jQuery Slider

You are here



By Andrew Carey
April 14, 2023

Evangelicalism is Anglicanism. Let that sink in. There has been this pretence on the part of liberal Anglicans that evangelicals are entryists from a Calvinistic perspective. In the words of Theo Hobson in The Spectator ('Does the Church of England need Evangelicals?, 8 April 2023, The Spectator),

"The evangelicals have been semi-separate for decades. Some of the large evangelical churches have repeatedly refused to pay in to the central funds, in protest at the leadership's failure to defend traditional sexual teaching. More widely, many evangelical churches will only invite the right sort of bishop to come and do a confirmation service. The split is already a reality, but half-hidden under a veil of strained politeness." More risibly, Hobson argues that a Church of England without its evangelicals would have a solid core of moderate liberal Anglo- catholicism. The reality is that historically speaking it is liberalism and Anglo-Catholicism that are the newcomers to the Anglican scene and it is easily arguable that it is modern day evangelicals who are much closer to Cranmerian tradition. But that is ignore the fact that historically, Hobson does not seem to understand the rambunctiousness of Anglicanism. MostAnglican clergy have striven to keep the bishops at arms-length be they from a central, high church or low church background.

And as Hobson acknowledges in the broad church of Anglicanism there was never a golden age of harmonious working together. CEN was, of course, originally The Record and the Recordites had a reputation for strenuously opposing ritualism in the courts. Before that, the Church of England persecuted Catholicsand Puritans to a horrible extent. The idea that the C of E now has a theological core of moderate liberal Anglo- catholicism is specious nonsense. The Church is both as broad as ever it was. Problematically for Hobson, it is also as evangelical as it ever has been. Evangelicals have the numbers, the resources and if only they would have the patience they could easily inherit the C of E from the dying tribes to which Hobson belongs.

Andrew Carey is editor of the Church of England Newspaper

Get a bi-weekly summary of Anglican news from around the world.
comments powered by Disqus
Trinity School for Ministry
Go To Top