Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Free radicals: thoughts on vagrant dioceses

Not all bishops are anchored into geographical locations and such bishops may be what is known as episcopi vagantes, wandering bishops. The vagantes concept could also be invoked where whole dioceses secede from one province of the Communion, stake a claim to continue to belong to the Communion while not legally tied into a relationship with another province or network with provincial links or directly to the oversight of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Such a diocese wanders, we could say, canonically free. Currently such a diocese is the Diocese of South Carolina. It is a free radical diocese, pursuing without fear or favour where its Anglican roots might be replanted.

The Living Church has a useful and fascinating series of reflections on this situation.

Why Provinces Matter by Jesse Zink

Don't Cheat the Prophet by William G. Witt

A third essay is coming. AND IS NOW HERE Beyond Provincialism by Colin Podmore

The whole series has the title Sic et Non which plays on Abelard's mediaeval work trying to reconcile contradictions!

What do you think?

Or, do the real vagantes dioceses exist where a wandering occurs from one fad to another with bishops at the helm who chart a course according to the prevailing winds of society?

62 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's 'episcopi vagantes' (Latin), not 'episcopoi vagrantes'.

Not to be confused with 'episcopi volantes'.

Martinus Pedanticus

Peter Carrell said...

Correction on its way, thanks Martin.

Pageantmaster said...

E. Vagantes as far as I know refers to bishops whose consecration is irregular, not to those who have left the Episcopal Church; that is notwithstanding someone having being at the Wikipedia [which is always (mostly, sometimes) right] edit function again.

South Carolina IS Anglican. I am sure you pray for them as I do.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi P'master,

Yes, irregular consecration but I think the term could apply (without pejoration) to bishops who regularly consecrated later find themselves outside of regular canonicity.

Yes, South Carolina is Anglican but the essayists rightly point out that inevitably there is a question of how that Anglicanness is maintained, with particular reference to episcopal succession in the Diocese.

Father Ron Smith said...

"Yes, South Carolina is Anglican but the essayists rightly point out that inevitably there is a question of how that Anglicanness is maintained, with particular reference to episcopal succession in the Diocese." Dr.P.C.

The official Anglican Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina is affiliated, by custom, to its parent Church T.E.C., (with which ACANZP is 'in communion) under the episcopal oversight (non-vagantes) of Bishop von Rosenburg.

The non-Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina has withdrawn from the Episcopal Church in the US, and is therefore no longer part of the Anglican Communion of Churches.

Episcopi Vagantes have been used in the Church of England - in order to allow dissidents protesting against the canonical ordination of women, to avoid their ministry - a totally un-catholic diversion)

Here are recent pictures of the actual TEC Episcopal Diocesan:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=572450432795135&set=a.572449639461881.1073741837.538303492876496&type=3&src=https%3A%2F%2Ffbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net%2Fhphotos-ak-ash3%2Fr90%2F946789_572450432795135_1156694867_n.jpg&size=645%2C960

Tim Chesterton said...

Anglicans pronouncing on who is or is not Anglican remind me strongly of Roman Catholics pronouncing on whether or not Anglicans are Catholic. Especially since the same sort of criteria seem to be used: Catholics think that if you're not in communion with the Pope you're not Catholic, and Anglicans (of some varieties, anyway) seem to think that if you're not in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury, you're not Anglican!

Anonymous said...

Tim the difference is that some Catholics at least believe that being in communion with the Pope may have some bearing on their salvation and the validity of their sacraments. It's a subject this Anglican couldn't care less about. I'm "in communion" with Tim Keller and Billy Graham and have no time at all for the false teaching of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. My understanding of the Church is pneumatic and faith-based, not legalistic.
Martin

Peter Carrell said...

I am not sure about Billy Graham any more, Martin. I read the other day that he supported Mitt Romney in the US election ... :)

Anonymous said...

I'd be surprised if he had done otherwise, since the Obama administration IRS has been going after his son Franklin, along with other "enemies".
Watch out for Watergate 2.0.

