Check out for historic documents in a beautiful layout. I’ve linked to the site, to visit click the title image, “ARTICLES.”

39Articles agreed upon… for the avoiding of Diversities of Opinions. — From the Title.

Whosoever shall affirm that any of the nine and thirty articles are in any part superstitious or erroneous, or such as he may not with a good conscience subscribe unto; let him be excommunicated ipso facto. — Canon V, 1604.

No man shall put his own sense or Comment to the meaning of the Article, but shall take it in the literal and Grammatical sense. — Preface, 1628.



I’ve started using the Revised Common Lectionary – it’s been a good experience. I still prefer reading a couple of chapters but have decided to try the lectionary for a while and I’ll admit, it’s been a positive experience so far and recommend trying it. It’s nice to walk into a church service being fed on scripture for a week in advanced on the theological themes being brought to mind during the worship service.

Here’s a quote highlighting 6 points or reasons for using a lectionary from Reformed Church in America :


The Revised Common Lectionary harmonizes the major variants of the three-year lectionary used in North America, bringing to church-goers across the continent the same Scripture passages each week.

The lectionary has several advantages:

1. It covers a great breadth of Scripture–the whole counsel of God.

2. It provides a sequence from week to week (frequently from the New Testament).

3. It relates the gospel of the New Testament to its Old Testament antecedents (including an appropriate Psalter passage).

4. It follows the Christian year, with its focus on Christ.

5. It speaks to the persons and work of the Trinity.

6. It protects the congregation from a narrow preoccupation with the New Testament to the exclusion of the Old Testament.

Yours in the Lord,


Insights into Anglicanism

Michael P. Jensen is the author of Sydney Anglicanism: An Apology and (with Tom Frame) Defining Convictions and Decisive Commitments–The Thirty-Nine Articles in Contemporary Anglicanism. He is the rector of St Mark’s Anglican Church, Darling Point, in Sydney, mark icon

1. Since the arrival of Christianity in Britain in the 3rd century, British Christianity has had a distinct flavor and independence of spirit, and was frequently in tension with Roman Catholicism. The Britons were evangelized by Irish missionary monks, and it wasn’t until the 7th century that the Roman church established its authority over Christianity in the British Isles, at the Synod of Whitby. But tensions continued until the 16th century.

2. The break with Rome in the 16th century had political causes, but also saw the emergence of an evangelical theology. The Church of England was not just a church of protest against the pope’s authority and his interference in English affairs. It was also a church that adopted a distinctly evangelical theology. The English Reformation cannot be reduced to the marital strife of Henry VIII.

3. Anglicanism is Reformed. The theology of the founding documents of the Anglican church—the Book of Homilies, the Book of Common Prayer, and the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion—expresses a theology in keeping with the Reformed theology of the Swiss and South German Reformation. It is neither Lutheran, nor simply Calvinist, though it resonates with many of Calvin’s thoughts.

4. Scripture is the supreme authority in Anglicanism. Article VI, “Of the sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation,” puts it this way:

Holy Scriptures containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.

In Anglicanism, Scripture alone is supreme as the saving Word of God. Reason and tradition play an auxiliary role. This was the view of divines like Thomas Cranmer and Richard Hooker. There is a popular myth that Anglicanism views reason, tradition, and Scripture as a three-legged stool of authorities, but it is quite false.

5. Justification by faith alone is at the heart of Anglican soteriology. In its liturgy, its view of the sacraments, in its founding documents, and in the mind of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, the Church of England holds that works do not save and cannot save a person. Only the blood of Jesus Christ is effective to save.

6. In Anglican thought, the sacraments are “effectual signs” received by faith. For Anglicans, the sacraments—the Lord’s Supper and baptism—do not convey grace in an automatic sense, or by a grace adhering to the objects used in them.

7. The Anglican liturgy—best encapsulated in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer—is designed to soak the congregation in the Scriptures, and to remind them of the priority of grace in the Christian life. There is grace on every page—it is not only the heart of Anglican theology, it is the heart of Anglican spirituality.

8. Anglicanism is a missionary faith, and has sponsored global missions since the 18th century. The sending and funding of missionaries to the far reaches of the globe to preach the gospel has been a constant feature of Anglican life, although this has happened through the various voluntary mission agencies as much as through official channels.

