Can the Episcopal Church can be reformed, if reform means returning to its  biblical foundations? Many today are convinced that the answer is ‘no’,  but encouragement has come recently from Reform, the organisation for the most conservative Evangelicals in the Church of England. An article by Jonathan Fletcher makes the case that the Church of England can be reformed, and if when reading the article we substitute the Episcopal Church in the USA wherever Fletcher mentions the Church of England, I think he makes a pretty convincing case.

Here are some of his conclusions:

‘The Thirty-nine Articles express the official legal, historical, and theological position of the Church of England—not the Lambeth Conference, or the debates of Synod… This is where we must stand and it is a heritage that we must not forsake. The Church of England belongs to us and that we belong to it.

‘We must stay with our evangelical theology, not neglecting holiness, and then stay with the Church of England. Theologically we must be convinced that this is the right place to be. Pastorally, we dare not leave the sheep without shepherds. There are people going to Church of England churches who are clueless and lost and we must not desert them!

‘The lesson from the past is that we must hold fast to our theological convictions; we must continue to strive for that holiness without which no-one will see the Lord; we must have a loyalty to the Church of England and remember that this is the place to be; there must be a boldness as we think outside the box with principled irregularity; and we must stand together.’

Read it all here. And younger Evangelicals should pay special attention to his remarks about what turned out to be the ‘strategic parishes’ during the 18th Century, when things were even worse than they are today, and it was a small group of Evangelicals who reformed the Church.

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