Martin

Andrew Reid said...

There seems to be more hand-wringing about the canonicity or episcopal nature of South Carolina than about the departure of TEC from the apostolic faith! Where is the despair about TEC's immoral living, abandonment of Biblical authority and persecution of orthodox churches and dioceses? Or about its bishops leading this departure away from apaostolic faith, rather than contending for it as they promised in their vows? William Witt's piece at least presents these issues alongside his reflection on South Carolina, but you would think the emergency was how to fit South Carolina within Anglican structures rather than how to maintain faithful Anglican witness in North America and beyond.

Of course, in the long term South Carolina will want to be in a more formal, structured and mutually accountable partnership with other Anglican dioceses. But surely their first priority at this time of crisis is to maintain faithful, Biblical Anglican ministry in their area. Coming from a sister diocese of South Carolina (Diocese of Egypt & North Africa), I can confirm that we regard them as fellow Anglicans and maintain the fellowship of the Spirit with them despite their temporary exit from the official structures of the church. It is those who have departed from the apostolic faith whom we regard as in urgent need of reform - personal, rather than structural.

Just out of interest, does anyone know if Mark Lawrence will attend GAFCON in October?

Kurt said...

Many people on this site know my position regarding who “is” and “is not” Anglican. The American Episcopal Church is THE member church of the Anglican Communion in the United States, period/full stop.

That having been said, I have no objection to other Anglican bodies (such as the ACNA, Reformed Episcopal Church, the breakaway Diocese of South Carolina, etc.) being ASSOCIATES of the AC providing that they welcome all other Anglicans (including Episcopalians) to receive the Blessed Sacrament in their churches (just as they are permitted, as baptized Christians, to receive from Episcopal altars).

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Chris Nimmo said...

Martin - That would be his son Franklin who was ranting about Obama being a Muslim.

Anonymous said...

Kurt, let me say this as kindly as I can: We. Don't. Care.
The boat has sailed and a new Anglican Communion is already under formation.
Tec will live on as REIT, as it asset-strips the empty properties, but there will be no people to replace those who die.
Martin

Father Ron Smith said...

"Anonymous said...
Kurt, let me say this as kindly as I can: We. Don't. Care.
The boat has sailed and a new Anglican Communion is already under formation."



Your kindness, sadly, is mis-placed. Your obvious membership of the schismatics who think they are part of the Anglican Communion is the only thing that allows you to be dimissive of the established Episcopal Church in North America.

That does not mean that you can speak - authoritatively - of the world-wide Anglican Communion (of which TEC is a paid-up member) as being: 'up the Swannee River'.

You, yourself, may just find that you are in a leaky boat, that might never be able to reach its hoped for destination. Your only life-rafts are situated in GAFCON, far away from where your boat is.

Bryden Black said...

Recent discussion on the specific circumstances of the Dio of SC prompt me to share these thoughts.

A while back I wrote an essay (60,000 words) entitled Lions Work - Scriptural Authority as a Form of Life: How the Word and the Holy Spirit realises the Life of God among one holy catholic and apostolic Church. When it finally came to address specifically these four marks or notes of the Church, I said this re apostolicity.

“11.3.4 As for apostolicity, for the Church’s participation in the missio Dei, there are traditionally two features to safeguard. Adherence to the apostolic witness to this mission gives us the first element, while faithfulness to the community (communio Dei) which the apostles and prophets founded offers the second. Structurally speaking, matters of “communion” (κοινωνία), “collegiality” and “conciliarity” combine, and themselves rest upon the other three marks of the Church as lived out (and see note 244 below [re the role of bishops especially]). Here we see most forcibly that each and all the marks of the Church properly coinhere - as befits that community of the Trinitarian God, Father Son and Holy Spirit. For the apostolic nature of the Church is none other than her baptism into this Name (Matt 28:16-20) lived out and realised - commissioned - as God’s covenant partner; just as the very promise contained in Jesus’ Commission rests itself in the triune Name: “the pro-missio of the kingdom is the ground of the missio of love to the world”. [Moltmann]

