J. C. Ryle: Prepared to Stand Alone, by Iain Murray — Review

“One of the greatest Christian leaders to come out of England in the nineteenth century was John Charles Ryle. Famously known as ‘the man of granite with the heart of a child,’ Ryle stands out as a towering example of Christian fortitude and pastoral excellence.

Although he died more than a century ago, he still has much to say to our generation. And perhaps no one is better suited to teach us about Ryle than renowned biographer Iain Murray. …”

– At the 9Marks website, Nate Pickowicz briefly reviews Iain Murray’s J.C. Ryle, Prepared to Stand Alone.

Why Cranmer would have approved of the Oxford Martyrs’ Memorial

“How many British national newspaper journalists apart from Peter Hitchens would be willing and able to write so knowledgeably about the sixteenth-century Protestant martyrs burned at the stake in Oxford? Surely not very many.

Mr Hitchens’s highly educative piece about the English Protestant martyrs in First Things, the magazine for the New York-based Institute on Religion and Public Life, certainly achieved its purpose. It showed the moral difference between the Protestant Christians martyred under Mary Tudor and the Jesuit fanatics executed for high treason under Elizabeth Tudor.

But his portrayal of the conduct in the fire of persecution of respectively Bishop Hugh Latimer, burnt at the stake in 1555, and Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, burnt in 1556, calls for a rejoinder for the sake of a more complete picture of the Church of England’s theology as expressed in its historic formularies, namely its 1662 Book of Common Prayer, Ordinal and 39 Articles of Religion. …”

– Julian Mann, Vicar of Oughtibridge in South Yorkshire, reflects on Peter Hitchens’ characterisation of Bishop Latimer.

On how the Reformation changed Sunday gatherings — 9Marks

In the latest 9Marks “Pastors’ Talk” podcast, Dr. Jonathan Gibson (Moore College; Cambridge University; now teaching at Westminster Seminary) is interviewed about the book Reformation Worship: Liturgies from the Past for the Present.

He wrote and edited the book with former ACL Council member Mark Earngey.

From the Foreword by Sinclair Ferguson:

“The book you now hold in your hands, or that perhaps lies on your desk, is a resource of almost unparalleled richness in its field, representing as it does an immense labor of love on the part of its editors and translators. Here, gathered together in one large volume, are liturgies crafted by some of the leading figures in the Protestant Reformation and employed by them to aid worship in a wide variety of places and churches.

We owe an immense debt of gratitude to those who have participated in this project. They would, I feel sure, tell us that the best way we can repay that debt is to read carefully, to assess biblically, and then to reach down into the first principles of worship variously expressed in these liturgies from the past, and apply them wisely and sensitively in our worship in the present. This can only lead to a new reformation of the worship of God the Trinity. Such access to the Father through the Son in the power of the Holy Spirit can alone help the congregations of God’s people, in the place and time they occupy, to worship with renewed mind, transformed affections, and holy joy. …

… we ought not to devalue the contents of these pages by treating them as a kind of liturgical archaeological dig, the concern only of those who are interested in antiquities or aesthetics. For these liturgies were crafted out of a passion for the glory of God. And while this compilation is not formulated as a tract for the times, it carries an important and powerful message for the contemporary church.

Download a PDF sample from New Growth Press.

(Reformation Worship: Liturgies from the Past for the Present is available from these booksellers.)

From our archives — A reminder of why there is an Anglican crisis

Every so often, media reports warn that the current situation (whatever it is at the time) might provoke a split among Anglicans. The truth is that this is nothing new – but each ‘crisis’ is no less serious or tragic.

From our archives, here are five articles which are well worth reading. Among other things they provide context for the formation of GAFCON:

– all from our Resources section.

From Dr. Mark Thompson’s paper, The Anglican Debacle: Roots and Patterns:

“The first thing to note about the crisis the Anglican Communion is facing today is that it has been coming for a very long time. …

That background might lead you to ask, ‘So what’s changed now?’ If the denomination has long been compromised in these ways, and evangelicals have always struggled within it, why are we arguing that we have now reached a moment of crisis where decisive action needs to be taken? What is different about what’s happening at the moment? …”

T C Hammond on Article 28, the Lord’s Supper

“Next to the question of Justification by Faith only the problems connected with the Lord’s Supper present a wide field of controversy in the Reformation period. This is illustrated by the fact that four Articles are devoted to the consideration of these questions.

The Article we are considering underwent an important change in 1563. Much controversy has gathered around the change. Some have urged that it indicates a change in theological thought between 1552 and 1563. In order to appreciate the position we have just to notice the change which was made and then to examine with care the wording of our present Article. …”

The Australian Church Record has republished T.C. Hammond’s 1961 consideration of Article 28.

