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Posted by Sam Brewster, 28 Aug 2015

Sam Brewster considers a special homily, and the Archbishop who composed it.

On 21st March 1556, Thomas Cranmer, was marched out to Oxford’s University Church. However many thousands of services he had attended in over twenty years serving as Archbishop of Canterbury, this was to be his last. Condemned as a heretic, he was to be burned, like so many of his protestant colleagues and friends under the short but bloody reign of Mary. A small cobbled cross on Oxford’s Broad Street still marks the spot to this day.

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Posted by Christopher Henderson, 14 Aug 2015

Christopher Henderson considers the place of the corporate confession of sins in our liturgy.

Recently, I was made to think about why it is good to have confession in regular Sunday services. If my experience is representative, this is a point that is often raised, in a variety of ways. Surely having to confess every week makes Christianity look a bit miserable, or unexciting? Don’t outsiders coming to church find confession off-putting? And, as it was once put in a conversation at theological college, where we have prayer together every day, do I really need to confess in the morning if I have also confessed the night before?

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Posted by Kirsty Birkett, 13 Aug 2015

Evangelicals don’t seem to talk about beauty much, perhaps in reaction against what is seen as a worldly emphasis on created things, or religious traditions in which external show dominates over spiritual reality. However, we are created beings, embodied souls, and the beauty of the created order is something we are to receive with thanksgiving. More than that, beauty is a profound concept, and the beauty of God very much so.

Michael Haykin takes us through discussion of beauty from Greek philosophy onwards.  It is a fundamentally human interest, and also a biblical one. The Bible describes God as beautiful: Psalm 27:4, 145:5.  It is connected with his glory, that shines out beautifully.

Augustine writes that the material realm is only beautiful because it derives its being and beauty from the One who is Beauty itself.  Aquinas saw beauty as one of God’s perfections. Jonathan Edwards wrote of the way in which his conversion led him to see creation as beautiful.

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