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Welcome to Stand Firm!

A Brief Chat with Bishop Iker

Friday, July 11, 2008 • 11:22 am


This morning I had the opportunity to ask Fort Worth Bishop Jack Iker a few questions.

Some Anglo-Catholics have deep misgivings about GAFCON, particularly its emphasis on the 39 Articles and the 1662 Prayer Book. They are wondering if there is going to be any place for them in this new coalition, and if it will be one where they are merely tolerated. What do you say to people who are suspicious of GAFCON’s accommodations of Anglo-Catholics?

Bishop Iker: GAFCON has a definite evangelical flavor about it, and this has been so from the very beginning with the selection of the planning group.  However, the leadership of the movement is committed to being sensitive to the needs of Anglo-Catholics in the formation of the province in North America that is now underway.  As a minority group in the Communion, Anglo-Catholics have often been ignored, ridiculed or criticized, and it is understandable that many of us have certain misgivings about the future of the GAFCON movement based upon past realities.  That being said, while it is clear that there is no future in The Episcopal Church for traditional Anglo-Catholics,  there will be a secure, respected place for us in the province being birthed.  Our theological perspective and liturgical practices will be permitted, protected and honored.  Our succession of catholic bishops will be secured.

It is important to remember that the direction of the province that is envisioned will be under the Common Cause Partnership, and for this reason, we must look primarily to the wording of Theological Statement agreed upon by Common Cause some time ago.  There are some slight differences in wording and emphasis in that document from the final statement that came out of the Jerusalem meeting.  Suffice it to say that Anglo-Catholics in the future will continue to regard the 1662 Prayer Book, the 39 Articles, liturgical practices, and the Councils of the patristic church just as the Oxford Movement did under Pusey, Keble, and Newman, our fathers in the faith.

Here are a few quotes from the Common Cause Partnership Theological Statement that deserve careful comparison with the relevant parallel parts of the final Statement on the Global Anglican Future. 

“5. Concerning the seven Councils of the undivided Church, we affirm the teaching of the first four Councils and the Christological clarifications of the fifth, sixth and seventh Councils, in so far as they are agreeable to the Holy Scriptures.

6. We receive The Book of Common Prayer as set forth by the Church of England in 1662, together with the Ordinal attached to the same, as a standard for Anglican doctrine and discipline, and, with the Books which preceded it, as the standard for the Anglican tradition of worship.

7. We receive the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion of 1562, taken in their literal and grammatical sense, as expressing the Anglican response to certain doctrinal issues controverted at that time, and as expressing the fundamental principles of authentic Anglican belief.”

A careful comparative reading of the two similar documents will be illuminating.  I would conclude with the following quote from the Common Cause Theological Statement:

“The Anglican Communion,” Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher wrote, “has no peculiar thought, practice, creed or confession of its own. It has only the Catholic Faith of the ancient Catholic Church, as preserved in the Catholic Creeds and maintained in the Catholic and Apostolic constitution of Christ’s Church from the beginning.” It may licitly teach as necessary for salvation nothing but what is read in the Holy Scriptures as God’s Word written or may be proved thereby. It therefore embraces and affirms such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the Scriptures, and thus to be counted apostolic. The Church has no authority to innovate: it is obliged continually, and particularly in times of renewal or reformation, to return to “the faith once delivered to the saints.”

To be an Anglican, then, is not to embrace a distinct version of Christianity, but a distinct way of being a “Mere Christian,” at the same time evangelical, apostolic, catholic, reformed, and Spirit-filled.”

This is where we are headed with Common Cause, and Anglo-Catholics can joyfully and confidently be a part of the same.

What are your thoughts on the Church of England’s decision to consecrate women to the episcopacy? Will it have any effect on your plans for the diocese of Fort Worth?

Bishop Iker: The decision itself was not a surprise, as the C of E has been moving in this direction for several years.  What is a surprise - as well as highly offensive and deeply disturbing - is the refusal to offer any safeguards that would provide for a secure future for traditional Anglo-Catholics within the Church of England.  The dictatorial, heavy hand of liberalism shows its ugly side once again.  “Get with the program, or get out!”

It will have no effect on our plans in Fort Worth, at least not in the immediate future.


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Comments:

It is good to have this public statement from Bishop Iker.  Thanks.  I take this to mean that Common Cause leaders are committed to, at a bare minimum, the structural accommodation that the Church of England has just refused to offer.  Since Common Cause leaders all take the faith of Scripture and Creeds seriously, I am inclined to believe this commitment will be honored.

[1] Posted by Katherine on 07-11-2008 at 11:34 AM • top

Could Common Cause offer shelter to CofE Anglo-Catholics?

[2] Posted by oscewicee on 07-11-2008 at 11:53 AM • top

It’s interesting that Bishop Iker claims Newman as a father in the faith since he repudiated his interpretation of the 39 Articles and went to Rome in consequence of his being unable to affirm the 39 Articles with integrity.

[3] Posted by Sarah on 07-11-2008 at 11:53 AM • top

If +Iker is comfortable with GAFCON I’ll rest a bit easier, but I’m not sanguine. 
Greg, thanks for posing these questions to him.

[4] Posted by evan miller on 07-11-2008 at 11:55 AM • top

That is why the 39 Articles need some re-think, even for those in the orthodox side of things.  It’s Reformationist bent pokes the eyes of Anglo-Catholics and is far too reactionary to Rome’s Medieval abuses.  But a process of revision in Council is the right way to manage it, not by fiat the way the Loon Left do.

-Jim+

[5] Posted by FrJim on 07-11-2008 at 11:57 AM • top

No way I or many evangelicals I know would be able to sign onto a watered down version of the articles.

[6] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 07-11-2008 at 12:03 PM • top

Read point #7 carefully re: the Articles: “...as expressing the Anglican response to certain doctrinal issues controverted at that time…” 

+JLI

[7] Posted by Bishop Iker on 07-11-2008 at 12:06 PM • top

Thank you, Bishop, for helping clarify our position on these points. I’ve had to calm a few nerves among my friends and associates on the 39 Articles, and to do so I pointed to the CCP Theological Statement and the interpretations of the Oxford Fathers. Glad to see I was on the right track!
May God be with you as you bring a faithful witness to Lambeth.

[8] Posted by texanglican on 07-11-2008 at 12:17 PM • top

Sarah,

Newman would have to repudiated his interpretation of the 39 Articles when he went to Rome, RCC has VERY defined understanding of things and anyone who accepts Romes interpretation should with integrity go to Rome. If compared with the Eastern Orthodox, then there is much common understanding (as I’m trying to study, but certainly in listening much is more common, with drastic differences). If there is bishops of bishops in succession of Peter than our 39 Articles would be repugnant.

[9] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 07-11-2008 at 12:19 PM • top

Matt #6, No way I or many evangelicals I know would be able to garner safe harbor without faithful Anglo-Catholics alongside.

[10] Posted by JAC+ on 07-11-2008 at 12:19 PM • top

JAC+
which is why the present arrangement is best for all.

Change the reformed distinctives of the 39 articles and the present peace will end

[11] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 07-11-2008 at 12:26 PM • top

Bishop Iker, I hope we will be hearing more from you and the other Common Cause Bishops throughout Lambeth and in the process of finalizing the Gafcon confessing Anglicans movement (for want of a definitive title).  That hope, because the voices of those who would decry GAFCON and mislead and divide the hopeful have been so loud and strident.

Thank you so much for giving us encouragement and clarity.

Our prayers and blessings are with you.

