The following are my responses to P. Goings' responses to a previous post.
The comments and questions were helpful, clarifying, and insightful.
After we've gotten our "Network" province in the U.S. how long will it be before we're hearing accusations of "idolatry" and "bread worship" from some pulpits?
Speaking only from my experience (which, I admit, is pretty limited), I'd say that most theologically informed evangelicals are pretty receptive to catholic praxis, without caring to avail themselves of it. Most (again, in my experience) tend to have a high-ish sacramentalism, at least as compared with, for example, Presbyterians. Some are suspicious of certain catholic practices, usually the invocation of saints and the veneration of relics, but if we could come to agree that these are aidiaphora, we would have made a huge intra-communion eccumenical leap. And I think that such agreement is well within the realm of possibility.
Maybe that's largely due to agreement on moral issues between catholics and evangelicals, but maybe we could consider agreement on moral issues to be not merely superficiem, but a segue to a deeper theological rapprochement -- maybe the agreement will provide a more charitable basis for approaching the issues addressed (comparatively uncharitably) by the various parties to the Elizabethan settlement.
It's only the prissy anglophilia of some anglo-catholics which has prevented them from embracing some aspects of spirituality often associated with evangelicals.
True, but I don't think its properly just anglophilia. Its also a philos for the accountrements of catholic practice, and a concomitant neglect of the substance of catholic theology -- the temptation here is to a naive ritualism, and its very real among anglo-catholics. How could it not be? The accountrements are truly good and beautiful. This is the sort of temptation to which we acquiesce when we self-righteously (and loudly) storm out of a "mass" when we notice the celebrant is a woman. I've known people who delight in doing that. I've done it once or twice myself.
You're perfectly right to point out that anglo-catholicism is being true to itself when it gratefully acknoweldges the consolations of the spiritual life; that its not just conceding ground to evangelical enthusiasm. But again, there can be a temptation to stodginess among anglo-catholics (and again, I'm often guilty of this) which is just a prideful, emotional bulwark against what we often erroneously regard as the erosion of catholic identity by evangelical sentamentalism.
I would also like to see some clarification about what it means "to dwell on such things" as you reckon it.
First of all, I was talking about the aesthetics of anglo-catholicism, not its ascetics -- though what I mean could really be said of either.
By "dwelling on such things" I just mean that aesthetics (incense, candles, Pallestrina, damask, etc.) as well as ascetical practices are all means to an end. When we lose sight of the end (salvation, deification, the beatific vision, union, etc.), we can become satisfied with our accomplishment of the means, and pride slips in. So not to "dwell on" these things is just to remember that they are not ends in themselves, and that we should therefore insist on nothing but the end which they serve (though we can and ought gratefully to avail ourselves of the means).
But this also means that we should be happy to receive communion from a godly Evangelical priest vested in a cassock alb, but duly ordained in the succession, etc., if we should find ourselves in such a situation. Some anglo-catholics will shreak and faint away, like a Bond Street dandy, if an acoustic guitar appears at mass. They shouldn't act like that.
I think that it's better in this case to look to the interpretations of Holy Scripture which we have from classical anglicanism, roman catholicism, and eastern orthodoxy than to start from scratch.
I agree completely. I just mean that we cannot really listen to the teachings on scripture that come from our mediate ecclesial context, because those teachings are woefully inadequate at best, and in many cases flatly apostate. Individuals ought to read the bible for themselves, but they ought to read it within the interpretive framework, as you say, of (in our case) historical anglicanism, Roman Catholicism, and Eastern Orthodoxy.