Essays On Chiliasm (Part 7)

   Let us now ask, what is the true significance of these “living waters” which shall break forth over all the earth?  Do they simply mean the blessings of the Spirit, or something more substantial?  Commentators are at variance, however the Chiliast view tends to look at the waters in a dual sense: for man is composed of both body and soul, and Christ saves and heals both.  Ambrose of Milan takes the spiritual view, when he writes: “There is certainly the River proceeding from the Throne of God, that is, the Holy Spirit, Whom he drinks who believes in Christ, as He Himself says: ‘If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink.  He that believeth on me, as saith the Scriptures, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.’ But this spoke He of the Spirit.  Therefore, the River is the Spirit.”  (On the Holy Spirit, III. xx). 

   This view is tenable, only if we restrict ourselves to an allegorical interpretation.  But, say we, the waters must have a more substantial significance– spiritual blessings in this age, we agree, but fuller blessings in the age to come.  For the Spirit is the “earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession” (Eph. 1: 14). 

   It is recommended that we go back to that phrase, “restitution of all things.”  Remember once more, that Adam was in his natural body when he was placed in Paradise.  Remember, too, that a river went out from Eden to water the garden (Gen. 2: 10).  A true restitution of Paradise must include real, and not allegorical waters.  If restoration simply involves men having access to heaven, then why didn’t God create man and place him in heaven at the very first?  But He made him of the clay of the earth, and placed him in Paradise, on earth.  Restitution, then, can only be fulfilled when man is restored to Paradise on earth.  This is the redemption.  Hence the term, “new heavens and new earth.”  Because the earth was cursed on account of sin, it too must be restored and redeemed.

   And once again, we believe that the Millennium forms the beginning of this “new heavens and new earth.”  As regeneration is the commencement of the eternal life of the believer, so Christ speaks of a regeneration of the world (Matt. 19: 28), which shall form the beginning of the permanent and eternal heavens and earth, where Christ shall rule and reign with His saints forever.  And thus we find that when Christ returns to reign, living waters rush forth from Jerusalem to fill the entire earth.  That is, when He comes, He shall return to exactly the same place whence He left–the Mount of Olives.  And this may be easily inferred from Acts 1: 11, where, after Christ’s ascension, the angels tell His disciples: “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?  This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.”  As a cloud received Him (Acts 1: 9), so He shall come with clouds (Rev. 1: 7).  And, as He ascended from the Mount of Olives, so He shall return thither.

   And this is corroborated in Zechariah 14: 4, where the prophet writes: “And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.”  And then he writes: “And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and winter shall it be” (Zech. 14: 8).  This passage will be fulfilled when the Lord is “King over all the earth” (Zech. 14: 9; cf. Rev. 11: 15).  And so the prophet’s vision, which corresponds with the message of the angels, precludes any kind of allegorizing.  For Christ has never appeared “in like manner,” with His feet on the Mount of Olives.  And if these events, then, be perceived as future, the living waters must also be seen as future.  Hence they have a deeper significance than what pertains to the soul alone.

   Of course, all these verses of Christ’s ‘coming back’ to reign can only be understood as pertaining to the earth.  For if He were already here, what need would there be for His coming back?  But since He left, it is obvious that He must return.  And as He lived and walked among us once, it is a sure hope that we have of His coming back to dwell among us again.  And, indeed, we cannot argue with anyone who claims that Christ is ruling from Zion now, for His city is where He is.  “The Lord hath prepared His throne in the heavens; and His kingdom ruleth over all” (Ps. 103: 19).  Nevertheless, because all things in heaven and earth are placed under His authority (Matt. 28: 18), this does not mean that His will is being effected on earth.  That is far from the case, as the wicked still persecute the righteous, and the tabernacles of robbers prosper (Job 12: 6).  However, we are taught to pray for a time when His will shall be done on earth, even as it is done in heaven (Matt. 6: 10).  And when He comes, He will execute His will, destroy the transgressors, and establish His everlasting city among us.  At that time the living waters shall break forth over all the earth.

