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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Andrewes: A Catalyst For Ecumenism?

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I am arguing in my thesis that Andrewes's theology of the Eucharist ought to be more closely considered as one who could be a further catalyst in ecumenical discussions with Anglicans and Roman Catholics. Is this actually true? Well, I have numerous examples that I have found that would lend one to believe that this very well may be true. Here is one example:

No one is unaware that the sacraments are the actions of Christ, who administers them through men. Therefore, the sacraments are holy in themselves, and by the power of Christ they pour grace into the soul when they touch the body. The mind boggles at these different ways in which Christ is present; they confront the Church with a mystery ever to be pondered.
Pope Paul VI (1965) Encyclical MYSTERIUM FIDEI

It pleased God to take away the Prophets sinnes by touching his lips. And albeit he can take away our sins, without touching of bread or wine, if he will; yet in the councell of his will, he commandeth unto us the sacramental partaking of his body and blood. It is his will, that our sins shall be taken away by the outward act of the sacrament: The reason is, not only in regard of ourselves, which consists of body and soul, and therefore have need both of bodily and Ghostly meanes, to assure us of our Salvation; but in regard of Christ himself, who is the burning Cole.
Lancelot Andrewes 1598 (Aposposmatia Sacra: Isaiah 6 Sermon)

Note the two statements in bold from both authors. Interesting?

17 Comments:

Anonymous Jason Loh said...

Jeff,

What is Andrewes' view on justification?

7:12 am  
Blogger Jeff said...

On 23 November, 1600, Andrewes preached a sermon on Justification. Andrewes asserts that to be righteousness, or to be justice, is the name of Christ alone. This is the Name that God gave him. Therefore, his name has virtue to do what his name describes. One must understand Andrewes’ views of justification in light of what he wrote in his sermons on prayer where he clearly states that God gives us grace and we receive that grace, “by his Spirit that enables us, we are said to be able and meet to do these things which we are commanded.” Grace, precedes any of our abilities according to Andrewes and to not emphasise that all that we do is of grace, “is to rob God of His glory,” according to this Bishop. Works are not ascribed to the strength of our own nature, which is the proper work of grace, in Andrewes’ thought. He says that when we do anything other than this, “then do we blemish God’s glory.”

But, we are called to use this righteousness in Andrewes’ sermon on Justification. We are to be made righteousness, the very righteousness of God himself. This righteousness is accounted to us because of the grace of Christ. The call for Christians is to ACT on this Justification, legal declaration, throughout their lives. Our acceptance by God is NOT our works and Andrewes clearly makes this point in his Pentecost sermon of 1619. But that does not mean that we are NOT called to live out that Justification where the whole life lived is brought before the Great Judgment Seat of the covenant faithful One. In an Easter sermon Andrewes preaches concerning St. Paul’s call to the Church to be a people zealous after good works. Faith and works are not two things isolated from one another. He says in this sermon that by works our faith is made perfect, for without them faith is “stark dead.” But, notice what he says in this sermon,

“And by a fall things come out of joint, and indeed so they did; Adam’s fall we call it, and we call it right. Sin which before broke the peace, which made the going from or departure which needed the bringing back; the same sin, here now again, put all out of joint. And things out of joint are never quiet, never at peace and rest, till they be set right again. But when all is in frame, all is in peace; and so it [Heb. 13:20-21]. The God of peace…make you perfect in all good works to do His will…] refers well to ‘the God of peace’ Who is to do it.”

This is accomplished according to Andrewes by the inspiring grace of the breathing of the Holy Spirit. But interestingly and true to all of Scripture, in his answers to Cardinal Perron concerning the necessity of Good Works, he says, “We hold good works necessary to Salvation: and that faith without them saveth not.” Grace is an enabling virtue for Andrewes. But grace does not deny the necessity of Good Works. “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, DECEIVING YOURSELVES.”

8:56 am  
Anonymous Jason Loh said...

Andrewes was "Reformed" then in relation to his view on "justification by faith". He also said that...

"The Papists ask where we find 'only' in justification by faith? Indeed we do not find it, but we do find that 'by faith' and nothing else we are 'justified,' and so we may well collect it by faith only. 'By grace we are saved through faith; and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God.' And [555/556] on this warrant have many of the ancient Fathers been bold to add the word 'only;' as Origen upon Romans the third chapter and twenty-eighth verse. Hilary upon Matthew the ninth chapter and divers other say, 'Faith only justifieth'." (I got the citation from Project Canterbury, a sermon on Matthew 4.10-11).

Good works is necessary unto salvation; the Reformed affirm. But is good works necessary to receive or merit salvation?

