Fr. Longenecker on convergence movements

He writes about three different kinds and has this to say about the kind Pope Francis’ friend Tony Palmer represented:

Tony Palmer’s convergence movement on the other hand is”

“The convergence movement refers to a move among evangelical and charismatic churches in the United States to blend charismatic worship with liturgies from the Book of Common Prayer and other liturgical sources. The Convergence Movement was inspired by the spiritual pilgrimages of modern Evangelical writers like Thomas Howard, Robert E. WebberPeter E. Gillquist and the ancient Christian writers and their communities. These men, along with theologians, scripture scholars, and pastors in a number of traditions, were calling Christians back to their roots in the primitive church.”

More about the convergence movement here

Put simply, the convergence movement is a network of groups made up of Evangelicals who have felt the need to root their faith in the historic creeds, the teachings of the apostolic fathers, apostolic succession, liturgical worship and Eastern Orthodox/Catholic spirituality. These groups retain their independence while drawing on the Anglican, Eastern Orthodox and Catholic traditions in their worship, governance, doctrine and spirituality.

The strength of the convergence movement is that it is enthusiastic, doctrinally orthodox and genuinely interested in a convergence of Evangelicalism with Catholic Christianity.

-snip- (please go read though!)

The different groups within the convergence movement will ultimately end up in the sectarian error. They will have unity of doctrine but no unity of form. If they do effect some kind of formal convergence then they will end up in the latitudinarian error by which they will sacrifice unity of doctrine for unity of form.

Or….and here is an exciting possibility…they will find their way to the Anglican Ordinariate–a structure which will allow them a certain amount of independence, will value their Evangelical tradition and their desire to embrace the historic church AND bring them into full communion with the Holy See.

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5 Responses to Fr. Longenecker on convergence movements

  1. William Tighe says:

    Strangely, there is no mention of the fact that the churches of the “convergence movement” (such as the CEEC itself – not to mention ACNA) are divided on WO (although they don’t allow woman bishops). Each bishop of the CEEC can decide on his own whether to ordain women or not – and some years ago it seemed that the majority of their bishops did accept WO.

    • Foolishness says:

      I also caught a whiff of Branch Theory in the CEEC’s approach to Celtic spirituality. In some ways, they reminded me of where we were at in the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada maybe 10-15 years ago, as Branch Theory and the idea we were already Catholics was quite prevalent. We had that catechized out of us.

  2. Rev22:17 says:

    Deborah,

    From your quotation: Put simply, the convergence movement is a network of groups made up of Evangelicals who have felt the need to root their faith in the historic creeds, the teachings of the apostolic fathers, apostolic succession, liturgical worship and Eastern Orthodox/Catholic spirituality. These groups retain their independence while drawing on the Anglican, Eastern Orthodox and Catholic traditions in their worship, governance, doctrine and spirituality.

    This clearly is the work of the Holy Spirit, laying the groundwork for full unity that will transcend present denominational boundaries.

    Also from your quotation: The different groups within the convergence movement will ultimately end up in the sectarian error. They will have unity of doctrine but no unity of form. If they do effect some kind of formal convergence then they will end up in the latitudinarian error by which they will sacrifice unity of doctrine for unity of form.

    Well, not necessarily. The Holy Spirit will lead all who truly seek God to the Truth, and thus to unity in faith.

    Of course, Satan inevitably does try to interfere and thus to conquer and to divide….

    Your quotation concludes: Or….and here is an exciting possibility…they will find their way to the Anglican Ordinariate–a structure which will allow them a certain amount of independence, will value their Evangelical tradition and their desire to embrace the historic church AND bring them into full communion with the Holy See.

    The present ordinariates are not likely to be the right vehicle for unity for the groups in question, which undoubtedly will have somewhat different customs of worship that incorporate charismatic elements into their liturgical services. The ordinariate structure, however, may well be the manner in which they come into the full communion of the Catholic Church.

    Norm.

    • Foolishness says:

      I think the present Ordinariate structure could incorporate these convergence movements just fine because Tony Palmer’s CEEC have been using elements of the Prayer Book and so on. There is always room for charismatic style praise and worship and praying for people outside the context of the Mass in a more free form way.

      • Will Roper says:

        Agreed!!

        “Reconciled diversity” among complementary styles and spiritualities can be a reality within the Ordinariates as well.

        Deborah, might there be an Ordinariate delegation or meet-up at the Fire & Fusion Conference in Ottawa this month?

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