Thursday, May 08, 2014

ACNA's New Formularies

By Gavin G. Dunbar
Special to Virtueonline
May 7, 2014

One of the most impressive aspects of the Anglican Church of North America has been its recognition that the "formularies" of the Episcopal Church in the late 20th century would not provide a sure foundation for the institutional realignment and spiritual revitalization of Anglicanism in North America.

The last several months have seen the publication of alternatives to the liturgy and catechism printed in the 1979 Prayer Book – a book which for many former Episcopalians now in ACNA has been the only liturgy and catechism which they have known and used (at least for many years).

The recognition that ACNA Anglicans require alternatives to 1979 is itself a very important development: it is the contemporary formularies that need revision, not the historic ones. And it is against the weakness of the formularies they replace, rather than against the strength of the historic formularies they respect, that they should be measured.
The catechism is a noble endeavor; and has attached to it the name of the eminent J. I. Packer; but it looks like the compilation of many different contributors, and lacks the theological incisiveness and rhetorical cohesiveness of his own writing.

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