Catholic, Orthodox Bishops

It’s so encouraging isn’t it that these wonderfully orthodox bishops in TEC take huge amounts of effort to defend Christ’s glory.

INAUGURAL PRAYER: Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire is scheduled to deliver a prayer at a Jan. 18 inaugural event for President-elect Barack Obama. Bishop Robinson told the Associated Press "I will be careful not to be especially Christian in my prayer."

You couldn’t make it up could you?

Compare this to the (leaked) copy of the theological report to the English House of Bishops on the Uniqueness of Christ. A huge whopping back slap to Martin Davie who put it together. It’s absolutely phenomenal and sound as a pound to every jot and tittle.

In this report we have taken a long historical journey from the Old Testament to Common Worship. What we have seen in the course of this journey is as follows:

In the Old Testament  The LORD, the God of Israel is the unique God. He alone creates, sustains and rules the world.  From the time of Abraham onwards the LORD promises that he will bring blessing and renewal to a world marred by human rebellion against him.

In the New Testament Jesus is seen as unique because in him God has come to the world in person, taking human nature upon himself and dying on a cross in order to fulfil his promises and bring in his kingdom. Reflection upon the presence of the LORD in Jesus and on Jesus relation through the Spirit to the one he called Father led the New Testament writers to view the LORD not just as a simple monad, but as a unity consisting of the Father, the Son and the Spirit. .

In the Patristic period the New Testament account of the uniqueness of Jesus was challenged by theologies that denied either his true deity or his true humanity. The Fathers eventually rejected these theologies and expressed the core of the New Testament teaching about Jesus in the Nicene, Athanasian and Apostles Creeds and in the Chalcedonian Definition.

At the Reformation the New Testament and Patristic witness to the uniqueness of Jesus was challenged by English religious radicals who questioned both Jesus deity and his true humanity and also suggested that it was not necessary for those with opportunity to do so to have faith in Jesus in order to be saved. In its three historic Reformation formularies the Church of England rejected these challenges and upheld the teaching of the New Testament, the Creeds and the Chalcedonian Definition.

From the eighteenth century onwards the Church of England’s traditional view of the uniqueness of Jesus has been called into question by those who have asked whether the New Testament really teaches the equality and distinction of the persons of the Trinity whether it makes theological sense to continue to affirm the doctrine of the incarnation and whether we should continue to believe in Jesus’ virgin birth and bodily resurrection. In the face of this questioning the Church of England has continued to uphold its traditional teaching in all these areas.

The Church of England, and Anglicans more generally, have also taken the traditional doctrines of the Trinity and the incarnation as their basis for interfaith dialogue, holding that Jesus is the source of salvation for all people everywhere (whether they are yet aware of the fact or not), but also holding that Christians are called to be God’s instruments in bringing people to explicit faith in Christ and to membership of his Church.

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32 Comments on “Catholic, Orthodox Bishops

  1.  My problem with that model is that who gets to decide what constitutes key elements of the faith (e.g. gadgetvicar contrasted the evangelical conception of prayer with the liberal one; since when is believing in a specific mechanisim of prayer a fundamental element of being a Christian?). And the idea that liberal just regard Jesus as essentially a great moral teacher, one of many paths to God etc seems spurious; are they in essence hypocrites when they say the liturgy for the Eucharist then? 

  2. Peter – we are all a mix of evil and good aren’t we?
     …….in the visible Church the evil be ever mingled with the good….
    Or are you saying that you are all good?

  3. It appears the sound system failed, so the prayer went unheard, but here it is:

    By The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire
    Opening Inaugural Event
    Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC
    January 18, 2009
    Welcome to Washington! The fun is about to begin, but first, please join me in pausing for a moment, to ask God’s blessing upon our nation and our next president.
    O God of our many understandings, we pray that you will…
    Bless us with tears – for a world in which over a billion people exist on less than a dollar a day, where young women from many lands are beaten and raped for wanting an education, and thousands die daily from malnutrition, malaria, and AIDS.
    Bless us with anger – at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
    Bless us with discomfort – at the easy, simplistic “answers” we’ve preferred to hear from our politicians, instead of the truth, about ourselves and the world, which we need to face if we are going to rise to the challenges of the future.
    Bless us with patience – and the knowledge that none of what ails us will be “fixed” anytime soon, and the understanding that our new president is a human being, not a messiah.
    Bless us with humility – open to understanding that our own needs must always be balanced with those of the world.
    Bless us with freedom from mere tolerance – replacing it with a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences, and an understanding that in our diversity, we are stronger.
    Bless us with compassion and generosity – remembering that every religion’s God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable in the human community, whether across town or across the world.
    And God, we give you thanks for your child Barack, as he assumes the office of President of the United States.Give him wisdom beyond his years, and inspire him with Lincoln’s reconciling leadership style, President Kennedy’s ability to enlist our best efforts, and Dr. King’s dream of a nation for ALL the people.
    Give him a quiet heart, for our Ship of State needs a steady, calm captain in these times.
    Give him stirring words, for we will need to be inspired and motivated to make the personal and common sacrifices necessary to facing the challenges ahead.
    Make him color-blind, reminding him of his own words that under his leadership, there will be neither red nor blue states, but the United States.
    Help him remember his own oppression as a minority, drawing on that experience of discrimination, that he might seek to change the lives of those who are still its victims.
    Give him the strength to find family time and privacy, and help him remember that even though he is president, a father only gets one shot at his daughters’ childhoods.
    And please, God, keep him safe. We know we ask too much of our presidents, and we’re asking FAR too much of this one. We know the risk he and his wife are taking for all of us, and we implore you, O good and great God, to keep him safe. Hold him in the palm of your hand – that he might do the work we have called him to do, that he might find joy in this impossible calling, and that in the end, he might lead us as a nation to a place of integrity, prosperity and peace.
    AMEN.

  4. Sound,

    You’re dodging the issue (which is what I normally do). Are you saying that I’m evil, as in the understanding of Article 26  where it says “sometimes the evil have chief authority”?

    And let’s be clear, Article 26 says “do minister by his commission and authority”. I would argue that Robinson simply does not have the Lord’s commission and authority.

  5. Dear Ryan,

    it isn’t hard to know what true Christianity is compared to its counterfeits. The Reformed confessions (which include the 39 Articles) share all the fundamental issues.

    Dear Sound,

    as for Article 26 it contrasts the wicked with the good. It isn’t talking about our dethroned sinful nature that remains after regeneration.

    Regards,

    JF.

  6. I don’t know you Peter – but you are human, and so you are mix of good and evil. And, as the article makes clear,  even if the ‘evil have chief authority’ the sacrament is still effectual. I don’t see that as dodging the issue at all. It’s very clear. 

    And I realise you’d argue Bishop Gene Robinson does not have the Lord’s commission and authority. You’d argue the same about every woman priest and bishop in the Anglican Communion too. Doesn’t make you right though. And I think article 36 makes it clear that they have been properly ordained….    

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