Comprehensiveness for the sake of truth

The Rev. William Carroll and Mr. Christopher Evans offer a statement for unity in the Episcopal Church based on the tenets of the Lambeth Quadrilateral:

Appreciative of the core doctrines of our faith, Incarnation and Trinity, as Charles Gore so succinctly summed them a century past, we are reminded that these teachings point not to themselves but refer us to and lead us into living relationship with the Persons of the Triune and Living God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We desire to commend to this Church anew those signs that we do share across program and party, school and division if we would remain true to our reformed and catholic inheritance, and call ourselves Anglican. In the words of General Convention Resolution 1982.A47, these signs as expressed in the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral are “basic principles which express our own unity” as much as “essential principles for organic unity with other churches.”

Therefore, rather than a program for persuading the Church to a particular point-of-view on matters of justice or on matters of ecclesiology, we recognize that our unity is founded in and maintained by Jesus Christ through Whom in the Holy Spirit we are all children of a merciful Father. Our unity is founded in neither a program for or preaching of earthly renewal (important as this is), nor a scheme for or theory of churchly organization (as necessary as this be), but rather in our incorporation into this self-same Jesus by Holy Baptism. In the words of F.D. Maurice, noting conditions similar wracking the Church of his own day, “And those who are sighing over the condition of the Church, and have tried scheme after scheme for reforming it and bringing back its unity, and have found only fresh disappointments and despondency, will learn that they may go back to the one source of Reformation and Restoration; to Him who is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.” In a time of increased tumult and mutual disdain, it seems good and joyful to remember and reaffirm those shared signs of our generous catholicity in Jesus Christ, who is the only basis for our comprehensiveness and unity. By these, we call the Church to itself in this self-same Jesus in Whom fracture becomes fellowship, fragmentation turns to friendship, and fault occasions forgiveness.

To this end, we commend anew to this Church those things that are its own as broadly outlined in the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral, being reformed and catholic signs we do share as pointing us to and bearing us forth to the truth of and knowledge of and relationship with the Persons of the Living God, and in Them, turned to one another, general society, and the whole of creation:

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