[12] Posted by Theodora on 07-11-2008 at 12:28 PM • top

Thank you for posting +Iker’s comments.  I hope in time I can be as confident as he.  It still appears to me that the Jerusalem Declaration and the Common Cause Partnership Theological Statement (which I like) are at odds with each other, or at least are not easily interfaced unless (yet) another declaration is issued which resolves the tensions between them. 

I agree with Matt on one point.  The Articles should not be tinkered with.  They are what they are.  Tinkering with them not only would potentially “water” them down, but, more alarmingly, might afford them a more thoroughgoing “confesional status” than what is warranted in a catholic Communion, and thus fly in the face of Archbishop Fisher’s worthy remarks.

Rather, the Articles ought to be relegated to their proper context, interpreted accordingly, and honored as an inheritance “expressing the fundamental principles of Anglican belief” as the Common Cause statement states so well.  Perhaps we can then actually listen to the voices of later worthies, such as Newman, Pusey and Keble.

[13] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 07-11-2008 at 12:28 PM • top

watered down is something that needs to scutinized, in a language most can understand would be not modernized but a document the average lay person could interpret more clearly. Thank you Bp. Iker for laboring in His name. The language at that time gets los on some people, whch is why the NRSV versions & such may now out sell the KJV. I don’t want comprimise but clarity.

[14] Posted by Mtn gospel on 07-11-2008 at 12:30 PM • top

As a novice in theology, I get a bit perplexed by all this “Anglo-Catholic” vs. “Evangelical” stuff. 
I’m also a novice in the missionary bit, but what I’ve noticed, in the last 5 years of going to India, is that everyone works together to proclaim the Gospel—whatever flavor or stripe of Christianity. 
Whether anglo-catholic, evangelical, charismatic—I believe we need to stick together to resist the works of the devil and preach Jesus.  But maybe I don’t understand….  Jane Edwin’s wife

[15] Posted by Edwin on 07-11-2008 at 12:47 PM • top

#14
What is unclear about the language of the Articles or the KJV?  Seems the KJV was good enough to evangelize the Global South.

[16] Posted by evan miller on 07-11-2008 at 01:29 PM • top

I like Iker.  Really I do.  wink

[17] Posted by B. Hunter on 07-11-2008 at 01:45 PM • top

I don’t have a problem with either version. I still read the KJV occasionally as personally the new versions take away from some parts of scripture. But sometimes trying to interpret a rambling Apostle Paul takes as much help as I personally can get. Maybe you do not need an RSV , but as one who does his best to study scripture I will read KJV, NRSV & will somtimes refer to a study guide for further understanding. It seems every time I re-read a piece of scripture I learn something new. can you not learn something new from scriptures , If not send me your study & I Might read it also. I am picky about what I consider acceptable.Neither version would hinder me as acceptance however, I have limits to reinterpretation as there seem to be some modern versions of the Bible that are totally unacceptable.

Do you not think a NRSV version has reached GS yet???

Also, will the new GS AC require only KJV??? Inquiring minds want to know.

[18] Posted by Mtn gospel on 07-11-2008 at 01:46 PM • top

Matt:  “No way I or many evangelicals I know would be able to sign onto a watered down version of the articles.”

I worry about Gafcon and how a future province in America will be able to provide a cohesive and united front if your comment is indicative of evangelicals.  I believe it is absolutely essential that those who leave TEC and CoC be able to commune together in one province and splinter no further.

Bill

[19] Posted by Bill C on 07-11-2008 at 01:47 PM • top

It would give me great joy to see some inter anglican theological dialogues. I am sure that Matt or some other evangelicals do not consider the 39 articles infallible.  I am also sure that much of Anglo-catholicism would be agreeable to evangelicals. I mean how many of us have really read the Ecumenical councils 5-7?  I am sure that if we could affirm most of what is in those it would make the A-C’s happy.  It seems that the Eucharist is the real elephant in the middle of the Room.  If we could agree on some form of Real presence a lot of the tensions would be resolved.  Simply stating what is or is not acceptable will not help us or “the common cause.”

http://www.commoncause.wordpress.com

[20] Posted by ACNApriest on 07-11-2008 at 01:53 PM • top

#18
I think the KJV should be used exclusively for public worship and I use it as the gold standard to check against various modern translations.  For study, I use the American Standard Bible and my chursh uses the NIV, but when they differ, I always return to the KJV.  I am in complete agreement with you about the unacceptability of many of the more recent paraphrase versions.  Some ghastly stuff out there.  Attempts to render Scripture into street language usually descend into banality and are frankly offensive, and I distrust many mid to late 20th Century translations as subject to the infection from the spirit of the age.

[21] Posted by evan miller on 07-11-2008 at 01:53 PM • top

Dumb ? to someone who knows from someone who still studies. Are Th 39 Articles in the 1979 BCP in the same language as 1562 version?

[22] Posted by Mtn gospel on 07-11-2008 at 01:54 PM • top

As a point of information, would anyone here say—with confidence—that there is a distinct Anglo-catholic view about what it means to be a church?
I mean “distinct” in the sense that a follower of Calvin (via Van Til or Frame of RTS, say) would be compelled to differ.
Unless I am mistaken, it seems to me Bishop Iker would say “No” to this.

[23] Posted by The Anglican Scotist on 07-11-2008 at 01:54 PM • top

#22
If you mean are they in the Elizabethean language of the 1662 BCP, the answer is yes, with minor variations if I recall correctly.

[24] Posted by evan miller on 07-11-2008 at 01:57 PM • top

Evan Miller ,
  I am in complete agreement with you. Thanks. Peace.

[25] Posted by Mtn gospel on 07-11-2008 at 01:59 PM • top

Mtn gospel,
In answer to your question about whether the GAFCON folks will require the KJV only, I wish the answer were “yes”, but I fear it will more likely be something like th NIV.

[26] Posted by evan miller on 07-11-2008 at 02:03 PM • top

Thanks Bp. Iker - from someone who grew up with Virginia Churchmanship. 

wink

[26] With the participation of J I Packer, you may see the ESV.

[27] Posted by tired on 07-11-2008 at 02:10 PM • top

I think the KJV is a beautiful version. But I also think the ESV is far better both in terms of translation and in terms of common use.

[28] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 07-11-2008 at 02:10 PM • top

Whoa, whoa, whoa, what’s this business about having to have a “correct” version of the Bible?  Why would GAFCON even be thought of as requiring KJV? I must have missed a memo somewhere, let’s see I’ve got the one from Chapman…

[29] Posted by Widening Gyre on 07-11-2008 at 02:11 PM • top

*Everybody* has the one from Chapman. wink

[30] Posted by oscewicee on 07-11-2008 at 02:13 PM • top

As a matter of the 39 articles, once God brought me out of my former life, I returned to the Episcopal Church and Anglicanism specifically because of the 39 articles. If they were to be jettisoned or changed in such a way that the Reformed doctrines of sola fide, sola scriptura etc were edited out, I could no longer in good conscience be an Anglican. It would be like telling an Anglo-catholic that we can retain all the smells and bells of the liturgy just so long as we do away with the concept of real presence. It would simply be unworkable.

