Theology

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Evensong at Home

They say the family that prays together stays together. Of course, it’s not the words spoken in prayer that keeps a family together, but the heart of devotion to Christ and to one another that fuels the prayer. C. S. Lewis argues that prayer without words can actually be more beneficial than spoken prayer, but…

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On the Liturgical Resumptive

One characteristic of the Book of Common Prayer, and of liturgical prose generally, is repetition, often repetition with variation. Repetition has many purposes. It is an aid to memory. It makes our worship adhere more closely to biblical patterns, for the Scriptures are shot through with repetition with variation.((Samuel L. Bray and John F. Hobbins, Genesis…

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A Review of the First Annual Anglican Theology Conference at Beeson Divinity School

Last Tuesday and Wednesday I had the pleasure of attending the first ever Annual Anglican Theology Conference at Beeson Divinity School at Samford University. It included an impressive roster of speakers: Archbishop Eliud Wabukala (Kenya), Archbishop Mouneer Anis (Egypt), Archbishop Foley Beach (ACNA), Ephraim Radner, Gerald Bray, Barabara Gauthier, John Yates III, Andrew Pearson, Gerald…

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A Liturgical Bait-and-Switch?

I have long considered myself something of a liturgy nerd. I remember as a young child comparing various sections of the Episcopal 1979 Prayer Book and wondering why we always prayed the Nicene Creed on Sunday and never the Apostles’ Creed. When I was returning to the Anglican tradition as an adult, a significant part…

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Dueling Pauls?

One of the tendencies in any theological tradition is to develop a canon in canonem (“canon within a canon”). The Anabaptists have the Sermon on the Mount, or so they claim. The Reformed supposedly have Romans. Catholics will always (falsely) accuse Protestants of reading Paul at the expense of James and Protestants will always (falsely)…

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The 1537 Matthew Bible: More Anglican than Not

When the sixteenth century dawned in England, there were laws prohibiting the translation of the Bible into English. It was illegal to even own or to read English Scriptures.((In 1401, under King Henry IV, parliament passed a statute called De haeretico comburendo, or On the burning of heretics, targeting Wycliffe’s followers, the Lollards. Then in 1408…

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O Come, Let Us Bowdlerize

The Venite, Psalm 95 (Psalm 94 in the Vulgate), has been part of daily prayer in the Western Church for at least fifteen centuries. It is prescribed for Matins in the Rule of St. Benedict. It was likely already in regular use, as can be seen from the Western Church’s retention of a Latin text…

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The Via Media in Action

The Word of God and the Words of Man: Books II and III of Hooker’s Laws: a Modernization. By Richard Hooker. Edited/translated by Bradford Littlejohn, Brian Marr, Bradley Belschner, and Sean Duncan. Moscow, ID: The Davenant Institute, 2018. 142pp. $11.95 (paper). Due to the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in 2017, I have heard…

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