Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Time For A Little Terry Holmes

One of the books I can ALWAYS lay my hands on is a slender, worn paperback copy of Urban T. Holmes' "What is Anglicanism?" It is a book I virtually devoured when I discovered it back before I went to seminary and was trying to put into language what my raised-in-the-Episcopal-Church-heart believed but I didn't have the language to articulate.

As we move toward our 78th General Convention in Salt Lake City, Holmes continues to remind me in clear, concise, accessible language of all that is best -- and worth preserving -- about the historic Anglicanism we inherit as American Episcopalians. And he reminds me that there is a point to all we do as Anglican Christians that transcends the political, ecclesial and theological wranglings that seem to consume so much of our energy.

ON ANGLICAN COMPREHENSIVENESS: "We often speak of Anglican "comprehensiveness." If this is a way of making relativism palatable or a means of accommodating all shades of opinion with no regard for truth, then it needs to be rejected. If by comprehensive we mean the priority of a dialectic quest over precision and immediate closure then we are speaking of the Anglican consciousness at its best." – Urban T. Holmes, “What Is Anglicanism” pg. 7

ON CLARITY OF AUTHORITY: "Clarity of authority should not be expected-- in fact, it should be suspect -- when we are attempting to make clear the infinite mind of God for the finite minds of humankind. When Anglicanism is true to its concept of authority, this apparent hesitance to say, "Thus saith the Lord!" -- only to have to spend the next hundred years subtlely qualifying "what the Lord said" -- is not a sign of weakness but evidence of strength and wisdom." - Urban T. Holmes, “What Is Anglicanism” pg. 16

ON FAITH AND BELIEF: Ultimately the authenticity of faith and belief is measured at the bar of justice. All religious questions merge into the one query: What shall we do? There is an inevitable course to our religious profession which can be aborted only by denying its Lord. That course leads to living in the world as God sees the world. We can debate the trivial points, but the vision is largely clear. To love God is to relieve the burden of all who suffer. The rest is a question of tactics." - Urban T. Holmes, “What Is Anglicanism” pg. 95

No comments: