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Light, Life & Love (An Anglican in Exile!)

This blog is for those who seek a Judeo-Christian witness, in a fallen, broken and dark world!  “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” (St. John 1: 4-5)  Theology may be defined as “Revelation upon the divine revelation given and received, which yields the truth of God in the form of precise language, with truths related to truths”. But we are to preach Christ – not theological systems as such, but – Christ crucified! (1 Cor. 2: 2) St. Paul does not mean a dead Christ, as if he had begun his thinking at Bethlehem and moved on to Calvary. He begins from the present moment and looking back through the Resurrection to the cross. His crucified Christ is the living Christ, still bearing the marks of the cross, as the perfect tense suggests. Always our task is therefore to relate theology to our preaching and teaching of Christ!  The trained mind and the warm heart together read what cold scholarship so easily can miss. So we can always know: “Your life has been hidden (and therefore is now invisible) with Christ in God.” ( Col. 3:3) But He is Lord of History, in control of events, master of all that is.

“The non-theological christ is popular; he wins votes; but he is not mighty; he does not win souls; he does not break men into small pieces and create them anew.” ~ P.T. Forsyth

I am a 67 year old male, father, husband. I am an Anglican priest & presbyter, but now semi-retired (a non-stipendiary priest for several years now) I was born in Dublin Ireland and later educated in England. I hold both the D.Phil. & Th.D. (Luther’s: The Ontology of the Cross / Pauline Studies, Romans ).

I am always a conservative, both biblically/theologically (this includes being a “Biblical” Zionist, historical and premillennial). Right now, I am inclined to the Post-trib. position on the so-called rapture. But I am pressed towards “something” of the Progressive Dispensational position also, but a true dispensational scheme is always central to the proper division of God’s purposes and word, (1 Cor. 10: 32). Though I am certainly covenantal & reformed on the Doctrines of Grace (generally a neo-Calvinist). I have changed my views here somewhat i.e. eschatology, and will continue to grapple with the biblical text on this subject; the Timing of the Rapture, etc. But not the classic division of the centre of Dispensationalism, which is Israel and the Church!  The Church and culture is certainly moving closer into the great eschatological end.  Romans 13: 11-14 has been very real to me of late!  So I always hold the right to revision and change as a Reformed and Reformational Christian!   It is quite obvious that I am open and able to change my views on some things, but as far as the so-called “orthodox” aspects and truth.. I am an Anglican Churchman and follow the Ecumenical Councils, especially the Nicene Creed, etc.

Fr. Robert

PS..I should note and state, that I believe and am devoted to the detailed study and analysis of the Scriptures (Old & New), rooted in the foundational belief that they are truly the written word of God, that they are entirely sufficient unto themselves, and that as such they must be allowed to interpret themselves!

“So having obtained help from God, I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, stating nothing but what the Prophets and Moses said was going to take place; that the Christ was to suffer, and that by reason of His resurrection from the dead He would be the first to proclaim light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.” ( St. Paul,  Acts 26: 22-23, NASB, Updated Edition, 1995)

I close this with a great quote, from a great man of God, and say amen too for myself, in some simple and little measure:

“I am inexpressibly grateful that the Lord of my life has granted to me in such abundance these opportunities to take part in the life of his ecclesia and to bear witness to the Living Christ in so many places and in so many ways.” —Emil Brunner

17 Comments
  1. Michael Templin permalink

    Love your blog! Keep up the diligence.

  2. Thanks Michael,

    Time, and having something I feel is from the “presence” and mind of God, over scripture & theology.. is always an issue for me.

  3. Fr. Robert,

    I ran across ‘TheGodGuy’ blog and read your exchange with the author. Your thoughts struck me as not only logical and reasonable, but also scripturally based. I’m not a theologian but I love to read my Bible and think through what most people will not consider. Over the years I have become increasingly troubled over the rise in relativism (including its rise within the church). I kept thinking, “There must be a way to put this thing to rest. If for no other reason than to know where I stand, I must prove that both God and Truth are absolute and irrefutable.” I recently did that and posted my argument for God’s absoluteness on my weblog Truth Behind Reality. I will post my argument for Truth sometime in the future.

    After reading your comments on the ‘TheGodGuy’ blog and then reading your credentials and statement of faith, I decided that you would be a good source for critique. If you are interested in reading the post, it is titled “Approval Not Required”.

    http://truthbehindreality.wordpress.com/2010/11/13/approval-not-required/

    Todd Beal

    • Todd,

      Sorry just a wee bit busy. Thanks for the nice words, yeah it was very interesting dialoging with TheGodGuy. His presuppositions are sadly flawed, epistemology etc. He is of course a Swedenborgen. Which is pantheistic and theosophic itself. Please send me anything you would like me to read! I would add my two cents certainly. I think you can see my approach, is classically historical and biblical.. within the history of both the Holy Scripture and the Church Catholic. Though I too have my feet of clay! 🙂

      Blessings,
      Fr. Robert

  4. Father Robert you are on to “something big” with this blog.

    It is interesting to note that the relationships that bind the Most Holy Trinity are reflected in good creation (vestigia trinitatis) in the incredible mystery of optical light: three additive colors—full power—red-green-blue become pure white light. Even the compenetration of the rings is more than symbolic, it actually produces white.

