Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "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. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Friday, February 28, 2014

House IRS Hearings: Stinking, Inflammatory, Endless Morass, Laughable & Non-Political

Mr. (Sen) McConnell Slams Mr. (Sen) Reid's Gaslighting Rhetoric

Mr. (Sen) Reid: Horror Healthcare Stories Are Lies, Tales, Absolutely False & Made Up Wholecloth


(Biblical Archaeology): Expulsion of Hyksos

The Expulsion of the Hyksos

Tel Habuwa excavations reveal the conquest of Tjaru by Ahmose I

“After the conclusion of the treaty they left with their families and chattels, not fewer than two hundred and forty thousand people, and crossed the desert into Syria. Fearing the Assyrians, who dominated over Asia at that time, they built a city in the country which we now call Judea. It was large enough to contain this great number of men and was called Jerusalem.”

Against Apion 1.73.7, quoting Manetho’s Aegyptiaca

Excavations at Tel Habuwa, thought to be ancient Tjaru, reveal evidence of the expulsion of the Hyksos by Ahmose I at the end of the Second Intermediate Period.

In the Second Intermediate Period (18th-16th centuries B.C.E.), towards the end of the Middle Bronze Age, the West Asian (Canaanite) Hyksos controlled Lower (Northern) Egypt. In the 16th century, Ahmose I overthrew the Hyksos and initiated the XVIII dynasty and the New Kingdom of Egypt.

Recent archaeological discoveries at Tel Habuwa (also known as Tell el-Habua or Tell-Huba), a site associated with ancient Tjaru (Tharo), shed new light on Ahmose’s campaign. A daybook entry in the famous Rhind Mathematical Papyrus notes that Ahmose seized control of Tjaru before laying siege the Hyksos at their capital in Avaris.

Josephus identifies the Israelite Exodus with the expulsion of the Hyksos “shepherd kings.” Read more about archaeological evidence for the Israelites in Egypt and new scholarship on the Exodus in our FREE eBook Ancient Israel in Egypt and the Exodus

For the rest, see:

(CNN) POTUS To Russia: "There Will Be Costs"

20 Feb 2014: Obama "Warns of Conseqences" in Ukraine

Published on Feb 20, 2014 Obama Condemns Violence In Ukraine, Warns Of "Consequences" - Another Red Line? - Amb John Bolton - America's Newsroom

(BBC): Syrian Islamo-Fascists Issue Rules For Christians

Syria crisis: ISIS imposes rules on Christians in Raqqa

Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) marching in Raqqa, Syria The northern city of Raqqa was seized by ISIS fighters last year
A jihadist group in Syria has demanded that Christians in the northern city of Raqqa pay a levy in gold and accept curbs on their faith, or face death.

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) said it would give Christian residents "protection" if they agreed to the list of conditions.

The announcement came in a statement posted online.

Correspondents say ISIS is trying to implement an extreme interpretation of Islamic law in areas it controls.

Raqqa, seized by ISIS last year, was the first provincial capital to be completely in the hands of rebels.

'Risking the sword'

The directive from ISIS, citing the Islamic concept of "dhimma", requires Christians in the city to pay tax of around half an ounce (14g) of pure gold in exchange for their safety.

BBC map of Raqqa and Damascus in Syria
It says Christians must not make renovations to churches, display crosses or other religious symbols outside churches, ring church bells or pray in public.

Christians must not carry arms, and must follow other rules imposed by ISIS (also known as ISIL) on their daily lives.

The statement said the group had met Christian representatives and offered them three choices - they could convert to Islam, accept ISIS' conditions, or reject their control and risk being killed.

"If they reject, they are subject to being legitimate targets, and nothing will remain between them and ISIS other than the sword," the statement said.

A group of 20 Christian leaders chose to accept the new set of rules, ISIS said.

Raqqa was once home to about 300,000 people, with less than 1% Christian, according to AFP news agency.

Many Christians fled after ISIS started attacking and burning churches.

The group has been accused of serious abuses in the areas it controls.

Raqqa has seen fierce violence between ISIS and rival groups fighting the forces of President Bashar al-Assad.

More than 2,000 people are believed to have been killed since Western-backed and Islamist groups attacked ISIS strongholds in early January.

God is Mean & Not Nice: Judges 1.4 & Rev. 22.11-15

Judges 1:4

1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)
Then Judah went up, and the Lord delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hands, and they slew of them in Bezek ten thousand men.

Revelation 22:11-15

1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)
11 [a]He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
12 [b]And behold, I come shortly, and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be.
13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
14 Blessed are they, that do his Commandments, [c]that their right may be in the tree of Life, and may enter in through the gates into the City.
15 For without shall be dogs and enchanters, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth or maketh lies.


