Perichoresis 11.2

Perichoresis 11.2 (2013)

 

 

Richard Hooker “The Pelagian”. Is There A Case? Notes On The Christian Letter

John K. Stafford

 

ABSTRACT

Richard Hooker explicitly rejected the charge of Pelagianism. In late 16th century Reformation England, this was no small charge. The extreme sensitivity of the question together with Puritan suspicions of actual or latent Catholic sympathies left Hooker on the defensive. This situation came together in the Christian Letter. Although Hooker’s marginalia is fragmentary, they reveal his considerable frustration at the question of his theological integrity. The anonymous author(s) of the Christian Letter attributed their suspicions to the density and ambiguity, as they saw the matter, of Hooker’s writing. For Hooker, this way of writing and thinking was simply what was needed in order to handle the subtleties of Christian theology, especially in times of religious disruption. Theology was not for him, a blunt instrument, but a reasoned and precise scalpel the wielding of which required a commensurate measure of skill to use properly. However, there were important points of departure between Hooker’s protagonist and his own outlook. The author of the Christian Letter had clearly set out to depict Hooker’s writing style as so excessively subtle and dependent on the Schoolmen that contrary motives might well lie behind it. If not Catholic, then Pelagian. PDF 

 

Richard Hooker’S Pneumatologia

John K. Stafford

 

ABSTRACT

In the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Polity, Richard Hooker defended the Elizabethan Settlement against what he took to be the excesses of Puritan reform. In this paper, it is argued that the theological cohesion of the Lawes took its centre from Hooker’s dynamic and pervasive understanding of God’s providence through both the objective reality of Scripture, sacrament, noetic redemption, church and Holy Spirit. Yet it was also the secret and mystical operations of the Holy Spirit that created and transformed objectivity into lived experience by which divine grace could be understood and received, joining us to Christ, and incorporating believers in mystical union. PDF

 

Richard Hooker And The Later Puritans

John K. Stafford

 

ABSTRACT

Attention is usually drawn to the negative relationship between Richard Hooker and his Puritan opponents. Such concerns dominate the polemical landscape of the late 16th and 17th centuries. However, the extent to which later Puritans appear to converge on Hooker’s epistemology and overall attitude to the place of reason, Scripture and sacrament is often overlooked. This paper consider some key affirmations from Richard Baxter, John Owen and Hooker’s contemporary William Perkins. The paper concludes that in more settled times substantive agreement might have been found on issues that during the reigns of Elizabeth and James I were profoundly divisive including the question of ministry orders PDF

 

The Call Of Nathanael. John 1:49. A Rhetorical-Theological Study

John K. Stafford

 

ABSTRACT

Historicist approaches to the reading of sacred texts, rapidly attain a point where further research produces diminishing returns, resulting in more historical speculation rather than less. This is the opposite of the desired result. The cause of this impasse lies in a failure to discern the rhetorical techniques of the author as a basic reading strategy. Similarly, it is necessary to discern that the author has already made key determinations as to historicity. What is now required of the reader is a deepened appreciation of the intentional theological, ontological and existential implications of the narrative. This paper examines how a literary/rhetorical approach may yield positive results in the case of the call of Nathanael, a narrative fragment that poses intriguing critical questions, both theological and Christological. The results suggest a dominical encounter that supplies the reader with pre-emptive eschatological intensity through deliberate juxtaposition of Nathanael’s disbelief and Jesus’ selfawareness held together in a matrix of scriptural fulfilment PDF

 

Paul’s Use Of The Psalms. Beyond Midrash

John K. Stafford

 

ABSTRACT

The Psalms are the most cited portions of Scripture in the New Testament. This paper investigates Paul’s use of the Psalms and seeks to answer the concern that his citation strategy is both arbitrary and self-serving. Inasmuch as it has sometimes been concluded that Paul, in midrashic fashion, forced his citations to say something contrary to a more natural reading. This paper suggests that Paul uses citation criteria very carefully. Preliminary results point to the use of texts that lie well within their natural reading, yet exegeted in such a way that the resulting exegesis is folded back into the text as the apostle cites it. Thus rather than citing texts arbitrarily, Paul uses great skill and sophistication in selecting and utilising texts with exegetical precision. In so doing, Paul is not using midrash but may actually be developing a characteristically Christian approach to the citation of sacred text PDF

 

Conceptions Of The Sacred. Reflections On Transcendence In Christian Discourse

John K. Stafford

 

ABSTRACT

In this reflection paper, the author considers the language and content relating to the sacred and the transcendent and the expectations arising from such language. Contending that its secular usage is sufficiently unreferenced author asks whether such language can still be used in Christian discourse which by nature is particular. The author concludes that human discourse on transcendence is common to all people in various ways sometimes mutually inclusive yet often exclusive. Christian discourse is able to use the terms available to depict the essence of human desire but historically has defended the particularity of biblical language as necessary to preserve its Christological imperative which is its distinctive departure from secular appropriation of mystery PDF

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