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Welcome to Church Society online. We exist to strengthen local churches in biblical faith and to help shape the Church of England now and for the future. Do take a look at our blog, publications and other resources here.

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Posted by Lee Gatiss, 16 Feb 2018

Lee Gatiss unpacks the second line of the Apostles’ Creed, and what it means for us that God is the creator of heaven and earth. This is part of our Lent series: Believing, Living, Praying, in which we are looking at the Apostles Creed, the Ten Commandments and the Lord's Prayer.

Creator of Heaven and Earth

“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.” — Psalm 24:1-2 (NIV)

The short phrase “creator of heaven and earth” takes no more than 3 seconds to say, but it contains the most profound truths about God, the universe, and us.

The Creator God
The God we believe in, the Father Almighty, is a creative being. Behind the beauty and order of the universe is a creator, not random chance. A careful and deliberate personal creator is responsible for everything, not impersonal and blind “forces of nature.”

This means that God is above and beyond the world. He is not our creation, but we are his. He is not the product of primitive human fantasies, as some claim; we are the fruit of his imagination.
There was a time when we did not exist, when nothing existed — except God. Then, there was a moment of genesis. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

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Posted by Lee Gatiss, 15 Feb 2018

Lee Gatiss looks at the first line of the Apostle’s Creed, our declaration of dependence. This is part of our Lent series: Believing, Living, Praying, looking at the Apostles Creed, the Ten Commandments, and the Lord's Prayer.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty

If you type “I believe” into Google, it helpfully suggests various ways to complete that sentence. “I believe I can fly” is the top suggestion, closely followed by belief in Father Christmas, miracles, and love. Magic, ghosts, unicorns, and angels are not far from the top either. Is this what belief is, in the twenty-first century — a yearning, a wish, for anything beyond the ordinary, something which may even be entirely fictional? And does that matter, as long as it gives me a warm, happy glow to believe it?

A declaration of dependence
The first line of the Apostles’ Creed is not an expression of wishful thinking. Rather, it is a declaration of dependence on the God who is truly there. It says I believe in God — not in myself and my abilities; not in chance or fate or the blind forces of nature. I believe in God the Father, who also has a Son and a Spirit, mentioned later — a specific God, a Trinitarian God.

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Flourish: a strategy for growth in the Church of England

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Posted by Ros Clarke, 14 Feb 2018

This year's Church Society Conference, "Flourish: a strategy for growth in the Church of England" and the Church Society AGM will be held on Saturday 12th May at Oak Hill College. The St Antholin lecture will follow the conference.

Bookings are now open for this year’s Church Society Conference. The conference will be held at Oak Hill College on Saturday 12th May, from 10am to 4pm, with the programme for the day as follows:

10.00am Lee Gatiss: Flourishing in a Hostile World
The persecution faced by the early church did not prevent it from flourishing and growing. How can we learn from our brothers and sisters who faced such opposition to the gospel?

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