11.4 As a result, we may say that the last two marks or characteristic notes of the Church are quite specifically the realization of the Church’s incorporation into the Being and Activity of the triune God, and the first two marks reflections of the chief characteristics of that God Himself. [footnote: NB this integration of holiness and unity once more in the Prayer of John 17, via a Johannine Trinitarian frame, where “love/grace-and-truth” is this triune God’s nature, the very premise of mission, both God’s and the Church’s.] And here too we come full circle, with the word “realization”. For the NT Catechism, as the teaching pattern and form of life of the NT Church, is nothing itself but a plea, an exhortation, and the means for two things, which are paraphrases of this one word: both to see-and-understand on the one hand; and to put into effect, to cash out on the other hand. Nor should we fail to realise one more time that undergirding this very dynamic is the form of history into which Holy Scripture would enfold us: put most succinctly, it is the Word of Promise. The metanarrative of Scripture enshrines the divine teleology of the triune God’s redeeming action of his creation. [footnote: Cf. MA Rae, History and Hermeneutics, ch.5, “Seeing and Believing”, which is a very useful complement to this word, “realization”; and note especially RW Jenson’s entire theology of “The Identification of God”, ch.3 of his Systematic Theology,1, The Triune God, leading into ch.4, “The Way of God’s Identity”: “[Israel’s] God is not salvific because he defends against the future but because he poses it”, p.67, emphasis added. This God’s Future is precisely that which his covenant partner is to realise, becoming in the Spirit who they are in Christ Jesus.] And what is it that Christians and the Church are to realise? The answers are contained in those two great prayers we find in Ephesians, respectively 1:15-23 and 3:14-21.” [ends]

In which case I venture both TEC and ACANZ&P have their apostolic work cut out!

mike greenslade said...

Kia ora Peter. Not sure who the 'we' are that Martin refers to. I understand He waka eke noa, but suspect that the 'we' does not include me....

Peter Carrell said...

Kia ora Mike,
I understand the 'we' to refer to those paddling He waka reformed evangelical Mihinare ...

It may not be a broad waka, but it is long and there is always room for another paddler!

Bryden Black said...

I hope Mike you are using that delightful Maori proverb in its literal sense. For in its other, more metaphorical (derogatory) sense, Martin might just say it fits TEC far too appropriately - in 'their' eyes. Just so, 'their' radically excluding 'themselves' from TEC with due and just abandonment!

Anonymous said...

Mike, the purpose of a canoe is to fishing.

Ka pu te ruha ka hao te rangatahi


Martin

Anonymous said...

'to *go fishing.'

Or for us landlubbers:

Ka mate te kainga tahi, ka ora te kainga rua

I'm as much a part of the Anglican Communion as Peter Jensen or Justin Welby. My point was that in the age of the internet, jet travel, and international conferences, the old colonial age of Anglicanism is over. Old money and cultural cringe still exert power in the world, but African and Asian Anglicans are no longer as deferential or impressed as they used to be as they look at the post-Christian west.

Martin

Bryden Black said...

Indeed Martin - for 'fishing'. And for travelling safely - from Egypt to the Promised Land, through the Wilderness, with appropriate means of 'sustenance'. I.e. what particular waka ensure these things for today as well ...?!

Thanks for the seminal thoughts, Mike.

Anonymous said...

Quite so, Bryden - for travel as well as fishing - tho' I must have missed the bit about Moses crossing Yam Suph in boats!
But we won't get either task done if some of the passengers (or crew) start a fire on board.
Or as the Inuit say at the other end of the Pacific:
'You can't have your kayak and heat it!' :)

Martinook of the North

Kurt said...

Oh Martin, chill out! And watch a couple of short flicks on the subject:
http://www.episcopalcafe.com/daily/episcopal_church/rumors_to_the_contrary.php


Kurt Hill
A member of growing Ascension Parish
Brooklyn, NY

Peter Carrell said...

