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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Comment on the Sola Fide Article at VOL?

Someone at the VOL site where my article on justification by faith alone is posted said the following:

"but the author seems to have forgotten that Anglo-Catholics are also his neighbors–the author cannot persuasively preach the love of Christ to nonChristians while holding such animosity toward Anglo-Catholics that he writes “those of us who are Reformed within Anglicanism must never accept a truce with Anglo-Catholics for any reason” or, as Dominic wrote, “Anglo-Catholicism and Protestantism are not and cannot be common bed-fellows.” Such attitudes are not Anglican and the negativity they convey should not be allowed to detract from the inaugural Assembly of the ACNA."

Blessings,

chaps+



Perhaps Mr. Chaps should realize that being Anglican is irrelevant. The real question is are you a genuinely born-again Christian? Have you been regenerated by the Holy Spirit? I'm quite sure the devil himself is a good Anglican. Perhaps he's even an ordained minister or a consecrated bishop?

The real question at hand is not how "tolerant" or "loving" someone is. The real question is how biblical and correct is your doctrine? If Anglo-Catholics are preaching a false gospel of works righteousness or justification by merits along with all the abominable idolatries like the worshipping of bread and wine, worship of Mary and the saints and prayers to the saints, then I do not see how polemically challenging such false doctrines is unloving. If Anglo-Catholics are lost and on the way to hell, then to give them the genuine Gospel is in fact an act of love and not one of hate. I challenge the lost to repent whether they be atheists, agnostics, muslims, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, mormons, buddhist, etc.

The difference between Anglo-Catholicism and the Gospel is made even more obvious by the vitriolic comments made about my article on sola fide, which is in fact a presentation of the biblical Gospel. It seems to me that Anglo-Catholics have no ethics and in fact deliberately lie about the implications of Augustinian theology and the Protestant Reformation which is the logical conclusion of both the Scriptures and Augustinian theology.

Since I don't have a valid username for VOL I am unable to post comments there. Seems the moderators who work with Mr. Virtue do not wish my input.

Charlie

13 comments:

Reformation said...

VOL protects a Packerian-ecumenicity (AAK with Romanists, e.g ECT) as well as Anglo-Romanizer like Ackerman and Iker. VOL is weak, period. We must move beyond the ACNA.

Reformation said...

Charlie, you r the only man commenting on these issues...do u realize this? VOL is a sell-out. U r not. Nor am I. Veitch

Billy said...

I know I am going to regret commenting on this, because I will likely receive a harsh rebuke if I don't agree with you entirely.

You said "If Anglo-Catholics are preaching a false gospel of works righteousness...then I do not see how polemically challenging such false doctrines is unloving."

There are two reasons it is unloving. 1.) precisely because there is no love involved in a polemic, at least not in yours. If I recall correctly, John's Gospel teaches us that when Jesus confronted the woman taken in adultery he did not beat her over the head with her mistakes, sins etc... instead he urged her to amend her ways and repent. It is the same gospel which teaches us that Jesus came "full of grace and truth." Grace should not be used as something we hind behind in confronting that which is wrong. But grace must be present with Truth in order to be Christ-like. I ask for your forgiveness any time my writings have been uncharitable toward you...and even if you believe Anglo-Catholics or anyone else not to be believers, I would urge you to be more peacable. Calling someone an "abominable idolater" is probably not going to make any converts.

2.) Because while there are many important doctrines which the Church Fathers did not spefically address, the Athanasian Creed, as you well know starts with the line "Whosoever will be saved before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith." The creed goes on to state what the Catholic faith is. You will not find Sola Fide in the creed. What you will find is the need for a right beleif in the Trinity, Incarnation, in the Work of our Lord Jesus Christ, and a call to obedience to attain everlasting life..."they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire."
The second reason it is unloving to berate on a regular basis everyone whose soteriology does not match yours is because a Catholic of any stripe, Anglo, Roman, or Orthodox believes in the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Work of Jesus for our Salvation, and the need to live a life reflective of the fact that Jesus is Lord.

They may see differently from you on how their obedience, their graced actions, work out in the realm of eternal salvation. But that is not a requirement for salvation. The very articles you constantly endorse as confessional and representative of Reformed Anglicanism, give their enthusiastic support and endorsement of the Athanasian Creed as something which "may be proved by most certain warrants of Holy Scripture."

