We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; we also remembered the 450th anniversary of Mr. (Bp., Salisbury) John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed defense, An Apology of the Church of England. In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. Our book for October 2014 is Francis Turretin's 3-volume "Institutes of Elenctic Theology" at: http://www.amazon.com/Institutes-Elenctic-Theology-vol-set/dp/0875524567/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412273572&sr=8-1&keywords=turretin+elenctic. Our book for November 2014 is Calvin's magnum opus, the "Institutes of Christian Religion" at: http://www.amazon.com/Calvin-Institutes-Christian-Religion-Volume/dp/0664220282/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1415127336&sr=8-2&keywords=calvin%27s+institutes. Our book for December 2014 is Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: http://www.amazon.com/Book-Common-Prayer-Biography-Religious/dp/0691154813/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417814005&sr=8-1&keywords=jacobs+book+of+common+prayer
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
The Westminster Captivity of Evangelicalism « Renewal Dynamics / Regent University School of Divinity
John Shepherd on the office of curates
A Church of England clergyman
THE Revd John Shepherd (1759-1805), minister of Pattiswick in Essex, helps us appreciate the Prayer for the Clergy and People at the end of Morning and Evening Prayer, especially our petitions on behalf of “curates”.
In his commentary on the Prayer Book, Shepherd speaks movingly of what a Church of England clergyman (“curate”, someone with the cure of souls) is, or ought to be.
THEIR office is to catechise the young, to instruct the ignorant, to encourage the good, to reprove the wicked, to help the weak-hearted, to comfort the afflicted, to relieve the distressed, to visit the sick, to present the prayers of the congregation, to preach the word of God, to administer the holy Sacraments, and to perform the other rites and ceremonies appointed by the Church.
They are required, not only to be diligent in teaching, exhortation, and prayer, and in the study of the Holy Scriptures; but they are likewise to shew themselves a pattern of all Christian virtues and graces, that, both by their doctrine and example, they may be a means of saving the souls committed to their charge.
When we reflect upon the extent and importance of the sacred office, we shall require no farther considerations to induce us to pray for the Clergy, as well knowing that without the grace of God assisting his labours, the best endeavours of the ablest Minister of the Gospel, will be unprofitable and vain.
Even St. Paul himself, though seemingly possessing every necessary qualification for the work of the ministry, was so sensible of his own insufficiency, that we find him repeatedly beseeching the Churches to whom he addressed his Epistles, “to pray for him; to pray that utterance might be given unto him to make known the mystery of the Gospel.” (Eph. vi. 19. Col. iv. 3.)
And notwithstanding his successful efforts in cultivating the vineyard of Christ, he makes this modest and virtuous confession, “I have planted, Apollos watered, but God giveth the increase.” (1 Cor. iii. 6.)
A Critical And Practical Elucidation Of The Book Of Common Prayer. Prayer For The Clergy And People.
THAT it may please thee to illuminate all Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, with true knowledge and understanding of thy Word; and that both by their preaching and living they may set it forth, and show it accordingly;
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
For more notes on the Daily Office, see Morning Prayer.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Amen. I thank God daily for those men who catechetized me in youth.
The dangers of Bishop Tom "Not So" Wright. Typical Anglican fudge over vanilla. Daily, I thank God that I was never catechetized by or received my primary theological education from Anglicans. Sheesh.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
THE Collect for the Feast of St Mark the Evangelist, which falls today, appeals to God to rescue us from the empty teachings which have swirled around the churches since the very beginning.
O ALMIGHTY God, who hast instructed thy holy Church with the heavenly doctrine of thy Evangelist Saint Mark; Give us grace, that, being not like children carried away with every blast of vain doctrine, we may be established in the truth of thy holy Gospel; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
In this spirit, Bishop William Beveridge (1637-1708) begged his clergy to be content with the traditions of the Church of England.
I HUMBLY beseech and exhort you in the name of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, that as he hath been pleased to admit you into so holy and pure a Church, so you would all endeavour to live up to the rules and orders of it, as many here present do.
