Archive for September, 2012

What Historical Jesus Research Sometimes Seems like— the Beatles rediscovered 1,000 years from Now

September 30, 2012

Ben Witherington posted this on his excellent Bible and Culture blog. This is actually a very good item dealing with “the search for the historical Jesus.”

What Historical Jesus Research Sometimes Seems like— the Beatles rediscovered 1,000 years from Now.

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Collect for St. Michael and All Angels

September 29, 2012

O EVERLASTING God, who hast ordained and constituted the services of Angels and men in a wonderful order; Mercifully grant that, as thy holy Angels always do thee service in heaven, so, by thy appointment, they may succour and defend us on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Some thoughts on “Lincoln” – the man and the movie

September 28, 2012

President Abraham Lincoln occupies a unique position as political and spiritual leader. The former was attained through the electoral process. His principle intention was to preserve the Union intact; all of it, every last square foot. The secessionist states had previously received a great deal of improvements and military assistance to maintain the social order which, oh by the way, included the routine buying and selling of human beings. One must not get too indignant over the offenses of another generation. President Lincoln was, in the first instance, willing to allow slavery to survive if it could be contained within the existing southern states.

Lincoln was a political pragmatist. When he spoke in south Illinois, the racial slurs flow freely. Up in the north part of the state, the language was much more restrained. Two faced? Absolutely. Devoted to the survival and expansion of America? Certainly.

The assassination of President Lincoln altered his place in history by changing a regular man with the typical faults into a civic saint. Forget that Lincoln raised taxes, imposed a military draft, and suspended habeas corpus. John Wilkes Booth rewrote American history with a single bullet. Mind you, I am not signing on with the bunch of historical revisers that have so denounced the 16th President. Lincoln needs to be enshrined as a great man and national savior.
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Collect for St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist

September 21, 2012

O ALMIGHTY God, who by thy blessed Son didst call Matthew from the receipt of custom to be an Apostle and Evangelist; Grant us grace to forsake all covetous desires, and inordinate love of riches, and to follow the same thy Son Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

Why I am still an Anglican

September 15, 2012

The summer academic  term is a memory now, and it is a good one. As a student, I participated in an academic class at the Anglican School of Ministry, “BIB 505: Using Exegetical Tools.” It is a new offering at ASM and one of the most difficult and useful classes I have taken. (I am in the new MMin program.)  It is especially appropriate for an adult learner who does not have biblical languages. Anybody handling the scriptures needs to have a knowledge of several academic topics and the use of concordances, lexicons, dictionaries, and so on.

On the other side of the educational world, I conducted a “continuing ed” level course on “Anglicanism>” It was enlightening and frustrating. It is clear that, since the 1500s (actually since about 30 AD) the church has faced the same issues dressed up in period costumes according to historical context. We are troubled by the failings of ego, status seeking, tunnel vision, inflexibility and the ever dominant pride. Did I leave out greed?  If there is any of that in the Anglican experience, I do not find much of it. Maybe I am wrong. Fallen human nature is a unified collection of moral weaknesses.

It is difficult to speak coherently about American Anglicanism because there seems to be very little common ground. The Book of Common Prayer is, in the first place, more typically a pamphlet of common prayer, or the projection screen of common prayer. This is a far journey from a single unifying book of liturgy and doctrine. The modern freedom of word processing permits “cut and paste” worship, and that means that every parish will have a distinctive expression of faith. That may seem benign, but the underlying problem is that the cutting and pasting is often accomplished by people, sometimes educated and  well-intentioned, who are ill-equipped to appreciate the importance of moving or removing a line or two here or there.

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Pat Lynch’s last word on Fr. Benedict Groschel – Shooting The Messenger | The American Conservative

September 14, 2012

Once again Pat Lynch has bet on the losing team. So what else is new?

When I first read of Fr. Groschel’s unfortunate misstep, I was offended by the smug tone and the use of “guilt by association” being used by his accusers. Having experienced that boot being shoved down my throat more than once, it was a visceral and personal reaction. Since I have already taken up this now hopeless cause, I may as well go the whole distance and admit that I still think Groschel got a bum rap and is still being mistreated. After a lifetime of faithful service and enduring all the things that go along with public ministry, the old priest is “thanked” by his own order by being labeled “senile.” Nice going guys. That’s the way to encourage intelligent young people to give their lives to Christ. As an Anglican, I don’t agree with half of what Groschel says anyway, but he surely deserves better.

Furthermore, just so you will be justified if you come down and shoot me, I am also of the opinion that the reporter, his editors, or somebody, should have “cleansed” the story of Groschel’s incomprehensible statements. I have thought this through. The news is whatever we say it is. The confused miscues of an older cleric are not news, they are unsightly piles of unmentionable something in the middle of a beautiful garden. Journalistic integrity? You must be kidding!
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Navigating the “Three Streams:” Some Second Thoughts about a Popular Typology

September 3, 2012

Here is a wonderful essay on “three streams” Anglicanism. I am so pleased that Dr. Gillis Harp has had the courage to say what I have only been thinking.

As theologically conservative Anglicans have in recent years sought to cooperate in constructing an orthodox Anglican province in North America, many have referred to the process as a coming together of “three streams.” Usually, they are referring to Catholic, Evangelical (or Protestant) and Pentecostal (or Charismatic) traditions or “tributaries” being channeled into a single “river.” It is difficult to determine exactly where this model originated. Church of South India Bishop Lesslie Newbigin wrote a short book, The Household of God, back in 1953 that referred to these three elements and how their distinctive characteristics complimented each other.[i]

More than thirty years later, Gordon-Conwell church historian Richard Lovelace wrote a brief (though influential) article for Charisma magazine that argued that “there are many signs that history is moving” in the direction of organic unity between Catholic, Protestant and Pentecostal streams. Among the signs he cited was the work of David du Plessis with Roman Catholic and Protestant Charismatic groups, and pointed to a large rally of Catholic and Protestant neo-Pentecostals held in Kansas City in 1977.[ii] But not only Charismatics are fond of this “three streams” language, since the late 1970s, this terminology has come into favour with evangelicals of different sorts who have discovered church history and been drawn toward liturgical Christian traditions, including Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy and, most significant for readers of Mandate, Anglicanism. Many of the goals that the “three streams” advocates identify are laudable. Those of us committed to classical Anglicanism can endorse the first three put forth by the late Robert E. Webber:

1. A restored commitment to the sacraments, especially the Lord’s Table.
2. An increased motivation to know more about the early church.
3. A love for the whole church and a desire to see the church as one.

Yet the thinking behind these goals and the ways some have sought to blend the three streams call for further, less sentimental reflection based upon better historical and theological analysis.

Read it all here.

VirtueOnline – News.