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The Future of Anglicanism

F. Earle Fox

Personal Background  

It might not appear that Anglicanism has a future, beyond its apparent current (2008) demise into fracturing and chaos.  But God has other plans than demise.   I have always considered myself an Anglican.  I grew up in the Episcopal Church, later experiencing a very troubled and painful watching as the Church over the latter 20th century destroyed itself, due more to pseudo-conservative prudery, cowardice, and ignorance in dealing with sexuality and other issues than, I think, to pseudo-liberal cleverness or power.

I was told by a college professor that I would never find my niche in the Episcopal Church.  I thought that was silly, but he was right.  I lived and worked in it, but never found my place among the other clergy.  God was leading me in a different direction.  I knew that the Church (Christian, not just Episcopal) was in deep distress, and I knew that God was calling me to help rebuild Biblical theology such that it could stand upright with power and grace in the public arena today, and forever.  So I was caught between my deep desire to have close fellowship with my brother clergy and my calling to intellectual integrity -- which the Church, and especially the clergy, badly lacked.  And did not want to hear about. 

The essentially Calvinist theology, with which America began, was beginning to collapse by the end of the 1700's.  It had no reasonable responses to the secular-Enlightenment washing ashore from Europe, and by the 1900's was being chased from the public arena.  It had become Biblical only in a very narrow sense, and was drifting into either legalism (conservatives) or in to mush (liberals).  I discovered that I had to unlearn just about everything that I had been taught growing up.  What I had learned in the Episcopal Church was mushy and ineffective, and what I was learning from my Evangelical friends seemed to me to be out of touch with reality, often preached by legalistic hucksters. 

I was on a search for a theology which would be an honor to the Lord Jesus Christ whom I knew had touched my life.  It was a search commissioned by Jesus Himself -- during my college years when I discovered that God had given me a good mind.  I knew by my junior year at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, that we would win the intellectual battle.  So I set out to make that evident.  This website is part of the culmination of that drive.   

My theological mind was aiming beyond Anglicanism to something basic to all Christendom.  That has been my quest and mission all my adult life.  But now, having left the Episcopal Church along with the Diocese of San Joaquin in December 2007, but still firmly entrenched as an Anglican, I find myself focusing again on the place of Anglicanism in Christian history, and indeed, my own history. 

And that is the subject of this article -- How can Anglicanism find its place in the Christian renewal which God will surely bring in Western Civ., and in the wider world fellowship of Christian communities? 

 

  [more to come....] 

 

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Date Posted -  08/22/2008   -   Date Last Edited - 09/15/2012