First, keep close to the words she uses in her Articles and common prayers; by this means you will have a right judgment in all things, and hold fast the form of sound words indeed. By this means you will be secure from heresy, and entertain no doctrine but what is catholic and orthodox. By this means whatsoever happens, you will still be stedfast in the faith of Christ, and not suffer yourselves to be imposed upon by the adversaries of our Church on either side; for if they cannot fasten new words upon you, it will be impossible for them ever to deceive you.
But then you must remember to conform to the discipline, as well as to the doctrine, of our Church, not hypocritically, indifferently, and partially, but sincerely, constantly, universally, so as to observe and do whatsoever she commands, either in her Liturgy, Canons, or Constitutions.
By this means you will live as the primitive Fathers did, and come short of none of the most eminent Christians that ever lived since the Apostles’ times. By this you will shame the adversaries of our Church into a compliance with her, when they see how far you outstrip them in all true grace and virtue: yea, by this means you will be really saints on earth, and glorified saints in heaven.
For be but you as pious towards God, as loyal to our queen, as sober in yourselves, as faithful to your friends, as loving to your enemies, as charitable to the poor, as just to all, as our Church enjoins you; in a word, be but you as conformable to her, as she is to the catholic Church in all things, and my life, my eternal life for yours, you cannot but be happy for evermore. Which God of his infinite mercy grant we may all be, in and through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; to whom, &c.
Sermons on the Ministry &c.. Sermon V: A Form Of Sound Words To Be Used By Ministers.
The Lost Art of Catechesis - J.I. Packer
By Mark Earley
Christian Post Guest Columnist
April 21, 2010
Eighty-three-year-old theologian J.I. Packer recently spoke at St. Matthews Episcopal Church in Dallas. There, Packer, one of Time Magazine's 25 "most influential evangelicals," said, "We are drifting back into paganism."
Packer's latest book, written with Gary Parrett, underscores what he thinks is missing. The book, entitled Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way, explores the church's need to make catechesis an important part of its life once again.
For those unfamiliar with the term, catechesis is, according to Packer and Parrett, "the church's ministry of grounding and growing God's people in the Gospel and its implications for doctrine, devotion, duty and delight."
There is generally need for three distinct forms of catechetical ministry. They say it's protocatechesis, which refers to teaching what many today would call "seekers" or what the ancients called "inquirers"; catechesis proper, which refers to the formal work of preparing children or adult converts for baptism or confirmation; and ongoing catechesis, which is the never-ending teaching and formation of believers.
Packer and Parrett point out the fact that catechism has always been an important part of transferring the faith. The authors look at Old Testament precursors to catechism, New Testament examples, and then the use it in light of the early church. Although the practice was largely neglected in the Middle Ages, the Reformers emphasized the need for its revival.
Writing in 1548 to the Lord Protector of England, John Calvin emphatically stated, "Believe me, Monseigneur, the Church of God will never be preserved without catechesis." In the years which followed, both Catholics and Protestants revived the practice and saw it as one of the most obvious and basic duties of the church.
Sadly, today, in most parts of the church, the practice has been abandoned. Many even view the word "catechesis" with suspicion, like it is some alien practice. The authors write, however, "We are persuaded that Calvin had it right and that we are already seeing the sad, even tragic, consequences of allowing the church to continue uncatechized in any significant sense...[T]he recovery of significant catechesis [is] a nonnegotiable practice in specifically evangelical churches."
While the authors make it clear that churches need to re-discover catechesis, they don't leave us hanging without a plan to help them do it. They discuss what topics churches should cover in catechesis, and they describe how people can champion the cause of catechism in their congregations. In other words, Packer and Parrett give us the tools and the blueprint we need to move forward.
Especially nowadays, when young believers are likely to pick and choose which aspects of the faith they find most convenient or cool-much like they'd pick and choose a download for their iPod-we desperately need to teach a holistic understanding of the faith, from Genesis to Revelation.
