I am wondering about starting a new Anglican church. Its working name in full is 'the Anglicans who take theology really seriously Church.' I think that name would be transparent about its membership and its distinctiveness. One person who would be very welcome is the writer of this post. He takes up a post by Mark Harris at Preludium which picks up a past challenge of Kenneth Kearon's about whether TEC shares the Faith and Order of the Anglican Communion as well as my post yesterday. Mark, like one or two commenters here, defends +Gene's assertion ("“I know Jesus to be the son of God,” he told a group of about 50 people, “but what a small, limited God we would have if that was the only manifestation.") It is a weak defence: no one acclaiming that Jesus is the 'only manifestation' does not understand that God is manifest in other ways narrated in the Bible. 'Only manifestation' with reference to whether God is 'small, limited' in a statement which goes on to question Christians' 'spiritual arrogance' concerns whether the fullness of God is revealed in Jesus Christ or revealed in Jesus Christ and other notable religious figures. I am struggling to understand how +Gene in what he said and those who are defending him are taking theology at this point with any particular seriousness in respect of our Nicean and Chalcedonian creedal foundation. (For clarity: that does not mean that on other matters these Anglicans are not serious in theology).
Here is the thing: even if God revealed nothing of himself to Abraham, Jacob, Moses and Elijah and only revealed himself in and through Jesus Christ, such an 'only manifestation' would still be the manifestation of a very big, indeed unlimited God: that is the point of purple passages in Scripture such as John 1:1-18; Ephesians 1-3, Colossians 1-2, Hebrews 1:1-4. In fact what these and other passages point to is that the manifestations of God in the Old Testament are manifestations of the God who is the God of Jesus Christ. The christological richness (one might also say 'thickness') of Scripture is precisely that there is a single manifestation of God, most clearly and fully comprehended in Jesus Christ: I am the light of the world - no one comes to the Father but by me - I and the Father are one.
Now if this new Anglican church came into existence I think the world of Anglicanism could be a very happy world. Those who do not take theology particularly seriously would be free of engaging with annoying people like me. Those like me who have been getting increasingly agitated by the lack of serious theology in the Anglican Communion would stop annoying people who want to be free to move Anglican-ly where the Spirit takes them.
Naturally the Covenant would be at the heart of this new Anglican church: it is a very good document which takes theology seriously. Incidentally, there would be no confusion as to which Anglican thing was which. The Anglican Communion which remained would be free to call itself by that name. This new church would unashamedly be known by its short title 'The Anglican Church'.
It would have a very clever and up to date magisterium: a collection of seriously theological Anglican bloggers would discuss each and every issue which arose, in a spirit of free enquiry within the scope of the Covenant. Part of the genius of this magisterium is that, across the globe, it would be at work 24/7, and it would incur no costs, being a voluntary workforce :)
As for leadership? It might be time to adopt a very good idea of Presbyterians: annual Moderators. The Anglican Church would have one. No anglo-papistry involved. How would the Moderator be chosen each year? I am toying with the idea of one of the bloggers being chosen on a popularity 'Who had the most hits last year?' basis. The likely first moderator would be the host at Liturgy!
As for which liturgy would be used by The Anglican Church? Well, here also we can only bow to popularity as the means by which the decision is made. Which current Communion member church's prayer book is most widely admired, if not used (legally or illegally) in most Anglican churches? There is one clear winner ... A New Zealand Prayer Book.
Well, that is the new worldwide Anglican Church pretty much sorted.