Thursday, January 16, 2014

Archbishop Justin appoints Evangelical Tory Baucum to Canterbury

Please don't be over-excited by the title of this post: 'Tory' is the man's name, not his political inclination. The Archbishop of Canterbury has appointed the Rev Dr Tory Baucum, Rector of Truro Church, Virginia, as one of Six Preachers at Canterbury Cathedral.

Don't fall asleep. This is significant, especially to the ill-informed and ignorant who puff and blow that Justin Welby is not "evangelical" (His Grace won't bother linking: you'll find the assertion mainly in the Telegraph's tedious anti-Anglican refrains). But this appointment will irritate liberals and traditionalists alike: those who prioritise issues of gender and sexuality in all aspects of ministry; and those who hold a certain dogmatic view of Christian leadership and the worldwide Anglican structure. 

Truro Church is part of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), which is not a member of the Anglican Communion. They are, however, in full communion with the Anglican churches of Nigeria, Uganda, and Sudan, and affiliated to the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, which was born of GAFCON.

This all sounds painfully convoluted and schismatic, but essentially ACNA is composed of Anglo-Catholic and Evangelicals who could no longer submit to the "un-Biblical and un-Anglican practices and teaching" of the US Episcopal Church. To some, they are the misogynists and homophobes. To others, they are faithful to the catholic traditions of the Church of England and the Worldwide Anglican Communion. They are unequivocally theologically conservative, being opposed to women bishops and believing that marriage is between one man and one woman. They are also staunchly pro-life, holding that "all members and clergy are called to promote and respect the sanctity of every human life from conception to natural death".

Dr Baucum even preaches the Reformation, asserting (quite rightly) that His Grace "was a Catholic who yearned to see the Medieval Church reformed" (to a gospel-based soteriology), and that the Church of England "was simply an attempt to re-Christianize Christendom by reintroducing to the Church the full power of Christian salvation". 

GAFCON decreed that recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury was not a necessary part of Anglican identity. Rowan Williams would have been content with that assertion, if grieved by the division. By making this appointment, Justin Welby is proffering the right hand of fellowship, which is the essential unifying heart of the man. The focus is spiritual unity in ecclesial breadth, true to the Lord's teaching, His Grace's believing and Hooker's longing.

Commenting on the appointment, Archbishop Justin said: “Tory is a fine scholar, an excellent preacher, and above all someone with a holistic approach to ministry. The close friendship he has forged with Bishop Shannon Johnston (of the Episcopal Church), despite their immensely different views, sets a pattern of reconciliation based on integrity and transparency. Such patterns of life are essential to the future of the Communion. I hope and pray that Tory’s presence as one of the Six Preachers will play a part in promoting reconciliation and unity amongst us.”

Dr Baucum is, in essence, what you might call a 'staunch Anglican' - of the sort who rarely gain advancement in the present Church of England; the sort that prefer red meat to milk and aren't afraid to preach it. According to ACNA's Constitution and Canons, Dr Baucum believes:
The Bible is the inspired word of God, containing all things necessary for salvation, and is the final authority and unchangeable standard for Christian faith and life.

Baptism and the Lord's Supper are sacraments ordained by Christ and are to be ministered with unfailing use of his words of institution and the elements ordained by him.

The historic episcopate is an inherent part of the apostolic faith and practice, and therefore integral to the fullness and unity of the Body of Christ.

The church affirms the historic faith of the undivided church as declared in the three ecumenical (catholic) creeds: the Apostles', the Nicene, and the Athanasian.

Concerning the seven Councils of the undivided church, it affirms the teaching of the first four Ecumenical Councils and the Christological clarifications of the fifth, sixth and seventh councils, in so far as they are agreeable to the Bible.

The Book of Common Prayer as set forth by the Church of England in 1662, together with the ordinal attached to it, is a standard for Anglican doctrine and discipline and, with the Books which preceded it, is the standard for the Anglican tradition of worship.