11:17 am  
Blogger Jeff said...

Based upon your question Jason, what do you think of Matthew 25 in regards to that?

11:44 am  
Blogger Jeff said...

The question that must be answered is to define faith. Andrewes would not separate works from faith. Faith, for Andrewes, works through love. Faith is not something different from works. Works is faith and faith is works.

11:46 am  
Anonymous Jason Loh said...

Dear Jeff,

It seems to me that you're reading "Auburn Avenue" (short-hand) theology into Andrewes'. Then again, it would claim to affirm "sola fide". What then is difference between the Papist's sola gratia and the (so-called) Protestant's, *excluding* the issue of imputation versus infusion, if Andrewes explicitly affirms the difference as per his sermon on Matthew 4:10-11? In other words, can ETERNAL salvation be forensic *and* creative in the same sense? Can a person who has been declared as "Not Guilty" (a verdict which is stasis and multi-perspectival), and, then he loses his legal status later on, i.e. apostatise completely? Can there be a time and eternity dissonance?

Thank you for taking the time to put it out on this "thread". Havng said this, how are we to interpret Scripture when a faith=works interpretation of Matthew 25 conflicts with e.g. Ephesians 2?

12:21 pm  
Blogger Jeff said...

Jason,

What does Andrewes' theology have to do with the Auburn Ave issues? Are you actually serious here? Can you tell me what you have read from Andrewes that justifies such claims? I could absolutely care less about the AA theology debate and find it a complete waste of time. I am utterly shocked that such a comment even came up here!

To answer your question on apostasy, yes, Andrewes does believe that one can walk from the faith in a real way rather than some legal fiction as if the Gospel really didn't have any sort of an impact on his real life actually lived.

You haven't answered my Matthew 25 question. Give me your definition of faith and it may give us a starting point.

12:51 pm  
Blogger Jeff said...

By the way, why don't you also go read the Roman Catholic Catechism on Justification that covers grace, merit, etc. and point out the real problems with their view. It does us no good to misrepresent an institution and create a strawman only to tear it down. It looks good to the ignorant but to those who actually read see it for what it is. Your impressions of what Rome believe imply that Rome teaches something other than grace for justification. Can you show that to me in their own catechism?

1:03 pm  
Blogger Pontificator said...

FitzSimons Allison devotes a few pages go Andrewes and justification in his book Beyond Moralism. He interprets Andrewes as following Hooker: the formal cause of our justification is imputed righteousness.

According to Allison, Andrewes was particularly concerned about the last judgment and the impossibility of our works surviving it. He quotes these two passages from Andrewes:

"But let us once be brought and arraigned coram Rege justo sedente in solio, let us set ourselves there, we shall then see that all our former conceit will vanish straight, and righteousness in that sense will not abide the trial."

"It is neither our fear, nor our works, all is but God's gracious acceptation."

I think a Catholic might respond to Andrewes by pointing out that the Catholic teaching on the formal cause does not lead Catholics to trust in their works at the last judgment. This is clearly proven by the urgent appeal to Catholics to sacramentally confess their sins and receive priestly absolution during any serious illness. In the old days, Catholics on their death beds were urged to look upon the cross of Christ. Etc.

Andrewes is not alone in misunderstanding the significance and function of merit within the Tridentine presentation of justification.

2:38 pm  
Anonymous Jason Loh said...

In that sermon on Matthew 4:10-11, Andrewes emphatically distinguishes faith *alone* (read: STAND alone) from the Papist's view (isn't it shocking that Andrewes would use such a non-PC term to refer to Roman Catholics?).

The papist view of justification is that it is by grace alone. The "initium fidei" (i.e. the first step towards justification) is, contra the Semi-Pelagians, does not stem from unaided will (i.e. man in his natural state/purus naturabilis as he has been stripped of his superadditum bonum and thereby weakened,and subject to concupiscentia). Therefore, justification in this scheme is an "engraced" (actual) movement of an infused state(habitual)--- an ontological process.

The Protestant view (as enshrined in the 39 Articles of Religion) is that "justification" is a "communicatio idiomatum" (an "event"), i.e. of the (acquired) merits of God the Son according to His human nature and the sins of mankind (the theopaschite formula). This is possible only because of the "tota et in solidum" of the nature/essence of Our Lord and His people. Therefore, Christ's righteousness and merits "adhere" to the elect even as His human nature "adheres" to His divine essence WITHOUT CONFUSION OR MIXTURE. Christ's merits *is* OUR righteousness. Once the event of removing the guilt of sin (liability, etc.) is accomplished, the human *person* is morally free (ad se -- necessarily free OF HIMSELF i.e. ad filioque), not in Himself) to be made the temple/indwelling of the Holy Spirit or "co-inherence".