To summarize, we all have a responsibility to lay aside polemics, especially if what we are confronting is for the sake of the Lord. I am fully aware that Jesus got mad on at least one occasion, but unless you are going to accuse anglo-catholics of being money changers as well as heretics, I don't believe you have a leg to stand on there. But secondly, I urge you to consider that the Articles throw their full-weight behind the ideal that belief in the Trinity, Incarnation, Work of Jesus, and striving to live according to what he has deemed good, is the definition of true catholicity.

Neither of us believe that the Articles are infallible, but I think they have this issue spot on. Which is why I can say with confidence, though I believe them to be in error, that the Pope, Rick Warren, Billy Graham, and any other person claiming and acting as if Jesus is Lord, as long as they as they believe in the three afore-mentioned things, are Christians.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Ok, Billy. Let me begin with point 1. You conveniently ignored the point of the story of the woman caught in adultery. She was guilty of adultery and was caught openly in sin and deserved the penalty of the law, which was stoning to death.

The Pharisees and the "self-righteous" wanted to carry out the law. Read in here any group teaching justification by merits and good works. But Jesus points out their sin to them with the simple statement, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." The point of the story is that justification is by faith alone. All of us are sinners, EVEN the "righteous." So the only way to be forgiven is by mercy alone.

Continuing with point 1, Jesus did not hesitate to judge the "righteous" for their hypocrisy. I suppose Jesus wasn't tolerant enough to be an Anglican?

There is none righteous, no not even one. Until you believe the Bible, you cannot be saved. If I do not tell you that, I am not expressing love because unless you repent you will most likely spend eternity separated from God.

Point 2. is wrong from the get go. Your authority is the church fathers. My authority is Holy Scripture. The ecumenical creeds are most certainly essential doctrine but not for the reasons you think.

However, you're going too far when you think that the Athanasian Creed is all that is required to be considered a Christian. The Gospel is that the ungodly are justified by faith alone.

Augustine clearly sided against the views of all pelagians and semi-pelagians. As such, Augustine was the predecessor and the father of the Protestant Reformation which sought to restore biblical authority over against the traditions of men and the false gospel of justification by merits, penances, works, and sacraments.

Cranmer died for the faith you so despise. What is truly appalling is that you actually believe that I would fall for such red herring argument. Unless I agree that my views are not biblical, I'm "intolerant" and a "fundamentalist", pick any other ad hominem you like here...

Sorry, but no cigar. The Gospel is a Gospel of grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone, Jesus Christ alone and to God alone be all the glory.

Your weak attempt to "seem" tolerant only show how intolerant you are toward the Gospel of grace and the doctrines of grace. I will give you a point for sophistry and three strikes for at least two fallacious arguments.

I do not believe that anyone who thinks that the Gospel is a Gospel of meriting justification by good works is a Christian. While I might believe Billy Graham is a Christian, his compromises with apostates like the Roman Catholic Church and Robert Schuller's false gospel of self esteem leaves much to be desired. Rick Warren is not much better than Billy Graham since he seems to think that the church growth movement is the gospel.

As a Christian, I have a greater responsibility to preach the Gospel of grace than to compromise with Judaizers. Stephen was martyred because he refused to compromise. The apostles turned the world upside down for the cause of Christ. I cannot and will not follow deceivers who follow the traditions of men rather than the Scriptures and the doctrines of Christ.

Polemics are all through the NT. Jesus called the Pharisees a "brood of vipers." He also told them their father was the devil. In John 8, Jesus tells them they are "slaves to sin," even though in their own minds they were soooo holy and righteous.

No, we all deserve hell. Unless and until you can say that there is NOTHING you can do to merit justification, you cannot be saved. That's the teaching of Scripture. And it is clearly the position understood by Augustine himself since he upheld the doctrine of the total depravity of the human race.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Let me add, Billy, that the 39 Articles in their entirety summarize the "confession" of faith of the English Reformation. It is binding doctrine precisely because it is derived from Scripture and wherever it is solidly Scriptural it is in fact binding doctrine. That most surely includes the doctrine of justification by faith alone and the doctrine of total depravity. You have also conveniently forgotten that the Articles declare your position as in error! Rome, the East, and other sacerdotal systems are condemned as "in error."

