Three Questions

I’ve just posted the following three questions on Susan Russell’s blog in response to this blog post. The the uninitiated Susan Russell is one of the head honchos of Integrity. The more astute of you will notice a link to an exercise I engaged in a day or two ago:

Three quick questions Susan:

i) Is Jesus 100% divine and 100% human, now and for all eternity unchanged in that hypostatic union, in a way that no other human being could ever ever be?

ii) Is Jesus the only way to the Father, in that it is necessary to have personal faith in HIS saving power in order to dwell with the Father in eternity?

iii) Was Jesus’ defeat of sin and sin’s power demonstrated by an unequivocal physical resurrection from the grave of the exact same body that was crucified days earlier?

If you can’t answer “yes” to those three questions then you demonstrate why schism will happen. I challenge you to permit this comment onto your blog and then to answer all three questions.

I’m hoping that Susan has the gumption to permit the comment AND to answer the questions.

Schism in the church is NOT about denying the gospel of truth and reconciliation. It is about affirming the Gospel of truth and reconciliation in the face of those who choose to reject truth and deny the need for sinners to repent and be reconciled to the Lord of the Universe, Jesus Christ.

2 Comments on “Three Questions

  1. (I just posted this to Dave Walker’s blog, but since the comment is really directed to this post, I thought “what they hey” why not a little trans-atlantic theological mud-wresting on dull Sunday evening? Seriously, the comment belongs here not there. I will put up both Dave Walker’s post and yours on my blog, because I think it is illustrative as to why we are where we are. atg+)

    Interesting test. Thanks for posting and pointing to it. I prefer the Baptismal Covenant in the 1979 BCP (USA), which is based on the Apostles Creed. Here are two reasons why:

    First, as confidently and happily as I am to be able to tick off “yes” to all three questions, and therefore I can now rest easy because I am presumed to be orthodox, so what? Because where you and I part company is in that we draw different implications from the same belief. And it is those implications of the Gospel that is at the heart of the conflict within Anglicanism right now.

    Which leads to the second problem. These questions seem to me to be a trap into which unsuspecting “heretics” may fall. You want to see if the witch will float: if not, she is not a witch and God will save her; if she does we will burn her for her own good.

    If she were to post her comments and answer “yes” then you would castigate her for being an apostate. If she answers “no” to even one, then you would announce that she’s a heretic. As it is she gets to be castigated for ignoring the question, which seems to be a timesaver.

    The Nicene and Apostolic Creeds tell us what all Christian believe not so much as a base line, but as the boundaries within which we are all gathered in Christ. That’s why we call ourselves ‘catholic.’ The precision of this test does not account for differences in practice, culture or polity, let alone theology that makes up the whole Church. At best, this little quiz *may* indicate whether or not a person can live comfortably in this one corner of the Church.

    But not whether or not one should.

  2. Andrew,

    The Nicene, Apostles (and Chalcedonian and other orthodox church councils) do rightly bind us in correct thinking in as much as we mean by what we say what they said and meant by what they said. For example, it is not creedal to say the words “one substance with the Father” and then to deny the implicit meaning and development of the Church’s Christology, namely that Christ was eternally consubstantial with the Father and the Spirit and that the Hypostatic Union means that the Eternal Son is now, in the Father’s presence, fully human and fully divine with the same body resurrected that he died with.

    There is a huge difference between those who affirm the creeds and their contextual meanings and yet may be liberal on some social, non-creedal matters and those who deny the plain creedal teachings of the church. Unfortunately the confusion for many is that the first type of liberal is essentially creedal for he/she affirms the catholic faith but varies on what some might consider adiaphora. The second type of liberal however denies the creedal catholic faith (for example some of the questions above) or (probably even more dangerously) refuses to affirm it. Large parts of the current leadership of TEC unfortunately fit into this bracket.

    As for Susan Russell, she will not even publish the comment, probably because she knows that if she had to answer it she would demonstrate that her beliefs lie outside the compass of historic creedal catholicity. If she could answer in the affirmative she should do so.

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