The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion of 1571, taken in their literal and grammatical sense, express the Anglican response to certain doctrinal issues controverted at that time, and express fundamental principles of authentic Anglican belief.
One may see why this appointment may not go down too well in certain liberal quarters. And, not being in fellowship with the Anglican Communion and being rather pally with Bishop Shannon Johnston,  one may understand a little muttering from those who are dismayed that schism may be rewarded and reconciliation affirmed without repentance. But the College of Six Preachers at Canterbury has a specific function. It was created by His Grace in 1541, forming part of his plans for a new foundation to replace the dissolved Priory. Canterbury was unique in this; no other cathedral had a group of preaching priests, and it was a reflection of His Grace's determination to give greater prominence to preaching the truth of salvation that it came into being.

Today, the Six Preachers are called to preach on various occasions at Canterbury Cathedral, which is the Mother Church of the Anglican Communion. With the Rev Dr Tory Baucum in its pulpit, you can be sure that the truth will be preached without compromise. The Church of England's warring factions and agitating splinters across the Communion have nothing to fear but caricature and their own poor judgment.


Blogger David Hussell said...

Your Grace, thank you for bringing this appointment to our attention.

The appointment is, as Cranmer says, truly significant. If only Canterbury wasn't a two hours drive away I'd go and listen to him myself

Can we have lots more like Tory Baucum please ?

16 January 2014 at 11:37  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Dr Baucum even preaches the Reformation, asserting (quite rightly) that His Grace "was a Catholic who yearned to see the Medieval Church reformed" (to a gospel-based soteriology), and that the Church of England "was simply an attempt to re-Christianize Christendom by reintroducing to the Church the full power of Christian salvation".

gospel-based soteriology - ie, make it up as you go along.

the Church of England "was simply an attempt to re-Christianize Christendom by reintroducing to the Church the full power of Christian salvation"

No, the Church of England was an attempt to get Henry VIII out of an inconvenient marriage, to rally the troops against that perennial English favourite, Johnny Foreigner, and for him and his pals to get their mitts on a lorryload of Church land, goods and chattels. Mission accomplished, I'd say, but like most servants of the Crown, now they've passed their sell-by date it's time to send for the vet, and I don't think some American carnival barker is going to change that.

16 January 2014 at 11:38  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

"No, the Church of England was an attempt to get Henry VIII out of an inconvenient marriage, to rally the troops against that perennial English favourite, Johnny Foreigner, and for him and his pals to get their mitts on a lorryload of Church land, goods and chattels. Mission accomplished, I'd say, but like most servants of the Crown, now they've passed their sell-by date it's time to send for the vet, and I don't think some American carnival barker is going to change that."

So what if Henry was up to no good but for himself..However Romans 8:28 states to HIS believers who suffer the injustice of others, "28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, ... Is God able to turn things around and produce good, even after bad things ...Ernst and non Catholics thinks He did!!!"


16 January 2014 at 12:26  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

"gospel-based soteriology - ie, make it up as you go along." and this from the brothers Grimm of religious nonsense. * Huge Guffaws and Snorts*

16 January 2014 at 12:28  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

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16 January 2014 at 12:43  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

16 January 2014 at 12:46  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Clever. Too clever by half, in fact. An American President will often try to appoint a member of the opposition party to his cabinet. It gives the illusion of reaching across the aisle but its actual purpose is to divide the opposition. A cabinet member must support the President's policies after all. He doesn't have the ability or the standing to change things. His purpose is to put a friendly face on the debate. That's how this appointment strikes me.

Dr Baucum is conservative enough. But his principle claim to this job is his 'reconciliation' with the (heretical) TEC bishop of Virginia. The purpose of ACNA was to preserve orthodox Anglican Christianity in the US precisely because TEC abandoned it. It's difficult to make that case when you are affirming the ministry of the very group from which you departed over reasons of doctrine. If the bishop of Virginia is faithful, then why does ACNA exist? And now Justin Welby's appointment becomes comprehensible.

This isn't about affirming ACNA but about affirming the form of reconciliation that Dr Baucum represents. It's an implicit statement that liberals and conservatives can coexist in the Anglican Communion. It's a call for GAFCON to come home in hopes of dividing and defusing it. In a sentence, it is cynical politics. Beware the friendly hand of those who do not wish you well. It inevitably conceals a dagger.


16 January 2014 at 12:48  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

I'm with Carl. I have spoken to vicars who have to deal with the dead administrative hand of terrible bishops who have said that Welby may make evangelical noises but when it comes to the time to make decisions, he's not evangelical.

