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

Friday, April 30, 2010

Is the Active and Passive Obedience of Christ a Shibboleth? Edith Humphrey Does Not Think So

[Nota Bene:  Looks like the links to the audio have been removed and no longer work.  Sorry about that.  Charlie, 11/28/2012.]

I was listening to this talk by Edith Humphrey at the Wheaton College Conference: A Dialogue with N. T. Wright. Her talk is entitled, "Glimpsing the Glory—Paul's Gospel, Righteousness and the Beautiful Feet of N.T. Wright." About five minutes or so into the talk she mentions a fund raising campaign at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary where Humphrey teaches. Pittsburgh is supposed to be a "conservative" and "evangelical" seminary, or as much as that is possible in the PCUSA at least. During the phone campaign one prospective donor said, "When you can tell me the difference between Christ's active and passive obedience, then I will make a donation." Humphrey goes on to portray herself as more "open and tolerant" than the caller who presented a "shibboleth" or test of fellowship. I suppose Humphrey has no shibboleths of her own? Perhaps "tolerance" and "openness" is a shibboleth of Neo-Evangelicalism?

But knowing something of Humphrey's background I can say that she is from the Salvation Army and her theology is completely Arminian at best. She thinks, as most Arminians do, that those who have not heard the Gospel will be judged by the light they have and maybe they even have an unconscious faith in Jesus? Sounds like universalism or liberalism to me. That Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is supposed to be Reformed yet hires openly Arminian and even liberal scholars cuts against its alleged Presbyterian heritage. The fact is Pittsburgh is for all practical purposes a liberal seminary. That Wheaton College would invite "dialogue" with liberals who are enemies of the Gospel is beyond me, particularly in the case of N. T. Wright.

Clearly the purpose of this conference is to undermine Evangelicalism in general and the classical Reformed position in particular. It is time for Reformed and Evangelical Christians to stop tolerating tolerance and instead preach the Gospel boldly. No compromise is something I learned when I was a classical pentecostal. Let us apply it here as well. Why dialogue with devils and hirelings who have no interest in the biblical Gospel?

Edith Humphrey who is now an Anglican seems to think the test of Christian fellowship is tolerance, not sound doctrine. This is what is wrong with Anglicanism and with broad Evangelicalism. What we need is a return to polemical and dogmatic theology centered on sola Scriptura, not reason exalted above both Scripture and tradition. Scripture is the final shibboleth by which we test doctrine. Therefore, the active and passive obedience of Christ is a doctrinal shibboleth because it is taught in Scripture and is therefore is binding doctrine.

Humphrey's attack on the doctrine of justification by faith alone in this talk is likewise appalling. She creates a strawman caricature of justification by faith alone and calls it fideism and individualism, which ignores the full orbed systematic exposition of the doctrine in the larger Reformed context. Her credibility decreases with every word she utters against Scripture and the Reformed faith.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.


Kepha said...

Do you guys have a good bibliography of modern theological writers I could use? I'm afraid that of late, I looked only at Robert Reymond (a former teacher), while spending more time with John Calvin, Thomas Watson, and Huldrych Zwingli.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Kepha, if you have any Reformed systematic theology books on hand, check the bibliographies in the back of those. Just offhand the best Reformed systematic theologies are the classical ones. Robert Reymond is probably the best I've seen for a conservative view point. Although I do have Wayne Grudem as well. Grudem is actually not that bad. It's readable and covers all the basics, although I obviously disagree with his charismatic theology in those sections of the book.

You might want to check out the blogs, too. William Webster is worth a good read. Berkhof is a good classic one, along with Charles Hodge and A. A. Hodge.

Sincerely in Christ,


Charlie J. Ray said...

Edith Humphreys is an Anglo-Catholic.

Peter McKeague said...

Charlie, I think you will find if you check Humphrey's webpage at PTS that she has now joined the Orthodox Church. Weird!

Charlie J. Ray said...

Thanks for the heads up, Peter. I had an e-mail debate with her awhile back. At that time she was still Anglo-Catholic. She contended that Matthew 25 teaches that those who have not heard the gospel will be saved based on how they treated God's people or some such silliness. In other words, she's a liberal.

And how can a "conservative" PCUSA seminary have an Eastern Orthodox person on the faculty? It's just more proof of the apostasy of the PCUSA and of the impending apostasy of Wheaton College. N. T. Wright is no Christian and to put him forward as some example for "dialogue" rather than an open debate is just silly imo.


Charlie J. Ray said...

Humphrey is well known as a popular speaker at church, ecumenical conferences, and seminary events. For 25 years, she has been active as a regular speaker and committee member in the Anglican Communion on the parish, diocesan, national (Canada and the US), and international levels. In early summer 2009 she will be received into the Eastern Orthodox communion, and will make her church home at St. George Antiochian Cathedral in Oakland, with her husband and others of her family. At one time the musical director and organist at St. George’s Anglican Church in Ottawa,...

From Edith Humphrey

From Anglo-Catholic to Eastern Orthodox. Semi-pelagianism to semi-pelagianism.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Edith on becoming Big O

Seems that the apostolic succession thing leads either to Rome or Constantinople or Jerusalem.

And she gets to "ascend" to heaven and become a little god to boot. Theosis and deification were the sources of Wesley's theology of entire sanctification. Perhaps this is why Humphrey decided on the East rather than Rome since her roots are in the Salvation Army and the Wesleyan holiness movement.

Idolatry never ceases to amaze me.


Charlie J. Ray said...

Not only does Humphreys emphasize theosis but to ascend up to heaven by our own efforts.

Towards the end of her lecture she speaks on what she calls "the ascent."

