Christianity in Episcopal Tints 3. The Churchs Teaching
Christianity in Episcopal Tints 3. The Churchs Teaching and the Bible Christianity in Episcopal Tints Introduction Where did the Episcopal Church come from? What does it believe?
How does it worship and why? How does it understands the Bible and God? How does it reach out to the rest of the world? In this broken world where the followers of Jesus are fractured into many denominations what positive role does the Episcopal Church play? Christianity in Episcopal Tints Introduction
1: Our History 2: Our Worship 3: The Churchs Teaching and the Bible 4: Spirituality 5: Ministry and Organization. The Churchs Mission. PowerPoint presentations and PDFs of the PowerPoint can be downloaded from www.StJohnAdultEd.org Everliving God, whose will it is that all should come to you through your Son Jesus Christ: Inspire our witness to him, that all may know the power of his forgiveness and the hope of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. For the Mission of the Church,
Book of Common Prayer, p. 816-817 What is Theology? God Talk God is: personal the Creator holy, unknowable, infinite the Alpha and the Omega the I AM who I AM God Talk
thes God logos word Worship is our appropriate, reverent response to the personal, holy, unknowable, infinite God. The world theology comes from two Greek words:
theos (God) logos (word) literally: theology is God Talk. Language of God Talk Language of Theology = The Language of God Talk How can we talk about God when our
language is based on things in the created world? Principle of Analogy The language of God Talk often uses the Principle of Analogy The world is an expression of the being of God. Thus there is a continuity between God and the world. Entities of the created world can be used as analogies for God because the creation is an expression of Gods being.
Example of the Principle of Analogy God is our Father = God is like a human father. God is analogous to a human father. similarities: the source of our existence, exercises authority over us, and cares for us.
dissimilarities: not human, not male, and not married to our mother. God the Father, by Conegliano Principle of Analogy At times, the dissimilarities
of the analogy are very strong, in which case we call it a metaphor. Examples: God is a lion. God is light. God as Aslan the lion, from the Chronicles of Narnia Sources of Theology Sources of Theology
The Three-Legged Stool Richard Hooker described a Three Legged Stool as the sources for Anglican theology: 1. Scripture = the Bible. 2. Tradition. 3. Reason. Sources of Theology: Reason Definition of Reason
reason: the power of the human mind to discern truth and beauty. includes: critical reasoning (elucidate revelations, correct alleged revelations). intuitive reasoning (involving imagination, esthetic sensibility). Basis of the Authority of Reason from Richard Hooker, 17th century: The cosmos is an unfolding of the mind
of God in a hierarchy of orders and structures. All of creation thus participates to a degree in the mind of God. Therefore a seed of the reason of God is present in the minds of human beings. Basis of the Authority of Reason
John Polkinghorne (1930 - ) Author, Anglican Priest, Professor of Theoretical Physics, Cambridge University A modern view of reason , from John Polkinghorne speaking on the laws of physics: there is some deep-seated relationship between the reason within (the rationality of our minds -- in this case mathematics) and the reason without (the rationale order and structure of the physical world around us). The two fit together like a glove. the universe, in its rationale beauty and transparency, looks like a world shot through with signs of mind, and maybe, its the capital M Mind of God we are seeing.
Summary: Reason as a Source of Theology The exercise of our reason can draw us to knowledge of God because the rationality of our minds, our esthetic senses of beauty and goodness, are reflections of the mind of God.
