Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cranmer: English Nation, Universities, Public Institutions, Churches, Families & Individuals

Influencing an English nation, its universities, its public institutions, its 9000 churches, its families and all individuals through the Book of Common Prayer--a massive and influential undertaking. For those who keep the practice of daily prayers for the Morning and Evening services, the cadences, doctrines, piety, and rhythms are understood. Of course, good Reformed doctrine is ordered up as Mr. Packer advises. Exactly as Cranmer intended.

More from Alan Jacobs.

"So days were begun and ended in communal prayer. In institutions that featured chapel services— the colleges of Oxford and Cambridge most famously, but also public schools, preparatory schools, the Inns of Court— and where attendance was mandatory, this rhythm of worship was still more pronounced . Cranmer’s 1549 order, which would later undergo significant change, begins with the priest reciting the Lord’s Prayer `with a loud voice'— this in contrast to the old Roman practice, which likewise began Matins with the Lord’s Prayer but instructed the priest to say it silently. After centuries of liturgical prayers being muttered in low tones, and in a language unknown to the people, the new model demands audible English . After this prayer comes a beautiful exchange taken from Psalm 51: the priest says, `O Lord, open thou my lips,' and the people reply, `And my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.' Then `O God, make speed to save me' calls forth the answer, `O Lord, make haste to help me.' Such echoes and alternations are intrinsic to the structure of liturgical prayer: praise and petition, gratitude and need. The whole of the Matins service repeatedly enacts this oscillation."

Jacobs, Alan (2013-09-30). The "Book of Common Prayer": A Biography (Lives of Great Religious Books) (p. 31). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition

Of course, one must add mature, deliberative, scholarly and confessionally literate theology.  As Mr. (Rev. Dr. Prof.) Packer rights the ship, he said this:

"My frequent quoting of the Westminster Confession may raise some eyebrows, since I am an Anglican and not a Presbyterian. But since the Confession was intended to amplify the Thirty-nine Articles, and most of its framers were Anglican clergy, and since it is something of a masterpiece, “the ripest fruit of Reformation creed-making” as B. B. Warfield called it, I think I am entitled to value it as part of my Reformed Anglican heritage, and to use it as a major resource. I gratefully acknowledge the hidden hand of my much-admired friend R. C. Sproul, from whom came the germ idea for several of these outlines. Though our styles differ, we think very much alike, and have cooperated happily in a number of projects. I find that we are sometimes referred to as the Reformed Mafia, but hard words break no bones, and on we go."

Packer, J. I. (2008-07-31). Concise Theology . Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

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