Thursday, November 3, 2011

Can the Communion sustain two gospels?

In the end I think we can make some simple observations about the possibility that two gospels are at work in the Communion (as I think there are)*:

(1) If two gospels remain in our midst the Communion must break up decisively.

(2) There is always the possibility that a false gospel withers away in favour of the true gospel: God may favour the Communion with evangelical renewal before a decisive break up.

*To take just one situation within the Communion, it is difficult for me to explain to myself (at least) why division among Anglicans/Episcopalians in North America has been taking place over the last decade or so if one and only one gospel is common to them all. I suggest that is a reasonable analysis of the situation, whatever view we may hold about who on that continent subscribes to the true gospel.


Father Ron Smith said...

Surely, if 'Gospel' means 'Good News' from God, there is only one Message - which must be 'Good News' for all who believe in God.

In that understanding, the only 'bad news' would be that there is 'No God'.

Teri said...

I think it is pretty clear that the heart of the gospel is that Jesus is Lord and Saviour - that all need Jesus because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

This is apparently no longer the gospel preached in (at least) parts of TEC - where the Diocese of Atlanta will be considering whether to reinstitute the heretic Pelagius as a viable theological voice. Pelagius was condemned by the Council of Carthage for (among other things) his teaching that mankind possessed an unconditioned free will and was able to obtain his own salvation through personal betterment rather than grace. Or to put it another way - humans did not need Jesus Christ for salvation.

See for full details.

Father Ron Smith said...

re Terry's remarks, above:

The Holy Orthodox Churches believe that even Judas Iscariot may be the benefactor of God's forgiveness, when Christ comes again in His glory.
I would rather believe in God's right to determine on who is, and who is not, a beneficiary of redemption than any human judge.

"Jesus Christ came into this world to SAVE Sinners".

Teri said...

Friar Ron - good grief we may actually be in agreement about what you have said!

However if you read my comment again you'll note it was not about redemption / forgiveness / or justification. It was in fact about authority, doctrine, and the heart of the gospel message.

Personally I believe that good theology and authority in the church must be measured by some objective measure - and I would argue that the Wesleyan pentelateral provides a good measure for this. According to this measure resintituting Pelagius as a viable theological voice is a ridiculous decision - contradicting both scripture and the unified Christian interpretive consensus.

I have yet to hear you articulate your position on how Christians and the church are to decide what is authoritative or not. On what basis would you consider reinstituting Pelagius a good theological decision?