Why Anglicanism

What attracts you to the Reformed faith and its theology – specifically, Anglicanism – as opposed to Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy?

The Protestant Reformed religion is what best preserves, whole and entire, the catholic faith of Jesus Christ, to which the consensus of the fathers bears witness. The Reformation has clarified – it has stated more explicitly, against late medieval abuses – what the Church has always held in line with holy Scripture, but it has introduced no new substance into the faith. The papists, not the Protestants, are the innovators. Bishop Jewel’s Apology of the Church of England has defended the Protestant religion against the Romish charge of innovation and heresy, and Bp Davenant’s Learned Treatise of Justification has rigorously and irenically defended the Protestant doctrine of justification from the claim that the fathers are on the unreformed side; so also Daniel Waterland in A Review of the Doctrine of the Eucharist.

Neither is Rome alone in error, for in much the same way the churches of Jerusalem, Alexandria and Antioch have added sinful men to Christ our only salvation, and they have added a sacerdotal priesthood to the definition of the Church, and they have added the veneration of saints and their images as channels of divine power. In addition, I utterly disclaim all the strange doctrines of the Anabaptists; I reject the innovations of Zwingli, whose doctrine of the Lord’s Supper cannot be proved from Scripture, nor support be found in the fathers; I repudiate, with the Council of Chalcedon, all confusion between the divine and human natures of Christ, though affirming the unity of his person.

Instead I hold to the theology taught in the Thirty-Nine Articles (1571), which affirm a doctrine consonant with two other broadly Protestant confessions, viz. the Augsburg Confession (especially Variata 1540) and the Heidelberg Catechism. There, and in the other formularies of the Church of England, I find a solidly Protestant doctrine and piety that reforms rather than abolishes, unites rather than divides. Where they unite, and whither they reform, is the faithful word of God as held by the apostles and the fathers who followed their teaching. In these Anglican formularies, therefore, I find nothing schismatic and heretical; they repel anti-biblical errors but tolerate differences on which the Scriptures have not clearly ruled. This is why I find the English church most representative of the faith, a worthy example to be followed.


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