Note to readers: Liturgical entries on this blog are based on the traditional calendar of the Books of Common Prayer and the traditional one-year Eucharistic lectionary. If you follow a newer calendar or three-year lectionary, there are variations in names for some Sundays and in the readings.

Saturday, August 19, 2017


Over the years, I have done a lot of reflecting about my theological positions and the variety of Anglican expressions. Although often surrounded by different types of Anglo-Catholics, I have never fit into that mold. I value some "high church" points such as the ancient church fathers, the ancient creeds, historical continuity in the Church, and the centrality of the Eucharist, but the biblical principles of the Protestant Reformation have always embodied more of my basic ideals than the Oxford movement. Despite Tractarian attempts to interpret them otherwise, the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion are a moderate Protestant document, first influenced by Lutheran statements and then modified to include some Reformed perspective. Such an understanding of Anglicanism seems most consistent with Anglican history and theology.

Personal reflections during this year of the five-hundredth anniversary of Luther's Ninety-five Theses have renewed and strengthened my Protestant ideals. As much as I love the Book of Common Prayer, I love its underlying Reformation and Scriptural theology even more. Some Anglo-catholic opinions about the Eucharistic sacrifice, the merits of the saints, the Tridentine missal, and the invocation of the Virgin and other saints cannot be squared reasonably with the Thirty-nine Articles or with Anglican tradition between 1549 and 1841 (the publication of Tract 90). Careful observers from different theological traditions recognize that Anglicanism is basically Protestant, and I for one am happy that this is true,