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Theology, History & Science
September 02 2004 By virtueonline Where have all the Scriptures gone? - by Ephraim Radner

Was it ever really possible to structure a common life within the diocese upon a firm and compelling spiritual basis, when that basis itself – the substance and authority of the Church’s proclamation and teaching of the revealed truth of Christ – is what is in rancorous dispute? Can there be an accountability for common life, when the accounting reference itself – the character of Christ’s own teaching -- has become the seeming source of our divisions?

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September 02 2004 By virtueonline Ecclesial Existence Today - by Douglas Farrow

What is the church? Whatever else may be said in answer to that question, and whatever may be disputed between the churches, we must surely say at least this: The church is the community of the new covenant between God and humanity that is grounded in the self-offering of Jesus Christ and confesses him as Lord.

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August 23 2004 By virtueonline What God Hath Not Joined - by Edith Humphrey

As we address these issues over the long term, we hope to communicate two things: First, a definite "no" to calls to lower the moral bar (whether they come from within the church or from secular critics). And second, a decided "yes" to respect and extend compassion to the people who advocate views and practices we oppose. The issues are too important to fall short in either direction.
—Editors

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August 13 2004 By virtueonline ENGLAND: A funny thing happened on way to disbelief. Twilight of Atheism

In this accessible intellectual history, McGrath explores how atheism came to capture a wide swath of the public imagination as the road to human liberation and progress, and why, in a postmodern world, its appeal has faded. Yet he also makes clear that, despite the resurgence in faith, Western Christianity has not fully recovered from the crisis of the '60s.

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August 12 2004 By virtueonline "Plan for the worst; Pray for the best" - by Simon Vibert

Yes, this is a tension! And over the years, the Christian Church has swayed between over or under-realised eschatology as it has lived with the tension.

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August 12 2004 By virtueonline Principles of Bible Interpretation - by Rev. Charles F. Sutton, Jr.

The Bible needs to be interpreted according to “the big picture.” The parts only make their fullest sense in the light of the whole. The Bible also needs to be interpreted according to its own terms. One of the ba-sic questions about the Bible is “What is the Bible’s ultimate source?” Is it purely from the mind of hu-man beings, or is God the ultimate author? If we as Christians look to Jesus Christ, we need to see his atti-tude to the Scriptures.

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July 30 2004 By virtueonline The Historic Episcopate as the Guardian of Christian Unity - by Cheryl White

In addition to those who have attempted to justify the consecration of the first openly gay bishop, we now have among us those who are questioning if the office of bishop is really even necessary. (This new suggestion arises just as we anticipate the report of the Eames Commission this fall.) After all, the office represents an outdated hierarchy, or so a current argument suggests. So here is issued yet another call upon history and tradition to shed light on our present circumstance.

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July 20 2004 By virtueonline Why "Gay Marriage" Is Wrong - by Robert A. J. Gagnon

Second, and even more importantly, homosexual unions are not wrong primarily because of their disproportionately high incidence of promiscuity (especially among males) and breakups (especially among females). They are wrong because “gay marriage” is a contradiction in terms. As with consensual adult incest and polyamory, considerations of commitment and fidelity factor only after certain structural prerequisites are met.

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June 29 2004 By virtueonline VIRGINIA: Presbyterian Task force distorts unity/purity - by Robert Gagnon

The Report is available at http://www.pcusa.org/peaceunitypurity/resources/prelimreport.pdf

Readers will find the theological core of the report in its Part B, "Preliminary Affirmations About the Peace, Unity, and Purity of the Church" (pp. 2-5). It builds its case almost exclusively on an exegesis of the Epistle to the Ephesians.

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June 21 2004 By virtueonline ACI: 'Communion & Discipline' submitted to Lambeth Commission

More recently, however, it has sought of necessity to place its theological resources at the
disposal of the wider Anglican Communion in its struggles with the vexed issue of
homosexuality and the varied responses to this within the Communion. In this difficult
time, which threatens (in the words of the Primates gathered at Lambeth last October) to
“tear the very fabric of our Communion”, it would have been an irresponsible form of

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