   Once again, John sees the New Jerusalem descending to earth (Rev. 21: 2-3), and being placed in the midst of all mankind.  If there will be a real city, then there shall also be real living waters.  But some people doubt that there will be a real and tangible city.  Well, if they think so, they must be prepared to refute John’s vision.  Nevertheless, there are other passages in Scripture which prove that Christ will reign on earth from a visible city. 

   (Psalm 48: 1-5) “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness.  Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the Great King.”

   (Psalm 48: 12-13) “Walk about Zion, and go around about her: tell the towers thereof.  Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following.”

   This city is so substantial, that kings who pass by it are troubled, and haste away (Ps. 48: 4-5). Is it likely that one would run away from an invisible and ethereal city located in heaven?  Certainly not.  Also, how does one count the towers and bulwarks of an invisible city?  Obviously, the Psalmist is talking of a real city.  Besides, the heavenly city during the present administration is described as being built; and it is impossible to count the bulwarks and towers under its construction is complete.  Nevertheless, “When the Lord shall build up Zion, He shall appear in His glory” (Ps. 102: 16); that is, when the city is completed, and the full number of saints have been gathered into Christ, the Lord shall return in glory and establish His heavenly city for all the saints to dwell in.  As this will be a visible and glorious event (Ps. 97: 4; cf. Matt. 24: 27), all the kings of the nations will tremble when they see it fulfilled.  For “The Lord hath hath made known His salvation: His righteousness hath He openly showed in the sight of the heathen” (Ps. 98: 2). 

   At Christ’s glorious advent, we believe there will be a destruction of the nations that gathered together to prevent His return, a general resurrection of the saints, and a permanent establishment of the New Jerusalem in the midst of the earth, that the remnant of men may come and see the glory of the Lord, and to do homage to Christ the Everlasting King.  Then will commence a one thousand year period of renewed grace wherein all nations will be given a chance of everlasting salvation.  Our Lord’s reign will result in a universal period of peace, when all wars will cease upon the earth.  “Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations He hath made in the earth.  He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh he bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; He burneth the chariot in the fire” (Ps. 46: 8-9).  The prophet Micah also confirms this period of worldwide peace. “And He shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plough-shares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Micah 4: 3; cf. Isaiah 2: 4). Nations will no longer lift their hands against Christ, but will meekly come to Jerusalem, bringing Him presents (Ps. 68: 29). 

   This is the era which all God’s saints long and hope for.  And we long, also, to see the living waters break forth upon the whole earth. But I have said that the living waters must represent something real, pertaining to the earth.  And anyone who simply looks at Ezekiel’s vision will concede that this is so (Ezek. 47: 1-10).  For if the temple is located on earth, then the living waters must be of an earthly nature.  And that the temple is located on earth is clearly seen in that sacrifices are administered, as well as statutes kept.  When is this temple established?  Well, certainly when Christ leaves the Holy Place, after He has consummated atonement (Heb. 9: 24-28).

   For Ezekiel sees Christ enter the temple by the east gate (Ezek. 43: 2-4), after which the Lord tells him, “Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcasses of their kings in their high places” (Ezek. 43: 7).  This cannot refer to Herod’s temple, for Christ Himself drove defilers forth from it.  And as that temple was later destroyed by the Romans, and has never since been re-built, it is plain that Ezekiel’s vision relates to a future temple–the same, in fact, that John describes in the Apocalypse.  The place will be holy, because in the resurrection of the just, we shall be “holy, and without blemish” (Eph. 5: 27) and conformed to the image of Christ.  I would imagine that the glorified saints are the “priests” who will minister before God (Ezek. 44: 15-16).  For John says that in the first resurrection, “They shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him for a thousand years” (Rev. 20: 6).

   To sum things up, then: there will be a personal and visible reign of Christ; a real resurrection; a real reign of peace; and a tangible and visible city, the New Jerusalem, from which living waters shall flow.  Ezekiel sees these living waters issuing from under the threshold of the house eastward (Ezekiel 47: 1).  And as the waters proceed on their way, they get deeper and deeper, until they become a river that cannot be passed over.  This river “will issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed.  And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, withersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed: and every thing shall live wither the river cometh (Ezek. 47: 8). 

