I wanted to highlight where I am in looking at the Anglican Gold from Logos Bible Software.
Instead of randomly going through, I want to delve a bit deeper. My reasons are manifold. First, this is a package which will startle many with the price. Granted, there are payment plans and dynamic pricing, but some may be put off. You shouldn’t be.
Second, as a (high church) United Methodist, I find a great deal of doctrinal footing in the Anglican Church. If I am going to do theology as United Methodist, then I intend to do it in line with the tradition of the United Methodist Church which doesn’t just extend to Wesley, but into the Anglican Church as well. Wesleyan theology isn’t ex nihilio, but ex materia.
(shucks, maybe even ex deo)
Third, because, combining both one and two, theology is not cheap. If you are going to do it right, you will have to invest into something, even if it is a library card.
So, I am starting with the 17th Century theologians included in the Gold package. First, is Jeremy Taylor:
Jeremy Taylor (15 August 1613 – 13 August 1667) was a clergyman in the Church of England who achieved fame as an author during the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. He is sometimes known as the “Shakespeare of Divines” for his poetic style of expression and was often presented as a model of prose writing. He is remembered in the Church of England’s calendar of saints with a Lesser Festival on 13 August. He was under the patronage of William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury.
This is a 4 volume set. Let me highlight the last one in the series:
A Discourse on the Liberty of Prophesying is an essay on the need for religious freedom. It purports to show “the unreasonableness of prescribing to other men’s [sic] faith; and the eniquity [sic] of persecuting differing opinions.” The essay is unique for a number of reasons, one of which is that it was written nearly 50 years before John Locke’s seminal “A Letter Concerning Toleration.”
There is something in the opening line of the introductory essay. In speaking of the downfall of the Roman empire, the author writes, “over which the mists of ignorance were settling with increasing density, and from which public virtue had fled, all remains of liberty became extinct.”
Taylor has a chapter in the book title, “Of the Difficulty of Expounding Scripture.” He writes,
THESE considerations are taken from the nature of Scripture itself; but then, if we consider that we have no certain ways of determining places of difficulty and question, infallibly and certainly; but that we must hope to be saved in the belief of things plain, necessary, and fundamental, and our pious endeavor to find out God’s meaning in such places, which he hath left under a cloud, for other great ends reserved to his own knowledge, we shall see a very great necessity in allowing a liberty in prophesying, without prescribing authoritatively to other men’s consciences, and becoming lords and masters of their faith.1
You won’t believe what Taylor has to say about Tradition, Reason, and Experience. Perhaps this is why Wesley include Taylor’s works in his Christian Library.
Likewise, there is Bishop Thomas Ken (another Wesley favorite).
The Works of Thomas Ken presents the works of a famous scholar and chaplain during the late 1600s in England. This collection includes one of his most well-known works—the pamphlet Ichabod, otherwise known as The Five Groans of the Church—which Ken wrote a few years after his ordination. Eager to spread Christianity to others, he was an avid writer and teacher. His sermons, letters, hymns, and poems are also included, which cover temptation, judgment, resurrection, and more.
Finally, there is John Cosin,
The Works of John Cosin is a collection of the most prominent writings Cosin produced over a career as a bishop and a scholar. The series includes sermons, articles, letters, and books, including one of his best known works, A Scholastical History of the Canon of the Holy Scripture. In this book, Cosin dives into the history of the canonical books through the testimonies of the ecclesiastical writers from the first through the sixteenth centuries, elaborating why Scripture contains all things necessary for salvation.
I suspect that any of the three, but especially all of the three, would speak well to us today.
- The Church in Wales – and ‘The Rev.’ (kiwianglo.wordpress.com)
- Moment #1: Describing Anglicanism as Exotic (awkwardanglicanmoment.wordpress.com)
- A Theological View of the Future of Anglicanism (kiwianglo.wordpress.com)
- What’s So Good About Being Anglican? (Part 2) (achristianthing.wordpress.com)
- Catholic school to become Anglican academy (catholicherald.co.uk)
- I am an Anglican (robinw48.wordpress.com)
- Is Anglicanism inherently Lutheran? (patheos.com)
- An Open Letter Theology, Part 1: Marian solidarity and Asian American ecumenism (achristianthing.wordpress.com)
- Jeremy Taylor, A Discourse of the Liberty of Prophesying (Sacred Classics; Washington: Duff Green, 1834), 140. ↩