The 39 Articles & The Five Points of Calvinism

Discussion in 'The Confession of Faith' started by Reformed Thomist, Jun 28, 2009.

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  1. Reformed Thomist

    Reformed Thomist Puritan Board Sophomore

    I have heard that the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion which the Church of England and other Anglican/Episcopalian bodies worldwide (officially) subscribe to is a basically Reformed or Calvinistic confessional document, but that there has been a great deal of disagreement over the centuries as to the degree that it is Reformed or Calvinistic in several areas.

    My concern is just with its soteriology. Would you say that the Thirty-Nine Articles teach each of the five points of Calvinism? If not, could one consistently be a five-pointer and hold to the Thirty-Nine Articles in its entirety?
  2. Cranmer1959

    Cranmer1959 Puritan Board Freshman

    Hi, Reformed Thomist....

    I'm glad you brought that up because I myself am a 5 point Calvinist and an Anglican. Unfortunately, the vast majority of Anglicans are apostate, including the "conservative" ones. Why do I say that? It is because since the 19th century Anglo-Catholicism has been the predominate theology of the communion worldwide.

    There are exceptions to this, of course. Probably the most visible exception is the Sydney diocese in Sydney, Australia. The Sydney Anglicans are low church, 5 point Calvinists. A great many do not use the prayer book nor do they wear any vestments. Since the modern revisions are mostly either Anglo-Catholic and Tractarian or pelagian to one degree or another, this is probably a good thing. However, myself prefer the 1662 Book of Common Prayer which is reformed, evangelistic, and penitential. (See Samuel Leuenberger, Archbishop Cranmer’s Immortal Bequest, The Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England: An Evangelistic Liturgy; Grand Rapids 1990. Out of print).

    The Sydney Anglicans have had a significant impact in Africa and Asian. David Broughton Knox, the former principal of Moore College in Sydney, started a reformed and Anglican seminary in South Africa called Whitefield College. Because of this faithful witness to the Protestant and Reformed side of the Anglican church there is a growing number of Evangelical and Reformed preachers in the Anglican churches in South Africa and Africa at large.

    Other Anglicans like J.I. Packer and Gerald Bray, while solidly reformed in their own "private" theology, have compromised their witness by signing the Evangelicals and Catholics Together document. R.C. Sproul and others from the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals answered that document with the Cambridge Declaration. (See Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, Inc).

    I have searched far and wide on the internet and the most reformed organizations I can find in the Anglican communion are the Church Society and Sydney You might also be interested in the 1662 Prayer Book Society.

    At any rate, my blog is the most visible and most vocal against Anglo-Catholicism, Armininianism and Pentecostalism. You can visit my blog at Reasonable Christian.

    BTW, I knew Matthew McMahon during my bible college days at what was then called Southeastern College of the Assemblies of God. It's now called Southeastern University, located in Lakeland, Florida. Obviously, I'm no longer charismatic or pentecostal. Rather I consider myself a Calvinistic/Reformed Anglican and therefore "post-pentecostal."

    Please keep in touch? Hope you like what you see on my blog.

    Sincerely in Christ,

  3. yeutter

    yeutter Puritan Board Senior

  4. Reformed Thomist

    Reformed Thomist Puritan Board Sophomore

    Just added you to my blogroll. Glad to see all the great resources you have there!
  5. Cranmer1959

    Cranmer1959 Puritan Board Freshman

    I didn't answer your question. However, even though the 39 Articles are not as detailed as they might be, clearly they are Augustinian and not semi-pelagian. The answer is a resounding yes that one can be a 5 pointer and consistently Calvinist. However, the laxity of the Articles allows for departures which the enemies take advantage of. For example, many who claim to be "Calvinistic" later turn out to deny particular atonement for the elect only. James I. Packer has rightly argued that the Westminster Standards are a more complete commentary on the 39 Articles. Also, Article 17 clearly teaches both predestination and reprobation. And Articles 9-16 refute Arminian views along with semi-pelagian views of original sin, depravity, and any attempt to legitimize the Roman Catholic or Anglo-Catholic view of justification as an infused righteousness, thereby confusing justification with sanctification.

    -----Added 6/28/2009 at 04:00:51 EST-----

    The TPEC is not solidly Calvinist. They have a couple of "high church" parishes which put on the front of being Reformed but are really leaning toward Tractarianism.

    Also, the TPEC uses the 1928 BCP rather than the 1789 BCP or the 1662 BCP. The 1928 BCP explicitly uses prayers for the dead in the Prayer for the Whole State of Christ's Church. See Samuel Leuenberger's book,

    Archbishop Cranmer's Immortal Bequest
    The Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England: An Evangelistic Liturgy

    You can find used copies of this book for much cheaper than the link I provided here.

    Anyway, most Anglican churches compromise in one way or another. I would be very skeptical of any Anglican denomination which claims to be "Reformed." There are dissimulators and deceivers everywhere you look. Ask direct questions. Investigate thoroughly.

    I myself belong to an ECUSA parish but the presbyter is from the Sydney Diocese in Australia. He's very low church.

    Sincerely in Christ,


    -----Added 6/28/2009 at 04:09:27 EST-----

    I have added you to my blog list as well, Nathan.

    In Christ,


    -----Added 6/28/2009 at 04:12:40 EST-----

    BTW, the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral of 1886-88 is completely Anglo-Catholic and was drawn up for the explicit purpose of reunification with Rome. Beware the false gospels!
  6. yeutter

    yeutter Puritan Board Senior

    Warfield has shown that the Westminster Confession is largely an expanded version of the Irish Articles of Religion which were Archbishop James Ussher's more complete commentary on the 39 Articles.
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