Discussion in 'Theology and Doctrine' started by Old Christendom, Apr 6, 2013.
Well, none of the ecumenical councils specifically teach the doctrine of sola Scriptura. The 39 Articles of Religion do. And secondly, the Articles are a Reformation confession of faith. Like the three creeds mentioned in Article 8, the Articles draw their authority from the Scriptures. And the Articles point out that the councils have erred as anyone can plainly see since one council authorized the Arian heresy while another council following the theology of Athanasius upheld the full deity of all three Persons of the Trinity.
When the pope declared his supremacy, it was an error that caused the Eastern Orthodox churches to split in the 11th century.
While it is true that the Articles could be in error at some point or other, they have stood the test of time, and they are the basis for the Irish Articles and the Westminster Confession. The Westminster divines quote portions of the Articles almost verbatim in places.
All creeds, councils and confessions of faith are secondary authorities to Scripture. Scripture alone is the Word of God.
Can you give a starter list of "The Westminster divines"?
Never mind, I found some information and posted it in a new thread: Carolina Divines and Westminster Divines.
That's not quite what the Articles affirm, now is it? Scripture is primary and final. The Articles affirm that. Not even the Articles are above scripture. Are you sure you're Anglican?
If you can prove to me that my views are not Traditional High Church views, or Anglican teaching, I'll leave and go to Orthodoxy, if they'll have me! having said that these were the things that were taught in the 40s and 50s, I taught them as a young man and as a priest and no one has ever complained about the Anglican content!
Who says that Scripture isn't primary and final? I don't and no bishop or priest I know, says this, what the Councils do is to interpret scripture.
Please read the comments from other people and then think about what has been said. Let's have fewer knee jerk reactions.
I have read the entire thread. I know exactly what has been said. If anyone is exhibiting a knee-jerk reaction, it is you. Perhaps you should try to discard the severe "Churchianity" that you're embedded in and understand why some might doubt that you believe in the primacy of scripture based on the things you say.
Wikipedia has a complete listing of the Westminster Divines and the Lay Members of the Westminster Assembly.
May the peace of God be with you,
"No one has ever complained . . ."? I think that statement is overly broad since it seems to be a universal negative, which is a logical fallacy. I'm sure Church Society has been around longer than you have and so have the Sydney Anglicans.
Also, while the church councils interpret Scripture, they could and did err. Scripture never errs. The 39 Articles affirm that councils are not infallible or inerrant in Article 21.
May God grant his peace,
Well, you don't have to guess at what the Tractarians believe. Read their official statements in the Tracts for the Times. You'll find that they believe tradition should have a capital "T" and that Tradition is inspired revelation of God. That's essentially the Roman Catholic view as well. The problem is that such a view makes tradition equal to Holy Scripture and then the church begins to formulate dogmatic doctrines that are not in agreement with the Holy Writings.
I would contend that the term "general" council and "ecumenical" council are meant to be the same term in Article 21. Also, the 39 Articles are a Protestant/Reformation document and therefore your contention that they are not Protestant begs the question, particularly since the Articles were a response to the Council of Trent. Even Diarmaid MacCullough has stated that opinion, contra the Tractarian revisionism. Of course, MacCullough is biased, since he is also gay and a theological liberal. (See: Spectator article). Some folks think that makes him a good historian. I would disagree but it does not remove the fact that MacCullough is honest about the Protestant nature of the English Reformation and the Anglican Formularies, which Formularies contradict openly almost everything that Tractarianism stands for.
Like it or not, the Church of England after the English Reformation was and is a Protestant church. Unfortunately, the Elizabethan Settlement has allowed enough ambiguity for the sake of political peace in England that the "conservatives" of popery still try to usurp an authority they do not have.
Amazing isn't it? After all this time on a board dedicated to Anglicans, we have so much attention paid to the Westminster Divines, a crowd of heretics and time servers! Who were wreckers of Christ's Body within these Islands and didn't hesitate to destroy the fabric of both Cathedrals and Churches, who threw honest men out of their livings and threw their belongings out in to the street along with Anglican familes. Who taught a cruel alien creed and supported the sending of their opponents in to slavery! If they didn't do it themselves as individuals, were part f a system that did!
I always thought that we were lucky that these Westminster Divines were so incompetent that their Calvinist Church and society, was rejected by the populace and who, though it was illegal,turned again to the ancient Church and restored it along with its doctrines and orders.
It just shows, after reading some comments on this board, that nothing changes.
Since the Scriptures are the doctrine of the church all the way back to Israel in the OT and beyond, it logically follows that justification by faith alone, God's absolute sovereignty, the decrees to reprobation and unconditional election, et. al., should be universally accepted by all the visible communions. But are they? No. So that would mean that the visible denominations need to line up with God's Word, not the other way around
"In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. (Matthew 6:9-13 NKJ)
Puritans, were for the most part Anglican, however they were the Cuckoo, in the Anglican nest and when the presbyterians and Independents crushed the Church, they were at the most helpful to the heretics, or at the very least, they looked on whilst the Body of Christ suffered! Even whilst they looked on, they did nothing to help! Most Puritans conformed to the Church after the Restoration of the Anglican Church, this where the opposition on the board comes from!