  1. Revelation 22:11 An objection prevented. But there will be some that will abuse this occasion unto evil, and will wrest this Scripture unto their own destruction, as Peter saith. What then saith the Angel, the mysteries of God must not therefore be concealed, which it hath pleased him to communicate unto us. Let them be hurtful unto others, let such be more and more vile in themselves, whom this Scripture doth not please: yet others shall be further conformed thereby unto righteousness and true holiness. The care and reformation of these may not be neglected, because of the voluntary and malicious offense of others.
  2. Revelation 22:12 The second place belonging unto the use of this book, as I said, verse 10. Also (saith God by the Angel) though there should be no use of this book unto men: yet it shall be of this use unto me, that it is a witness of my truth unto my glory, who will come shortly to give and execute just judgment, in this verse: who have taught that all these things have their being in me, in verse 13, and have denounced blessedness unto my servants in the Church, verse 14, and reprobation unto the ungodly, verse 15.
  3. Revelation 22:14 The blessedness of the godly set down by their title and interest thereunto: and their fruit in the same.

(3-Hr. Video): "Tares Among the Wheat" (Sequel to "Lamp in the Dark")

Mr. (Rev. Dr.) Scott Clark: Non-Doctrinal Christianity an Impossibility

Non-Doctrinal Christianity Is Impossible

from Feb 28, 2014                 

Imagine Mike. He’s an unusual mechanic. Where other mechanics find natural laws (such as gravity) unavoidable and even useful, he suspects them to be arbitrary, invoked in order to stifle his creativity. We can imagine how the story ends. Cars brought for repair are returned in worse shape than before. Mike goes out of business. Whatever Mike might think, the laws of physics are built into the nature of creation.
Tweet thisNon-doctrinal Christianity is impossible. The teaching of non-doctrinal Christianity is doctrine
So it is with doctrine in the Christian faith and life. Throughout Christian history, folks have proposed to do without Christian doctrine, the good and necessary inferences drawn from the implicit or explicit teaching of Scripture. Like Mike, some Christians have suspected that doctrine is just an invention, a way to control people. Such a position is just as false as Mike the mechanic’s. Doctrine is inescapable because it is revealed in Scripture and necessary to Christian faith and life.

Doctrine is Biblical

Our English word doctrine is derived from a Latin word, doctrina, which means, “that which is taught.” In Christian usage, it refers to Christian teaching about Scripture, God, man, Christ, salvation, church, and the end of all things. It is fitting that the English word doctrine was first used in the 1382 Wycliffe Bible translation (from Latin to English), because in the old Latin Bible, the word doctrine occurs more than one hundred times. The King James Version (1611) used the word about half as often, and contemporary translations use it more sparingly. Nevertheless, the idea is present throughout Scripture.

One of the root ideas in the word doctrine is instruction. Moses received instruction from the Lord on the mountain (Ex. 24:12), which occurred after the Israelites had sworn a blood oath (v. 7) to do all that the Lord had spoken. That instruction included truths about who God is, what He had done for His people, and what He expected of them. That pattern is repeated throughout the Old Testament.
In the New Testament, Titus, a young pastor on the island of Crete, was exhorted to “hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught” so as to be able to “give instruction in sound doctrine” (Titus 1:9). There are several such passages in the New Testament, some of which we will survey below. Clearly, the teaching and preservation of divinely revealed doctrine is basic to the office of the minister and to the function of Christ’s church.

Doctrine is Evangelical

The universal church and her greatest teachers have always taught and confessed certain basic doctrines. The early church focused on the Bible’s doctrine of God and Christ. After considerable Bible study and debate, the church concluded that God’s Word teaches that God is one in essence and three in person, and that Jesus, God the Son incarnate, is one person with two natures (divine and human).

The medieval church preserved these basic doctrines but became quite confused about the Christian doctrine of salvation. This confusion contributed to widespread moral corruption in the church. The Reformation was largely a struggle to recover the certain biblical doctrine of justification (acceptance of sinners by God) by unmerited divine favor alone, through faith (resting in or trusting) alone, on the basis of Christ’s righteousness imputed alone. The Protestant churches wanted to ground the Christian life in the recovery of these great truths. The Roman communion wanted to ground the Christian life in a doctrine of justification that said God accepts those who are holy and righteous in themselves by grace and cooperation with grace. Under Protestant lights, the Roman doctrine denies Paul’s teaching that “if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works” (Rom. 11:6). The Roman doctrine is bad news for sinners because we can never cooperate sufficiently to become truly righteous before God.

Beginning about one hundred and fifty years after the Reformation, the Protestants faced another great doctrinal crisis. A great philosophical upheaval began to turn the Western intellectual world on its head. Instead of beginning with God and His Word, intellectuals increasingly began their thinking with human experience and reason apart from God’s self-revelation. That movement, known as the Enlightenment, laid siege to the reliability of Scripture as God’s Word and to the Christian faith and life.

The ecclesiastical version of this movement became known as liberalism. The liberals derided doctrine as impractical and dry speculation. “Deeds not creeds” was their slogan. Of course, they only pretended to deny doctrine. They were teaching the “doctrines” of the universal fatherhood of God, the universal brotherhood of man, and human goodness (denying the fall). Under the cover of denying doctrine, the liberals had made their own religion.