   Isaiah also refers to the same city with its living waters.  For he writes: “Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle which shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken.  But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby” (Isaiah 33: 20-21).  He says, ‘thine eyes shall see this city.’  Thus, we cannot agree with those who allegorize these prophecies.  Their views may constitute spiritual application, but not true interpretation. 

   It is clear to me that these “living waters” are the restoration of the river of Eden.  And the Psalmist, seeing this in vision, writes: “There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the Holy Place of the tabernacles of the Most High” (Ps. 46: 4).  As the original river of Eden parted into four heads to water all the land round about (Gen. 2: 10-14), so the river which John describes as issuing from the throne of God in the New Jerusalem (Rev. 22: 1-2), and which Ezekiel sees issuing from the east gate of the Third Temple, waters all the lands wither it comes.  These waters shall bring health and healing to the sin-accursed earth; and the curse and defilement of the world (Isaiah 24: 5) shall be washed away.  And thus will be the renewal, or regeneration, of the world.  Of course, these waters will be vastly superior to anything that man can conceive of.  They will contain spiritual properties of health and healing; wherefore Ezekiel speaks of the great number of fishes.  For wherever the waters shall come, life will flourish.

To be continued…

17 Comments Add yours

  1. irishanglican says:

    Historic Pre-Mill eh? What do think God wants to show in the Millennium? And why the failure at the end? Why is evil allowed such? God is not dualist. I know these are not easy question

    Fr. Robert

  2. Robert,

    AS I understand it, the Millennium will be a manifestation of God’s righteous government in the eyes of all nations. I don’t see any major failure at the end. The final uprising of Gog & Magog is also taught by A-Mil & Post-Mil Christians. All systems of eschatology have to explain this.

    I’m just going by the teachings of the early church. Apparently, since you are a ‘Father,’ you must be a high churchman. As such, you ought to pay great deference to the teachings of the historic Christian church. Much more so than people who just pick up a Bible and teach ‘any old thang.’

    From a historical/traditional perspective, all of my cards are in perfect order.

    Peace & Health,

    Brian

  3. irishanglican says:

    Hey Brian,

    Yes indeed the Apostolic Fathers were kinda split on this question. Do you have Charles E. Hill’s book: Regnum Caelorum – Patterns of Millennial Thought in Early Christianity? I am on the run or fly as they say now. Will write a bit more later.

    Sincerely In Christ,
    Fr. Robert

  4. irishanglican says:

    Brian,
    Lactantius died in 325. I do know that Constantine made him tutor to his son Crispus. And he did receive instructions from Lactantius. And was later under his influence somewhat.

    If Lactantius was Chiliast? The Council of Nicaea as a whole was not. I have not found mention of such? If you can give me chapter and verse please? Remember the Council was Eastern, and later of course the East rejected Chiliasm.

    I knew JC Ryle might be historic pre-Mill? Ryle was not a full fiver to Calvinism either.

    I have always been interested in both early Chiliasm and modern historic Pre-Mill. My great gram, died when I was 16 (in Ireland..I am Irish born and somewhat bred, but my higher and theological education is English – D. Phil., Th.D.), she was among those called Plymouth Brethren, the ‘Kelly’ Brethren (so-called. And my middle name.) So I am not unfamillar with some aspect to this later form of Pre-Mill, and also Dispensationalism, etc. Of course I reject the latter.

    Again, I could be wrong? But you would have to give me a soild historical quote on this. And again, if you have not read Hill’s book? It is a must read!

    Sincerely In Christ,
    Fr. Robert

  5. Hi Robert,

    Thanks for letting me know about Charles Hill’s book. I’ll definitely check it out.

    As for the Chiliasm of the Nicene Council, I only found one quote in an old obscure publication called “Quarterly Journal of Prophecy,” put out by English Calvinists in the 1840’s. I’ve included the whole quote here:

    http://chiliasm.wordpress.com/2008/06/07/the-nicene-council-endorsed-chiliasm/

    Of course it doesn’t say anything about the ‘1000 years,’ but it holds to the view that the “meek shall inherit the earth” and that the saints will reign with Christ on earth. I suppose this could be construed as A-Millennial. But I was always led to view Augustine as the founder of that system.

    At any rate, the Chiliasm of Lactantius tells us that the doctrine was commonly received at the time. Plus it was highly honored among the North African churches in general. Cyprian says nothing explicit about the ‘1000 years,’ but he mentions “reigning with Christ” on earth.

