From Day One…: Duane W.H. Arnold, PhD

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17 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    And the first thing every pastor/priest should know going in is that it is a position of service, not of power…

  2. Duane Arnold says:


    Could not agree more…

    BTW, I’m sure some readers might doubt the assertion that some pastors/priests take up positions not knowing these things… How many calls through the years have you had from pastors asking how to do a funeral, marriage, etc.? I’ve had dozens…

  3. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane, I note that your first 3 points, followed by 5 sub points reference the BOCP. My question – can a pastor or a church claim to be Anglican (be recognized as Anglican) and reject the BOCP? Not just fail to use it but actually reject it – or is that what distinguishes one as Anglican?

  4. Duane Arnold says:


    In my thinking and training, it is the BOCP that is the defining mark of an Anglican. Even the use of the English Missal (an Anglo-Catholic service book), the text and orders of service are built around the BOCP…

  5. Michael says:


    It wasn’t that long ago that I had to make those calls to more experienced clergy myself…all that mattered was that I could teach and draw a crowd…

  6. Michael says:


    I will loudly (and with the amount of hostility necessary) declare that without the BCOP you are not a practicing Anglican.
    Duane has had the misfortune of hearing me rant about this many times…

  7. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – I fully agree with you. This is why we want rogue Lutheran groups to give up the name Lutheran.
    Duane mentioned the ELCA and European Lutherans who reject the BOC (on Linkathon) – heck, they aren’t using the name – they might as well give it back.

  8. Duane Arnold says:

    Now, as an honest question for MLD, Michael, Jean and others. I do not hold to a “fundamentalist view” of the BOCP, but for me it contains the essence of what it means to be an Anglican in terms of theology, worship and spirituality. If I were a Lutheran, I would fall into the camp that would say “as the Book of Concord agrees with Scripture”, but would nonetheless recognize it as foundational to Lutheran identity and worship. If I were a Methodist, I would feel the same about the Book of Discipline. What is it that happens when people abandon substance for form? Or, as MLD says, merely hanging on to the name.

    If someone responds, please do so seriously, as this is affecting us all these days.

  9. Corby says:

    “What is it that happens when people abandon substance for form?”

    I think there would be different answers to this question. One answer would be, “What are you talking about?” Reason being many evangelicals aren’t retrospective enough to recognize that they have a form let alone what substance it is based on.

    For lack of a better word, I would say that the evangelical form is based on the “brand” of the denomination. They would argue that the BOCP and other materials you mentioned are empty rituals that prohibit a freedom of spiritual expression (their form). Their freedom and flexibility is their substance. Or whatever they “invent” and own is their substance. That’s not what I think now but it’s what I used to think.

    Just look at Calvary Chapel. Their substance, in my opinion, grew very organically more or less. Systematic Bible study, coupled with a move of the Spirit through some younger personalities as well as music. Those things, as a part of their culture, not needing to be written, were their substance and form all in one. However good or bad it was for some, things got to a point where they had to write their own book (Distinctives) because the forms were arguably out of control in some contexts. So they wrote what Tom Stipe called “The Box Document” and he helped write/compile the thing.

    For some, what I think I understand you are referring to as substance provides stability in the form of structure things to follow. For others, that same substance is overly structured and is a hindrance. One could argue that it’s like learning styles. A cookie-cutter education system works for some but not all.

    As one who has been investigating the Anglican way, I can see the appeal of many of the structures and substance. I unknowingly was already pursuing them, if not creating them for myself, because I didn’t know they existed. But, because the Anglican church is rightfully not put out there as the one and only way, I can also see why people are put off by some of it.

    So I guess to kind of answer your question, some people don’t need the substance. Or at least they think they don’t need it. The caveat there is that as people mature in their faith, that is when the recognize the need for some kind of substance. And there it is. A lack of actual growing or maturing.

