Who is Archbishop-elect Foley Beach?

Bishop Beach at his Consecration

I hope to add links to any information I can find. For now:

In 2004, Bishop Beach wrote about why he was leaving the Episcopal Church:

I am forty-five years old and for thirty-four of those years I have been an active participant in the Episcopal Church. I was baptized, confirmed, married, ordained a deacon, and ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church. It has served to shape and form me spiritually and it has taught me tremendous aspects about worshiping Almighty God.

The Church has been a place of stability and refuge, although it has always been in need of reform. But recent actions of the Episcopal Church have taken spiritual depravity to new depth for the modern era.

The Church which taught me the Gospel has now adopted a new Gospel which reduces Jesus to nothing more than one option among many. The Church which introduced me to the Word of God has now rewritten the Word of God to placate cultural and political pressures put upon it by intellectual extremists.

The Church which taught me to confess and repent of my sins has now embraced and endorsed certain sins which have become culturally accepted. The actions of the 2003 General Convention in approving the consecration of a non-celibate homosexual person to be a bishop in the Church, and its approval of a method by which liturgies may be used for same-sex unions in the Church is the presenting issue of a much deeper theological and moral problem within the Church.

While these decisions are clearly in contradiction to the teaching of the Bible, the lessons of Church History and Tradition, and the mind of the world-wide Anglican Communion, they demonstrate a clear obsession with reinterpreting the Scriptures and an amazing disregard to the consequences of their actions on other Christians throughout the world whether Anglican or not.

A revisionist philosophy has overtaken the ethos of the Church which interprets the Scriptures, Church History and Tradition not according to what they actually say, but according to how one is made to feel and in order to be pastorally sensitive. I cannot be apart of such forsaking of Christian teaching and morality.

To remain in the Episcopal Church is on some level affirming the direction the church has taken whether I agree or not. To remain in the Episcopal Church is to pretend that I am not a participant in this abomination before the Lord.

To remain in the Episcopal Church would be to knowingly violate my conscience, and that I cannot do and keep my soul intact. To remain in the Episcopal Church and take communion with those who teach and practice this false teaching would be a clear violation of the Scriptures (For example, 1 Cor.5). Some say that I must stay and fight for reform and change the direction of the Church. This has been my battle cry for the past 24 years.

I have come to the conclusion that the best way to reform it is to leave it and allow the devastation of embracing sin to run its course. I must be about preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and teaching the principles of the Word of God. My calling from God is not to lead or participate in an ecclesiastical fight which will evolve to litigation in the secular courts over sacred idols and mammon.

While that may be the call from the Lord for others, my calling is to help people discover the most wonderful gift in the world — a living, dynamic, personal, and saving relationship with Jesus. I cannot do this and be a part of an organizational structure which now at its core denies the very things which I hold dear. The Apostle James wrote that to know the right thing to do and not do it, is sin (James 4:17). For me this is the right thing to do and not to do it would be sin before God.1

Bishop Beach maintains a ministry called A Word from the Lord; the website is here.

In July, 2012, Bishop Beach called for prayer for revival in America:

When a nation turns away from the Lord, the Lord withdraws His very Presence, and the people are “turned over” to the very evil they desire (See Romans 1) inheriting the consequences of such evil. It is as if God says to the nation: “So you don’t want me around, ok. I will withdraw from the affairs of your nation.” And when God is not present, not only is His divine protection removed, but His wisdom, counsel, guidance, and blessing evaporate. Evil prevails. Injustice rules. Wisdom and wise counsel are no where to be found. The innocent suffer.

Our nation and the nations of the world are facing serious issues which have the potential of destroying all that we love and cherish. Politics aside, our whole way of living is hanging in the balance. Economically and socially our nation is at the brink. It is time for the followers of Jesus to wake up, and turn back to the Lord. As important as elections, laws, and public policy are, the root of our nation’s problems is our turning away from the Lord. Only a national repentance and revival will stop the flow of evil and destruction flowing through our land.2

Bishop Beach defined what a bishop does in this article:

  1. Teaching the Word of God, the Bible.
  2. Defending the Christian Faith. We have a faith which has been handed down since the days of the Bible.  The bishop is supposed to guard that Faith.
  3. Evangelist. The bishop leads in proclaiming the Gospel and leading others in to a relationship with Jesus Christ.
  4. Apostolic Leadership. Like the apostles of the New Testament, the bishop is called to expand the Kingdom of God to places where the Gospel is not present on a local basis, but also through missions to other parts of the world.
  5. Pastoring.  The bishop pastors not only his own flock, but he is called to pastor the clergy, the other ordained ministers within the diocese.
  6. Sacramental Leadership.  The bishop is the designated person in the Church to ordain men to the ministry, and the bishop is the person to confirm new members in the church.  A bishop is not just ordained for his diocese, but he is ordained as a bishop of the whole Church so he will also participate the consecration of other bishops as well.
  7. Administrative.  The Bishop works with other leaders in the diocese, both clergy and lay persons to oversee the administration of the ministry of the diocese.  The bishop will also serve in the College of Bishops of the Province which meets at least once a year to oversee the ministry of the whole province.