    The Eucharist, the fifth quintessential Mystery of Light is also the quintessential Mystery of Life and the quintessential Mystery of Love.

    One look at the battle (on the internet) over the meaning of these three key words shows the assault that we are up against: (Google Light-Life-Love)

    Light … False Lights tending to darkness
    Life … Lifestyle tending to a “culture of death”
    Love … Lust tending to self-hatred and broken relationships/hearts

    When these three words are brought together, full power in true Eucharistic understanding they manifest the the Wisdom of Solomon as written in Ecclesiastes 4:12, i.e., the strength of the triple cord. One in three and three in one are “not easily broken.”

    The pure white light is very approachable on this side of eternity. By abiding in the Eucharist we are abiding in Light-Life-Love.

    Father Robert, thanks for shining this Light in the dakness.

    A look at my blog at http://www.eucharist-emc2.blogspot.com may be of some assistance.

    • Thanks Mike! Btw, my father (RIP) was an Einstein type physicist, and moderate R. Catholic (but yeah he was a theistic evolutionist). I am right now an Old Earth Creationist myself, but friendly really with the Young Earth view. Just so much mystery here! Even in Creation, God is Light-Life & Love!

      *Yes, I was raised Irish R.C. in Dublin Ireland (50’s and early 60’s there), then went to England. Now I am in the US.

  5. Thank You, Father Robert. You might like the post on Fr. Charles McTague, his visit to Princeton, NJ and opportunity to talk with Albert.

    http://eucharist-emc2.blogspot.com/2007/08/afternoon-with-einstein.html

    My uncle, Fr. Livolsi knew Fr. Charlie when they were at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Darlington NJ in the 40’s. The post is telling, especially considering Einstein’s childhood and three years of Catholic Petersschule in Munich.

    I was able to talk with this incredible Irish priest about nine months before he passed away. He described this visit and that when he left to get on the train he composed a wonderful little “ditty to the Trinity.” I hope someday to get a copy of it.

    There is a book written about him. Christ with a Priest’s Face

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1401044786?tag=openlibr-20

  6. Michael Templin permalink

    Fr. Robert,

    Just checking up on you and your wife. I pray all is well!

    Pax

    Michael

  7. Hey Michael,

    Thanks to write, we are still moving along. My wife has good days and bad one’s, we are still looking to move when she can handle it, though not back to London certainly. Perhaps Canada? I have had some ministry offers in Ireland, but we not sure there about the weather for my wife? And I am now semi-retired, but doing some preaching and chaplain work still. God’s will and providence!

  8. Bruce permalink

    Fr. Robert,

    I just came across your blog searching for Anglican teachings on the rapture and eschatology. It is refreshing to see an Anglican clergyman who isn’t condescending to those who wish to ponder end times matters. Certainly at my Episcopal church the clergy seem to quickly move on from the subject, as orthodox as they are. Why do you think it is that even the conservatives and orthodox in the historic churches like the Anglican Communion shy away from the topic or treat it condescendingly while those who are in independent evangelical churches that scorn tradition and liturgical forms of worship will take up the topic with enthusiasm?

    As someone who loves liturgy and church tradition but is also intrigued by eschatology and some of the rapture theories out there, I tend to find myself with few like minded friends. I’m therefore glad I stumbled upon your blog, and I hope you continue to post entries on your thinking concerning end times.

    Bruce

    • Bruce: Thanks for the kind words! Indeed “eschatology” cannot be escaped in the study and really just life in the Christian NT! St. Paul is of course the master here, (Rom. 8: 18-25, etc.). I suppose the problem with many Anglicans today, is their fear to take on this subject, with so many books and Study Bibles that have been written from a certain so-called “fundamentalist” and end time view? But, that in and of itself, does not erase the argument or subject! In fact, we simply must wade in here! For from the aspect that we Gentile Nations and Christians, have certainly come to occupy/share something of the Jewish Covenant and Salvation History (Rom. 15: 8-9, etc.), we again just cannot escape! And in fact we are certainly living in something of our own Eschatological position… death & dying, etc. But again, the issue will always focus the Creation itself! Just a few of my thoughts! 🙂

  9. Fr Robert, Your news on the Middle East is very intriguing, but overwhelms my inbox! Though I like your blog, and often click through your blogroll, I’m departing from your list for a while. Someday when I am in California, I hope that we can get together for a beer. Blessings, Bowman

    • Hey, that’s fine mate, let’s hope there is a “someday”? If things stay on this track, who knows, but certainly National Israel is central! Best, In Christ.. Fr. R.

  10. *I removed the part about my military life and history here, it really demands a fuller statement. It is certainly part of the providence of who I am and have become, but it is quite personal. I will only share it on e-mail with chosen people!

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