Here is something forwarded to me by a Russian Orthodox friend.  Any 
responses, comments, etc.?

Subject:       Reading Material for Anglicans Who May Think of 

                         A Supplement for Anglicans
                               by Brad Barnes

For those Anglicans who may be looking into Orthodoxy I list below the key
books and articles that, in addition to the other list, helped me to see the
real problems in this Tradition. Though it is easy to read oneself out of
Protestantism in general, the "via media" of Anglicanism can be an
attractive option and a little more difficult to think through. I am aware
that many godly, catholic-minded people see tremendous merit in staying a
part of it, despite the current state of affairs. I myself have a great love
for some of the treasures in Anglicanism. However, I believe that
theologically and historically Anglicanism is indefensible, especially when
the question "What is the Church?" is asked. I took the liberty to include
some key notes from my readings (mainly from Nichols):

Nichols, Aidan, The Panther and the Hind: A Theological History of
Anglicanism. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1993.

History and formation:

   * Anglican church properly seen as a "bridge-church" (p. ix, 179)
   * More correctly seen as a theological justification of a political event
     (p. x, 43ff, 58)
   * Idea of Comprehensiveness: "creative dialectic never actualized" (p. x,
     176-177); deliberate vagueness, ambiguity written into the BCP and 39
     Articles [Elizabethan Compromise] (p. 175)
   * Church in England was in a very real sense the Roman church in
     captivity from Henry VIII's overthrow until it became its own defiant
     church under Edward VI (p. 14).
   * Church of England not so much a theological idea as a political
     compromise (p. xvii, 21); see also Knox's point that the church of
     England never pretended to be right. It does not regard itself as
     anything more than a working compromise suited to the needs of the age
     which produced it. Later however the people fell in love with the new
     creation and it became permanent (p. 449ff of his University and
     Anglican Sermons).
   * Key summary of his argument (p. xix-xx):

"The theology of the English Reformers was built on both Lutheran and
Calvinist foundations, yet it was never systematically either Lutheran or
Calvinist. Partly from conviction but mostly from political necessity their
theology was poured into an institutional mould which retained large
elements of a Catholic structure. As a result, when, in the reign of
Elizabeth, a reflective Anglican consciousness emerges, it sees itself not
as a straightforward continuation of the Continental Reformation, but as a
'via media.' The history of Anglican pluralism derives from the intrinsic
difficulty of defining such a via media, and from the resultant need to
leave wide open a wide latitude in the construing of doctrine. Thus the via
media idea, intended as a unifiying force for Anglicanism, tended to be
disintegrating in practice. It could be used in a classically Protestant
direction or in a Catholic direction; or yet again in a Latitudinarian
direction--on the grounds that where so much is unclear, little should be
insisted on. Again, Anglicans may despair of via media and take refuge
either in Anglo-Catholicism [giving it a much larger keel of Tradition for a
heaving ship- BMB] or in the idea of Western [Eastern?] Orthodoxy, in each
case accepting that the supreme norm for Anglican faith and practice should
be provided from outside Anglicanism--either from Rome or Constantinople
[emphasis--BMB]. Finally, Anglicans may choose to regard the incoherences
(yet riches) of their own Church as simply a microcosm of those of
Christianity world-wide. In this case they will argue that Anglicanism has
no distinctive contribution to make to the coming Great Church [an Anglican
ecumenical and eschatological idea of the Church--BMB]: its destiny is to
disappear, its triumph will be its dissolution."

