Formulary Friday: A unique salvation
Posted by Simon Scott, 19 Dec 2014
Article 18 of the Church of England’s 39 Articles must surely qualify as one of the most culturally unpopular of Anglicanism’s core beliefs. Even the title is enough to upset contemporary sensitivities: 'Of obtaining eternal Salvation only by the Name of Christ.'
Even more strikingly, the actual text of the article anathematizes those who teach that everyone can be saved by their own belief system, whatever that might be. They can’t, however carefully and sincerely they try to live that belief system out.
The Roman Catholic Council of Trent anathematizes those who dissent from its views at numerous points. But this is the only such curse in the 39 Articles. Is it right to be so starkly against those who disagree that Christ is the only way? Should they effectively be consigned to hell in this way? The wording of the Article is as follows:
George Whitefield’s birthday
Posted by Lee Gatiss, 16 Dec 2014
As we celebrate today the 300th birthday of the great evangelical Anglican George Whitefield, Lee Gatiss looks at some of the opposition he faced, and puts it into its 18th century context.
Last week, Dr Gatiss delivered the 2014 St Antholin Lecture. It was called ‘Strangely Warmed: Whitefield, Toplady, Simeon, and Wesley’s Arminian Campaigns.’
Listen here to the lecture and the Q&A time afterwards, to hear more about John Wesley’s strangely warm opposition to the preaching of Whitefield and his friends. There is much for us all to learn, whichever side of the doctrinal debate we are on, in our own contexts today.
Theology Thursday: The forgotten member of Trinity?
Posted by John Percival, 11 Dec 2014
“The Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.” Hardly the forgotten member of the Trinity, then, for the great preacher, CH Spurgeon, or the Puritans upon whom he leaned so heavily.
This article, by esteemed historical theologian, Michael Haykin, provides an introduction to Spurgeon’s teaching on the Holy Spirit. We are taken to sermons, conference addresses and lectures to his Bible College students to see just how important the Holy Spirit was in Spurgeon’s ministry.
Far from being a divisive doctrine, we see just how vital the work of the Holy Spirit is in Christian life and ministry. There can be no power for the preacher or believer without a movement of the Spirit.