Friday, September 9, 2011

A Fine Tribute

Just today at Post Ordination Training mention was made of former days in the Diocese of Christchurch when two clergy made a great impact through their preaching of God's Word, Roger Thompson and Harry Thomson. Tonight I noticed on the Kiwifruit Blog an item about Roger and Reena Thompson (Roger died a few years back; Reena died just a few months ago). I am glad to link to this article which is written by an old family friend, Ian Nelson.

Personally I enjoyed the ministry of these two men in their later years, their enthusiasm for the gospel undimmed and their faithfulness in obedience to God ever deepening.

Roger was a very witty Bible teacher. I have never forgotten a line he produced in a study on Acts 1.

"The apostles were praying with Mary not to her!"

There has been an extraordinary chain of outstanding evangelical Bible teachers in Christchurch among the Anglican clergy, dating from Canon William Orange and his ministry at Sumner, working through Harry, Roger who were in his Bible Class at Spreydon, then through those in Roger's Bible Class, and on through others.


Kurt said...

“Roger was a very witty Bible teacher. I have never forgotten a line he produced in a study on Acts 1 ‘The apostles were praying with Mary not to her!’” –Fr. Carrell

Well, Peter, I look at it this way: just as I ask or bid that you or Fr. Ron, or any other living Christian pray for me, I ask/bid (the root-word of bead, as in Rosary) Our Lady to pray for me as well. My belief in the Communion of Saints means that I believe that all Christians are joined together in Christ and that the departed, as well as the living, can—and should—pray for each other. I pray for the departed, including St. Mary, and I ask her to pray for me too.

Pray for us sinners, Theotokos, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

liturgy said...

“Roger was a very witty Bible teacher. I have never forgotten a line he produced in a study on Acts 1.

"The apostles were praying with Mary not to her!"

There has been an extraordinary chain of outstanding evangelical Bible teachers in Christchurch among the Anglican clergy”

Such profound exegesis! Having managed so far to maintain this level of weighty Bible teaching by evangelical Anglican clergy in Christchurch, one can only hope that the new generation of evangelical Bible teachers can live up to such overwhelming precedent.


ps. Kurt, don’t be so unbiblical! If the Bible never has anyone talking to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Theotokos, it is absolutely clear that no one ever did and no one ever should.

Father Ron Smith said...

Thanks, Kurt. My response to the stalking horse offered by our Host today would be very similar. Of course, while she was with them, the Apostles did not pray TO Mary. They probably aren't even doing so now - they are mist likely just rejoicing together in the nearer presence of the Object of all our prayers.

We need to remember that, from the Scriptures. Mary, the God-Bearer, became the 'New Eve' - a movement from disobedience to obedience - not a bad record for a mere human.

However, we are told - again in Scripture, of Mary - that "All generations will call me Blessed"

I once heard a lovely old priest ask the question: "If you really want to get someone to do something special for you, who do you ask? Maybe, his mother would be the best person". I believe the BVM does have a special place near to the Throne of her Son - Why not ask her to 'have a word on our behalf'?

Another question from a Benedictine Monk, a-propos the doctrine of the Assumption of Our Lady: "Well, if she aint there (in Heaven), where the 'ell is she?"

"Hail Mary, full of grace - the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus"

I wonder how many 'protestants' really believe that these were actually the words of Elizabeth from the Scriptures? Or does
'sola scriptura' not include them?

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Kurt, Ron and Bosco,

The Mother of our Lord had the special privilege of bearing the Son of God.

Sometimes she had the privilege of being told off by him.

We can respect, bless and praise Mary according to the lovely and fine things said about her in Scripture.

However, notwithstanding pleasant sentiments by lovely old priests, you will not be able to give me one text from Scripture which instructs, encourages, directs or commands us to pray to, by, through, with the aid of Mary. Nor is there one Scripture which even hints that Mary has some position in relationship to the throne of grace which advantages her, let alone advantages those who pray to, by, through, with the aid of her.

It is a travesty of the clear teaching of Scripture that we pray through Jesus to the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit to then add Mary into the mix.

Paul Powers said...

I can accept the idea that Mary and the other saints intercede for us, just as we intercede for them. What I have a problem with is the idea that they hear our prayers. To me that suggests omniscience, which I am hesitant to attribute to anyone but God.

Anonymous said...

Dear Fr Carrell

Over the last few posts you have made it plainly clear you want to see catholicity upheld but only as long as it agrees with your position. As Fr Black says, “Judges 21:25 rules; OK!” When you point the critical finger of Protestantism there are three fingers pointing back to you.


Brother David said...

"The apostles were praying with Mary not to her!"

Such cutting wit!

There was also a time that the Apostles only prayed with Jesus.

And when Jesus actually taught the disciples to pray, I do not recall the, "In my blessed name I pray. Amen."

I am well aware of all the passages of scripture that do lead one to believe that supplication in the Lord's name is OK, but why such snarkiness Peter, when you really do not need to do it, if not to just be insulting?

Father Ron Smith said...

Peter, I have another question for you. Do you never ask anyone else to pray for you? Are we not asked (in Scripture) to "Pray for one another"? What's so different about asking someone who has been, and is, closer to God as a human being than any other human being?

Do you not think that The Departed are still a part of the Body of Christ - the Saints Militant and the Saints Triumphant? There is some indication of us all being a part of 'The Saints in light'. Then why not the only human being who shared the incarnate body of Christ?

You, personally, are not 'mentioned in the Scriptures', but does that fact not allow you to be part of The Redeemed?

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Alison,
I am trying to give voice to an Anglican catholicity which by definition is a catholicity reformed by the English Reformation.

If 'my position' is in agreement with such Anglicanism I would be delighted.

Peter Carrell said...

Hmm, David, I am trying to get at the truth of the matter; and snarkiness gets in the way of that.

On your part, I am intrigued that you offer some thoughts about praying in Jesus' name; but do not offer one scriptural counter to my point about not asking Mary to pray for us!

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron,
I ask other people, on earth, to pray for me.

I do not ask saints not on earth to pray for me, not least because I have no reason based on the revelation of God through the prophets, his Son, and the apostles, that I should make such request, nor do I have reason (pace Paul Power's comment above) to think that the saints in heaven hear my prayers, silent or voiced.

What reason do you have to think that the saints may be asked to pray for you?

Father Ron Smith said...

Peter, there are times when I feel you may just have missed out on some of the most exciting implications of the scriptures you have sworn to uphold. It seems to me that you may have no real understanding of what the after-life - as spoken of in the gospels, might have in store for those who believe in the Resurrection Ascension and glorification of Jesus, and the implications that has for our part in 'Life Eternal'.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio..... Wm.Shakspeare. It does us all well to remember that The Saints - e.g. Elijah and Mary - have been venerated by the Church Catholic for far longer than there has been a Protestant Church.

Hogster said...

It was Harry Thomson who nearly thirty years ago, noting that I sat in the front row each week under the preaching of Derek Eaton, himself a "Orange pip". Harry took me aside after a morning service and said " I think you should start taking notes". I did.

The rest as they say is history. +Derek ordained me some time later.

Thank God for men, and women of the Word.

Father Ron Smith said...

"Thank God for men and women of the Word". Yes, indeed Hogster!

And one of the women actually bore the 'Word made flesh' in Jesus. Pretty exemplary wouldn't you say?

Anonymous said...

Ah, what a wonderfully broad tolerant church. ;)