. . . to the weblog of
jon p. amos, hollie's
husband & dad of
ethan, levi, finn,
ellie, marley,
& sullivan

My Photo

my complete profile
theology pintnight
hollie's xanga
kids' photos

blog roll
formerly powered by

bible gateway
daily office

Seminary, etc
Why "A minor"?
November 2002
December 2002
January 2003
February 2003
March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
October 2008
November 2008
January 2009
July 2009
August 2009
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011

A minor


Sunday, August 10, 2003

ECUSA and Denominationalism
Is it just me, or does it seem odd, historically speaking, that the delegates to the General Convention of the Episcopal Church (ECUSA) had the final say in the election of Gene Robinson? I don't know enough about the history of episcopal elections, but I tend to think it would be better if it were A) solely a diocesan or presbyterial or local regional matter, B) a matter for the archbishops of the worldwide Anglican Communion, or even C) ultimately a matter of state, as with the Church of England. As it is, ECUSA's procedure looks more like American denominationism than historic episcopacy to me.

Of course, by option A, New Hampshire would still have a bishop who's just as gay - and that would be too bad - but I seriously doubt I'll ever live in New Hampshire. Option A might, however, mitigate against the tendency of many fellow conservative evangelicals to scorn all ECUSA churches across the board - even the orthodox parishes in ECUSA, some of which are farther from New Hampshire than Greece is from China.

As for option B, ECUSA couldn't care less about the other archbishops, or so it seems.

And we all know that option C just isn't an option in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. And that's cool with me because I don't think national churches fit with the biblical ideal (the Westminster Assembly notwithstanding). However, at least in theory, national churches don't bother me as much as national denominations that pretend to be churches. To explain why, I'll copy a comment I recently wrote on Shawn Roberson's blog:

I find it interesting that the Bible does not use the word "church" singular to refer to regional or national bodies. (Of course, there is the bride of Christ, the church throughout the world and throughout history that will be spotless at the last day, but she transcends regions and nations.) Throughout the NT, the usage is consistent: there is one church per city (e.g. the church at Corinth, at Ephesus, etc), which is made up of smaller churches, "from house to house." Any geographical unit larger than a city is spoken of in terms of "churches" plural (e.g. the churches in Galatia, in Asia Minor, etc).

So, when denominations or church bodies refer to themselves with the word "church" singular, they miss the biblical pattern. Based on this, I maintain that the ECUSA, despite its name, is not a church, but an association of churches - i.e. a sort of club. And for that reason I would judge churches/dioceses in the ECUSA, even now, on a case by case basis.
John Frame, in his book, Evangelical Reunion (Baker, 1991), makes the same point in the last paragraphs of chapter three.

jon :: link :: comment ::

This page is powered by Blogger.
Site Meter