NEW

We Wish You a Merry Saturnalia: Northern Churchman

We Wish You a Merry Saturnalia? The Northern Churchman There is a familiar feel to this time of year. The Christmas advertising on television, the darker evenings, the Carol Services – and the inevitable scoffers who call the Christmas story a myth. Not ‘Once in Royal...

Mark Pickles: The Story of Two Trampolines

Gospel-Driven Anglicanism By the Revd Dr Mark Pickles The Story of the Two Trampolines:  A passage that is frequently referred to during times of great revival is Isaiah 64:1-3:  “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your...

Ten Thousand Bibles for London’s Children

TBS Auxiliary Meets Ten Thousand Bibles For London’s Children The Greater London Auxiliary of the Trinitarian Bible Society was delighted to report at its Annual Meeting held on 15 November that over 10,000 Bibles have been distributed to London schools since the...

Good News for Egypt’s Christians

Barnabas Fund Reports Good News for Egypt’s Christians The government of Egypt licensed 125 churches and church-affiliated buildings on 14 November. It is the 24th batch of approvals made since the government committee overseeing the licensing process started work in...

Church Society’s Response to MP Ben Bradshaw

Church Society’s Response to MP Ben Bradshaw In the aftermath of Desmond Tutu’s daughter being refused permission to preside at a funeral in a Church of England parish, Labour MP Ben Bradshaw told The Guardian that the “C of E must move swiftly to welcome lesbian...

Collins: Who’s Your Righteousness?

Who’s Your Righteousness? By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins Who’s your righteousness? "The Lord our Righteousness" was the sermon preached March 20, 1757 at St. Mary's Church in Oxford. It offended nearly everyone that day and William Romaine was invited to never preach...

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Act of 1963

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Act of 1963 Persons Against Whom Proceedings May be Instituted. Proceedings under this Measure may be instituted against an archbishop, any diocesan bishop or any suffragan bishop commissioned by a diocesan bishop or any other bishop or a...

Editorial: Joy to the World Cup

Editorial Joy to the World Cup The result of the 2022 FIFA World Cup is already in. And it appears the Church of England has lost. The latest advice from the Church of England’s Support Hub is for parishes to consider the timing of Christmas Carol Services to avoid...

Symes to Step Down from Anglican Mainstream Leadership

Symes to Step Down from Anglican Mainstream Leadership By Chris Sugden Andrew Symes is to stand down as Executive Secretary of Anglican Mainstream on January 1, 2023, after nearly ten years in post. Rev Symes, 56, who had earlier served with Crosslinks in South...

Retired Bishop Given Life Suspension

Retired Bishop Given Life Suspension By George Conger The former Bishop of Ramsbury has been suspended for life from the ordained ministry after he admitted to having sexually abused two women. The Daily Mail reported the Rt Rev. Peter Hullah had been the subject of...

The Athanasian Creed by Martin Davie

The Athanasian Creed

Martin Davie

London: Latimer Trust, 2019 (ISBN: 978-1-906327-58-3, 105pp)

‘The three creeds…ought thoroughly to be received and believed for they may be proved by most certain warrants of holy scripture’, affirms the eighth article of religion. And yet, one of these three is now, as Davie puts it, ‘the neglected creed’. For shame!

The Latimer Trust’s ‘Anglican Foundations’ series, covering topics such as the Articles, Homilies, Prayer Book, and various texts therein, is immensely valuable as a modern articulation and apology for the sound and venerable settlement of the English church. This volume of the series brings light to one of the least-known corners of that settlement.

The full-orbed Trinitarianism of the Athanasian is much needed tonic for the many churchmen who today glory in a claimed ‘credal orthodoxy’ while speaking blithely of an undefined ‘God’ rather than referring in a definitively Christian way to ‘the Lord’, or to ‘Christ’.

Particularly useful in this short book is Davie’s contextualisation of the Creed of Athanasius, locating its genesis in early sixth century southern France. Davie deftly synthesises the best available information to conclude that it was written ‘to strengthen and equip’ orthodox Christians suffering under the rule of Arian Visigoths. The struggle to maintain the confession of Christ’s divinity ‘whole and undefiled’ was fierce and demanding. 

Davie then charts the reception history of the Athanasian, including most strikingly the 1873 declaration of the Houses of Convocation defending its continued validity and use, followed dismally by the ‘radical, though unofficial, change in the status of the creed’ during the twentieth century. Universalism, modernism, rationalism, ecumenism, secularism, and clerical laxity conspired to exclude the creed from the practical life of the church.

Yet the struggle against Arianism remains for Christians today, albeit with less prominence than other points of dispute with the world. As we strive to maintain the faith on new fronts, we are not to concede ground held so gallantly by previous generations of believers. Davie’s book is a welcome exhortation to that effect.

Edward Keene, Little Shelford

Previous

Next