Formulary Friday: Undermining the Reformation
Posted by Lee Gatiss, 27 Nov 2015
Lee Gatiss considers some recent surprising threats to the Reformation heritage of the Church of England.
Is the Reformation over? Was it a mistake? These are questions we may ask ourselves a number of times over the next two years, as the 500th anniversary of Luther’s 95 Theses approaches in October 2017. I found myself wondering about them after the recent fiasco surrounding the Lord’s Prayer “advert”, and after General Synod.
A Threat to Jesus?
The Church of England’s one-minute video rendition of the Lord’s Prayer was intended to be shown in cinemas before the new Star Wars film. Some thought it a bit cheesy — but unexceptional just before the widely-observed festival of Christmas in a country where nearly 60% of people self-identify as Christian, you might have thought. And no less cheesy than that John Lewis advert (which has been nicely parodied here).
It emerged, however, that despite having been initially offered a large discount for the advert, the marketing company company which sells advertising at the Odeon, Cineworld, and Vue chains effectively banned it, saying that the Church of England film could be seen as “offensive.” They therefore invented a new “no religion” policy, to justify its exclusion.
Theology Thursday: Need Ministers be Theologians?
Posted by Kirsty Birkett, 26 Nov 2015
John Richardson in 1994 wrote a Churchman article examining the relationship between evangelicals and theological education.
We evangelical Anglicans, John Richardson wrote in his 1994 article, are theological amateurs in every sense of the word. We do it for love, we don’t do it for the money (or at least only for very little money!) and, here is the crunch, we’re not very good at it. ‘We neither study theology carefully ourselves nor value theological study highly in others’.
As one who has recently read a lot about how to construct a curriculum for a theological college, I can only sympathise. Liberals and Catholics, and all the permutations of those traditions, certainly struggle to agree as to what ought to be in the curriculum. Evangelicals, however, barely consider the question at all. We are letting – indeed, have let – theology be dominated and determined by those who do not hold the authority of Scripture, and all that implies, at heart.
Word on Wednesday: Mike Smith on John 10
Posted by Sophia Akouo, 18 Nov 2015
Mike Smith's Bible Reading on John 9-10 from this year's Junior Anglican Evangelical Conference (JAEC).
This year’s JAEC was on the theme of “Feed My Sheep: The Angican Ministry of Word and Sacrament.”
Each day of the conference began with the Bible. Mike Smith, Vicar of St John’s, Hartford in Cheshire and a member of the Steering Group of Reform, spoke on John 9-10, “My sheep hear my voice.”