Packer is right on. Passing the baton of faith to the next generation may depend on our heeding his message.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
ALMIGHTY and merciful God, of whose only gift it cometh that thy faithful people render thee true and laudable service, grant that I may join the prayers and praises of thy holy church with reverence and devotion, hear thy word with attention, and obediently follow the same; that I may be now and ever acceptable in thy sight, through my Redeemer and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
On The Morning You Intend To Communicate
O MOST gracious and eternal Lord God, thou hast called all who are weary and heavy laden to come unto thee, by faith and repentance, and thou wilt refresh them. Encouraged by thy gracious invitation, may I approach thy heavenly table, not trusting in my own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies; and although I am not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs that fall from thy table, yet since it is thy property always to have mercy: Forgive my want of a due preparation, and accept of my sincere desire to perform, an acceptable service unto thee. Clothe me with the wedding garment, even the graces of the gospel. Possess my soul with a lively faith, with humility, obedience, devout affections, and with charity, that I may be a worthy partaker of those holy mysteries, to my great and endless comfort: Grant this, O heavenly Father, if it be thy blessed will, through Jesus Christ. Amen.
—Thomas Bisse (1675-1731), "Guide To The Altar".
Holy Communion From The 1662 Book Of Common Prayer
Sunday, April 18, 2010
An excellent 1662 BCP parish in London, billing themselves as "real Anglicans." The sermons at the website are quite good.
"We are traditional Church of England - real Anglicans. We use the Authorised (King James) version of the Bible (1611) and the Book of Common Prayer (1662). Our 11am Sunday service is Choral and always features musical settings from the classic tradition of church music from Tallis and Byrd through Purcell and Vittoria, Mozart and Haydn to Vaughan Williams, Elgar and Britten."
The Parish Church of St. Michael Cornhill in the City of London
In a hard hitting letter to Archbishop Rowan Williams, the Ugandan evangelical archbishop wrote saying that the next meeting of the Primates should not include the Primates of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada who, he said, are proceeding with unbiblical practices that contradict the faith of Anglicanism.
"We cannot carry on with business as usual until order is brought out of this chaos," he told Dr. Williams.
It is clear that the Anglican Communion is crumbling and will escalate even further when a lesbian Episcopal bishop is consecrated next month in the Diocese of Los Angeles.
The Archbishop's letter was clear, unambiguous, and inspired by Archbishop Anis's letter of resignation, Orombi said.
For more, see:
VirtueOnline - News - Exclusives - Ugandan Primate Says Williams Should not invite TEC & ACoC to Primates Meetingl
An important article on law, gospel, Romanism and the recovery and restoration of the Catholic (= non-Papist) Gospel, summarized in the Reformed Confessions.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
2. Still in Detroit since Dad's passing 23 March assisting Mum with estate issues.
3. Earlier this week, visited Mariners' Anglican Church, Detroit, for an excellent visit with some church staff. Took membership, although I reside in NC. While in Detroit, this "is" my home church. The music is top notch and I can tolerate the 1928 BCP (unlike that 79 BCP, a hatchet job of liberals, a total mess). http://marinerschurchofdetroit.org/10.html
4. Have limited internet comms so not posting as regularly.
Regards to all.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
1. Dad passed 23 Mar 2010. I was notified late Sunday, 21 Mar, that Dad has suffered a massive heart attack. Dad suffered a massive myocardial infarction, irreversible heart damage of about 80% to his two ventricles, congestive heart failure and gastrointestinal bleeding. I was able to see him Monday night at 2200. We received the call on Tuesday morning at 0300. He coded four times between 0300 and 0500. He was in a coma. At 515, the family decided that should he code again, further extraordinary measures would be withheld. Morphine was administered at 520. He coded again at 0530 and died 20 minutes later at 550. The entire family was present as he entered the Church Triumphant.
2. Dad knew his Bible and theology. He died in Christ. He died as well as he lived, wearing the perfect, eternally abiding, and transcendent robes of Christ's perfect, active and passive obedience.
3. He was buried using the services for the burial of the dead from 1662 and 1928 Books of Common Prayer. I was a co-officiant. Thankfully so.
4. I remain in Grosse Pointe, MI, with my mother. I will be here for some time to come until we get things in order for her. I will be online with less regularity over the next few months.
We stand tall in Christ's great work for us. Excellent services today at Mariners' Anglican Church of Detroit. Good Friday services tomorrow with Easter Sunday to follow. http://marinerschurchofdetroit.org/11.html
God's covenanted and historic loyalties to this family are our comforts, in life and death (Heidelberg Catechism, Q & A 1-2).
Thanks to those praying for our family.
D. Philip Veitch