Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Ordination in the Church of England

The audio of The Revd Nigel Atkinson's talk on Ordination in the Church of England from the Church Society Junior Anglican Evangelical Conference 2015 is available here.

He discusses the necessity, purpose and power of ordination interacting with Calvin, Cranmer, Hooker, Jewel and the Ordinal - oh, and the Bible, of course!

Along the way you get some good stuff on the nature of the church. Hooker argued (against the radical puritans) that the church is not only a supernatural society but also a society, a politic society, a natural body.

Some random jottings of favourite / noteworthy bits:

Calvin argues that ordination goes back to Jesus' appointment of the apostles and is necessary to the existence and continuation of the church as an organised society. If we think the ministry is only of minor importance, Calvin says we plot the ruin and destruction of the church. The ministry is more essential to the continuation of the church than the light of the sun or food and drink.

Hooker says there will be utter confusion if the church depends only on claims to be led by the Spirit and not on customs, traditions and laws. Order and constitution are vital.

Ordination confers real spiritual power - the power to preach the word and administer the sacraments.

Hooker says the church was never from the beginning without a government, a regiment.

The church is primarily led by the preaching of the word and the ministry of the sacraments.

Hooker insists that the church has abolished sacrificing priests and has presbyters (Book 5).

Hooker regarded Bishops as first of all types of (senior) presbyters, as the Apostles were.

Hooker himself received the Supper from a non-episcopally ordained presbyter, Hadrian of Soravia, a Dutchman, on his deathbed.

Hooker is the Reformed theologian of the Church of England.

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