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The Renewing of our Minds

~ by Rhea Bright ~

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2)

Quite a few years ago (decades, to be honest!), one of my former professors opined that we were beginning to see a theological realignment in western Christianity, especially notable in Protestant denominations. He was not predicting new hybrid denominations, but rather that similar theological divides were developing across many church traditions, and we would soon discover that we had more in common theologically with some people in other denominations than with the leaders of our own. I was dismayed at the time; being fairly new to Anglicanism, I did not like the thought that the Anglican Church was possibly  disintegrating.  But since then, I have watched not only Anglicanism, but all the mainline Protestant denominations, fracture from within. It has been, at times, extremely disheartening. And yet there has been this other blessing, a rise in interdenominational cooperation in institutions like Scholé Academy. At Scholé Academy, Christian families from a variety of traditions come to the Great Hall  to study and learn together, and then students can also study within specific Christian traditions in the houses of studies. Maybe we do not have the same style of worship, but we agree on who we worship and why.

While there are many Protestant denominations and a great diversity of practice among them, there are basic Reformation principles that reformed Christians hold in common. The primacy of the Holy Scriptures is first and foremost. Reformed Christians do not have a central institutional authority, such as the Pope, to provide guidance; they rely upon the Word of God.  At Canterbury House, we believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, containing all things necessary to salvation. We believe that we are miserable sinners, saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God. We believe that the Bible remains relevant to the world today, and that Jesus is our example as well as our Savior. 

We are all familiar with the hot button issues of today: sexuality and gender, beginning and end of life matters, race and social oppression, to name the most prevalent. We live in a time of great confusion, and our attempts to express love through tolerance seem to have only increased the confusion and anxiety suffered by so many. I hope and pray that you all have found supportive worshiping communities to help guide you and your families in a thoughtful and godly manner. Canterbury House would like to offer you another community where, through courses and workshops in Biblical studies, church history,  theology, the arts, parent formation, and more, we can learn together how to live as faithful Christians in the light of contemporary culture. Our courses are taught by instructors from a variety of Protestant backgrounds, with these common Protestant principles as the foundation.

Yet another former professor of mine (it is truly a blessing to continue to have teachers in one’s life!), who is currently rereading Herodotus, said to me recently that while the study of history reveals the fallenness of mankind, with its folly and pettiness and violence and oppression, it is, at the same time, the glorious unfolding of God’s revelation of Himself to us.  God governs all things in heaven and earth. In all that happens, even as we human beings go astray and get completely muddled, He is guiding us into all Truth, drawing us to Himself. 

That is a profound and hopeful truth that the Canterbury House of Studies, in partnership with parents, seeks to impart in a meaningful way to the next generation.  We would like to hear from you, our treasured families, about the needs you perceive, so that we can join with you effectively and cooperatively  in the spiritual formation of our  young Christians.

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