Misreading the Qur’an

A lot of work is being done on what the Qur’an refers to [it is largely incomprehensible without exegesis]. Gabriel Said Reynolds has helpfully summarized some of these developments in this article. Another helpful source is this Wikipedia entry on the Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran. I came across another example of this dependence on the Bible today in an article about the Corpus Coranicum project:

Gerd-R. Puin, a retired professor of Arabic studies at Germany’s Saarland University, has been working for decades on a trove of Korans from a mosque in Yemen — possibly the oldest ones in existence. Because they were primarily memory aids, early Korans were written in a vowel-less “skeleton” language. Deciphering those clusters of consonants requires a sense of what languages and what cultural and religious traditions Mohammed and his earliest followers were borrowing from and reacting against. Much of the wording and imagery of the Koran are borrowed from Christian and Jewish texts, Puin argues. In fact, he says, much of the Koran is incomprehensible unless read alongside those earlier texts. As an example, he points to the term “sakina,” which Muslim scholars have translated as a spirit of calm — Puin argues that it only makes sense as a descendant of the Hebrew term “shekhinah,” which means the presence of God. The more one studies its historical context, Puin argues, the harder it is to resist the sense that the Koran itself was, at least in part, pieced together from parts of other religions.

I would love to see a version of the Qur’an in the future that fully cross-references these notional Christian sources: liturgies, Creeds and the Bible itself. That should be fascinating.

N.T. Wright on Predestination

In Wright’s commentary on Romans, he says:

Foreknowledge is a form of love or grace; to speak thus is to speak of God’s reaching out, in advance of anything the person may do or think, to reveal love and to solicit an answering love, to reveal a particular purpose and to call forth obedience to it…More particularly, this foreknowledge produces God’s foreordaining purpose…What we have here, rather, is an expression, as in 1:1, of God’s action in setting people apart for a particular purpose, a purpose in which their cooperation, their loving response to love, their obedient response to the personal call, is itself all-important. This is not to deny the mystery of grace, the free initiative of God, and the clear divine sovereignty that is after all the major theme of this entire passage, here brought to a glorious climax. But it is to deny the common misconception, based on a two-dimensional rather than a three-dimensional understanding of how God’s actions and human actions relate to each other, that sees something done by God as something not done by humans, and vice versa….Woe betide theology if discussions of grace take their coloring from the mechanistic or technological age where all actions are conceived as though performed by a set of machines. God’s foreknowledge and foreordination, setting people apart in advance for particular purposes, are not equal and opposite to human desires, longings, self-questionings, obedience, and above all love. You do not take away from the one by adding to the other….Christian faith, ultimately irreducible to any analogy, and certainly not reducible to terms of “yet another odd paradox,” involves wholeheartedly and responsibly answering the call of sovereign love, gratitude, and obedience that come from the depths of one’s own being and are simultaneously experienced as a response to sovereignty, a compulsion even, to which the closest parallel remains that of the highest love. (on Rom 8.18-30)

He affirms predestination, but seeks to guard from an overly-deterministic mindset – something where I believe the Reformers agree with him, despite perceptions to the contrary.

In a footnote of his Romans commentary, Wright comments on Douglas Moo’s recent commentary which adopts the standard view of predestination in Romans and says:

…Moo allows his discussion to be overshadowed by the anachronistic debates between Calvinism and Arminianism…

Some of his comments:

“Paul is not, then, producing an abstract essay on the way in which God always works with individuals, or for that matter with nations and races. This is specifically the story of Israel, the chosen people; it is the unique story of how the creator has worked with the covenant people, to bring about the purpose for which the covenant was made in the first place. It is the story, in other words, whose climax and goal is the Messiah;
…These sections tell the story of Israel’s patriarchal foundation (vv. 6-13), then of the exodus (vv. 14-18), and then of God’s judgment that led to exile and, through it, to the fulfillment of God’s worldwide promise to Abraham (vv. 19-24).
9:11-12. The second explanation occupies center stage in this brief telling of the Jacob/Esau story: it cannot be that God’s selection of Jacob had anything to do with Jacob’s merits, since the promise was made before he and his brother were born. God’s choice has nothing to do with merit observed.
Nor (to meet the objection of a latter theology) could it have been foreseen, and hence explained in terms of God’s knowing how the brothers were going to turn out; Jacob’s behavior as a young adult, cheating and twisting this way and that, would scarcely have earned him favor with an impartial deity. The point is, though, that Paul is not here discussing what an abstract, impartial deity would or should have done; he is discussing the long purposes of God for Israel, and through Israel for the world. Central to those purposes is the principle that all must be of grace, “not of works, but of the one who calls.”
Paul is not, then, using the example of Pharaoh to explain that God has the right to show mercy, or to harden someone’s heart, out of mere caprice. Nor is it simply that God has the right to do this sort of thing when someone is standing in the way of the glorious purpose that has been promised. The sense of this passage (9:17-28) is gained from its place within the larger story line from 9:6-10:21–that is, as part of the story of Israel itself, told to explain what is now happening to Paul’s “kinsfolk according to the flesh.”
As in the parable of the sheep and the goats, there is an imbalance between what is said about the “vessels of wrath” and what is said about the “vessels of mercy” (Matt 25:34, 41). The former are “fitted for destruction,” leaving it at least ambiguous whether they have done this to themselves by their impenitence or whether God has somehow been involved in the process. The latter, though, have been “prepared for glory” by God himself.
“It isn’t a matter of willing, or running, but of God’s mercy” (v. 16); that text alone, even without its context, can bring solace to a troubled and anxious heart. That, indeed, is part of the point of expounding God’s sovereignty: not to terrify us with the sense of an unknowable and possibly capricious deity, but to assure us that the God of creation, the God we know in Jesus Christ, overflows with mercy, and that even negative judgments have mercy in view all along, if only people will have the humility and faith to find it where it has been placed. To be able to rest in the sovereign mercy of God revealed in Jesus Christ is one of the most valuable aspects of the Christian’s calling.”