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An Anglican Primer. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Wednesday, January 12, 2005. Questions to get us started. How long have you been an Episcopalian? If “born one” why have you stayed? If “became one”, why?. Hooker’s Three Legged Stool. Moral Decision. T R A D I T I O N. S C R I

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An Anglican Primer

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

Wednesday, January 12, 2005


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Questions to get us started

  • How long have you been an Episcopalian?

  • If “born one” why have you stayed?

  • If “became one”, why?


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Hooker’s Three Legged Stool

Moral Decision

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Anglicans and Holy Scripture

  • The Catechism (BCP 853-854)

    • Q. Why do we call Holy Scriptures the Word of God?

    • A. …because God inspired their human authors and because God still speaks to us through the Bible.

    • Q. How do we understand the meaning of the Bible?

    • A. …by the help of the Holy Spirit, who guides the Church in the true interpretation of the Scriptures.


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Anglicans and Holy Scripture

  • The 39 Articles

    • “Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of Faith, or e thought requisite or necessary for salvation.” –BCP 868


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Anglicans and Holy Scripture

  • “…and I do solemnly declare that I do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary for salvation; and I do solemnly engage to conform to the doctrine, discipline and worship of The Episcopal Church” BCP 526 ordination of a priest


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The Book of Common Prayer

  • The centrality of the BCP

  • The importance of the language of the vernacular

  • Strict obedience to a document we can revise

  • Implications of a community held together not by doctrine but by prayer


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The Bible and the BCP

  • How can I be a rubrical literalist and not a Biblical literalist?

  • Obey the rules

  • Relate to the Word


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The Via Media

  • The “Middle Way”

  • English moderation

  • Richard Hooker’s thoughts on the center


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Problems with the Via Media

  • Bridges only contain traffic, not content

  • Taking things to their lowest common denominator

  • Liturgical agnosticism


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Promises of the Via Media

  • The only thing that can hold this parish together

  • The only thing that can hold this diocese together

  • The only thing that can hold the Anglican Communion together


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Questions for discussion

  • How do you see Anglican’s use of scripture at work today?

  • Where do you see the Via Media at work in our parish?

  • In our diocese?

  • In our National Church?

  • In the Anglican Communion?



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