9. Global Anglicanism is more African and Asian than it is English and American. The center of contemporary Anglicanism is found in places like Nigeria, Uganda, and Kenya. In these places there are burgeoning Anglican churches, and a great deal of evangelism and church planting. There are strong Anglican churches too in Asia and elsewhere. Noticeably, where liberal theology has become dominant in Anglicanism—mainly in the “first world”—Anglicanism is rapidly shrinking, and is possibly only a generation from its demise.

Podcasts & Audiobooks

I’m addicted to podcasts and audiobooks. Everyday I listen to podcasts and before bed I always have an audiobook I’m working through, so I thought I would recommend a few of my favourites, that may be lesser known.


don fortner

Don Fortner is a free grace preacher and I have been a faithful listener for years now. If you have read my blog you’ll notice it’s littered with quotes from Fortner’s sermons and I will always recommend his work. He’s a faithful preacher, sometimes prickly, but always faithful.

If you want a dose of free grace, Calvinistic preaching, Don Fortner is your man.

Theocast-Calvin-Logo-Bloom-Semper-ReformandaTheocast is a biblically Reformed podcast that deals with subjects such as Christian freedom, covenant theology, Calvinism, issues in the local church, etc. The fellas are easy to listen to, theologically deep and irenic.

Give them a listen!

ww1 podcast

I’m a World War 1 buff and find the entire period fascinating. War became industrialized, Christianity had become infected with German theological liberalism and the world changed forever. The battles were horrific and the men and women who fought and lived through it were heroic.

It’s not theological but one I’ve enjoyed. Maybe you will to.

issues etcIssues, Etc. is linked with Lutheran Public Radio and I’m new to the podcast. It was recommended to me yesterday and I’ve jumped right in and learned a lot already. Two episodes worth listening to are Evangelism and Eastern Orthodoxy with Dr. Michael Horton being interviewed by the host of the show. Dr. Horton is well known in Reformed and Lutheran circles for his participation in The White Horse Inn radio and podcast program.

If you want a conservative Lutheran perspective check out this podcast.


Saving my new favourite podcast for last, Cathedral Church of the Advent. The sermons and lectures cover a range of subjects including Karl Barth, the 39 Articles, Lent, etc. I’ve had this podcast on my phone for some time but only recently started to listen to it…obsessively.

If you want a slightly more Anglican flavour this is the one.


The Mighty Weakness of John Knox has been one of my favourite audiobooks for the past 9781633891838.jpgyear and I’ve listened to it three times already. The narration is perfect and the information about Knox is informative and dramatic. When Knox was a galley slave held by French Catholics they tried to force him to kiss an icon of St. Mary, they forced it into his hands and he tossed it into the river declaring, “she seems light enough to swim!”

Knox’s piety will challenge you, the man was a true prayer warrior and Gospel preacher worth reading about.

calvinThe Institutes of the Christian Religion is a title I borrow every month from hoopla digital (many libraries offer hoopla with free downloads). The narrator is ok but it’s really the content I enjoy. During the warmer months I walk or cycle to work and this audiobook is playing when I doing my ‘hood ride’ home.

The fact that this is a freebie for most of us with library cards is a no brainer.johnny cash

Chuckle if you want but Johnny Cash Reads the New Testament is pretty awesome. His reading of Revelation has tremendous impact.

Well folks, that’s all for now.

Yours in the Lord,



Oh yes, it’s free!

Some great quotes found on Wiki, enjoy!

Christopher Ness
“Evangelical repentance is the gift of free grace; faith is the gift of God. What is God’s, as a gift to bestow, cannot be man’s duty to perform as a condition of salvation. Those who are invited to look to Christ, to come to Him for salvation, are very minutely described: they are the weary and heavy laden with sin, the penitent, the hungry and thirsty soul, etc., etc.; these are the characters invited to come to and believe in Christ, and not all men (Mt 11:28; Isa 55:1; Mr 2:17).”

J.H. Gosden
“We believe that all men are under obligation to believe and obey God. Though the Adam Fall utterly depraved and alienated human nature from God and goodness, rendering him as entirely incapable as unwilling to submit to God’s law, yet the divine Lawgiver has not lost His power to command and to judge. Man’s inability does not exonerate him… But what is every man duty-bound to believe? Surely not that each individual is himself interested in the redemption work of Christ, Man is not called upon to believe a lie.”

William Styles
“If Faith be a duty, it is a work; but according to the reasoning of the Apostle, the works of the Law are contradistinguished from Faith. Yet if Faith be a natural duty—though we are saved by grace—it is through the works of the law. The Covenant of Works is blended with the Covenant of Grace, and “grace is no more grace.”

