A Good Story: Narrative as Theodicy

“If God, why evil?” When men first announced the death of God these four, short, stabbing, syllables were thought to be the nails in the Creator’s coffin. This riddle may not have been the instrumental cause of his death, but it was certainly thought that it would prevent any future resurrection on his part. Unfortunately for them, scoffers have a [...]

By |2020-07-27T14:13:46-05:00August 6th, 2020|Categories: Opinion, Theology|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Never Enough: The Beautiful Insufficiency of the Diaconate

Deacons cannot absolve, bless, or consecrate. These "ABCs" of the diaconate are often the first and most consistent way that people describe the order today, inadvertently defining the most foundational of the Holy Orders by what deacons cannot do. I have attempted to add parochial reports to the list, but it neither follows the alphabetic scheme nor works out consistently [...]

By |2020-07-22T09:54:22-05:00July 30th, 2020|Categories: Theology|Tags: , |4 Comments

Bridging the Divide: Anglicanism and the Supernatural

Since the beginning of the modern era, westerners have typically divided the world into two categories: natural and supernatural. The natural world is thought to contain everything that can be proven by science, can visibly be seen; it’s the world of evidence, facts, and reality. In other words, it’s the “real” world. The supernatural is then considered the realm of [...]

By |2020-07-14T12:05:47-05:00July 20th, 2020|Categories: Theology|Tags: , |0 Comments

This Holy Week, Remember That You Are Going to Die

This week, the Presbyterian theologian Carl Trueman reflected on what Christians ought to learn about ourselves and about the world from the COVID-19 pandemic. One thing, he says, seems obvious: “The levels of general panic indicate that few of us have been properly prepared for the reality of our own mortality.” Many Christians have reflected on the significance of the [...]

By |2020-04-03T14:47:43-05:00April 3rd, 2020|Categories: Church Year, Theology|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

What Do Anglicans Believe about the Creeds and Holy Scripture?

From The ACNA Catechism The following is an excerpt from the Anglican Church in North America’s catechism, To Be a Christian: An Anglican Catechism (Crossway, 2020), pp. 29–35. You can download a PDF of the entire catechism here. The Apostles' Creed and the Life of Faith All genuine Christians affirm that authentic Christianity is apostolic Christianity. Apostolic Christianity rests on the historic, eyewitness [...]

By |2020-02-12T17:48:04-06:00February 11th, 2020|Categories: Anglicanism, Theology|Tags: , , |0 Comments

How Do We Know If Our Experiences of God Are Real or Not? Lessons from Jonathan Edwards

How do we know if our experiences of God are real or not? If we thought that we, or our congregations, were experiencing revival, or renewal, how would we discern if it was really from the Holy Spirit? What would be happening? What wouldn’t be happening? If we pray for God’s work in our own hearts, and in the lives [...]

By |2020-01-08T15:58:15-06:00January 13th, 2020|Categories: Miscellaneous, Theology|Tags: , , |2 Comments

Why Do We Baptize Babies If They Cannot Make a Profession of Faith?

Many people coming to Anglicanism stumble over infant baptism. They come for the beauty of the liturgy, the appreciation of both Word and Sacrament, of Scripture and Tradition. But for many, whether Baptist or not, infant baptism is a hang-up. There are many good reasons for such worries and many good answers—including on this site (see here, here, and here). [...]

By |2019-12-22T16:52:25-06:00January 2nd, 2020|Categories: Sacraments, Theology|Tags: , , |9 Comments

How to Become a Subversive Church, pt. 2: Catholics, not Church-Shoppers

As a minister, nothing makes my stomach hurt like the phrase “church-shopping” and the statements that often come with it: “I didn’t like their worship style.” “The pastor preached a little long.” “There weren’t enough programs available." The list goes on and on. One could write a book about the many issues that this concept of church-shopping points to in [...]

By |2019-12-22T16:47:02-06:00December 26th, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, Theology|Tags: |0 Comments

Here’s a Bookmarked, Easy-to-Navigate PDF of the ACNA’s New Catechism

As the Anglican Church in North America just recently announced, the PDF of the new "Approved" edition of the Catechism is now available. Crossway will be publishing this edition of To Be a Christian: An Anglican Catechism in early 2020. You can pre-order a copy on Amazon here (affiliate link). I've added bookmarks to the ACNA's PDF. This makes the [...]

