Again, material just presents itself.
Today, I had the opportunity to eat lunch with Professor Gordon Wenham, and Lee Gatis, our post-graduate seminar speaker. It is always an exciting time to have regular conversation with such intellectual and godly men as these, and simply discuss whatever comes up!
After lunch, Dr. Wenham took us to what I thought was simply Carter Lounge, the place where I hang out with the ordinands when I am not working. Rather, he said, the significance of the room, or at least the site, is that that is where James Packer wrote many of his books, including his famous Knowing God. Now I have a bit more of a profound respect for that space. Can Reformed-protestants go on pilgrimages?
Lee Gatis then presented on Calvinism in the Anglican tradition (the Church of England). His talk was called "We are all Calvinists now." It is in recognition and meditation on the 450th year of the 39 Articles, that according to Lee are thoroughly Calvinist, and are ignored broadly in the C of E currently. His case was that from its roots, the C of E was thoroughly Calvinist since the Reformation, though most history books do not represent it this way. He contested that evangelicalism in the C of E began with Calvinism and continued through the dawning of the ministry of the Wesley's and Whitfield and now into the present, though in small numbers; again, not rather as most church history books that start evangelicalism with the Wesley/Whitfield ministries. He even sites that the monarch on their day of the coronation, including the current Queen, Elizabeth, swears to defend "the Reformed and protestant faith." His case was very good and thorough, even folding Wesley into this line; though of course Wesley leaves this line soon after.
The best part is that I was sitting next to a wonderful professor from Clifton Baptist College, who is also a Methodist minister. My neighbor's views paired with Lee's especially edgy way of presenting Calvinism, made for an exciting session. Following the meeting, myself and my friend and fellow TC post-grad student, had a little 2 on 1, Calvinist vs. Wesleyan theological debate! It's been about 6 years since a good Calvinism vs. Arminian debate for me, so I enjoyed the heck out of it! It was deeply respectful and loving, but not without the required, uninformed, friendly jabs.
Tonight, a pub visit consisting of a crash course in Barthian hermeneutics with Herr Dr. Justin Stratis.
TC, Bristol Day 4.