Ron: language, watch use thereof!

From you, with redaction:

""In which case I venture both TEC and ACANZ&P have their apostolic work cut out!" - Bryden Black -

I rushed through all your other verbals Bryden, but stopped when I noticed this little gem:

I immediately wonder whether Bryden is actually 'for us or agin us' in our Anglican Church in Aotearoa/New Zealand!

The general drift I get from some of your comments is that you are somewhat uneasy in your present waka (fearing it to be a leaky boat, perhaps?), and anxious to park the [yourself] somewhere else.

Would I be correct. [...]

Waka Aotearoa needs hearty sailors, not [passengers] on board."

Anonymous said...

Kurt, no need to patronize. I don't doubt that in a place the size of NY, with growing population and great mobility, some individual parishes will grow, even while the national picture is one of relentless decline. Metropolises are like that. But it doesn't change the overall picture, as people like 'Statman' on T19 always points out.
Martin

Kurt said...

Oh please, Martin! Statman? Ever hear of "lies, damned lies, and statistics"?

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Anonymous said...

Kurt, I will leave it to others to determine who is telling 'lies and damned lies'. The statistics that Statman collects on Tec membership, Sunday attendance, age profile, collections, baptisms, number of parishes and average membership are those provided by each diocese, so if you think those are lies, you know who to blame. The trend since 2000 is absolutely clear: while the US population continues to grow by about 1% p.a., in the period 2000-2011 Tec lost about a quarter of its membership, attendance has slumped as well. Giving has held up but there are fewer parishes than ever, and baptisms have declined dramatically. These are Tec's own figures. Go figure.

Martin

Father Ron Smith said...

I thought Christianity was rather more about quality than quantity. But I see that for some people here the numbers game seems quite sexy.

The Muslims are a growing community too. What does that mean in terms of relative righteousness and morality? Although I do suspect that some Muslims are a great deal more charitable than some of us.

God calls whom God wills. We can either hinder that calling - on the grounds of our idea of competitive righteousness, or we can humbly follow Christ's call to help the poor, the lonely and the forgotten disenfranchised - God's Anawim.
They're not too exciting, but boy, are they needy. They know their need of God, and they sometimes find 'the righteous' too demanding.

Jesus said: "Come to me, all you who are heavy-burdened, and I WILL re-fresh you" This needs to be at the heart of our mission - not some sort of moral crusade.

Religious fundamental exclusivism can be the enemy of the Gospel - the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Bryden Black said...

I agree Ron; it's sometimes hard to discern a Father's love for His wayward children ...

Anonymous said...

I didn't think I had to spell out that an organization that alienates its own members to the point that large numbers vote with their feet, at the same time as it fails to bring in younger, child-bearing age members, is clearly doing something wrong. I thought only the Exclusive Brethren exulted in small numbers as evidence of their purity.
Martin

Kurt said...

Now now, Martin let’s not exaggerate. If you had bothered to view the two videos I pointed out, you would see that TEC very well might be on the cusp of a turnaround. Certainly, as the good Dean of Virginia Seminary points out, the recent anecdotal indicators point in this direction. We’ll see in a few years if the pre-2000 trend repeats itself (or, rather, takes up where it left off before the splitters split).

Certainly in my own parish, and most of those I know in Metro NYC, there is either modest growth or membership stability. In the Deep South and the Southwest, things may more match your hopes and expectations regarding TEC. But then, many of those folks have a much different cultural outlook than many of us in the Northeast, Midwest, and West Coast.

Kurt Hill
Riding out a thunderstorm in
Brooklyn, NY

Anonymous said...