[31] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 07-11-2008 at 02:14 PM • top

The NIV is an excellent and accurate translation.  Neither it nor the TNIV have the Apocrypha.
There is quite a difference between a good solid translation and a paraphrase like the Living Bible or The Message.
Rudy+

[32] Posted by Rudy on 07-11-2008 at 02:14 PM • top

As Bishop Iker suggests, the Thirty-nine Articles were meant to address the controversies of their day (and Vatican II answered some of the Reformation claims by agreeing with some of those very claims of the early Protestants, claims which were unacceptable to the Council of Trent, and we must also recognize that Rome has come to valid ecumenical agreements with the Lutherans over the nature of the doctrine of justification).  The point here is that we are living neither in “1562” nor 1662, and neither is Rome.  As Lincoln said in an all-too-similar crisis moment, “As our case is new, we must think anew.”

  Perhaps the solution to our “divide” is to treat the Articles themselves much like the text of the U.S. Constitution, and to append judiciously considered “amendments” which interpret, clarify, bring up to date both those issues which are no longer relevant, which are open to individual conscience, and which are crucial to our moment and urgently need to be addressed.  (You will notice that neither WO nor LGBTXYZ-O are no where addressed in the Articles, and THOSE are pressing issues now.)  The amendment process is an “American innovation,” I know, but it beats the hell out of smoke, fog, mirrors, fudge, and outright deception that the “listening process” has b

[33] Posted by rwightman+ on 07-11-2008 at 02:19 PM • top

#29
+Duncan called for an authorized version of the Bible some time ago.  In the UK, the KJV is often referred to as “the Authorized Version” as well it should be.

[34] Posted by evan miller on 07-11-2008 at 02:20 PM • top

...has been.

End of post.  Just didn’t want anyone to think that there was more deleted than a word or two.

Courage,
RNW+

[35] Posted by rwightman+ on 07-11-2008 at 02:23 PM • top

re: GS and Bible versions

In my time among Anglicans in Kenya, in English services I saw the NIV most often, the KJV next.  The Bible I was given at my ordination to the diaconate in Southern Nyanza is a parallel English Good News Version/Swahili Habari Njema.

I certainly doubt (and hope I am right) that any GS province is KJB-only.

[36] Posted by James Manley on 07-11-2008 at 02:27 PM • top

As much as I may (or not )agree with Matt may I suggest we avoid a discussion on translations right now? I fear a sidelining away from Bp Ikers statements.

[37] Posted by Stefano on 07-11-2008 at 02:27 PM • top

evan miller:

You complain of Bibles translated into “street language” English.

The New Testament was written in the streetest street language possible in first-century Greek, not flowery oratory Greek, but Koine Greek of the marketplace and tavern. When the Apostles quoted the Old Testament, they generally ignored the formal, classical Hebrew texts and instead quoted the Septuagint, a translation of the Old Testament into (again) the streetest street language possible in Greek.

[38] Posted by James Manley on 07-11-2008 at 02:30 PM • top

Perhaps the solution to our “divide” is to treat the Articles themselves much like the text of the U.S. Constitution, and to append judiciously considered “amendments” which interpret, clarify, bring up to date both those issues which are no longer relevant, which are open to individual conscience, and which are crucial to our moment and urgently need to be addressed.

Amending them should probably be as difficult as amending the Constitution, too.

[39] Posted by oscewicee on 07-11-2008 at 02:31 PM • top

Matt is sola fide and sola scriptura incompatible with the real presence and the historic three-fold ordering of the church?  The former seem to be at the heart of the articles and the latter at the heart of anglo-catholicism. I do not see why we can affirm them both.  The only real tension I see btw Catholics and Evangelicals in anglicanism is the ordination of women.  Which can be argued from scripture <a > if we are willing… </a>

[40] Posted by ACNApriest on 07-11-2008 at 02:34 PM • top

#38
That’s totally beside the point.  What we first received (be it Coverdale, Tynedal, or the KJV) was in a particular form of English that became the language of the English church and that of the church in the English speaking world for over 400 years.  Worked fine far past when that form of English ceased to be the language of everyday discourse, and no less effective for that.

[41] Posted by evan miller on 07-11-2008 at 02:34 PM • top

Amending them should probably be as difficult as amending the Constitution, too.

The tell tale sign of “confessionalism” is that a confession becomes or is recognized as the constitution of a particular church.  We are not Lutherans.  We are Anglicans.  I’m afraid you will lose many catholics by trying to turn the Articles into our “constitution.”

Why can’t we simply see the Articles for the historic document that it is, which served to mark out a course that was distinct from both Romanism and Continental Protestantism?  They have served us well in that capacity.  Let’s honor them in that way.

[42] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 07-11-2008 at 02:39 PM • top

I am with #19 here and am very unsettled.  As +Iker points out #7 of the CCP Theological Statement was probably worded as it is as a conciliar action of the Evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics participating in its formation.  It is a way forward TOGETHER (which would be a vast improvement from how we’ve been proceeding to date).
Unfortunately, I see very little which should comfort individual laity of whatever tradition as the new province forms.  If one is not already part of a group or congregation in existence in an area where resistence will be significant to CCP or GAFCON, how does one go anywhere?

[43] Posted by aacswfl1 on 07-11-2008 at 02:40 PM • top

“Matt is sola fide and sola scriptura incompatible with the real presence and the historic three-fold ordering of the church?”

Not at all. I believe in real presence. I am far more Lutheran than Calvinist in my understanding of the Eucharist (although Calvin was not a memorialist by any means). The point was that take away or start messing with one side of the delicate balance achieved and you gore somebody’s ox. Why not keep them all since they are all in accord with compatible with scripture?

[44] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 07-11-2008 at 02:52 PM • top

Matt,
where do you think the Anglo-Catholic & Evangelical disagreement lies?  If it is not the sacraments what is it?

[45] Posted by ACNApriest on 07-11-2008 at 02:57 PM • top

Actually, I agree with Fr. Kennedy that we should not tamper with the wording of the 39 Articles. It would simply open a massive can of worms. Leave them alone, and admit as acceptable traditions of interpretation both those methods commonly used by Evangelicals and by Anglo-Catholics. After all, that worked fine for more than a century in England, Australia, etc, when priests had to sign on to the Articles before ordination, whatever their churchmanship. In other words, Fr. Kennedy is free to understand them as J.I. Packer does (if he wishes), I am free to understand them as Keble and Pusey did. Then let us join hands and work to build up the Kingdom together. This Evangelical vs. Anglo-Catholic sqabbling serves no one but the Enemy. Onward Common Cause.

[46] Posted by texanglican on 07-11-2008 at 03:25 PM • top

Amen, texanglican.

[47] Posted by oscewicee on 07-11-2008 at 03:30 PM • top

And I will withdraw the “constitutional proposal” to add my own “Amen.”  The fewer words we have to haggle about, the more respect we have for one another’s interpretations, the more we trust that our brother on the “other side of the aisle” IS our brother (or sister) in Christ, the sooner we can heal the divisions between us and get on with saving the souls who are lost.  If there’s one thing AMiA’s got absolutely right, it’s the mantra “IT’S ABOUT THE 130 MILLION!”- that’s people who do NOT know Christ and are in danger of perishing without Him as their Saviour. 

I may be Anglo-Catholic (would even be comfortable with the BCP in Latin), but what I REALLY want to see is a nine a.m. High Mass with every seat filled by Bible-believing, Spirit-filled CONVERTs from the pagan-world, singing “Alleluia, Sing to Jesus!” to shake the very Gates of Hell!  AND I’ll do an 8:00 service for the veterans of these vicious wars whose very real wounds need to be healed by Christ’s comfort and grace.  AND THEN an 11:00 service for those who need to HEAR the Gospel that God in Christ LOVES them, has nailed their sins to the Cross, and is not now nor ever again counting their sins against them (2 Cor. 5:19). 