By |2019-12-10T11:52:09-06:00December 10th, 2019|Categories: Theology|Tags: |0 Comments

What Does It Mean to Believe in the “Communion of Saints”?

The Illustration I remember the sermon illustration well. A tightrope walker strings a tightrope across a gorge. He walks back and forth across the rope to the awe and delight of the audience. He then pushes a wheelbarrow back and forth. After that feat, he asks the astonished crowd, “Do you think I can do this with a person in [...]

By |2019-12-06T12:10:32-06:00December 5th, 2019|Categories: Theology|Tags: |1 Comment

Taking Scripture and Women’s Ordination Seriously: A Response to Blake Johnson and Lee Nelson

Editor's Note: Thank you to the Rev. Dr. Emily McGowin for writing this rejoinder to Fr. Blake Johnson's and Fr. Lee Nelson's responses to her original blog post about the in persona Christi argument against women's ordination. While we invite this conversation (about McGowin's original blog post) to continue in our comments section and elsewhere—and we plan to publish more [...]

By |2020-01-14T09:39:57-06:00November 18th, 2019|Categories: Opinion, Theology|Tags: |21 Comments

The Problem with Making a Patristic Argument for the Ordination of Women: A Response to Emily McGowin

Editor's Note (Greg Goebel): Fr. Lee Nelson has been a writer and supporter of Anglican Pastor from our earliest days. I asked him to write a response to the Rev. Dr. Emily McGowin’s post for our site. Meanwhile, Rev. Blake Johnson has also published a response on the Theopolis Insitute's blog. We present this post below to you as a [...]

By |2020-01-14T11:32:34-06:00November 15th, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, Opinion, Theology|Tags: |8 Comments

If Women Can Be Saved, Then Women Can Be Priests: A Critique of the “in persona Christi” Argument Against Women’s Ordination

Editor’s Note: The piece below represents the opinion of the author. Anglican Pastor does not take a site-wide position for or against women’s ordination. We do, however, require both clarity and charity. We ask that your responses to it do so as well. After reading this piece, please see Lee Nelson's response and Emily McGowin's rejoinder. The connection between christology [...]

By |2020-01-14T11:31:08-06:00September 26th, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, Opinion, Theology|Tags: |33 Comments

A New Creed? The ACNA’s Revised Translation of the Nicene Creed

The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) has recently released its 2019 Book of Common Prayer (BCP). For most ACNA churches, the revised translation of the Nicene Creed will likely be the most apparent liturgical change on a Sunday morning. This is at least the case for our church (Church of the Redeemer in Nashville, TN). The Nicene Creed is [...]

By |2019-07-01T12:57:02-05:00July 1st, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, Theology|Tags: |6 Comments

3 Aspects of Christian Living: A Framework for Thinking about Discipleship

How would you explain “discipleship” to a new believer? How would you help a busy person know how to grow and live as a Christian? If you are a trained pastor or theologian, you might have a lot to say about discipleship. It might even feel difficult to summarize. One could say, “Living as a Christian just means loving God [...]

By |2019-06-10T07:58:50-05:00June 6th, 2019|Categories: Theology|Tags: |1 Comment

Putting the Fire in the Fireplace: Anglicanism and the Holy Spirit

A fireplace exists to hold a fire. Without fire, a fireplace merely becomes a cold ornamental shell. Likewise, fire without a fireplace, can easily become wildfire having no container. The Anglican tradition is kind of like a fireplace that is meant to provide a structure or a foundation for a lively faith that allows us to be open to the [...]

By |2019-05-30T22:18:22-05:00May 30th, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, Theology|Tags: , |1 Comment

Anglican Pastors vs. Priests? An Introduction to Anglican Holy Orders

I have been a full-time Anglican minister since 2005 when my wife and I moved to the Middle East as cross-cultural workers (i.e., missionaries). However, I was not ordained to the diaconate until 2017, and to the priesthood in 2018. From 2005–2017, I was involved in ministries of evangelism, discipleship and teaching, first in the Middle East and then in [...]

