“Paul, furthermore, would urge Christians to read the Genesis accounts of creation through the lens of the new creation, which God has promised in Christ, the first fruits of which God has provided by raising Christ from the dead…. Rather than emphasizing the significance of gender, the faithfulness of sexually intimate couples can contribute to the Church’s witness to the new life God offers in Christ and through the Spirit, which the Church celebrates in the “sacraments of the new creation.”. For both same-gender and different-gender couples, then, the theological and moral significance of their covenantal commitment is rooted in the paschal mystery”—
The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music of the Episcopal Church
“I Will Bless You, and You Will Be a Blessing”: Resources for Blessing Same-Gender Relationships
“This is the reason why the Word of God was made flesh, and the Son of God became the Son of Man: so that we might enter into communion with the Word of God, and by receiving adoption might become Sons of God. Indeed we should not be able to share in immortality without a close union with the Immortal. How could we have united ourselves with immortality if immortality had not become what we are, in such a way that we should be absorbed by it, and thus we should be adopted as Sons of God?”—St. Irenaeus of Lyons in Against Heresies
“I’m convinced that many people in our churches are simply missing the life of Christ, and a lot of it has to do with what we’ve sold them as the gospel, i.e. pray this prayer, accept Jesus into your heart, invite Christ into your life. Should it not concern us that there is no such superstitious prayer in the New Testament? Should it not concern us that the Bible never uses the phrase, ‘accept Jesus into your heart’ or ‘invite Christ into your life’? It’s not the gospel we see being preached, it’s modern evangelism built on sinking sand. And it runs the risk of disillusioning millions of souls.”—David Platt (via azspot)
“I think America is ready to listen to the dominant voices, the dominant people. Dominant people in terms of economics, politics, and religion. That’s who has a voice in this society, but you know, society at the time of Jesus was not interested in Jesus, that’s why they crucified him. So it does not surprise me that the American public is not interested in the gospel of Jesus or black liberation theology or any type of liberation theology because that theology speaks for the poor and America is not interested in the poor. If America were interested in the poor or if the media were interested in the poor, then there would not be nearly 50 million poor people in this society.”—The Rev. James Cone, father of Black Liberation Theology (via honor-not-honors)
Is the blessing of same-sex marriages on par with the blessing of different-sex marriages? What I'm asking is, are both sacraments and treated equally? Do Anglicans believe they have valid apostolic lineage as demanded by the RCC?
Currently in the Episcopal Church, we are (likely) about to approve a trial rite for blessing same-sex unions which will also serve to solemnize a legal marriage in the states where that is legal. Proposals to authorize the existing Marriage rite for use by same-sex couples flounder on the references to procreation and gender complementarity in the rite. So, even though many laypeople will view the two rites identically, they won’t be liturgically similar. Additionally, the same-sex blessing rite will not be imposed on dioceses, so opposite-sex marriages will be universally available and same-sex blessings will not. So no.
Yes. When Pope Leo XIII issued the bull Apostolicae Curae which declared all Anglican orders void due to defects in the ordinal of Edward VI, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York produced an official response entitled Saepius Officio, which argued for their validity. Also, the Roman Catholic church recognizes Old Catholic lines of consecration, which many Anglicans deliberately sought out for that reason after Anglicans and Old Catholics reached intercommunion in 1931. Understandably, the Roman Catholic position that the ordination of women is impossible complicates this issue.
What does "Affirming Anglican Catholic" mean, exactly?
