Modern Anglicanism 'adrift' and facing 'catastrophic destruction.

David Virtue DVirtue236 at AOL.COM
Thu May 31 01:47:45 EDT 2001

Modern Anglicanism 'adrift' and facing 'catastrophic destruction'

Moore College lecturer, the Rev. Dr. Mark Thompson told a joint Roman
Catholic and Anglican audience that the bulk of modern Anglicanism is
facing disintegration.

"To the degree that much modern Anglicanism has seen fit to revise or
even reject the teaching of the Articles, the Book of Common Prayer,
and the Homilies, or at least the plain and literal meaning of these
confessional documents most particularly on the issue of the origin,
nature and use of Holy Scripture to that extent the bulk of modern
Anglicanism is adrift from its moorings and in danger of catastrophic
destruction or disintegration," Dr Thompson said.

Dr Thompson was delivering the second of four lectures entitled "How
Anglicans read and intepret the Bible" at this year's Halifax-Portal
lecture series, sponsored by NSW's Roman Catholic and Anglican bishops.

Dr Thompson acknowledged that, 'Anglicanism world-wide is so diverse
that it is effectively impossible to speak of the Anglican anything,
and that is especially the case when the subject is a theological issue
or a point of church practice.'

However Dr Thompson argued that if 'anything has a claim to be
considered genuinely Anglican, it is that theology which is expressed
in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer, and
the Books of Homilies', that were written by the early Anglican
reformers such as Archbishop Cranmer in the 16th century. "The
Articles, the Book of Common Prayer, and the Homily on Holy Scripture
share a common perspective. The Bible is the word of God written and is
to be cherished as a kind gift of our gracious God. Implicit in this
conviction is the confidence that any faithful Christian may understand
its meaning, even if some parts may require more effort than others,"
Dr Thompson said.

In the other lectures, Fr John McSweeney spoke on how Roman Catholics
read the Bible, Sr Marie Farrell RSM spoke on Roman Catholic devotional
life, and the Rev Dr Ivan Head, warden of St Paul's College, Sydney
University looked at the Anglican view of prayer, especially that found
in reformation martyr Bishop Nicholas Ridley's Homily 14.

"It contains the clearest expression of the 'anti-image' drive that
decisively shaped the English reformers reconstruction of church life
around a total emphasis on the purity and pre-eminence of the Bible and
the Word," Dr Head said.


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