Vol I No. 7

Reformed and Catholic? Searching for Identity in a Rootless Church

Bradford Littlejohn

This address was originally given at Truro Church, Fairfax, VA in 2019.

Ten years ago now, in 2009, the growing hodgepodge of congregations and bishops that protested against the spreading corruption in the Episcopal Church formally banded together to form the Anglican Church in North America. Since that time, many other churches, like lifeboats from the sinking Episcopal Church, have gathered around the ACNA and clambered aboard – Truro Anglican Church among them. Although during this past decade, many conservative Anglicans have been breathing a sigh of relief that they at last have a church to call home, what they should call this home and how they should identify themselves, has been less clear. Are they reformed or catholic?

I do not mean primarily to draw attention to the long and continual war between so-called Reformational Anglicans and Anglo-Catholics, those wishing to identify Anglicanism’s close connection to the Reformed theological tradition versus those wishing to narrow the gap between Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism. I certainly have plenty to say on this topic, as does Richard Hooker, and this lecture will shed some light on it – but it is not my principal concern here.

Rather, I want to highlight the more basic tension between the ACNA’s aspiration to have reformed itself

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