Sorry, but true unity can only come when the semi-pelagian heretics such as yourself repent and accept the "catholic" faith expressed in the 39 Articles of Religion and in several other Protestant confessions of faith which legimately summarize the Gospel as it is taught in Scripture. I'm thinking here of the Westminster Standards, the Three Forms of Unity, the Augsburg Confession, etc.

As Cranmer strongly argued, the "catholic" faith is the Protestant Reformation and not the heretical doctrines developed by deluded men who think they are "inspired" simply because they have a pedigree or had hands laid upon them in some spurious line of heretical succession.

Apostolic doctrine trumps apostolic succession every time!

Reformation said...

Billy:

No doubt about Paul's polemic against a false Gospel. Whether you like the Pope or not, Trent promotes a false Gospel. Every Reformer, English included, believed that.

You need to run down some historic books and read them. For free downloads and recommendations, see www.reformationanglicanism.blogspot.com

It needs to be sorted out once and for all, finally, charitably, and theologically.

The Anglo-Catholics need to go their own way. As should the Protestant (=Catholic), Reformed, and Confessional Anglican. This continued Manglicanism works for the gullible and ill-read.

Thanks for your post, but it lacked real depth to me. We must get beyond "Mangled " doctrines in Manglicanism.

Billy said...

The thing is, I didn't endorse Trent. It has its own issues.

I don't expect I'm as well read as you, you are a good bit older than I am...that's not an insult I'm just saying it's natural you should have read more than me. But I don't have to read any farther than the 39 Articles which say the Athanasian Creed is supported by Scripture, and the Creed says exactly what I said above. Exact understanding or belief of any other doctrine is not considered necessary for salvation. Again, not that they are not important. But none of the solas-save Christ alone-are a part of the Creed.

I would also argue that both of you need to read Augustine. He was not a protestant on the question of soteriology.

http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2009/06/augustinian-soteriolog/

This is a brief blog post on the subject. The quote from Alistair McGrath is particularly damning to protestants who claim that Augustine is a proto-Calvin or Luther.

Finally, Charlie, I am not trying to deceive you in any way. I'm telling you plainly what the 39 Articles say. I am not a sophist.
It doesn't mean that the other things the articles teach are wrong. Most are 100% correct. But the article on Justification by Faith Alone does not say anything about having to believe it rightly to be a genuine Christian...in fact if you read Richard Hooker on Justification he argues that there were thousands of Christians in the Roman Church even though he believed their view of Justification to be erroneous. That is in his work Justification and the Church of Rome (I think that is what it is called) I can get you a copy or tell you the page number if you would like.

The Article on the creeds, while it doesn't say so in the article, gives it's full support to what is in the Creed.


BTW...my post was not supposed to be in depth. It was just an observation about what the Articles say and don't say and why I think it's important to Christian Charity.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Billy, the 39 Articles are themselves a creed and of necessity, you cannot accept only Articles 1-8 when Articles 9-18 deal with SOTERIOLOGY. HELLO! You cannot pick and choose which parts of the Articles you will believe and which you will not. The Articles are required for faith as a Christian and you cannot be an Anglican Christian while rejecting the Articles or revising them to fit your Anglo-Catholicism.

No Protestant would deny that the doctrines in the Athanasian creed are necessary for salvation. But Anglo-Catholics seem to deny that soteriology is necessary for salvation! What Paul wrote in Romans and Galatians is summarized in Articles 9-18.

The 39 Articles are necessary doctrine and to reject the soteriology of Articles 9-18 is on the same level of error as rejecting the trinity. Anglo-Catholics are therefore lost unless and until they can accept the "catholic" faith expressed in the Reformed confessions, i.e., the 39 Articles of Religion, the Westminster Standards, the Three Forms of Unity, etc... You might also include the Lambeth Articles of 1595.

Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura, Solus Christus, Soli Deo Gloria.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Cranmer's view of justification by faith alone is that it is a "necessary" doctrine:

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/cranmer/doctrine/files/doctrine.html

Charlie J. Ray said...