Faith and Order:

   * Cranmer's doctrine of Eucharist and the liturgical rite a real break
     from the historic catholicity of 1500 years (p. 14, 32).
   * No single theological orthodoxy; pluralistic; 39 Articles are merely
     vaguely worded signposts out of troubled waters (intentionally, due to
     Elizabethan Settlement, so as not to offend either Catholics or
     "puritans"; p. 35).
   * Problems with the 39 Articles (quoting Peter Toon): "they are patristic
     when speaking about the Trinity, Christology and original sin [More
     Western patristic on the last one: the East would disagree with
     Augustine's statements on original guilt/sin]; they are Lutheran when
     speaking about the Gospel and justification; they are Calvinist when
     speaking about the sacraments." (p. 33; see also p. 18). "The 39
     Articles lack the central feature of any sound fundamental
     ecclesiology, namely, profession of a single visible Church." (p. 73).
   * no genuine identity (p. xviii).
   * the intention of the ordinal and the nature of the church are highly
     problematic and a break with catholicity (p.28). Defunct intent is one
     of the main problems in the validity question of Anglican orders.
     [these arguments of "validity," however, are entirely Western. On the
     historic and Eastern view of orders and apostolic succession see the
     excellent little book by Gregory Rogers called Apostolic Succession,
     Conciliar Press, 1994); intent of ordinal purposely vague; deliberate
     obfuscation of catholic intent.
   * the Faith a clear break from that of the catholic churches of East and
     West (thus negating any real claims to having true apostolic
     succession): predestinarian soteriology; sola fideism;
     receptionist/occasionalist view of the Eucharist (Hooker's view, the
     classical Anglican position, p. 49); bene esse wrt bishops (p. 50, 64,
     73 wrt the 39 Articles); loss of the communion of saints and mariology,
     etc. [Furthermore, how can a church call itself "catholic" when it
     differs so widely on many important matters of the faith. Many
     contradictory "traditions" under one umbrella of comprehensiveness, all
     "in communion" together. This is "catholicity"?! Remember, the "high
     churchman" have always been in the minority within the C of E.]
   * Other problems with Eucharistic doctrine (p. 66):

"The difficulty in [Lancelot] Andrewes' argument for the continuity of the
Church of England with the pre-Reformation Church lies in the fact that the
retention of an orthodox view of the Eucharist as presence, sacrifice and
foundation of the Church does not in itself guarantee that one will have an
'orthopraxy'--a pattern of rightful action relating one to the rest of the
Church's communion--to match one's words."

   * view of Tradition is problematic. Disconnected from a solid
     ecclesiology (see Florovsky's Bible, Church, Tradition or Congar's
     Tradition and Traditions. Dipping buckets vs. jumping in the stream, or
     to use Ronald Knox's analogy of "raking up old dead documents" vs.
     obeying a living voice of Tradition . . . having no authority for
     itself which can claim to properly and divinely interpret scriptures
     and expel heresy it will cease to be a church." (p. 68, 77; for the
     most devastating treatise on the relation of Scripture, Tradition and
     the Church see Yves M.-J. Congar, Tradition and Traditions, Macmillan,
     1966); fullness of the faith vs. vestiges. [Fr. David Ousley of St.
     James the Less: no ability to discipline the Church or the clergy.
     Church can't purge herself from heresy]. Note comments by Bishop
     Kallistos Ware in the 1963 edition of his The Orthodox Church, pp.

Yet there is one field in which diversity cannot be permitted. Orthodoxy
insists upon unity in matters of the faith. Before there can be reunion
among Christians, there must first be full agreement in faith: this is a
basic principle for Orthodox in all their ecumenical relations. It is unity
in the faith that matters, not organizational unity; and to secure unity of
organization at the price of a compromise in dogma is like throwing away the
kernel of a nut and keeping the shell. Orthodox are not willing to take part
in a 'minimal' reunion scheme, which secures agreement on a few points and
leaves everything else to private opinion. There can be only one basis for
union--the fullness of the faith; for Orthodoxy looks on the faith as a
united and organic whole. Speaking of the Anglo Russian Theological
Conference at Moscow in 1956, the present Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr
Michael Ramsey, expressed the Orthodox viewpoint exactly:

