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Principles of Theology Hardcover

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 540 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0851900461
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851900469
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.8 x 3.6 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,750,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x9fe31918) out of 5 stars 1 review
HASH(0xa02b0360) out of 5 stars The Best Low Church Commentary on the 39 Articles 26 Jan. 2011
By Fr. Charles Erlandson - Published on Amazon.com
W.H. Griffith Thomas' "The Principles of Theology" is one of the better commentaries on the Anglican Thirty-nine Articles. It provides an excellent historical discussion of the development of the Articles which may, in fact, be the best part of the book. I also like the way that Griffith Thomas has divided the Articles up into sections that make their order easier to memorize.

"The Principles of Theology" is a 500+ page work; so fortunately, Griffith Thomas is fairly thorough in his discussions without belaboring the points too much. In his discussion of each Article, he is careful to define the important terms and, where it applies, discuss the Roman Catholic theology on the given issue and where it is in error. He follows this with a discussion of the true meaning of each Article, including some excellent historical information and footnotes.

While "The Principles of Theology" is a very good commentary on the Articles, Griffith Thomas was himself an Evangelical Low Churchman, which shows in this work. For this reason, there are, naturally, certain biases that are manifested in Griffith's book. His view of the Church and Sacraments will be "lower" than that of a more High Church or Anglo-Catholic position. It means, as well, that other historic Anglican interpretations are ignored or given too little attention. Griffith Thomas also discusses the Articles in isolation from the Book of Common Prayer (both must be interpreted together for they were composed at the same time by some of the same men with a common theology and vision). Just as importantly, Griffith Thomas argues from an Evangelical or Reformed position, without referring to the Church Fathers, to whom the Reformers themselves and Anglicans in general have looked as the best interpreters of Scripture.

"The Principles of Theology" is probably the best work if you want an Evangelical or Low Church interpretation of the 39 Articles, and yet one that is still authentically Anglican (and not Congregationalist or Reformed, as some contemporary Anglicans are becoming). However, because of the deficiencies listed above, I prefer Harold Browne's "An Exposition of the Thirty-nine Articles."
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