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With the Lambeth Conference of 2008 in mind, the author presents this timely proclamation to Anglicans across the world of the need to return to a "Western Orthodoxy". Canon Middleton takes us back to early principles and shows us how they still speak to us today.
The loss of the Anglican mind, behind which is the loss of the Christian mind, has led to the dysfunctionalism and loss of identity which we see in modern Anglicanism throughout the Anglican Communion. In his Crockford's Preface (1987-88), Gareth Bennett drew attention to a theology in retreat, pinpointing the crisis within Anglicanism as being fundamentally theological, and called for a return to our roots, our prescriptive sources, as the way out of the malaise of modern Anglicanism. Canon Middleton takes us back to these prescriptive sources, and shows us that Anglicanism has its own peculiar character, and one that still speaks to us today. Tracing that character in the Reformers, the Carolines, the Oxford Fathers and the Formularies, he shows that despite the discontinuities of their time these divines are aware of the continuity and wholeness of the Christian tradition in all its fullness, organic wholeness and unbroken unity. Continuity is for them a dynamic and living transmission of certain living qualities of faith and order, the Tradition the Church hands on. These prescriptive sources speak to us of an issue facing us that is far bigger than the saving of the Church of England; it is the saving of the Apostolic Faith and Order of the Church, for which Ignatius died. They point us in the way of the re-integration of the universal Church in east and west, to a western orthodoxy, that is free from the relativism of the present: such orthodox Christian faith comes in all its saving power to identify with the world, but refuses to be accommodated to it, because its authority lies in its bringing to bear on the world an insight more adequate than the world's own. Arthur Middleton spent ten years as Vicar of Pennywell in Sunderland and was Rector of Boldon from1979-2003. He is Emeritus Canon of Durham, was a Tutor at St. Chad's College Durham, has served on the College Council and was Acting Principal in 1996-97. He is an Honorary Fellow of St Chad's College, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Patron of the Society of King Charles the Martyr. He is a member of the Church Union Council, the Standing Committee, and the Publications Committee of Tufton Books. He was an editor of the Tufton Review, on the Editorial Board of On-Line for Lambeth and writes for the Church of England Newspaper. He is an experienced lecturer, retreat conductor and a prolific writer. His other books publisherd by Gracewing are Towards a Renewed Priesthood, Fathers and Anglicans: The Limits of Orthodoxy, and Prayer in the Workaday World. Married to Jennifer, they have two grown-up sons.
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