A few days ago I was made aware of an initiative by a group of evangelical theologians entitled, “A Call to and Ancient Evangelical Future.” The document is available over at Christianity Today and CT also offers links to other aspects of this initiative, such as a list of those who have attached their name (although, when I tried to check this list, it wasn’t available), the means to affix one’s own name, etc. It is worth knowing that this kind of thing is floating around. It was organized by the likes of Bob Webber and Kevin Vanhoozer. CT did an interview with the former that may be accessed here.
I recently did work on similarities between Vanhoozer’s recently published book entitled The Drama of Doctrine and George Lindbeck’s groundbreaking study in The Nature of Doctrine, and it was interesting to see how some of the themes that I engaged in these two authors are involved in this initiative as well. But, enough said.
-> Link 2
My friend and colleague David recently posed an extended discussion of the doctrine of Scripture in conversation with the doctrinal commitments of American evangelicalism on the same topic. His discussion is available here. While I cannot fully endorse David’s conclusions on this matter, he has done a fine job of indicating many aspects of what is at stake in the doctrine of Scripture.
-> Template Changes
If you look closely at the right-hand frame, you will notice two new sections of links. The first, “Post Serials,” provides links to index pages for the different post categories. The second, “Favorite Posts,” provides links back to some of the more important posts, which I have chosen based on my own preference and my site statistics. Both of these sets of links will grow with time.
-> Peter Martyr Vermigli Update
I have finished Vermigli’s Treatise on the Sacrament of the Eucharist. You can read my preliminary comments on this essay here. In that previous post I briefly discussed 4 points, which I will now briefly rehash after having read the entirety of the treatise.
(1) Throughout the treatise Vermigli advocates a position very similar to that of Calvin without making any direct references to Calvin. This latter point is not surprising, since in 1549 when the treatise was written, Calvin was still consolidating his position in Geneva and had not yet reached the stature of influence that many associate with him today. Nonetheless, I do think that Calvin’s and Vermigli’s positions are quite similar, although Calvin has a number of unique ways of approaching it that I did not find in Vermigli (the emphasis on the sursum corda and the imagery of our souls being lifted into heaven, for instance, is important for Calvin – if I remember correctly, Vermigli alludes to this idea and says that he has no quarrel with it).
(2 & 4) The Holy Spirit remains the actor in the Lord’s Supper for Vermigli, but he continues to stress that only the presence and exercise of faith on the part of the Christian makes the sacrament efficacious. About this I have some misgivings, although it is central to the opinions of all the Reformers with which I am familiar.
(3) Vermilgi’s discussion of the social impact of the Supper sharply declined as the work went on.
Concluding remarks: This treatise is very interesting in that it has introduced me to a part of the Eucharistic controversy with which I have not yet been acquainted. Vermigli was most helpful to me in his discussions of various kinds of unions of the believer with Christ (found in the latter sections of the treatise). It is a shame that Vermigli devoted nearly half of the treatise to the issue of transubstantiation and to the elucidation of patristic sources in arguing against transubstantiation. But, for those of you who like a well turned argument, Vermigli’s wit is peppered throughout these discussions.