Talk about building towers of Babel. Is it really possible to get to heaven apart from the cross where God comes down to meet us in His Son, Jesus Christ?

David said...

"Talk about building towers of Babel. Is it really possible to get to heaven apart from the cross where God comes down to meet us in His Son, Jesus Christ?"

That just shows a real lack of knowledge on your part. The word strawman is flashing in neon in my mind. Neither Rome nor Orthodoxy believe what you state above. As a Calvinist myself, I know there is much disagreement between us and them, but not on the centrality of the cross of Christ for salvation. For you to state that theosis is becoming a "little god" just makes you sound silly. Even a cursory peak into E. Orthodox theology shows that deification is what we would call becoming "Christlike". Is that saying we are calling ourselves "little christs?" Surely that is not what WE mean. And having read a bit about it, I know that is not what THEY mean either. They explain it in a different way with different emphasis and terminology but it is certainly not "becoming a little god." In the blasphemous way you are implying. Just a friendly rebuke brother. BTW you would find this website interesting: http://www.calledtocommunion.com/

Also, just curious, but have you ever read John Henry Newman? If you do you might find that your journey of faith is not finished in Anglicanism.



Charlie J. Ray said...

Only cowards post anonymously. First off, the Eastern Orthodox Church AND the Roman Catholic Church teach that there is no substitutionary atonement. Instead they teach that the atonement is general and for no one in particular and therefore is powerless to save anyone in particular. What kind of atonement accomplishes nothing for anyone???

Secondly, the Eastern Orthodox view of the atonement is the recapitulation theory. In other words, the atonement is not for appeasing the wrath of God, making propitiation, or for bearing the eternal penalty for sin. For the Orthodox the cross is merely to restore eternal life lost in the fall and the image of God lost in the fall. The "image" to them is moral likeness, not an eternal offense against an omni-holy God.

So the reason they call sanctification "deification" is so that they can regain the "divine image", which does imply idolatry since their view of the fall does not even mention the absolute holiness of God or the law of God or the eternal offense of Adam against God. In Adam the whole race became rebels against God.

So this simply confirms what I thought all along, David. You're not really reformed at all. You're one of "them." The semi-pelagians and heretics abound everywhere. Like the Eastern Orthodox and the Roman Catholics your theology is essentially one of self-righteousness and pelagianism.

If there is one thing I hate it is a liar.


Charlie J. Ray said...

The "cross" is about God coming down to meet us. It is not a ladder to ascend into heaven as the Anglo-Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox teach. They are hypocrites and liars who think their own holiness will earn them a place in heaven.


Charlie J. Ray said...

There is no "journey of faith." There is only the sovereignty God. Whatsoever God decrees will absolutely come to pass. Should He so decree even the reprobate may be Anglican.

Charlie J. Ray said...

The reason I know the truth is I have read the Bible since I was at least 8. I have been temporarily off course with the Pentecostals but after that I have always used discernment. I can assure you that I will NEVER become an apostate Anglo-Catholic.

My faith is Protestant, Reformed and Calvinist. I could care less what organized religion thinks about my faith. The true church is a local congregation where the Gospel is rightly preached and the two sacraments are rightly administered.


Charlie J. Ray said...

Berean Beacon: Eastern Orthodoxy

David said...

O.K. so let me get this straight. You called me a coward, said i'm not Reformed, a heretic, that my theology is "essentially one of self-righteousness and pelagianism", then you said you hate me and I am a liar.

Please reread my comment. You know NOTHING about me man. So don't presume to say those slanders against me. All I did was criticize you for calling EO idolatry. As for being a coward, what are you talking about? Do you want my full name (David Alfred Meyer, Rockford MN) Why do you care? Are you going to beat me up?

As for your somewhat patronizing theological discourse on the Atonement/propitiation, etc. like I said I am a 5 point Calvinist so I get it. I am not going to embarass myself by calling 95% of christendom heretics though.

Good to know that you agree that we are on a "faith journey", I too was a Pentacostal.

Finally, you said: "The true church is a local congregation where the Gospel is rightly preached and the two sacraments are rightly administered."

I want to point out that when you say "gospel", "rightly preached", "two sacraments", and "rightly administered", what you are saying is "listen to my interpretation of what the truth is on these issues." because of course, as protestants we have no authority higher than our personal interpretation of Scripture to tell us where we err. read this if you can handle it:

You said "I could care less what organized religion thinks about my faith."

Funny cus thats exactly what every heretic in history has said. (not saying you are one btw)

Arius would be proud.

BTW i'm not going to bother reading a response here or having follow up comments sent, seems unfruitful to me.


-David Meyer

Charlie J. Ray said...

David, I'm amused when liberals try to claim to be Reformed while at the same time openly rejecting Sola Scriptura, which is one of the five solas of the Protestant Reformation. No Calvinist believes that the principle of the priesthood of believers means that you can just subjectively make it up for yourself. The local congregation is a secondary authority and is subject to a confession of faith or a collective understanding of what Scripture teaches. Futhermore, the four univerally accepted creeds are authoritative since they are based in Holy Scripture. That would include the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed and the Definition of Chalcedon.

Most Calvinists use either the Westminster Standards or the Dutch Three Forms of Unity as their "confession of faith." Since I have been in both Presbyterian and Anglican congregations my confession includes the 39 Articles of Religion and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. I use the other two confessions as supplementals to the Anglican Formularies.

As I said, it is ridiculous for you to claim to be Reformed when you endorse the Eastern Orthodox Church as "Christian." Fact is the EOC is apostate and teaches salvation by works. It is pelagian.

Regarding the doctrine of sola Scriptura I would suggest you go and read the Westminster Confession of Faith again.


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