Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Article 1 — Of Faith in the Holy Trinity

To be Protestant, we need to be catholic. That’s the key point of Article 1, and the sure foundation upon which all the Articles are built.

Hang on though, you might say — wasn’t the Reformation about being against Catholicism, about refuting its many errors?

But here’s the thing — the Protestant Reformers were so against the Roman Catholic Church because they saw that it had ceased to be truly catholic. The word ‘catholic’ means ‘universal’ — so to be ‘catholic’ means to believe what the Church has always believed. That’s what we’re affirming in the Apostles’ Creed when we say that we believe in ‘the holy catholic church.’

By the sixteenth century, the Church of Rome had deviated so far from the truths revealed in Scripture, that it could no longer be properly recognised as ‘catholic’ any more. It was the Protestants who were the true catholics — they weren’t breaking away from the church, they were returning to it.

And so when the Anglican Reformers came to write the Articles, they made this conviction dramatically clear. They were going ‘back to basics’ — back to the true faith, the uncorrupted faith, the faith authoritatively proclaimed in God’s Word, the faith articulated by the church’s great champions of orthodoxy. Read More

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