The Anglican Concept of Salvation

by John Peterson
Traditional Anglican belief in salvation derives from Calvin's doctrine of predestination.

Traditional Anglican belief in salvation derives from Calvin's doctrine of predestination.

To Anglicans, salvation is the redemption of sins and eternal fellowship with God. Traditional beliefs in salvation are a product of both Catholicism and reformed Protestantism. The Anglicans strayed from their Catholic roots and accepted the predestination doctrine of John Calvin (1509-1564). This is the belief that God has chosen only a select few to receive eternal salvation. Traditional Anglicans also believe that the sacraments of baptism and communion are essential for salvation.

Church of England

The Church of England, or Anglican Church, began in the 16th century as a reform movement away from Catholicism. The Anglicans broke away from the Roman Catholic Church when the pope refused to grant an annulment to the marriage of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. The split culminated in 1558, when Elizabeth I ascended to the throne. While Anglicans maintain strong ties with their Catholic ancestry, the Anglican Church became part of the reformed Protestant movement led by Calvin during the Reformation.

The 39 Articles

In 1801, Anglicans accepted the 39 Articles of Religion, and Article XVII refers to the predestined belief in salvation common among reformed Protestants. God has chosen an elect few to receive salvation, and salvation is not available to all others regardless of their works on earth. Traditional Anglicans believe that humans should follow the Articles of Religion, participate in the sacraments and hope that they are one of the chosen to receive salvation. In modern times, this concept is controversial.

Dominical Sacraments

In the Anglican religion, there are seven sacraments, but only two, the Dominical sacraments, have been handed down from Jesus. The first is baptism, as signified by the baptism of Jesus. It is the sacrament of repentance of sin. The second is the Holy Communion, signifying the last supper of Jesus and his sacrifice for mankind. Traditional Anglicans hold that participation in these two sacraments is necessary for redemption and salvation.

Controversy

While traditional Anglicans tend to be reformed or Calvinistic in their belief in predestination, many liberal Anglicans have strayed from this doctrine. The concept of predestination contrasts with Lutherans and other Protestants, who believe that salvation is open to all who accept it through Jesus. Those who do not accept the doctrine of predestination also believe that humans can fall from grace through bad behavior. Reformed Protestants believe the chosen cannot fall from grace.

About the Author

John Peterson published his first article in 1992. Having written extensively on North American archaeology and material culture, he has contributed to various archaeological journals and publications. Peterson has a Bachelor of Arts from Eastern New Mexico University and a Master of Arts from the University of Nebraska, both in anthropology, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in history from Columbia College.

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