Monday, December 29, 2008

Thinking about the DIocese of Florida Resolution 12

From the Diocese of C. Fl resolution 12 re. disaffiliation from ACN,

"Some are called to walk apart in witness to the one unchanging Gospel while others are called to continue that witness within TEC. It is our prayer that this separation is temporary and will result in real and lasting reformation and renewal of TEC and, indeed, the whole Anglican Communion, to the end that one day we may truly manifest the unity for which our Lord prayed."

"Some are called - others are called." I want to know the reasons why the Diocese of C Fl believes or better 'thinks' it is called to do whatever. Or is in the realm of subjective feelings only? I find this talk empty and unhelpful. Perhaps it is an attempt to smooth over what might prove to be contentious. The Diocese of Central Florida, if this resolution passes, chooses to disaffiliate with ACN. Fair enough. The reason given is that after prayer and thought, they believe they can provide a more effective witness within TEC.

It seems to me that in the revelation of God's will there could be more than just one way to respond to TEC apostasy. However, I would say that God calls all of us to 'separate' ourselves from fellowship with false teachers - which includes, among others, our Presiding Bishop. That principle is found in the Bible, therefore it must be God's will. How we implement that is a bit trickier - admittedly. I think it means we should not break bread with false teachers or have fellowship with them - i.e. in the context of a worship service, for instance.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Is Rowan Williams in the Right Job (I don't think so)

Gerald Bray's fascinating editorial in the Churchman - not online at the
moment - begins this way: "Rowan Williams is in the wrong job. The events
of the past few months must have made that fairly obvious to most
people...The truth, however, is that having done his utmost to hold the
Anglican Communion together, Dr. Williams has managed to drive it further
apart, not so much by the creation of GAFCON, of which he is the true
founder and patron, as by his encouragement he has given to the Americans
and others to carry on as they always have, regardless of what anyone else
says or thinks..."

Could not one unintended consequence of the Communion Partners be to give
encouragement to TEC to carry on as they always have?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

There have been many attempts to summ...

There have been many attempts to summarize the Bible: Here is one:

God has given us a book full of stories,
Which he made for his people of old,
It begins with a tale of a garden,
And ends with a city of gold.

That's not a bad summary. Another way is to understand the Bible as revealing the God who comes to us. In the Garden of Eden, after the Adam and Eve sinned and hid from God, God came to search for them. Similarly, in the parable of the Good Shepherd, Jesus teaches us that God comes to those who are lost, in the person of his Son, to rescue us. At the right time, Galatians tells us, God "sent his son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law." (Gal 4.5)

The Old Testament promises that God will come to us as a prophet to declare his authoritative word, and he will come as the priest to atone for our sins, and he will come to proclaim peace to the nations as the king whose rule will extend from sea to sea. In the New Testament, the one who will be prophet, priest and king is summed up as Immanuel, 'God with us.' The God who is coming is the one who has come.

So, it is not surprising that the God who has come promises one day to return. Rather than a an obscure piece of biblical trivia, the second coming of Christ the 'end game' of the Bible. This is where everything is headed. The Greek word, eskatos, from which we get 'eschatology' means the final things. The Bible is eschatological from beginning to end.

At Christmas, we remember Jesus' coming into the world at a point and time in history. However, we should also remember that this coming of the Lord which was for 'us men and our salvation' through his death and resurrection will be completed at his second coming. His coming again will be physical, visible, sudden and triumphant. As we rejoice over his coming into the world as a baby, we look forwad to the time that he will come again in his glorious majesty to usher in the new heavens and the new earth where righteousness dwells.