Doctrine is Unavoidable

Non-doctrinal Christianity is impossible. The teaching of non-doctrinal Christianity is doctrine. It is bad doctrine, but it is doctrine nonetheless. Some argue that “doctrine divides,” and, therefore, that we should avoid it. True, doctrine sometimes divides, but that is what the Lord intended. In Luke 12:51–53, our Lord expressly taught that He came not to bring “peace on earth” but rather to bring “division,” even among family members. We cannot hereby justify schismatic behavior in the church, which Scripture condemns repeatedly, but we cannot accept the notion that division is inherently evil.
The real question is not whether Christians will have doctrine but which doctrine or whose doctrine? Our Lord and Savior Himself advocated a host of doctrines. The Gospels are replete with His doctrinal teaching. He taught about the nature of God (John 4:24), humanity (Matt. 10:28), creation (Mark 10:6), sin (John 8:34), redemption (John 3), the church (Matt. 16), and the end of all things (Matt. 24). He taught doctrines about the history of salvation and how it should be understood (Luke 24). Anyone who advocates non-doctrinal Christianity must do so without Jesus.

For the rest, see:

TFO-Commenter at VOL on Iker's TFO-REC Divide

A TFO-commenter on the English Reformation. (Trust me, I've seen far more brutal comments.) This comes from Virtue's article at: Trevor, Crap Wednesday is near, show up in crap-clothes to get crap affixed to your head. No breath mints allowed. Then, learn some doctrine and history, wild jackass. (See Jeremiah 2.24 below.)

"Trevor Crichton

"Bp. Iker’s sermon on “Orthodox Anglican Uni
ty” appears to be one step shy of Dean Salmon’s blunder at Nashotah House a week ago. I cannot speak for other devout and traditionalist Anglo-Catholics, but I for one do not agree with Bp. Iker’s attempt to place a veneer over our Anglo-Catholic Faith which precedes and precludes the Protestant Reformation in England. It is a blatant fact that The Reformed Episcopal Church is presently undergoing its own apostasy irrespective of that which The Episcopal Church has already accomplished. But at the same time the REC still does not believe whole-heartedly in the “Real Presence” (Transubstantiation), nor do they consider ordination and matrimony Sacraments. Yes we both agree that Women’s Ordination is non-Scriptural, or that same-sex marriages are sinful and unnatural for the intended purpose of marriage which is for procreation, and even that the propagation of liberal-progressive-Anglicanism is a great evil devised by the Father of Lies. At that point our unity ends between us. True unity between devout Anglo-Catholics and the REC will never be attained at the cost of embracing the apostasy of our own Catholic theology and faith, any more than the REC will ever become truly Anglo-Catholic. This divide between High & Low Church within the Church of England and its American counterpart the "Protestant" Episcopal Church has coexisted for over five hundred years. Unless the larger portion of Protestant Evangelicals in the ACNA comprehend this the Anglo-Catholic minority can and will eventually separate from that church. We cannot change each other's theological point of view; we can only tolerate the other faction's right to coexist with us as it has always been. Baring this, there will never be true unity."

Jeremiah 2:24
1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

24 And as a wild [a]ass used to the wilderness that snuffeth up the wind by occasion at her pleasure: who can turn her back? all they that seek her, will not weary themselves, but will find her in her [b]month.

a .Jeremiah 2:24 He compareth the idolaters to a wild ass: for she can never be tamed nor yet wearied: for as she runneth she can take her wind at every occasion.
b. Jeremiah 2:24 That is, when she is with foal, and therefore the hunters wait their time: so though thou canst not be turned back now from thine idolatry, yet when thine iniquity shall be at the fall, God will meet with thee.

Heathcare Dose of Reality: Hook-&-Jab at Sen. Harry Reid

The effects of Obamacare have been felt across America. But Harry Reid wants you to think all the stories you've heard are all "untrue". It's time for a dose of reality.

(Church Times) Global South offers Oversight to Dissenting Parishes & Provinces

South offers global oversight

South offers global oversight

Posted: 28 Feb 2014 @ 12:25

Click to enlarge
PRIMATES from the Global South of the Anglican Communion have announced that they intend to offer pastoral oversight to dissenting parishes and dioceses in other provinces.

After a meeting on 14 and 15 February in Cairo of archbishops and bishops from Africa, South America, and Asia, the Global South Primates' steering committee released a statement declaring its plan to create a "Primatial oversight council".

The statement, which was not signed by the representative of the Primate of All Nigeria, also accused the Episcopal Church in the US and the Anglican Church of Canada of causing "broken relations, a lack of trust, and dysfunctional 'instruments of unity'" within the Communion since 2003, the year in which the Rt Revd Gene Robinson, an openly gay man, was appointed Bishop of New Hampshire in the US.

The Primates wrote that they believed the time had come to "reshape the instruments of unity" to create a Church that was more accountable. They also called on the Archbishop of Canterbury to call a Primates' Meeting in 2015 "in order to address the increasingly deteriorating situation facing the Anglican Communion.

"It is important that the agenda of this Primates' Meeting be discussed and agreed upon by the Primates beforehand in order to ensure an effective meeting."

Archbishop Welby, who intends to visit every Primate during his first 18 months as Archbishop, was present at the Cairo meeting, together with his director of reconciliation Canon David Porter.