Restoration to popery? The Church of England is Protestant, even under the Elizabethan Settlement And even the Queen took an oath to that effect:
“At every Coronation for over three hundred years, British Monarchs have promised to maintain, 'the true profession of the gospel . . . the Protestant Reformed religion.' At a time when many Evangelicals and Anglicans are questioning their theology and re-thinking their identity, it is more important than ever for us to remember this gospel of sovereign grace.” --Lee Gatiss-- From: Book Review: The True Profession of the GospelLee Gatiss was recently confirmed as the new president of Church Society.
The Body of Christ is not one and the same as the Anglican Church. Wherever there was persecution, the Body of Christ suffered. And the Anglican Church was a persecutor just like all the other state churches.
The visible church contains both wheat and tares. The communion of saints, however, is composed of the elect, both living and those in heaven. The true church is an invisible church.
Besides, the Bible itself teaches that there is a visible and invisible church. The wheat and the tares are obviously related to the OT church, Israel, and the NT church established by Christ and His apostles:
Another parable He put forth to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 "but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 "But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 "So the servants of the owner came and said to him,`Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?' 28 "He said to them,`An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him,`Do you want us then to go and gather them up?' 29 "But he said,`No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 `Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn."'" (Matthew 13:24-30 NKJ)
I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, 3 "LORD, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life "? 4 But what does the divine response say to him? "I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal." 5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. (Romans 11:1-5 NKJ)
What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. 8 Just as it is written: "God has given them a spirit of stupor, Eyes that they should not see And ears that they should not hear, To this very day." 9 And David says: "Let their table become a snare and a trap, A stumbling block and a recompense to them. 10 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see, and bow down their back always." 11 I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. (Romans 11:7-11 NKJ)
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, (Revelation 7:9 NKJ)
The 39 Articles of Religion also makes a distinction between the "visible church" and the communion of saints.
Anglicanism isn't actually confessional - not in the sense that the LCMS or traditional Presbyterians are confessional - and the 39 Articles are not binding. Before the Defenders of the Articles get up in arms, I'm referring to the Province to which Spherelink and I belong. It's been debated to death in other threads, and I don't want to derail us here. Just sharing this in case Mr. Ray didn't know.
As far as the visible/invisible Church divide, that seems to be more of a Presbyterian conversation than an Anglican one. It's not that we deny that there can be false Christians or "wolves among the sheep." Far from it. They will always be there. Those of us in TEC have plenty of experience with that. But where we differ from the Calvinists is in our understanding of the Church as an institution. We are in apostolic succession, and our tradition predates the Reformation. It dates back to the early days of the Church. For us, the visible Church can be equated with the actual Church, because it is what Christ set up. It is what the Apostles spread. The Calvinist dichotomy divides people by what - true faith? Elect vs. non-elect? God's decree? And thus the true/invisible Church can never really be known (by humans)? The visible Church is just where the invisible Church and a bunch of non-Christians worship side by side. For us, though, the visible Church is Christ's one Church. If there are unbelievers in its midst, the Church is still visible.
Well, I know that Tractarians and other high churchmen would love to return to popery, but what else is new? It might be true that Anglicanism is not as strictly confessional as the Presbyterians. But the Anglican Formularies serve the same function as the other Reformed symbols. See: The Thirty-Nine Articles: The Historic Basis of Anglican Faith, by D. Broughton Knox.
At the back of every copy of the Church of England Prayer Book are printed thirty-nine short statements about the Christian faith. These Articles of Religion were first drawn up by the Church of England in 1553, were revised and somewhat abbreviated in 1562 and ratified and made binding on the clergy in 1571. Since then, the Thirty-Nine Articles have continued to be an authoritative statement of the beliefs and teaching of the Church of England. For example, at the present time every Church of England clergyman ordained in England is told at his ordination: "The Church of England . . . has borne witness to Christian truth in its historic formularies, the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion . . . " and the ordinand is required to affirm: "I declare my belief in the faith . . . to which the historic formularies of the Church of England bear witness . . . " The same declaration must be made on appointment to a parish or bishopric.It will be seen that the Thirty-Nine Articles are not only an historical document of the sixteenth century, setting out the doctrinal position of the Church of England at the time of the Reformation when it declared itself a national church free from overseas control; they remain a guide to the doctrines which the ministers of the Church of England are required to believe and teach. They therefore merit careful examination by those who are interested in discovering the historical doctrinal position of the Church of England. -- D. Broughton Knox
Really? I'm an AC and I didn't even know that...