     The Orthodox said in effect: " . . . The 'tradition is a concrete
     fact. There it is, in its totality. Do you Anglicans accept it, or
     do you reject it?' The Tradition is for the Orthodox one
     indivisible whole: the entire life of the Church in its fullness
     of belief and custom down the ages, including Mariology and the
     veneration of icons. Faced with this challenge, the typically
     Anglican reply is: 'We would not regard veneration of icons or
     Mariology as inadmissible, provided that in determining what is
     necessary to salvation, we confine ourselves to Holy Scripture.'
     But this reply only throws into relief the contrast between the
     Anglican appeal to what is deemed necessary to salvation and the
     Orthodox appeal to the one indivisible organism of Tradition, to
     tamper with any part of which is to spoil the whole, in the sort
     of way that a single splodge on a picture can mar its beauty."
     ['The Moscow Conference in Retrospect', in Sobornost, series 3,
     no. 23, 1958, pp. 562-3.]

In the words of another Anglican writer: "It has been said that the faith is
like a network rather than an assemblage of discrete dogmas; cut one strand
and the whole pattern loses its meaning.' [T. M. Parker, 'Devotion to the
Mother of God', in The Molher of God, edited by E. L. Mascall, p. 74.]
Orthodox, then, ask of other Christians that they accept Tradition as a
whole; but it must be remembered that there is a difference between
Tradition and traditions. Many beliefs held by Orthodox are not a part of
the one Tradition, but are simply theologoumena, theological opinions; and
there can be no question of imposing mere matters of opinion on other
Christians. Men can possess full unity in the faith, and yet hold divergent
theological opinions in certain fields. This basic principle--no reunion
without unity in the faith--has an important corollary: until unity in the
faith has been achieved, there can be communion in the sacraments. Communion
at the Lord's Table (most Orthodox believe) cannot be used to secure unity
in the faith, but must come as the consequence and crown of a unity already
attained. Orthodoxy rejects the whole concept of 'intercommunion' between
separated Christian bodies, and admits no form of sacramental fellowship
short of full communion. Either Churches are in communion with one another,
or they are not: there can be no half-way house.

                           Suggested Reading List

Anglican-Orthodox Dialogue: The Dublin Agreed Statement 1984. Crestwood, NY:
St. Vladimir's Press, 1985. A helpful overview of the theological agreements
and disagreements between the two churches.

*Billerbeck, Franklin, ed., Anglican-Orthodox Pilgrimage. Ben Lomond, CA:
Conciliar Press, 1993. Collection of essays by former Anglicans who made the
trek to Orthodoxy.

Caraman, Philip, ed., University and Anglican Sermons of Ronald A. Knox.
London: Burns and Oates, 1963. [out-of-print(?)] Knox was a well-known
Anglican pastor for many years before converting to Rome; see his three
sermons on Anglicanism preached while still an Anglican, pp. 449ff.

Congar, Yves M.-J., Divided Christendom. London: The Centenary Press, 1939.
One of the preeminent Roman ecumenical theologians of this century. See his
chapter on Anglican ecclesiology entitled "The Anglican Conception of Unity:
Via Media, 'High Church', Non-Roman Catholicism," pp. 145-197. See Lossky's
Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church for interaction with Congar wrt his
critique of Orthodoxy.

Florovsky, Georges, Collected Works. vol. XIII, Ecumenism I: A Doctrinal
Approach. Vaduz, Europa: B|chervertriebsanstalt, 1989. See Part Two, "The
'Doctrine' of the Church." Much interaction with the Anglican position
throughout. Also see his reflections on the "Branch Theory" in his excellent
article entitled "The Limits of the Church" (Church Quarterly Review,
October 1933, pp. 129-130).

*Hodges, H. A., Anglicanism and Orthodoxy: A Study in Dialectical
Churchmanship. London: S.C.M., 1955. Absolutely crucial reading for any

*Howard, Thomas, Lead, Kindley Light: My Journey to Rome. Steubenville, OH:
Franciscan Univ. Press, 1994. The short testimony of Howard's journey to
Rome after being an Anglican for 25 years. Superb insights. Call (800)
783-6357 to order.

*Ledwich, William, The Durham Affair. Welshpool, England: Stylite Publishing
Limited, 1985. [out of print?]. Story of the controversy surrounding the
consecration of a heretical Church of England bishop in 1984. The author led
the fight against his consecration and lost. After much reflection about the
nature of Anglicanism he converted to Orthodoxy (see esp. chapter 7, "From
Comprehensiveness to Orthodoxy").

