People of the Spirit, worshiping Jesus in all places, at all times

So, in American Anglicanism, we talk about “3 Streams” — Catholic, Evangelical, and Charismatic Anglicans. Some churches consider themselves one of the three. Others try to blend two or all three together. In a class, some of the emphases were described this way:

  • Catholics: Fed by Jesus in eating the Eucharist to re-vitalize faith.
  • Evangelicals: Friends with Jesus who seek to encounter him in relationship.
  • Charismatics: Filled with the Spirit of Jesus to experience God’s power for renewal.

This is deeply dissatisfying. If these are accurate characterizations, they feel very shallow and incapable of sustaining Christian faith, much less the Anglican tradition. Tribes like this can’t. But there are most is certainly distinctive ethos types within Christian faith, but they aren’t what’s above. Instead, we should consider the different ethos types within the Church, understand their place in our personal spiritualities, our corporate spiritualities, and faithfulness to Christian tradition but above all, in relation to our proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Here’s some of the broad types or streams that are legitimately within Christian spirituality:

  1. Orthodox/Catholic (Eastern/Western)
  2. Reformation (Lutheran/Reformed)
  3. Primitive (Baptist/Methodist/non-denominational)
  4. Pentecostal (Wesleyan/Finished Work/Global)
This is not about legitimating these (conflicting) doctrines or discplines. But setting the tone for legitimate recognition of traditions and spiritualities that provide tangible experience of the Gospel’s proclamation. But a fully formed and mature Church will embrace them all and the Body will be shaped by these spiritualities that are much deeper than silly categories like “Catholic/evangelical/charismatic”.
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