The Legacy of Modernism!

“The legacy of modernism has signalled to the modern culture the loss of consensus and the absence of timeless transcendence, qualities the church alone is able to cultivate and retain. In the wake of this, all that seems to be left is ever-growing secularity and public cynicism toward a religion ever in adjustment, never at rest…With no catholic consensus, it is not surprising that it took an “evangelical” archbishop to cut Anglicanism forever free from her orthodox moorings, just as the evangelical Calvinist Warfield abandoned the notion of a sacred text in his ‘quest for the inerrant autographs.’ Both developments were adjusting to modernity rather than addressing the modern situation with the timelessness of catholic truth.

Like modern economics, while the gold standard may have been abandoned the printing of money continues, all the while being further and further debased. The application of this analogy to the problem of modern translations can hardly be missed. If the original autographs are the gold standard, and they are now gone, all that can be left is the free printing of “Bibles” (like paper money), based on whatever standard of values a progressively cynical and secular culture demands.

On the 28th September in 1859, Constantine Tischendorf, the German text critic, stole the famous Codex Sinaiticus from St Catherine’s Monastery at the foot of Mt. Sinai in Egypt. (For an important historical recounting of this see: (Secrets of Mount Sinai by J Bentley 1986). No single act could so wonderfully serve as a metaphor for what has happened to the Bible in the modern era. It has been lifted from its legitimate matrix within the bosom of the Church and has served countless students as a cadaver in the operating theatres of the world within the alien context of the Academy.”

By the late Theodore Letis, “The Ecclesiastical Text.

(James R Hamilton, July 2019)
Sermon Audio

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