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Saturday, 28 October 2017

The Church of England's Tribes Redefined

Major excitement on Twitter at an article at Premier Christianity, "How Evangelicals Took Over the Church of England."

Most excitement over the definitions of the three major groups in the C of E:

"The Church of England’s three major groups

Anglo-Catholics
The name given to loyal members of the Church of England who look primarily to tradition as the source of authority. They tend to espouse a Roman Catholic view of doctrine. Most are against the ordination of women.
Liberals
The group within the Church of England who believe human reason and modern insights can alter previously held Christian beliefs. They do not believe the Bible is inerrant and prefer to emphasise progressive thinking over past traditions.
Evangelicals
Used to describe those who hold exclusively to the inspiration and authority of scripture in matters of doctrine. Evangelicals also believe firmly in personal conversion and are active in spreading the gospel."


So as you can see, there is a certain focus on the negative if you're Anglo Catholic and if you are an evangelical, it's all gravy. The article goes on to claim that evangelicals invented many of the things that Anglo Catholics actually did first.

Now, here at the Beaker Folk we believe in balance in all things.

So here we go...

The Church of England’s three major groups

Anglo-Catholics
The name given to loyal members of the Church of England who look primarily to Jesus , who instituted the Mass, as the head of the Church. They balance tradition, the Bible, and reason as their sources of authority. They tend to agree with Catholic views of doctrine. Many are in favour of the ordination of women. Some are active in spreading the Gospel. Anglo-Catholics pioneered modern Christian social activism in the inner cities.
Liberals
The group within the Church of England who believe human reason and modern insights are necessary tools to interpret the Biblical message. They know it is absurd to believe the Bible is inerrant in the way some fundamentalists think it is. They prefer to think how best to understand past traditions and the Scripture in the light of modern knowledge. Liberals are respectful of humans made in God's image. Some are active in spreading the Gospel. Justice is part of the Gospel.
Evangelicals
Used to describe those who hold more tightly to the inspiration and authority of scripture in matters of doctrine, based on a tradition that dates to the end of the Middle Ages, while adopting the outward trappings of modernity. Evangelicals also believe firmly in personal conversion. Some are active in spreading the gospel.



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5 comments :

  1. What about the rest?

    We who identify as Catholic on the spectrum, but not necessarily fitting into the Anglo Catholic mould. We attend and minister in middle-of-the road parishes, where a spectrum of people worship, ranging from Anglo-Catholic, to Evangelical.

    Our priorities are Jesus first, spreading the Gospel that he gave us and caring for our communities. Pastoral Care, wider than the church, and supporting social action in so many different ways, that I can't even describe here.

    We are no different from many parishes, where we are united in Christ, whatever our personal experiential experience and theology is. Rooted by place, presence and people.

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  2. and then there are at least twelve sub-tribes of each.. and some hybrids..

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  3. You might find this of interest (skip the first part down to the image!) http://elizaphanian.com/?p=488

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  4. A fourth group: New Wine: A group within the Church of England (but which are happy to include anyone from any denomination or none!) They believe in personal conversion, and that the Bible is God's Word and very trustworthy (but our interpretation may not be inspired and the situation for the authors must be considered). The Spirit and the Word are both important. They pray for the Kingdom of God to be seen on earth - that means miracles and signs that attract people to the kingdom. Any kind of baptism is a good thing. Values include: "Belong, believe, behave", lots of worship and lots of love!

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  5. Your description of the sources of authority for Anglo-Catholics sounds eerily like the Methodist quadrilateral (minus Christian experience, which I tend to think inevitably influences how you apply the other three as much as being a source of authority in itself).

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