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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

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Part XX: Thirty-Nine Articles: The Historic Basis of the Anglican Faith: The Articles Incomplete

 


". . . A modern confession must strive to express what the Scriptures have to say to the world of today."



Thirty-Nine Articles: The Historic Basis of the Anglican Faith

A book by David Broughton Knox (Sydney: Anglican Church League, 1967).

The author: Canon David Broughton Knox, B.A., A. L. C. D., B.D., M.Th., D. Phil. (Oxford), was Principal of Moore Theological College, Sydney, Australia. Ordained in 1941 he served in an English parish and as a chaplain in the Royal Navy before becoming a tutor at Moore College 1947-53. On leave in England he was tutor and lecturer in New Testament at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford 1951-53 and Assistant Curate in the parish of St. Aldale's, Oxford. He became Vice Principal of Moore College in 1954 and Principal in 1959. He was elected Canon of St. Andrew's Cathedral in 1960. His other books include "The Doctrine of Faith in the Reign of Henry VIII" (London: James Clarke, 1961).

David Broughton Knox also founded George Whitefield College in South Africa in 1989.



Chapter Nine

The Articles Incomplete

In conclusion it may be said that there is room for a verbal revision of the Articles to remove some of the obscurities of the language in order to make clear their original meaning. But this sort of merely verbal revision of the Articles would absorb a lot of time and talent which is not worth spending for the small gain in clarity here and there. It is better to allow them to stand as they are, in their Elizabethan English.

Because the Articles were written four hundred years ago it is natural that there are some matters touched on which are less important in our current situation than they were in the sixteenth century. This is no reason for dropping these statements, since they are in themselves correct. Similarly, there are matters which have come to the fore during the last four hundred years and which seem important to the modern Church, but which the Articles omit to treat. In this sense the Articles are incomplete, and there may well be room for a supplementary confession. Both Dean Matthews and Professor Lampe stress the point that the Articles do not deal with some topics of current importance. This in itself is no argument for dropping the Articles, but it does suggest that it might be advisable for the modern Church to put out a supplementary confession which incorporates the Articles, in the same way as the Articles have incorporated the earlier Creeds, but which goes on speak on topics on which the Articles are silent. But it is a matter of fundamental importance that any such statement by the modern Church should follow the same principles of construction as the Creeds and the Articles themselves. That is to say, a modern confession must strive to express what the Scriptures have to say to the world of today.

The historical position of the Church of England is that the Scriptures are sufficient, and that the principles they enunciate are adequate for all human situations. It may be that we need to incorporate those principles in further Articles or other form of confession which speaks to our modern situation. In this way the Church of England would become once more a confessing Church, confessing the faith in the presence of today's form of unbelief and misbelief. But if our denomination were to decide to supplement in this way the Creeds and Articles already agreed upon, it is essential that it should proceed by the method of basing such a confession quite firmly on the historical Christian doctrine revealed in Holy Scripture, so as to ensure that the declaration prefixed to the Articles might continue to be 'that the Articles of the Church of England . . . do contain the true Doctrine of the Church of England agreeable to God's Word'.

[This completes the book.]
The Tenth Sunday after Trinity.
The Collect.
LET thy merciful ears, O Lord, be open to the prayers of thy humble servants; and that they may obtain their petitions make them to ask such things as shall please thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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