Friday, January 12, 2007

For example...

Apropos of my previous post on the meaning of "high churchmanship" (which was, in turn, an elaboration of a way earlier thread on ecclesiology), here is what the Rev. Mark Harris, one of the more articulate and erudite bloggers of the "left," has to say as part of a long diatribe on why it may no longer be worth the effort for the Episcopal Church to remain Anglican:

Decent respect for the opinions of faithful Christians of all communities and communions requires that we should declare the reasons for our belief that The Episcopal Church is and always has been a freely gathered community of faithful Christians.

I'll resist the temptation to comment on the Jeffersonian tone of Father Harris' prose, but simply observe that he is articulating a classic Low Church position. The key words are "freely gathered community." This is a church-as-voluntary-association view, as distinguished from a church-as-organic-family view. His remarks also bolster my point about the American predisposition to Low Churchmanship.

2 comments:

Mark Harris said...

Dan...what a great blog. Honored that across the divide of things you linked my blog. I like the visual tone of your blog and more your point. Strangely (or maybe not) I am fairly high church in liturgical practice. But in terms of understanding of church I suppose that as regards the institution I have a non-sacramental position. As regards the church as the body of Christ, I think I am highly sacramental, and I suppose must therefore have a high theology of the church as incarnational. Don't know where this fits in your scheme of things, but there it is.

Dan Martins said...

Mark, the honor is all mine, as your blog is so--what did I call it?--erudite. I think your ecclesiology is fairly common in TEC. That's why I pounced on your statement that I quoted; it is so typical, though clearer than usual. By my lights, of course, it is ironic that you profess attachment to "advanced" liturgical practices even while espousing an ecclesiology that would have given 16th and 17th century English Puritans a warm inner glow.