    Oh, I fully agree that Dispensationalism is wrong. Whatever I believe is fully in keeping with the Chiliasm of the Nicene era.

    Peace & Health,

    Brian

  6. irishanglican says:

    Hey Brian,

    Rather than quote pieces of Hill’s book, I will let you try and check it out. And Lactantuis, if you check him out on line, he also was considered a “poor theologian” (Jerome). And one source calls him ‘polished rather than profound’. He is certainly is not a good historical argument. Irenaeus would be much better. Again I would point you to Hill’s book, and let you discover his full and very good work.

    As to your quote from the English Calvinists, this is rather weak in my opinion. One thing is certain, the East rejected Chiliasm! This is common history and knowledge with the Orthodox Church. 2 Clement: “And because of this, divine judgment has injured a spirit which is not righteous and has laden it with chains. (20:4) This would be a non-chiliastic exegesis of sorts to Rev.20.

    Sorry, I am very busy. I will try maybe later to post more.

    Fr. Robert

  7. irishanglican says:

    Brian,
    Let me recommend a few good books if you are going to understand Nicaea: The Road to Nicaea, by John A. McGuckin. And also the classic work by JND Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines. Also McGuckin is an authority on Nicaea, with also his book: Saint Cyril of Alexandria and the Christological Controversy.

    I am myself, more in line with the Idealist position of the Book of Revelation. I have found no better work than the NIGTC, The Book of Revelation, by G. K. (Kelly) Beale. This I think will become the classic on this position for years to come! And it came out in 1999. (I am into my 50’s like Beale).

    Fr. Robert

  8. Hi Robert,

    Thanks for those book-recommendations. Admittedly, I am not much of an adherent to the Idealist position. However, it doesn’t mean I may not derive some advantage from Beale’s book. I hold to a Futurist interpretation of the Apocalypse, which teaches that these events belong to the last seven years of the present age.

    As for Lactantius, I don’t know.. I’ve studied his “Divine Institutes” with much diligence, & have to say that I’ve found him a very good theologian. Especially in Book IV where he sets down the Divinity of Christ. He was a very knowledgeable man, though he of course spent the bulk of his career combating the errors of heathen philosophers.

    At any rate, I tend to follow a more literal (or should I say natural?) method of Biblical interpretation. When reading Scripture I have to place myself in the shoes of Galillean fishermen & tentmakers. I guess I am not much of philosopher. But that doesn’t harm my faith. On the contrary, my faith is stronger now than it ever was!

    Peace & Health,

    Brian

  9. irishanglican says:

    Brian,

    Hey mate, I was not trying to make you an Idealist, just passing along information. I can appreciate an honest pre-mill position: Bengel, Spurgeon, Ladd, GNH Peters, etc. Though perhaps the biblical seal against this position for me is 2 Peter chapter 3. I just don’t see how one can fit a literal Millennial in there? And verse eight seems to help very much in understanding any use of the thousand years. It most certainly is exegetically symbolic and a figure there.

    As to Lactantius, I have read him in Latin a bit. He was polished as a Latin writer, as they call him..a “Christian Cicero”. But he does not represent the best in a Church Father for sure. If you note, he has almost no knowledge of the Scripture! He was decent, as you say, with argument with the pagans of his day. And he is only quoted as a Chiliast. Not much content there. By the way, another good read on early Christian history, is JND Kelley’s classic work: Early Christian Doctrines. I met him when I was younger, a great scholar..(RIP). He has a nice book on Jerome also.

    The futurist position of the book of Revelation? Save his dispensational ideas, EW Bullinger’s Commentary on Revelation is rather profound at times. His premise, it being the Day of the Lord! Again, taking away his overt dispensational thoughts, he has some good insight. But, one must follow the presupposition of the futurist position. If you can get a copy of Hill’s book? I think it will be helpful for you. At least it will add to your historical knowledge.

    The last seven years, being a literal hermeneutic? I found this very hard with the NT witness as to anti-christ, being present then. (See, 1 John 2:18;22 / chap.4:3 / 2 John 7). It seems to me the real issue with anit-christ, is the denial of Christ and the Incarnation. What could be worse, than to misunderstand and misrepresent the beauty of Christ, His person and thus work!

