Moses on the Mountain

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Dear friends in Christ,

Out of Egypt: Reading Exodus Theologically

On August 19 at 10 a.m., the Sunday class continues its study of the book of Exodus in the Old Testament. Having survived oppression, military attack, lack of water, lack of food, and an ambush from a nomadic population, the Israelites finally reach Sinai, the site of the giving of the law. First, however, they must prepare themselves to receive God’s revelation.

In addition to being a record of the central event in Jewish history – the exodus from Egypt and journey toward the Promised Land – Exodus also provides a prime case study of the benefits of a utilization of the traditional “four senses” of scripture: the literal, the typological, the moral, and the mystical.

Much ado about bishops

The Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral, contained in a resolution passed by the Episcopal Church in 1886 and at the Lambeth Conference of 1888, identifies four principles around which Anglicans can engage in ecumenical dialogue with other communions. Those principles are: 1) a belief in Holy Scripture as containing all things necessary for salvation; 2) an affirmation of the Apostles’ and Nicene creeds; 3) the sacraments of Eucharist and baptism; 4) the continuity of the historical episcopate – that is, the role of bishops. (Full text here.)

It is the last one that has caused some of the most friction with other Protestant churches. However, while the episcopate is an essential part of Anglicanism’s catholicity, it is not a static institution. In fact, at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, held in Austin, Texas earlier this summer, the Church continued the “local adaptation” for which the Quadrilateral provides. The Rt. Rev. John Bauerschmidt, bishop of Tennessee, recently wrote up a summary of General Convention’s actions regarding the episcopacy (here) for those of us who didn’t follow the process closely. While nothing of short-term significance was decided, it is a good illustration of the way that the details of even historic institutions like the episcopacy continue to be examined and re-examined in order to discern how they can best serve the faithful of the present age.

Yours in Christ,
Joel