Asked for a statement afterwards, a Lambeth Palace spokesman declined to give Archbishop Welby's reaction to the Primates' move.

The Rt Revd Michael Doe, formerly Bishop of Swindon and general secretary of USPG, now Us., recently taught a session on the state of the Communion to overseas bishops at Canterbury Cathedral (News, 14 February). On Monday he criticised the statement, saying it amounted to an attempt to expand the authority of the Global South.

"Their statement misrepresents the role of the Communion-wide Primates' Meeting. It is not a policy-making body," he said. "There is no provision and no authority [for alternative oversight] in our kind of Communion."

Bishop Doe also warned of the dangers of what he called "reverse colonialism", where, as in the 19th century, one group of nations decides it has spiritual superiority and tells others how to behave.

He called for a return to a policy that acknowledged diversity and difference within the Communion, which was upheld at the last Primates' Meeting in 2011.

The Global South statement also praised the "faithfulness" of the House of Bishops in the recently released pastoral guidance on same-sex marriage ( News, 21 February).

Assembly cancelled. The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) has postponed its next General Assembly, planned for October in South Korea. A WEA statement focused on "recent internal divisions among the Evangelical community" in Korea, which made the Assembly "untenable".

Abstract: Mr. (Canterbury) Rowan Williams' D.Phil Dissertation, Oxford University

Reference: Rowan Douglas Williams, (1975). The theology of Vladimir Nikolaievich Lossky: an exposition and critique. DPhil. University of Oxford.

Citable link to this page:
Title: The theology of Vladimir Nikolaievich Lossky: an exposition and critique

Abstract:  Part 1. Chapter 1. Introduction: the Man and his work. The intellectual life of Russia at the turn of the century was marked by a lively interest in religious questions, and, in some circles, a cautious rapprochement between the intelligentsia and the Orthodox Church. Vladimir Lossky was born into an academic environment which looked more sympathetically upon traditional Christianity than had previously been usual: and the fact of his being brought up in a household both academic and (articulately and critically) Christian tends to set him apart from the religious thinkers of his father's generation (Bulgakov, Berdyaev, and others) who had discovered, or rediscovered, Orthodox faith in adult life after experiencing disillusion with radicalism or Idealism, or both. Lossky's first major theological essay was, in fact, directed against the ethos of Russian 'religious philosophy', especially its preoccupation with the Wisdom of God (Sophia) as a cosmic principle. In this, as in later works, he pleads for a theology rooted in the historical experience of the Church and free from philosophical systems. His commitment to the 'historical experience' of the Church is reflected in his lifelong allegiance to the Patriarchate of Moscow as the only canonically authoritative Russian ecclesial body. His thinking on the relation between Church and culture was clarified in his experiences in the Second War, which also brought him into close association with several Catholic theologians. It was in this context that he first attempted a synthetic presentation of Orthodox dogma in his best-known work, the 'Essai sur la théologie mystique de l'Eglise d'Orient'. In the post-war period he continued his professional work as a mediaevalist at the Sorbonne, but continued to write on theological questions, developing, in particular, a distinctive approach to the concept of the human person and to the catholicity of the Church. He was much involved in ecumenical gatherings in France and England, and, in Paris, up to the time of his death, assisted in the training of clergy for the Patriarchal jurisdiction (though his hopes for the development of a western-rite group were frustrated).

Chapter 2: The debate with Bulgakov. Superficially, Lossky's theology has much in common with that of Sergei Bulgakov, especially in their attitudes to tradition and catholicity, and Lossky's hostility to Bulgakov is surprising. However, a brief examination of Bulgakov's thought reveals its extensive dependence upon the notion of 'Sophia', the Divine Wisdom, as an all-embracing cosmic reality, both divine and human - a notion which Lossky rejects absolutely as deterministic, destructive of a proper sense of both divine and human freedom. He also condemns Bulgakov's Christology: the idea of 'Godmanhood', fundamental to Bulgakov's theology, jeopardises the reality of Christ's humanity, and tends to reduce the Incarnation to a manifestation of cosmic process. The basic theme of Lossky's critique is that Bulgakov's system, in Christology, ecclesiology, and Trinitarian theology, is dominated by metaphysical presuppositions incompatible with orthodox belief: it is insufficiently apophatic, too preoccupied with concepts. Lossky's own theology shows a marked and conscious reaction away from this kind of conceptualism.

Chapter 3. The Via Negativa. The 'negative way' is not, for Lossky, merely a dialectical step in theology, a 'corrective' to affirmative theology: it is the essential ground of all theology. Theology beings in personal encounter with a personal God, an encounter which cannot be expressed in concepts; negative theology, which declines to speak of God in concepts, most closely reflects this basic reality. It is the μετάνοια, the conversion and self-sacrifice, of the intellect. The Greek patristic language about meeting God in 'darkness' is simply a 'dogmatic metaphor' for this experience, complementing, not contradicting the imagery of 'light': darkness and light together here represent the experience of transcending the sphere of the intellect. The history of early Christian spirituality shows a gradual movement towards a via media between intellectualism and agnosticism, a position which allows for both the absolute incomprehensibility of God in seipso, and His accessibility to man. This via media is expressed most fully by Gregory Palamas, but is anticipated by the Cappadocians, pseudo-Dionysius, and Maximus. It envisages God 'transcending His transcendence, expressing His unknowable 'essence' in His 'energies', His manifestation in the world. God's self-transcendence calls forth man's 'ecstacy'. The personal encounter of man with God is a mutual movement of self-giving: man is nearest to God and so most fully God-like in this movement. And since God is always fully personal, man is therefore most personal in the act of self-renunciation: negative theology alone is adequately 'personalist'.

