Saturday, December 03, 2005

Apostolic schismatic succession


Comments: lack of criticism from this blog.

But, your claim is inaccurate. Paul joined the Anglican Province of America which is not the same as ECUSA to which Spong, Robinson, and whoever else you mentioned. I would ask you to correct your statements to accurately reflect the truth.

The Anglican Province of America ( enjoys communion with the Nigerian Church as well as the Reformed Episcopal Church.

I'm personally happy for Dr. Owen and glad he's found a home in that particular communion of the Church of Christ...and as long as he's a member of a Christian church, what really is the problem here?

# posted by Kevin D. Johnson : 12/03/2005 11:10 AM

Surely it should be 'bottom of the see'? Indeed, Mr. Johnson is correct, the APA is not the ECUSA, and is a more conservative (though pretty high church, at least according to their website) episcopalian denomination. I can think of no-where where Dr. Owen would feel more at home (note banner on APA homepage: 'Traditional episcopal, evangelical and catholic'. The confusion of APA with ECUSA is even worse than confusing the Free Church of Scotland (don't ordain women) with the United Free Church of Scotland (do ordain women).
The fact that 'convinced presbyterian' Dr. Owen is now an episcopalian still stands, however. Apparently he wasn't so convinced after all.

# posted by Highland Host : 12/03/2005 11:53 AM

Ummm...okay..."Highland Host".

I guess you and Mr. NiceTry need to tell us how moving from one denomination to another within orthodox Christianity is a "defection" and/or something that is inappropriate or bad.

Secondly, what is the problem with changing your opinion on certain theological matters as a matter of growth in one's life--especially when these changes do not reflect any sort of abandonment of what it means to be an orthodox, creedal Christian? Are we not free as Christians to think and believe differently than one another? Why the need to ridicule others who understand what are certainly secondary doctrines (such as elder rule and the use of images in church)?

I mean, it would be one thing if Dr. Owen was denying the resurrection and joining hands in a prayer circle with Bishop Spong, but as it is he's a part of a very conservative Anglican church that would do no such thing.

I guess maybe you folks can point us to the actual problem here in switching denominations (as if none of you ever went from say, Southern Baptist to Reformed Baptist or Presbyterian!).

# posted by Kevin D. Johnson : 12/03/2005 12:12 PM

PS. Having read all the 'Parish information' on the APA website, and being a former Anglican myself, I can uncategorically affirm that the APA is, at least in the main, 'Anglo-Catholic'. The use of the 1928 Prayer Book, and the pushing of 'altars' (a term not found in the Book of Common Prayer of 1662) against the wall is a dead giveaway to those of us in the know about Anglicanism.

Welcome home, Dr. Paul Owen. You are at last where you belong.

# posted by Highland Host : 12/03/2005 12:12 PM

PPS. Otherwise the APA looks pretty traditional. They're laughing with glee at Robinson's antics, and looking forward to an influx of Anglo-catholics from the ECUSA. While no doubt the Reformed Episcopal Church are looking forward to the non-Anglo-catholics flocking into their communion.
Between them, they are hoping to get ALL the non-liberal Anglicans in the US. Here's to hoping!
Oh, and to hoping that the rest of the 'Reformed Catholics' pile off and become Anglicans as well.

# posted by Highland Host : 12/03/2005 12:16 PM

This second statement about the Anglo-Catholic nature of the APA is just ridiculous. For crying out loud, they are in communion with the Reformed Episcopal Church, a body which can hardly be called Anglican Catholic. Not only that but this sort of statement ignores the width and the breadth of freedom within the Anglican communions on these issues and as a former Anglican you ought to know better than to say "welcome home" as if Dr. Owen has stopped one step short of Roman Catholicism.

# posted by Kevin D. Johnson : 12/03/2005 12:17 PM

According to the post, he has joined the "Anglican church." The ECUSA has some sort of ties to that body.

# posted by Steve Jackson : 12/03/2005 12:55 PM

Ummm...okay...I suppose truth is only important when its convenient for your cause.

# posted by Kevin D. Johnson : 12/03/2005 12:58 PM


Wow, I sure hit a sore nerve!

1.To begin with, I never said that Owen joined the ECUSA. There is still such a thing as the Anglican Communion. The ECUSA has not been excommunicated from the Anglican Communion.

The stopgap measure of “flying bishops,” whereby a group of disgruntled American Anglicans can unilaterally delink from their local Diocesan bishop as well as the presiding bishop of the ECUSA and then link up with a bishop or primate from another country half way around the world raises some very sticky questions of episcopal jurisdiction in Anglican canon law, does it not?

As long as the ECUSA is still in communion with Canterbury, and the APA is still in communion with Canterbury, via the province of Nigeria (which is in communion with Canterbury), then it’s all one church, right?

Otherwise, the APA is a schismatic splitter-group, which is the antithesis of catholicity and apostolic succession. And in that event, Owen’s ecclesiology is no more high church than the Baptist policy he regularly reviles. To bring in the REP only serves to further muddy the waters.

2.This is not a general question of whether it’s ever okay to switch from one denomination to another.

Rather, this is a specific question of whether Dr. Owen has been talking out of both sides of his mouth at the very same time—indeed, is still doing so.


  1. Yes, actually Dr. Owen is in a high-church (apparently the technical term 'Anglo-Catholic' is not understood by someone around here) splinter-group from the ECUSA, according to their website. Though I think the Anglical Communion declared the ECUSA to be in 'impaired communion' with them (whather that means). Holy Cross Parish, Knoxville, ( explicitly denies connection with the Anglican Communion anyhow. And I believe that no-one can be in communion with the Anglican Communion via another group (my knowledge of Anglican law is not exactly up-to-date). What is more, Nigeria is preparing to dissociate itself from Canterbury and as an APA member maintains the following blog: I think we can safely say that they do NOT like the Anglican communion. HAVING SAID WHICH I would point out that, from the APA perspective, they were merely separating from a corrupt Church.

    Further APA news on this matter can be found at .

  2. I checked. Yes, the ECUSA are presently suspedend from the Anglican Communion. And I hold no brief for any Anglicans, being in fact very glad to be out of the sorry mess. I hold a brief only for THE TRUTH. ("You can't handle the truth!!!!") ;-)