Will, over at Prydain, has a post that I thought I would respond to here, rather than leaving what would be a much too lengthy comment at his site:
I am not familiar with "More and Cross" nor this publication, though I have just spent some time reading through a number of sections. Suffice to say though, I think contained within it is a type of historical revisionism that is emblematic of what ails the Anglican Continuing churches.
Example from More's essay:
In their repudiation of the Roman efforts to cover her dogmatic innovations under the authority of tradition, and in their insistence on the Bible as the sole final criterion of orthodoxy, the Anglicans stood with the Protestants; but on the other side they departed from the Reformers of the Continent and from the Puritans at home in their rejection of what they regarded as an illegitimate extension of Scriptural authority. Again it was a question of fundamentals and accessories. Certain inferences from the central dogma of the Incarnation they allowed as self-evident, even in a way as essential to the faith that saves; but they hesitated over, and with the passing of time drew back more resolutely from, the doctrines of absolute predestination, effectual calling, justification by faith alone, imputed righteousness, and the whole scaffolding of rationalized theology which Luther and Calvin had constructed about the central truth out of an unbalanced exposition of isolated texts. Not that way lay the simplicity of the faith.
The above and this series of essays consist of, to be kind, a distorted view of the history of the English reformers visa-vis Luther, Calvin, and the Continental reformers. Go and read for yourself. I will begin by looking at Thomas Rogers' commentary on the Articles and Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, the architect of the Book of Common Prayer and the 42 Articles of Religion which were later compacted to 39 Articles without any significant changes:
Thomas Cranmer strongly defends predestination and effectual calling in his Great Commonplaces (Ashley Null's book on Cranmer's theology) - as did many other English reformers. Article XVII: Of Predestination and Election is classic reformed doctrine.
From Thomas Rogers' The Catholic Doctrine of the Church of England: An Exposition of the Thirty-Nine Articles (1586) which Will at Prydain blog posted:
Rogers (chaplain to Archbishop Bancroft) writes...
Of Presdestination and Election:
pg. 145: Err therefore do they which stand in opinion that Some are appointed to be save, but none to be damned... Predestination began before all times...
pg. 146: The public confessions of the churches, namely in Helvetia, Basil, and France, bear witness hereunto... Wander then do they from the truth which think That the very elect, totally and finally, may fall from grace, and be damned...
pg. 147: We deny that all, and affirm that a certain chosen and select company of men be predestinate...
pg. 148: In the scripture we read of man's predestination, the cause efficient to be the everlasting purpose of God; the cause formal, God his infinite mercy and goodness; the cause material, the blood of Christ; the cause final, or end, why both God the Father hath loved, and Christ for his elect hath suffered, is the glory of God, and the salvation of man.
And this do all the churches militant, and reformed, with a sweet consent, testify and acknowledge...
pg. 150: Though true it be, the Lord knoweth all and every of his elect... This things are most evident, and clear in the holy Scripture, where is set down both the calling of the predestinate, and their obedience to the word being called, and their adoption by the Spirit bo be the children of God; and last of all, their holiness of life, and virtuous conversation.
[here Rogers takes to task the Papists, the Antinomians, the Puritans (who make a mark of election the presbyterial kingdom), and the Schwenfeldians-the enthusiasts of that day.]
pg. 153: divers be the effects of man's predestination; but chiefly it bringeth to the elect justification by faith in this life, and in the life to come glorification...
pg. 154: This doctrine of predestination is to the godly full sweet, pleasant, and comfortable, because it greatly confirmeth their faith in Christ, and increaseth their love toward God.
Me: This is consistent with Calvin, Bullinger, and the reformed confessions.
Article XI and the Homily on Salvation (Justification) clearly teach and defend the doctrines of justification by faith alone: that by faith only in Christ's merits alone and not by any works of ours are sinners justified by God - and thus "credited", "reckoned", or imputed Christ's righteousness, as Cranmer put it, "But every man of necessity is constrained to seek for another righteousness, of justification to be received at God’s own hands".
From Cranmer's homily:
the Apostle toucheth specially three things, which must go together in our justification. Upon God’s part, his great mercy and grace: upon Christ’s part, justice, that is, the satisfaction of God’s justice, or the price of our redemption, by the offering of his body, and shedding of his blood, with fulfilling of the law perfectly and thoroughly; and upon our part true and lively faith in the merits of Jesus Christ, which yet is not ours, but by God’s working in us: so that in our justification, is not only God's mercy and grace, but also his justice, which the Apostle calleth the justice [righteousness] of God, and it consisteth in paying our ransom, and fulfilling of the law: and so the grace of God doth not shut out the justice of God in our justification, but only shutteth out the justice [righteousness] of man, that is to say, the justice [righteousness] of our works, as to be merits of deserving our justification. And therefore S. Paul declareth here nothing upon the behalf of man, concerning his justification, but only a true and lively faith, which nevertheless is the gift of God, and not man's only work, without God: And yet that faith doth not shut out repentance, hope, love, dread, and the fear of God, to be joined with faith in every man that is justified, but it shutteth them out fro the office of justifying.
