Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Marburg redux? LCMS & ACNA explore relations

While it's no Colloquy of Marburg, an exciting turn of events is happening within the LCMS. In the context of exploring "altar and pulpit" fellowship with other confessional Lutheran bodies, the synod also explored similar overtures toward the Anglican Church in North America. I imagine that this will take some time, and be very carefully pursued given that some in ACNA ordain women (LCMS does not) and some in ACNA have a bare receptionist position on the Lord's Table (most don't) and then the Anglo-Catholics could make a big deal about the episcopate. So plenty to resolve...but I'm happy to see the stirrings toward evangelical unity. My sincere desire is that instead of seeking union with Rome, our communion moves steadily toward those who embraced reformed (i.e. Biblical) catholicism, then extend outward toward the children of the Reformation within the Latin Rite.

1 comment:

Father Robert Lyons said...

Being myself influenced by Lutheran thought as it approaches Anglican formularies, I think the two parties have much to share (remember the old Common Service of the Lutheran Church used many of Cranmer's own compositions!), but also see a definate difficulty over the WO issue.

If ACNA is to truly stand for the Bible as the authoratative Word of God, WO has to be ended, save the retention of Deaconesses as a consecrated/ordained order (much history there, too much to unpack in a message board comment).

I can also see giving a bit towards the Lutheran position on the Episcopate. "Power and Primacy of the Pope" gives a good example (Alexandria) of a locale where what we think of as Episcopal Consecration was handled differently. Even Rome, for about a century, gave tacit approval for presbyters to ordain other presbyters and deacons who were to serve under them (particularlly in abbeys, but still, the principle was set!).

LCMS has also produced an excellent revision of the historic lectionary that, while not without its flaws, would serve those anchored to the classical BCP well. It's revision of the 3 year cycle is also much more palatable, and they have an outstanding Office Book that, with a little Anglicanization, would serve classical Anglicans well.