    Finally for me, the most natural NT hermeneutic would be the typological. See, 1 Cor.10:1-15, St. John 2:19-22, etc. This appears to be the method of the whole NT, etc.

    God Bless,
    Fr. Robert

  10. Hi Robert,

    I’ll definitely try to obtain a copy of Hill’s book. Hopefully he won’t be as hard on Chiliasm as other “Reformed” scholars I’ve read. I take it he’s “Ah-Millennial.”

    Lactantius struck me as having quite a bit of Scripture knowledge, though he doesn’t always use it. As he himself stated, when dealing with philosophers we should try to refute them by their own authorities first, and bring in Scripture afterward. True, he doesn’t use a lot of citations. Nevertheless, I found certain sections of Divine Institues (especially Book IV) very rich in theological understanding.

    Book VII brings out his Chiliasm. He states that the world will be renewed for 1000 years, and afterward there will be a general judgment & “New Heavens and Earth.” I follow the exact same eschatology he does. I’ve already rummaged through Irenaeus, and love him as much as the Christian Cicero. Then there are Commodian & Tertullian!

    I always understood Antichrist as a single individual who comes at the end of the present age to “sum up in himself all iniquity and apostasy.” Once again, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Cyril of Jerusalem– even John of Damascus–have all taught important truths regarding this individual. I would say they had it right on the money. Although the antichristian spirit has always been working, there must be one person who acts as Satan’s ambassador and vicegerent on earth.

    What is your frank opinion of Papa Benedetto?

    Peace & Health,

    Brian

  11. irishanglican says:

    Brian,

    First, on the prophetic? You could be right? I try to be pliable on eschatological things. One thing is certain, the world is getting worse overall, good and evil go down until the end! Though I do not believe that evil has any lasting ontology, in the end it is negation. Like CS Lewis, I think hell will be self chosen, and very alone…without God’s presence. I am close to the E. Orthodox here. I hope this does not stumble you? For I have seen evil here on this earth, I was a Royal Marine Recon officer in Gulf War 1, etc. And my younger brother was an American Marine. (He still lives in the USA)

    Have you read Augustine much? I have myself, but I can see his weakness also. I am really more of a NT Pauline type. And I love the Letter to the Hebrews also. I written on 1 Peter also. And I must also confess I love the NT Johannine gospel and letters! But Revelation is in a class by itself to me. The scrip and book is very liturgical in places.

    As to Benedict, he is a western theolog, but I fear not such a good man and pope as John Paul II. My wife is German born and was raised Catholic, so I must be careful! lol

    Take care mate.

    Fr. Robert

  12. Hi Robert,

    Yes, I’ve read some Augustine. I’ve got 8 volumes of his sermons & treatises, but have barely made a dent in them!

    Oh, I was raised a Roman Catholic, too, so I’m not completely against everything they teach.

    I’d be interested some day to attend an Episcopal church, as they seem to place a greater emphasis on historical Christianity.

    That’s interesting about your Gulf War service. I’m sure you’ve seen some horrors. My grandfather was in WWII and he never talks about his experiences.

    I agree that evil in the world is growing. Perhaps this could be the “falling away” predicted by Christ & His apostles?

    Peace & Health,

    Brian

  13. irishanglican says:

    Hey Brian,

    I am not sure I mentioned it? But I was raised Irish RC myself. And in my early 20’s I spent a few years as a Benedictine monsatic. Over a year of that was in Rome also in the Pontifical Institute. But during that time I lost my faith and belief in the papacy. Then later after I left I had a classic Augustinian conversion. Just part of my life and journey.

    Do you still have any Catholic belief about Mary, etc.? I still hold and believe in her place as Theotokos…Ecumenical Council of Ephesus (431). And I would be near the E. Orthodox on her also. As you perhaps know? Calvin as most the 16th and 17th century Reformed held to her position as Theotokos – God bearer.

    Sadly, the American Episcopal Church is a mess! But there is a strong conservative movement away from the liberal aspects I understand. I hear from several rectors, there, and some that have come to England and the UK, etc.
    Are you more general in your evangelical faith, or Reformed, or near Wesley? I guess most American evangelicals don’t follow Wesley however. There are more Wesleyans in Great Britain, both Anglican and Methodist.

