The call to realize our identity as a Christian university is a great challenge, but it is also liberating, because it means that we don’t need to compete with the publicly-funded, provincial universities. This is good news, because we simply do not have the economic, infrastructural, and even personal resources to do the public research university thing better than they do it. But ... in the person of Christ and in the powerful presence of the Spirit who leads God’s people into all truth, we do have the potential to become something that public, secular universities cannot be: a university in the true sense of the word, united in the uni veritas, the one or whole truth that holds together in the living Christ.
The irony for the officiant is that the only way to promote harmony among the various voices at prayer is to focus on their own. The role of the officiant is to pray through the chaos so the chaos can eventually find order through the prayers. The officiant must be attentive to all who are praying, but not at the expense of their own prayers.
We prefer to think that evil is something “bad people” do, and that these bad people are easily recognizable. We see a mug shot on the news and say “Oh, he looks like a child molester, like a mass shooter, like a serial killer, like a bad person. Or as often as not today we think of evil as that perpetrated only by our political opposites. We describe such people as “inhuman” or “deplorable”, descriptors that gives us the relief of distance. The guise evil wears is, of course, always that of someone else.
By saying this prayer, those of us who are Gentiles become like the Syrophoenician woman. We admit we are dogs, unworthy as Gentiles and those who chronically forget God’s promises to the Jews to sit at God’s table, and yet we go on to ask for God’s food all the same, trusting that our host is merciful.
Perhaps the lesson of the ACNA BCP for us is this: thoughtful contemporary-language retrieval of classical Anglican liturgical texts and forms is very possible...However, when such retrieval sets up a uniform classical Anglicanism against errors or excesses of the liturgical movement, it can smooth out of differences in the classical Anglican tradition in a way that produces less-than-coherent liturgies.
It is doubtful whether any devoted student of Old Testament can fully explain, let alone justify, the justice and ways of God portrayed in the Book of Deuteronomy. However, it must also be said that Cook’s commentary clarifies many of issues at stake and does so with striking insight, grace, and wisdom.