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 Second Sunday in Lent.

The Collect

ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.

Daily Bible Verse

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Distinction Between Repentance and Penance


You said:
I likewise agree to a great extent with what you've said regarding Absolution.

I would note though that the 1552/1559/1662 BCP Private form of Confession and Absolution contained in the Office for the Visitation of the Sick is actually the following:

Here shall the sick person be moved to make a special confession of his sins, if he feel his conscience troubled with any weighty matter. After which confession, the Priest shall absolve him (if he humbly and heartily desire it) after this sort.

OUR Lord Jesus Christ, who hath left power to his Church to absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in him, of his great mercy forgive thee thine offences: And by his authority committed to me, I absolve thee from all thy sins, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."

This is actually not that different from the Private Absolution used by Rome:

"God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."

Or the Russian Orthodox form:

"My child, N. N., may our Lord and God Christ Jesus by the mercy of His love absolve thee from thy sins; and I, His unworthy priest, in virtue of the authority committed to me, absolve thee and declare thee absolved of thy sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen."

I agree that the condition for absolution is true faith and repentance. I agree likewise that Private Confession/Absolution was specifically intended to be optional and not necessary. And I agree that the Romanist requirements regarding Private Confession as well as "an assigned penance which merits God's forgiveness and a recharging of one's "infused" justification/righteousness" and other such unscriptural practices and beliefs certainly have no place in the theology of the Articles, BCP, and Homilies.

Finally, I agree that all ministers (whether Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentacostal, Lutheran, or Anglican) exercise the use of the keys of the Kingdom in the preaching of the Word and the administration of the Sacraments and in the discipline of the Church.

Of course, I am a firm believer as Cranmer and Latimer were in justification by faith alone, penal substitutionary atonement, monergistic predestination as taught by Augustine and in the 17th Article and the other foundational beliefs of the Reformation which are all taught in the Articles, BCP, and Homilies.
William, the difference as you only acknowledge at the bottom is REPENTANCE AND BELIEVING. This is noticeably MISSING from the Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox absolutions. Therefore, the Reformed view of absolution is inextricably tied to the Gospel of grace, justification by faith alone, and to the gift of repentance and the gift of faith. The Reformed absolution is a Gospel absolution and NOT an ex opere operato absolution where the minister has some mysterious supernatural or divine power infused into him through the so-called sacrament of ordination!

Again, I must press you on the fact that your thinking has been influenced by the equivocators and dissimulators on the other side of the fence. My suggestion to you is that you return to the principle of sola scriptura and let Scripture speak the final word. The distinction between "repentance" and "penance" as defined by the Roman Catholics is a distinction as great as the distance from one end of the universe to the other! (See Falling Down: The Second Major Difference Between Repentance and Penance).

While you may imagine yourself as some great debater or theologian, I can assure that I can hold my own against your prooftexting taken out of context. I may not have all the historical context as precise as I would like at this time regarding the English Reformation and documents thereof, I can assure you that the one thing I DO have a firm grasp of is Holy Scripture. I have a solid basis for my theological position and formulation and I am quite able to defend it from Scripture and Scripture alone. I see nothing in the Articles which would obligate me to become a compromiser with Anglo-Catholics, high church Carolingians, or even with Arminians and Amyraldians. In essence, my Evangelicalism comes first and Evangelicals are necessarily obligated to follow the Protestant pentelateral of sola gratia, sola fide, sola scriptura, solus christus, and soli Deo gloria.


1 comment:

Charlie J. Ray said...

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