Sunday, September 18, 2016

Wales Confirms Baptism Only, Losing Faith, Keeping the Faith

Quite a rich Sunday round up today!

The Anglican Church in Wales, via  Bishops' Letter, confirms that from Advent only baptism in water and in the name of the Holy Trinity will be necessary for reception of communion. Read it all here, including their (now) understanding of Confirmation.

We may rejoice with this podcaster of some renown (one of my colleagues listens to him!), Mike McHargue, because he lost his faith and then refound it.

Here in NZ we have millennials "keeping the faith in a secular world", including one of our own curates here in the Diocese of Christchurch!

Ever timely is reflection on the liturgy of the church. Via the fabulous ABC (I.e. Ozzie Broadcasting) we can read this penetrating and uplifting Gregory Hillis essay on Thomas Merton and the spirit of liturgy which is the communion of love.

Then from the sidebar of ADU, Psephizo has a brilliant post on the attempt to freeze the ESV just after it takes on some updates which reflect the wishful interpretations of complementarian conservatives rather than actual, faithful translation.

Doug Chaplin, continuing his 39A posts provocatively challenges all preachers to display rather than hide their learned side.

Last but definitely not least, Bishop Kelvin's final charge to his synod (he retires next year) is witty, poignant, autobiographical and hand-in-yer-face-stop-you-really-really-need-to-pay-attention.


Father Ron said...

Again - as with the Ministry of Women - ACANZP jumped the gun years ago.

Perhaps now Confirmation may once again become Affirmation and Strengtherning of the Baptismal rite - rather than merely a licence to receive Holy Communion.

Andrei said...

" Today is a very important day for our country, we make a choice. We have a lot of choices to make in life. The most important choice we make in life is the choice between good and evil,

"God grant that the choice that the country makes today, is for the benefit of our Motherland and brings good to people and the world. I congratulate you on election day"

Brian Kelly said...

As the Soviet tanks closed in on Berlin, children were put in uniform and commissioned to save the Fatherland. Somehow it didn't work.

Andrei said...

I'm sorry Brian - I just thought it would be a moderately interesting thing to post on a round up of Sunday News

I know TV ONE News didn't think the Russian elections were worthy of mention, unlike the US ones, you might almost think we get a vote the amount of attention they receive, trivial as that attention may be for the most part

But there you go

In any case translation is tricky when modes of expression are used not common or unknown in English and the more so when the hearer has grown up on "B" movies where sinister foreigners speak only in broken English and particular phraseology is deployed to sneer at them

The translation thing is touched upon in the Psephizo post linked above of course - interesting topic because word for word translation is usually clumsy if it is even possible while paraphrasing can lead to misinterpretation, deliberate or otherwise

It's why we have so many English language Bibles including the Gay Bible and the Jehovah's Witnesses one among others.

I like the King James myself for the NT and the Orthodox Study Bible for the OT

All of this has fairly major implications for the Sola scriptura people I guess

Anonymous said...

"All of this has fairly major implications for the Sola scriptura people I guess"

Not necessarily. It depends on what you understand Sola Scriptura to mean. I have generally found that most of it's critics do not understand it at all, and assume that it means "Bible alone" and a kind of superficial literalism in Biblical interpretation. To be fair, the term itself is not that helpful. I think the word 'primary' is better than sola.

The Reformers, in particular Lutherans and the Anglican Caroline Divines, but arguably Calvin as well, had something much closer to the Orthodox view in mind than you might expect. What they were against was the 'two streams' of late medieval Roman theology, in which Tradition was a separate stream of revelation to Scripture.

Brian Kelly said...

Yes, something like 'Scriptura Suprema' better conveys the meaning of the Reformers. Most critics of the Reformers don't realise that this was actually the position of Western Catholicism until the High Middle Ages. Any history of biblical interpretation in the church will confirm this, along with a belief in biblical infallibility. The Reformers were not innovators on these points. Orthodoxy has a more complex relation to what they call 'Holy Tradition', which holds that 'the Church' (but exactly how?) is 'the living voice of the Holy Spirit'.
Interestingly, the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople Cyril Lucaris affirmed Calvinism, while Calvin, fine humanist that he was, was particularly indebted to the Greek Fathers, as any perusal of the index of The Institutes shows.

Andrei said...

"Orthodoxy has a more complex relation to what they call 'Holy Tradition', which holds that 'the Church' (but exactly how?) is 'the living voice of the Holy Spirit'"

Well Brian consider Scripture itself - it was the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit that determined the canon in the first place that has become that you know as the Holy Bible

The content of that leather clad tome that you read did exist in that form until the Church determined what its contents should be.

The reformers took it upon themselves to remove some content and to base their translations on a Jewish canon that did not even come into being until about 90 years after the Crucifixion - a mistake I feel and one that has ultimately led to things like the Jehovah's Witnesses producing their own translation to support their doctrines as well as the so called "Queen James Bible" to support you know what

I remember as a child a Deacon reading the Gospel and misreading the some words and an old lady correcting him - so he went back and read it over again correctly :)

That in a very small way illustrates the power of the Church to correct itself

Anonymous said...

The Orthodox canon is different to the Roman Catholic canon as well, so it's not just a Protestant issue. The Revelation of St John was debated well into the 10th century by Orthodox theologians, and is still not included in the official lectionary of Orthodox churches. The Ethiopian churches have their own canon as well.

The OT books the Reformers rejected had been the subject of debate and dispute from the time of the Church Fathers onwards, and the RCC did not officially declare them part of the canon until after the Reformation, at the Council of Trent, and not for serious theological reasons, but as a reaction to the Reformation.

So we are all, Orthodox, Roman and Protestant, in the same boat on this issue. The question is, does it matter? I don't think it does. R.C. Sproul said that we have a fallible canon of infallible books. Whatever is necessary to understand God and find salvation is in Scripture, regardless of which canon we use.

Absolute epistemological certainty is not necessary to this, and is a modernist obsession anyway. What we need in the Church universal is respect for the Divine nature of Scripture and it's authority, regardless of the canon we use.

I don't think the JW's re-writing part of the NT, or the "gay Bible" are relevant to the issue of the Protestant understanding of the canon.

Andrei said...

I agree with what you wrote Shawn but its not a "sola scriptura" position is it?

This discussion came about because of the way I translated a word "отечество" (otechestvo) as "Motherland" and that evoked in Brian connotations of the Third Reich...

The post by Psephizo zeros in on one verse from Genesis 3 the translation of which presumably offends his 21st century sensibilities at a time where a woman is vying to be the one who controls the button that could unleash armageddon

Of course if you read the whole chapter you understand this verse to be explaining the human condition in this world of sorrow and tears

We read the Bible through the lens of the Church

Some fairly weird and even dangerous religious movements have arisen over the years through novel interpretations of the Bible - we inoculate ourselves from them by reading the Bible with the Church

As a matter of interest the contentious verse in my Bible, which is a modern translation of the Greek Scriptures, reads

"I will greatly multiply your pain and your groaning, and in pain you will bring forth children. Your recourse will be to your husband, and he shall rule over you."

But you really shouldn't read this in isolation from the next verses where Adam gets told what his deal will be

Anonymous said...

Hi Andrei.

"I agree with what you wrote Shawn but its not a "sola scriptura" position is it?"

Yes, it is, but again, sola-scriptura rightly understood.

"This discussion came about because of the way I translated a word "отечество" (otechestvo) as "Motherland" and that evoked in Brian connotations of the Third Reich..."

Sadly the "powers that be" have done a good job of instilling in many Western people a negative reaction to any full blooded nationalist thinking or sentiment. Happily, thanks to Islam, that is beginning to change.