Matthew 25 should be interpreted in light of Romans 9, Ephesians 1 & 2, John 6 etc. And my definition of "faith" is Augustine's and of the Roman Church. Faith *is* belief *is* mental assent to the teachings of the Church which is the pillar and ground of the Truth. Faith works through (caritas) love --- the end of which is the (irresistible) Beatific Vision, which is why faith working through love though not irresistible (here and now) is infallible, i.e. the predestination of Gos is absolute and efficacious. Worldly love (cupiditas) is conquered by a "victorious delight" via perseverance acted upon by adjuditorium quo (pre-Scholastic actual grace). "Habitual" grace is dependent upon actual grace rather than vice-versa as in the case of the contemporary Roman Church. This actual (operative/prevenient/effectual vocation) grace we Protestants recognise as "justification", eternal predestination manifest here and now.

3:33 pm  
Anonymous JasonLoh said...

" I think a Catholic might respond to Andrewes by pointing out that the Catholic teaching on the formal cause does not lead Catholics to trust in their works at the last judgment. This is clearly proven by the urgent appeal to Catholics to sacramentally confess their sins and receive priestly absolution during any serious illness. In the old days, Catholics on their death beds were urged to look upon the cross of Christ. Etc. "

Al, I can imagine a Roman priest "inciting", exhorting -- urgently appealing -- a dying parishioner to look to the Crucifixion of Christ (His passion & death) for the due forgiveness of sins (propitiation and expiation) *and* I can also imagine at the same time the parishioner clutching a crucifix to his breast as a symbol of the Cross whilst being exhorted upon and the last rites being read. Having said this, this represents an instance, an instance here, and instance there. In the medieval and Counter-Reformation Church, I believe there were 'death-bed" oonversions, among other conversions.

Yet, Trent absolutely denies full and infallible assurance of salvation. And there is the issue of "purgatory". The Cross of Christ, except for "saints" (beatified posthumously), does not cancel out the full extent of the punishment due to sin.

5:54 pm  
Blogger Pontificator said...


The Protestant view (as enshrined in the 39 Articles of Religion) is that "justification" is a "communicatio idiomatum" (an "event"), i.e. of the (acquired) merits of God the Son according to His human nature and the sins of mankind (the theopaschite formula). This is possible only because of the "tota et in solidum" of the nature/essence of Our Lord and His people. Therefore, Christ's righteousness and merits "adhere" to the elect even as His human nature "adheres" to His divine essence WITHOUT CONFUSION OR MIXTURE. Christ's merits *is* OUR righteousness. Once the event of removing the guilt of sin (liability, etc.) is accomplished, the human *person* is morally free (ad se -- necessarily free OF HIMSELF i.e. ad filioque), not in Himself) to be made the temple/indwelling of the Holy Spirit or "co-inherence".


That this represents the Protestant understanding of Christ and our justification is, I think, debatable. I am curious which classical Protestant theologians you think teach this.

Yet, Trent absolutely denies full and infallible assurance of salvation. And there is the issue of "purgatory". The Cross of Christ, except for "saints" (beatified posthumously), does not cancel out the full extent of the punishment due to sin.

Yes, Trent denies absolute certainty of salvation, as did Luther (most of the time), and Augustine and the entire previous theological tradition. Trent's denial of absolute certainty is based on metaphysical concerns: one cannot, through any form of self-analysis and introspection, discern infallibly the presence of sanctifying grace or the state of one's heart. In this sense, the Catholic is in the same boat as the Calvinist, who likewise is unable to know, with absolute certainty, that he is one of the elect. But at least the Catholic has the ex opere operato promise of the sacraments to fall back upon, whereas the Calvinist has nothing but self-examination, as he evaluates the fruits of his faith.

The Catholic may enjoy, by the grace of God, practical certainty of his present state of justification and hearty confidence in his future salvation. We are, as Augustine states, "saved in hope." Anything more than this is presumption and leads to false assurance.

6:51 pm  
Blogger Acolyte4236 said...

Doesn't this depend on how one glosses the communication idiomatum? Is that a verbal predication or a entitative communication of the divine powers to the humanity of Christ? Is the humanity of Christ made intrinsically immortal, holy and just or just sustained in a created mode by an extrinsic act of will? The latter will imply Nestorianism or at least some form of monothelitism, for humanity will be then a tool of the divine will.