Chapter 4. Imago Trinitatis. Man is in the image of God because he is personal: he cannot be reduced to his 'nature', to what is common, repeatable and conceptualisable. He is more than an individual of a species; and this constitutes him in the image of God's trinitarian life, in which individuality is perfectly transcended in full communion. The Church, in which man realises his capacity for communion can also be called imago Trinitatis: it is a plurality of persons, each called and sanctified in a unique manner by the Spirit, sharing one nature, the humanity which Christ has restored and 'deified'. This 'trinitarian' life is what is designated by the term 'catholicity', the existence of the whole in the part. Lossky's method in discussing the theology of personality is resolutely Christocentric: the impossibility of interpreting ὑπόστᾰσις as 'individual' is established by an appeal to the inadmissibility of so interpreting it in Christology. Lossky's appeal to the Fathers in support of this thesis is, however, problematic: his concern to include the body in the imago Dei, and his understanding of ὑπόστᾰσις both lack a clear and consistent patristic foundation. Although he does genuinely build upon certain Greek patristic ideas, he is, as a 'personalist', essentially and inevitably - a -post-Augustinian'. The ambiguity of the patristic evidence raises the serious question of how far Lossky is justified in criticising Western theology (as he does) according to alledgedly patristic criteria.

Chapter 5: The debate with the West (i). Lossky presupposes the unity of Christian theology; if one doctrinal topic is infected with error, the whole theological system is poisoned. In the West, it is the doctrine of the double procession of the Spirit, the filioque, which is the basic error: it suggests that the Spirit is somehow less personal than the Son, rejects the patristic idea that the Father is the sole source of 'cause' of the other persons, and so makes the unity of the Trinity reside not in the person of the Father but in a super-personal 'essence', that which is common to Father and Son. Western theology opts for a divine essence, in place of the living God of revelation: it is as much in thrall to philosophy as Bulgakov's system. Consequently, it is consistently impersonalist, not only in Trinitarian theology, but in its ecclesiology, its doctrine of grace, and its ascetical theology. Protestantism is as much conditioned as Catholicism by the basic assumption implicit in the filioque that real communion, sharing (in some sense) of substance, is impossible between God and man, because both are encapsulated in their 'essences'. Historically, Lossky's critique is often inaccurate and unjust; but he makes a good case, nonetheless, for the dominance, in much of Western theology, of conceptualism and impersonalism. There is little to correspond to Lossky's profound apophoticism and 'kenotic' idea of personality

Chapter 6: The debate with the West (ii). For Lossky, the Palamite distinction of 'essence' from 'energy' is one of the most important safeguards in Eastern theology against a philosophical essentialism. The scholastic's rejection of Palamism is of a piece with his defence of the filioque. Palamism asserts that God communicates Himself fully to creation in His 'energies', although His 'essence' remains incomprehensible and imparticipable: but the energies are not merely relative to creation, since God eternally acts, is eternally έν ένεργειας. Closer examination reveals a good deal of logical strain in Lossky's language on this subject, traceable to some serious philosophical confusions in Palamas himself and his precursors. There is, in particular, a certain vacillation between a (broadly) Platonic and a (broadly) Aristotelean understanding of oὐσία. Lossky seems, at least in later years, to have been aware of some of these confusions, and attempts a cautious restatement, connecting the energies far more closely with God's personal act of self-transcendence and self-renunciation. And this lends him to modify and clarify his ideas on the filioque, allowing a sense in which it may be affirmed with references to the complete mutual dependence of all three persons in their activity towards each other, and towards creation.

Conclusion to Part I. The central theme in Lossky's theology is a particular model of personality, divine and human, as 'kenotic', fulfilled in absolute self-giving. While this idea has some roots in patristic thought, it is quite clearly indebted to other and later sources. It is therefore desirable to turn to a brief examination of Lossky's immediate background in Russian philosophy, identifying some of its basic concerns in order to assess how far Lossky may be said to stand within the same tradition.

Part II. Chapter 7: The definition of an ethos: Kireevsky to Soloviev. Philosophy in Russia began to develop only in the 19th century. The problems of historical and national identity created by the Petrine reforms perhaps predisposed the Russians to Hegelianism, a philosophy very much rooted in a sense of historical conflict: the basic question of much 19th century Russian thought is the issue between voluntarism and historical determinism - that is, the problem of the relation of individual identity to corporate identity, of individual volition to corporate process. Russian religious philosophy attempts to discover a point of equilibrium between individualism and collectivism, a kind of personalism, in fact, which resolves the tension between the particular and the general by seeing the general in the particular. Different philosophers incline to different sorts of solution, depending largely upon whether they are (like Kireevsky) more concerned with the history and self-awareness of the Church (in which case they will tend to a very radical voluntarism), or (like Soloviev, and, to a lesser extent, Khomyakov) more interested in global or cosmic patterns (in which case they will tend to some sort of determinism). Soloviev's use of the myth of 'Sophia' was to have an immense influence on those thinkers inclined to the latter school. By the turn of the century, the tension between the impulse to voluntarism and the metaphysical attraction of 'sophiology' has become acute.