Ker, Ian, Newman on the Christian Faith. Notre Dame: Univ. of Notre Dame
Press, 1990. A superb, well-footnoted collection / index of Newman's
thoughts on a variety of doctrines. Compares his Anglican views with his
later Roman Catholic views.

*Mascall, E. L., The Recovery of Unity: A Theological Approach. London:
Longmans, Green and Co., 1958. A phenomenal ecumenical work. See Chapter
Three, "The Lesson of Orthodoxy." Provides critical interaction with Hodges
book (above).

Newman, John Henry, Apologia pro vita sua. Garden City: Image Books, 1956.
Still in print in many editions. The classic intellectual biography of an
Anglican's journey to Rome.

Packer, J.I., The Evangelical Anglican Identity Problem: An Analysis.
Oxford: The Latimer House, 1980 [1978]. Excellent 40 page critique.

*Phillips, Andrew, Orthodox Christianity and the English Tradition. Norfolk,
England: The English Orthodox Trust (Anglo-Saxon Books), 1995. A wonderful
collection of short essays about Orthodoxy in English history. A real
delight to read. Over 450 pages. This book really opened my eyes to true
Western Orthodoxy, the faith of the English people prior to the
Normanization that followed the conquest in 1066. It is published in England
and available through Anglo-Saxon Books, Frithgarth, Thetford Forest Park,
Hockwold-cum-Wilton, Norfolk IP26 4NQ, email:

Rose, Seraphim, The Place of Blessed Augustine in the Orthodox Church.
Platina, CA: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 1983. A good balanced
treatment though it certainly will not answer all your questions. Available
through Eighth Day Books (800) 841-2541. Another important booklet on
Augustine is called Augustine of Hippo: An Orthodox Christian Perspective,
by the Rev. Dr. Michael Azkoul. Available from Eighth Day Books or Synaxis
Press, 37323 Hawkins Road, Dewdney, B.C., V0M-1H0, Canada.

Vanauken, Sheldon, Under the Mercy. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1985. See his
chapter entitled "The English Channel," pp. 215-242.

Ware, Timothy, The Orthodox Church. I list this again because in the back
section of the latest edition (1993) there is an excellent summary of how
the Anglican churches are viewed, as well as a brief treatment of Orthodox

                        Some Old Journal Reflections

"If we as Anglicans believe and confess 'one, holy, catholic, and apostolic
Church' what do we mean by this? . . . When we Anglicans speak of
'Scripture, Tradition, Reason', or when Peter Toon [one of my professors at
seminary during this time] speaks of 'the Tradition of Holy Mother Church' I
am often left wondering just what is meant by this. It seems to me that
Tradition within Anglicanism has always been a very slippery and
ever-changing entity. Aren't I correct in stating that within Anglicanism
there is really no consensus on just what this Tradition is except the
general concept of "via media" towards all things? Is our Tradition supposed
to be Elizabethan, Classical, Anglo-Catholic, Low, High, Broad, Liberal . .
.? Furthermore, when I read about the Holy Tradition of the Eastern Church
it is often vastly different from how we would define Tradition. In matters
of soteriology (Calvinism!), spirituality, the Eucharist, sacramental /
cosmological worldview, and ecclesiology (just to name a few!) we are often
very far from them. Ours seems to be a Tradition that is, in the main,
clearly Protestant and greatly weakened at its very foundation by the
EIizabethan Settlement, among other things. If we claim 'Tradition' as our
guide it seems to me that we don't mean the same thing as the undivided
Church did, and the catholic churches of East and West still do. So who is
right? Furthermore, can Anglicanism sustain itself as a viable catholic
'branch' of the Church (given one accepts the so-called "Branch Theory" at
all, a 19th century invention) if there is no consensus on what defines
Tradition? . . . Even if we are able to return to the Anglicanism of the
Caroline divines what is going to stem the same heretical tide that has so
distressed our Church in the recent decades, or keep it from rejecting its
catholic identity all over again?