16 January 2014 at 13:03  
Blogger WindsorBloke said...

"Welby is evangelical". "Welby is not evangelical".

Funny thing; I labour under the misapprehension that the whole of the CofE is evangelical, i.e. its mission is to preach the Gospel to the whole world (as opposed to certain closed brethren sects, for example).

It has always struck me as a damned cheek that a certain section of the CofE should claim the title "evangelical" to itself.

16 January 2014 at 13:22  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack sees all the major churches of Jesus divided between 'modernist-liberals' and 'conservative-traditionalists'. Some want to reinterpret God's bible to permit all kinds of things the church have always been against. Some want to protect key fundamental teachings as unchangeable.

The "evangelical" bit applies, in Jack's mind, to the approach to spreading God's Gospel. Liberal's are just as much evangelical as conservatives. Do we change the 2000 year old teachings of the church to make it more sellable or do we adopt a different approach to making the key messages better understood - or both? This then leads to a whole discussion about liturgy as well as doctrine and church leadership.

These are testing times for the Archbishop of Canterbury and also for the pope of the Catholic Church who, from what Jack has been reading, is facing the very same problems.

16 January 2014 at 13:46  
Blogger IanCad said...

Corrigan, @ 11:38

I have to disagree with your comment although there may be a degree of truth in it.

However, I must congratulate you on your unique and delightful turn of phrase.
It seems to come straight from the heart.
If you can speak as well as you write, then you should be an orator in some field or other.
A Carnival Barker maybe.

16 January 2014 at 14:01  
Blogger Martin said...

If Welby were Evangelical (note capitalisation) he would have also disassociated the CoE from the 'US Episcopal Church'.

16 January 2014 at 14:15  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

WindsorBloke, you are indeed labouring under a misapprehension. The idea that liberals, for example, preach the gospel when plenty of them deny such cardinal aspects of it as the divinity of the Lord Jesus and his bodily resurrection is frankly ludicrous.

16 January 2014 at 15:30  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...


No, the Church of England was an attempt to get Henry VIII out of an inconvenient marriage,

If you’re trying to put a spin on the English Reformation that puts Clement VII (Giulio de Medici) in a favourable light, you’ve set yourself an impossible task. The papacy at that time was under the thumb of the Hapsburgs, in the person of Charles V, who was Catherine of Aragon’s nephew. When Charles told the pope in no uncertain terms that annulling his aunt’s marriage to the king of England would be an unforgivable insult to Spain’s national pride, the pope obediently tugged his forelock and said, in effect, “Yes, Your Majesty, whatever you say, Your Majesty.”

Henry had every reason to assert that canon law was on his side. His brother-in-law Suffolk had repudiated a wife and his sister Margaret had repudiated a husband and both of them had married again under dispensations from the same Clement VII. It was only because Catherine of Aragon was a member of the Spanish royal family that the pope was too weak to grant Henry the annulment he wanted.

16 January 2014 at 15:32  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Corrigan

You underestimate the intellectual curiosity of Henry VIII. Erasmsus and Luther would have been read and pondered by all those with large libraries wanting to keep up with the latest thinking and the new revolutionary ways of seeing things.

The pragmatic needs of the nation, and Henry's increasing biliousness, lust, and craving for a male heir would only have been part of the equation at the time.

For all their unattractive qualities all those Tudors were real scholars and very proud of the fact, and knew why and what they stood for. Luther was winning over a number of German princes at the time, and a whole movement was starting, which Henry clearly had enough intellectual belief in to hop on board, which was also convenient for him. I think the two go together and that intellectual justifiability would have counted more for Henry than moral integrity, given the character of the man.

16 January 2014 at 15:41  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

16 January 2014 at 15:50  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Carl (Machiavelli) Jacobs

What if Welby did it because he liked the guy and wanted to restore some balance in Canterbury?

Dr Baucum is an American after all, so is unlikely to keep his opinions to himself.

I regard it as a very positive move. He may be a lone voice but Welby could do something about that also.


16 January 2014 at 15:53  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ happy jack
@ WindsorBloke

The appellations are used as much by those who are from other wings as they are by those within the wings, so "cheek" is not really appropriate, especially as the terms are sometimes initiated by those other wings!!

