Glenn Davies: Explaining the Episcopate
Explaining the Episcopate
July 29th, 2009
Last fortnight’s developments in the TEC convention delayed my response to those who queried the reference to the ‘historic episcopate’ in the Fundamental Declarations of the ACNA. I would first like to thank David Palmer for his warning at the beginning of last month’s blog and for his salient conclusion to the dozen blog entries. However, I think that that there must be a fairly narrow audience of one or two others who participate in these blogs, namely Mr Jordan (by a mile) and Mr Dungey. I often wonder at the value of these blogs, as I am not personally inclined to be sitting on my computer all day revealing my responses to the latest entry.
Nonetheless, perhaps some response is needed. I tabled the Fundamental Declarations of the ACNA so that readers could be well informed as to what the new province stood for. I recognise that ‘orthopraxis’ must always accompany ‘orthodoxy’ (both of which must spring from ‘orthokardia’) to ensure that faith and obedience hang together. However, I have no intimate knowledge of the practices of North American Anglicans and therefore began with their statements of belief.
The main sticking point seems to be article 3.
3. We confess the godly historic Episcopate as an inherent part of the apostolic faith and practice, and therefore as integral to the fullness and unity of the Body of Christ.
My own research of the term ‘historic episcopate’ reveals that the term has an elastic meaning conveying many interpretations.
This brief article from no less than a Sydney bishop supports Bishop John Rodgers’ argument and my own that this wording ought not represent a stumbling for evangelical Anglicans. Curiously Robin Jordan (Anglicans Ablaze) suggests that “In the Internet debate preceding the inaugural Provincial Assembly nothing like the explanation of the historic episcopate that you gave was offered.” Odd…considering that Jordan commented voluminously in both Stand Firm threads.
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