Habemus Altare

It is not impossible that, having heard rumors of Jesus as the Messiah (the anointed king of the house of David whom many Jews were awaiting), Pilate wanted the Jewish authorities of the Sanhedrin to investigate him and so assisted in his arrest. Some of those authorities would have had their own religious worries about Jesus and antipathies toward him (for example, as a false prophet). Yet they could have told themselves that they were only carrying out orders in handing Jesus over to the Romans for further action, on the grounds that under interrogation he had not denied that he was the Messiah. (Notice, I say “not denied,” for the response of Jesus to the question of being the Messiah differs in the various Gospel accounts of the trial: “I am” in Mark; “That is what you say, but….” in Matthew; “If I tell you, you will not believe” in Luke; see John 10:24-25.) Religious people of all times have accomplished what they wanted through the secular authority acting for its own purposes.


Attention must be paid to such complications lest the liturgical reading of the passion narratives leads to simplistic accusations about guilt for the death of Jesus. As I shall point out when I discuss the individual passion accounts, both Matthew (“all the people” in 27:25) and John (“the Jews” throughout) generalize hostilely, so that participation in the execution of Jesus is extended beyond even the Jewish leadership. Reflective of this, some famous Christian theologians (Augustine, John Chrysostom, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther) have made statements about the Christian duty to hate or punish the Jews because they killed the Lord. Thus, modern apprehensions about the anti-Jewish impact of the passion narratives are not groundless. One solution that has been proposed is to remove the “anti-Semitic” passages from the liturgical readings of the passion during Holy Week, a type of “Speak no evil; see no evil; hear no evil” response. But removing offensive passages is a dangerous procedure which enables hearers of bowdlerized versions to accept unthinkingly everything in the Bible. Accounts “improved” by excision perpetuate the fallacy that what one hears in the Bible is always to be imitated because it is “revealed” by God, and the fallacy that every position taken by an author of Scripture is inerrant. In my opinion, a truer response is to continue to read unabridged passion accounts in Holy Week, not subjecting them to excisions that seem wise to us—but once having read them, to preach forcefully that such hostility between Christian and Jew cannot be continued today and is against our fundamental understanding of Christianity. Sooner or later Christian believers must wrestle with the limitations imposed on the Scriptures by the circumstances in which they were written. They must be brought to see that some attitudes found in the Scriptures, however explicable in the times in which they originated, may be wrong attitudes if repeated today. They must reckon with the implications inherent in the fact that God has revealed in human words. Congregations who listen to the passion proclamations in Holy Week will not recognize this, however, unless it is clearly pointed out. To include the passages that have an anti-Jewish import and not to comment on them is irresponsible proclamation that will detract from a mature understanding of our Lord’s death.

Christ in the Gospels of the Liturgical Year, Fr. Raymond E. Brown, SS (1928-1998) (Kindle Locations 2854-2873). Liturgical Press. Kindle Edition.
Fire and water do not mix. Neither can you mix judgment of others with the desire to repent.
Saint John Climacus (via gospelofthekingdom)
It is not very easy to offer a proof for something which is more instinctive than conceptual, in this case to prove that our modern church is ‘bourgeois’. The best proof is that the proletariat has turned away from the church, whereas the bourgeois (the petty official, the artisan and the merchant) have remained. So the sermon is aimed at relatively secure people, living adequately in orderly family circumstance, relatively ‘educated’ and morally relatively solid. So the sermon meets the need for having something fine and educated and moral for the free hours of Sunday. Hence the all-too-familiar type of sermon which is called an ’ address’, in which proof is offered o the preacher’s literary culture and the corresponding interest of the ‘public’. The danger of the church’s becoming a mere association is obvious.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Communion of Saints (via itbefellinthedays)
From the very beginning I fell in love with the Blessed Sacrament and by the mercy of God have never fallen out.
J.R.R. Tolkien (via confessionsofsomeoneanonymous)

bottleofink:

it’s f.d. maurice’s saint day

how unfortunate to die on April fools

but hooray for christian socialism

locusimperium:

I’m reminded how bad liberal Christianity is at dealing with evil on the frequent occasions that someone uses an “addiction” framework to address anything that’s not an actual, real, chemical dependency.

I definitely think the praise/lament framework is a good way to get people to read more of the psalms, but I’ve come to think that the praise/lament framework is inadequate.

