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Confession Obsession? Core Doctrine and the Anxieties of Anglican Theology

Christopher C. Brittain

This essay focuses on theological reasons for being suspicious of recent proposals within the Anglican Communion for resolving the conflict over homosexuality, including the suggestion that the Communion introduce novel doctrinal specificity, or more rigid forms of Communion authority. The substantial weaknesses of these initiatives are explored particularly through an analysis of the recently introduced concept of “core doctrine.” The paper argues that Anglicanism’s approach to the authority of Scripture, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the nature of doctrinal confession serve as important speed bumps to place in the path of the present momentum toward ecclesial innovation. Although there are considerable practical and ethical questions to raise about the present crisis within the Anglican tradition, this essay focuses on theological reasons for caution, as many of the current proposed solutions to the crisis represent substantial and problematic modifications to Anglican theology and ecclesiology.

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