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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, July 11, 2006

The Articles of Religion: Guest Remarks

The following article is from The Tradition Protestant Episcopal Church website. I have made minor corrections in brackets where capitalization, punctuation, and word omission errors occur in the text. However, the general thrust of the article is in agreement with my own views on the Articles:

The Articles of Religion

C.W.F. Smith

Until the middle of the 17th century there was no significant attack upon the Articles of Religion. But with the rise of Latitudinarians in the late 17th century (Church rationalists who were indifferent to some ecclesiastical norms) there began a strong tradition which became increasingly uneasy with the Articles on Sin (IX, X), on Justification (XI, XII, XIII) and on Predestination (XVII).

The first objections to the Articles, however, were from the opposite tradition. In the 16th century puritan Anglicans objected to the language of salvation which did not appear to them to measure up to the rigor of their understanding of Calvin's teaching. The Anglican Articles are, on these points, continually disappointing to tidy minds, but they represent the commendable insight expressed later by Charles Simeon who refused, he said, "to be any more systematic than Holy Scripture" on these matters.

The next significant attack on the Articles was from John Henry Newman in his well known Tract 90. Here the insistence was not that the Articles, like the law, were impotent to redeem but, implicity, they were the"wrong" Articles. The "correct" Articles would be those of the Council of Trent (1545-1563), the doctrinal standard of Roman Catholicism since the 16th century. His ingenious attempt to reconcile these doctrinal differences by interpreting the Anglican articles so they would agree with the Roman Catholic Council failed and the result was his choice between the two; and he became a Roman Catholic.

The precedent of "interpreting" the Articles to make them fit one's express disagreement with them was at first hailed as a liberating device by the Tractarians [and] [sic] (the) their descendants. [B]ut what was sauce for the Anglo-Catholic goose became sauce for the Liberal gander. If the Articles could be interpreted by some to repudiate the Reformation, then they could be interpreted by others to repudiate the teachings of Chalcedon and the Creeds.

Many are offended by the Articles of the Anglican Reformation because their ecumenical hope is with Roman Catholicism, but this hope does not seem to include a trust that Roman [Catholicism] may one day repent of any explicitly and admittedly non-biblical dogmas. These dogmas are: The Immaculate Conception, 1854; The Infallibility of the Papacy, 1870 and The Bodily Assumption of the Virgin Mary, 1950. Each of these doctrines is at odds with the teachings of the Articles as are those medieval and Tridentine (counter-Reformation) doctrines of compulsory celibacy, indulgences, works of supererogation, and the teaching that tradition has equal authority with Scripture. These are still the official teaching of post-Vatican II Roman Catholics.

The dislike of the Articles from the opposite, or liberal, side when it is a matter of substance, and not merely a general antipathy to any form of doctrinal statement, would almost invariably apply not only to the Thirty-Nine Articles but to Scripture itself. [T]he great mystery of election and predestination is, more frequently than not, swept aside and the tension [between free] will and grace resolved by a Plagianism sufficiently crude to embarrass even Erasmus! Anselm's doctrine of the Atonement, Aquinas' teaching on Predestination, and Augustine's opinions on the Nature of Man are unfailingly dismissed by contemporary Pelagians as "Calvinist"!

There should be no argument that the Thirty-Nine Articles are less than perfect, represent a 16th century formulation and are, as they themselves make explicitly clear, subject to the higher claims of Scripture. There cannot, however, be any doubt that they represent an official and duly constituted statement of the doctrine in Anglicanism.

Traditional Protestant Episcopal Church

From: http://www.reformer.org/articles/articles.cgi?action=fullscreen&primary_key=6

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