Yes, Kurt, my job is to not let you exaggerate. I did watch the Markham video clips (and read thru every page of Kirk Hadaway's 2012 report) and I conclude that Markham (whom I've met and talked with a couple of times before) is whistling past the graveyard. Adding schoolkids in compulsory services and the residents of retirement homes to bolster your collapsing Sunday figures smacks of desperation - why didn't he add army chaplains as well?
Like I said, a huge and mobile population in a metropolis can sustain some churches (the flagship London Anglican churches have congregations in the thousands). But don't forget what Aristotle said, that one swallow doesn't make a spring, and the overall pattern in the NE is decline and closure, as Hadaway shows. Yes, you do have a different 'cultural outlook' in the NE - it is notably liberal and secular ('Abortion - yay! Gay marriage - yay! Assisted suicide in Vermont - yay! Hmm, where are all the kids now?') and not interested in spending Sunday morning in church. I'd sooner play golf myself.
It wasn't always so - there was revivalism in NY State in the 19th century and a lot of robust Roman Catholicism. But that historical moment has passed the NE by, as the region became increasingly secular and Jewish - often the same thing. At least NYC has Redeemer Presbyterian Church to shine the light of biblical faith and reach young people.
Martin

Anonymous said...

From Hadaway and Price's 2012 briefing:
"To get a broad-based sense of congregational vitality, we have used a number of measurements including church school enrollment, marriages, funerals, child baptisms, adult baptisms, and confirmations. These speak to a parish's integration in the community and the possibility for future growth:

"Change in church school enrollment: -33%
Change in number of marriages performed: -41%
Change in number of burials/funerals: -21%
Change in the number of child baptisms: -36%
Change in the number of adult baptisms: -40%
Change in the number of confirmations: -32%

While these numbers may not capture the totality of what is happening in the Church, we do not have a measure that is moving in a positive direction."

Incidentally, the only TEC diocese to grow 2000-2009 was South Carolina. British TV had a series in the 80s called 'Blackadder' about WWI, which featured a General Melchett whose strategy was basically: 'All our attacks have failed so far but we'll do it again and this time it will work.' Tally ho!

Martin

Father Ron Smith said...

" But don't forget what Aristotle said, that one swallow doesn't make a spring," - Martinus not-so-correctus.

Surely that quotation was "One swallow doesn't make a summer".

Just asking.

Kurt said...

Actually, Martin, I think that you prove the Dean's basic point very well: both the ultra-conservatives like you and the ultra-liberals like Bp. Spong see clouds behind every silver lining. If I were you, I'd be more concerned that the "culture wars" are likely coming to an end--here in the USA, anyway. Every year now, less and less wind in the sails of groups such ACNA who oppose gay marriage, etc. Even the Boy Scouts USA has changed their tune!

Face it, Martin, you’re are on the losing side of history.

Kurt Hill
Who attends growing Ascension Parish
In Brooklyn, NY

Anonymous said...

'summer' is how it is usely quoted but Nicomachean Ethics 1.6.19f actually says 'spring':

"Denn eine Schwalbe macht noch keinen Frühling, ein einziger Tag auch nicht; ebenso macht auch ein einziger Tag oder eine kurze Zeit niemanden gesegnet oder glücklich." - Nikomachische Ethik I, Kap. 6, 19f, 1098a
(Original griech.: "μία γὰρ χελιδὼν ἔαρ οὐ ποιεῖ, οὐδὲ μία ἡμέρα· οὕτω δὲ οὐδὲ μακάριον καὶ εὐδαίμονα μία ἡμέρα οὐδ᾽ ὀλίγος χρόνος·")

Martinos Hellenikos

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Kurt
Here I feel I must join in.
Whatever the winning side of history turns out to be on homosexuality ( noting that that history is complex around what 'winning' means re acceptance of people, acceptance of specific forms of relationship, and the strength of a currently observable human phenomenon which may change with the course of history), the winning side on liberal v conservative theology has never been that the liberals win.

There could be a first time ... There could be decimation.

Father Ron Smith said...