It IS justifiable to take note that many of these descriptions should apply to all Christians. Our faith should be evangelistic, catholic, and charismatic (as in
"characterised by the gifts of the Holy Spirit".) Depending on which raft of meanings you choose it arguably should also be "liberal".

However historically different emphases have had their emphasis become their descriptor. And if you go into a notably evangelical church you will hear different things stressed. I have, for a variety of reasons, worshipped in just about every colour of church within Anglicanism, and they really do emphasise different things.

And your average liberal middle of the road church really barely dips its toes into anything that might be termed evangelism, and certainly not in comparison to one that embraces the term. Largely because they are already busy with their own emphases, which may well be worthy in their own right. I think this is fair observation.

16 January 2014 at 16:05  
Blogger David Hussell said...

There are some interesting points of view above regarding the appointment. Carl Jacobs @ 12.48 may well have a point regarding the purpose of the appointment, but I'm sitting on the fence on that question, at present anyway.

I suppose anyone who accepts the role of Archbishop of Canterbury is very likely to seek to unite a deeply divided C of E and worldwide Anglican Communion.

But the problem is that, whereas before the present era, balancing the three tendencies of Liberal, Evangelical and Anglo-Catholic was yes, not easy but it was "doable"; whereas now the breadth and depth of theological dispute is far, far greater, and the list of topics around which disagreements swirl is extending as never before; and then we have totally new factors, like the very independent and new found confident thinking, albeit traditional, of the vast, expanding global south, expressed through Gafcon.

So the job of stitching it together is vastly more difficult. Not only has the worldwide communion fractured but one must ask, is it feasible to hold together the now very different theologies of the mother Church, the C of E ? And is it honest, and desirable to continue to shackle together such antagonistic factions ? Would a negotiated, amicable, unhurried separation be better ?

For myself I am less confident than I was that unity in the C of E is worth the price that we are all paying. So much energy is going into negotiating the disputes around female Bishops and the SS matters, etc, that insufficient remains to do what all Churches are primarily asked to do, which is to preach and teach the Gospel, offering the a better way of living, namely The Great Commission. Aren't we falling into the trap that "the opposition" would want us to tumble into, and thereby rendering ourselves ineffective ?

16 January 2014 at 16:39  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


Carl (Machiavelli) Jacobs

Wait. That's a bad thing, right?

Dr Baucum is an American after all, so is unlikely to keep his opinions to himself.

As the French would say, "Le Ouch!"



16 January 2014 at 18:06  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Sounds like a fine fellow. Has he met Giles Fraser yet ?

Personally, as an enthusiastic tobacco appreciator, one has yet to come across anything from Virginia to disagree with…

Carl. To reconcile, meaning of as below. Do be aware of definition number 2…. make (oneself or another) no longer opposed; cause to acquiesce in something unpleasant: she reconciled herself to poverty become friendly with (someone) after estrangement or to re-establish friendly relations between (two or more people) settle (a quarrel or difference) make (two apparently conflicting things) compatible or consistent with each other reconsecrate (a desecrated church, etc)

16 January 2014 at 18:30  
Blogger Dale Matson said...

"By making this appointment, Justin Welby is proffering the right hand of fellowship, which is the essential unifying heart of the man." This may be a well intended gesture but it is ill advised and increases division between TEC and ACNA, between member of ACNA and his own church. I may be wrong on this but he is only licensed in the ACNA and resident in the CoE.

16 January 2014 at 19:36  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


I just think that it should be viewed as a very positive appointment and we need to start the guy off with the glass half full rather than half empty at least.


PS I think that the American willingness to speak their minds is a great asset. E.g. Robert Gates this week.

16 January 2014 at 20:35  
Blogger bluedog said...

Sounds like an excellent appointment, Your Grace. If Justin Welby can start a counter-revolution that gets the TEC back on track, more power to him.

Corrigan - ROFL.

16 January 2014 at 21:23  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


It just isn't a coincidence that Justin Welby picked Dr Baucum to occupy this position from among all the clergy in ACNA. The AoC is publicly affirming Dr Baucum's position in the controversy Dr Baucum caused withion ACNA several month's back. That position tacitly undermines the rationale for the existence of ACNA. There would otherwise have been no reason for the AoC to reach out and select this particular American.