Billy, I checked the link you provided. No Reformed scholar says that Augustine has a full blown Reformed view on anything. However, that being said, Augustine's theology of double predestination and God's absolute sovereignty in salvation over against pelagianism shoots down the author's contention that Augustine believed in "cooperation." Hogwash. Clearly Augustine believed in a monergistic view of salvation, not synergistic or even semi-pelagian!

And why oh why is it that Augustinian theology logically leads to the Reformation if in fact it is really "Roman Catholic"? Any student of church history knows that the RCC later revised its Augustinianism back toward a "semi-pelagian" view. In other words, Augustine's victory over pelagianism faded out over time.

The Protestant Reformation sought to restore the Augustinian emphasis on the sovereignty of God in salvation.

"God command what you will and grant what you command." Augustine.

Reformation said...

Billy, check out:

www.reformationanglicanism.blogspot.com.

"Gospel Freedom or Priestly Tyranny?"

Charlie J. Ray said...

Hi Charlie,

I could not post this @ yer blog, as I don't have a Google account. Veitch's blog has an "anonymous" commenting feature-- very helpful!

Yours,
Hugh


Billy said:
...even if you believe Anglo-Catholics or anyone else not to be believers, I would urge you to be more peacable. Calling someone an "abominable idolater" is probably not going to make any converts.

>>We note that Jesus did not try to convert nor love the Pharisees. A wonderful article on his & Paul's apologetics is found at www.trinityfoundation.org/journal.php?id=168

>>Grace thus manifests itself ways strange to us. Jesus, the epitome of grace (as you remind us) is harsh with false teachers. Maybe Mr. Ray considers the A-Cs to be Pharisees (or perhaps better, Judaizers, to whom the inspired Apostle Paul had little tolerance), and thus, in need of rebuke, not making nicey-nice.


...You will not find Sola Fide in the creed. What you will find is the need for a right beleif in the Trinity, Incarnation, in the Work of our Lord Jesus Christ, and a call to obedience to attain everlasting life...
>>I suspect that it is for this reason that Mr. Ray includes many Reformation confessions in his link list.


...a Catholic of any stripe, Anglo, Roman, or Orthodox believes in the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Work of Jesus for our Salvation, and the need to live a life reflective of the fact that Jesus is Lord.
>>No one (to my knowledge) questioned either the Pharisees nor the Judaizers orthodoxy on most matters. But when it comes down to the very GRACE you mention, Billy, the A-Cs are as bereft as these two biblical groups.


They may see differently from you on how their obedience, their graced actions, work out in the realm of eternal salvation. But that is not a requirement for salvation.
>>You err, sir, not knowing the doctrine of the A-Cs.


The very articles you constantly endorse as confessional and representative of Reformed Anglicanism, give their enthusiastic support and endorsement of the Athanasian Creed...
>>And we hold to many other doctrines and formulations that the A-Cs do, as well. These do not make then Christian, anymore than they make us A-C.


...unless you are going to accuse anglo-catholics of being money changers as well as heretics, I don't believe you have a leg to stand on there.
>>Well, I'LL call 'em money-changers. It well fits those who sell their masses and other services to "save souls."


But secondly, I urge you to consider that the Articles throw their full-weight behind the ideal that belief in the Trinity, Incarnation, Work of Jesus, and striving to live according to what he has deemed good, is the definition of true catholicity.
>>YOUR definition, Billy.


...though I believe them to be in error, that the Pope, Rick Warren, Billy Graham, and any other person claiming and acting as if Jesus is Lord, as long as they as they believe in the three afore-mentioned things, are Christians.
>> OK. Says you. It's a free country. And we're free to say you're wrong.

>>Love 'n' Grace, Hugh

Billy said...

Hi Hugh,
You kind of made me crack up when I read your post...precisely because the thought crossed my mind when I wrote about the money changers that there was a time, and still exists to this day, some who sell salvation in the Roman church.
As far as the definition of true catholicity...I'm just quoting what the Athanasian Creed says...you don't have to believe it. But the 4 things I have repeated are what the Creed calls the Catholic faith.

Reformation: I'm going to post my comment to your blog post over at your place...

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