(By Cheri Wetzel).
The main day of presentations has concluded. This afternoon, we heard a brilliant piece by the Rev. Dr. Ashley Null on Recent findings in Cranmer Research. For the first time ever, the development of the Doctrine of Anglicanism made sense to me, from the early days of the beginning of the Church, through Cranmer’s time as Archbishop of Canterbury. The early Church Fathers, the writing, analysis and evaluation of competing texts in Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, plus the Reformation writers, especially Luther, became a completed picture ”“ no longer a jig saw puzzle with lots of missing pieces. Rationale for Cranmer’s development of the Book of Common Prayer I and II finally make sense. Because major portions of this paper will be published this calendar year, this commentary ends here. Dr. Null has promised that when the publishing cycle is complete, we will do an in-depth interview. Trust me, it will be worth the wait for this excellent material.
This lecture was followed by the Rev. Dr. Steven Paulson, escapee from the frozen tundra of central Minnesota. His topic was “Preaching the Gospel of Grace.” A clerical member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Dr. Paulson spoke with clarity about the difference between the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of the Sadducees, both of which are warned against in Paul’s letters. “Cheap Grace” and the problems between works and grace that have inhabited the Church since the early days, received great discussion. How do you actually preach the Gospels when these differences in understanding still exist? Get to the core. Who is the person of the Christ? What was he sent to us to accomplish? How did he do that? Is this healing balm still vital and active and functioning today? Yes. Preach it!