Yeah, Anglo-Catholics and Evangelicals can do more than meet each other half-way; they can embrace heart-to-heart, and GET ON WITH IT, for the sake of the Gospel and the Lost.

And (I think) that’s all I’ve got to say ‘bout that.
Courage,
RNW+

[48] Posted by rwightman+ on 07-11-2008 at 05:55 PM • top

Amen and amen, rwightman+. I hope we hold onto this focus.

[49] Posted by oscewicee on 07-11-2008 at 05:58 PM • top

Haven’t we Anglo Catholics been living with the 39 Articles for a long time?  Has anybody suggested “watering them down”?  They have been a part of Anglicanism since the beginning and I hope nobody wants to mess with them.  The 39 Articles are a part of our heritage and should not be rewritten.  They have served us for a long time and according to both Common Cause and GAFCON shall continue to do so.  If +Iker supports GAFCON and the Jerusalem Statement, that is good enough for me.

[50] Posted by terrafirma on 07-11-2008 at 06:18 PM • top

Re KJV in GS:
I recall growing up (in the United States) reading “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” as meaning that I shouldn’t want the Lord as shepherd.
A Wycliffe colleague in Africa kept a rogue’s gallery of similar problems in the original Swahili translation that was (in the 1990s) still in common use in east Africa. I understand that it was done using the KJV as source text.

[51] Posted by Siangombe on 07-11-2008 at 06:54 PM • top

Read your 39 Articles carefully! They will reject Roman understanding in a few area out right, but they also are not that Reformed in other odd ways. We have baptismal regeneration, look at articles 25, 27 & 16 (I think Dr. Noll+‘s piece does a better treatment of the subject than we’ve usually bantered here). My favorite is 34 where if anyone is out of line with Tradition tht just cause it not shown where it’s unBiblical, we’re to rebuke openly in front of everyone.

My point is that I was in a study in which we covered the 39 Articles with all types in the room (former Methodists and Presbyterians as well as a former Catholic and me), they are not as Evangelical as everyone might thing (Article 3 I always thought not a usual position of most Reformed). 19, 21, 22, 25 & 28 would fly in the face of Roman understanding, but maybe not Eastern Orthodox, except demanding three other councils. They are definitely a mixed bag, but they are not all anti-Roman either but also not all completely Reformed ...

[52] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 07-11-2008 at 07:16 PM • top

#46

Amen, texanglican.

Ditto here!

[53] Posted by Henry on 07-11-2008 at 07:51 PM • top

[#55] MP wrote:

[W]e read a translation from a translation from a translation.

This isn’t true, MP.  The modern translations are not re-translations.  They are original translations of the best original texts.  You can argue that we do not have good copies of the autographs but this an historically untenable position.

In any case, your position leads immediately to skepticism, since you must eventually be driven to admit that you haven’t a clue what God ever said.  Ultimately, MP, you will be left with nothing but your own authority to determine things of metaphysical standing.  And that is a dangerous place to be.  You will be unable to distinguish it from “Every man does what is right in his own eyes.”

carl

[54] Posted by carl on 07-11-2008 at 08:58 PM • top

For anglo-catholics wondering about the 39 articles, I recommend, “An explanation of the thirty nine articles: With an epistle dedicatory to the Rev. E. B. Pusey.” by Bishop Alexander Forbes. You can order the paper-back from Amazon, the hardback from used book sellers, or download a pdf version (no kidding, 79 MB) from HERE. I own a copy, and it is a valiant attempt to square anglo-catholicism with the 39 articles as possible.

[55] Posted by TWilson on 07-11-2008 at 09:01 PM • top

I understand that the translators use the best and most original information in the new translations, and they are as I understand it, translations.

The modern texts are based upon the Nestle-Aland 27 text, which is an Alexandrian text type.  In what sense is the NA27 text a translation?

And in the end, to quote the Beatles, I will take a position based on my experience.

And so you will do what is right in your own eyes.  Experience isn’t a standard, MP.  It’s a process.  It is totally dependent upon the presuppositions you apply to it. You can’t determine right from wrong using experience.  You apply your experience to the standard of right and wrong in order to evaluate the outcome.  The standard is logically prior.  Without the standard, your experience would be unintelligible.

The question you must answer is “Where do my presuppositions come from?  What is the standard, and how did I arrive at it?”

carl

[56] Posted by carl on 07-11-2008 at 09:32 PM • top

Thank you for the link, TWilson.

[57] Posted by terrafirma on 07-11-2008 at 10:29 PM • top

I echo Matt on the ESV.  I have the Reformation Study Bible with ESV text. RC Sproul is the senior editor, and wrote much of the commentary. There is a definite Reformed slant in some places, but I find it to be a real help to my Bible study.  When I migrated from LCMS to the Episcopal Church, I carefully studied the BCP, the catechism, and the 39 articles.  When I was satisfied that these documents fit in with my understanding, I signed up.  This was in 1991.  I didn’t know then that the church represented by these documents had ceased to exist as such by then.  What a shame.  The 39 Articles used to be the standard ILO a confession. I still think of it as such.  I once did a cursory comparison of the 39 Articles and the Augsburg Confession.  You can see both Lutheran and Reformed doctrines reflected.

[58] Posted by Charles III on 07-11-2008 at 10:54 PM • top

[#60] MP wrote:

I would argue that experience is actually a, perhaps not THE, standard.

Consider how experience actually works. By definition it is employed after the fact.  You observe and evaluate.  Alternative 1 produces outcome 1.  Alternative 2 produces outcome 2.  Outcome 1 is judged superior to outcome 2 and therefore, alternative 1 is preferred.  But why is outcome 1 judged superior to outcome 2?  Some non-experiential criteria must be applied.  Different criteria produce different judgments.

Assume John is unhappily married to Marsha.  Alternative one is divorce.  Alternative 2 is staying in the marriage.  Now, which alternative does experience suggest is the right answer?  At this point, judgments will no longer be dictated by experiential criteria.  Prior assumptions regarding the nature of right and wrong take control of the outcome.  Eternal perspectives versus temporal perspectives come into play.  Is it more important for John to be happy, or for John to be faithful to his promise?  How does the impact on John’s happiness trade off against the impact on the happiness of John’s children?  An atheist who believes marriage is a contract between two autonomous individuals will come to a very different conclusion then the theist who considers marriage an institution established by God.

This is why experience can never be a standard.  The outcome is not fixed.  It is dependent upon the presuppositions of the observer.  And a standard is never dependent upon the observer.

carl

[59] Posted by carl on 07-12-2008 at 01:21 AM • top

A (typically) great statement from +Iker.
<hr width=29%>
Sarah #3 and others, easy on the 39 Articles.  Understood for what they are—essentially a rather minimal “taking sides” in the great points at issue in the Reformation—I, as one raised in a historically High diocese (Fond du Lac) have no problem with any of them, and need no Tract 90-style doublethink to embrace them. 

(I do have a problem, more aesthetic than theological, with Anglo-Catholics using the “Anglican Missal.”  To exchange Cranmer (1662, US 1928, Canada 1962) for Vatican II is to trade Escoffier for a TV dinner.  US 1979, of course, is simply arsenic.)

