The holy day has dawned
It's dawned in Australia where I live, anyway. Because of international time zones America is nearly a day behind.
So today Christians celebrate something very implausible -- the incarnation -- when the great God over all poured himself into the body of a baby and subsequently lived a life as a normal human being. It takes a lot to believe that and the whole thing was a matter of great dispute among the early Christians. Jesus himself did after all say: "My Father is greater than I" (John 14:28).
But along came Athanasius' Egyptian doctrine of the Trinity to quell disputes and to make some sense of it all: The doctrine of three persons in the one God. It's not a doctrine mentioned anywhere in Christian scripture -- as I often point out -- but perhaps it is needed to make sense of the implausible. That we cannot hope to understand Godhead is after all a reasonable claim.
I attended a service at my local branch of the Church of England yesterday evening: Holy Trinity Anglican Church Woolloongabba. It's a nice-looking church, and well-maintained
To my amazement, the church was full with a good cross-section of people . I rather liked that as I see Christianity as a civilizing influence. I thought initially that most came simply for the Xmas carols -- which were promised and delivered -- but it seems I was wrong. It was a Communion service and almost all of the congregation went forward to get the biscuit.
Rev. Paschke's sermon was pedestrian, with God "rolling up his sleeves" rather a lot -- an image I could not get with at all. But one expects an Anglican sermon to be inoffensive junk. I just went there for the carols.
Given my very fundamentalist early life, there was a lot more Popery in the service than I liked but I guess that I am a bit of a dinosaur there. "Popery" is probably condemned only in Northern Ireland these days
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).