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The Church-Idea by The Rev. William Reed Huntington (1838–1909) Part 2 May 23, 2010 PowerPoint Presentation
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The Church-Idea by The Rev. William Reed Huntington (1838–1909) Part 2 May 23, 2010. The “Marrow” of the Church-Idea (p. 30). The Church’s mission is to restore spiritual life (i.e., the fullness of human nature)

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The Church-Idea

by The Rev. William Reed Huntington(1838–1909)

Part 2

May 23, 2010

the marrow of the church idea p 30
The “Marrow” of the Church-Idea (p. 30)
  • The Church’s mission is to restore spiritual life (i.e., the fullness of human nature)
    • “Because there has always been spiritual life in the world, therefore there has always been society. Because it is possible for the spirit of man to live either with God or apart from Him, therefore there has always been an inner or elect society, — the Church.”
the practical problem pp 10 11
The Practical Problem (pp. 10, 11)
  • Because Christ’s Church is divided, it is unable to manifest a unified spirit
  • The Church-Idea is a formula for unity as catholicity or “generic catholicism”
  • ≈ Anglicanism
four notes of catholicity
Four Notes of Catholicity
  • Visibility
    • organized/institutional expression of faith
  • The indwelling Spirit of the Lord
    • blend of Traditional-Evangelical-Charismatic
  • Unity
    • a worldwide Communion
  • Capability of perpetual renewal
    • Apostolic Succession
na ve optimism of the church idea in 1870
Naïve Optimism of The Church-Idea in 1870
  • America would remain a predominantly WASP culture and society for the indefinite future
    • Immigrations from late 19th c. through present especially of Roman Catholic populations
  • American society without organized religion would have an insufficient basis for “spiritual” values
    • E.g., The Consumer Society (J. Baudrillard, 1970)
review three classic errors
Review: Three Classic Errors
  • Romanism — the Idea exaggerated
  • Puritanism — the Idea diminished
  • Liberalism — the Idea distorted
  • Positively — true inclusiveness
    • (i.e., includes both wheat and tares)
  • Negatively — admits of post-biblical revelation
    • e.g., papacy, mariolatry, transubstantiation
  • Today — no real change
    • (Why should they?)
  • Roman Catholic = Catholic (Universal) = the Church Visible = the Church of the Creed
    • “In their view, the Papal Church is the Catholic Church; and if the Catholic Church, then the Church of the Apostles; and if the Church of the Apostles, then the Church of Christ; and if the Church of Christ, then the City of God, the Kingdom of Heaven upon earth, the Mother of us all.”
puritanism protestantism
Puritanism (≈ Protestantism)
  • Positively — seeks to bring each individual member up to the standard of the Kingdom
  • Negatively — exclusive of the tares in a way that is contrary to Scripture
  • Today — gravitates toward a single doctrinal or behavioral emphasis as a basis to distinguish wheat from tares (e.g., alcohol, tongues, 2nd etc.)
    • natural drift toward sectarianism
    • a reformation or dissolution of the Church?
religious liberalism
Religious Liberalism
  • A caricature of the inclusive Church in that it includes all, but without standard or distinction.
  • “inclusiveness” without boundaries (i.e., a contradiction)
    • In-clude means en-close: What are we in-cluded into?
    • What’s the difference between being in and out?
religious liberalism cont
Religious Liberalism cont.
  • “Liberalism is not a system. Its very characteristic is its want of a system. Liberalism is a spirit, a tendency, a movement, a slippery something in striving to grasp which we seem to clutch the air.” (pp. 96-97)
  • “Liberalism in religion is the spirit that is impatient of anything like authority, whether in the line of doctrine or discipline.” (p. 98)
religious liberalism and the church idea
Religious Liberalism and the Church-Idea

“The Holy Catholic Church is not a voluntary religious association formed by men for the purpose of freely handling the problems of human destiny. It is a family, a brotherhood, a household, to whose guardian care the archives of the faith have been intrusted. The members of this family have no authority to tamper with, to change or modify the sacred deposit given into their care. God’s oracles are a trust. The generations before us held it for our sake; we are to hold it for the sake of the generations yet to come.” (p. 113, emphasis added)

1870 1888 church idea to tc lq
1870-1888: Church-Idea to TC-LQ
  • The Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral fixed the identity of The Anglican Communion, the third largest communion of churches in the world.
  • TC-LQ contains the basis for each member church to go forward as “church” rather than “sect”
    • and to identify with the historic Church rather than the sectarian drift of local factions and movements
  • TC-LQ contains the operative definition of Christian Tradition.
the chicago lambeth quadrilateral 1888
The Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral (1888)

“…We do hereby affirm that the Christian unity… can be restored only by the return of all Christian communions to the principles of unity exemplified by the undivided Catholic Church during the first ages of its existence; which principles we believe to be the substantial deposit of Christian Faith and Order committed by Christ and his Apostles to the Church unto the end of the world, and therefore incapable of compromise or surrender by those who have been ordained to be its stewards and trustees for the common and equal benefit of all… (emphasis added)

the chicago lambeth quadrilateral 188815
The Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral (1888)

“As inherent parts of this sacred deposit, and therefore as essential to the restoration of unity among the divided branches of Christendom, we account the following, to wit…

the chicago lambeth quadrilateral 188816
The Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral (1888)
  • The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament as the revealed Word of God.
  • The Nicene Creed as the sufficient statement of the Christian Faith.
  • The two Sacraments, — Baptism and the Supper of the Lord, — ministered with unfailing use of Christ’s words of institution and of the elements ordained by Him.
  • The Historic Episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the unity of His Church.

See BCP pp. 876-877