Thursday, January 03, 2008

ANGLICANISM to put a definition simply.

From the late Fr. Tarsitano

This an excerpt from the book written by a man I regarded as my friend, and whom I looked up to as a teacher for both his wisdom and learning. What follows is from the introduction to
An Outline of an Anglican Life by Rev. Dr. Louis Tarsitano. He was a priest, and also served as an Associate Editor of Touchstone, A Journal of Mere Christianity. At one time Lou+ was the only true Anglican via media priest in the whole CC with any public profile.
-Fr. Hart

My historical and theological method in these pages has been based on this belief: that the Anglican Church is a living example of the Scriptural Church. Anglicanism is not a pastiche of private or borrowed customs. Our Faith is not a compromise among religious traditions. Our Faith is the effort of the members of this branch of Jesus Christ's Church, by the power of the Holy Ghost, to walk the path mapped-out in the Holy Scriptures that leads through and around the obstacles of life to mankind's full communion with God in his Christ. This is the original and only true meaning of the Anglican via media. The "middle way" is not "the middle of the road"; it is the one sure highway our King has provided for our salvation, for the pilgrimage that all must make who would come to him


The Anglican Church does not "own" the Middle Way to Christ; but we maintain it for his honor and for the sake of salvation. We are a mission, not only to the world, but to the rest of the Church: not that all men should imitate us and be ours, but that all mankind should imitate Christ and be his. We can take no pride in this, since all we offer, all we stand for, is the catholic Faith of the Bible, the Apostles, and the Undivided Church, and the evangelical zeal of the Great Commission to teach all nations. These are God's gifts, and not our own.

I certainly have no right to speak for the rest of Anglicanism, nor do I intend or claim to. What follows is simply one Anglican priest's understanding of the outline of our Anglican heritage. I have included a number of Biblical warrants and backgrounds for our teaching and practice, in the hope that "our own" will understand the Scriptural basis of what we do and believe, and that the "stranger" who may read these pages, however devoted to his own branch of Christ's Church, will recognize us as his brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ. Then, there will be no strangers.

2 comments:

Sandra McColl said...

I wonder how many people (beginning with Newman? -- although I admit I'm out of my depth suggesting that) reacted negatively to the idea of 'via media' because they thought it meant 'compromise'.

poetreader said...

Isaiah wrote of the highway of holiness. I've often preached that by describing a narrow path on top of a wall. To the left lies a yawning chasm. To the right is the habitation of lions. So long as I walk that path I am safe, but should I stray to one side or the other ...

That's the via media.

ed