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Showing posts from August, 2007

The 39 Articles Not Ambiguous

I’m reading J. I. Packer’s book The Thirty-Nine Articles. In it, Packer says that the Articles are not ambiguous, as some aver. Rather, they are 1) minimalistic, in that they don’t deal with the secondary issues of topics covered, and 2) eclectic. containing elements of the ecumenical creeds from the first centuries, Swiss reformed elements, Lutheran, and Reformed or Calvinistic elements. An example of how the Articles do expressly take a stand on issues is what we find in Articles 28 & 29 on the Lord’s Supper. – p. 608 in the 1928. Article 28: parag. 1 – this is against Zwinglian ideas – not a partaking of the body and blood parag. 2 – against Rome & transubstantiation parag. 3 – against the Lutheran view of consubstantiation – Calvin’s language is used instead parag. 4 – against Romanist practices Article 29: this is against Lutheran consubstantiation; it was opposed by one or two pro-Lutheran bishops. On the Lord’s Supper, the Ang. Ch. de

What’s right with the Church

This piece is published in the most recent issue of the St. Luke's Episcopal Church (EMC) Sentinel . I thought I'd pass it along. What’s right with the Church By the Rev. Victor H. Morgan It is not hard these days to hear what’s wrong in the Church. Samuel John Stone words penned in 1866 seem very contemporary: “By schisms rent asunder, By heresies distrest.” A few weeks ago, for example, a friend of mine in England told me she had attended an ordination service in which one of the hymns had been altered so as to remove the word “Saviour”, seemingly because the one ordering the service no longer believed that the human family needed rescue and hence a “saviour”. A second example, on this side of the Atlantic, includes a Seattle female minister, the Rev. Ann Holmes, who recently announced that she was now both a Muslim and Christian. What, of course, makes her announcement so startling is that within Islam there can be no incarnation of the one

Thoughts on the Spiritual Life - XXIV - H. C. G. Moule

Chapter vi continued, Part II. The Christian’s Peace As we turn to this delightful branch of the subject, let us read again the language of Phil. iv. 7: “The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (lit., shall garrison) your hearts and minds, in Christ Jesus.” The harmony in contrast, of which I spoke in the first words of the chapter, is suggested, is explained, by that quotation. We have just been contemplating a battle-field, and its critical point, held by the Christian, assailed by his spiritual foes. We look at it, so to speak, from the outside, and it is a fort, an entrenchment, surrounded by a tide of battle. Here we are given a view of the interior, and we see its defender, its maintainer, amidst that angry tide, nevertheless in peace, kept in peace, garrisoned and sentinelled with peace. Occupying a position in its nature impregnable, and using weapons in their nature impenetrable and infallible, he stands, he resists, he engage

Three Important Graces - Luke 17:1-10

Sermon for the Feast of The Transfiguration Preached on the Ninth Sunday After Trinity The Gospels are a special form of literature, written primarily for the purpose of evangelism. In them the story of Jesus is preserved for the world, that we might know Him, and through Him be reconciled to God. They are also repositories of the sayings of Jesus, the teaching that He gave while He was with us, which is so very important for the life of the Church. There are times in the Gospels when the writers seem to pause from their narrative to simply include sayings of Jesus that don’t necessarily fit their narrative. We have such a situation in Luke 17:1-10, which you will find in your programme. These verses are found after the story of the lost son, or the prodigal son, and before the story of the ten lepers, of which only one returned to thank Jesus for his healing. People try to see how verse 1 of chapter 17 could have followed the story of the lost son, but we can

Thoughts on the Spiritual Life - XXIII - H. C. G. Moule

Conclusion of Chapter vi, Part I 4. Remember next what the point of vantage is, from which we are to pray and watch that He who keeps us “will not suffer our feet to be moved.” The tenth verse of our chapter informs us; all-important information! It is nothing less than “ the Lord .” “Stand fast in (not only near, but in) the Lord, and in the power of His might.” Weigh the words well. Let them not pass as a mere sacred phrase, a mere formula of the religious dialect. They are concerned with the central facts of our spiritual life and power. “In the Lord” lies your secret, our secret, of love, and peace, and joy; of victory and progress; of heavenly temper in earthly duty; of all we need for life and work in His name. Union with our glorious Redeemer and Head, wrought in us by that Holy Spirit through whom we were born again; communion with Christ Jesus, wrought in us by that same Spirit as He leads us on; all this lies hidden “in the Lord.” The phrase, in

Celebrating Jesus - Three Parables of Luke 15

I recently read an interesting story, with which I could identify, having been in similar circumstances. Bishop N.T. Wright and his family had just moved to a dream location: at the end of a road, near a lake; all quiet and secluded. The first Saturday night, chaos broke out. They were flooded with loud music, amplified voices making announcements, cheers of crowds, and fireworks. The noise continued well into the wee hours of the morning. It was a nightmare. It turned out, however, that it was caused by an annual event held by the local yacht club. Thankfully it was not to be every week! The story was told because it illustrated how it is that one person’s celebration can be another person’s annoyance, especially if they do not understand the reason for the celebration. In Luke 15, we have one of the best known and loved chapters in the whole Bible. It contains the three parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son, otherwise

Thoughts on the Spiritual Life - XXII - H. C. G. Moule

Chapter VI, Continued 2. Thus much about the connexion. Think next of the enemies presented to our thought by St. Paul . What are they, who are they? In our Baptism we were dedicated and sealed to a manful warfare against an unholy triple Alliance – “the world, the flesh, and the devil;” and we shall have to deal with all the three even to the end. But the present passage isolates, as it were, the third member of the alliance, and deals with it alone. It presents us with the fact of personal spirits of evil, under their great head and chief, actively at work and at war against us. In one respect, such a view includes within it the remembrance of the world and the flesh. For the personal evil powers, assuredly, to a degree greater than we ever realize, organize and energize the attack, from whatever quarter it comes. Diabolus, in the pages of that wonderful book, Bunyan’s Holy War , knew how to attack from without, both by assault, and by parley with weak