Scot McKnight – Why Anglican? – 1

More than twice a month I am asked “Why did you become Anglican?” The answer to the question is complex, and I want to answer that question in part by saying up front that I don’t believe in ecclesiastical superiority. I don’t think any single church or denomination is the one true church. I’ve heard more than a whiff of this from folks as varied as Plymouth Brethren, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic (in spades, frankly), Baptist, Evangelical Covenant, and United Methodists. So in this series I’m not saying that the Anglican Communion is the one-true-and-always-faithful church in the world.

I became Anglican because of the church calendar. (Not only because of the church calendar but it was part of the process.) Non-calendar Christians usually observe Christmas (not always Advent, though it is growing) and Good Friday and Easter. That’s about it. The rest of the year is up to the preacher, the pastor, the elders and deacons, and up to the congregation. Many pastors wisely organize their churches to be formed over time through a series of themes — or books of the Bible (Martyn Lloyd-Jones and John Piper preached through Romans for almost two decades) — but none can improve on the centrality of Christ in the church calendar. Continue reading “Scot McKnight – Why Anglican? – 1”

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Scot McKnight – Bury The Word “Evangelical”


Scot McKnight, at the centre of the picture

[This ia stern warning from a leading evangelical. We better listen. And, I openly admit, I fully agree with Scot.]

It’s time to bury the word “evangelical.” It’s both past time to bury it but it’s also time yet again to bury it.

I have a strategy for doing so, but first this:

Kate Shellnutt, at CT, writes,

More than 80 years ago, the first president of Princeton Evangelical Fellowship aspired for the organization to allow students “to enjoy Christian fellowship one with another, to bear united witness to the faith of its members in the whole Bible as the inspired Word of God, and to encourage other students to take, with them, a definite stand for Christ on the campus.”

In 2017, the Ivy League student ministry remains fully committed to this purpose … just without calling themselves evangelical.

The long-running organization changed its name this year to become Princeton Christian Fellowship, citing baggage surrounding the evangelical label.

“There’s a growing recognition that the term evangelical is increasingly either confusing, or unknown, or misunderstood to students,” the organization’s director, Bill Boyce, told The Daily Princetonian.

It’s not an issue limited to the 8,000-student campus; a number of evangelicals across the country share his concerns, particularly after last year’s election linked evangelical identity with support for President Donald Trump in the public eye.

Which leads me beyond the obvious: one of the more openly affirming institutions of evangelicalism, CT, records the news that evangelical is an embattled term while CT presses forward with no desire to diminish the centrality of the term for itself. But this essay is not about CT.

It’s about that dreaded term “evangelical.”

It’s a case of only a few who like the term while many despise the term, all the while knowing there’s no other term to use.

The issue is politics; the presenting painful reality is Trump. The reality is 81% of evangelicals voted for Trump. The word “evangelical” now means Trump-voter. The word “evangelical” is spoiled.

Which means the problem is not nearly so large among self-confessed evangelicals. They admit to being evangelicals and voting for Trump and evidently see no dissonance. We don’t know how many of that 81% held their nose when they voted for Trump but this is certain: they weren’t voting for Hillary Clinton. Their evangelical convictions and their political convictions were inter-looped into voting for Trump and not Hillary (or a Democrat). Continue reading “Scot McKnight – Bury The Word “Evangelical””

Scot McKnight – The Gospel of the Gospel Coalition

The Gospel Coalition is an association of pastors and theologians around fidelity to the gospel and a commitment to make that gospel known and to support pastors and churches in gospel-shaped ministries. So, when the two major architects of TGC edit a book (The Gospel as Center) that expounds its principal statements on principal ideas, the one on gospel is to be seen as a center piece of the whole.

In general, TGC is known for its “confessional” (though not in the sense of the Reformed confessions specifically, or the Lutheran confessions specifically) and “evangelical” approach and therefore its gospel is nothing other than a robust commitment to a reformed soteriology. The “confession” is then the alliance of these Christian leaders around TGC’s “confession,” and this book contains chapter length discussions of TGC’s principal statements. (After the jump I have clipped their “Gospel” statement.)