    Yes, the Anglican Church still has a rich history. The Book of Common Prayer. And the Thirty-nine Articles. I still follow some of the Articles, but not all. They do lean Reformed as you perhaps know.

    I am afraid sometimes the west will fall to debauchery, rather than anything else? We could end with a wimper rather than a bang? God help us!

    Fr. Robert

  14. Hi Robert,

    That’s interesting that you were raised a Catholic. As a matter of fact, I don’t have any definite thoughts about the “Theotokos” issue. Honestly I will have to study the subject in more depth. I’ve spent most of my time studying eschatology & soteriology, so admittedly I don’t presently have an opinion. But if that’s what Calvin believed, I may incline that way.

    I am more evangelical than Reformed, however I accept most of the doctrines of Reformed theology. I always like to compare myself to Charles Spurgeon, because my beliefs are much the same. Except I place a larger emphasis on human responsibility & church history.

    I’d like one of these days to attend an Episcopal church. A few months ago I was reading something by R.H. Benson, in which he talked of his conversion to the Roman church. That was very intreresting, as his father was Archbishop of Canterbury! In this area in which I live there is nothing comparable to the large churches of England and Ireland. I’ve been in some large Catholic churches, but have never had the pleasure of attending the Episcopal service.

    I’ve read the Thirty-Nine articles and found them very sound. I think even Spurgeon commended them!

    Peace & Health,

    Brian

  15. irishanglican says:

    Hey Brian,

    Spurgeon, has to be one the greatest evangelical preachers, at least in the English speaking Church and history! From what I have read, he used to have “communion” (Lord’s Supper as he called it) quite often from his personal study, i.e. room. This was with some of his personal and close brethren. I think this was also often on late Sunday nights? The Eucharist is the most profound time of Christian worship!

    Mary’s Theotokos is of course bound-up in her Son! It is Christology central. She was created for Christ, by Christ and in Christ! But this includes the Church. She was the first to believe! (St. Luke 1:45) And her song is so profound: “And Mary said, My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” (verses 46-49) This whole song runs into verses 54 & 55. I beleive Mary personifies “Israel”..”He has helped his servant Israel” (verse 54). And Mary also calls herself “servant” (verse 48). I am not pressing this at you, but it is part of the evangelical faith for many Anglicans. Certainly not Roman, but Anglo-Catholic perhaps. Many Americans don’t realize that the Anglican Church, with the Oxford Movement, etc. has become Catholic and Reformed. I have no desire for all that Rome brings, but I do feel that the via-media is a good balance. Anyway..

    And I need to say, that while I love and value the E. Orthodox, and hold very close to their Trinitarian truth, i.e. the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea I, 325,(and really down thru the first seven Ecumenical or Oecumenical Councils. The last being second of Necaea in 787). (See, H. Chadwick’s, ‘The Origin of the Title “Oecumentical Council”‘, JTS ns 23 (1972), pp.132-35). I am still close to both the idea and history of the Anglican Church, as the branch of the Catholic Church. But, she is always Reformed in nature. The Scripture holding a place that it is always the “reforming” nature of the Church.

    Sorry, us Anglicans (and personal Irish lol) must be very succinct! That old western nature that keeps me an Anglican! lol

    God Bless mate,
    Fr. Robert

  16. irishanglican says:

    *Nicaea

  17. Hi Robert,

    Thanks for the information on the “Theotokos” issue! I’ll look into this in more detail. It happens I have a whole library of the church fathers here, so I’ll have plenty of material to study from.

    I agree that the councils are important. Not sure I agree with the seventh, though. However, I’ve read through John of Damascus. Come to think of it, I believe he says something about the “Theotokos.”

    Yes, Spurgeon is great! I rate him very highly. But honestly, as an expositor of the Bible I think J.C. Ryle is better. I’m now studying Ryle’s “Expository Thoughts On Mark.” It seems often that Spurgeon misses out on the exact meaning of many verses. But as for spiritual power & godliness, he has few equals.

    Peace & Health,

    Brian

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