You always do better assuming the glass is half-empty. And cracked. And leaking. And laced with arsenic and ground glass. And surrounded by small hostile carnivorous birds. We realists are never disappointed.


16 January 2014 at 23:02  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

"We realists are never disappointed."

Like Caiaphas and Pilot, you mean?

17 January 2014 at 00:14  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Pilate even!

17 January 2014 at 00:16  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


They weren't realists. They were wild-eyed optimists who thought they could stubbornly resist the truth that was self-evidently displayed right before their eyes.


17 January 2014 at 01:09  
Blogger Happy Jack said...


On the contrary, neither were optimists. They put their own interests before their moral codes because they were fearful of not doing so.

17 January 2014 at 01:21  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


The "glass half-empty/half-full' is intended to separate optimists (people who expect the best) from pessimists (people who live in the real world.) You have the wrong context for realist.


17 January 2014 at 03:45  
Blogger Maxine Schell said...

Fr. Tory is not used to preaching to empty pews.q

17 January 2014 at 06:32  
Blogger David Hussell said...

The exercise of attempting to peer into the murky waters of Anglican organizational politics is a worthwhile one, but soon runs out of steam I feel, as its nature is essentially conjectural. However it will be very interesting to see how matters develop, if it all, in the wake of this appointment. But Welby is I suspect playing the long game, so we will need to be patient I suspect.

But moving on beyond organizational politics, and assuming that his sermons are recorded, then I for one look forward to hearing them.

Also to pick up the Phil Roberts point @ 20.35 I feel that it is a very good thing that Welby is demonstrating that those genuine, conservative Anglicans who have, for theological reasons, moved outside their national Anglican Churches, are deeply valued and respected, both theologically, and as historically authentic Anglicans.

The message from the appointment can be taken as downplaying the significance of formal organizational linkages, and emphasizing Anglican identity ? It points to Welby's affirmation of the most traditional stance that can possibly be taken, within the Anglican mind, to the possible chagrin of liberals.

As a corollary, does this tell us that Welby's "vision" for a future worldwide Anglicanism, is an exceedingly broad (struggling for words) coalition, comprising both those in formal "communion" as well as the partially separated, but nevertheless honoured Anglican "friends"? Is he here telling us that he is moving on beyond the splits that have, as a matter of fact, occurred to emphasize a community of Christians, all sharing Anglican genes in their identity, struggling forward as best as they can ?

Personally as a Christian, who happened to be born Anglican, I feel that Churches , being rooted here in human existence, as well as looking heavenwards, tend all too easily to focus on earthly things like denominational boundaries, forgetting that its really about much more than this.

Let us therefore welcome this American guest and see what we can learn from him, I say.

17 January 2014 at 08:41  
Blogger Len said...

'Christendom needs to be re-Christianized.'says Tory Baucum .

Well I certainly wouldn`t argue with that.And the only way to do that is to return to Biblical Christianity and if we can do that the Church will carry out the function that God intended for it which is to be 'salt' and 'light' to the World.
Compromise is killing the church and we need preachers who will uphold the truth of the Gospel without fear or reservation.
Our Christian foundations are under constant attack by the secular evolutionists and we do not need those within the Church walls to compromise with the World and its morals to try and make the church
more in accord with worldly values.

We need an ongoing reformation discarding all that is not of God and returning to our Christian foundation which is Christ.

'For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.'(1Corinthians 3:11)

17 January 2014 at 17:24  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


If only it was that easy.

Go on then Len.

Tell us in a few sentences in practical terms how we can lead the UK to salvation.

Do you really think that the Anglican Church deliberately preaches a "false gospel" in order to shoot itself in the foot?


17 January 2014 at 17:40  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


I don't see your problem.

In the interview below he speaks clearly about the issues he has with TEC and he is reaching out to them in love.

I think we all can learn from that approach


17 January 2014 at 17:55  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


If TEC does not represent a different religion, and Bishop Johnson is faithful to the true Gospel, then why does ACNA exist? Why don't all those churches return to TEC? That is the unstated question hoveriung beneath his settlement with the Diocese of Virginia.


