Sunday, April 8, 2018

In The Land Of Welby's Chinos

Far-sighted readers of this popular theology blog will remember John Davies, the recently appointed Anglican Archbishop of Wales. When asked by the BBC before Easter if he believed in the bodily resurrection of Christ, the prelate replied, "I don't think any of us actually knows, frankly."

At least Davies is honest about his mild mannered, Athenaeum Club style apostasy, and you can imagine it unfolding in the dining room of the place with a glass of after Synod, after lunch port with his atheist friends, as  a ghostly Fr. Brindley chokes on his claret. But where does this leave us? 

If Christians don't know if Christ rose bodily from the dead then they're not sure that He beat death, they're not sure if the Apostles were deluded and the Gospel a fraud. For that matter, they're not sure if Jesus is God and, for this Welsh school of semi-theology, they don't know if the whole thing stops with the Cross, which has the unfortunate effect of turning Christianity into a sinister death cult.

The 19th and early 20th century Scottish preacher, Alexander MacLaren, has this to say. Take heed, Davies, and everyone else.

You have the cross rising there, gaunt, black, solitary. But unless on the other side of the river you have the resurrection, no bridge will ever be thrown across the gulf, and the cross remains dead, being alone. You must have a resurrection to explain the cross, and then the life and the death tower up into the manifestation of God in the flesh and the propitiation for our sins. Without it, we have nothing to preach which is worth calling the gospel.
If he whom we believed to be our sacrifice by his death and our sanctification by his life has not risen, then all which makes his death other than a martyr's vanishes, and with it vanish forgiveness and purifying. Only when we recognize that in his cross explained by his resurrection we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins, and by the communion of the risen life from the risen Lord possess that new nature which sets us free from the dominion of our evil. Then is faith operative in setting us free from our sins.

Then there's St. Paul (1 Cor15: 12-19).

Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

Of all men most miserable. With the image of Archbishop Davies in your mind, picture another doubter, Thomas, who reached out and touched the wounds of Christ. "My Lord and my God," said the Apostle. We stand for that, here in the Diocese of Fort Worth, however imperfectly.

Archbishop Davies was last seen above the skies of Haverfordwest, Pembrokshire, in the land of Welby's Chinos.

God bless,



LL said...

The truth still stands while the pederasts dither, fearful of judgment for what they have done.

If you are an archbishop and have no testimony of the divinity of Jesus Christ or of his resurrection from the dead, what does that make you?

Adrienne said...

His being an archbishop is what my hubby would call a "good gig." Sit around and pontificate while someone else pays all your bills. The rode to hell and all that...

(Wow - scare quotes and an ellipsis. Life is good!)

LSP said...

Good question, LL, and they wonder why they're not making converts, so they double down.It seems obvious to them that the less they believe, the more disbelieving people will go to church.

This tactic hasn't been working. Is it Mantid driven?

LSP said...

Adrienne, the Archbishop is an "inspiration" to us all...

Gotta love scare quotes and a sturdy ellipsis.

There's something especially bad about a disbelieving bishop, I always think.

Jules said...

Anyone who chokes on Claret loses my total respect.

LSP said...

Juliette, I'm not against the Athenaeum, I'm really not. But an apostate bishop is hard to swallow.

Claret rules.