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The Catholic Religion: A Manual of Instruction for Members of the Anglican Communion [Paperback]

By Vernon Staley (Author)
Our Price $ 39.95  
Retail Value $ 47.00  
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Item Number 98723  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   418
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.38" Width: 4.73" Height: 0.91"
Weight:   0.98 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2007
Publisher   Wipf & Stock Publishers
ISBN  1556354681  
EAN  9781556354687  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION. A LMIGHTY God in His love created all /- things. At the head of this lower world He placed man, giving him the power to choose, to love and serve Him freely. That this choice might be a reality, it was needful that man should have the power to reject God, and to withhold his love and service. In no other way could his will be really free. Man, thus gifted, was put on his trial. He failed, and so fell away from God. But God's love was so great that, even though rejected by man, He would not leave him to his ruin. God pursued fallen man with a love which is as astonishing as it is touching. The history of the human race is the history of God's patient love following man, in order to bring him back to Himself. By man's evil choice his mind became darkened, his heart polluted, and his will weakened. All along the ages we find God striving to remedy these defects, enlightening man's mind by His truth, cleansing his heart by holy inspirations, and aiding man's will by His power. Whilst God was thus dealing with the human race in general, He willed, in His wisdom, towork in a more special way within a narrower circle. At first, history tells of God's particular dealings with individuals and families, as with the patriarchs; then with one nation, that of the Jews; and lastly, when Christ came, with all nations without distinction. Taking the Old Testament as our guide, we find in early times Noah thus singled out for God's special favour. The human race had become so utterly wicked, that it was necessary to destroy it by a mighty flood. Noah and his family remained faithful; and, as a reward, God saved them in the Ark from the punishment which fell upon the godless. With Noah and his family, God made a covenant or agreement, revealing Himself...

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Traditional Anglicanism for the 21st Century  Oct 9, 2004
The author never grows old or out-of-date,in this fine review of the catholic faith, as experienced in the Anglican ( Episcopal ) Church.

This Anglican Classic has been reprinted by Saint Paul Theological Seminary due to the world-wide demand.

Highly recommended by the Faculty of the College.
The Best Book on Basic Anglo-Catholicism  Jan 26, 2004
While the language may be a little bit outdated, Vernon Staley's book stands head and shoulders above the rest for basic instruction on the Anglican faith, from an anglo-catholic perspective. The language, while somewhat old-fashioned, is still very clear, and the author has brought this clarity to all the basic tenets of the faith, from the sacraments, to the Creeds, to Holy Scripture, and to the concept of the Holy Trinity, all the while making these sometimes-confusing subjects understandable to the average person. This is a "must-have" for anyone wanting to understand the faith.
A fine book on catholicism within the Anglican Church  Jan 3, 2001
Staley gives us a fine guide to being both Anglican and Catholic, that is a part of the worldwide, historic and universal Church (not necessarily in the Roman Church). The book is essentially a concise catechism for the Anglican faithful. In his book he discusses many topics of value. For instance the first 70 pages are an introduction to the history of the faith. In these pages Staley demonstrates the importance of the church's orders: Bishop, Deacon, and Priest. He also stresses the essentiality of Apostolic Succession (through the Episcopate), as a guarantee against heresy and false teaching. He attempts to emphasize the genuine character of Anglican orders, by giving the English Church's history before being under Rome, while under Rome, and after breaking from Rome under Henry VIII. In these pages he explains the causes of Reformation, and the goals of Reformation in England, which overall were not meant to replace the Catholic faith, but simply bring it to a better state. In these chapters an Anglican slant is given to the faith, which I find refreshing. At times Staley seems a bit anti-Roman Catholic, but he was also living before Vatican II.

The last 120 pages deal with the faith of the Church in doctrine and practice. He has sections on the three creeds, the Trinity, the Incarnation (which Staley describes as, "the greatest honor and blessing our race has ever received"), and other important topics. Most of his ideas are firmly rooted in the Church Councils and Church Tradition. He discusses the Catholic view of the seven sacraments, including the Eucharist. Regarding the Eucharist, he takes a decidedly Anglican position when he reiterates the firm Anglican belief in the Real Presence, "without presuming to define the manner of [how the body and blood are present]". He also emphasizes the free-will of humankind and the power of God, sounding more like the Church fathers than the reformers. However, that is the goal of Staley's book: to celebrate the Anglican Church's place in the Historic Church. Staley also gives excellent information on the Creation. He is sympathetic to evolution as a possibility, so long as it is God guided.

He also discusses Christian duty, prayer, and the Bible including the deutero-canon. Staley says, "No Bible is complete which does not contain the apocrypha." Overall, Staley gives a good Anglo-Catholic view of most every major doctrine and practice.

In general, Staley's book assumes the Anglican Church is Historic and Catholic, which may be a surprise to Evangelicals within the church. However, the Church, since the mid-1800s when the "Oxford Movement" sprang up, has as a whole moved toward Catholicism in doctrine and praxis, although not as far as Anglo-Catholics had anticipated. Overall, I think this is an excellent book for anyone searching for catholicism in the Anglican Church. Of note, this book was originally written in 1893, so some issues are outdated. It was revised and condensed in 1983, and the new parts are useful as well.

An Anglo-Catholic Confirmation Guide  Apr 3, 2000
"Catholic Religion" makes many excellent points, the foremost being that "the opposite of Catholic is not Protestant, but *heretic*." Accordingly Staley provides a vision of Anglicanism and Episcopalianism in good Anglo-Catholic fashion with due reference to the historic Christian faith. Staley was reacting to what he and others in the "Oxford Movement" considered the hyper-protestant vision of the Church of England then ascendant in England with its "low church" banalities and disdain of history in favor of evangelical and puritan innovations. His work has remained in print all these years because because it meets a legitimate need within Anglicanism to remember that our faith must strive to be truly "catholic" (i.e. the faith of the historic church Jesus Christ established) and not something "new". His work effectively reminds us that every heretic begins their recruiting message by saying "I'm just trying to teach you something NEW that GOD HAS REVEALED TO ME."

Modern Episcopalians reading ONLY works from this school of thought will quickly lose the biblical and evangelical heritage that is also theirs in the classical Anglican statement, the 39 Articles. The Articles, you see, were written to maintain the "Catholic" religion and not simply express "new" and "Protestant" ideas. Both the Lutheran and Anglican reformations purposely sought not to "reinvent the wheel" doctrinally and ecclesiastically if at all possible in light of the truth of the Holy Scriptures. That is why both traditions, for example, affirm justification by faith alone through Christ alone and why the Articles and the Augsburg confession have such deep similiarities. Yet for Staley, the reformation always seems more like a burden than a joy to behold. For that reason he neglects the articles and the Cranmerian logic behind the development Prayer Book. He even seems at times to be a Pelagian in his view of the sovereignty of God in salvation when discussing such things as predestination so averse is he towards affirming anything the reformers might have believed.

I would consider this book one-sided but nevertheless absolutely necessary for any catechist wanting to understand the full range of Anglican views. It should not be kept and viewed as a scholarly curiosity by evangelical catechists though. It should be studied for it's vision and information to help evangelical catechists broaden their appreciation for the "catholicity" of Anglicanism. Otherwise, evangelical catechists face the danger of simply becoming less than catholic themselves, seduced by the charismatic/evangelical zeitgeist into giving up too much of their birthright in the interest of being "relevant". Buy it. Read it. Use it. With wisdom.


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