Christian Identity Carnival!

In light of church-wide events, I thought it would be edifying to take a look at people who aren’t paid theologians or high muckety-mucks and see what we really believe–establish some “facts on the ground” as it were. Especially with the rhetoric of two religions in one church or “conjoined twins connected at the head,” I wanted to see how the people who read this blog think about Christian identity. As today is the Feast of St Irenaeus of Lyon, I thought I’d use his three marks of the church to kick us off, modified by two logical additions. Furthermore, in order to focus our thinking, I asked for a 1,500 word limit. Here are the categories:

Apostolic Succession

Several thoughtful responses have appeared. Thank you to all who participated–and thank you in advance to those who will read, comment, and join in upbuilding conversation about who we are as members of the Body of Christ.

I’ll order the entries on their principles of organization. Some of us moved on a point by point basis, others integrated and fused the five marks into a more holistic approach. I heartily commend them all to you.

Some moved through the points using elements of the tradition as starting places for reflection. Lutherpunk used authoritative statements from the ELCA’s Statement of Faith, to the Augsburg Confession, to the words of Luther himself. On a similar tack, Joe from Canterbury Trail used quotations from notable Anglican authors. I used collects from the BCP to orient my thoughts. D. C., The Questioning Christian, numbers his points like a lawyer (no surprise there… :-D).

Annie chose a more free-form approach to the orderly process and consciously gives us a more personal reflection on these topics. The abbot of the Monastery of the Remarkable English Martyrs, Caelius, offers a set of comments, reflections and questions to jog us towards the truth. The Anglican Scotist offers us an initial reflection on the topic of canon.

Moving to the further free-form, *Christopher, though burned out from recent events, offered some initial movements and pointed us to some of his pertinent reflections on the topics. Travis, the theologically formidable host of Gaunilo’s Island, gives us an integrated blend of the topics that lifts up the overall liturgical character of the church. (With his blend of theology, liturgy, and poetry so reminiscent of a certain archbishop, I’m calling upon VW for immediate Alternative Eyebrow Oversight.) Lastly, despite all sorts of protests to the contrary, bls from The Topmost Apple offers a fine reflection both mathematical and theological.

Thanks again to all who participated and who will participate–and I can’t wait to see the comments and discussions that grow out of these wonderful posts!

(And if I missed anyone or if anyone is in the process of putting something up, let me know and I’ll add it here.)


About Derek Olsen

I'm a layman within the Episcopal Church with a PhD in New Testament and an interest in most things medieval, monastic, and liturgical. My chief job is keeping up with my priestly wife and our two awesome kids. In addition to that, I earn a living, run the St Bede's Breviary, listen to loud goth/industrial music, and do some stuff for the church. I currently serve as Secretary to the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music where I'm also co-chair of the Calendar committee and chair of the Digital Publications committee.
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3 Responses to Christian Identity Carnival!

  1. Gaunilo says:

    Great job on getting this together, Derek. Thanks. (and thanks for the kind words!)

  2. Derek the Ænglican says:

    My pleasure–thanks to y’all for writing for it…

  3. Annie says:

    Yes, I think this sort of thing is a challenge. I just wish I hadn’t been distracted at the time. I didn’t do my homework this time. Let’s do it again, sometime.


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