Benjamin Taylor
“A man is called upon to believe in God so far as his knowledge goes of God, both in His works of grace and His works of providence. No man is called upon to believe what he never heard… To believe in Christ as my own Saviour is purely a spiritual act; and before I can do this, it is certain I must have a revelation of Christ to my soul.”

John Foreman
“…faith cannot be separated from any part of its connection and interest… If faith unto salvation be the natural man’s duty, then it must be the natural man’s duty to be all that the actual believer, through grace unto salvation, really and properly is… it must be the natural man’s duty to have all what the actual believer through grace unto salvation truly and properly has, according to the word of God… it must be the natural man’s duty for God himself to be to him all what by promise and gift he is to those who through grace do believe unto salvation… it must be the natural man’s duty for God to do for him, and give to him, all what by promise he does and gives to those who through grace do really believe unto salvation… If duty faith were a truth, it must have some meaning with God in regard to salvation; and such a meaning too, as that if it were the universal duty of all men, wherever the gospel comes, to believe unto salvation, then salvation would be as universal as the spread of the gospel, if all men did but do their duty.”

William Huntington
“…such doctrine had no good effect, either upon the saint, or upon the sinner: not to the saint, for he was sent to Moses for help; nor to the sinner, for he was sent to the physician before he was sick. Nor will God ever attend with his blessing and his seal such a doctrine as this to the conversion of any soul living… There is a great difference between law and gospel, works and grace, the letter and the Spirit; and between a legal commandment and a life-giving commandment.”

John Gill
“…the law is not of faith, so faith is not of the law. There is a faith indeed which the law requires and obliges to, namely, faith and trust in God, as the God of nature and providence; for as both the law of nature, and the law of Moses, show there is a God, and who is to be worshipped; they both require a belief of him, and trust and confidence in him… moreover the law obliges men to give credit to any revelation of the mind and will of God he has made, or should think fit to make unto them at any time; but as for special faith in Christ as a Saviour, or believing in him to the saving of the soul; this the law knows nothing of, nor does it make it known.”

John Gill
“The gospel is indeed ordered to be preached to every creature to whom it is sent and comes… And that there are universal offers of grace and salvation made to all men I utterly deny; nay, I deny they are made to any; no, not to God’s elect; grace and salvation are provided for them in the everlasting covenant, procured for them by Christ, published and revealed in the gospel, and applied by the Spirit.”

Robert Hawker
“And the advocates of a yea and nay gospel, all act in perfect conformity to those principles… Offers of Christ, yea pressing Christ upon the congregation, are the chief topics adopted. And sometimes, from the great earnestness with which they have worked up their natural feeling to persuade, they enforce the present opportunity as if, should it be neglected, never another perhaps may be afforded them.”

John Brine
“With respect to offers and tenders of mercy and salvation to sinners I observe: That Christ and his salvation are to be proposed for acceptance, to all who see their need of him, that this includes an offer in it, but is more than an offer, and that he is graciously given to them, and ‘tis their duty to embrace and receive him.”

William Tant
“If then the gospel is good tidings because it proclaims blessings that are given to, secured for, and wrought in the souls of all interested in them, independent of creature merit, creature wisdom, creature seeking, creature asking, or creature diligence; then that gospel which gives an opposite view of these things is not good tidings. An offered gospel does do so; therefore an offered gospel is a contradiction to itself, and cannot be the gospel of the ever blessed God, for he is not the author of confusion, 1 Cor. 14:23, Therefore an offered gospel is contrary to God’s Word and Will.”

Posted back in 2011

Fasting and Alms-deeds

KnoxMaryJohn Knox fasted and prayed,

“Give me Scotland or I die!”

Knox fasted so often that it is said Queen Mary feared his prayers more than all the armies of Scotland.

Knox on:


And albeit to fervent prayer are joined fasting, watching, and alms-deeds, yet none of them are the cause that God does accept our prayers; but they are spurs which suffer us not to vary, but make us more able to continue in prayer, which the mercy of God does accept. But here it may be objected, that David prays, “Keep my life, O Lord, for I am holy. O Lord, save my soul, for I am innocent; and suffer me not to be consumed” (Ps. 86:2). Also Hezekiah, “Remember, Lord, I beseech thee, that I have walked righteously before thee, and that I have wrought that which is good in thy sight” (2 Kings 20:3). These words are not spoken of men glorious, neither yet trusting in their own works. But herein they testify themselves to be the sons of God, by regeneration; to whom he promises always to be merciful, and at all times to hear their prayers.

