procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Athanasius and the APB

leading church last week i did a spot on Athanasius, a true Hero of the Faith.

i thought it would be good to hand out the old-school green an Australian Prayer Book, so we could actually look at the creed attributed to him *, i.e. the Athanasian creed.

with calls to return in a post-modern way to Morning and evening prayer (see here for one), i thought this would be welcomed.

unfortunately the look on people's faces as they walked in belied my expectations, with an "aaah... does Kurt (our Pastor) know about this???"

in the end, we read through it, and read out the Nicene Creed together instead (which i think was put together at Constantinople in 381, but what's a few decades between friends?), and we could then put them down, to the relief of many!

but a little on Athanasius (c.296 - 373):

exiled 5 times from his bishopric of Alexandria in Egypt, he's most well known for these four things:
  1. Monastacism: he spent the first decade as bishop cruising around looking at monks, and most famously wrote a history of Antony

  2. Wrote out in full the canon, which was the final Christian form thereof

  3. He really hammered home the exegetical manner of hermeneutics, freeing the Christian world (for a time) from a-historico-contextual allegorising of scriputre

  4. Actually set orthodoxy against the majority, he said Christ was co-equal in substance with the Father

Hooker wrote of him,
β€œThe whole world against Athanasius, and Athanasius against it; half a hundred of years spent in doubtful trial which of the two in the end should prevail – the side which had all, or else the part which had no friends but God and death – the one a defender of his innocency, the other a finisher of all his troubles.”

* well, more accurately dedicated to him as it is believed to have been written a couple of hundred years later

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