Consider, for example, Predestination.  It’s not really a hot button any more even among Evangelicals.  Few (e.g.) Presbyterian theologians emphasize it nowadays; they seem to have realized, as CS Lewis and other interpreters imply, that when dealing with a God who created time itself (Gen 1:5), and an omniscience that extends to each lonely hydrogen atom in deep space (Luke 12:6), human notions of “before” and “after” are laughably puny intellectual weapons (Isaiah 55:8).  Do de Greek word mysterion ring a bell?  Calvin was not exactly wrong; he just misunderstood the question.  So the Articles dodge the issue by speaking of the doctrine’s pastoral implications rather than its Truth.

The relatively recent RC/Lutheran statement on Grace (Grace being the hot button of hot buttons for Lutherans) shows that many of these apparently irreconcilable Reformation arguments are purely semantic.  I note that most Anglicans I talk to cheerfully accept the Orthodox explanation of Marian devotion as tribute to the theotokos, but resist Roman doctrine.  OK, but don’t expect me to worry too much about Reformation rhetoric when the Christian basis of an incredibly successful Western civilization is crumbling about my ears.

[60] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 07-12-2008 at 03:23 AM • top

Mad Potter #60:

We are products of our life experience and that can not be divorced from our church experience.

No, indeed, it can’t be and it shouldn’t be.  But that’s not the question; my life experience affects itself, if “learning” means anything—the next time I won’t get my hand quite so close to the hot stove.

The question is, “should I interpret my life experience in the light of my church experience, or vice versa?”  And the real indictment against the Episcopal Church (and others) is that it has over the last two generations allowed its teaching to become so feeble that there is now very little difference between the two experiences.

[61] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 07-12-2008 at 04:07 AM • top

Craig,

I have to disagree with you about the notion of predestination and the joint statement on justification. The JS actually avoided the Reformation debate over justification in favor of a semantic resolution that is no resolution at all for those who hold to sola fide. As for Presbyterian theologians not emphasizing predestination, I would want to know whether you are speaking about main-line liberal presbys or not. Reformed thinkers have NOT by any means come to a substantially different position than that articulated in the WCF and the synod of Dort. The debate between Calvinists and Arminians is, if nothing else, more involved than ever before. And the discovery of molecules and atoms and the extent of the cosmos etc…in no way changes the very foundational Calvinist understanding of God’s Sovereignty in election and there is no reason it should. The theological concept of omniscience and eternality was well developed by Calvin’s day.

Read some RC Sproul or Sinclair Fergeson to get a taste for how serious these issues remain for serious Presbyterians. And I would add, I agree with them. I do not think the Articles are at all antiquated in that respect.

[62] Posted by Anne Kennedy on 07-12-2008 at 06:37 AM • top

sorry, that was me, Matt, on Anne’s computer

[63] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 07-12-2008 at 07:27 AM • top

As far as predestination goes it seems that Evangelicals have agreed to disagree.  There are a number of these types of issues.  What we need to discuss it which of the articles are the one which give anglo-catholics pause and why.

[64] Posted by ACNApriest on 07-12-2008 at 07:28 AM • top

“As far as predestination goes it seems that Evangelicals have agreed to disagree.”

Well, yes, if you mean that we can disagree without considering one another outside of the faith…but that has always been the case. NO if you mean that evangelicals have let the matter rest. I recommend reading the exchange of books between Norman Geisler (Arminian) and RC Sproul (Calvinist). They have certainly not agreed to let the matter rest in that sense. It is an ongoing and very serious debate.

[65] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 07-12-2008 at 07:32 AM • top

RE: “Sarah #3 and others, easy on the 39 Articles.  Understood for what they are—essentially a rather minimal “taking sides” in the great points at issue in the Reformation . . . “

Craig—I agree with you.  I could not, personally, adhere to the Westminster Confession, which was one reason why I chose the Episcopal Church rather than the Presbyterian Church.  I think the 39 Articles is an excellent moderation—or agreement to simply not advocate—all that is Reformed doctrine.

My response to Bishop Iker’s statement was not about the 39 Articles, but about his claim of Newman as a father in the faith, when Newman 1) wrote a ridiculously sophistical “explanation” of the 39 Articles, then 2) after quite appropriate struggles with his conscience, rightly converted to Rome, renouncing his sophistical explanation of the 39 articles as clearly false.

That’s all I was wondering about. Which Newman is Bishop Iker referring to?  The Tract 90 Newman, or the pre-Tract 90 Newman, or the conversion to Rome Newman, or some other Newman?

[66] Posted by Sarah on 07-12-2008 at 07:33 AM • top

Matt, I was referring to the former and not the latter.  We can recognize both free-will & predestination as plausible interpretations of the scriptural witness. As far as I know the Roman Catholic church allows some form of both as well. I think Augustine and Aquinas had different takes.  The funny thing is that we can agree to disagree about that, but Women’s ordination is church dividing.  I do not understand.

[67] Posted by ACNApriest on 07-12-2008 at 07:46 AM • top

I agree with those that say that there is no reason to rewrite the 39 Articles or press to hardly on a certain interpetation or the handful of articles that Anglo-Catholics may be uncofortable with.  If anything is necessary, it is similar new list specifically excluding the recent liberal errors that both AC and EV can disagree with.  The JD and CC declarations come close, but more could be added.

BTW, I’m not sure that many Anglo-Catholics teach as “necessary to salvation” anything that Evangelicals would say can not be proven from Scripture.  Many Anglo-Catholics may believe that thinks like invocation of the saints, generous use of religious imagery such as icons, personal confession to priest, unction and such may be USEFUL, but I don’t imagine any would say that their Evangelical bretheren are less saved because they do not practice such things.

[68] Posted by AndrewA on 07-12-2008 at 08:42 AM • top

RNW+ says:

I may be Anglo-Catholic (would even be comfortable with the BCP in Latin), but what I REALLY want to see is a nine a.m. High Mass with every seat filled by Bible-believing, Spirit-filled CONVERTs from the pagan-world, singing “Alleluia, Sing to Jesus!” to shake the very Gates of Hell!  AND I’ll do an 8:00 service for the veterans of these vicious wars whose very real wounds need to be healed by Christ’s comfort and grace.  AND THEN an 11:00 service for those who need to HEAR the Gospel that God in Christ LOVES them, has nailed their sins to the Cross, and is not now nor ever again counting their sins against them (2 Cor. 5:19).

Our homework assigment is to 1. memorize this. 2. Dipose of the gnats we have so assiduously strained while reading the 39 Articles.

[69] Posted by teddy mak on 07-12-2008 at 09:09 AM • top

The funny thing is that we can agree to disagree about that [ie: free will/predestination], but Women’s ordination is church dividing.  I do not understand.

Commoncausepriest: From the (Anglo and other) Catholic point of view, holy orders are Sacramental. Unless some time comes where the Church Catholic (not TEC, or CoE, but an Ecumenical council of Rome, the East, and other Catholic churches) comes to a consensus that you can ordain women to the priesthood, they are not priests.  Now, I am free, as an Anglo Catholic, to disagree on the point, and to try to structure arguments in favor of women joining the priesthood.  But I am not free to recognize them in the priesthood until such time as the argument is sufficiently convincing to change the mind of the broader Church.

The free will/ predestination discussion is theological/intellectual, but has been going on for 2 thousand years.  Catholics would reject both extremes- a) that everything is predestined, so if I am sinning, it was predestined to be so, therefore it is not my fault; and b) I am in complete control, neither God nor Satan actually cares what happens or what I do.  But, I think that both extremes are rejected by anyone I would number among orthodox Anglicans.

There are all sorts of “gray areas” in the arguments over predestination vis a vis free will. There are no gray areas in women’s ordination- either women will be ordained, or they will not- an either/or decision.

