All That is Not True About Nicea II

Of Anglicans and Ecumenical Councils INTRODUCTION Anglo-Catholics (of whom I count myself one) frequently appeal to the “seven ecumenical councils” as a source of authority for Christian dogma. On the face of it, this seems to be a rather solid place to put down one’s doctrinal anchor, but is it? Upon closer examination, two contrary…

E.L. Mascall’s Christ, the Christian, and the Church Book Review

Christ, the Christian, and the Church: A Study of the Incarnation and Its Consequences. By E. L. Mascall. Pp. xvii + 257. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2017. ISBN 978 1 68307 019 1. Paper $24.95. Introduction The reprinting of Eric Lionel Mascall’s brilliant synthesis is a welcome gift to Anglicans and broader Christian theology today….

The Ebbing

She was beginning to mislay our names And also where she came from, who she was— Her childhood inside house and orchard walls, The fruit as warm as sunshine on her palm: The words that should have held the world fell back. Yet in her gestures, there was mystery And something luminous that tried to…

Tract III: The British and English Churches from 597 to the 8th Century

Tracts for the Times 2.0 Introduction In Tract 2, I went to great lengths to establish the incontrovertible fact that, contrary to the way the story is often told, the Church in the British Isles was planted long before 597, was relatively well-established, and was associated with but not under the rule of the Roman…

John Boys and the Tradition of Prayer Book Commentary

For Anglicans, commentary on our liturgy has been — more than in any other tradition — one of the main vehicles for exploring, explaining, and debating our doctrine. This has led to some unfortunate exaggerations, like the false notion that Anglicans don’t have a theology, only set forms of prayer. Nevertheless, as Archbishop Ramsey liked…

The Glowing Door

  After Reading the Poetry of Jones Very,        Unitarian and Mystic (1813-1880)      Jones Very stood alone, within a circle which no other       of mortal race could enter, nor himself escape from.         Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Hall of Fantasy” *          but then face to face        …

Holy Orders and Headship

In October, the Rev. Dr. Emily McGowin wrote an article defending women’s ordination against objections from those who insist only a man can become a priest and administer rites in persona Christi. There have been several responses to her article already, and I do not want to simply echo those articles. But McGowin raised a…

What I Got for Christmas

Let me revise the question, “What did you get for Christmas?” to “What did you get for Christmastide?” In the days immediately following Christmas, one hears a repeated refrain about taking down the tree, packing up the decorations, and finishing the leftovers. For many, the feast is obviously over. No doubt this sentiment prevails due…

E.L. Mascall: A Theologian in, from, and for the Church

Eric Lionel Mascall (1905-93) was one of the best–perhaps the sharpest and most lucid–of orthodox Anglican theologians in the twentieth century. An Anglican priest who finished his career as Professor of Historical Theology at King’s College in the University of London, Mascall excelled in mathematics at the university, and boasted of never having been formally…

A Year in Reading

It has been a good year for reading. Back in Michigan, Sarah and I read a handful of truly memorable novels together in our little cottage on the edge of the wood. Since leaving home to study theology and the arts here at St. Andrews, I have had an excuse to pick up lots of…

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