17 January 2014 at 18:45  
Blogger Alto en chamade said...

DioVa is bad enough, DioWash is far worse and still digging. Want to see how bad? How about yoga and tai chi in the Cathedral nave? All in the name of bringing new people in:

17 January 2014 at 19:27  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


Bishop Johnson is not faithful to the Gospel. That is clear. However, Sites such as "Virtue on line" stating the following

"Fantasies die-hard. Time will reveal all, but to date there is not a single diocese in TEC, which has embraced TEC's pansexual agenda that has grown as a result. Not one. God can never go against His own character or revealed will. He can never bless what is clearly sinful behavior. Johnston is whistling Dixie."

This is simply not true a few mostly outside the US have grown. But more of interest the widely forecast collapse in numbers broadly has not happened. True the numbers have declined, but so have most denominations.

To simply dismiss the US Episcopal Church as "another religion" misses the point. Clearly they have strayed a long way from the Gospel but to argue that we should not have any contact with them, because of their sinful behaviour, does not seem to me to be a particularly intelligent or indeed a Christian response.


17 January 2014 at 20:13  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Phil R @ 20:13

From memory of an article I read, The US Episcopal Church had around 3.6 million in 1965.

By 2011, that had dropped to 1.9 million.

It seems to have been a steady attrition as the Church became more wayward from the 60's on. It also seems to be a faster percentage rate of decline than for US church attendance as a whole.

17 January 2014 at 20:50  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


I am surprised that that they still have 1900 never mind 1.9 million!

But still however many that do, why is this? Clearly someone still feels a need for the E Church message, whatever that may be

We need to decide/discover why that this is and why


17 January 2014 at 22:39  
Blogger The Explorer said...


It's probably a very generous definition of membership: ie attendance at church at Easter and Christmas qualifies you.

Why? Social one-upmanship, snobbery, habit, tradition, what your parents did, safety, timidity, ritual, nice buildings.

There may even be a believing remnant, but I'd imagine that those for whom a relationship with God matters have gone elsewhere or gone private.

17 January 2014 at 23:10  
Blogger Len said...

Phil Roberts (17 January 2014 17:40)

How do we get back to the Gospel as Jesus and the disciples preached was the question you probably wanted to ask?.
Well we discard all the rubbish that has been dumped upon the Gospel and get back to Biblical Christianity.

Not exactly rocket science.But you would need a magisterium to help you to confuse the issue.

17 January 2014 at 23:13  
Blogger Klavolt said...

"George Tedworth"

18 January 2014 at 00:54  
Blogger Klavolt said...

"George Tedworth"

18 January 2014 at 00:54  
Blogger Mike Stallard said...

I left the Anglican Church in 1989 because I reckoned it was morphing into the Methodist Church. Well, what I got wrong was that, like the Methodists, it would also split into warring factions!
Silly me!

18 January 2014 at 07:29  
Blogger Len said...

We can see the problem of Catholics working with any other denomination.
Catholics cannot change, they cannot get back to Biblical Christianity because how can they admit that their 'infallible' system has got it wrong?.

So anyone who wants to work in conjunction with Catholics will have to submit or at least acknowledge Catholic doctrines.
So bearing in mind compromise is killing the church where do we go from here?

The 'Church' is as it always will be a group of called out believers who exist not because of the church but despite it and they stand on the true foundation stone which is Christ alone.Christ will one day gather His Church and this will be the faithful from amongst the denominations and those sheep who follow only the One True Shepherd.

18 January 2014 at 09:12  
Blogger The Explorer said...


I agree that there are differences between Catholics and Protestants, and it is wrong to pretend that these do not exist, or don't matter. They do.

On the other hand, both groups (as a generality) agree that the Bible is inspired, that God is triune, that humanity is fallen, that Christ is god incarnate who died and rose again. Both agree about the Second Coming, last judgement and eternal separation.

Both groups sanctify marriage and the family, and encourage temperance and a spirit of self-sacrifice. Both are against murder, abortion, homosexuality, adultery, fornication and racism.

Although I am a Protestant, I am closer to a full-blooded Catholic than I am to an extreme liberal Protestant who doubts the inspiration of the Bible and the divinity of Christ because he/she doubts the existence of God in the first place.

