Category Archives: Anglican

Happy New Year — Does Even God Know the Future?


Happy New Year! Does God know the future? Physicist, theologian, and Anglican priest John Polkinghorne thinks He might not. In the following short video excerpt of a longer interview for Closer to the Truth, Polkinghorne talks about the classical Christian view held by Augustine and Aquinas, and then offers his alternative point of view.

While we’re at it, why not listen to Polkinghorne define “time” for a different interview with Closer to the Truth? Here he also touches on theology and God’s knowledge of the future:

When the neighborhood Anglican Church starts another Baptist Bible study


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When the neighborhood Anglican Church starts another Baptist Bible study. 

 

 
Photos from Pixabay.com

‘How The Plowman Learned His Paternoster’ or English Catechism Before the Reformation


What was the Church of England like before the Reformation? A snapshot comes from Eamon Duffy, in his award-winning book The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England 1400-1580 (second edition, 2005):

“Round the fourteenth-century font in the parish church of Bradley, Lincolnshire, is carved an English inscription, which runs

Pater Noster, Ave Maria, Criede,

Leren the childe yt is need.

“That injunction was directed to the godparents and was a formal part of the rite of baptism in late medieval England. Just before the blessing of the font at baptisms the priest was required to admonish the godparents to see that the child’s parents kept it from fire, water, and other perils, and themselves to ‘lerne or se yt be lerned the Pater noster, Aue Maria and Credo after the law of all holy churche’. The Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, and Apostles’ Creed were in fact the irreducible core of a more elaborate catechetical programme for the laity which had been decisively formulated for the English Church at Archbishop Pecham’s provincial Council of Lambeth in 1281.”

Duffy’s book won the Longman-History Today Book of the Year Award, for good reason.

Writing in Sixteenth Century Journal, the late Stanford Lehmberg said Duffy’s book “presents a marvelously detailed new picture of traditional religious belief and practice in English during the century prior to the Reformation and it shows exactly when and how the customs of faith and ceremony were stripped away in the sixteenth century. Our interpretation of the Reformation and our understanding of Tudor religion will never be the same.”

In English Historical Review, the late Margaret Aston said Duffy’s book “takes a major step toward better understanding of the English reformation.”

Related:

The story of the Reformation needs reforming

 

St John the Evangelist, Waterloo, Diocese of Southwark


1-2015-11-20_10-35-055It was a perfect moment near sunset on a November 2015 afternoon. Hardly a stone’s throw from Waterloo Station in London, St John the Evangelist Church stands with its steeple in the lowering sun as traffic carries on below. The church is part of the Diocese of Southwark in the Church of England.

The Accidental Vicar


From a post at Randy Cassingham’s ThisIsTrue.com

Simon Reynolds, 50, a vicar with the Church of England, went on trial for stealing “at least” 16,500 pounds (US$25,875) in church money over a six-year period, including fees paid for weddings and funerals. “It is hard to imagine a more deplorable and flagrant breach of trust,” Senior Crown Prosecutor Caroline Tubb told the court, “than a vicar stealing money from his own parishioners.” Reynolds denied the charges, telling police he was “very disorganised” with his bookkeeping, and “certainly had not kept it intentionally.” When court broke for lunch, Reynolds didn’t wait around to hear the verdict: he ran off. Sure enough, his barrister, Alasdair Campbell, said Reynolds “accidentally” fled the country, booking a ticket to Dusseldorf, Germany, when he meant to fly to Dublin, Ireland. After a European-wide alert was issued, Reynolds, who was staying with a friend, returned to Sheffield Crown Court to hear his sentence: 30 months in prison for his embezzlement, plus two months for fleeing.

Cassingham includes the Sheffield Star and London Evening Standard as sources.

Questions for Anglicans and Episcopalians


Bishop Greg Brewer of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida has resigned from the Board of Trustees of Trinity School of Ministry.

The resignation is related to turmoil following his decision to baptize the adopted child of a same-sex couple.

In his resignation letter, Brewer writes:

“I am aware that in this heated climate of theological and moral controversy, there are fewer and fewer places within Anglicanism where we can agree to disagree.”

A question for Anglicans and Episcopalians:

If you cannot agree to disagree among yourselves, how are you going to bring new people into the church?

Maybe that question should be pondered at the current Episcopal General Convention.

The more conservative people ought to ask themselves, “How could a newcomer sing ‘Just As I Am’ in our church?”

The more liberal people ought to ask themselves, “What makes our church different from other types of social gatherings?”

The more conservative people could also ask themselves, “What makes our Anglican church distinctive from other forms of conservative, Bible-quoting Christianity?”

Postscript:

I recently heard a radio program about Howard Zinn, who wrote a play entitled, Marx in Soho. One of the characters asks something to the effect of, “Why is it that every movement of six people is trying to expel someone?”

Footnote digressions: Anglican John Locke versus Puritan Oliver Cromwell


One of my favorite literature profs at N.C. State used to announce, “Footnote digression,” before heading into background info tangentially related to his lecture.

The following is meant to provide some background and context to previous posts about the relationship between Anglicanism and Puritanism. The facts and interpretations are presented for your evaluation, without my added opinion. Except I boldfaced some lines.

According to evangelical and scholar Greg Forster, writing for First Things in 2012:

“Cromwell ruled 1653-1658; Locke’s first known writings on government, the aforementioned Two Tracts, were written after Cromwell’s death, and weren’t circulated outside Oxford that we know of until their rediscovery in the 20th century. Moreover, Locke was a strong royalist partisan during his time at Oxford in large part due to his detestation of Cromwell and the republicans, whom he viewed as turbulent religious fanatics. I think it would be difficult to find a ruler whose ‘policy’ was more hostile to Locke’s ‘principles’ than Cromwell; it’s not much of a stretch to say Locke supported the rebellion against James II largely because he saw James as a Catholic version of Cromwell – a man willing to tear apart the fabric of society out of loyalty to a narrow-minded religious enthusiasm….

“Locke advocated religious toleration but not a separation of the state from the church. He supported the state-run, tax-funded Anglican church; he argued that those who dissented should be free to practice their own religions in their own churches, but not that the state should not run a church.”

The late Richard John Neuhaus, (also) writing in his journal, First Things:

“While one can agree about the element of nobility in the grandly flawed experiments of Calvin in Geneva, Cromwell in England, and the Puritans in this country, the particular nature of their common failure needs careful attention. (The mixed success of Kuyperianism in the Netherlands, it might be noted, was due in large part to Kuyper’s respect for the place of “common grace” and reason in the ordering of society, precisely the element of Kuyper that strict theonomists repudiate.) The question is whether the flaw in these earlier experiments was in the intention or in the execution. Theonomists urge us to work harder and think more clearly so that we can do it right the next time. Other Christians insist it should not be done at all.

Boldface and hyperlinks within the quotations were added.

Other posts about Anglicans and Puritans:

Richard Hooker versus the Puritans and the Separatists

Anglicanism and ‘Biblical Anglicans’ as the one-third Anglicans

Anglicanism, Thomas Cranmer and Richard Hooker in the context of Scripture, Reason, and Tradition