  10. Duane Arnold says:


    A good reflection. It’s interesting, when someone asks me how they should first get to know something about Anglicanism, I don’t hand them a book. I say, “Come worship with us…”

  11. Corby says:

    Duane – interesting. I might be in the minority on this, but I would be one who would want a book first before going with someone. If I had shown up with you, I wouldn’t have known how to worship. The “book first” approach has, in fact, has been my approach to looking at Anglicanism. If I had just gone I would have been totally lost, confused, probably enough to be like, “Nope! Too much to absorb. Not going back.” But having read The Anglican Way before even going to a service, I felt somewhat prepared for what was going on and more importantly why.

    As you well know there is a “why” behind everything that happens in an Anglican service. As I alluded to above, I think many/most people in evangelical circles don’t care about a why let alone know what the why is behind whatever they do on a Sunday. In fact, I would venture to say that many evangelical leadership teams work really hard to keep people from being interested in why for the same reason Apple doesn’t promote their products leading with how all the stuff inside of and iPhone works. Instead, Apple just says their stuff is cool and you will like using it. Churches are doing the same thing to an extent, but somehow assuming people are going to grow. When they do, there is nothing for them so they move on to another church. Why don’t churches want people to be interested in the whys? Because why requires investment and education, and that can be complicated, and complicated doesn’t keep butts in seats.

    At one church I worked at, when I tried to introduce some processes of small groups and discipleship that relied on understanding the why behind stuff, I was told that it wasn’t easily consumable and we need something people can just walk in to. I kind of remember Jesus saying that following Him required a bit more. As I obeyed my bosses I became very bored and flat-out disinterested in what I was being asked to implement. When the sermons are energetic and entertaining with the appearance of depth (because when someone is used to pavement, one inch of water is relatively deep), but ultimately predictable and not challenging, it’s hard to write engaging sermon discussion questions that help people produce growth and change in their own lives. I didn’t even want to be in one of the home groups I was implementing and overseeing! I’m sure my obvious boredom partially ultimately led to me being asked to resign.

  12. Michael says:


    As you know, this is one of the few times I’ll agree with MLD.
    If you don’t want to conform to the historical, traditional, definition of what it means to be an Anglican (or Lutheran, etc) please stop using our name and treading on our ground.

    That’s the clean version… 🙂

  13. Duane Arnold says:


    “As you know, this is one of the few times I’ll agree with MLD.”

    I have placed the nitro-glycerine pill under my tongue…

  14. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane, I think you would be the best to give the answer as it relates to the Anglican church. What would an Anglican priest have to deny to no longer be Anglican? Note I said Anglican, not Christian.

    I guess on the other end, if nothing can be given up as long as he and his church want to remain Anglican, then what would keep me from claiming dual citizenship and declaring myself Anglican even though I change nothing of my current theology and allegiances.

  15. Jean says:


    You asked:

    “What is it that happens when people abandon substance for form?”

    In a liturgical church, if you abandon substance but keep the form you will probably end up with the issue of the opus-operatum. If you abandon form but keep the substance, you will probably end up with what the Lutheran Reformers called enthusiasm. They are two ditches that a liturgical church can fall into.

    In must liturgical traditions, form and substance are closely related and not really severable without jeopardizing the whole. 1+1 = > 2. Some people think you can keep the substance without the form, and guess what the first practice that gets abandoned is? Weekly Holy Communion.

    I think at any of our churches, the laity has the right to expect that if they are on vacation and they walk into one of their own sister churches as a visitor, they will find themselves at home in their tradition. I know this is a dream more than a reality, although the Roman Catholics seem to do a pretty good job at consistency, at least in the churches my wife has known.

  16. Duane Arnold says:


    The standard, institutional, answer would be “to abandon the doctrine, discipline and worship” of the church. The trouble is, that phrase has now been used to bring charges against traditional Anglicans. It is a world turned upside down. When I was ordained, it was part of my vows. I understood it to encompass the theology (doctrine) of the BOCP; obedience to my bishop (discipline), and the use of the BOCP in the Daily Offices and in public worship. In my way of thinking, those who abandon these three elements, have abandoned what it means to be an Anglican.

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