"The Preachers chiefly shall take heed that they teach nothing in their preaching, which they would have the people religiously to observe and believe, but that which is agreeable to the Doctrine of the Old Testament and the New, and that which the Catholick Fathers and Ancient Bishops have gathered out of that Doctrine." A proposed canon of Elizabeth I, 1571

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Location: Bedford, Texas, United States

I am a presbyter in the diocese of Fort Worth, Texas (Anglican Church in North America). I serve as Chaplain at St. Vincent's School and as a canon of St. Vincent's Cathedral Church in Bedford, Texas. In addition to my parish duties and teaching Religion classes in the school I am also the Middle School Social Studies teacher.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Get a copy of "Being Faithful" today! You will not regret it.

The Theological Resource Group of GAFCON has produced a remarkable commentary on the Jerusalem Declaration entitled Being Faithful: The Shape of Historic Anglicanism Today. I have found it to be a remarkably helpful read and urge all of this blog's readers to obtain a copy.

For example, I found this list of "core commitments" of the Christian faith on pages 86-87 to be an excellent summary of the doctrines of Catholic Christianity:

The non-negotiable core of these commitments includes:

--the goodness, love, and mercy of the living God who eternally exists in three Person, Father, Son and Holy Spirit:

--the creation of men and women by God in his image, with all that this means for the dignity and value of every human life;

--the distortion of creation, at all levels, by the decision of the first man and woman to turn aside from trust in God's goodness, expressed in the word he had given them;

--the lostness of the human race, as the result of the fall into sin, which manifests itself in our natural guilt, corruption and enslavement to sinful desire;

--the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as the incarnate Son of God, and as the only Saviour for sinful men and women;

--the central saving reality of judgement being borne in our place by Jesus Christ on the cross, which is his great victory over all that stands against us, and that also stands opposed to the rightful rule of God;

--the historical actuality and theological indispensability of the bodily resurrection of the Jesus Christ from the dead, on the third day after his crucifixion, leaving empty the tomb in which he had been laid;

--the necessity of the Spirit's work in bringing about the repentance and faith in the human heart, so as to unite us to Christ and enable us to share in the salvation he has won;

--the right standing with God which is given freely, and which now belongs to all who, by faith, are united to Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection;

--the expectation of the bodily return of Jesus Christ, to bring God purposes of salvation and judgement to their consummation;

--the significance of the Church as the gathering of the redeemed people of God around the word of God and in the Spirit of God;

--the supreme authority of the Scriptures as the word of God written, and as the source of true teaching about God, his purposes, and the appropriate response to God's mercy in Jesus Christ;

--the purpose of Christian ministry within the churches to nourish faith and obedience through careful teaching of the Bible in the context of genuine personal relationships;

--the generous provision of the Lord's Supper and baptism which, as sacraments, visibly represent the promises of the gospel of Jesus Christ to his people;

--the legitimate exercise of authority within the churches which is characterized by the unreserved obedience to the teaching of Scripture and Jesus Christ's own pattern of service;

--the importance of fellowship between Christian congregations in the common cause of living as disciples of Jesus Christ and as his ambassadors in the world;

--the priority of evangelism for all Christians in response to the great commission of Jesus Christ.


Blogger Jakian Thomist said...

I was quite disappointed to find no reference to the Creed, male priests or specifics of Catholic morality in this list of "core commitments".

I generally dislike the "fundamentals" approach to doctrine it strikes me as an LCD "Lowest Common Denominator" rather than a focus on fullness.

What about the rest not on the list? Private Judgment? It reminds me of a statement made by JFK when his two scientific advisors disagreed with each other - "Now I am absolutely free to do whatever I want to do".

I want 100% concordance (or the capability of concordance) on ALL matters of my faith with my brethren and especially the supreme leader of my church, one cannot get this from reliance on 'fundamentals'. We must agree on the truth and the whole truth to remain properly Catholic.

I was delighted to see the emphasis on scripture in these "core commitments" - but then there is the problem of interpretation - who decides? To quote Newman's letter to Mrs. Froude "there is no authorised interpretation of Scripture in the Church, for the simple reason that none was ever given to her." If St. Vincent was prophecied by scripture wouldn't we be sorted! Exegesis of Church fathers is by all means "best practice" but Scripture requires special keys to unlock its maximum rather than minimum meaning.

I pray you all every blessing this Christmas time!

9:26 AM  
Blogger Robin_G_Jordan said...

Excellent advice, Randall. Have a most blessed Christmas. May God fill your life with an abundance of his blessings this Christmastide and in the New Year, and may the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always. May it be so!

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Melinda said...

Where does one get a copy of "Being Faithful"?

9:40 PM  
Blogger Texanglican (R.W. Foster+) said...


The link above is for Amazon's portal for this text.

10:27 PM  

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