Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Did Tickle rewrite Anglican History? or did we hear wrong?

I was not at the Great Emergence event. I wish I was. But, something I have been hearing out of the event is bothering me. In his Emergent Village blog posting, Jonathan Brink states that it was discussed that all Protestant denominations are children of divorce (reformation), therefore they will continue to divorce.

I agree with that.

However, he tells us that until the Great Reformation there were 4 major denominations. I will quote him.
Until the Great Reformation there were essentially four major “denominations”: CatholicismEastern OrthodoxyOriental Orthodoxy, and Anglicanism. But after the reformation, we saw the birth of more than 26,000 denominations. Why? Because the unintended side effect of the Protestant movement was the birth of divorce within the church. In essence, when all else failed and when we just can’t agree, let’s divorce and start something new.
Did I get my facts wrong in church history? Was this idea stated in Tickle's book, which apparently I did not read closely enough?

From everything I learned through 5 graduate level classes in church history, Anglicanism is not a pre-Reformation denomination (post Luther, in fact). It does not have the history that Catholicism and the Orthodox branches have. in fact, it was birthed out of literal divorce (political expedience, not conviction).

Did Tickle's book change the history to benefit Anglicans or did people read/ hear incorrectly? Are we restating church history to fit a new paradigm? Is the official history of the Church of England the establishment of a sovereign church after the Magna Carta? I come from a Baptist background and we did serious dancing to prove that our history went past the reformation straight to Jesus. Are others doing the same?

Can someone that was there explain this to me?
Update- in case you don't read the comments

Jonathan Brink stopped by to tell me he mistakenly added Anglicans to the mix. Phew. Crisis averted. Anglicans are children of divorce, like the rest of us Protestants (I know, Anglicans fancy themselves as non-Protestants, the bridge between Catholicism and Protestantism. Yeah, whatever). 


Anonymous said...


You are correct. I got my facts wrong about Anglicansim. Thanks for correcting that matter.

I incorrectly lumped Anglicanism in to the mix. This was my bad, not Tickle's.


DJ Word said...

thanks man. I love church history a little too much, like other EVers love Biblical Interpretation.

So, I was completely confused. I know Tickle is Anglican and Anglicals (not her) like to rewrite the history a bit because they have such bad beginnings (unlike my denominational home, Baptists, which have horrible middles).

Thanks for letting me know. Sorry if I did not come across well. I try to act confused, but it sometimes comes across in other ways.

Anonymous said...

No worries. I don't want to give people the wrong impression of Tickle.

As a favor, for her sake and because others have picked up your thought in a reader, would you add an addendum to your story explaining my correction. I'd appreciate it.

Tony Hunt said...

Though, *post-divorce* apologies for the Church of England emphasized the pre-popish history of the church in the British isles. See the works of Bede and Jewell for this.