There are still a number of days available for those who want to guest post over Lent, (the instructions for entries can be found here). If you are interested, please respond as soon as possible. Remember, a contribution doesn’t have to be written reflections. You could post a video, an MP3 of yourself talking or singing a song, or a picture that you have drawn. As long as it is within the guidelines set out within the linked post above, it will be very much appreciated.
***Ben Myers posts the fourth installment of the Thomas Torrance audio lectures and reports a PR disaster for the Christian music industry.
***Gregg Strawbridge and Mark Horne respond to Guy Waters on Covenant Radio [HT: Barbara]
***Leithart reminds us of the sacramental piety of the Wesleys. It is interesting to observe how little press this dimension of the Wesleys’ beliefs and piety can receive. A few years ago I was reading an old book on early Methodism and came across a letter sent by John Wesley in 1745, written to his brother-in-law Westley Hall, a number of years after his evangelical conversion. It served as a reminder of how quickly some of our great evangelical heroes would be anathematized were they here to resist their own airbrushing. The following is an extract from Wesley’s letter:
You think, First, that, we undertake to defend some things, which are not defensible by the Word of God. You instance three: on each of which we will explain ourselves as clearly as we can.
1. ‘That, the validity of our ministry depends on a succession supposed to be from the Apostles, and a commission derived from the Pope of Rome, and his successors or dependents.’
We believe, it would not be right for us to administer, either Baptism or the Lord’s Supper, unless we had a commission so to do from those Bishops, whom we apprehend to be in a succession from the Apostles. And, yet, we allow, these Bishops are the successors of those, who are dependent on the Bishop of Rome. But, we would be glad to know, on what reasons you believe this to be inconsistent with the Word of God.
2. ‘That, there is an outward Priesthood, and consequently an outward Sacrifice, ordained and offered by the Bishop of Rome, and his successors or dependents, in the Church of England, as vicars and vicegerents of Christ.’
We believe there is and always was, in every Christian Church (whether dependent on the Bishop of Rome or not) an outward Priesthood ordained by Jesus Christ, and an outward Sacrifice offered therein, by men authorized to act, as Ambassadors of Christ, and Stewards of the mysteries of God. On what grounds do you believe, that, Christ has abolished that Priesthood or Sacrifice?
3. ‘That, this Papal Hierarchy and Prelacy, which still continues in the Church of England, is of Apostolical Institution, and authorized thereby; though not by the written Word.’
We believe, that, the threefold order of ministers, (which you seem to mean by Papal Hierarchy and Prelacy,) is not only authorized by its Apostolical Institution, but also by the written Word. Yet, we are willing to hear and weigh whatever reasons induce you to believe to the contrary.
My purpose here is not to defend Wesley’s sentiments. Rather, I am suggesting that perhaps evangelical faith need not be as inimical and alien to High Church Christianity as many evangelicals suppose it must.
***Cynthia Nielsen is blogging on Jean-Luc Marion (Part 1, Part 2)
***Byron Smith (whose blog you should be reading) is interviewed by Guy Davies.
***Leithart asks: ‘Who Defines “Reformed”?’
***A few N.T. Wright articles and blog posts (!!):
Simply Lewis: Reflections on a Master Apologist After 60 Years
God’s Power Does Not Excuse Human Despoiling
Sex Both Powerful and Potentially Dangerous
Base Criticism on Facts, Not Prejudice
I am not convinced that the blog is Wright’s best medium. Sometimes I wish that he would just cancel all his speaking engagements, popular book projects and the like and just get the big book on Paul finished.
***Whoever suggested this series of adverts deserves a hefty payrise.
***Jack Bauer: Pre-School Teaching Assistant
***A New Pope (first saw this one a few months back, but never got around to linking it)
***The editor of First Things, Joseph Bottum, has won at the Deity level in Civilization III. Kudos! This truly remarkable achievement was mentioned within this superb article on the series of games that have accounted for a disturbing percentage of the waking hours of my existence [HT: Mark Whittinghill of BHT].
***Catholics, Baptists and Pentecostals in conversation [HT: The Presbyteer].
And for any of you who might be concerned, despite recent indications to the contrary, my future input on this blog is not going to be reduced to posting long lists of links and comments on the latest Peter Leithart posts.