Saturday, 12 March 2011
opinion for Quadragesima
Mark Vernon writes for Ekklesia about Having faith in the importance of doubt.
Tamie Fields Harkins, at her blog the owls & the angels has a step-by-step plan for how to get more young people into the church: ah, the church.
This week’s The Question in Comment is free belief in The Guardian is What’s left of Christian Britain?
There are answers from Jane Freeman and Catherine Pepinster.
Jeremy Nicholas writes in Gramophone about Hymns Ancient and Modern rejected.
Phil Zuckerman and Dan Cady in The Huffington Post explain Why Evangelicals Hate Jesus.
Stanley Hauerwas writes for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation about The place of the church: locality and catholicity.
Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times that Many things might not get better.
Bagehot writes about the British 2011 census for The Economist: There is a difference between lacking faith, and having no religion.
There were several articles and reflections for Ash Wednesday.
Mark Vernon in The Guardian: On Ash Wednesday, consider the gift of death
The Postulant: Remember
Penny Nash: Are You a Christian Giving Up Social Media for Lent? Please Don’t.
Scott Gunn: Blogtastic Lent or Lentastic blogs?
Colin Coward: Ash Wednesday
Scott Gunn is writing about the 39 Articles of Religion, one per day (except Sundays) during Lent. Here is his introduction: Of the 39 Articles of Religion and the first two articles.
Posted by Peter Owen on
Saturday, 12 March 2011 at 11:00am GMT
Article I: Of faith in the Holy Trinity
Article II: Of the Word, or Son of God, which was made very man
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
For anyone who might be hazy about why we no longer look to the 39 Articles as containing an adequate theology for Anglicans of our day and age, Scott Gunn's excellent commentary on the very first of the Articles - on the Holy Trinity -wil provide at least one good reason.
"There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts or passions"
As Scott reminds us, this might disqualify Jesus as the Third Person of the Trinity, when he assumed humanity from the flesh of the BVM at his Incarnation. And yet, as Saint Paul tells us in
1 Corinthians 15, that Jesus Christ is "The perfect image of the Invisible God". The question might be asked: Was this image without substance?
This was one of the early Church heresies, and not a belief generally current in the Church today.
Further, the Article speaks of God being 'without passions'. The Biblical record would have us think otherwise. And where Jesus was concerned, we are aware of his empathy, his anger at times, and of his all-pervading passion for justice.
In this Season of Lent, we shall be commemorating the Passion of Christ in the lead-up to Holy week and Easter. What does this say about a passionless God? And should we be bound to this particular understanding of God as an 'Article of Faith'?
How refreshing to read former Chaplain (Canterbury, at Northern Arizona U.) Harkins list/summary of how to be church. It squares nicely still, with the parameters we learned/put into practice in a summer quarter of chaplaincy training (St. Luke's Hops Center, New York City), ever so long ago, summer, 1973. In the post reply thread, dissent as well as recognition began to emerge. Some posters worried that the loss of an objective truth in scripture would turn the whole business of following Jesus into mush. Others worried that Harkins was asking the wrong question, as in: Why don't the young folks come to our existing church, just as it is? Instead of: How can we grow/change in ways that don't bar or distance people from finding us?
I can't help thinking/feeling that I really would have enjoyed being part of Canterbury at NAU during Chaplain Harkins' tenure. Thanks lots.
I look forward to Scott Gunn's commentary on the 39 Articles. They are printed with other historic documents at the back of the American BCP, and were a refuge from boring sermons when I was growing up. It was quite interesting to study them in church history class at seminary. If Gunn can make head or tails out of the one on predestination, he deserves a medal!
'without passions': The new film, Limitless, starring Robert De Niro, explores the idea of a clear pill that imparts unlimited recall (with side effects).
It's often said that hindsight is 20/20. We can only imagine what it might be like to know and over-rule the past, present and future for every aspect of the universe. The difference: 'God is not a man that He should lie, nor the son of man that He should repent'
In spite of this, the scripture still manages to ascribe a range of very human emotions, including love, spousal jealousy and regret. Of the ante-diluvean world, God declares, 'It repents me that I have made man'
We can only reconcile this paradox by qualifying the ascribed emotions as anthropomorphisms. Although the incarnation of Christ did intimately and irrevocably unite God with our human experience and ennoble us, it did not deify human nature itself. Indeed, through His brutal and hellish suffering, Christ 'judged sin in the flesh'.
It is He who knows and can impart the continuing moral strength of Pentecost's Mighty Spirit to overcome the susceptibilities of our nature with grace, including the vagaries of our unbridled emotionalism.