Thursday, January 08, 2015

Anglicanism: It’s not what you think it is

The Gospel Coalition has a very good overview article. Here are some things you may not know about Anglicanism:

1. Since the arrival of Christianity in Britain in the 3rd century, British Christianity has had a distinct flavor and independence of spirit, and was frequently in tension with Roman Catholicism.

2. The break with Rome in the 16th century had political causes, but also saw the emergence of an evangelical theology.

3. Anglicanism is Reformed.

4. Scripture is the supreme authority in Anglicanism.

5. Justification by faith alone is at the heart of Anglican soteriology.

6. In Anglican thought, the sacraments are "effectual signs" received by faith.

7. The Anglican liturgy—best encapsulated in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer—is designed to soak the congregation in the Scriptures, and to remind them of the priority of grace in the Christian life.

8. Anglicanism is a missionary faith, and has sponsored global missions since the 18th century.

9. Global Anglicanism is more African and Asian than it is English and American.

Read the entire article here for more details.


  1. There are many Anglo-Catholics and Tracterians who would disagree with this portrayal of Anglicanism. They go so far as deny that the Anglican church is Protestant at all. It seems that they make up the majority of Anglicans today and their revisionist history is accepted by almost all Anglicans.

  2. You're right. I didn't know many of these things. Thanks for posting.

  3. I found this somewhat helpful, thanks. Having recently started attending a local Anglican assembly, I found out that there are two important distinctives within the denomination, ie Low church and High church. The prior which takes a familiar evangelical protestant approach, and the latter which focuses more on liturgy and tradition much like Roman Catholicism. I wish this info was included in that TGC article as it would have been helpful.