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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

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Fw: Mere Christianity? A Lutheran Response

 
 
Excellent observation, Ken.  However, my point is that reductionism never works.  Maintaining distinctives always means maintaining exclusivism.  I think "co-belliegerency" is the best we can hope for.  Horton seems to think we should include Anglo-Catholics and others who deny justification by faith alone.  I happen to agree with Luther that justification by faith alone is an essential doctrine.   The church denying justification by faith only is in fact denying the Gospel itself.  I am posting your comments to the blog.
 
Charlie
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, September 06, 2009 9:34 PM
Subject: Re: Mere Christianity?

While I understand what both Lewis and Horton were trying to do--establish what all who can call themselves Christians believe in common, while putting distinctives in Lewis's "rooms," you're of course right that this cannot be drawn too broadly.  For even the loosest unity of Christians that is not mere unionism (unity for the sake of unity) to be real, there has to be a consensus not only of things that we believe but of things that we do NOT believe.  There can be no unity with those who believe intolerable things--for example that one man is the Vicar of Christ on earth, infallible and owed all obedience.
 
Lewis began as a more or less Arminian Low Churchman, but in the post-war years he became increasingly Anglo-Catholic.   Arminianism is, of course, that area generally considered to be in the Protestant camp that has let the Pope in the back door--decision theology as a Protestant meritum congrui and personal holiness theology as a Protestant meritum condigni.  Of course, any sort of meritum congrui or meritum condigni is a repudiation of the article on which the Reformation stands or falls.  I quote Luther in the Smalcald Articles--there are ample Reformed counterparts:
 

Part II, Article I: The first and chief article.

1] That Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, died for our sins, and was raised again for our justification, Rom. 4:25.

2] And He alone is the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world, John 1:29; and God has laid upon Him the iniquities of us all, Is. 53:6.

3] Likewise: All have sinned and are justified without merit [freely, and without their own works or merits] by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, in His blood, Rom. 3:23f

4] Now, since it is necessary to believe this, and it cannot be otherwise acquired or apprehended by any work, law, or merit, it is clear and certain that this faith alone justifies us as St. Paul says, Rom. 3:28: For we conclude that a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the Law. Likewise 3:26: That He might be just, and the Justifier of him which believeth in Christ.

5] Of this article nothing can be yielded or surrendered [nor can anything be granted or permitted contrary to the same], even though heaven and earth, and whatever will not abide, should sink to ruin. For there is none other name under heaven, given among men whereby we must be saved, says Peter, Acts 4:12. And with His stripes we are healed, Is. 53:5. And upon this article all things depend which we teach and practice in opposition to the Pope, the devil, and the [whole] world. Therefore, we must be sure concerning this doctrine, and not doubt; for otherwise all is lost, and the Pope and devil and all things gain the victory and suit over us.

The Arminians have "yielded and surrendered" a great deal of this article, maintaining a formal subscription to it but with their teachings giving it away.

Ken

 
 
In a message dated 9/6/2009 7:54:48 P.M. Central Daylight Time, cranmer1959@gmail.com writes:
 
 
 
 
The Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity.
The Collect.
ALMIGHTY and merciful God, of whose only gift it cometh that thy faithful people do unto thee true and laudable service; Grant, we beseech thee, that we may so faithfully serve thee in this life, that we fail not finally to attain thy heavenly promises; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

1 comment:

Charlie J. Ray said...

The problem with Horton's paradigm is that it leaves out justification by faith alone as one of the essential distinctives, which leaves Horton open to the charge of leaving "pelagianism" as an option for several of those "rooms." The only distinctives Horton insists on? 1. The trinity. 2. Biblical inerrancy.

Huh???

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