The roots of the Anglican, or English, Church go back as far as the 2nd century, but its current structure and status can be traced back to English Reformations in the 1600s. Today, the Anglican Church has a global presence with more than 80 million participants and continues to uphold its devotion to prayer and reading the scriptures, the sacraments, and leading by the Holy Spirit as modeled by the earliest Christian believers.
While Anglicanism serves as a middle way between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, having kept features and practices from the historic traditions such as vestments, the historic church calendar, and robust liturgical worship, but it accommodates a diverse expression of faith and worship among its members.
A simplification of these expressions is often referred to as three streams worship, including the sacred Scriptures, the blessed sacraments, and the Holy Spirit. The Anglican worship and faith embrace all three of these to varying degrees.
Scriptures and Creeds
Anglicans hold the Holy Bible to be the highest and supreme authority in matters of faith, containing all things necessary for salvation. Anglicans also read the Apocrypha “for example of life and instruction of manners,” but not to establish doctrine.
Anglican Christianity is unified by its confession of the three creeds of the church (the Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, and Athanasian Creed) that offer us a concise summary of authentic and essential Christian doctrines (e.g., the divinity of Christ, the virgin birth, the Trinity) common to the majority of Christians. They serve to guard the faith from error and revisionist agendas.
Rather than reinventing the faith to fit culture, Anglicanism reminds us that we need lead from the foundational truths of Christianity as handed down from the Early Church through the Holy Scriptures and the historic creeds. These timeless truths and doctrines contrast and sometimes conflict with the postmodern values of our culture, providing each Christian with a reliable foundation upon which to stand. The mission of the church is to engage a changing world with an ancient faith that is relevant and fresh for the present generation.