The cause of their boldness was Jesus Christ. And so their words spring from a wonted, constant, and fervent faith, surely believing that, as God of his infinite mercy had called them to his knowledge, not suffering them to walk after their own natural wickedness, but partly had taught them to conform themselves to his holy law; and that for the promised Seed’s sake; so might he not leave them destitute of comfort, consolation, and defence in so great and extreme necessity. And so they allege not their justice to glory thereof, or to put trust therein, but to strengthen and confirm them in God’s promises.

And this consolation I would wish all Christians in their prayers: a testimony of a good conscience to assure them of God’s promises. But to obtain what they ask must only depend upon him, all opinion and thought of our own justice being laid aside. And moreover David, in the words above, compares himself with King Saul, and with the rest of his enemies, who wrongfully persecuted him; desiring of God that they prevail not against him, as [though] he would say, “Unjustly do they persecute me, and, therefore, according to my innocence defend me.” For otherwise he confesses himself most grievously to have offended God, as in the preceding places he clearly testifies. (end quote)

May you celebrate Lent by feasting on the word and sacrament.

Yours in the Lord,


PS: Before commenting read Yes and No: Lent and the Reformed Faith Today

IV Sunday in Lent

Daylight Savings Time ended this morning meaning we lost an hour of sleep. I skipped the 8am Book of Common Prayer service and attended the 10:30 Book of Alternative Services choral worship service instead and, even though I began my Christian life in the Anglican Church, I had forgotten the differences. The BCP service is a quiet and solemn affair with the emphasis being placed on our unworthiness to approach the Lord’s Table but, because of Jesus Christ, we may approach trusting in His grace and mercy. The BAS service is much more lively. A choir enhances the auditory experience and lifts the soul. A believer approaches the Lord’s Table with a glad heart knowing that Christ has paid a price for his salvation and we approach rejoicing in that knowledge.

The readings for this mornings Holy Eucharist where as follows:

Numbers 21
4 And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.
5 And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.
6 And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
8 And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

Psalm 107
107 O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;
3 And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.

Psalm 107
17 Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.
18 Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.
19 Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.
20 He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
21 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
22 And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.

Ephesians 2
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

I’ve never really thought about the use of a lectionary in the past but I can see it being a useful tool, one that weaves scripture together, creating a theological theme. One aspect I really enjoyed but forgot about was the reading of the Holy Gospel where the Gospel is carried above the readers head into the middle of the congregation. The Gospel was read among the people. I can’t speak for others but I found this striking.

One of the highlights of this mornings worship service was The Glory of These Forty Days, a 6th century hymn that lacked the “I” or “me” emphasis found in most modern hymns today. It was nice just to sing about scriptural topics. We also sang Newton’s “Amazing Grace” and Toplay’s “Rock of Ages.”

The glory of these forty days

1. The glory of these forty days
we celebrate with songs of praise,
for Christ, through whom all things were made,
himself has fasted and has prayed.

2. Alone and fasting Moses saw
the loving God who gave the law,
and to Elijah, fasting, came
the steeds and chariots of flame.

3. So Daniel trained his mystic sight,
delivered from the lions’ might,
and John, the Bridegroom’s friend, became
the herald of Messiah’s name.

4. Then grant us, Lord, like them to be
full oft in fast and prayer with thee;
our spirits strengthen with thy grace,
and give us joy to see thy face.

5. O Father, Son and Spirit blest,
to thee be every prayer addressed,
who art in threefold name adored,
from age to age, the only Lord.

IMG_20180311_122520_689 (1)

Rev. Mark

Rev. Mark preached a sermon about doing the hard things in life including believing and trusting in Christ for salvation. I have to admit the shorter sermons are refreshing. Services run over an hour and the sermons are 15 minutes or less – I enjoy how Rev. Mark gets to the point.  The lectionary readings were the basis of his sermon, that  we must believe in Jesus Christ and His promises made to us. We must trust in Christ’s mercy.

As we partook of the Bread and Wine the “Agnus Dei” or “Lamb of God” was sung by the choir. The “Agnus Dei” is drawn from John 1:29 which reads, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” and is used in many liturgical services including Lutheran.

The text in Latin is:

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem.

translated as:

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

Happy listening.

Yours in the Lord,