Archbishop Justin appoints Evangelical Tory Baucum to Canterbury
Please don't be over-excited by the title of this post: 'Tory' is the man's name, not his political inclination. The Archbishop of Canterbury has appointed the Rev Dr Tory Baucum, Rector of Truro Church, Virginia, as one of Six Preachers at Canterbury Cathedral.
Don't fall asleep. This is significant, especially to the ill-informed and ignorant who puff and blow that Justin Welby is not "evangelical" (His Grace won't bother linking: you'll find the assertion mainly in the Telegraph's tedious anti-Anglican refrains). But this appointment will irritate liberals and traditionalists alike: those who prioritise issues of gender and sexuality in all aspects of ministry; and those who hold a certain dogmatic view of Christian leadership and the worldwide Anglican structure.
Truro Church is part of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), which is not a member of the Anglican Communion. They are, however, in full communion with the Anglican churches of Nigeria, Uganda, and Sudan, and affiliated to the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, which was born of GAFCON.
This all sounds painfully convoluted and schismatic, but essentially ACNA is composed of Anglo-Catholic and Evangelicals who could no longer submit to the "un-Biblical and un-Anglican practices and teaching" of the US Episcopal Church. To some, they are the misogynists and homophobes. To others, they are faithful to the catholic traditions of the Church of England and the Worldwide Anglican Communion. They are unequivocally theologically conservative, being opposed to women bishops and believing that marriage is between one man and one woman. They are also staunchly pro-life, holding that "all members and clergy are called to promote and respect the sanctity of every human life from conception to natural death".
Dr Baucum even preaches the Reformation, asserting (quite rightly) that His Grace "was a Catholic who yearned to see the Medieval Church reformed" (to a gospel-based soteriology), and that the Church of England "was simply an attempt to re-Christianize Christendom by reintroducing to the Church the full power of Christian salvation".
GAFCON decreed that recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury was not a necessary part of Anglican identity. Rowan Williams would have been content with that assertion, if grieved by the division. By making this appointment, Justin Welby is proffering the right hand of fellowship, which is the essential unifying heart of the man. The focus is spiritual unity in ecclesial breadth, true to the Lord's teaching, His Grace's believing and Hooker's longing.
Commenting on the appointment, Archbishop Justin said: “Tory is a fine scholar, an excellent preacher, and above all someone with a holistic approach to ministry. The close friendship he has forged with Bishop Shannon Johnston (of the Episcopal Church), despite their immensely different views, sets a pattern of reconciliation based on integrity and transparency. Such patterns of life are essential to the future of the Communion. I hope and pray that Tory’s presence as one of the Six Preachers will play a part in promoting reconciliation and unity amongst us.”
Dr Baucum is, in essence, what you might call a 'staunch Anglican' - of the sort who rarely gain advancement in the present Church of England; the sort that prefer red meat to milk and aren't afraid to preach it. According to ACNA's Constitution and Canons, Dr Baucum believes:
The Bible is the inspired word of God, containing all things necessary for salvation, and is the final authority and unchangeable standard for Christian faith and life.One may see why this appointment may not go down too well in certain liberal quarters. And, not being in fellowship with the Anglican Communion and being rather pally with Bishop Shannon Johnston, one may understand a little muttering from those who are dismayed that schism may be rewarded and reconciliation affirmed without repentance. But the College of Six Preachers at Canterbury has a specific function. It was created by His Grace in 1541, forming part of his plans for a new foundation to replace the dissolved Priory. Canterbury was unique in this; no other cathedral had a group of preaching priests, and it was a reflection of His Grace's determination to give greater prominence to preaching the truth of salvation that it came into being.
Baptism and the Lord's Supper are sacraments ordained by Christ and are to be ministered with unfailing use of his words of institution and the elements ordained by him.
The historic episcopate is an inherent part of the apostolic faith and practice, and therefore integral to the fullness and unity of the Body of Christ.
The church affirms the historic faith of the undivided church as declared in the three ecumenical (catholic) creeds: the Apostles', the Nicene, and the Athanasian.
Concerning the seven Councils of the undivided church, it affirms the teaching of the first four Ecumenical Councils and the Christological clarifications of the fifth, sixth and seventh councils, in so far as they are agreeable to the Bible.
The Book of Common Prayer as set forth by the Church of England in 1662, together with the ordinal attached to it, is a standard for Anglican doctrine and discipline and, with the Books which preceded it, is the standard for the Anglican tradition of worship.
The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion of 1571, taken in their literal and grammatical sense, express the Anglican response to certain doctrinal issues controverted at that time, and express fundamental principles of authentic Anglican belief.
Today, the Six Preachers are called to preach on various occasions at Canterbury Cathedral, which is the Mother Church of the Anglican Communion. With the Rev Dr Tory Baucum in its pulpit, you can be sure that the truth will be preached without compromise. The Church of England's warring factions and agitating splinters across the Communion have nothing to fear but caricature and their own poor judgment.