Amazing Love? A review article from Church Society

amazing-love-coverFrom Church Society in the UK:

‘Amazing Love: Theology for Understanding Discipleship, Sexuality and Mission’ is a new book, edited by Andrew Davison, which seeks to promote a change to the Church of England’s doctrine of marriage.

In an extended two-part review, Dr Peter Sanlon, Vicar of St Mark’s Church, Tunbridge Wells, analyses the claims of the book –

Part 1:

This aim of this book can be given in the authors’ own words: ‘This short book explains why we think it’s good for Christians to embrace their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, and to celebrate their relationships … We think that the Church should be willing – delighted even – to hallow and strengthen such commitments.’…”

Part 2:

This volume has the appearance of being a digest of thoughtful and considered academic research. However that is just the surface reality – a carefully curated image. Academic publisher, long sub-title, titled academics listed as authors. It looks like academic work; but upon closer examination the mirage fades.…

It is stated on numerous occasions in the book that the aim of the authors is the embrace and acceptance of homosexual relationships by the Church of England. In reality the book has a much larger goal. The goal is nothing less than a wholesale revision of the Christian Faith into a different religion.

Shared Conversations: How not to handle the Word of God correctly

Canon Phil AsheyI have just returned from a two-week holiday and a graduation in the UK, mindful of the Church of England’s General Synod.

While there, I disciplined myself to avoid comments and to simply enjoy my time away with my wife and friends. But, towards the end, my attention was drawn to an article written by the Rev. Dr. Ian Paul, reporting as a participant in the ‘Shared Conversations’ on human sexuality, as part of the reception of the Pilling Report (which seems to recommend to the Church of England, in the end, ‘pastoral accommodation’ in the form of the blessing of same sex civil partnerships)…”

– The American Anglican Council’s Canon Phil Ashey calls us back to the authority of God’s word.

Related: 32 Synod delegates publicly express “lack of confidence” in C of E Shared Conversations process – Anglican Mainstream.

“We, the undersigned members of the General Synod, wish to express our lack of confidence in the process of the Shared Conversations. Whatever their stated purposes, the outcome has not led to a greater confidence that the Church will be guided by the authoritative voice of the Scriptures, and its decisive shaping of traditional Anglican teaching, in any forthcoming discussions.”

Mike Ovey on Faithful Teachers in an Age of Confusion

Dr Mike OveyMike Ovey spoke at this year’s Church Society Conference on the major threats to the gospel in the Church of England.

Sober, challenging, rebuking, and very helpful.

The talk and Q&A (34MB mp3), is linked from this page.

Archbishop of Canterbury intervenes to stop Sunday schools being affected by anti-terrorism laws

Archbishop Justin Welby“The Archbishop of Canterbury has reportedly persuaded the government to drop some aspects of a counter-terror law after arguing it would unfairly affect church Sunday schools…”

– Story from The Independent.

A leading Anglican theologian exposes the ‘Third Way’ myth

Charles RavenMyths are not necessarily old. A new myth is being invented by Anglican church leaders who claim to be orthodox and even evangelical.

They tell us that differences between Christians about the acceptability of same-sex relationships are secondary issues and the Church should therefore follow a ‘Third Way’…”

– Canon Charles Raven (pictured), Membership Development Secretary for GAFCON, highlights this commentary by Dr Martin Davie.

Where do we find Anglican Communion?

The Rev Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream“This idea that the church’s role is somehow to uncritically affirm the culture and hold out the love of God without any call to repentance is at the very least a defective view of New Testament Christianity and certainly cannot be called evangelical.

But for me to say such a thing is itself the problem, according to another Bishop, Colin Fletcher who has been acting Bishop of Oxford for the past 18 months…”

– At Anglican MainstreamAndrew Symes reviews the notion being pushed ahead of the Church of England’s General Synod of “unity in [doctrinal] diversity”.

Bishops are not powerless against the present spiritual disorder

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby“With scandals over Zen Buddhist meditations promoted by promoted by the Canon Chancellor of York Minster, the Church of Nigeria severing links with Liverpool Diocese over the appointment of an uber-liberal American bishop, and an Oxford cleric appearing to bless the same-sex ‘marriage’ of Desmond Tutu’s daughter in South Africa, this has been a lousy summer so far for the Church of England.

But dare one respectfully suggest that Bishops disturbed by these developments should not despair? They are not powerless in the face of such gross spiritual disorder…”

– Julian Mann, Vicar of the Parish Church of the Ascension at Oughtibridge inSouth Yorkshire, reminds bishops of their consecration vows and their responsibilities – and the authority they have to use them.

(Photo: Archbishop Justin Welby.)

Does the C of E have enough vicars?

Church of England“Today the Ministry Statistics for 2015 are released (soon to be posted on the C of E stats web page) and they tell us the stark reality of decline in clergy numbers.

On Radio 4 this morning, Rose Hudson-Wilkins suggested that this wasn’t too worrying, since we can dispense with the model of the ‘white, male, clericalised’ pattern of ministry. What she failed to highlight is that there are no sustainable models of church growth which don’t involve stipendiary (set aside, financially provided for) leadership, and the NT itself sees leadership as a gift to the church which enables the ‘building up’ of the people of God.…”

– At Psephizo, Ian Paul looks at some of the implications of the latest ministry statistics from the Church of England.

Church of England uses ‘trendy’ Post-it notes in new service celebrating the role of godparents

Church of England“The Church of England has been accused of ‘dumbing down’ after drawing up a new service in which worshippers use Post-it notes, clap like football fans and move their fingers like ‘twinkling stars’.

The new liturgy will be used in hundreds of churches for the first time today to celebrate the role of godparents.

But in an outspoken attack, the former Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, said it reflected the Church’s ‘now familiar desire for being trendy’…”

– Story from Mail Online.

Here’s The Church of England’s Godparents’ Sunday site, with the liturgy mentioned in the article (PDF file).

Archbishop Justin Welby on DNA revelations

justin-welby-dna2The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, recounts how he learned the identity of his biological father, and the impact it has had on his family.

From the Anglican Communion News Service.

Bishop of Salisbury ‘leads backlash against fixed date for Easter’

bp-of-salisbury-nicholas-holtam“A prominent Church of England bishop has spoken out against plans by the world’s main Christian denominations to fix the date of Easter to the same Sunday every year. … the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Rev Nicholas Holtam, warned that the move would detach Christianity from its Jewish roots by breaking the link between the timing of Easter and Passover.”

– Story from The Telegraph. (Photo: Diocese of Salisbury.)

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