Archive for July, 2013

More of those 39 Anglican Articles of Religion: Sin, Salvation, Predestination, Election and much more!

July 29, 2013

Sunday’s class (July 28, 2013) was on Articles 15-18. These are the last of the Articles dealing with personal salvation and I think you will find the discussion interesting. There was a handout, and you can see it by clicking on LP 39 Articles Wk 5 FMT. The recording is about 45 minutes and you can hear it here. If you scroll down, you can check out the first 14 of the Articles. Why do we need doctrine? Good question and you need to stick around here for the answer. Now, I better get back to my two classes I am currently taking to wrap up the MMIN program.


The Anglican Articles on Original Sin, Free Will, Justification, and Works

July 21, 2013

I have spent this summer as a near slave of my seminary professors. I am taking the final two classes of my MMin at the Anglican School of Ministry: Spiritual Formation and Sacramental Theology. This is a load of reading, projects, and a class paper. I have also been one of the teachers in an adult education series at St. Andrews in Little Rock on the 39 Articles of Religion. You can scroll down for the recordings of the first three weeks. Here is the handout: LP 39 Articles Wk 4 FMT and this link takes you to an audio recording of week four.

The doctrine of a religion is the most important way we as informed lay people have of holding clergy and appointed teachers accountable. It is also true that the more we know about God, the more we will appreciate his kind intentions for humanity and grow to love him. Doctrine is not the idle pastime of academic elites. It really matters to the man and woman in the pews.

Stephen Harrell: Bible Verse Arms Race

July 5, 2013

Scot McKnight posted this on his Jesus Creed blog, and it deals with an important matter. If you live in the south, you have probably encountered the people who use the Bible like a billy-club. It might be useful to recall that, when he appeared before the Council of Nicea in 325, Arius brought a thick stack of Bible verses supposedly proving that Jesus is not God. Scripture is easily misused, and more easily used to back up preexisting prejudices. Here is a sample of Stephen Harrell’s essay and the link follows.

This is why the Bible Verse Arms Race is not a very good way to discover Biblical truth. When two people, each with a firmly held “faith,” find as many verses as possible to uphold their belief and dismiss the others, no one leaves convinced of anything except that the other person is stubborn. (Including, I might add, an increasingly post-modern, relativist world that sees these debates as archaic and disingenuous.)

I think Jesus offers a solution in Matthew 7:15-20, when He warns against false prophets. “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit … Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”

In much of our Christian culture, the evidence of “good faith” is belief in the “right answers” of Christianity, defended by a large collection of Bible Verses. Jesus’ words in Matthew 7 directly challenge this notion, as He proposes good deeds are the tangible effects of good faith.


Bible Verse Arms Race.