Sources of Theology: Tradition Definition of Tradition from Forerunners of Christ with Saints and Martyrs by Fra Angelico tradition: the ongoing reflection of the people of God on their experience of God, transmitted from one generation to
the another. Examples of Tradition Examples of tradition include: The Creeds, The decisions of the Church Councils, The religious writings through history: Systemic Theologies, Commentaries, Devotional works. Eastern orthodox icon of the First Council of Nicea
Approaches to Tradition There are three possible approaches to tradition: 1. Single Source (the Anglican Approach): traditions are reflections based on, rooted in the Scriptures 2. Dual-Source (Roman Catholic Approach from the Council of Trent to Vatican II): a source of revelation independent of the Scriptures 3. Total Rejection (Anabaptist, Puritan Approach): each individual should interpret Scripture independent of the past. Articles of Religion
For The Episcopal Church in the U.S.A., traditions (rooted in the Scriptures) are spelled out in the Articles of Religion, also known as the ThirtyNine Articles: Adopted by the 1801 General Convention and made part of the American Prayer Book. Bible first and prior to all tradition (Articles 6, 8, 20, 22). Affirms Apostles and Nicene Creeds (Article 8). Not a confession of faith like Lutheran Book of Concord or Reformed Westminster Confession; intended as a nonbinding guide. Has allowed great theological freedom in Anglicanism. The Articles of Religion (The Thirty-Nine Articles) may be found
in the Book of Common Prayer, beginning page 867 Liturgical Tradition liturgical tradition is also particularly important to Anglicans. lex orandi, lex credendi = the way you pray shapes what you believe: theology is intertwined with worship and prayer
Summary: Anglican View of Tradition We honor the reflections of past generations rooted in the scriptures (single-source tradition). We have no comprehensive confession of faith: The Creeds are binding. The 39 Articles are non-binding guides; they allow a great degree of theological freedom. We place a special emphasis on liturgical tradition
and lex orandi, lex credendi. Sources of Theology: The Bible What is the Bible? The Scriptures = The Bible is a collection of texts recognized as authoritative for Christian thinking. They are described as canonical, an adjective describing their authoritative nature: from the Greek kanon () = ruler or
yardstick. The ruler or yardstick by which all else is measured. Books in the Bible The Bible consists of an Old Testament and a New Testament: Old Testament Reformers: Hebrew Bible = 39 books. Council of Trent 1546: Greek or Latin Bible (Vulgate, Septuagint) = 39 books +
14 apocryphal or deutero-canonical books. Gutenberg Bible at the New York City public library New Testament 27 books (4 gospels, Acts, 21 letters, Revelation of John).
Side note: 3 x 9 = 27. Anglicans and the Apocrypha Anglicanism holds an ambiguous or even contradictory attitude towards the Apocrypha. Owen Thomas, Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA, in Introduction to Theology. Anglicans and the Apocrypha
We can see this Anglican ambiguity towards the Apocrypha in the following: several lectionary readings in Book of Common Prayer are from the Apocrypha. Article 7 of the Articles of Religion (The Thirty Nine Articles) says the church does not apply them to establish any doctrine. Article 6 of the Articles of Religion says: we read the Apocrypha for example of life and instruction of manners. Some Bible Book Terminology
Pentateuch = Five books of the Law = Torah = Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy Major Prophets = first 4 prophetic writings in Old Testament = Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekial, Daniel Minor Prophets = remaining 12 prophetic writings = Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi. Some Bible Book Terminology
Synoptic Gospels = Matthew, Mark, Luke. Pastoral Epistles or Letters: concerned with church order, pastoral matters: 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus. Catholic Epistles or Letters: not addressed to individuals: James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2, 3 John, Jude. Testament Jeremiah 31:31-33 (RSV): Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I
made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, though I was their husband, I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Testament = a strongly Christian theological term. Testament = Covenant = an agreement between God and Gods people. The coming of Christ inaugurated something new, a New Covenant, a covenant going beyond the Old Covenant. Religious principles and ideas continue from the Old Covenant; religious practices do not (dietary laws. . .) Testament
For Jews, what Christians call the Old Testament is the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh, consisting of: Instruction, Teaching, or Law (Torah), and Prophets (Neviim) and Writings (Kethuvim). Tanakh = Hebrew Bible: an acronym of the first Hebrew letter of Torah, Neviim, and Kethuvim
Basis for the Authority of Scripture The basis for the authority of the Scripture comes from the: 1. early church, who chose the canon with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, 2. intrinsic authority of the scriptures, written under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, 3. Holy Spirits guidance given to any reader of the scriptures who is earnestly seeking the truth. 1 & 2: The canon of Scripture may be regarded as emerging organically from a community of faith already committed to using and respecting it. (Allister McGrath).