Anglican: a member of a church in communion with the See of Canterbury, in my case the Episcopal Church in the United States of America
Catholic: in the Anglican context - someone who places a high value on the ministry of the historic episcopate, on the presence of the Risen Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, on the theological tradition of the undivided Church, on dignified liturgical worship, and on ministry to Christ present in “the least of these, however humble”
Affirming: in the Anglican Catholic context - someone who affirms the ordination of women and the blessing of same-sex unions
“When Catholicism goes bad it becomes the world-old, world-wide religion of amulets and holy places and priest craft; Protestantism, in its corresponding decay, becomes a vague mist of ethical platitudes.”—C.S. Lewis
Some might still argue that the “western rite” would at least demonstrate to “western” Christians what Orthodoxy would expect liturgically if a reunion of Christians should occur. Yet this too is groundless. The simple fact is, those parishes using the “western rite” within the Antiochian Archdiocese are not following the “western rite” as now practiced by the overwhelming majority of “western” Christians. Indeed, one must ask why the Orthodox Church should have made herself into a safe haven for a tiny minority of western Christians who have rejected the reforms of the liturgical movement.
Regarding the “Liturgy of St. Gregory” [the Western Rite version of the Tridentine Mass] - it would be ludicrous for the Orthodox to tell the Roman Catholics that they should go back to doing the “last Gospel” at the end of their Liturgy. Or that revisions made by Vatican II to the Roman anaphora to make it read more like a single prayer were somehow misguided.
The “Liturgy of St. Tikhon” [a Western Rite mass in the Anglican Missal tradition] would be even more indefensible in the case of Anglicans. Many of the recent revisions to the Book of Common Prayer (as with the Roman Missal) have been based on sound liturgical scholarship - and many are clearly borrowings from the ancient Christian east!
Furthermore, since both of these “western-rite” liturgies are being celebrated in “King James” English, are we telling the Christians of the various western confessions that modern English is unacceptable as a liturgical language? This, in spite of the fact that modern English is now used in many translations of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom?
In summary, a “western rite” Orthodoxy, at least as it is currently being practiced, seems fated to have an increasingly negative effect on our already troubled position in ecumenical relations.
I don’t doubt that there is subject matter that is best taught and learned in a didactic, unilateral way: professor talks, student listens.
But I do not think that theology is best taught this way. Theology is inherently personal. Students of theology aren’t just having what they think challenged. They’re having what they believe challenged.
Theology is too personal a subject to be taught via lecture. Students need to be able to ask questions, talk it through, and express their doubts.
In short, theology shouldn’t be treated like other academic subjects. It’s unique, and should be taught uniquely. Indeed, theology should be taught by methods that are inherently theological, and I think that there’s a strong case to be made that a conversation is more Christlike than a lecture.
“When we stand up in church and recite the Creed, we often say ‘that is my faith.’ Whereupon someone draws the conclusion that the Christian faith consists in the proper recitation of an ancient formula. The Creed is not your faith – it is an expression of your faith. Your faith is in God, not in any combination of words, however venerable they may be. In a derivative sense you may speak of ‘the faith once delivered to the saints,’ meaning thereby that body of doctrine which expresses the foundation upon which your faith rests. But your faith is always in a Person.”—The Rt. Rev. Frank E. Wilson in Faith and Practice (1967)
The history of the Church from Pentecost to the present moment has been one unbroken record of such development. The great Bishop Hopkins, in his pre-Catholic days, published a series of letters under the title “The Novelties which Disturb our Peace.” The history of the Church has, however, been one steady history of novelties. The movement has not only been a development of the expression of devotion, but has involved the fundamental objects of devotion themselves. For example, we are told that the worship of God the Holy Ghost, as we practice it today, was unknown in the early Church. There is no suggestion in the New Testament of direct prayer to the Holy Ghost, and Church historians inform us that no prayer addressed to Him can be found in the Church’s devotional literature for more than four hundred years after Christ.
The use of the creeds in the public services of the Church, the Filioque clause, our entire discipline concerning Confirmation and First Communion, Confession and Absolution at the Eucharist, the entire system of the Divine Office; - time was when all these and numerous other things of equal importance were innovations. They had no place in the Church’s early practice.
So if there is any one thing that is proved beyond peradventure, it is the full Catholicity of the principle of novelty and innovation in things devotional. When the Church appealed to the early centuries for her faith and practice, she did not appeal only respecting those things which were to be found in complete expression at any one period. Her appeal was also to the principles which were found in operation in the early Church. This is brought out again and again in her formularies, and, as we have seen, one of the most important of these principles was that of developing the expression both of her faith and her worship.