And: there could be further enlightenment given by God's life-giving Holy Spirit to the Church - like, for instance, on issues like the biblical treatment of women and slaves! God is Love! Let us never forget God's primary motivation. "They'll know you're my disciples by your love"! - not your judgement of other people.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how much you know about 'history', Kurt, but you should know that worldly talk about 'the winning side of history' is basically a Marxist meme. Had I been a Christian in Rome in 410, Hippo in 429, Jerusalem in 632, Spain in 711, Constantinople in 1453, France in 1792, Russia in 1917, Germany in 1933, China in 1949, Iran in 1979 - then I may well have figured I was on 'the losing side' of history. But then I recall the words of G K Chesterton in 'The Everlasting Man': “At least five times, therefore, with the Arian and the Albigensian, with the Humanist sceptic, after Voltaire and after Darwin, the Faith has to all appearance gone to the dogs. In each of these five cases it was the dog that died.” Christianity has largely died out in much of Europe, as it has in much of the northeastern USA, and etiolated forms like Tec have about 20 years to go before demographic facts and ideological exhaustion bring it down as surely as they did the Soviet Union. But that isn’t the end of ‘history’, much less of the faith.

Martin Fukuyama

Father Ron Smith said...

A biblical warning to all you 'tongues-speakers and scholars of language: 1 Cor:13: 1:-

"Though I have the eloquence of men and of angels, but speak without love, I am simply a gong booming or a cymbal clashing" (Jerusalem Bible)

Intellectual achievement is not something to crow about! Rather, to be used for good, not evil

Anonymous said...

Who is "crowing"? Who is "correcting"? Who is "speaking without love"? Have we not all often read: ἔκβαλε πρῶτον ἐκ τοῦ
ὀφθαλμοῦ σοῦ τὴν δοκόν, καὶ τότε διαβλέψεις ἐκβαλεῖν τὸ κάρφος ἐκ τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ σου.

We are enjoined to consider the lilies of the field, not cut down the poppies in a fit of cultural cringe.

Martin

Bryden Black said...

And what exactly constitutes that good, pray tell? What forms of activity does love actually take? These are not self evident much as we'd like them to be. Not when the Cross comes into view.

Shawn Herles said...

They will know us by our love, not by our liberal politics.

They will know us by our love, not by our judgementalism towards conservative Christians.

They will know us by our love, not by our affirmation of sexual sin.

Anonymous said...

And what is so hubristic about Kurt's bombastic talk about 'the losing side of history' is his Whiggish belief that whoever is "winning" now is "right". Of course that's a given of 'Progressive' politics (which has incessantly changed its mind over most questions in 150+ years) but has little to do with the Kingdom of God and Christ's teaching that history ends in the General Judgment, not some secular utopia. The 'winning side' of history is determined by the Lord of history, not by the bastard grandchildren of Nietzsche and Marx.

Martin

Kurt said...

“A puritan is such a one as loves God with all his soul, but hates his neighbour with all his heart.”—London lawyer John Manningham in 1602

Not much appears to have changed in 400 years.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Kurt
I am publishing your comment on the basis that it is a fair reminder to all here with 'pure' tendencies (to the left and to the right) to love those we disagree with.

I am mindful that it has an 'ad hominem' tinge to the comment with your own additional sentence. I suggest any concerned about that sentence attend (as I am) to the reminder in the cited remark at the beginning of the comment.

Anonymous said...

Manningham didn't live to see the love shown by Laud to William Prynne.
Perhaps he had some witty things to say about Foxe's Book of Martyrs.

Martin

Father Ron Smith said...

I find it quite interesting that you, Peter, have now added the word 'puritan' to your list of intentional 'ad hominem'. I would have thought that some Christians might quite like the idea of being called a puritan. It would seem to be their predominant 'claim to fame' as followers of Jesus Christ.

I must say, I find rather more objectionable, terms like these, when applied to liberal Christians:

'pseudo-Marxist'; 'bombastic'; 'hubristic'; 'bastard children of Nietzsche and Marx', to mention just a few epithets used on this thread - none of which has been classified by you as 'ad hominem' - even though the word puritan is a purely subjective description of a real entity.

I think we all need a little reality therapy on what constitutes 'ad hominem', and what is merely a description of a state of being.

Shawn Herles said...

