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Theology, History & Science
November 21 2019 By virtueonline Diana Butler Bass vs Council of Nicaea

For Bass, this discrediting of Nicaea "was like a dagger through the heart." She understood Clark's point: "the business of the Holy Spirit writing the creed, miraculously guiding the church to particular words explaining Christ, was better understood in terms of political consolidation of imperial power."

So Nicaea "wasn't a miracle" but "about people and power and privilege. About controlling outcomes and getting your way. About sin and writing history so that you are the hero."

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November 11 2019 By virtueonline THOUGHTS ON THE NEW ANGLICAN REFORMATION -- Part 3

Some years ago, I was teaching young ordinands in one of the Diocese of South East Asia when the bishop asked to see me in private. After courteous preliminaries he asked me: "What is your definition of a New Anglican?" He was referencing the name of the missionary society that I had then been leading for two decades, the New Anglican Missionary Society (NAMS), but he was assuming the phrase "New Anglican" meant a different kind of Anglican.

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November 09 2019 By virtueonline Finding Truth Amid Tension

More a mindset than a set of doctrines

But are there common features of a fundamentalist mindset to be found in these varied expressions? Consider these eight tell-tale signs:

First, fundamentalists of all stripes tend to reflect black and white thinking. They have little place for ambiguity. Certainty must be established.

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October 23 2019 By virtueonline DIVORCE IN THE ANGLICAN FAMILY: A Look Back at the Break-Up

Archbishop Williams's switch from "communion" to "family" reminded me of something I had written fifteen years ago, titled "The Divorce," because while "quarreling until the cows come home" is a nice sentiment, it is not the way many families end up. Fifteen years on, real repentance and reconciliation seem as far away as ever.

So at the risk of reviving unhappy quarrels around the supper table, here it is:


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October 17 2019 By virtueonline WHEN DID ANGLICANISM BEGIN? TRACT II (PART 1)

If you say "with Henry VIII" in any of the classes I teach at Cranmer Theological House, I will threaten you with either an automatic F or a pile of remedial work. Many incorrectly assume that the Church in England began with Henry VIII's desire for Anne Boleyn and the male heir she might possibly give him. But clearly there was an English Church before Henry VIII declared himself the head of the English Church in 1534.

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October 11 2019 By virtueonline PASTORAL POLEMICS

Many theologians and teachers inevitably enclose themselves within towers of intellectual superiority and communities of arcane conversation. The spirit of pride and rivalry among them may possibly engender the tendency to novelty of thought and sensational opinion. There are some minds that simply must strive for attention and originality. The humble service of the gospel is too drab for their professional ambition.

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October 11 2019 By virtueonline CLAUSE 13 IMPLICATIONS: Reply to a Clergyman in the Church of England

As a recently-ordained theologically-conservative minister in the Church of England who has not yet signed the Jerusalem Declaration, I struggle to understand what a commitment to Clause 13 would mean in practice.

I serve under the authority of my (orthodox) diocesan bishop. So Clause 13 does not require me to reject his authority.

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September 21 2019 By virtueonline Archaeologists Find Church of the Apostles Near Sea of Galilee

The team later found the church's mosaic floors, which had been buried for almost 1,500 years. According to the Center's press release, these discoveries indicate a "large and magnificent church."

Ancient documents mention the Church of the Apostles, including one written by a Bavarian bishop named Willibald in 725 A.D. "[Willibald] states that the church was in Bethsaida built over the house of Peter and Andrew, among the first disciples of Jesus," Notley said.

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September 16 2019 By virtueonline THOUGHTS ON THE JERUSALEM DECLARATION 3: Should Clause 13 Be Excised?

I was talking recently with a friend from the Church of England about why more Evangelicals there had not openly supported the Gafcon movement. He began by saying how positive he and his colleagues were about the Assemblies in 2008, 2013 and 2018 and also about the Jerusalem Declaration as a fine confession of biblical faith.

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September 13 2019 By virtueonline THOUGHTS ON THE JERUSALEM DECLARATION 2: Proposing a Life-and-Death Amendment

The next clauses 8-13 address those issues of particular urgency in our day: marriage and sexuality; the mission imperative; stewardship of the earth and commitment to justice; and church unity and diversity and its limits (ecumenism and discipline). When our Statement group was considering these issues, we neglected to address one topic: life and death, which is equally rooted in Scripture and under attack in contemporary culture.

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