[70] Posted by tjmcmahon on 07-12-2008 at 09:36 AM • top

WO is church dividing and predestination not probably because predestination/free doesn’t impact what one ought to do.

[71] Posted by Ed the Roman on 07-12-2008 at 09:50 AM • top

The free will/ predestination discussion is theological/intellectual

... predestination/free doesn’t impact what one ought to do.

The Calvinist/Arminian debate may be theological but it also touches one of the sacred idols of Western Culture - the autonomous individual.  It is not just about what people do, but how people desire to see themselves.  The doctrines of grace are viscerally offensive to people who demand mastery of their own destiny.  Enter any typical Arminian church as an open Calvinist and you will quickly be shown the door with the right boot of fellowship. 

carl

[72] Posted by carl on 07-12-2008 at 10:33 AM • top

point taken about predestination and freewill, but what about marriage, divorce as well as contraceptives and other issues? There is no constant reasoning regarding things we Orthodox Anglicans consider dividing and not dividing.

[73] Posted by ACNApriest on 07-12-2008 at 01:16 PM • top

commoncausepriest-
Your remarks seem odd for someone in Common Cause. Not to put too fine a point on it, but are you in reality a Common Cause priest? (Which I am assuming you are, from the moniker)  I have heard nothing about any orthodox Anglican division.  We may from time to time discuss delicate subjects in a rather loud voice, but last I heard, Common Cause was still well, a Common Cause.

[74] Posted by tjmcmahon on 07-12-2008 at 01:30 PM • top

Re #77:

Part of it, I think, has to do with visible vs invisible impediments.  If I believe that using contraceptives or remarrying after divorce is inadmissible, I can refrain from doing that.  It’s visible, at least to me.  If they are forbidden, but I do them because I am honestly mistaken about it, then I am protected by what the Romans call “invincible ignorance”.

On the other hand, if valid sacraments are vital for salvation, I depend completely on the Apostolic Succession, which is invisible. 

If the Apostolic Succession is interrupted, e.g. by consecrating bishops who are not ontologically bishops at all, then all their ordinands, grand-ordinands, and great-great-ordinands are ontologically not priests, forever.  (This is the RC view of all Anglican orders whatsoever.)  Thus on that view, my salvation could be imperilled by something outside my volition and totally invisible to me.

A domestic analogy would be the dangers of overeating vs. radon in the basement.

Cheers,

Phil Hobbs

[75] Posted by gone on 07-12-2008 at 01:39 PM • top

To be a part of a movement does not mean that we support it blindly. Most of what I have said in this thread has been in support of anglo-catholic/evangelical cooperation. Try reading this to see my support for the movement. I never asserted a division in common cause. I was simply asking a question about how Orthodox Anglicans decide which issues are for debate and which are not.  Homosexuality and Women’s Ordination see to generate a lot of heat, but other issues do not.  I think I can live in common cause regardless of the Women’s ordination issue.

[76] Posted by ACNApriest on 07-12-2008 at 01:39 PM • top

re 77

I do not believe that women should be bishops, but I have never understood why people keep saying that it will ruin relations with Rome and the East.  They have already declared our orders invalid and we are not churches according to Rome.  Only the Orthodox Churches have any legitimacy in their eyes.  So now what.  Are our orders, REALLY, REALLY invalid now? Don’t all convert Anglican priests have to get re-ordained anyway?

[77] Posted by ACNApriest on 07-12-2008 at 01:43 PM • top

Commoncause, perhaps one reason that women’s ordination and homosexuality produce a lot of “heat” at the moment is that it is in this areas where the secular world is most in friction with the church just now? Where the pressure from without is being applied?

[78] Posted by oscewicee on 07-12-2008 at 01:46 PM • top

Is it true that the EOs as well as the RCs officially regard Anglican orders as invalid? 

Cheers,

Phil Hobbs

[79] Posted by gone on 07-12-2008 at 01:49 PM • top

Are there any Catholics who can answer 83?

I think this shows the RC view

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostolicae_Curae

[80] Posted by ACNApriest on 07-12-2008 at 01:53 PM • top

I’ve read Apostolicae Curae, and was really unimpressed.  First, the whole thesis depends on the C of E having changed the words of the ordinal in some tiny way—certainly a far smaller change than Vatican II, but of course that was completely different, not comparable at all…

Second, it uses the typical RC proof-by-infinite-regress approach—it quotes Church documents that quote other Church documents, and the actual argument doesn’t seem to be made anywhere.

As the PB said about “To Set Our Hope on Christ”: Not their best effort.

Cheers,

Phil Hobbs

[81] Posted by gone on 07-12-2008 at 02:01 PM • top

I was not impressed either. I think it is official catholic teaching that cannot be changed.  For this reason I do not believe the ordination of female bishops really impacts Roman Catholic perception of Anglican Orders.

[82] Posted by ACNApriest on 07-12-2008 at 02:05 PM • top

Bummer about that papal infallibility thing—-it’s liable to get them into the same trouble that Ahasuerus had in the Book of Esther.  Laws of the Medes and Persians can’t be changed, and all that.  Of course the Persians had some procedural safeguards, e.g. debating every law twice, once sober and once drunk.

Cheers,

Phil Hobbs

[83] Posted by gone on 07-12-2008 at 02:16 PM • top

And of course, if Rome wants a way around Apost. Cur. there is always the “Dutch Touch.” So Ap.Cur. need not be the last word, since the DT has been used as a justification for at least “conditional” ordination in the RCC for some Anglicans (or at least I have been told that it has in the case of +Leonard and others). The events of last week clearly still will have consequences in our relations with Rome, even with Ap. Cur.

[84] Posted by texanglican on 07-12-2008 at 02:45 PM • top

80-
I am sorry that I misunderstood you.  In the current day, we seem to spend too much time looking for reasons for division (among the orthodox) than reasons to stay together.

[85] Posted by tjmcmahon on 07-12-2008 at 04:11 PM • top

Mad Potter in several previous comments describes current translations of the Bible as a sort of thread of translations of translations that apparently can wander farther away from the original intent as the chain of translations goes onward. Perhaps I misunderstand his description. However, this is decidedly not how most recent translations have been created. I am no Biblical scholar, but I am an Anglican Christian who wants to know, if scripture is the root from which our faith springs, how do we know that a translation is accurate. I am not here debating any superiority of the ESV, simply using what ESV.ORG says about their translation philosophy and manuscript sources to show the care with which modern translation is generally done. The same could be found for many other recent translations.

A key comment from the second quote below seems to me to say - we want a richness in prose, verse, etc., that matches the original and that can stand together with older translations such as KJV, but that takes advantage of better manuscripts and translation skill now available to give the church the best possible ability to carry out the Great Commission without distortion:

“The words and phrases themselves grow out of the Tyndale-King James legacy, and most recently out of the RSV, with the 1971 RSV text providing the starting point for our work.

Archaic language has been brought to current usage and significant corrections have been made in the translation of key texts. But throughout, our goal has been to retain the depth of meaning and enduring language that have made their indelible mark on the English-speaking world and have defined the life and doctrine of the church over the last four centuries.”

Translation Philosophy
The ESV is an “essentially literal” translation that seeks as far as possible to capture the precise wording of the original text and the personal style of each Bible writer. As such, its emphasis is on “word-for-word” correspondence, at the same time taking into account differences of grammar, syntax, and idiom between current literary English and the original languages. Thus it seeks to be transparent to the original text, letting the reader see as directly as possible the structure and meaning of the original.