These doctrines, along with the doctrines concerning the Eucharist and Real Presence were the animating doctrines of the English reformers (Tyndale, Cranmer, Hooper, Ridley, Latimer, Jewel), many of whom were condemned by the Roman Catholic Church and burned at the stake for their advocacy of these teachings. I would include Hooker's voice with those above:
From Hooker's Learned Discourse on Justification:
"Christ hath merited righteousness for as many as are found in him. In him God findeth us, if we be faithful; for by faith we are incorporated into him. Then, although in ourselves we be altogether sinful and unrighteous, yet even the man who in himself is impious, full of iniquity, full of sin; him being found in Christ by faith, and having his sin in hatred through repentance; him God beholdeth with a gracious eye, putteth away his sin by not imputing it, taketh quite away the punishment due thereto, by pardoning it; and accepteth him in Jesus Christ, as perfectly righteous, as if he had fulfilled all that is commanded him in the law: shall I say, more perfectly righteous than if himself had fulfilled the whole law? I must take heed what I say; but the Apostle saith, "God made him which knew no sin, to be sin for us; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." Such we are in the sight of God the Father, as is the very Son of God himself. Let it be counted folly, or phrensy, or fury, or whatsoever. It is our wisdom, and our comfort; we care for no knowledge in the world but this, that man hath sinned, and God bath suffered; that God bath made himself the sin of men, and that men are made the righteousness of God."
Peter Toon writes regarding Hooker's public debate with the Puritan Travers:
"In the three sermons, and then in the Learned Discourse, Hooker stated with great clarity the developed Reformation doctrine of Justification by Faith alone, through Christ alone, and issuing in good works, done in love for the glory of God. As he did this, he also stated and criticized the Roman doctrine of justification through the "sacramental system" as set forth by the Council of Trent in its canons and decrees. In all this Travers could find little to disagree with for on Justification by Faith alone there was basic agreement between Anglicans, Presbyterians and Lutherans...
... One major reason for the present crisis in Anglicanism and for the temptation to leave its ranks is that Anglicans have (generally speaking) lost that doctrine which Hooker and Travers [the Puritan with whom he debated] held in common, even as Cranmer, Luther and Calvin had held it in common-Justification by Faith alone issuing in holiness of life with good works."
It is all well and good that many today in the Continuing churches want to hold to a view that ignores the above. But in order to do so they must, if being honest with the historical record, no longer count the above men and their fellow reformers as allies. I think it is they that have left classical Anglicanism by developing a variant that sees its heritage almost exclusively through the sole lens of the creeds, the church councils, and the patristic writings. Almost certainly it is the lens they use to interpret the English reformation and those subsequent years, rather than the very words, writings, testimonies of the reformers themselves, and above all the Scripture.
In addition, the lumping together of all the "Continental Reformers" into a more or less radical Puritan camp that is at odds with the English Church is just a poor reading of history. As exampled by H. Bullinger's response to advice sought by those opposing the wearing of vestments as required by...
Archbishop Parker's "Advertisements":
John Jewel and other bishops, including Edmund Grindal, Bishop of London wrote to key Continental Reformers - especially Heinrich Bullinger - asking their views on the vestments and ceremonies...
Bullinger and the other Zurich Reformers did not fully approve of the ceremonies, but insisted that they were not so bad that any minister should risk dismissal by refusing to conform. Thereafter, the English bishops did uphold the ceremonies (although some less enthusiastically than others). Increasingly, the bishops in general came to see those who would not conform as mere troublemakers.
Hardly the response from radical continental reformers opposed to the episcopacy. Neither vestments nor church polity at that time (nor now) were tests of any reformed confession, be it the 39 Articles or any those of the Continent churches. As Article XXXIV makes clear, it is within the jurisdiction of a church body (e.g. The Church of England) to determine the "traditions and forms of ceremonies". The question of the church polity and regulative principals (e.g. vestments) were passionately argued in England and similarly on the Continent. But they were national or denominational church matters, not matters of reformed theology.
G.W. Bromily... contrasts the English reformers like Jewel and the "patristic centered' Anglicans of more recent times:
"Jewell did not appeal to the Fathers as to a source of authority additional to that which we have in Scripture. His appeal was historical, having this aim, to show that the present Roman Church is not historically the church of the early centuries either in practice or in doctrine. Jewell granted that in its earlier period the Church was purer, and that it ought to be studied for that reason. He did not urge, however, that Scripture must be accepted as interpreted by the Fathers. He did not wish to argue that the early Church was infallible either in Scripture-interpretation or in conduct. The Church in all ages remained under the final judgment of Scripture...
Jewell had no thought of the Church of England as a bridge - church between the Romanist and the Reformed groups. Historical circumstance have perhaps made that position appear possible, but doctrinally it is impossible. The Anglican Church of Jewell was thoroughly Protestant, and thoroughly anti-Roman...
In past centuries the successors of Jewell have used their patristic studies to pervert or to weaken the Reformed doctrines of Anglicanism."
By redefining the Anglican heritage in a way that essentially bypasses or re-interprets the historical record of the 16th century, today's various Anglican denominations have lost the essential character of the classical Anglican tradition: a protestant, reformed, catholic faith and practice. As a result the two main streams that dominate today are the liberal to apostate denominations and the Anglo-Catholic to Anglo-Roman provinces. Within those bodies are sojourners, who in heart and mind identify with those long forgotten English reformers and long for a church body that again embraces their teachings and confession of the faith once delivered.
Update 7-24-10: A discussion on this essay can be found at this Prydain link.