Item description for The Thirty-nine Articles: Their Place and Use Today by J. I. Packer & R. T. Beckwith...
Anglicanism, according to J.?I. Packer, possesses "the truest, wisest and potentially richest heritage in all Christendom" with the Thirty-nine Articles at its heart. They catch the substance and spirit of biblical Christianity superbly well, and also provide an excellent model of how to confess the faith in a divided Christendom. In this concise study, Packer aims to show how the sixteenth-century Articles should be viewed in the twenty-first century, and how they can enrich the faith of Anglicans in general and of Anglican evangelicals in particular. He demonstrates why the Articles must once again be given a voice within the Church, not merely as an historical curiosity but an authoritative doctrinal statement. A thought-provoking appendix by Roger Beckwith offers seventeen Supplementary Articles, addressing theological issues which have come into prominence since the original Articles were composed. J.?I. Packer is Board of Governors' Professor of Theology at Regent College, Vancouver. Amongst his many best-selling books are Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God (1961), Knowing God (1973), Keep in Step with the Spirit (1984), and Among God's Giants (1991). Roger Beckwith was librarian and warden of Latimer House, Oxford for more than thirty years. His recent books include Elders in Every City (2003) and Calendar, Chronology and Worship (2005).
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Studio: Regent College Publishing
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 0.22" Weight: 0.36 lbs.
Release Date Jul 21, 2007
Publisher Regent College Publishing
ISBN 1573834130 ISBN13 9781573834131
Availability 119 units. Availability accurate as of Mar 25, 2017 03:42.
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More About J. I. Packer & R. T. Beckwith
J. I. Packer (DPhil, Oxford University) serves as the Board of Governors' Professor of Theology at Regent College. He is the author of numerous books, including the classic best-seller Knowing God. Packer served as general editor for the English Standard Version Bible and as theological editor for the ESV Study Bible.
J. I. Packer currently resides in Vancouver, BC.
J. I. Packer has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Thirty-nine Articles: Their Place and Use Today?
Making Sense of Anglicanism Aug 2, 2008
The Thirty-nine Articles of Religion probably stood the English Church in good stead until the late nineteenth century. There are so many interpretations of these Articles that my head spins. The Broad Church folks argue the Articles were never intended to be the Church's Confession in the way that the Augsburg Confession or the Westminster Confession function for Lutherans and the Reformed respectively. The High Church Anglicans began to read the Articles as if they were in agreement with the Council of Trent since John Henry Newman's famous Tract Number 90. The Low Church Anglicans have sought to read the Articles in their historically intended sense as being indicative of a very Reformed Catholic tradition inside a very Protestant tradition. J.I. Packer is certainly in the last category and argues that the Articles must be revived for today. His argument strikes me as quixotic since it is highly unlikely that the Broad and High Church traditions are going to turn back the clock and become Low Church Protestants. That said, I found it helpful to find out W.H. Griffith Thomas's exposition of the Articles is Low Church Protestant while Gibson's is liberal Catholic. Packer was most helpful in helping me get a better grasp of the three major traditions inside Anglicanism.
A Lament Over Indifference May 21, 2008
Packer's book on the Articles of Religion is not a study of the articles themselves but a lament over their disuse and the attitude of indifference toward them that seems to pervade Anglicanism. The result as Anglicanism has developed over the last 175 years or so is an increasing pluralism of beliefs within Anglicanism and a doctrinal "incoherence" unparalleled in mainline protestantism.
The book begins by simply reprinting the Articles without comment. Packer then speaks of the "silence" of the Articles in present Anglican life. They have simply been muffled and shunted aside. He recounts their history briefly, grounding the 39 Articles solidly in the Reformation. He makes mention of the erosion of the need for subscription to the articles, the various ways they have been "interpreted" in latitudinarian and Anglo-Catholic circles and laments that fewer and fewer Anglican provinces pay any significant attention to what was once a doctrinal statement which held what Packer refers to as essentially creedal status within the church of England.
Packer insists that doctrinal statements and creeds are necessary because we live in a divided Christendom - that is - churches need statements which identify where they stand. Failing to lay out a clear theology, in Packer's view, actually works against ecumenical dialogue and not for it. Lack of clarity only breeds confusion, not unity. Anglicanism, as stated by the Articles of Religion, is firmly committed to both the authority of scripture and the three creeds of Christendom. As such, the articles state a Christianity that is both reformed and historical, and as such the articles express a rich heritage.
Where the Anglican communion has drifted is in its commitment to Scripture as the final authority and its commitment to salvation by faith alone. Roger Beckwith's appendix articulates a few recent clarifications that might supplement the Articles regarding historic and evangelical Anglican belief. Packer and Beckwith both stand against the view that sacraments operate apart from faith, as one example of a creeping reinterpretation of a central Anglican principle. One wonders if Packer's stinging critique of recent moves toward a catholic and semi-sacrificial view of the Eucharist raised much attention when the book was written decades ago. Roger Beckwith's contribution suggests that such a sacrificial understanding of the Eucharist overturns the very foundations of Christianity, a stinging rebuke to many liturgical alterations in recent decades.
Anglicanism has become a broad tent with Evangelicals in the minority, liberal revisionists attempting to steer the entire communion toward a humanistic relativism and those sympathetic to more Catholic beliefs pulling the communion in a third direction. Most Anglicans seem to float between the three views oblivious to the differences between them. Both of the latter seem to be willing to discard, reinterpret or ignore the 39 Articles of Religion as a doctrinal statement and advance a particular agenda in spite of them. The result is no consistent or coherent theology that can lay claim to being the official Anglican position on many, many issues. Packer's case is that the Articles need to be returned to their status as a statement of faith Anglicans should subscribe to. It makes sense, because the alternative is the dissaray that Anglicanism is currently experiencing.