In contrast to the ESV, some Bible versions have followed a “thought-for-thought” rather than “word-for-word” translation philosophy, emphasizing “dynamic equivalence” rather than the “essentially literal” meaning of the original. A “thought-for-thought” translation is of necessity more inclined to reflect the interpretive opinions of the translator and the influences of contemporary culture.

Every translation is at many points a trade-off between literal precision and readability, between “formal equivalence” in expression and “functional equivalence” in communication, and the ESV is no exception. Within this framework we have sought to be “as literal as possible” while maintaining clarity of expression and literary excellence.

Therefore, to the extent that plain English permits and the meaning in each case allows, we have sought to use the same English word for important recurring words in the original; and, as far as grammar and syntax allow, we have rendered Old Testament passages cited in the New in ways that show their correspondence. Thus in each of these areas, as well as throughout the Bible as a whole, we have sought to capture the echoes and overtones of meaning that are so abundantly present in the original texts.

ESV Translation Philosophy

Manuscripts Used in Translating the ESV
Each word and phrase in the ESV has been carefully weighed against the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, to ensure the fullest accuracy and clarity and to avoid under-translating or overlooking any nuance of the original text.

The words and phrases themselves grow out of the Tyndale-King James legacy, and most recently out of the RSV, with the 1971 RSV text providing the starting point for our work.

Archaic language has been brought to current usage and significant corrections have been made in the translation of key texts. But throughout, our goal has been to retain the depth of meaning and enduring language that have made their indelible mark on the English-speaking world and have defined the life and doctrine of the church over the last four centuries.

The ESV is based on the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible as found in Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (2nd ed., 1983), and on the Greek text in the 1993 editions of the Greek New Testament (4th corrected ed.), published by the United Bible Societies (UBS), and Novum Testamentum Graece (27th ed.), edited by Nestle and Aland.

The currently renewed respect among Old Testament scholars for the Masoretic text is reflected in the ESV’s attempt, wherever possible, to translate difficult Hebrew passages as they stand in the Masoretic text rather than resorting to emendations or to finding an alternative reading in the ancient versions.

In exceptional, difficult cases, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Septuagint, the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Syriac Peshitta, the Latin Vulgate, and other sources were consulted to shed possible light on the text, or, if necessary, to support a divergence from the Masoretic text. Similarly, in a few difficult cases in the New Testament, the ESV has followed a Greek text different from the text given preference in the UBS/Nestle-Aland 27th edition.

The footnotes that accompany the ESV text inform the reader of textual variations and difficulties and show how these have been resolved by the ESV Translation Team. In addition to this, the footnotes indicate significant alternative readings and occasionally provide an explanation for technical terms or for a difficult reading in the text.

Throughout, the Translation Team has benefited greatly from the massive textual resources that have become readily available recently, from new insights into biblical laws and culture, and from current advances in Hebrew and Greek lexicography and grammatical understanding.

ESV - Manuscripts Used

Anyone who has familiarity with materials such as those for Greek training by William Mounce, who was chairman of the ESV NT committee, knows the level of scholarship that goes into a good recent translation.

Although I would not recommend them for serious Biblical study, some of the recent translations that use reduced vocabularies also have the same careful translation research behind them, but are simply aimed a young or less literate audience that also needs to be able to have trustworthy Biblical truth that they can read and understand.

The bottom line in all this is that good recent translations are not merely layer upon layer of “translations of translations”. That is a red herring used by liberals, skeptics, and even Muslims. Instead, modern translations are based on the earliest trustworthy Hebrew and Greek text available, processed by skilled translators using the best currently available methods. They can be trusted.

[86] Posted by Bill Cool on 07-12-2008 at 04:21 PM • top

Carl,

[87] Posted by hopefull on 07-12-2008 at 06:08 PM • top

Carl,
  Differences arise because of the authority we choose.  If you choose the authority of the Pope, shouldn’t you be RC?  If I choose the authority of Bishop Iker, am I any less Anglican than you?  They are both Bishops, as is +Akinola. Granted, WO is a new thing…but why choose a new understanding of the 39 Articles? At least, those who are harping on wheather we are catholic “enough”, is demanding a new understanding from the 1050s, when I was confirmed and educated in the PECUSA.

[88] Posted by hopefull on 07-12-2008 at 06:32 PM • top

I have been using the new Orthodox Study Bible. A new translation of the OT, and using the NKJ.

[89] Posted by hopefull on 07-12-2008 at 06:34 PM • top

[#92] hopefull
I am not sure how to respond.  It almost sounds like you think I am Catholic.  I am Reformed.  If there was some confusion in something I wrote, please accept my apology.  smile

carl

[90] Posted by carl on 07-12-2008 at 07:25 PM • top

...a new understanding from the 1050s, when I was confirmed and educated in the PECUSA.

We need to pay particular attention to this understanding, as it predates the Great Schism of 1054 between the Eastern and Western churches.  (sorry)

[91] Posted by Chazaq on 07-12-2008 at 07:47 PM • top

Oh,my!  I wasn’t really confirmed in 1050 !!
Sorry.  I just ment that in the 1950s, I studied Church doctrine a lot, and was advised to use a “plain reading” of the 39 Articles, which, to me, makes room for both the catholic and the protestant understanding. For what isn’t clear to me, I have to rely on SOME authority to guide me.  Can you to point to an authority, except for the ones you choose to rely on?  There are so many, claiming authority from the Bible, the SAME Bible, but disagreeing.  Right new, it looks like the reasserters are going the way of the continuum, and it is very discouraging.

[92] Posted by hopefull on 07-12-2008 at 08:03 PM • top

Mad Potter #53:

We are no longer bound by any part of the Old Testament law, _including_ the 10 Commandments.

Those moral commandments, though, have been restated for us by Jesus in the New Testament (usually in a stronger restatement than the original; for example, “do not murder” is expanded to “do not hate;” “do not commit adultery” is expanded to “do not lust.”

So we are, as Article 7 rightly says, bound by those moral commandments, but not because they are in the OT law, but because Jesus gave them to us again.

[93] Posted by James Manley on 07-12-2008 at 08:18 PM • top

Re #97:

Not bound by the Decalogue?  So it’s okay for Christians to worship other gods?  The Islamopalians and Hindupalians are A-OK orthodox Christians?

I don’t think so.

The ritual laws were abolished explicitly (see Peter’s vision of the unclean foods), and Jesus said that “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”—but that’s the only part of the Decalogue that received anything but full confirmation by Christ.

Cheers,

Phil Hobbs

[94] Posted by gone on 07-13-2008 at 10:55 AM • top

Matthew 5: 17, 18 surely has some relevance here.


“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily, I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled.”

[95] Posted by flabellum on 07-13-2008 at 11:34 AM • top

Crypto,
He came to fullfill the law not abolish it. The decalogue are 10 ways to help form our CHRISTIAN lives. Christ is the formative word tho. It is the coming of He who the old Testament is centered around & not a particular passage.

[96] Posted by Mtn gospel on 07-13-2008 at 11:36 AM • top

So is it or is it not okay to be an Islamopalian?  If not, why not, exactly?

Cheers,

Phil Hobbs

[97] Posted by gone on 07-13-2008 at 11:48 AM • top

Crypto buddy, The AC is Christ centered which is centered around love not hate. To compare the 2 christian /muslim would be like saying catholicity is supported by nazism? Let’s end this thread of discussion with… Peace.

