Nov 18, 2006

An Anglican Evangelical Definition?

Archbishop Peter Jensen is perhaps the best known proponent of evangelicalism in the Anglican church today. In January of 2003, he addressed hundreds of evangelical clergy in the UK in a talk entitled, Anglicanism: Past, Present and Future. In the winter of 2005 he delivered the Boyer Lectures on "The Future of Jesus." In his best-known publication, The Revelation of God, he argues stongly that God's revelation occurs in the Gospel as it is unfolded in Scripture.

No doubt you may have noticed what I have, that throughout his talks and his publications, he is emphatically centered upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a Bible-based way. For evangelicals, though, he offers us some comfort in another way. He speaks, leads and acts as one of many great evangelical leaders in the Church today. And as such, he's one to speak when it comes to defining just what an Anglican Evangelical is.

Jensen stresses the following:

1. An Evangelical Christian first, an Anglican second
2. An Evangelical
(a) trusts the Bible as authoritative and infallable, the primary source of revelation that reveals the Gospel
(b) Christ-centered and Cross-centered
(c) is focussed on bringing the Gospel to the world
(d) is concerned about the seriousness of sin and God's coming wrath
(e) has an ecclesiology based upon a strong doctrine of local fellowship - not denominations or buildings
(f) highly values expository preaching
(g) highly values the Lord's Supper
(h) highly values the Reformation roots of Anglicanism, The Thrity-Nine Articles, and the Prayer Book.

I couldn't agree more.


Steven Barrett said...

How about Christian first, Anglican second? Why put the tag "evangelical" first?

What happened to reason and tradition? After all, didn't the Bible come out of tradition? I've actually met a few evangelical Baptists who automatically equate tradition with the Pharisees, in knee-jerk fashion, no less!

If you're going to say the Bible is "infallible," does that make any preacher on Sunday morning "infallible" as well? If Protestants, especially evangelicals are going to object to papal infallibility, they've got a real Achilles' Heel to grapple with.

If evangelicals are so "cross centered" why do a lot of their churches use plain crosses instead of crucifixes? (Or better yet, where does Willow Creek and similar megachurches get off dropping any cross? Maybe I should be asking if focus groups can be found in the Bible.)

Are you sure what you're positing is really Anglicanism or contemporary megachurch and bland focus-driven evangelicalism?

Anonymous said...

I'm a Reformed Baptist and don't agree with the Anglican distinctives (i.e. pedobaptism etc.) But I must say after reading this, Peter Jensen is my hero! If Lutherans would confess the faith of Luther, if Presbyterians would confess the faith of Calvin and Knox, if Baptist would confess the faith of Bunyan and Spurgeon, and if the Anglican Communion would confess the faith of Cranmer and the Thirty-Nine Articles as Jensen has so bravely done, then to spite my differences with these different expressions of the Christian faith, I would not hesitate to lock arms with them in the work and ministry of Jesus Christ!

God Speed Peter Jensen!

Charlie J. Ray said...

I am usually suspicious of Anglicans who claim to be evangelical or reformed. The vast majority of those saying that are neither evangelical nor reformed. The most of them are in fact Anglo-Catholic. However, in the case of Peter Jensen we have an example of a true blue evangelical and reformed Anglican.

Like Jensen I am an evangelical first and an Anglican second. Our focus should be on being faithful to the Gospel and not to denominations or communions. In particular we ought to be faithful to the doctrine of justification by faith alone. I consider that to be one of the essential doctrines by which the church stands or falls.


Charlie J. Ray said...

The first comment here is obviously from an Anglo-Catholic who wishes to subject the authority of Scripture to Anglo-Catholic tradition. This is the sort of thinking that led up to the crisis in the Anglican Communion in the first place.

Charlie J. Ray said...

The Sydney Anglicans are not perfect. However, they are the only purely Evangelical diocese in the world. Even the Asian and African provinces have been infiltrated by the Tractarian/Anglo-Catholic heresy.


Reformation said...


As to the canonical sciptures, I would refer these old arguments--of your's--to the tempering and informative influences of Professor William Whittaker, Disputations on the Holy Scriptures. (I think it is free and downloadable at

I can't speak to Australian Anglicanism, but Reformed, Confessional, Protestant Anglicans appear not to exist in the US.

I am not even sure about Peter Jensen in terms of his toleration of Anglo-Romewardizers, e.g. or, as they prefer, Anglo-Catholics.

But then, with John Jewel, I am a Catholic, not Roman, but Protestant.

gralan said...

Here in the United States I despaired after my experience in Albuquerque of finding an evangelical, orthodox, apostolic Christian church in either TEC which left me by its heresy, and the ACNA which ignored me because I was not Anglo-catholic (RCC-lite).

I have now gone to be with the Presbyterians, but regret having that as my choice.

Folks like Jensen, Stott, Packer, and many others, including Fredrick Robertson, encourage me as much as any mentor has.

Praise God for His continued work to try to move the Body of Christ into maturity. Perhaps some of it will rub off eventually in the manmade organizations of tradition; including the Baptists and Presbyterians.

-your fellow suffering servant,