Skip to comments.On Lancelot Andrewes [Anglican]
Posted on 11/19/2005 5:26:55 PM PST by sionnsar
Lancelot Andrewes, who was consecrated Bishop of Chichester on 3 November 1605, had a reputation for saintliness and scholarship.
With Hooker, he recoiled from the popular systems and traditions, which under Elizabeth had claimed to interpret exclusively the English Reformation. They identified the true and positive basis of Anglican theology, sharing that devotional temper, those keen and deep devotions of awe, reverence and delight, which arise when the objects of theological thought and interest are adequately realised according to their greatness by the imagination and the heart (Dean Church).
True theology is always mystical, always a spirituality expressing a doctrinal attitude whose roots lie in the praying and worshipping Church. For Andrewes, devotion and theology are not opposed; the one cannot be conceived without the other. Spirituality means the experience in the Church of the union of man with God and is not an individualistic pietism. Andrewes theology is not a speculative, intellectual system about God, but the translating of this ecclesial experience into terms that can be used to transmit it. It is a vision of God, not a system of thought; a theology that can be preached, and must be understood from within that ecclesiological context and not reduced to pure polemics or ideology.
His sermons represent the true mind of the English Church where his aim is to convert his hearers to this ecclesial experience of God in the rectitude of the lex credendi (the rule of faith), which must be in profound harmony with the lex orandi (the rule of prayer). He does not merely quote the Fathers, but has integrated their essential attitude to theology itself, which is not thinking about God but translating into intelligible terms the experience of life in God. The mind of the Fathers is what makes Andrewes himself a Father of the Church, because he has acquired their essential attitude to theology that characterizes the patristic mind. This ecclesial context embraced both East and West because Andrewes encountered in himself the convergence of East and West, succinctly expressed in his Private Devotions where he prays for the whole Church Catholic, Eastern, Western, our own.
His theological base is, One canon reduced to writing by God himself, two testaments, three creeds, four general councils, five centuries, and the series of Fathers in that period determine the boundary of our faith. Anglican authority rests on Scripture and the Primitive Church, holding as de fide neither more nor less than the Fathers. This is not antiquarianism because Andrewes admits subsequent developments when not de fide.
He provided a standard within the history of the Church identifying the pure norm of faith in the New Testament and in the Fathers. Continuity with antiquity places the Anglican Church in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. His primitivism does not retreat into simple conservationism but is a dynamic process, transcending ordinary time without destroying it. It is living in time in the light of eternity, recapitulating past, present, and future in contemporaneity with the Gospel.
He led his contemporaries into a theology of adoration, self-surrender and blessing.
This appears in the November 2005 edition of New Directions
I can see I have to know more about this bishop. He almost sounds like a "Cappadocian Anglican."
One starting point would be the blog I mentioned. As I recall, the author is studying Andrewes in particular and you may pick up some useful links.
Look at these snips from +Lancelot:
"An Angel was the messenger [of Christs resurrection], for none other messenger was meet for this message. For if His birth were tidings of so great joy as none but an Angel was meet to report it, His resurrection is as much. As much? nay, much more. As much; for His resurrection is itself a birth too. To it doth the Apostle [Acts 13:33] apply the verse in the Psalm, This day have I begotten Thee [Ps. 2:7]. Even this day when He was born anew, tanquam ex utero sepulchri, from the womb of thy grace. As much then, yea much more. For the news of His birth might well have been brought by a mortal, it was but His entry into a mortal life; but this here not properly but by an Angel, for that in the Resurrection we shall be like the Angels [Matt. 22:30], and shall die not more; and therefore an immortal messenger was meetest for it. - 3rd Sermon on the Resurrection.
The doctrine of the Resurrection is one of the foundations, so called by the Apostle [Heb. 6:1]. It behoveth him therefore, as a skilful workman, to see it surely laid. That is surely laid that laid on the rock, and the rock is Christ [1 Cor. 10:4]. Therefore he laid it on Christ by saying first, Christ is risen [1 Cor 15:20].
Of all that be Christians, Christ is the hope; but not Christ every way considered, but as risen. Even in Christ un-risen there is no hope. Well doth the Apostle begin here; and when he would open to us a gate of hope [Hos. 2:15], carry us to Christs sepulchre empty; to shew us, and to hear the Angel say, He is risen. Thence after to deduce; if He were able to do thus much for Himself, He hath promised us as much, and will do as much for us. We shall be restored to life. - 2nd Sermon on the Resurrection.
Good stuff S!
While I don't believe that it has been translated into English, supposedly the Orthodox theologian Vladimir Lossky wrote a very approving book about Lancelot Andrewes. A "Cappadocian Anglican" indeed!
It was said of Andrewes, who could read and write Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Chaldee, Syriac, Arabic and at least fifteen other languages, that "he could have been 'interpreter general' at the Tower of Babel."
Andrewes headed the group of translators that was responsible for Genesis through II Kings of the KJV. Many have commented on the fact that the combination of lyricism and simplicity is greater in these early books of the Bible than anything else in the KJV (which is saying an awful lot.)
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