Thursday, September 27, 2007
Converts to Anglicanism
I had the opportunity recently to talk at length with three men who are converts, or on the path to conversion, to Anglicanism. They had lots of questions about a variety of doctrines and practices, and had had interesting faith journeys. One of the things, I think, that is so important for us to communicate to converts and help them grasp is that our tradition appeals ultimately to that of the undivided Church. Classical Anglican Reformers, such as Cranmer, Laud, Hooker, Taylor, and others, sought to conform their thought and praxis to the ancient church of the Seven Ecumenical Councils. So when they ask (as they often do), "Do I have to believe X to be an Anglican?" Or, "Can I be Anglican and believe X?" (and it is always some "hot button" issue), they really have to ask themselves if it is a doctrine that has an ancient, catholic precedent to it. That is the ultimate test. When we do that, certain "extreme" beliefs and practices can automatically be ruled out as un-Anglican.