformation" within the Anglican Communion it must be built upon an unapologetic return to the strong but simple proclamation of the Gospel.

GAUTHIER: I don't think it is any accident that the Anglican Communion finds itself at the epicenter of global Christian realignment, and in the forefront of this tectonic shift of apostolic Christianity from it the dying Western churches of Europe and North America to the vibrant apostolic Christian leadership of Africa and the Global South. As orthodox Anglicans we are already at the center of the future.

+ANIS: Anglicanism is actually rooted in the soil and the theological richness of Egypt and North Africa. In other words, we in Africa own Anglicanism as much as our British brothers and sisters.

McDERMOTT: So my thesis is this: There is beauty and power in Anglican liturgy and sacrament, and without these at the center of the "New Anglican Orthodoxy" Anglicanism will go the way of all nondenominational flesh.

YATES: [Archbishop Thomas] Cranmer (1489-1556) and his fellow reformers knew that the only way to ensure the Reformation of Christ's Church was to enliven the preaching of those churches with the clear proclamation of Gospel Truth that rested in the explanation and exposition of Scripture. That remains central to our task in the local church today.

++BEACH: As Anglican Christians we are called to be in the world taking the Gospel. Calling people to repent of their sins, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, clothing the naked and helping those in need. We must love people enough to tell them the truth. The truth about their sin, about our sin, and call them to join us in our repentance.

GAUTHIER: The unique chrism about Anglicanism is that it has never claimed to be "the one true church" to the exclusion of all others but merely that part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church that was brought to England and planted there. Thus it is able to hold hands and partner and fellowship with liturgical churches, evangelical churches, and charismatic churches. To be a servant of the wider Church, and perhaps, even a means of fulfilling the Prayer of Jesus that "we all might be one." (John 17:21)

McDERMOTT: Anglicanism without the beauty and power of liturgy and sacraments would become just another evangelical alternative. It might continue to use the "Anglican" moniker, but it will be indistinguishable from many nondenominational networks that are now denominations by another name. It will not be able to compete with its flashy competitors on the other side of town with more exciting youth programs, and sermons tied more directly to the latest cultural trends. People will wonder why they should be Anglican when they can get pretty much the same thing elsewhere without the name. But if Anglicans retrieve their ancient heritage of liturgy and sacrament they will have something unique to offer this new century when the beauty of holiness (Ps 96:9) is resonant in ways it has not been for centuries.

END

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