[98] Posted by Mtn gospel on 07-13-2008 at 12:17 PM • top

So if it’s that clear, Mtn, why not answer the question?  Exactly why is it not okay, on your showing?

Cheers,

Phil Hobbs

[99] Posted by gone on 07-13-2008 at 02:05 PM • top

Crypto, this seems seriously off-topic for this thread:

So is it or is it not okay to be an Islamopalian?

However, the answer depends upon the context of the question: Sure, I suspect it’s absolutely OK, from the perspective of the father of lies and his minions.

However, from the perspective of the Trinitarian Christian religion, the entire idea is nonsensical at best, and I don’t know why you are even asking it here. A God who is willing to involve himself personally with humanity and especially to die a degrading death for the benefit of those who will believe in him, and who says he will live in his followers through the Holy Spirit is inconsistent with Islam. A god (Allah) who is aloof and capricious and, in the book he supposedly dictated, orders the slaughter of those who will not convert is inconsistent with Christian belief.

There are numerous other incompatibilities that a serious question could bring forth as part of an answer.

[100] Posted by Bill Cool on 07-13-2008 at 07:17 PM • top

Maybe some don’t like Apostolicae Curae’s reasoning.  But, positing the old understanding of what the priesthood is, does anybody think that the intent of the authors and the users of the Edwardine Ordinal was to ordain such priests, or bishops to ordain them?  And does anyone think that defect of intent doesn’t matter?

Now a lot of you think the old understanding is wrong, and that the Ordinal did as good a job as the Pontifical at ordaining what priests and bishops really are.

Nevertheless, until you’ve convinced us that we don’t have a right understanding of what priests are, you are wasting breath trying to convince us that your orders are valid according to the understanding that we have right now.

[101] Posted by Ed the Roman on 07-13-2008 at 09:59 PM • top

Bill (#104),

If you read back a few posts, you’ll see that I was originally replying to #97, who claimed that Christians were not bound by the first half of the Decalogue—-which is complete nonsense, as you point out.  My question was intended to crispen the point up for the benefit of Mtn Gospel and James Manley, who (from their posts in this thread) seem to be advancing an antinomian idea of Christian freedom. 

So it’s off topic, true, but not intended to lead the thread any further away from Bp. Iker and the position of Anglo-Catholics in the GAFCON coalition.

Cheers,

Phil Hobbs

[102] Posted by gone on 07-13-2008 at 10:24 PM • top

Ed,

As the one who was originally complaining about the shoddy reasoning of Apostolicae Curae,  I don’t feel a deep need to convince you (or other Romans) about anything.  It’s the RCC that’s trying to tell me that my church doesn’t have valid sacraments, and after giving it my best shot, I’m not convinced. 

IIRC, AC doesn’t say anything about the kind of priests that were being ordained, or about the intent of the consecrators of the first Anglican bishops, just about the allegedly defective words of the Ordinal.  It then goes into proof-by-sheer-mass-of-obscure-Church-documents mode and never presents a coherent argument that I could make out. 

So if I’m wrong about it, my ignorance is invincible still—but not for want of trying.

Obligatory on-topic content:  The 39 Articles as used in the USA have already been amended to exclude the authority of the King of England, so they aren’t as sacred as all that. 

Cheers,

Phil Hobbs

[103] Posted by gone on 07-13-2008 at 10:36 PM • top

I agree with Matt Kennedy’s statements. I think one of the reasons TEC/COE find themselves in such a mess is because a lack of definition of who they were as church. 

Better to be a clearly Protestant church fully living out that expression of the Gospel and love of Christ.  Then trying to be all things to all people.  It just can not be done. 

I don’t see Protestant honesty as being anti Catholic it is simply saying we have decided what we believe.  Now we can get on with the Great Commission.  And that is always a good thing.

[104] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 07-13-2008 at 10:42 PM • top

CryptoCatholic,

I wasn’t trying to defend AC, largely because I haven’t read it recently enough and don’t want to read it again now.

You did ask if the RC and EO regarded Anglican orders as invalid, not just say you didn’t like AC.

That said, show of hands on who thinks that anybody involved with the Ordinal was interested in priests able to re-present the sacrifice of Calvary in an unbloody manner?

[105] Posted by Ed the Roman on 07-13-2008 at 11:00 PM • top

I knew that the RCC didn’t regard Anglican orders as valid, but I’d never heard before that the EO didn’t either, which is why I asked back in #83.  I’m not at all sure it’s true.

That said, show of hands on who thinks that anybody involved with the Ordinal was interested in priests able to re-present the sacrifice of Calvary in an unbloody manner?

I have no idea who it was who issued the first Anglican ordinal, so I couldn’t say.  Opinion in the CoE varied very widely, which is why police measures were used (by both sides) to attempt to restore uniformity.  I really doubt that Rome has made any attempt to establish the pristine eucharistic orthodoxy of all the bishops in their Apostolic Succession either.  A level playing field would be nice, that’s all. 

Cheers,

Phil Hobbs

(BTW, all, I do sign my real name to my posts, so it would be nice if people would use it.  It’s only my catholic leanings that are sub rosa, not my name.)

[106] Posted by gone on 07-13-2008 at 11:25 PM • top

Bishop Kallistos comments: “This helps to explain why Constantinople in 1922 could declare favourably upon Anglican orders, and yet in practice treat them as invalid; this favourable declaration could not come properly into effect so long as the Anglican Church was not fully Orthodox in the faith”. Put the other way round: Orthodox theology refuses to treat the question of Anglican orders in isolation but takes into consideration the whole faith of the Church.

[107] Posted by flabellum on 07-14-2008 at 05:59 AM • top

Cryto,
  You may have some issues to attack but they are unfounded to most Anglicans. If one person in paticular only honors parts of the decalogue then that is their problem. I can only speak for myself but I feel comfortable saying an overwhelming % of Anglicans give the decalogue complete reverence its due. However. Christ came not to aBolish the old law but to fullfill it. The decalogue is a very good means to center one’s discipline around, but not to worship it as the center of attention in the Bible. The islamapalian thing is a completly isolated incident that was made by someone going through their own pains of deliberations. that deliberation doesn’t even cover the Episcopal church , much less the AC. So if someone isolated said something that rubs you the wrong way , I cannot hold their opinion up one way or another. As for me & my house we will serve the Lord. So as I & others have asked please get back to the topic of Bp Ikers thread. Reread why you signed on to this & let’s end this bantering.

[108] Posted by Mtn gospel on 07-14-2008 at 06:26 AM • top

Bishop Kallistos comments: “This helps to explain why Constantinople in 1922 could declare favourably upon Anglican orders, and yet in practice treat them as invalid; this favourable declaration could not come properly into effect so long as the Anglican Church was not fully Orthodox in the faith”. Put the other way round: Orthodox theology refuses to treat the question of Anglican orders in isolation but takes into consideration the whole faith of the Church.

Thanks, that’s helpful.  I think it’s also a more fruitful approach than Apostolicae Curae, because at least it hinges on matters of real substance.  I wouldn’t expect the RCs and EOs to pretend there were no impediments to union, but locating them primarily in matters of faith rather than procedure matches the reality better, IMO.

Cheers,

Phil Hobbs

[109] Posted by gone on 07-14-2008 at 09:27 AM • top

Well, since we recognize Orthodox orders as valid, we needed to have an opinion on Anglican as well.  YMMV.

[110] Posted by Ed the Roman on 07-14-2008 at 12:54 PM • top

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