Saturday, August 30, 2008

What the Anglican Reformation REALLY says about the authority of the Bible...and the limits of "church"

Not the "nuanced" (deceptive, revisionist) stuff you get from your local Episcopalian franchise, but this:

"If there were any word of God beside the Scripture, we could never be certain of God's Word; and if we be uncertain of God's Word, the devil might bring in among us a new word, a new doctrine, a new faith, a new church, a new god, yea himself to be a god. If the Church and the Christian faith did not stay itself upon the Word of God certain, as upon a sure and strong foundation, no man could know whether he had a right faith, and whether he were in the true Church of Christ, or a synagogue of Satan."

Thomas Cranmer (if your priest won't tell ya, Cranmer is the guy who pretty much composed the first Book of Common Prayer, and most of the Collects to which you say "Amen" on Sunday.)

Posted first by The Ohio

As for your Episcopal Bishop's assertion of church politics over faith:

“God's grace is promised to one who feareth God and not to sees or successions.”

Bishop John Jewel

And when push comes to shove between Scripture and human philosophy or religion,

“We are to know that the Word of God is His heavenly truth touching matters of eternal life and uttered unto men, unto Prophets and Apostles, by immediate divine inspiration, from them to us by their books and writings…. We have therefore no Word of God but the Scripture.”

Richard Hooker (no, despite what your priest is saying, Hooker did not announce a "three legged stool" in which Scripture is coequal with other stuff. Yes, we can know God very generally through nature and human reflection, but the details of God's action and our response - the means of eternal life - are nowhere else but in Holy Scripture).

From here.


Perpetua said...

I am really glad you posted this.

The Church and the Christian faith must stay itself upon the Word of God certain, as upon a sure and strong foundation.

How does it fit with "The Church's one foundation is Jesus Christ the Lord"?

I am thinking maybe it is that Jesus is the Word (per John) and we know Jesus through the Word of God written, i.e, the Scripture.

Anonymous said...

Great word, Fr. Timothy - thank you. Yes, Perpetua of Carthage - I agree. The Word (study, preaching, lectio divina, meditation and ingestion of the healing Word), the Eucharist, Individual and corporate communion and worship in Spirit and in Truth, and true fellowship (mutual accountability, edification, confession, forgiveness, caring, unity, good will, etc.) are the four basic food groups of Christianity through which Christ imparts Himself to sustain His Body.

Anonymous said...

By accountability - I mean James 5:16 - "confessing your faults to one another, praying for one another that you may be healed."

A true 'confessing communion' will have affirmations, confessions and creeds, but also accountability and mutual submission (Ephesians 5:21)
Jesus in John 20 showed His wounds, then breathed on them the Holy Ghost, then gave them the power to forgive sins.