To denounce innovation is therefore, ‘a denial of the living vigour of the Church.’
The Thirty-Nine Articles make me glad to be an American Episcopalian as opposed to a British Anglican. They’re a “Historical Document” as opposed to a doctrinal standard here. They enshrine an Erastian approach to church-state relations that I find abhorrent, and also kicked off the Oxford Movement to begin with.
I think most of the doctrinal statements can be interpreted in a more Catholic sense (e.g. Newman in Tract 90), but even if they can’t, Calvinism is a heresy and I don’t feel compelled to make concessions to it.
And if you try to tell me that I can’t worship my Lord present in the Blessed Sacrament or obey his commands about arms or oaths on account of a piece of English legislation I will laugh in your face.
“The battle of prayer is against two things in the earthlies: wandering thoughts, and lack of intimacy with God’s character as revealed in His word. Neither can be cured at once, but they can be cured by discipline.”—Oswald Chambers (via classyliving)
“From my youth, O Christ, I have rejected Thy commandments. I have passed my whole life without caring or thinking as a slave of my passions. Therefore, O Savior, I cry to Thee: At least in the end save me.”—From the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete (via Totally Unmasked: From my youth, O Christ…)
“There is harm not only in trying to gain wealth but also in excessive concern with even the most necessary things. It is not enough to despise wealth, but you must also feed the poor and, more importantly, you must follow Christ.”—Saint John Chrysostom (via A Stranger without Candy: On wealth)
“Against these dangers it must be clearly stated that
the Christian (the Protestant too) believes, not in the Bible, but in him who it attests;
the Christian (the Orthodox too) believes, not in tradition, but in whom it transmits;
the Christian (the Catholic too) believes, not in the Church, but in him whom the Church proclaims;
What man can turn to as absolutely reliable for time and eternity are not the texts of the Bible, nor the Fathers of the Church, nor indeed an ecclesiastical magisterium, but it is God himself as he spoke for believers through Jesus Christ. The biblical texts, the statements of the Fathers and ecclesiastical authorities, are meant - in varying degrees of importance - to be no more and no less than an expression of this faith.”—Hans Kung (via furnaceofdoubt)
Folks, we have a real problem on our hands, and everyone has to bear some responsibility. Here’s the familiar scenario. The “best and brightest” students in Evangelical seminaries work hard and are encouraged and aided by their professors to pursue doctoral work. Many wind up going to some of the best research universities in the world.
This is a feather in everyone’s cap, and often they are hired back by their Evangelical school or elsewhere in the Evangelical system.
Sooner or later, these professors find out that their degree may be valued but their education is not.
During graduate school they begin to see issues from a different perspective–after all, this is what an education does. An education does not confirm what we already know, but exposes us to new things in order to broaden our horizons.
Once they start teaching, they bring with them the excitement of learning new things, some synthesis of old and new for their students, because they feel such conversations are necessary for intellectual and spiritual health.
But Evangelicalism does not exist to create these conversations, but to keep them from happening–or perhaps from getting out of hand. Decision makers are gatekeepers, and they rarely have the training or the inclination to walk the same intellectual and spiritual path. A strong response is inevitable.
Is it really any wonder, though, why twentysomethings are losing their religion? Consider what college-aged people have been witness to on a large scale in terms of what faith can do nationally: hard-line politicization of religion in general and Christianity in particular, browbeating of gays and women, continued attacks on scientific inquiry that border on anti-intellectualism, numerous sexual abuse scandals that destroyed the lives of countless children—the road to hell could even begin, we were told, with Tinky Winky’s less-than-masculine appearance and behavior. What it seems to come down to is cognitive disequilibrium created by being raised with the traditional notion of religion as a wholly accepting, loving force, only to later see it as a harsh divider.