18 January 2014 at 11:47  
Blogger Len said...

Explorer,Would it not be better to be closer to Christ than a denomination, and I include Catholicism as a denomination.

18 January 2014 at 14:21  
Blogger Len said...

Explorer, Lets face it they way things are going there is going to be a multi- faith Church and fundamentalist Christians (Bible believing Christians) will be classed as divisive and intolerant(just look at the comments I receive whenever 'Bible believing Christians' are mentioned )
I would like to illustrate this but 'Tony Pierce' has done a much better job of doings so than I could.
I hope HG will not mind if I give you this article which perfectly illustrates the situation;

18 January 2014 at 14:34  
Blogger Len said...

I believe that following a man is the main problem with denominations whether this be Luther Calvin the Pope Mohammed etc.
Why would we follow a mortal when we have the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is what i find incredible that anyone would chose to follow a mere mortal or group of mortals telling them what God 'really' meant to say when God said that through Jesus Christ we could speak to Him directly.
The people told Moses to go and hear what God had to say because they did not want to see God or hear from Him directly .Is this the problem with man today as well?.

18 January 2014 at 14:47  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Len,, you do make Happy Jack chuckle when you go off on one, 'cutting and thrusting' what you call 'religion'. Jack says when you said this you are doing the very same as all those you are moaning about:

"This is what i find incredible that anyone would chose to follow a mere mortal or group of mortals telling them what God 'really' meant to say when God said that through Jesus Christ we could speak to Him directly."

Jack says it must be very annoying for you when people choose to join church communities where they have common beliefs about God and worship Jesus together.

18 January 2014 at 15:07  
Blogger The Explorer said...


You do, of course, have a good point.

When people tried to pin Bunyan down as to what he was, he refused. He preferred to define himself as 'Christian'.

18 January 2014 at 15:23  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


How do you define 'fundamentalist' and 'Bible-believing?' The former has a broad semantic range in current usage. It seems like you use the word the same way an independent fundamentalist Baptist would use it, but I am not sure. I also get the vague impression from you that people can believe the Bible without being 'Bible Believing.' So I thought I would ask.


18 January 2014 at 15:49  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Len, Happy Jack is interested in reading your reply to Carl.

While waiting for this Jack has been researching and notes you spelt the name of Tony Pearce wrong. He has read some of the stuff on this man's website about the 'Bridge Lane Christian Fellowship'. Jack found some of it very interesting too.

This man is a "mere mortal" and so are the members of his group. On another website he releases monthly "prophecies" and speaks about his own understanding of the bible. Pretty confident he is too. Do you "follow" him them and are you a member of this "fellowship" of worshippers - or should that be "denomination".

18 January 2014 at 17:42  
Blogger Len said...

Spelling was never my strong point Jack.

The Holy spirit will lead believers into the truth.
John 16:13)

' But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.(John 16:13)

When old time railway engineers used to test train wheels to see if any were loose or damaged they would hit them with a hammer to see if they 'rang true' or not.

The Holy Spirit does the same (less the hammer)to those who look to Him for guidance.

I also am a mere mortal and know my failings that is why I do not take guidance from another mere mortal.

18 January 2014 at 20:11  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Len @ 20:11

In 'Romans' 12 and 'I Corinthians' 12:28, "teaching" is mentioned as a gift of the Spirit.

That suggests to me (it's not just about education generally) that some are particularly blessed with the ability to communicate biblical truth to others.

Recently, I sat down and re-read 'Hebrews'. I found it hard going, despite previous acquaintance. It seemed to me full of non-sequiturs.

A commentary illuminated for me much that I had missed. I regard the author as one given teaching ability as his gift of the Spirit.

18 January 2014 at 20:33  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Explorer, Happy Jack suggests there may well be other commentaries offering alternative and contradictory insights. Biblical truth can be elusive.

18 January 2014 at 21:52  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Len, Happy Jack asks how this can accurate: "I also am a mere mortal and know my failings that is why I do not take guidance from another mere mortal"?

You did not make up your all your ideas out of thin air, now did you? These opinions of yours are all based on the words and interpretations and teachings of other mere mortal men who you are inclined to follow.

