Monday, April 23, 2007

A Protestant Blog?

I was checking out my sitemeter tonight and came across a link to the comment below on a website called Catholic Answers Forums. I would like to thank the poster for the epithet of "good", but am not quite sure how he came to conclude that The Continuum is a protestant blog. Perhaps he will see this post, and comment. It should generate some good discussion.

Re: Here is the typical Amercan, Protestant "blog"

You want to see some good Protestant blogs, although they may not grab a hold of the title? Take a look at these:
Protestant/Former Episcopal Church


poetreader said...

The only definition of 'Protestant' that has any relevance at all is "NOT ROMAN CATHOLIC". One is not surprised when RCs apply that label to us. They have been taught to. Rather than fighting over words ("I don't care what they call me, so long as they don't call me late to supper") lets hope they'll actually listen to what we actually say. We can teach the average RC a great deal about Catholicism. I know -- I do it all the time, and have been thanked by at least one RC priest for setting one of his own straight.


ACC Member said...

RCs think of us as "Protestant". Most Episcopalians I've ever met call themselves "Protestant". I'm sure there are some from the "spikier" Anglo-Catholic parishes who call themselves "catholic", but the average Episcopalian sees themselves as "Protestant." Until I joined the ACC, I always thought of Anglicans as "Protestant." Upon studying Anglican history with a better-informed viewpoint, one sees that traditional Anglicanism was truly catholic! Its a matter of educating, I think. Brian McKee, nO/C.G.S.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, that this Roman is using the term "Protestant" to signify "not Roman."

Those non-Roman catholics often use "Protestant" to mean "not-catholic" (note the small "c") or "discernibly Anabaptist or Zwinglian."

Relative to Rome, I am Protestant. Relative to Anabaptists and their heirs, I am catholic. I expect this is true of many others who read here.

The Lemonts said...

I have come across some Roman catholics who consider the Orthodox the first protestants and ditto for the Orthodox re: Roman Catholics. It is way easier for people to just label others and then say because they are "X" we hold a higher moral and theological ground.

Albion Land said...

I draw your attention to a thread at Reformed Catholicism, which responds to this one:

In it, Mr Johnson said: "What made me laugh was the fact that they were surprised to be called 'Protestant' by Roman Catholics. But in fact, Anglo-Catholics–no matter how close they feel to the theology of Rome–are Protestants and it is this fact that makes part of their position so untenable from a Reformation perspective."

Mr Johnson missed the point. I would not be at all surprised to be called protestant by a Roman Catholic. That is the label commonly used for all Western Christians and, by some of the more bloody minded, even of Eastern Christians.

But a careful reading of the original post would seem to suggest that the poster was describing himself as a protestant and former Episcopalian. It was his thoughts I was curious about.

Mr Johnson is also missing the boat when he apparently sets up Rome as the sole yardstick by which Anglo-Catholics are to be measured, at least those Anglo-Catholics in the continuing movement who adhere to the Affirmation of St Louis. We hold as our standard the undivided church.

ACC Member said...

Albion made a great point. Along those lines, it just wouldn't do for Rome to admit that we followed the faith of the undivided church (as expressed in the AFfirmation of St. Louis). To do so, would, in effect, be an admission that they have departed from the true faith of the undivided church in one direction, the same way the Protestants departed from the faith of the undivided church in the other direction. Brian McKee, nO/C.G.S.

Albion Land said...

Thanks, Brian. Tell it to the bishop. :)

ACC Member said...

I'll encourage him to read the Continuum! Brian, nO/C.G.S.

Albion Land said...

I already have. He says he never reads 'em; doesn't trust journalists. :<

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the word "Protestant" originally a reference to those in Western Europe who opposed the teaching that the Pope had universal authority in doctrine?

AFAIK, the only thing that "Protestants" univerally agree upon is that the Bishop of Rome is not THE Vicar of Christ. Its unfortunate, but I can't help the fact that Roman Catholics and RC apologists, who, out of ignorance or polemics, consider everyone in the West not in communion with them to be "Protestants", with all the baggage that word has come to possess (20,000 different churches, etc.)

Ken (couldn't get my account to open)

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Western non-papal = Protestant. However, with such a minimal definition, it is never a useful word. Really, it ought never to be used except in plural form.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Since I am not a nice guy, and have my fill of some of the Reformed Catholicism bloggers, I left the sort of comment that is bound to be taken with unintended offense.

"I learned two weeks ago that the keepers of [the Reformed Catholicism] blog tend not to pay any real attention to what we say, because it simply does not fit into their prejudices and narrowly defined paradigms. A valid question was raised about the usage and definition of a word so widely applicable as to mean everything from anything to nothing.

"But, you can laugh since Albion’s real point went right over your head."