First, while the praise/lament framework does get people to read more of the psalms, it still leaves too much material unread. Second, the praise/lament framework can obscure the source and cause of the lament in the lament psalms. The lament psalms aren’t just sad songs, “the blues” as it were. The “sadness” in the lament psalms is very often of a particular sort.

For example, Winter Christians often turn to the lament psalms during times of grief and mourning. And yet, if you look at them, most of the lament psalms aren’t about loss and grief. Death isn’t what the lament psalms are about. And yet, that’s the way we tend to use the lament psalms, turning to them during times of mourning.

But here’s what we tend to miss in the praise/lament framework, where we have happiness on one side and sadness on the other. We miss “the enemy,” “the foe,” and the “oppressor.”

There are three main characters in the psalms. YHWH, the psalmist and the enemies.

The thing that strikes you about the psalms when you read them straight through is how oppressed and beleaguered is the psalmist. Enemies, hecklers, back-stabbers, two-faced friends, violent oppressors and economic exploiters abound.

This goes to the source of lament in the psalms. Rarely is the lament about, say, the death of a loved one. The lament is generally about oppression, about the victory of the oppressor.

The lament is about the bad guys winning and the good guys being trampled underfoot.

dick-of-saint-vick:

locusimperium:

Is there a way to find & replace “your personal Lord and Savior” with “the Lord and Savior of all creation” in everything I see and hear in my entire life?

"Have you accepted Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of all creation?" is actually reasonably good theology…

image

chrishardingsblog:

affcath:

chrishardingsblog:

affcath:

annuenobisdomine:

affcath:

The new ACNA Catechism has a form for the Sinner’s Prayer and references it in the Catechism itself as the first step someone coming to Christianity should take

Well that’s…sad.

How many times can you say “Lord Jesus” in a single paragraph?

Prayer of…

Ugh, boo on all of you. “God I thank you that I am not like these silly ACNA Christians.” Get over yourselves. This is not a standard evangelical ‘sinner’s prayer.’ There is no hint in the Catechism that they teach ‘just pray this and and you’re good.’ In fact, the prayer is introduced this way:

"God calls us to repentance and faith in Christ, and a way to enter into life in Christ is to say a prayer like this – preferably in the presence of a mature Christian… "

I don’t think any of can honestly deny that prayers like their form HAVE been ‘a way to enter into life in Christ’ for very many people, both inside and outside the Episcopal Church. There’s even an alternative prayer for those who can’t pray the first one sincerely. When was the last time you heard that from a standard ‘sinner’s prayer’ presentation?

Grow up. Stop being ecclesial Mean Girls.

I don’t think dealing with mainline Christian problems instead of evangelical Christian problems is going to save me, I trust in Jesus. So that first bit was pretty unnecessary.

It is most definitely a standard evangelical sinner’s prayer. It follows the format (1) confessing sins; (2) asking Jesus to cover them; (3) accepting him as Lord of your life. It’s the same format as Billy Graham’s, Campus Crusade, and any other parachurch evangelical group. It’s even written in evangelical-ese, which is what I was pointing out with the “Lord Jesus” comment. 

The inquirer’s prayer is basically saying “God help me to believe this shit” and I’m pretty sure it’s designed to lead people to saying the Sinner’s Prayer so I’m not sure why you’re bringing that up. I’m pretty sure the Alpha course has something similar.

Scripture, the ancient church, and Anglican tradition don’t know anything about some kind of special three-part prayer you say in front of people as “a way to enter into life in Christ”. We have this thing called baptism that inevitably winds up getting knocked down a notch or two in importance when you bring the Sinner’s Prayer into the mix. You can already see that at work in the ACNA Catechism, which seems like it wants to make baptism a public recognition ceremony of what happened in the Sinner’s Prayer but also throws in more traditional Anglican stuff in an attempt to appease everybody. 

The sinner’s prayer is a product of American revivalism and doesn’t really have much of anything to do with historic Christianity and doesn’t really have anything to do with Anglicanism. It doesn’t have a place in an Anglican catechism.

I bring up that ACNA included it in their catechism to show that instead of trying to preserve the reformed catholicism that they claim we left behind, they’re instead making up this charismatic-evangelical-in-Catholic-clothing mishmash Christianity (“Three Streams”, “Convergence,” etc.) 

Hmm, I’m not buying it.

My point is that, as I read this Catechism, the theology expressed in it is NOT that of a standard Evangelical Sinner’s Prayer.

