Friday, November 02, 2007

The Guiding Principle of the English Reformation Applied - The Ministry

Anglicans practice the ancient threefold ministry of Bishop, Presbyter and Deacon. The English reformers retained this form of ministry as ancient, good and agreeable to the content of the gospel set forth in the Bible. They did not argue that the threefold ministry was explicitly set forth in the Bible. Instead, they argued three things. First, the historic ministry does not contradict the gospel. Second, the the threefold ministry is a positive expression of the catholicity and apostolicity of the Church. Third, it is a deeply embedded practice in the life of the that it does not contradict the scriptures and that the threefold ministry

The English reformers, with rare exception, believed the best way to order the Church was with the ancient threefold ministry. However, they did not argue that churches with other forms of ministry were not legitimately the Church. They simply felt they fell short of what was best for the Church.

So, the Anglican attitude is to hold fast to the ancient threefold order of ministry as the right and best way to order the Church. This approach is deeply embedded in the Anglican tradition and profoundly shapes how we do church.

No comments: