A Conservative Evangelical puts his head above the parapet...

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  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    edited August 2019
    bigjon wrote: »
    [I'd be surprised if HTB were confirming to the Sheffield quota of clergy numbers which was In think in operation at the time they were launching the Alpha Course.
    Eh?

    Sorry - "I'd be surprised if HTB were conforming to the Sheffield quota of clergy numbers which was I think in operation at the time they were launching the Alpha Course."

  • PDR wrote: »
    The irony, of course, is that a great many MOTR Anglicans feel that, far from being marginalised, the evangelicals have taken over. Both Archbishops are evangelicals, and a great many Bishops.

    I think if one is being perfectly honest, I think Open Evangelicals have taken over, but the Conservative Evangelicals have been under considerable and ongoing pressure, in some diocese, since the 1960s. As an outside observer my understanding that 'both Archbishops have Evangelical backgrounds' would probably be more accurate, and I would probably go so far as to qualify that further in the case of the current Cantuar.

    All the homophobes seem pretty conservative from my POV, and that includes both Archbishops.
  • Yes, I find it grimly amusing that having essentially taken over the CofE's highest structures, evangelicals (of which I still just about count myself) are more than willing to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    . . . and some Reformed confessions (the Scots Confession, for example) would add "and discipline is rightly administered."
    Oops! The edit window had closed before I realized that should be "and discipline is rightly exercised."
  • bigjon wrote: »
    Purely practically, isn’t this also dangerous? Isn’t it this sort of exhortation to (for example) victims of DA to “prayerfully submit themselves” to the authority of the “Biblical teaching” of their vicar which could keep them in abusive relationships?

    I agree that it's real danger - all I can say is that my vicar has always taken extreme pains to counteract this by insisting on the right of private interpretation of the Bible - all the more so and more frequently in the light of recent abuse revelations.

    We are constantly being urged from the pulpit and in the parish newsletter to be like the Bereans, who were "every day examining the scriptures whether these things held so" (Acts 17:11)

    Thanks for the reply, I appreciate you’re responding to about 375 people here at the moment.

    I appreciate what it sounds as though your vicar is trying to do, but I don’t understand how one squares encouraging private interpretation with submitting to the teaching of the minister. All the private interpretation in all the world is of limited use to me if ultimately I have to submit to the vicar’s teaching. The prospect for abuse of power by the preacher / leader / vicar / whatever here is substantially increased, isn’t it?

    And can you expand on your last point about abuse revelations, please?
  • My experience was very much "examine the scriptures and you'll find the vicar is right". Alternative opinions were perfectly acceptable as long you didn't voice them or act on them...
  • All the private interpretation in all the world is of limited use to me if ultimately I have to submit to the vicar’s teaching.
    This certainly sits in line with @Bishops Finger's earlier comment, which I echoed, about the obsession with power, authority, and holding onto both.

  • QED.
  • Sorry - should have added one of the usual renderings of QED - 'Thus it has been demonstrated'.
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    Or an authentically Anglican denomination where the doctrinal standard of Canon A5 is upheld, and the bishops fulfil their office to "faithfully exercise yourself in the same holy Scriptures, and call upon God by prayer, for the true understanding of the same; so that you may be able by them to teach and exhort with wholesome Doctrine" and to "banish and drive away from the Church all erroneous and strange doctrines".

    You are right to observe that it is uncomfortable for Con-Evos to remain in the C of E, and I'm sure more such congregations will transfer to other Anglican organisations as some have already done.
    [/b]
    ...with your emphasis on doctrinal purity to your own test, have you considered that you might be falling into a form of Novatianism and might not be taking sufficiently on board the parable of the wheat and the tares?
    "The field is the world" - Matthew 13:38

  • And the Church is...? Matthew 13:??
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    ... you seem to either disapprove of or despise everything about the majority of the CofE - really you don't like or approve of anyone other than the other 13 AMiE places. Perhaps you might be prepared to put up with some places which, you have decided on balance are doctrinally pure.

    And in answer to that some of us have asked (a) why you claim to be CofE if in fact your church is AMiE; and (b) why you would want to be CofE if you disapprove of everything about it from the authority of its bishops, down.

    A cynic might suggest that it has always been the case that it is easier, and cheaper, to mount a coup d'etat from within than without and this is a lesson that some of the AMiE clergy seem to have absorbed and, it would seem, some of its laity too.

    If the church to which I belong was starting from scratch, it would probably join the AmiE out of the range of options on the menu.

    I'm no prophet, but my guess is that in 20 years' time we'll be in the AmiE.

    But in the meantime, why should I leave the C of E? It's my home, the denomination which nurtured me since birth, the denomination with a wonderful Scriptural basis of faith to which I wholeheartedly subscribe. Until Canon A5 is altered, here I stay. And until then, why should I not contend for the denomination which I love to stay faithful to its doctrinal inheritance?

    The vicar feels similarly, as I'm sure do many of the PCC and congregation.

    If we are forced out, then as I said in my first post on this thread, reluctantly we'll leave. But it's not we who are being schismatic.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    bigjon wrote: »
    Ricardus wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    We certainly don't openly repudiate the founding doctrines of the denomination to which we claim to belong.

    But as I understand your position, your own support of the 39 Articles is conditional on them being in accordance with Scripture. That is, if you became convinced that Article 37 is contrary to Scripture, then you would disregard it. So you can't really criticise anyone else for being prepared to disregard the Articles according to their lights.

    Article 20 is self-critical of the 39 Articles against the ultimate canon of Scripture. So I subscribe to the 39 Articles to the same extent as they subscribe to themselves. I wouldn't criticise a fellow-Anglican for disregarding any Article on the basis of it being at odds with the plenary sense of Scripture, although I might discuss with them whether they were interpreting Scripture correctly.

    I don't think however that the unbutton-some-of-the-39-buttons-on-my-cassock brigade tend to disavow specific Articles because they are submitting to the higher authority of the plenary sense of Scripture.




    No, you're right there as far as I'm concerned. But I'm not an Evangelical so for me Scripture is not the be all and end all; I tend to think that if God had wanted us to have a definitive source of theology in the sense of propositional truth-claims, he'd have given us one. Not a text that we try to wrestle them out of.
  • bigjon wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    [I'd be surprised if HTB were confirming to the Sheffield quota of clergy numbers which was In think in operation at the time they were launching the Alpha Course.
    Eh?

    Sorry - "I'd be surprised if HTB were conforming to the Sheffield quota of clergy numbers which was I think in operation at the time they were launching the Alpha Course."

    I understood the sentence; but what on earth is/was the Sheffield quota and how did HTB vary from it?
  • bigjon wrote: »
    Ricardus wrote: »
    But that <prayerful submission to Scripture> doesn't help <in avoiding having to appeal to a magisterium - bigjon's editorial summary of Ricardus' point> if you are trying to understand why two people hold differing interpretations of Scripture. Or do you think that when Wesley and Whitefield quarrelled over predestination, the reason for their disagreement is that one of them didn't prayerfully exercise himself enough in the Scriptures?

    One is never in a position to judge from the outside. From the inside, it behoves us to think charitably of our fellow-Christian in all differences of Biblical Interpretation on secondary issues, especially when those issues are as non-primary as which denomination to belong to.

    What I'm trying to get at is that, AIUI, you believe:

    a. There is a definitive, correct interpretation of Scripture;
    b. Any individual can attain this interpretation if they are prayerful enough;

    but also:

    c. It is the duty of bishops to promote the true interpretation and confound false interpretations.

    But (c) is only possible if you have some means of ensuring that only sufficiently prayerful people become bishops. Which by your own acknowledgement is impossible, because we can't know someone's prayerfulness from outside. If Wesley and Whitefield both presented themselves to the selection panel, I don't think either of them could be rejected for lack of prayerfulness.

    I've heard a+b described as 'soul competency', but it's a concept I associate with congregationalist churches, and for a good reason I think.
  • bigjon wrote: »
    Ricardus wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    We certainly don't openly repudiate the founding doctrines of the denomination to which we claim to belong.

    But as I understand your position, your own support of the 39 Articles is conditional on them being in accordance with Scripture. That is, if you became convinced that Article 37 is contrary to Scripture, then you would disregard it. So you can't really criticise anyone else for being prepared to disregard the Articles according to their lights.

    Article 20 is self-critical of the 39 Articles against the ultimate canon of Scripture. So I subscribe to the 39 Articles to the same extent as they subscribe to themselves. I wouldn't criticise a fellow-Anglican for disregarding any Article on the basis of it being at odds with the plenary sense of Scripture, although I might discuss with them whether they were interpreting Scripture correctly.

    I don't think however that the unbutton-some-of-the-39-buttons-on-my-cassock brigade tend to disavow specific Articles because they are submitting to the higher authority of the plenary sense of Scripture.

    Indeed. Anglo-Catholics disavow them in submission to (as they see it) the higher authority of Holy Tradition, and liberals to Reason. If you want to say people should only disregard them for the sake of the higher authority of Scripture, then I think that ship sailed sometime round Tracts for the Times ...

    I would like to clarify, though, that I'm not trying to cast you out of the C of E. I think a Protestant church must necessarily be a broad church, which means it gets to encompass the lot of us. It's more that if con-evos (in general) knowingly choose to join a church that is structured in a particular way, they can't really complain if they get into conflicts because it acts in accordance with the way it is structured.
  • Ricardus wrote: »
    I would like to clarify, though, that I'm not trying to cast you out of the C of E. I think a Protestant church must necessarily be a broad church, which means it gets to encompass the lot of us. It's more that if con-evos (in general) knowingly choose to join a church that is structured in a particular way, they can't really complain if they get into conflicts because it acts in accordance with the way it is structured.

    I mean, likewise. But there reaches a point (and in almost every other organisation we'd be well past it) where disobedience, refusing duties, and outright rebellion will result in sanctions. To then say "oh, they cast me out" is pathetic. If I told my boss* to go fuck himself, I'd be handed a box to collect my personal effects and marched to the door by security. If I actually led a departmental coup against his authority, pretty certain I wouldn't be getting the box.

    (*I am currently self-employed, but have worked for people in the past. At no point have I either told my boss to go fuck themselves, nor led a departmental coup. Might have thought about it, but didn't do it.)
  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    My experience was very much "examine the scriptures and you'll find the vicar is right". Alternative opinions were perfectly acceptable as long you didn't voice them or act on them...

    Yeah that’s mine too, in a far less conservative setting. And still in a parish church. Huh.
    Eutychus wrote: »
    All the private interpretation in all the world is of limited use to me if ultimately I have to submit to the vicar’s teaching.
    This certainly sits in line with @Bishops Finger's earlier comment, which I echoed, about the obsession with power, authority, and holding onto both.

    Yes, power and influence do seem to be fairly important here.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    edited August 2019
    (Random wandering Quaker has read thread and has a question/s)

    Why be, say, CofE (and not agree with such issues as women priests) over and above being Orthodox ? Or Roman Catholic ? Or Lutheran ?
  • mousethief wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Where the bishop is, there is the church. This understanding of the episcopacy long predates Anglicanism, let alone these little wannabe splinter groups.

    No - where the people are there is the church. Ecclesia predates episkopos

    So you are of the opinion that the church went wrong in or before 130 AD and kept being wrong until well after the reformation? Because that was the teaching of the church in the early second century.

    Yes. That teaching does not reflect the communal, koinonia description of church in the Acts of the Apostles

    The Protestant Hubris. Knew it would surface.

    For hubris read "view" or "understanding." Why the insult?
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    Ricardus wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    We certainly don't openly repudiate the founding doctrines of the denomination to which we claim to belong.

    But as I understand your position, your own support of the 39 Articles is conditional on them being in accordance with Scripture. That is, if you became convinced that Article 37 is contrary to Scripture, then you would disregard it. So you can't really criticise anyone else for being prepared to disregard the Articles according to their lights.

    Article 20 is self-critical of the 39 Articles against the ultimate canon of Scripture. So I subscribe to the 39 Articles to the same extent as they subscribe to themselves. I wouldn't criticise a fellow-Anglican for disregarding any Article on the basis of it being at odds with the plenary sense of Scripture, although I might discuss with them whether they were interpreting Scripture correctly.

    I don't think however that the unbutton-some-of-the-39-buttons-on-my-cassock brigade tend to disavow specific Articles because they are submitting to the higher authority of the plenary sense of Scripture.




    No, you're right there as far as I'm concerned. But I'm not an Evangelical so for me Scripture is not the be all and end all; I tend to think that if God had wanted us to have a definitive source of theology in the sense of propositional truth-claims, he'd have given us one. Not a text that we try to wrestle them out of.
    The 10 commandments? There seems to be a general fear of right:wrong these days


  • ECraigRECraigR Shipmate
    It’s always the schismatics who say they aren’t schisming.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    Ricardus wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    We certainly don't openly repudiate the founding doctrines of the denomination to which we claim to belong.

    But as I understand your position, your own support of the 39 Articles is conditional on them being in accordance with Scripture. That is, if you became convinced that Article 37 is contrary to Scripture, then you would disregard it. So you can't really criticise anyone else for being prepared to disregard the Articles according to their lights.

    Article 20 is self-critical of the 39 Articles against the ultimate canon of Scripture. So I subscribe to the 39 Articles to the same extent as they subscribe to themselves. I wouldn't criticise a fellow-Anglican for disregarding any Article on the basis of it being at odds with the plenary sense of Scripture, although I might discuss with them whether they were interpreting Scripture correctly.

    I don't think however that the unbutton-some-of-the-39-buttons-on-my-cassock brigade tend to disavow specific Articles because they are submitting to the higher authority of the plenary sense of Scripture.




    No, you're right there as far as I'm concerned. But I'm not an Evangelical so for me Scripture is not the be all and end all; I tend to think that if God had wanted us to have a definitive source of theology in the sense of propositional truth-claims, he'd have given us one. Not a text that we try to wrestle them out of.
    The 10 commandments? There seems to be a general fear of right:wrong these days


    Hardly a systematic theology. I don't think people are so much afraid of right:wrong (do you mean as in good:bad or as in true:false?) as unconvinced by claims of sure knowledge of them, especially when it's "because this book containing genocide, homophobia and reeking of patriarchy says so".

    Sorry to be brutal, but that's where I am these days.
  • ECraigR wrote: »
    It’s always the schismatics who say they aren’t schisming.
    Like politicians switching parties: "It's not me who's changed, it's the party".

  • KarlLB wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    Ricardus wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    We certainly don't openly repudiate the founding doctrines of the denomination to which we claim to belong.

    But as I understand your position, your own support of the 39 Articles is conditional on them being in accordance with Scripture. That is, if you became convinced that Article 37 is contrary to Scripture, then you would disregard it. So you can't really criticise anyone else for being prepared to disregard the Articles according to their lights.

    Article 20 is self-critical of the 39 Articles against the ultimate canon of Scripture. So I subscribe to the 39 Articles to the same extent as they subscribe to themselves. I wouldn't criticise a fellow-Anglican for disregarding any Article on the basis of it being at odds with the plenary sense of Scripture, although I might discuss with them whether they were interpreting Scripture correctly.

    I don't think however that the unbutton-some-of-the-39-buttons-on-my-cassock brigade tend to disavow specific Articles because they are submitting to the higher authority of the plenary sense of Scripture.




    No, you're right there as far as I'm concerned. But I'm not an Evangelical so for me Scripture is not the be all and end all; I tend to think that if God had wanted us to have a definitive source of theology in the sense of propositional truth-claims, he'd have given us one. Not a text that we try to wrestle them out of.
    The 10 commandments? There seems to be a general fear of right:wrong these days


    Hardly a systematic theology.

    And besides, since the Ten Commandments form part of the Torah rather than the Noahide Laws, one could argue they are no more binding on Gentiles than the stuff about pork, shellfish, and garments of mixed fabric.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Where the bishop is, there is the church. This understanding of the episcopacy long predates Anglicanism, let alone these little wannabe splinter groups.

    No - where the people are there is the church. Ecclesia predates episkopos

    So you are of the opinion that the church went wrong in or before 130 AD and kept being wrong until well after the reformation? Because that was the teaching of the church in the early second century.

    Yes. That teaching does not reflect the communal, koinonia description of church in the Acts of the Apostles

    The Protestant Hubris. Knew it would surface.

    For hubris read "view" or "understanding." Why the insult?

    I think it's a case of responding in kind. You don't think there's something a bit insulting in stating that the whole of the church lost the plot for 1400 years until the Protestant cavalry arrived to tell it what it had been doing wrong?
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Ricardus wrote: »
    And besides, since the Ten Commandments form part of the Torah rather than the Noahide Laws, one could argue they are no more binding on Gentiles than the stuff about pork, shellfish, and garments of mixed fabric.
    I don't think that's either correct or traditionally sound.

    First, there's a very considerable overlap between the Commandments and the Noahide laws. The only commandments that aren't covered are the sabbath, honouring parents and not coveting.

    For the transition from the Bronze to the Iron Age, the prohibition on coveting was more than a bit of an innovation because it deals with state of mind, not action.

    Second, for Christians exegesis, there is a fundamental difference between the heart and external observance. The Ten Commandments are about how to behave. The things that they prohibit are acts which all have ethical dimension. 'Stuff about pork, shellfish, and garments of mixed fabric' are about external compliance, and not about states of the heart.

    Rabbis since at least the time of Ezra have transposed the formal regulations of the Torah into the moral realm so as to deduce from them guidance as to how one should live. Yet it is still so that the Ten Commandments make ethical statements from which conduct follows, whereas much of the rest of the Torah makes statements as to conduct from which rabbis were able to deduce guidance as to conduct.

    Besides, the tradition of Christian ethics has always taken it for granted that all 10 are binding on humanity.

    So no. One could not argue that.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited August 2019
    Enoch wrote: »
    So no. One could not argue that.
    Of course one can argue it. Whether others will find that argument persuasive is a different question. :wink:

    I think it’s a little more nuanced. No, the 10 Commandments are not binding on us in the same way that they were/are binding on the people of Israel. I think that is exemplified by the command on the Sabbath and by the beginning: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt.” The people of Israel were/are bound to keep them as part of the covenant with God.

    To say we are not bound in the same way doesn’t negate that they may have a role to play for us. But I think it does mean that our righteousness and faithfulness to the covenant turns on our keeping the Law, including the 10 Commandments.

  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited August 2019
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    No, the 10 Commandments are not binding on us in the same way that they were/are binding on the people of Israel.
    Agreed. I prefer to turn the Commandments on their head, teasing out the principles that lie behind them (e.g. What does "Sabbath" mean for us today?) and using them as positive encouragements and guidelines for living godly lives. I am reminded of what Paul wrote in Romans 6: "Do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. ... For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace".

    Or are we straying from the point of this thread?

  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    edited August 2019
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Enoch wrote: »
    So no. One could not argue that.
    Of course one can argue it. Whether others will find that argument persuasive is a different question. :wink:

    That was actually my point - even the Ten Commandments can be argued over.

    The start of this tangent was Karl's comment: 'if God had wanted us to have a definitive source of theology in the sense of propositional truth-claims, he'd have given us one. Not a text that we try to wrestle them out of.' I think your excellent post, and Enoch's excellent post, are absolutely valid, but they still fall into the category of 'wrestling'.

    For myself, I do not find it obvious, at least in the sense of 'plain meaning of Scripture', what Paul actually means by the law in Romans and Galatians. Although a lot of Christians draw a distinction between the moral and the ceremonial law, it's not a distinction that is ever made explicit in Scripture. And although the Rabbis draw a distinction between the Noahide Law and the Torah, this isn't really explicit in Scripture either; it's sort of implicit in the sequence of events in Genesis-Exodus, but it's presented in the form of a story, not systematic theology.
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    bigjon wrote: »
    I don't deny the authority of the episcopacy but it is defined in the Book Of Common Prayer and the Ordinal (the other founding documents of the Church Of England apart from the 39 Articles) way differently from how the current bishops of the CofE present it.

    We've had bishops for nigh on two millennia. Choosing to define the episcopacy by a particular set of much younger documents (even if they are the "founding documents" of the C of E) seems a trifle myopic.

    Hi Leorning Cniht -

    The founding documents of the C of E reclaimed the new testament understanding of bishops after later accretions (from the Didache onwards as per Mousethief) - in the New Testament episcopos and presbuteros are interchangeable descriptions of the pastor-teacher.

    Therefore in the Ordinal the bishops and the presbyters ('presbyter' is contracted to 'priest') are of the same order and are given the same charge, essentially to study and teach faithfully the Bible and thereby to drive away erroneous doctrine.
  • (Orthodox Judaism makes no distinction between moral and ceremonial. There are less important laws and more important laws, and they are treated the same.)
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    edited August 2019
    mousethief wrote: »
    Where the bishop is, there is the church. This understanding of the episcopacy long predates Anglicanism, let alone these little wannabe splinter groups.

    Where God's people gather to hear God's word, there is the church. This understanding of the church goes back to "the day of the church" in Deuteronomy 10:4
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    Gee D wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    Have you been listening to anything the GAFCON bishops have been saying for the past ten years? The next Lambeth conference will be an irrelevant sideshow, because once the English Archbishops cease to uphold Anglican / Scriptural doctrine they lose all authority over the worldwide Anglican provinces.

    Just what authority does either Archbishop, or even the 2 of them together, have over any other Anglican province?

    The authority of God's word faithfully exhorted and applied, of they do it. Attempts to codify their authority in a more Roman Catholic direction by means of the Anglican covenant mercifully failed.
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    Eirenist wrote: »
    1 Cor 11.5 - Bigjon, do all the women keep their heads covered in your services?

    (A quibble - we should call them meetings, not services, for God "is not served by human hands, as though needing anything" Acts 17:25)

    Not all the women, no - the matter is left to the conscience of the individual. Do you think, in order to interpret the Bible consistently, that we should police the doors of the meeting and only admit women if they keep their heads covered?
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    That's what I said, a tax on success. Take more money from the churches which are growing through sharing the good news and use it to subsidise churches such as the one I referred to which hadn't grown for ten years as a result of the Sea-of-faith vicar publishing not good news but sheer existentialism.

    Taking this at face value, do you actually believe that only a church that has an increasing electoral role is 'growing' in any spiritual sense of the word?

    No

    Then your comment about the parish share being a tax on success is ... what? Facetious? False? Mistaken?

    ...True.

    If I complain that Income Tax is a tax on wealth, it's no argument against the proposition to say that wealth can also be measured by savings or capital gains.

    If I complain that Parish Share which penalises numerical growth is a tax on success, it's no argument against the proposition to say that success can also be measured by increasing love shown by the congregation or greater prayerfulness in the parish.
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    Eutychus wrote: »
    Coming late to this having been on shore leave since it started...

    Firstly welcome @bigjon and I hope you stick around.

    I am an evangelical by upbringing, conversion story, and how the church I help lead self-identifies. I went to uni with a bunch of Iwerne types and occasionally move in Alpha type spheres. I do however find it extremely difficult to identify with the particular type of Reform-style evangelicalism within the CoE.

    I think @Bishops Finger is on the money back on page 1 when he says a lot of it is about POWER and AUTHORITY (sic). While this may not immediately be apparent, it's the common denominator in many issues that separate evangelical paradigms from others and it's the denominator for which I part company with them.

    Where I think your position is wrong is the underlying assumption that your breed of evangelical has it right and others are schismatics or heretics. While I would defend those parts of evangelicalism with which I'm happy in my own practice, I would also acknowledge the convictions and practices of other strands of the Church - all the more so those within the same communion as me. I can say where I think they are wrong (and frequently do) but that does not give my particular tribe a monopoly on what is right, or make it immune from wrong. I don't often see that sort of attitude prevail in the type of evangelicalism you represent, and to that extent I think it is in danger of straining gnats and swallowing camels.

    Hello Eutychus and thanks for your welcome.

    I think I use the word heretical far less often than you realise. I've used it once on this thread I believe, in describing a Sea-of-faith vicar in our deanery years ago who published a book which had clearly heretical statements of the when-we-pray-to-God-we-pray-to-no-one-outside-ourselves kind.

    I agree that power and authority are often key issues, as they were in the situation just described - the diocesan staff tried to present themselves as having the authority to decide on what basis Parish Share would be paid, and were revealed not to have that authority.

    In the C of E, praise God, the genuine power lies in the parishes, not the bishops and not the synods.
    It is because of this conviction that ConEvo parishes are often seen as aloof from church politics, as they concentrate on ministering the gospel in their own patch. I think that aloofness is a mistake, which is partly why I'm here. I hope to stick around.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    bigjon wrote: »
    Gee D wrote: »
    bigjon wrote: »
    Have you been listening to anything the GAFCON bishops have been saying for the past ten years? The next Lambeth conference will be an irrelevant sideshow, because once the English Archbishops cease to uphold Anglican / Scriptural doctrine they lose all authority over the worldwide Anglican provinces.

    Just what authority does either Archbishop, or even the 2 of them together, have over any other Anglican province?

    The authority of God's word faithfully exhorted and applied, of they do it. Attempts to codify their authority in a more Roman Catholic direction by means of the Anglican covenant mercifully failed.

    How on earth is that what you said in your first quoted post? And in any event, how do the English Abps have any greater authority in proclaiming doctrine than the leaders of any other church in the Communion?
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    It might be salutary for the Con-Evos (as well as the rest of us!) to consider how small a proportion of the population we are, be our churches never so large, numerous, and/or 'successful' (whatever that means).

    I heartily agree. My church is the largest in our municipal area but only about 1% of the population attend. There are about 100 Church Of England buildings but many of them lie empty on a Sunday. If we focus our efforts on denominational politics at the expense of reaching out to the unchurched 90% of the population, our priorities are badly skewed.

    That is one reason why it is right and justified for ConEvo parishes who are already (faithfully) part of the Church Of England denomination to remain there, for /*puts on fatuous smug patronising expression*/
    it is the best boat to fish from
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    The irony, of course, is that a great many MOTR Anglicans feel that, far from being marginalised, the evangelicals have taken over. Both Archbishops are evangelicals, and a great many Bishops.

    But there have been only two Conservative Evangelical bishops in the church of England in the last 30 years
  • bigjonbigjon Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    The Lutheran view is where the Word is preached and the sacraments are observed, there is the church.

    Hi Gramps49 -

    Article 19 of the 39 Articles says much the same - "The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in the which the pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ's ordinance"

    But this is one of the Articles that I think should be revised in the light of Scripture. The day of the church in Deuteronomy 10 4 was God's people congregating to hear God's word. I believe that the Sacraments should be duly ministered in a church, but this isn't an essential part of being a church. Otherwise one would have to exclude Salvation Army fellowships from being churches and I don't think that's correct.
  • bigjon wrote: »
    But this is one of the Articles that I think should be revised in the light of Scripture. The day of the church in Deuteronomy 10 4 was God's people congregating to hear God's word.
    I think that’s a massive oversimplification, if not outright distortion, of Duet. 10:4, of the Torah, and of OT understanding generally, as well as the understanding in Jesus’s time. For just one example, a man could not be part of the assembly to start with unless he had been circumcised.
    I believe that the Sacraments should be duly ministered in a church, but this isn't an essential part of being a church.
    Given that Jesus explicitly commanded the church to observe the sacraments, how can they not be essential?


  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    bigjon wrote: »
    But this is one of the Articles that I think should be revised in the light of Scripture. The day of the church in Deuteronomy 10 4 was God's people congregating to hear God's word. I believe that the Sacraments should be duly ministered in a church, but this isn't an essential part of being a church. Otherwise one would have to exclude Salvation Army fellowships from being churches and I don't think that's correct.

    The Salvation Army most decidedly does not have churches and never has. Booth was definite on the point. They have meeting halls. Those wanting the sacraments have always resorted to one or other of the traditional churches as Booth intended. Indeed, St Sanity is quite clear that Sallies are very welcome to attend Eucharists, or to be married in a religious ceremony.
  • Ricardus wrote: »
    For myself, I do not find it obvious, at least in the sense of 'plain meaning of Scripture', what Paul actually means by the law in Romans and Galatians. Although a lot of Christians draw a distinction between the moral and the ceremonial law, it's not a distinction that is ever made explicit in Scripture. And although the Rabbis draw a distinction between the Noahide Law and the Torah, this isn't really explicit in Scripture either; it's sort of implicit in the sequence of events in Genesis-Exodus, but it's presented in the form of a story, not systematic theology.

    I largely agree with you here and would be interested in this tangent being a thread in its own right.
  • bigjon wrote: »
    I think I use the word heretical far less often than you realise. I've used it once on this thread I believe, in describing a Sea-of-faith vicar in our deanery years ago who published a book which had clearly heretical statements of the when-we-pray-to-God-we-pray-to-no-one-outside-ourselves kind.
    Regardless of what word you use, you seem to be fairly dismissive of your fellow-travellers in the CoE who don't reach the same conclusions about biblical interpretation to your own, and the imperative need for them to reform. Can you find a more appropriate word?
    I agree that power and authority are often key issues, as they were in the situation just described - the diocesan staff tried to present themselves as having the authority to decide on what basis Parish Share would be paid, and were revealed not to have that authority.
    You misunderstand me. I think that where this brand of evangelicalism goes wrong is its obsession with authority, and more particularly the exercise of authority by some over others.

    For many evangelicals, the hierarchical nature of authority is assumed and predicated onto every aspect of life and faith; but it is not a given. Try looking through the NT and seeing where it is said that elders, overseers, shepherds (translate them how you will) exercise authority over the church (and on that topic, what @Nick Tamen said about Deuteronomy 10:4).
  • It's a standard deviation away - to the right - from the already conservative mean gene for the moral taste receptor of authority/respect over subversion.
  • Although I disagree with his assessment of the CoE, I think bigjon makes an important point. How do we cope with any institution when we feel it has changed so much that it is no longer the thing we supported? To compare great things to little, this is the dilemma some Who fans faced when the Doctor became a woman.
  • Good point - although in fact most "institutions", and ourselves, change over time, albeit incrementally.
  • I don't really want to keep jumping on bigjon. The underlying issue seems to be whether Christians are to regard the text the Bible as the beginning or the end of their journey with Christ.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Although I disagree with his assessment of the CoE, I think bigjon makes an important point. How do we cope with any institution when we feel it has changed so much that it is no longer the thing we supported? To compare great things to little, this is the dilemma some Who fans faced when the Doctor became a woman.

    What? Misogyny?
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