Give thanks for the last ten years of gospel ministry in Vancouver

Ten years ago this month, Michael Ingham, Bishop of the Canadian diocese of New Westminster, declared David Short (Rector of St. John’s Shaughnessy), his colleagues Dan Gifford and Dr. J I Packer, as well as eight others, to have abandoned the ministry.

A Diocese of New Westminster e-mail, dated May 16, 2008, put it this way –

“As you may have heard, with a group resignation from the Anglican Church of Canada, we now have some clerical vacancies in four of our parishes: St. John, Shaughnessy, St. Matthew, Abbotsford, St. Matthias and St. Luke, and Good Shepherd.

THOSE WHO ABANDONED MINISTRY:  Here is the list of the Clergy for whom Bishop Michael issued “Notice of Abandonment of the Exercise of the Ministry” (under Canon XIX): …”

Though regarded by that diocese as having ‘abandoned the ministry’, give thanks that they continue to serve the Lord Jesus, as ministers of the gospel, as before.

Today, the church which used to meet at St. John’s Shaughnessy is St. John’s Vancouver.

Remembering that history, please be encouraged to pray for the congregation of St. John’s, and others who stood, and still stand, for the authority of God in his Word.

Pray for the clear and faithful proclamation of the gospel in Vancouver, and across Canada.

Related:

Bishop Ingham sends ‘notice of presumption of abandonment’ to St. John’s Shaughnessy – February 23 2008.

Largest Anglican Church congregation in Canada leaves historic church home – September 9 2011.

“In what may be the greatest rupture in Christianity since the Reformation, disagreement over basic Christian beliefs has separated Anglican congregations around the world into two camps, usually labeled orthodox and liberal, with those holding to historic, Bible-based values and beliefs in the vast majority. The St. John’s Vancouver Anglican congregation has aligned itself with the mainstream global Anglican Church, rather than continue as part of the local, more liberal Diocese of New Westminster. The decision by this congregation and sister parishes resulted in frozen bank accounts and a court action to determine which party was conducting the ministry for which the buildings were intended.”

New Westminster considers plans for three ‘returned’ parishes – April 16 2012.

“Having won the court battle for the buildings of St. John’s Shaughnessy, St. Matthias and St. Luke, and St. Matthew’s Abbotsford, the Diocese of New Westminster must decide what to do with them…”

St. John’s Shaughnessy, ImpostersAnglican Samizdat, May 1 2018.

One of the current uses for the old building.

Read other posts from our archives concerning St. John’s Shaughnessy here.

Photo: Dan Gifford, David Short and J I Packer chat before the first Sunday service of St. John’s Vancouver in their new location, 25 September 2011.

Lee Gatiss on learning from Christians of the past

The Australian Church Record has published part 2 of Steve Tong’s interview with Church Society Director Lee Gatiss.

Wait not for the bishops!

“It’s remarkably easy to criticize the bishops for their inertia and timidity when you’re in the parish, but if you become a bishop the shoe is suddenly on the other foot! Ryle saw at first hand the heavy constraints upon evangelical episcopacy in the Church of England.. …”

– At Church Society’s blog, Andrew Atherstone, editor of J. C. Ryle’s autobiography, shares some of the fruits of his research. Ryle himself learned that evangelical laity and clergy should not sit back and wait for others to fight for the truth.

Five Days in England

“You could search the world but I don’t think you would find a country with more church history per square mile than England.

So let’s say you had five days and wanted to see just a little bit of that church history. What could you do? Take a look at what I did, how far I travelled, and how much I saw, in five days in England.”

– Tim Challies gives us a taste of what he’s been up to in England.

On The Way With MLK

“This Wednesday (April 4) marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King. He was 39 years old.

April 1968 is also the month that I was rescued from the consequences of my rebellion against God through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. I was 16 years young. …”

– This week, David Mansfield gives thanks for Martin Luther King Jr. – and his message about forgiveness. At SydneyAnglicans.net.

The Final Week of Jesus

Justin Taylor writes:

“Each day this week I’ll post a video on what happened during the original Easter week of April, AD 33. …

For more information, including a day-by-day guide with the complete biblical text and commentary, you could pick up the Kindle version of The Final Days of Jesus: The Most Important Week of the Most Important Person Who Ever Lived by Andreas J. Köstenberger and Justin Taylor.”

– at The Gospel Coalition.

New Billy Graham Archive Collections to be opened to the Public

“Today the Billy Graham Center Archives at Wheaton College announced that on March 19, 2018, they will open two new collections that had been embargoed by Graham and the BGEA until his death.”

– Justin Taylor at The Gospel Coalition shares news historians will find exciting.

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