"I have to ask myself a hard question: why are we trying to keep Anglicanism
alive? I mean, why not return to our Celtic roots when we were essentially
the British Orthodox Church? The Orthodox Church in America (OCA) publishes
a little booklet entitled 'Saints of the British Isles.' Does ECUSA
[Episcopal Church, USA] have anything like this?! The official calendar of
the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America commemorates the likes of Joseph
of Arimathaea, Alban, Columba, Aidan, Patrick, Brigid, and David of Wales,
as well as Aristobulus, the first Bishop of Britain whom the English have
long forgotten but the East still remembers! Though we do differ greatly in
many areas there is much continuity between us as well. It appears to me at
this time in my inquiry that Orthodoxy is the fulfillment of the highest
Anglican ideals: evangelical and catholic. Did not Archbishop Ramsay say
that the Anglican Communion was 'provisional' by nature? Is it not accurate
to say that the Anglican Church is more a 'series of [historical] movements'
(Terwilliger) rather than a viable catholicism? The 102nd Archbishop of
Canterbury, Robert Runcie, stated at the 1989 Conference of Cathedral Deans
that 'our vocation as Anglicans was to put ourselves out of business.' Do
you agree? Is there anything wrong with seeing ourselves as a part that
should be seeking to return to its whole, its true roots? Are we justified
in continuing to build a separate 'branch' of the Church rather than joining
hands with the Orthodox? Is not schism a grave sin, one that the Early
Fathers wrote about extensively? What are we trying to hold onto that we
can't find in Orthodoxy? Are we staying away because of matters of personal
taste, cultural differences, etc.? Why not join the Orthodox and bring with
us the best of Western culture? It seeems there is much room for a
distinctive "Western Orthodoxy." Are we really staying away for the right
reasons? I can't get away from the question of whether or not it is valid,
or worthwhile, to try to build up yet another continuing Anglican branch
like the Reformed Episcopal Church [I was a member of the Reformed Episcopal
Church at the time]. I think about the ESA [Episcopal Synod of America, a
conversative affiliation within ECUSA that is attempting to bring about
reform and stem the tide of heresy]. Though a noble cause, four years after
their 1989 convention what has that Synod produced? Though many of the
faithful within Anglicanism appreciate their godly efforts they have had no
perceptible influence on ECUSA or the Anglican Communion, both of which
continue to head down the path to destruction. Furthermore, the ESA seems to
have no clear sense of direction, and has never [at this date at least]
broken communion with those whom they are in disagreement! (Heresy is not
merely holding to a certain unorthodox belief but also being in communion
with those who do) What does the ESA plan to do? Is traditional Anglicanism
without Canterbury even viable? Despite their good intentions is the ESA
destined to become what Bishop Terwilliger warned of years ago: a splinter
group that begets only more splinters? How catholic is that?! How does this
speak to the REC's (or other Anglican spin-off groups') situation? How
catholic is it for groups like these to bring in some outsider who has
'valid orders' (but is not, and often will not be, after the consecration,
even in communion with them), and have this person 'plug them in' to the
apostolic line and 'grant succession'? This entire 'mechanical'
understanding of succession (typical esp. amongst Anglo-Catholics) is
foreign to the early church and the East today and seems to me to be a real
distortion of true catholic practice.

"The key question that must continually be brought to fore is, 'What is the
Church?'. A reasonable corollary question is, 'What are the nature of the
sacraments and how does Eucharist define the Church? How is the Church
constituted and expressed?'. It seems to me that it is chiefly done so
through the Eucharist (the sacrament of both the Christological and
pneumatological aspects of the Church). If 'Eucharist makes the Church' then
the necessary corollary is that bishops are of the esse of the visible Body
of Christ, the Church; for only lawfully ordained and authorized men (those
truly sent by Christ through the Apostles: bishops and priests, connected to
a visible 'community of believers', who have apostolic succession of Faith
and Order; on this see Rogers' excellent book) can "eucharistize" the
elements and preside over the Eucharistic assembly of the faithful. The
bottom line is this: do Anglican communions have legitimate reasons for
claiming to be a part of the Church Catholic, based on the criteria of
apostolic Faith and Order? To my judgment, on both aspects of succession it
would appear not." You decide, with the help of God.