Intrinsic Authority from Divine Inspiration Belief in the second basis for the authority of the scriptures -- their intrinsic authority because they are divinely inspired -- comes from scripture itself: All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16, NRSV) The term inspired by God in this passage is the Greek theopneustos = God-breathed.
inspired by God, God-breathed What Does Divine Inspiration Mean? Views over what it means to be inspired by God have varied: the biblical authors were used like flutes, lyres or pens in the hand of God, or the biblical authors used their innate faculties and powers; the Spirits inspiration did not change their free will or human fallibility.
Inspiration of Saint Matthew, by Caravaggio What Divine Inspiration is NOT Note that divine inspiration is NOT the same as: absolute historical reliability, or factual inerrancy. It has been understood for centuries that there are different ways of interpreting the divinely inspired text.
The fundamentalist view of literal and historical inerrancy of the Bible began only in 18th and 19th centuries. The Quadriga In the Middle Ages there was the Quadriga = fourfold sense of the Scriptures: 1. literal sense. Face value. 2. allegorical sense. Statements of doctrine in form of an allegory. 3. tropological or moral sense. Ethical guidance. 4. anagogical sense. Grounds for
Christian hope, pointing to the future. A trade fair in the Middle Ages Luthers EightFold Sense Martin Luther promoted an Eightfold Sense of the Scriptures. a historical and a prophetical dimension to each of the four Quadriga categories: 1&2. literal sense, historical and prophetical dimensions.
3&4. allegorical sense, historical and prophetical dimensions. 5&6. tropological or moral sense, historical and prophetical dimensions. 7&8: anagogical sense, historical and prophetical dimensions. Martin Luther (1483-1546) Painting by Cranach Calvins Theory of Accommodation
John Calvin (1509 - 1564) Painting by Hobein John Calvin promoted a Theory of Accommodation: Scripture is essentially God making Divine Baby Talk with us. John Calvin: God accommodates to the capacities of the human mind and heart. Origen of Alexandria (184-253): God condescends and comes down to us, accommodating to our weakness, like a schoolmaster talking a little language to his
children, or like a father caring for his own children and adopting their ways. Scripture is divine baby talk. We are the babes. Modern Methods of Biblical Interpretation Modern Methods of Biblical Interpretation include: Textual Criticism (or Lower Criticism) - tries to determine the original text. Literary Source Criticism - tries to find literary sources which are basis of text. Form Criticism (or Traditional Criticism) - tries to piece together the oral traditions that went into the text. Redaction Criticism - tries to discover ways the author(s)
reshaped or modified his sources, or created new material for the text. Modern Methods of Biblical Interpretation Modern Methods of Biblical Interpretation include: Historical Criticism - tries to discover authorship and date, what actually happened historically. Comparative Religions Criticism - looks for patterns believed to be common in the development of all religions. Structural Criticism - looks at how the author used available literary forms. Reader - Response Criticism - focuses on the meaning of
the text created by the reader. Modern Methods of Biblical Interpretation Essentially, the goals of modern biblical interpretation are to: 1. understand the words and language: what were the original words? what did they mean to the people of the time? what if anything was added on later? Why?
Modern Methods of Biblical Interpretation Essentially, the goals of modern biblical interpretation are to: 2. understand the author: where was the author coming from? what were the authors purposes, goals? how did he or she shape his or her message to accommodate his or her culture, society?
Modern Methods of Biblical Interpretation Essentially, the goals of modern biblical interpretation are to: 3. understand ourselves: where are we coming from? how does our culture, society shape how we perceive the message? how does our own life shape how we perceive the message?
Summary: Bible as a Source of Theology The Bible is our foremost source of our knowledge of God The Bible is authoritative because: The early church chose the canon under the Spirits guidance, Authors were divinely inspired, and The Spirit inspires us when we study the Bible. Our study and understanding of the meaning (= interpretation) of the Bible is a lifelong, living process using:
Reason (our own and that of other Christians), and Tradition (reflections of faithful Christians before us). Next Week: Spirituality
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