Ad hominem means personal abuse.

"The bastard children of Nietzsche and Marx" is a reference to the ideas that flowed from those sources, and thus is not ad hominem.

The issue with Kurt's post is not that he uses the term Puritan but that he trite out the ad hominem claim that you and he ate fond if that those who oppose ssm hate their neighbors.

Personal abuse is ad hominem.

Claiming others are homophobes, haters, judgementakist, lack charity and grace, are intolerant, are lovers of law over grace, are all ad hominem.

Criticizing or critiquing a persons views is not ad hominem. Attacking another persons character IS ad hominem.

There is no reason for Ron or Kurt to be confused about this.

Peter Carrell said...

You misread me, Ron.
I am not adding 'Puritan' to the list of (possible) ad hominems.
I am noting that some might be offended by a particular definition of Puritan which says that Puritans hate their neighbours.

Ad hominems on a blog are about context. I have never pretended that I moderate perfectly, but I would be interested (should I have time which I do not) to look again at, say, bombastic or pseudo-Marxist in comments. I reckon they would be deserved responses to a bombastic comment or to an espousal of a philosophy which was, indeed, pseudo-Marxist.

Anonymous said...

I am glad that Shawn at least understood the ideological meaning of my reference to the illegitimate progeny of certain 19th century German philosophers: ideas sired by unbelief but nurtured in a professing church. Maybe I should have just said cuckoos in the nest? But then I would have been accused of calling people 'cuckoo'!
'hubristic' refers to ideas, 'bombast' refers to language. ho anaginoskon noeito.

Martin (bastard grandchild of Themistokles)

Kurt said...

“Manningham didn't live to see the love shown by Laud to William Prynne.
Perhaps he had some witty things to say about Foxe's Book of Martyrs.”—Martin

He probably didn’t live to see the love shown by the Puritans to the Quakers they hanged on Boston Common, either. (Though Cotton Mather seems to positively drip hatred of Quakers in the pages of his “Magnalia Christi.”)

My “Puritan comment” was hardly ‘ad hominem’ since it was a general observation and not an accusation made against any particular individual.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Anonymous said...

Not 'ad hominem', Kurt, but certainly 'ad homines': dismissing a whole community of Christians as haters of mankind. Try replacing it with 'Catholics' or 'Southern Baptists' - or 'Muslims' or 'Mormons' - as a 'general observation'. Or even 'South Carolinians'.

Professor Jim Packer, who knows much more about the 17th century Puritans than you or I, is happy to see himself in their succession. Maybe you should try reading a bit of Richard Baxter or John Owen or even Richard Sibbes, before making blunderbuss comments.

Martin

Kurt said...

Why on earth, Martin, would I want to read Calvinist theologians—either contemporary or those who have been planted? As a High Church Catholic, what would I have in common with them? I consider Calvinism to be a heresy. Everything I know about Calvinism revolts me to the core; I find very little, if anything, to admire in the Puritans. Four hundred years ago I would have been a firm supporter of Archbishop Laud, my friend! (Though I would not have cut off any ears!)

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY


Peter Carrell said...

Interesting comment Kurt. A High Church Catholic might be expected to read Augustine and an Augustinian reader might be expected to take an interest in the pupils of Augustine, including one John Calvin of Geneva.

If I recall my church history correctly, the egregious offence in which Calvin was party to the burning of Severus was an action which Catholics also wanted to happen, they not being happy with Severus either.

Shawn Herles said...

Did not Archbishop Laud attempt to force High Church worship on those Calvinist Scots who rejected it, and as a result helped start a bloody civil war?


Father Ron Smith said...

" Four hundred years ago I would have been a firm supporter of Archbishop Laud, my friend! (Though I would not have cut off any ears!)

- Kurt Hill -

Thanks for that little gem, Kurt. Now, I begin to understand why some people in the Church are missing out hearing the Gospel - No ears!