Simply put, the millennial generation’s values are much less traditional than those of previous generations, and as such our concerns lie beyond conventional hangups like homosexuality, abortion and marriage. Culturally and ethnically diverse—moreso than any other generation—millennials seem to be leaving by the wayside the notion of moral absolutes, opting instead for non-judgment and acceptance overall. As the civic generation, we want to see results in action over being subjected to platitudes that lead approximately nowhere. We’re looking for equality, or tolerance at the very least. A connection, something to alleviate the existential angst with which we are all so familiar, is on the list too, no doubt (OK, maybe that’s not so different).
“The church must be wary of nostalgia for Constantinianism. A Christian should feel politically homeless in the current context, and should not regard the dreary choice between Democrats and Republicans, left and right, as the sum total of our political witness.”—William T. Cavanaugh, Migrations of the Holy (via invisibleforeigner)
“All of this may seem like wordplay, but in fact it is essential that we understand the sacrificial nature of the Eucharist, because if we do not, we will eventually fail to see the Eucharist as important at all. There are twin errors at work in the way that most of western Christianity has approached the notion of Eucharistic sacrifice for the past five hundred years. For Rome, the error has been to make the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ into a repeatable event, thereby asserting that the sacrifice that He made on the cross was insufficient for the forgiveness of all sins for all time. For Protestants, however, the error has been to see in the Supper no sacrifice at all and to lose track thereby of the fact that it is in our receiving of the Supper that we truly receive Christ, not just His Body and Blood in some sort of crude sense, but also the healing grace that comes through that Blood. As Bramhall said, the Eucharist is an “applicative sacrifice, an application of His Merits unto our souls.” Failure to see this reality, even amongst the Lutherans who generally uphold the doctrine of the Real Presence, leads inevitably to a sense that the Supper does not really matter. Sure, we receive Christ in the Eucharist, but it’s not like we’re saved by it. Except, we are saved by it. That is the whole point. The blood that spilled on Calvary is the only sacrifice that we need, the only one that saves us, but without stepping into the moment of that sacrifice, we have no way of receiving its grace. The commemorative sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist places us at the foot of the cross. Quite simply, it is what makes the wafer placed in our hands at the Altar Rail not just Christ’s Body but the Bread of Life.”—Fr. Jonathan in “On The Eucharist: The Mass is a Sacrifice, it’s Just Not a Mass”
“But not only is the Old Testament ritual law central to theological understanding of scripture; I also want to suggest it is a model of modern communication technique. For a long time Christians have imagined that communication between God and man is essentially verbal, merely a matter of words. God speaks to man through the prophets or through the Bible: man replies in prayer. We view communication with God as a sort of two-way radio. But God does not restrict himself to words, he uses ritual such as sacraments: ritual is more like colour TV than radio. Ideas are made visible… Educational psychologists tell us that we remember 10% of what we hear, 30% of what we see but 70% of what we do. Modern preachers put most of their effort into teaching by hearing, though 90% of what they say will be forgotten. Moses put his main effort into teaching through ritual, a wise move if he wanted the people to remember such fundamental truths, for ritual is a kind of doing and therefore sticks in the mind much better than words…But I believe we should go further: not simply act out the ceremonies of the Old Covenant, but in our post-literate age devise dramatic rites that teach the fundamental truths of the new covenant as effectively as the Pentateuch teaches those of the old. This will require imagination and sensitivity, but I think would be worth the effort.”—Gordon Wenham in “The Perplexing Pentateuch" (Fortunately, as a catholic Christian I don’t need to devise rites, just bring them back.)
“When Jesus suggests that God and Caesar each be rendered his due, he does not thereby envision a division of labor between two divine beings. There is no realm of life called ‘politics’ that is only indirectly under God’s providential care. Once one renders to God what is God’s… there is nothing left that properly belongs to Caesar.”—William T. Cavanaugh, Migrations of the Holy (via invisibleforeigner)