Thursday, January 17, 2019

Gore: three dangers

Thursday, January 17, 2019
    Feast of Antony of Egypt, Abbot, 356
    Commemoration of Charles Gore, Bishop, Teacher, Founder of the Community of the Resurrection, 1932
    Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
    —James 4:8 (NIV)
    I suppose these are the three main dangers to which ecclesiastical developments are liable: (1) The danger of undue accommodation to natural religion or to the indolence and superstitious tendencies of human nature, from which result undue and unguarded accretions upon Christian doctrine and perversions of it. (2) There is the danger of one-sidedness by accommodation to the particular tendencies of a particular age. (3) There is the danger of an arrested development, because ecclesiastical authority acting hastily or unguardedly solidifies the one-sidedness or undue accommodation of a particular moment of the Church into a premature and unjustifiable dogma. There is, I venture to think, for all these dangers one remedy, and one remedy only, and that the most old-fashioned; and yet it is with this that is bound up all that is most true, all that is most free, all that is most spiritual in the Church. The remedy to which I refer is ... the continual recurrence to the original pattern, the continual appeal to antiquity and Scripture. Such an appeal limits the dogmatic authority and in a sense the whole authority of the Church. But it is by the maintenance of this appeal, and only so, that you can safeguard what is, after all, the most important thing, that is, the real power of the Church to be true to its own best spirit, to reassert the original teaching in all its freedom and largeness of application, without being trammelled and contracted by the errors and narrownesses of particular periods.
    ... Charles Gore (1853-1932), in a lecture delivered December 6, 1900 (see the book)
    See also Jas. 4:8; 1 Tim. 4:16; 2 Tim. 4:3-5; Tit. 1:9; 2:1; Heb. 13:9; 2 John 1:9; Jude 1:3
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, strengthen Your church.
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