Wednesday, July 26, 2006

One of These Things is Not Like the Other....

This blog has noted how, contrary to the claims of our detractors, the Western Rite Orthodoxy is not Protestant and Protestants have no time for Western Rite Orthodoxy. Suddenly, Dr. Peter Toon has written not one, not two, not three, nor four, but five articles rejecting the Seventh Ecumenical Council as incompatible with Anglicanism. A sixth mentions it tangentially.

To be fair, one of these appears to be a recycled post we commented on earlier.

Typical of Dr. Toon's recent anathematizing is this post, stating that to "embrace the doctrinal definition of the Seventh Council is not possible or permissible [to real Anglicans]...because it cannot be proved from Scripture by any straightforward type of exegesis and interpretation." Besides, "to venerate icons can so easily get near to breaking the first table of the Law, the Ten Commandments as one of the Homilies in The Book of Homilies demonstrates." Not to mention "once you allow the veneration of icons you have also practically opened the door to not only the asking of the saints to pray for us but also to actually praying to the saints themselves." He concludes, with evident joy, that a Vengeful Deity "judges tradition that contradicts the plain teaching of the Holy Bible."

Dear Dr. Toon does, however, make one interesting point: AMiA -- the African-based, priestess-tolerating, charismatigelical Anglican Mission in America -- requires its clergy to profess the following:
I do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God and to contain all things necessary to salvation. I further affirm the Catholic creeds, the dogmatic definitions of the general councils of the undivided Church, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal, 1662, the 39 Articles of Religion of the Church of England in their literal and grammatical sense, and the Lambeth Quadrilateral of 1888, since the same are conformable to the Scriptures, and I consequently hold myself bound to teach nothing contrary thereto, therefore I do solemnly engage to conform to the doctrines, discipline, and worship of the Anglican Mission in America.
Article 22 of the 39 Articles states, "The Romish Doctrine concerning...Worshipping and Adoration, as well of Images as of Relics, and also Invocation of Saints, is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God." How one reconciles the intended "literal and grammatical sense" of this with the Seventh Ecumenical Council is beyond me, though certain figures have tried.

In practice, both camps have been represented in actual practice. However, now that Queen and country no longer demand these opposed factions -- opposed religions, really -- sweat it out in a constant battle for dominance or toleration, they've decided there is precious little to hold them together. Thus, it should come as little surprise to Anglo-Catholics there are those who wish to shove them out, particularly when the original doctrinal statements and Books of Homilies (certainly the second of them) never supported them in the first place.

And it should come as little surprise some have found a Church Whose doctrines they always believed in their hearts all along, free from persecution by Protestants.

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Blogger James the Thickheaded said...


With PT you have to remember 1) he is an evangelical, and 2) fanatically devoted to the 39 articles - which he sees as the be-all and end-all rather than the compromise document that protestants worked out in order to get catholics to acknowledge the crown. He is in practice hostile to anglocatholics. I suspect he thinks they are all wrong-headed.

PT sent me his book on the 7 councils with the note that he accepts the 7th council....which always makes this hullabaloo all that much more fascinating. It's about politics, and his reading is always right - by him. I think that many Anglicans (even Continuing) have become sufficiently aclimated to ambiguity in order to maintain their faith, that using the 1928 BCP in-hand - which still contains the 39 articles they don't believe in - doesn't trouble them. After all, they don't have the dough for a reprint. But PT seizes on this, and in some measure, looking at the AWRV's corrected publications, he's right: reprint the doggone thing and take them out, as using the same WITH the 39 continues an ambiguity the Affirmation was to avoid. SO there are inconsistencies and PT is on it like a fly on honey.

Since he personally accepts the 7th council, this seems tactical scare-mongering. PT knows better, fact is, he's written a full this isn't HIM who's leery, but he's preying on those who are to steer things to ONLY the 39 articles. Personally I look at the 39 articles as a flawed, political and dated document and far too friendly to sola scriptura thing. Is this in itself sufficiently flawed an approach to warrant a similar intoning of risking the "judgment of God" ? Unlike PT, I don't know the mind of the Almighty: I am afraid that's beyond my pay grade.

5:57 AM  

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