Lionel Deimel has posted "Is The Episcopal Church Hierarchicial?" on his blog and makes his own assessment and then points us to Joan Gundersen's new essay, “A Response to Mark McCall’s ‘Is The Episcopal Church Hierarchical?’” A PDF version of this is available HERE.
Gundersen's essay is clear and to the point. Read it.
Those who visit this blog know that I have had some interest in knowing just who Mark McCall is, and what his stake in all this is. The best read is that he is a retired lawyer living in Virginia and related at least in the past to one of the realignment churches there. The Anglican Communion Institute published his paper and Stand Firm has several times moved it to the top of their page (above the fold as Thinking Anglicans would put it) with the title, VERY IMPORTANT.
Gundersen's essay puts the importance of Mark McCall's essay in perspective. It is very important to those who don't particularly care about the facts.
In addition to Gundersen's observation that "anachronistic assumptions permeate McCall’s essay" she points to factual errors in his presentation. Those errors are devastating to his argument. I suggested in an earlier post that McCall also failed to consider the ecclesial context in which hierarchy is not simply a matter of canon but of practice and particularly of worship.
Unlike Mr. McCall's credentials, which are gleaned from notes by the Anglican Communion Institute, blog responses and the like, Dr. Gundersen's are given in the paper she wrote. They are that "Joan R. Gundersen holds a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Notre Dame and is professor emeritus in history at California State University San Marcos. She has served on the editorial board of Anglican and Episcopal History for more than 30 years and is the author of several books (including three on the history of the Church in North America) and of more than 20 articles or essays in scholarly journals, most on eighteenth-century America or Episcopal history."
Read the essay.