This is why I brought up the Inquirer’s Prayer (plus, haven’t you ever needed to pray “God help me to believe this shit”? I know I have.) The theology undergirding the Sinner’s Prayer coming out of “Billy Graham’s, Campus Crusade, and any other parachurch evangelical group” doesn’t have any space for something like an ‘Inquirer’s Prayer.’

I saw the ‘Prayer of Repentance and Faith’ as expressing the same theology behind the admission to the Catechumenate in the Book of Occasional Services (Q: “What do you seek?” A: “Life in Christ.” Q: “Will you open your ears to hear the Word of God and your heart and mind to receive the Lord Jesus?” A: “I will, with God’s help.”).

Sure, it does it in a way that looks a lot more ‘Evangelical’ than our way does it. But—shock horror—there are Evangelicals in the Episcopal Church still, and “eww it’s too Evangelical” is a pretty poor way to do theology, let alone Church unity.

In this as in all things, your mileage may vary.

Thanks for the response, though (I mean it)!

The way that I read the Catechism looks something like this:

How should I respond to the Gospel?
Repent and put my faith in Jesus
What does that mean?
Repentance means ___
Faith means __
How do I do that?
You can do that whenever you want, one way is to pray the Sinner’s Prayer (no other way is mentioned)
What should I do next?
If I haven’t been baptized, I should be baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus and, therefore, into membership in the Church

The Biblical answer is: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.”

I don’t have a problem with praying a prayer like the one they published, even if its a jumble of evangelical-ese cliches that I don’t personally care for.

I have a problem with using the Sinner’s Prayer as a stand-in for baptism, and knocking baptism down a peg accordingly. I don’t think that theology of baptism has a place in a catechism labeled “Anglican”. 

chrishardingsblog:

affcath:

annuenobisdomine:

affcath:

The new ACNA Catechism has a form for the Sinner’s Prayer and references it in the Catechism itself as the first step someone coming to Christianity should take

Well that’s…sad.

How many times can you say “Lord Jesus” in a single paragraph?

Prayer of…

Ugh, boo on all of you. “God I thank you that I am not like these silly ACNA Christians.” Get over yourselves. This is not a standard evangelical ‘sinner’s prayer.’ There is no hint in the Catechism that they teach ‘just pray this and and you’re good.’ In fact, the prayer is introduced this way:

"God calls us to repentance and faith in Christ, and a way to enter into life in Christ is to say a prayer like this – preferably in the presence of a mature Christian… "

I don’t think any of can honestly deny that prayers like their form HAVE been ‘a way to enter into life in Christ’ for very many people, both inside and outside the Episcopal Church. There’s even an alternative prayer for those who can’t pray the first one sincerely. When was the last time you heard that from a standard ‘sinner’s prayer’ presentation?

Grow up. Stop being ecclesial Mean Girls.

I don’t think dealing with mainline Christian problems instead of evangelical Christian problems is going to save me, I trust in Jesus. So that first bit was pretty unnecessary.

It is most definitely a standard evangelical sinner’s prayer. It follows the format (1) confessing sins; (2) asking Jesus to cover them; (3) accepting him as Lord of your life. It’s the same format as Billy Graham’s, Campus Crusade, and any other parachurch evangelical group. It’s even written in evangelical-ese, which is what I was pointing out with the “Lord Jesus” comment. 

The inquirer’s prayer is basically saying “God help me to believe this shit” and I’m pretty sure it’s designed to lead people to saying the Sinner’s Prayer so I’m not sure why you’re bringing that up. I’m pretty sure the Alpha course has something similar.

Scripture, the ancient church, and Anglican tradition don’t know anything about some kind of special three-part prayer you say in front of people as “a way to enter into life in Christ”. We have this thing called baptism that inevitably winds up getting knocked down a notch or two in importance when you bring the Sinner’s Prayer into the mix. You can already see that at work in the ACNA Catechism, which seems like it wants to make baptism a public recognition ceremony of what happened in the Sinner’s Prayer but also throws in more traditional Anglican stuff in an attempt to appease everybody. 

The sinner’s prayer is a product of American revivalism and doesn’t really have much of anything to do with historic Christianity and doesn’t really have anything to do with Anglicanism. It doesn’t have a place in an Anglican catechism.

I bring up that ACNA included it in their catechism to show that instead of trying to preserve the reformed catholicism that they claim we left behind, they’re instead making up this charismatic-evangelical-in-Catholic-clothing mishmash Christianity (“Three Streams”, “Convergence,” etc.)