Chapter 8: essays in synthesis. Various attempts to reconcile these two concerns were made. The brothers Trubetskoi, despite a large debt to Soloviev, move towards a voluntarist and 'historicist' position; Pavel Florensky, while extending the 'sophiological' world-view, insists equally upon the unique value of the individual. He is particularly violently opposed to any kind of theological rationalism and stresses the importance of paradox and antinomy. This is stated still more strongly by Berdyaev, who, however, rejects the whole apparatus of sophiology in an extreme form of personalism. The 'hierarchical personalism' of Nikolai Lossky (Vladimir's father) moves back towards determinism; S. L. Frank adopts an unconventional, but in some ways deeply traditional, approach to the absolute value of the person, but is still hampered by the legacy of sophiology. Losev attempts to develop a form of Neo-Kantianism based on the apophatic recognition of the incomprehensibility of particular, concrete and living, substances. Karsavin (Lossky's teacher at Petersburg) despite his highly personalist and voluntarist understanding of the Fathers, generally presents a very impersonalist metaphysical approach. No satisfactory resolution of the tensions identified seems to have been possible within the terms of the tradition dependent on Hegelianism and sophiology.

Chapter 9: the ecclesiastical tradition. Not all Russian religious thinkers, however, were identified with this tradition. An 'alternative theology', more dependent on Scripture and the Fathers, and closely associated with monastic groups, existed, represented by men like Philaret of Moscow and Antony of Kiev (or earlier philosophers, Kireevsky is closest to this school). Philaret's emphasis on kenosis, not only in the Incarnation, but in the eternal life of the Trinity, is of great importance for Lossky (and others); and in Antony's works, we find a clear statement of the doctrine of man-in-the-Church as imago Trinitatis, and of a mature personalism and apophaticism strikingly close to Lossky's thought. The major spokesman of this school in the 20th century is Georges Florovsky, who argues for a 're-Hellenisation' of theology and a 'neopatristic synthesis'. Although close to Lossky in many respects (his early writings influenced Lossky a good deal), he lays less emphasis on the person as such, and more on the radical freedom which characterises the person. There are also important differences between their views on the relation between Christ, the Spirit, and the Church. Generally, Florovsky is far closer than Lossky to the ipsissima verba patrum, less willing to revise or extend patristic concepts: Lossky appears as the more original mind of the two.

Conclusion. The scope of Lossky's theological synthesis is considerably wider than he himself would have admitted. His work presupposes the continuing debate within Russian religious thought sketched in the preceding chapters, and incorporates the more positive intuitions of this tradition of theistic metaphysics. Lossky's hostility to the conceptual mechanisms of Russian religious philosophy should not blind the student to the extent of his debt to the tradition. To deny this debt is to deny a great part of the creativity and comprehensive vision of Lossky's system, his ability to transcend patrological fundamentalism in a theology which is, in every sense, personal.

(Church Times) Sexuality ‘fudge’ sticks in critics’ throats

Sexuality ‘fudge’ sticks in critics’ throats

Sexuality ‘fudge’ sticks in critics’ throats

by Tim Wyatt and Gavin Drake

Posted: 28 Feb 2014 @ 00:25

Click to enlarge
Northern light moment: Dr Sentamu with Jewish and Christian students in Durham last week

Northern light moment: Dr Sentamu with Jewish and Christian students in Durham last week
THE Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, has described the House of Bishops' pastoral statement on same-sex marriage, which he signed a fortnight ago, as "Anglican fudge".

The Bishops have also been challenged over the accuracy of their guidance, issued on 15 February. In it, they reiterated the ban on same-sex marriages in church, and stated that clergy may not enter into gay marriages ( News, 21 February). Several priests have publicly declared their intention to defy the Bishops.

Dr Sentamu, speaking at a meeting of Jewish and Christian students in Durham in the middle of last week, said that the Church of England's position was that "a clergy person has a right, an expectation, to live within the teaching of the Church, but for lay people and others they should be welcomed into the Church.

"Immediately, when you say that, people say that I'm homophobic. You can't win on this one. How can I, on one hand, uphold the teaching of sexuality as I see it in scripture, and yet, at the same time, say - this is Anglican fudge - that people's sexual orientation cannot lead to discrimination because they're human beings just like anybody else, and God loves them deeply?

"As far as I'm concerned, whatever the sexual orientation, gay people are people, and they need to be given the same protection."

The Bishops' guidance repeats the ban on a formal blessing for a same-sex couple, though it does give clergy licence to pray with them informally, a move that has drawn criticism from conservatives.

By far the greatest criticism, however, has come from the other wing of the Church. The LGBTI Anglican Coalition said last Sunday that it was "appalled" by the House of Bishops' guidance.

"In this document we see no acceptance of disagreement at all, but instead a heavy‐handed and legalistic imposition of discipline."

The Coalition said that it was "ludicrous" to assert that the Church welcomed LGBTI people while it was impossible to have a C of E gay wedding or a church blessing for same-sex couples.

The Coalition also criticised the production of the pastoral guidance in the light of a professed desire for dialogue. "The statement was made without any consultation with openly gay people, and fails to acknowledge that some of the bishops who are signatories are understood to be gay themselves. This heightens the corrosive sense of hypocrisy and cynicism with which this issue is surrounded in the Church."

The Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd John Pritchard, said in a letter to clergy in his diocese on Wednesday that regretted how "divisive" the statement had been.

"It's quite clear that these conversations take place in a wider context of deep sexual confusion in society with everyone making up their own script, and the result is much chaos and pain," he wrote.

"We have a responsibility to model something better in the way we handle principle and practice, disagreement and hope."

Bishop Pritchard also said that he accepted most people would not change their minds during the facilitated conversations recommended by the Pilling Report.

He described the House of Bishops' statement as an "inevitable train crash" but assured the clergy there would be no "witch-hunts" in the diocese.

In addition, a group of 21 academics has stated that a statement in the Bishops' guidance "is wrong". The guidance suggested that the legalisation of gay marriage meant that, "for the first time" civil law and C of E doctrine of marriage diverged.

The academics, who include Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor David Martin, and Professor Linda Woodhead, call this "inaccurate and misleading", arguing that the Church's understanding of marriage has differed from civil law since at least 1857, around questions of divorce and second marriage.

In reply, the secretary to the House of Bishops, William Fittall, wrote this week that the bishops knew that canon law and statute law had not been identical for years.

He maintained, however, that the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex partners was of a different order of disagreement.

He also said that the point about a divergence between canon and statute law was not essential to the bishops' theological case.

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(Biblical Archaeology) Severed Hands: Trophies of War, New Hyksos Kingdom of Egypt

Severed Hands: Trophies of War in New Kingdom Egypt

As published in Strata in the March/April 2014 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review

Archaeological investigations have uncovered pits containing altogether 16 severed right hands. Photo: Austrian Archaeological Institute in Cairo and the Institute for Egyptology.

Excavations conducted in a Hyksos palace at Tell el-Daba (ancient Avaris) in Egypt have for the first time provided archaeological evidence for a gruesome practice previously known only from texts and temple reliefs.1 Archaeological investigations led by Manfred Bietak and Irene Forstner-Müller in the northern part of the palace, which in its late phase has been attributed to King Khayan of the 15th Dynasty (c. 1600 B.C.), have uncovered pits containing altogether 16 severed right hands.

A narrative found in the tomb of Ahmose, son of Ibana, at Elkab describes how after each battle against the Hyksos at Avaris and Sharuhen, the soldier presented an enemy hand as a trophy and was given as a reward the “gold of valor.” Among additional evidence from the New Kingdom are representations depicting severed right hands being counted and put into a heap.

Relief from the Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu depicting severed right hands being counted and put into a heap. Photo: Bettina Bader.

The finds from Tell el-Daba appear to match the textual and pictorial evidence for the practice of victors chopping off the right hands of their enemies to present to the king as evidence of their success. No such custom is known in northern Canaan, where the Hyksos likely originated. Preliminary conclusions therefore indicate that the practice was native to Egypt and adopted by the Hyksos.

The excavations were undertaken by the Austrian Archaeological Institute in Cairo in cooperation with the Institute for Egyptology at the University of Vienna.

29 Feb 1528: Patrick Hamilton, Scotland's 1st Lutheran Preacher & Martyr

29 Feb 1528.  Patrick Hamilton burned at the stake in Scotland for the Biblical faith.
Wiki carries the following:

Patrick Hamilton (martyr)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Patrick Hamilton (1504 – 29 February 1528) was a Scottish churchman and an early Protestant Reformer in Scotland. He travelled to Europe, where he met several of the leading reforming thinkers, before returning to Scotland to preach. He was tried as a heretic by Archbishop James Beaton, and burnt at the stake in St Andrews.


Early life

He was the second son of Sir Patrick Hamilton of Kincavil and Catherine Stewart, daughter of Alexander, Duke of Albany, second son of James II of Scotland. He was born in the diocese of Glasgow, probably at his father's estate of Stanehouse in Lanarkshire, and was most likely educated at Linlithgow. In 1517 he was appointed titular Abbot of Fearn Abbey, Ross-shire. The income from this position paid for him to study at the University of Paris, where he became a Master of the Arts in 1520.[1] It was in Paris, where Martin Luther's writings were already exciting much discussion, that he first learnt the doctrines he would later uphold. According to sixteenth century theologian Alexander Ales, Hamilton subsequently went to Leuven, attracted probably by the fame of Erasmus, who in 1521 had his headquarters there.