By |2019-05-22T11:18:19-05:00May 20th, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, For Pastors, Theology|Tags: , |12 Comments

Telos Collective #Intersection19: Day Three Recap

What a great conference! Special thanks to the Telos Collective, to Trinity Anglican Church in Atlanta for hosting, and to all of the speakers: Bishop Todd Hunter (Twitter: @BpToddHunter) Hans Boersma Esau McCaulley (Twitter: @esaumccaulley) William Cavanaugh Tish Harrison Warren (Twitter: @Tish_H_Warren) Winfield Bevins (Twitter: @winfieldbevins) David Fitch (Twitter: @fitchest) Bishop Ric Thorpe (Twitter: @ric_thorpe) Day three of the conference [...]

By |2019-05-19T18:27:19-05:00May 19th, 2019|Categories: Theology|Tags: |0 Comments

Telos Collective #Intersection19: Day Two Recap

A Roman Catholic, two Anglicans, and an Anabaptist walk into a conference and—voilà!—you've got day two (Friday) of the Telos Collective's 2019 Intersection Conference. Especially for an introvert like myself, it's been a bit like drinking from a fire hose here in Atlanta today. Summarizing and weaving together William Cavanaugh's, Tish Harrison Warren's, Winfield Bevins', and David Fitch's talks is [...]

By |2019-05-18T07:28:30-05:00May 18th, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, Theology|Tags: |0 Comments

Telos Collective #Intersection19: Day One Recap

Things are up and running here in Atlanta for the Telos Collective’s 2019 Intersection Conference on Anglican Missional Ecclesiology. Here’s a brief recap of day one. Hans Boersma: “Proclaiming the Gospel through the Eucharist” After Archbishop Foley and Bishop Todd Hunter got things started, we heard from Hans Boersma on “Proclaiming the Gospel through the Eucharist.” Boersma, who now teaches [...]

By |2019-05-17T09:15:53-05:00May 17th, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, Theology|Tags: , |0 Comments

REVIEW: “We Give Our Thanks Unto Thee: Essays in Memory of Fr. Alexander Schmemann,” edited by Porter C. Taylor

How should the Church relate to the world? Is our primary relationship one of acceptance or rejection, engagement or retreat, affection or animosity? Is it appropriate for ordained clergy to engage in local or national politics, even from the pulpit? How exactly are we to think of this world, this beautiful gift and fallen mess which we are “in,” but [...]

By |2019-05-15T21:44:29-05:00May 16th, 2019|Categories: Miscellaneous, Theology|Tags: , |1 Comment

Hopelessness on the Road to Emmaus

By John Rivenbark. John Rivenbark was a priest candidate who served for many years as a pastor, teacher, and Christian Formation director. He passed into the arms of Jesus on the eve of Ascension in 2018 after a long battle with cancer. John’s teaching and preaching had a profound affect on me, and on many others. His teachings were faithful, [...]

By |2019-05-09T16:05:36-05:00May 9th, 2019|Categories: Miscellaneous, Theology|Tags: , |1 Comment

What Do Anglicans Believe?

When someone visits an Anglican church, if they are new to our tradition, they often ask "What do Anglicans believe?" As you can imagine, it is not that easy to summarize the doctrinal beliefs of a global communion with a long history, and various schools of thought and practice. Nevertheless, here at Anglican Compass, we are dedicated to answering questions [...]

By |2020-05-12T11:13:22-05:00April 29th, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, Theology|Tags: |5 Comments

3 Reasons Why Christ’s Descent into Hell Is Good News

Christ’s descent into hell is one of the strangest things Christians confess. Two out of the three ecumenical creeds confessed by Anglicans contain it (Apostles’ Creed and Athanasian Creed). From Augustine to Aquinas to Calvin, the vast majority of theologians have concluded that the descent into hell is implicitly taught in Scripture. They have argued that confessing Jesus Christ as [...]

By |2019-04-12T16:12:08-05:00April 12th, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, Church Year, Theology|Tags: , |12 Comments
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