Theology Update for the Week of November 8

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Dear friends in Christ,

Sunday, November 8, our study of the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religionresumes with Article 26 on the unworthiness of ministers. An opportunity for humility! We will also talk about baptism (Article 27). The class is at 10am on the 5th floor of the parish house, and I will repeat it on Monday, November 9, at 12:40pm on the 2nd floor.

A new course begins on Tuesday, November 10: Professor Jeremy Waldron will join me for a four-week study of Oliver O’Donovan’s book On the Thirty-Nine Articles. I’m very much looking forward to being with Jeremy again–as you will be also, if you have ever had the pleasure of being in one of his classes. This book is a commentary that O’Donovan wrote as a “conversation with Tudor Christianity.” It’s not so much about what the 39 Articles say as it is an inquiry into the theological topics they bring up. What makes it such a fine book is the quality of O’Donovan’s mind-for it is with very good reason that O’Donovan is esteemed as a great Anglican moral theologian of our time.

Just in case you’re wondering: The Tuesday course will be independent of the Sunday class, and we will not expect that you have been to the other. This will stand on its own-and I trust be worth your time. We will meet at 6:30pm in Andrew Hall; the first session will be on the introduction and chapters 1 and 2. These are on faith in God and Christ, and the passion and triumph of Christ.

Finally, on Monday, November 16, the Good Books & Good Talk seminar will discuss Walker Percy’s Lost in the Cosmos, the ultimate send-up of self-help books. Anyone who reads the book is welcome to the seminar. I hope you enjoy it! The author promises to explain: “Why it is that of all the billions and billions of strange objects in the Cosmos–novas, quasars, pulsars, black holes–you are beyond doubt the strangest.” Or: “Why it is possible to learn more in ten minutes about the Crab Nebula in Taurus, which is 6,000 light-years away, than you presently know about yourself, even though you’ve been stuck with yourself all your life.”

Father Austin