Return and flight

Returning to Scotland, Hamilton selected St Andrews, the Scottish capital of the church and of learning, as his residence. On 9 June 1523 he became a member of St Leonard's College, part of the University of St Andrews, and on 3 October 1524 he was admitted to its faculty of arts, where he was first a student of, and then a colleague of the humanist and logician John Mair. At the university Hamilton attained such influence that he was permitted to conduct, as precentor, a musical mass of his own composition in the cathedral.

The reforming doctrines had now obtained a firm hold on the young abbot, and he was eager to communicate them to his fellow-countrymen.[2] Early in 1527 the attention of James Beaton, Archbishop of St Andrews, was directed to the heretical preaching of the young priest, whereupon he ordered that Hamilton should be formally tried. Hamilton fled to Germany, enrolling himself as a student, under Franz Lambert of Avignon, in the new University of Marburg, opened on 30 May 1527 by Philip of Hesse. Among those he met there were Hermann von dem Busche, one of the contributors to the Epistolæ Obscurorum Virorum, and probably William Tyndale, translator of the Bible.

Late in the autumn of 1527 Hamilton returned to Scotland, living up to his convictions. He went first to his brother's house at Kincavel, near Linlithgow, where he preached frequently, and soon afterwards he married a young lady of noble rank; her name is unrecorded. David Beaton, avoiding open violence through fear of Hamilton's high connections, invited him to a conference at St Andrews. The reformer, predicting that he was going to confirm the pious in the true doctrine by his death, accepted the invitation, and for nearly a month was allowed to preach and dispute, perhaps in order to provide material for accusation.

With the publication of Patrick’s Places[3] in 1528, he introduced into Scottish theology Martin Luther's rediscovery of the distinction of Law and Gospel.

Trial and execution

At length, he was summoned before a council of bishops and clergy presided over by the archbishop. There were thirteen charges, seven based on the doctrines affirmed in the Loci Communes. On examination Hamilton maintained their truth, and the council condemned him as a heretic on all thirteen charges. Hamilton was seized, and, it is said, surrendered to the soldiery on an assurance that he would be restored to his friends without injury.[citation needed] However, the council convicted him, after a sham disputation with Friar Campbell, and handed him over to the secular power, to be burnt at the stake as a heretic, outside the front entrance to St Salvator's Chapel in St Andrews. The sentence was carried out on the same day to preclude any attempted rescue by friends. He burnt from noon to 6 PM. His last words were "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit".[4] The spot is today marked with a monogram of his initials set into the cobblestones.

His courageous bearing attracted more attention than ever to the doctrines for which he suffered, and greatly helped to spread the Reformation in Scotland. It was said that the "reek of Master Patrick Hamilton infected as many as it blew upon".[5] His fortitude during martyrdom won over Alexander Ales, who had undertaken to convert him, to the Lutheran cause.[6] His martyrdom is unusual in that he was almost alone in Scotland during the Lutheran stage of the Reformation. His only book, Loci communes, known as "Patrick's Places", set forth the doctrine of justification by faith and the contrast between the gospel and the law in a series of clear-cut propositions. It is to be found in John Foxe's Acts and Monuments.

By a tradition of superstition, students at the University of St Andrews prefer not to step on the monogram of Hamilton's initials outside St Salvator's Chapel for fear of failing their degree.

Katherine Hamilton

Patrick's sister, the wife of the Captain of Dunbar Castle, was also a committed Protestant. In March 1539 she was forced in exile to Berwick upon Tweed for her beliefs. She had been in England before and met the Queen, Jane Seymour.[7]

According to the historian John Spottiswood, Katherine was brought to trial for heresy before James V at Holyroodhouse in 1534, and her other brother James Hamilton of Livingston fled. The King was impressed by her conviction shown in her short answer to the prosecutor. He laughed and spoke to her privately, convincing her to abandon her profession of faith. The other accused also recanted for the time.[8]

See also



1.      Jump up ^ Dallmann, p.2

2.      Jump up ^ McCrie, Thomas (1850). Life of John Knox (New ed.). Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons , p. 18

3.      Jump up ^ Patrick`s Places (1528)[1]

4.      Jump up ^ Tjernagel, p.6

5.      Jump up ^ Mitchell, Alexander F., The Scottish Reformation: Its Epochs, Episodes, Leaders and Distinctive Characteristics (Being the Baird Lecture for 1899), William Blackwood and Sons (Edinburgh: 1900), p. 34; available online at

6.      Jump up ^ Jacobs, Henry Eyster. “Hamilton, Patrick.” Lutheran Cyclopedia. New York: Scribner, 1899. p. 212.

7.      Jump up ^ State Papers Henry VIII, vol. 5 part 4 cont. (1836), p.155 & note

8.      Jump up ^ Spottiswood, John, The History of the Church of Scotland, (1668), Bk. 2, pp.65-66

29 Feb 1528.  Scotland’s 1st Lutheran Minister Burned at the Stake, Patrick Hamilton.

Dallmann, Walter.  Patrick Hamilton: The First Lutheran Preacher and Martyr of Scotland.  St. Louis, MO: Concordia Press, 1918.  Accessed 28 Feb 2014.