If the movement is about the gospel, then “What is the gospel?” statement by Bryan Chapell expresses the heart of TGC. This chp weaves into it a marvelous story of the gospeling of his brother, David, and how that gospel restored the marriage of his parents.

First, Chapell defines gospel somewhat as follows (and I have added the numbers): “the message that God has (1) fulfilled his promise (2) to send a Savior (3) to rescue broken people, (4) restore creation’s glory, and (5) rule over all with compassion and justice. So he argues “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim 1:15) is a good summary of the gospel. Continue reading “Scot McKnight – The Gospel of the Gospel Coalition”

How Patriarchy Silences Women (Rachel Elizabeth Asproth)

Source: How Patriarchy Silences Women (Rachel Elizabeth Asproth)

Scot McKnight shares today this post on patriarchy by Rachel Elizabeth Asproth. Here is a summary:
1. Patriarchal History Questions the Importance of Women’s Existence
2. Patriarchal History Minimizes Women’s Contributions
3. Patriarchal History Pigeon-Holes Women
4. Patriarchal History Is Hyper-Focused on Female Sexuality

Scot McKnight – Why Be Anglican: The Collects

churchcalendar

Dr. McKnight continues his efforts of explaining why has he joined Anglicanism. As many friends are asking me the same question, I have decided to share here Professor McKnight’s responses. I will not be able to do it better than him, anyway. So, here is a new epidoee in this series. Today, about the Collects.

* * *

The collects of the church reveal the church’s practices and beliefs about prayer; a collect is a set prayer for a set time in the church calendar.

In them we see the church’s theology of prayer come to expression. I posted about the collects here and included a reference to a fine book “collecting” the collects: C. Frederick Barbee and Paul F.M. Zahl,The Collects of Thomas Cranmer.

There are five basic elements of a collect, and each of these expresses the Christian theology of prayer:

1. Address to God
2. Naming a context in which God has been active and therefore why God can be addressed now.
3. The petition.
4. Hoped for outcome.
5. Shaping the prayer in a Trinitarian context. Continue reading “Scot McKnight – Why Be Anglican: The Collects”

Scot McKnight -Why Be Anglican: Lectionary

I am doing a series on the blog about why I became Anglican, and thefirst week I looked at the church calendar and last week at worship, and this week I want to dip into “worship,” by which I mean Sunday morning worship service. (I do not equate worship with Sunday morning worship, but Sunday morning worship is worship.) This week I look at the Lectionary.

I’m not a historian of the lectionary, and it is common property to a wide range of churches and that is why today it is called “The Revised Common Lectionary” and it is available online here.

In essence, the RCL is a 3-year cycle of Bible readings for Sunday worship (and daily readings as well). The lectionary is built on the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, with John weaved in over the three years. The Bible readings in a lectionary-based worship service are ordered into an Old Testament lesson, a reading from the Psalms, a reading from an Epistle, and then “The Gospel.”  As the church calendar is rooted in the life of Jesus (see the image above), so the lectionary readings from the Bible aim at the Gospel reading and prepare for it and enhance it. This squares the church on the Gospels as the gospel.

Read HERE the rest of this text

Scot McKnight – Why Be Anglican: Worship

anglican

I am doing a series on the blog about why I became Anglican, and last week I looked at the church calendar, and this week I want to dip into “worship,” by which I mean Sunday morning worship service. (I do not equate worship with Sunday morning worship, but Sunday morning worship is worship.)

If the church calendar shapes the church themes, the church liturgy for Holy Eucharist is shaped by a customary set of elements of the worship service. Each of these is needed, each is integrated into the other, and each is formative for Christian discipleship. To repeat from last week’s blog post, I don’t idealize or idolize Anglican worship, but I believe it is a mature, wise, and deeply theological tradition at work.

I have taken for my text this morning last week’s worship guide, or bulletin. Here are the elements of our worship and eucharist celebration: processional hymn, a call to worship, the Word of God, the proclamation of the Word of God, the Nicene Creed, prayers of the people, confession of sin, passing the peace, and then we move into Eucharist beginning with an offering, doxology, the great thanksgiving, breaking of bread, a prayer of thanksgiving and we close with a blessing. Continue reading “Scot McKnight – Why Be Anglican: Worship”