The theopaschite formula says only that one of the Trinity suffered and died, not that Christ "merits" anything relative to his humanity or anything about human sins imputed to him. Why would he need to merit, since he is already righteous? Hence before he was old enough to know the difference between the good and the bad, he choose the good.

Jason’s line of thinking seems to be that any communication can't be real or entitative but forensic, otherwise you end up with monophysitism. From a Catholic perspective, I’d argue that the notion of participation goes some way in alleviating that worry since the subsistence of the divine persons is not by participation. As an Orthodox, I’d argue that the divinization of humanity isn’t by essence anyhow but by energy.

If Jason is thinking of the hypostatic union as an extrinsic relation, that is certainly out of bounds in terms of the preceding patristic tradition and will thin out the notion of a person so much so that you will get a kind of Nestorianism, the person *is* the relation of the two natures. Notice this line “Therefore, Christ's righteousness and merits "adhere" to the elect *even as His human nature "adheres" to His divine essence* WITHOUT CONFUSION OR MIXTURE.”

That *can’t* be right, since the union is personal, not natural, so that the human nature doesn’t adhere to the divine essence AT ALL but to the ONE DIVINE PERSON. WHERE IS PERSON IN SUCH AN ACCOUNT AS Jason GIVES? The humanity of Christ “adheres” to his divine person-his humanity is enHYPOSTASIZED, NOT enESSENTIALIZED, which is why it is personally transformed by his personal divine activities or energies-immortality, glory, etc.

7:25 pm  
Anonymous Jason Loh said...

>> That this represents the Protestant understanding of Christ and our justification is, I think, debatable. I am curious which classical Protestant theologians you think teach this. <<

Calvin, for starters, Al. Calvin ...


>> Yes, Trent denies absolute certainty of salvation, as did Luther (most of the time), and Augustine and the entire previous theological tradition. Trent's denial of absolute certainty is based on metaphysical concerns: one cannot, through any form of self-analysis and introspection, discern infallibly the presence of sanctifying grace or the state of one's heart. In this sense, the Catholic is in the same boat as the Calvinist, who likewise is unable to know, with absolute certainty, that he is one of the elect. But at least the Catholic has the ex opere operato promise of the sacraments to fall back upon, whereas the Calvinist has nothing but self-examination, as he evaluates the fruits of his faith. <<

Luther and Calvin held out the possibility of the full assurance of salvation, one that is PSYCHOLOGICAL, not EMOTIONAL. I think you might be reading revivalistic evangelicalism into classical Protestant theology. Perkinsian analysis of faith is a later development,and by extension, Puritanism. The Calvinist, of which I am one, equates faith with assurance. Faith (explicit) is consciousness or awareness of one's calling and election. There is no such thing as half assurance or degrees of assurance. It's a *neologistic* construct of Puritanism. So, you're confusing Calvin with say, the Rev. Joel Beeke, a leading contemporary Puritan theologian. Like the Lutherans,the Reformed hold that the Holy Spirit works through the Word and Sacraments (literally, "inheres" in them as potential power -- dunamis and operates sovereignly -- energia) as if these constitute One Nature (out of or from the Incarnate Word).

>> The Catholic may enjoy, by the grace of God, practical certainty of his present state of justification and hearty confidence in his future salvation. We are, as Augustine states, "saved in hope." Anything more than this is presumption and leads to false assurance. <<

There can be no practicaly certainty of present justification if *it* (i.e. present state of justification)is theoretically speaking, defectible (i.e. it depends on synergy) and the spectre of purgatory lurks in the shadow. In other words, there is no joy and hope in one's eternal salvation, but only a "Kantian" (i.e. epistemic limitation) belief *confined* to this PRESENT LIFE, beyond which we cannot know. Hope is no longer hope, properly speaking, but essentially *agnoticism*.

7:41 am  
Blogger Pontificator said...

Jason, I commend to you the recent essay by Phillip Cary, “Why Luther is Not Quite Protestant: The Logic of Faith in a Sacramental Promise,” Pro Ecclesia (Fall 2005). I offer a brief summary of Cary's essay here

Luther and Calvin present two different logics of assurance. Luther offers an assurance of one's present justification based on God's promise sealed in baptism. Calvin offers an assurance of eternal glory based on divine elected manifested in faith and works. Luther's logic leads to a nonreflective faith; Calvin's to a reflective faith. Protestantism has generally followed Calvin.

Until the Reformation, the Church tradition, both East and West, universally denied the possibility that one could have absolute certainty of one's eternal election. We must pray for the grace of perseverance. If you believe that the denial of absolute certainty necessarily leads to anfechtung and terror, then I refer you to the example of St Therese of Lisieux.