          Note: many of the ideas contained in paragraph two
          above came from "The Anglican / Orthodox Pilgrim"
          newsletters (Vol. 2, No.1 and 4; Vol. 3, No. 1).

                        On the Lambeth Quadrilateral

In the year 1888, the would-be bishops of the heretical Anglicans gathered
in the "Lambeth Conference." In this infamous "Conference," they examined
the issue of Ecumenical union and adopted the so-called "Four-Point
Statement." This was called a "four-point" statement because it established
four basic points of incorrect belief as the essential prerequisites of
false Ecumenical union: 1) Holy Scripture--as the heretics have received it,
but not according to Holy Tradition; 2) the so-called Apostles' Creed and
the Nicene Creed--as the heretics reckon them, but not as they are
understood by the Ecumenical Synods; 3) the two Mysteries [or sacraments] of
Baptism and the Lord's Supper--as the heterodox accept them, and not the
other Mysteries; 4) the acceptance of various bodies of heretical
bishops--according to the demands of each nation and people! But even these
few things the Ecumenists acknowledge only in name and superficially; for as
heretics, they deny the truth, as shall become subsequently obvious.

The Ecumenists understand their four points in light of the following three
principles of unbelief: 1) dogmatic minimalism; 2) inclusivenss; and 3) the
branch theory. What do these three new principles of incorrect belief mean?
The profanity which is called dogmatic minimalism calls for a unity of faith
based on the barest of Christian dogmas, that is, the barest of truth. This,
however, is not faith, but a lack thereof. Because if one is unfaithful "in
one point, he is guilty of all" infidelity (St. James 2:10). The principle
of inclusiveness entails the impiety of requesting toleration for and
compromise with heretics; that is, not struggle against heresy, but
cooperation and union with heresies. Thus Ecumenism, as a great and
inclusive heresy, accepts and embodies every heresy. And the branch theory
constitutes the following false teaching. The Church is seen as a tree.
According to the deluded Ecumenists, the trunk of the tree is the one,
undivided Church and ecclesiastical truth. The branches are the various
heresies, the autocephalous Orthodox Churches, and different false beliefs.
All of these are supposedly equal to one another, united like the branches
of a tree, and constitute the manifestation of the one Church, no single one
being the Church and none having the entire truth of the Church. In short,
Orthodoxy is not the Church, is not the truth, is not different from the
heresies, but is itself one of the heresies of the world.

With the foregoing Anglican misbelief about Ecumenical unity and union, the
belief of the ninth article of the Symbol of Faith [the Creed] "in One,
Holy, Catholic [Orthodox], and Apostolic Faith" is abolished. The "Four-Part
Statement of Lambeth" is a fourfold Ecumenical delusion. Dogmatic minimalism
is a form of anti-dogmatic infidelity. The branch theory is a many-branched
tree of falsehood and nonsense. And Ecumenical inclusiveness is the "wide .
. .gate and broad . . .way, that leadeth to destruction" (St. Matthew 7:13).

Metropolitan Cyprian, The Panheresy of Ecumenism (Etna, CA: Center for
Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, 1995), 10-11. These may seem like really
strong words, especially for those Anglicans just beginning to look into
Orthodoxy. Do not see this as Orthodox hatred of Anglicans per se, but a
love for the truth in the face of the ever-increasing problem of ecumenism.
The more you read in the Orthodox faith the more you will see how far from
the truth much of the Anglican tradition is. I love my Anglican friends,
many who are committed to staying with it to the dying end. Yet it remains
that I strongly disagree with them and cannot see the Anglican communion in
any other way than heresy--being a clear departure from the Orthodox faith.