18 January 2014 at 21:59  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Happy Jack:

Yes, and the Bible also speaks of false teachers, and of the need to use discernment.

I select my commentaries carefully: by series editor, and by academic and spiritual qualifications of the author. They are guides, but not a final authority.

Using those benchmarks, I have found them helpful.

19 January 2014 at 07:39  
Blogger The Explorer said...


A for instance.

I read two commentaries on 'The Gospel of Thomas'.

The first argued that 'Thomas' was written at the same time as 'Mark', but was unfairly excluded from the canon because of the agenda of those compiling it. It was all conspiracy theory, with no facts to back up the assertions.

The other noted that Thomas draws on the Diatessaron of Tatian, compiled around 164 AD. It considered in careful linguistic detail whether 'Thomas' had originally been written in Greek or Syriac. It examined translation patterns between the two languages, the rise of Syrian Christianity, and the history of gnostic thought.

19 January 2014 at 08:20  
Blogger Len said...

Jack you seem to be taking the route which has led to the rejection of Christianity by the majority of
people in the UK and further afield.
You seem to be implying that I pluck 'ideas' out of the air (I am not sure how you arrived at that conclusion?.)
Now which is true the Word of God or the Word of man?.

The Bible was given to us so that we would know the Word of God.
The Living Word(Jesus Christ) testified to the Written Word.This is the testimony of two witnesses.

This is a fundamental principal.

Now if we discard everything which cannot be verified(testified by) either the written or the living word we will arrive at the Truth.

We see in Catholicism and other cults 'ideas' which HAVE been plucked out of the air and added to their theology.None of these Catholic 'ideas' can be verified by the Written or the Living Word(unless one performs some ecclesiastical gymnastics) so these can only be errors or deliberate deceptions.Catholics call these their 'traditions' but since oral traditions were exactly that none of these can be verified so cannot be included legitimately in ones theology.

The secular world has attacked the foundation of Christianity by discrediting the Biblical Genesis account so now even Christians use the word of man to interpret the Word of God.

So unless we Christians go back and stand on the fundamentals of the Word of God and the One True Foundation which is Christ Christianity will lose all credibility with a generation indoctrinated into secular humanist agenda which treats the Word of God as' a fairy tale '.

The original agenda of Satan was to get us to doubt the integrity of the Word of God and that agenda has not changed.

19 January 2014 at 10:06  
Blogger Len said...

God sent out his Written Word to testify to the living Word when He appeared .
This is easily verified.The 'proof' that atheists demand but will not look at.

19 January 2014 at 10:38  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Len, Happy Jack was not suggesting this at all - "You seem to be implying that I pluck 'ideas' out of the air (I am not sure how you arrived at that conclusion?.)" Jack was saying quite the opposite.

The ideas you hold and keep repeating here about 'religion' are not original ideas at all. They come from other "mere mortal men" who read and interpret the bible and history of Christianity one way. Jack has read so many different commentaries on the Book of Roman's, for example, that it makes his head spin.

Jack agrees with Explorer that God gives different gifts to different people in His Church and some are better than others at understanding and teaching about the bible.

19 January 2014 at 15:05  
Blogger Len said...

Jack, God is not the author of confusion .I believe God gave us his Word in a way that we can understand (wouldn`t be much point otherwise?)

I agree interpretation is not always easy and I have found the more Bible commentaries I read the greater the confusion.That is why I believe in going back to the basics.
The early church had a much simpler and a far more powerful faith than the Church seems to have today.The faith amongst recent converts in hostile countries seems also to be far greater.
Christianity has been greatly weakened by adding adding a' Greek thinking' approach to Christianity.
1 Corinthians 1:22-25

" Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength".(1Corinthians 1:22)

So if we approach the Word of God with a 'Greek Mindset' we will not understand the Gospel and will get more and more confused.
If we read the Bible with the help of the holy Spirit He will 'illuminate' verses for us.He will confirm the Truth as we read.
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.(John 16:13)

It is a grave mistake also to read the Bible through' evolutionists spectacles' and to try and make the Bible conform to the Word of man .
It has been said that when you read the bible the Bible reads you I believe this is true in many respects.

20 January 2014 at 10:49  

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