Wednesday, March 18, 2009

George Sumner Points to the Historical Self-Mooring of Christianity

Christianity must not define itself merely by articulating what it is not. The positive Scriptural center of the faith must be clearly stated and not as an ambiguous compromise between convictions. What is the center of Anglicanism? George Sumner writes, “To speak of Christian centralities is to affirm the creative, particular, and historically encompassing life of God as temporally drawn in the figure of Jesus, the Christ.” The divine center of the faith, Jesus Christ, is the eternal power of God’s own life that withstands temporal assaults, orders the world, and moves the church’s destiny, all the while maintaining its integrity in relation to every detail of creation.

The translation of Christianity’s center is grounded always in “consistent historical self-mooring” through hearing the entire Scripture again and again in the Tradition of the church. The tradition of the church responds to the stress and strain of living in the world by continually reapprehending God’s order for life. It is God’s life and not the changing world or culture that must remain the center of the church’s day-to-day functioning. This is how the church is not conformed to the world but is recreated in the image of God. The church then reflects the gospel of Jesus Christ to world rather than a mere self reflection.

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