In Norfolk, England, where I spent most of my teens, there’s a saying. “It’s the same but different.” I’ve never fathomed quite what it means but I find it delightful. We have stumbled into a world where difference is in style.
I shall seek to write down that which I believe to be the essence of Anglicanism. None of the elements I note are in themselves the exclusive property of our tradition, but taken together they express what our church—with a small c—has sought be at its best.
We do need to go to dark Calvary before we approach Resurrection. Resurrection isn’t reinvention. It can only be understood in the light of all that went before, immediately before and in the story of Israel’s relationship with her God.
I have some sympathy with Derek Olsen, who bemoaned the fact that while the 1979 Book of Common Prayer seemed to move the Episcopal Church in a more Catholic direction, in practice it did no such thing.
As adopted sinners, saved by grace, we are stuck with each other, and there’s no place on earth we can find where we can avoid the company of the baptized, even if we disapprove of their manner of life.
Dr. Welby is an experienced executive and manager. He’s a man of courage who has narrowly escaped danger in visits to northern Nigeria fairly recently. He and his wife have experienced personal tragedy in the loss of a child in a car wreck. He is approachable and down to earth.
The debate about the influence of what is termed culture on faith lies behind most conflict in the contemporary Western Church. Of course it all depends on how one defines “culture” and how one defines “faith.”