12:53 pm  
Anonymous Jason Loh said...

Perry?Daniel?,

"Nestorianism", coming from the Aristotelian Antiochene school, balked at even a verbal predication divine attributes to the Gospel Figure. Granted that it does not (explicitly) affirm a two Sonship scheme, nonetheless, the Union was conceived to be static and contiguous --- as you say, an external and moral union, rather than internal ontological of two concrete realities whose Subsistent Reality is the Ego of the Only-Begotten Son. I do not deny that there is a mutual inter-penetration (perichoresis) or co-inherence between the Two Natures so that the Incarnation gives us One Nature of Divine and Human. Logos non extra carnem est.

>> The theopaschite formula says only that one of the Trinity suffered and died, not that Christ "merits" anything relative to his humanity or anything about human sins imputed to him. Why would he need to merit, since he is already righteous? Hence before he was old enough to know the difference between the good and the bad, he choose the good. <<

The Scythian monks from which the whole controversy arose were *Augustinians*, though from the "East", and appealled to Pope Hormisdas, who approved of Augustine's teachings Pope St. Hormisdas in Sicut Rationi, thus explicitly affirming its place in the Apostolic Succession.

The problem is when Nature is confused with the Person and vice-versa so that what is predicated of the Person is transferred to the Nature. By an act of "free will", Adam subjected the human race (in him) to sin and mortality ---the human person is in bondage to the universal laws of postlapsarian nature. Hence, there is no difference between natural and "gnomic" will (person is dependent upon nature, Adamic, i.e. nature determines personal expression).

The Second Adam, to recapitulate and reverse the Fall, took on human nature common to us all with this difference. In the first Adam, the guilt was predicated upon the ontological unity of the human race in the him (the Man), i.e. guilt accompanies procreation. This much is clear from Ephesians 1. If all be in Christ, all would be risen in Him Who is the embodiment of immortality just as Adam personified mortality. Hence, before the human person is free to will a relationship, his nature must be initially delivered from (inherited & acquired) guilt and bondage (nature is dependent upon person, Christ).

The "antidosis idiomaton" between Jesus and the New Humanity (in antithesis to the Old Humanity) is *grounded* in UNINDIVIDUATED nature (mass of human race -- common humanity, sin excepted in the case of Our Lord) and takes place at the level of nature, but which are, ENHYPOSTASISED in persons. In other words, Christ DIED for persons (who are guilty according to their nature) -- specific individuals. As it is with the "communicatio idiomatum" between the Adam and the Old Humanity is grounded in UNINDIVIDUATED nature and transmitted *to* nature ENHYPOSTASISED in persons. In other words, whether or not inherited guilt or grace comes first in either case vis-a-vis a union, the *event* (in the First and Second Adam) itself is wholly outside of experience/existential encounter.

That which properly belong to the nature can only "adhere" (a union of *communicable* attributes) to another. The (union of) "co-inherence" is between persons, not nature -- else, each nature would lose its formal properties. Isn't that what "deification" (theosis) and communion is all about -- that participation comes via the Energies of the Persons, but not union with the Essence (Nature)?? St. Paul the Apostle says we have the mind of Christ. Since Christ is God, Paul could not have meant that we take on the attribute of OMNIscience?

The Passion and Death of Our Lord is grounded in His Person (contra the human objects of His Passion and Death) but took place at the level of His ENHYPOSTASISED human nature. Therefore, the whole EVENT of the Cross is not to sanctify human nature but deliverance of guilt and condemnation. Hence, his human righteousness "adheres" to us.

I agree with you that the term, merit which as everyone on this list knows, pre-dates Scholastic usage and dates back to e.g. Tertullian (borrowing from Roman legal usage) can be a bit problematic. But the essential point is, as you would know as an ex-Protestant, that Our Lord earned or merited salvation FOR us, not for Himself -- He identified WITH us. The Baptism of John, one and only, serves as that reminder -- a kind of "anamnesis" if ever in the baptismal liturgy, inter alia, even if only implicit.

2:07 pm  
Anonymous John said...

I think ecumenism should start with a bit more collective humility altogether re the cultural and historical fabrication and limitations of ALL parts of the Great Tradition of Humankind including the various denominations of Christianity.

These essays may provide a basis for evaluating ALL exclusive "truth" claims.

1. www.dabase.net/dht7.htm
2. www.dabase.net/noface.htm
3. www.dabase.net/rgcbpobk.htm
4. www.dabase.net/divemerg.htm
5. www.dabase.net/oltawwfm.htm
6. www.dabase.net/proofch6.htm

5:01 am  

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