The title "Evangelical", within the Anglican church, refers to members of the Anglican church party, who, while remaining loyal to Anglican order, are conservative in their approach to the Bible, reformed in their theological persuasion and committed to world-wide evangelism. They are heirs of the Great Awakening - Methodist Anglicans. An Anglican Evangelical rightly falls within the general definition of an "evangelical", namely, "people who have accepted Jesus as their personal savior as the only way to heaven, and who accept the Bible as the inerrant word of God", Wicker. An Anglican Evangelical is not necessarily evangelical in the sense of "fundamentalist" (the Bible is literally the Word of God, as opposed to, when rightly interpreted), nor just in the sense of "one who promotes the Christian gospel", a common use of the word, nor "one who promotes the church", a meaning often found in the Roman Catholic church. To further confuse the issue, over the last fifty years, an increasing diversity of Anglicans have claimed the title "Evangelical". At times, a prefix is attached to distinguish these groups from traditional Evangelicals, eg. "New Evangelicals", new liberal Anglicans; "Reformed Evangelicals", puritan/pietist Anglicans, often hostile to Anglican polity (sometimes identified as "Conservative Evangelicals" by outside commentators, although "conservative" properly describes the traditionalists).
Over the 80's and 90's Conservative Evangelicals faced a crisis of faith. The ability of Evangelical clergy to fill the pews waned in face of the Charismatic movement that seemed well able to do what Evangelicals once did. The answer to this problem seemed to lie with the Church Growth movement and its American designed people management and marketing systems, although its implementation necessitated the destruction of Anglican polity. Disloyalty to the Anglican liturgical tradition was further reinforced by the increasing influence of pietistic congregationalism which fostered a suspicion of catholic form, and, in a rather strange twist, promoted the holy-huddle, as against an open door approach to nominal Anglicans. So, Evangelical Anglicans busied themselves with moving the Prayer Book out of the church while bringing the drum set in, banning the baptism of the children of non-attending Anglicans while at the same time building bridges to the wider community.
The articles on this page were published at the height of the Evangelical reformation (revolution??) in the Sydney diocese. Now in the 00's the reformation is all but complete and the debate over. The last vestige of Conservative Evangelical churchmanship is now only found in the 8am Holy Communion service, usually viewed as an act of grace toward people unable to adjust to the drum set, or even worse, ritualists in need of conversion. So, the link articles are scratching where there is no longer an itch. None-the-less, there is worth in noting how we have shifted from the bedrock of God's sovereign grace by flirting with pietism (sanctification by obedience rather than by grace through faith) and arminianism (Church Growth marketing and management).
Evangelical Gospel Ministry.|
The Evangelical Malaise. Published, 1992
Tracing the Sydney agenda.
The following editorials seek to address issues presently unsettling Evangelical Anglicans, and in particular argue for an acceptance of the lost (an open door to our local community) and the preservation of transcendence in worship.
Index of studies: Resource library
Pumpkin Cottage Ministry Resources
Lectionary Bible Studies and Sermons