I, too, am no fan of Calvin! He must have been hard to live with.
He probably wouldn't have approved of today's celebration of the Body and Blood of Christ: Corpus Christi
I know you, like me, will really appreciate the Feast of Jesus' Presence with us in the Eucharist.

Shawn Herles said...

Wow,

Calvinism and Puritanism were/are revolting heresies, but that judgement has been made without actualy reading any Calvinist or Puritan theologians,

And Calvin "must have been hard to live with."

If anyone wonders why I no longer take liberal Christianity seriously, those comments should be ample evidence.

Anonymous said...

Well, then, Kurt, you haven't actually read Baxter ('The Saints' Everlasting Rest') or Sibbes ('The Bruised Reed'), and presumably not Milton either (didn't he write some poem?), but your mind is made up. Very well - as some characters say in 'The Last Battle' (whose author was very familiar with Milton): 'We won't be taken in!'

Martinos Agonistes

Bryden Black said...

Hi Ron; can’t resist ... Sorry.

Please do read Calvin’s Institutes, Book IV, ch. XIV re “The Sacraments” in general, plus ch. XVII re “The Sacred Supper of Christ”. I think it would be “edifying”, to use St Paul’s Scriptural word. I certainly have found the likes of Josef Jungmann on the Mass most edifying too. Even Schillebeeckx’s Transfiguration is a great read.

Kurt said...

“Nay, who can doubt of it while there are Calvinists in the world, — assertors of absolute predestination? For who will dare to affirm that none of these are truly religious men? Not only many of them in the last century were burning and shining lights, but many of them are now real Christians, loving God and all mankind. And yet what are all the absurd opinions of all the Romanists in the world, compared to that one, that the God of love, the wise, just, merciful Father of the spirits of all flesh, has, from all eternity, fixed an absolute, unchangeable, irresistible, decree, that part of all mankind shall be saved, do what they will; and the rest damned, do what they can!” (Sermon 55)—John Wesley

Indeed, what are all the absurd opinions of the Romanists compared to Calvinism’s central doctrine? If I disagree with Calvinism’s basic foundation, why would I wish to throw away my time studying the opinions of even the “moderate” Puritans, like Baxter?

Besides, Martin, how much do YOU study the writings of such High Churchmen as Lancelot Andrewes, John Cosin, Thomas Ken, William Laud, Thomas Sprat or Jeremy Taylor? Be honest, dude! Not a whole lot, I’ll bet.

Yes, Shawn, Laud made some great mistakes (sins). He did some stuff that turns my stomach. Had I the authority then, I would have been much more “moderate” in many things than he was. For example, I would have enforced the wearing of the surplice for Holy Baptism and the Holy Eucharist only, leaving clergy free to wear cassock and gown at other times. And I would have made signation optional in the Baptismal Office, though I would not have removed it entirely as demanded by the Puritans. I would have allowed for more simple ceremonial for those who desired that. Nonetheless, I would have been fully supportive of the Catholic Revival promoted by High Churchmen for those folks like me and Fr. Ron who favored such forms, ceremonies, vestments, etc.

Now, let me ask you a question, Shawn: How can you defend the vandalism of people like William Dowsing?

As to Augustine, Peter, there are several “heretics” of the early Church who I believe deserve the title “Saint” far more than Augustine, whom I have disliked ever since I first read his “Confessions” in college.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY







Anonymous said...

"Besides, Martin, how much do YOU study the writings of such High Churchmen as Lancelot Andrewes, John Cosin, Thomas Ken, William Laud, Thomas Sprat or Jeremy Taylor? Be honest, dude! Not a whole lot, I’ll bet."

Not a great deal, because I am primarily a Hebraist and a classicist, not a church historian, and most of my study nowadays is in ancient texts (when I'm not reading Spanish or German texts). But as a humanist I'm not prejudiced against reading these texts either and I'm sure I would find many good things in them - Eliot was a great fan of Andrewes' style and evangelicals have often commended 'A Serious Call'.
'Confessions' is one of the most remarkable books ever written - try it again with older eyes!
Martin