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't take the self-righteous scoffing of the ReformedCatholicism crowd too seriously. The level of rancor, pettiness, spite and general uncharitableness of that blog is almost always well above sea-level. Even the well-meaning posts over there often devolve into electronic shouting matches, wherein each blogger tries to out-smart the other with references to a seemingly endless number of extant post-Barthian theologians and seminary texts. Arguments for the initiated, and woe to him who disagrees. The high level of Christian charity exhibited at that site was in full array the other day when someone decided to deride the websites of the continuing Anglican churches. Most edifying.

Albion Land said...

The conversation has now spread to the Confused Papist:

Albion Land said...


You said "...the high level of Christian charity exhibited at that site was in full array the other day when someone decided to deride the websites of the continuing Anglican churches. Most edifying."

I looked up this post, which can be found at

The humor fell a bit flat for me, but I nonetheless think he has a point. The continuing churches' websites are atrocious, and we do ourselves a disservice by not improving their quality.

Anonymous said...


No doubt there are some continuing Anglican websites in need of the skills of some hot-shot information architect (their term, not mine); but one's HTML skills are hardly relevant when one is deciding whether or not to adhere to continuing Anglican theology. Flashy websites often disguise execrable theology and I reject the progressive notion that one must ape the latest technology in order to sell the gospel to the image-addled. Not only that, but a beautiful, tasteful liturgy beats a snazzy website any day.

I do apologize, however, for my own spiteful post earlier. I let my emotions get the better of me. I humbly submit the following: may this blog never turn into a forum for disproving the theological stances of those with whom we disagree and rather a place where what we do believe can be exposited and nurtured so that we can grow rather than wither.

Anonymous said...

Re: The websites issue

There are three issues: looks, navigatibilty, and content.

Based on my general impressions the ranking are:

1. UECNA - best looking of the bunch, content looks up to date and its easy to understand what they are about I like the fact that current Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer links are available, but I don't like the opening of a new window when I click a link (that may be my computers set up).

2. APCK - nice looking too but for the life of me I can't see why in that picture of Archbishop Morse he has his hand on his neck. Not much content but they say right in the front the best way to learn about them is to contact them personally. Easy to navigate.

3. APA - Not much to look at. OK content wise, the best part being "A Statement of Anglican Belief and Practice". Navigation wise they don't utilize drop down menus so the website comes off as very amatuer feeling.

4. ACC - The looks are a big turn off, for some reason they divided the page into two seperate halves, very disconcerting to the eye. I won't say anything about the picture of Archbishop Haverland other than it looks amatuerish. The content basics are there and I like the fact that the email addresses of the diocean bishops are available. Navigation is OK, but only because the content is sparse.

5. TAC - Not much to say other than the definite worse of the bunch.


Ecgbert said...

Oh, dear. Well, I've come to expect that sort of thing from RC neocon apologists.

Brian McKee is right about RC and most Episcopalians' opinions.

To be fair the Anglican church in the then-new United States quasi-officially named itself the Protestant Episcopal Church but Anglo-Catholics could always spin that to say something Eastern Orthodoxish: 'protestant' not as commonly understood (which will be clear shortly) but 'non-papal', yet 'episcopal' like Rome and the Orthodox and unlike commonly understoood Protestants.

(I think the legal name is still 'the Domestic and Foreign Mission Society'.)

Like Ed said. :)

(Anglo-)Catholics have always been a minority in the Episcopal Church, more so than in England. (Just like there are probably more English Evangelical churchmen than American.) Of course the average lay Episcoloopian :) thinks of himself as a commonly understood Protestant. Recently I read survey results that said most Episcopal laity call themselves Protestants but most Episcopal clergy don't. Regrettably that doesn't signal a victory for the Catholic Movement but, I'm guessing, that the dominant Broad Churchmanship repudiates the Christian orthodoxy of classical Protestantism as expressed in the Articles and old Prayer Book.

What is 'Catholic'? (What is sex? What is 'is'? :D)

Asked and answered that question about four years ago when I realised mainstream RCs and I weren't talking about the same thing.

Whether obedience to the Pope defines Catholicism over and above all else is the real question. (Is the papacy a man-made rank like 'archbishop', for the good order of the church, or is it divinely instituted as RCs are required to believe, like the episcopate itself is divinely instituted?)

albion land has a point.

I should like to add that 'non-Roman' does not necessarily mean 'anti-Roman' or 'anti-Western Catholicism'.

A distinction the RC neocons often don't twig either.

poetreader said...

There's a pesky problem when we try to lump disparate groups together under one label. It's that each group is its own phenomenon, more or less similar to and more or less didtinct from all the others. "Protestant" is an especially unhelpful designation, as it atempts to combine apples and helicopters into the category of non-rivers. What do Biblical Fundamentalists have in common with liberals who deny that the Bible has authority? How is a Pentecostal who prays constantly in unknown tongues similar to a Bible Baptist who believes speaking in tongues is evidence of demonic possession? Labels that convey no useful meaning eminently deserve to be dropped from intelligent discourse. If someone calls me a Protestant, no matter how distasteful that may be to me (and it is), they haven't said one single solitary thing of any use about me. Therefore I go on as if they hadn't spoken at all.