Church Society logo              
    Building on the foundations      
Join RSS
 
Twitter Facebook
 
 

We update our blog several times a week, with news and comment on ministry, theology, the Bible, liturgy and issues of the day.

  Click here for the JAEC brochure and booking form   Buy our latest books here   Click here for the Church Society podcast  

Please consider supporting the work of Church Society

Donate
 

Picture of broken bread

Photo of contributor

Posted by Robert Brewis, 21 Jun 2018

In the second of our mini-series on the issue of receiving the sacraments, Robert Brewis looks at some background to our understanding of the sacraments and then examines the Articles to see what they teach on this matter.

What does it mean to be a worthy receiver of the sacraments? As Article 25 says, ‘And in such only as worthily receive the same they have a wholesome effect or operation: but they that receive them unworthily purchase to themselves damnation, as Saint Paul saith.’

Strong stuff! So what does it mean to receive the sacraments ‘worthily’?

Sacraments and sacramentalism
The consistent teaching of Hebrews is that a person is in the new covenant by faith alone (Hebrews 2:10-17; 4:3, 14; 7:25; 8:6, 10:22). Notice Jesus himself administers the new covenant, and a person shares in his rest, his work, and the new covenant by faith. The new covenant is entered into by belief, and the sacraments of the new covenant (baptism and the Lord’s Supper) are God’s way of assuring believers that what he promised to do upon faith, he has done. For the person of faith, they seal one’s interest in the covenant. The new covenant is a promise of salvation upon faith flowing from Christ’s work, and therefore to be in the covenant one has to have faith, not merely receive a sacrament.

Read more

dotted rule

Photo of contributor

Posted by Lee Gatiss, 21 Jun 2018

Director Lee Gatiss is interviewed on the GAFCON 2018 livestream.

Watch Lee Gatiss being interviewed on the GAFCON 2018 livestream calling for real change in the Church of England to allow greater flourishing for evangelicals. He also talks about our recent book on the Thirty-Nine Articles, Foundations of Faith, which he’s been giving away to delegates from the developing world.

Read more

dotted rule

Picture of broken bread

Photo of contributor

Posted by Ro Mody, 20 Jun 2018

Ro Mody examines at 1 Corinthians to see what Paul has to say about church discipline and the Eucharist.

Recently, the whole topic of church discipline has been publicly discussed. Bishop Rod Thomas has suggested that given the rubric of the Book of Common Prayer talks about “unworthy reception” of the bread and the wine at Holy Communion, couples in active same sex relationships might be gently advised to examine their consciences before coming to the Lord’s Table.

For many, the whole idea of church discipline and excommunication is a harsh, unloving, and judgemental act that ought not to be practiced in the Church of England. Rather, the church should be inclusive and tolerant of the lifestyles of its church members. Yet, our authority and our practice in these matters is the Word of God, the Bible, and I want to look at what Paul has to say about church discipline and the Eucharist in 1 Corinthians.

Read more

dotted rule

Lee on the Lectionary: Proper 7 (Year B) from Church Society on Vimeo.

Photo of contributor

Posted by Lee Gatiss, 20 Jun 2018

In the readings for this week, we are encouraged to trust in Jesus through all the storms and difficulties of life, because his authoritative word protects us; and we are rebuked if we do not!

The lectionary readings for the week known as Proper 7 (Year B) are Job 38:1-11, 2 Corinthians 6:1-13, and Mark 4:35-41.

You can also follow along with these video expositions on the Lee on the Lectionary Facebook page. We also tweet the video link every Sunday morning at 6am for those who like a morning exposition of the word. Follow us @churchsociety.

Read more

dotted rule

Photo of contributor

Posted by Ros Clarke, 18 Jun 2018

Follow all the plenary sessions and more from GAFCON 2018

The GAFCON 2018 livestream is now available to watch online

Read more

dotted rule

Photo of contributor

Posted by Ros Clarke, 18 Jun 2018

In this episode, Ros is talking to Chik Kaw Tan, a lay member of General Synod and GAFCON delegate.

As the third Global Anglican Future Conference gets underway in Jerusalem, this week’s podcast episode focusses on GAFCON: what it is, what it does and why it matters. For more information and to pray for this week’s conference, please visit the GAFCON website.

Read more

dotted rule

Lee on the Lectionary: Proper 6 (Year B) from Church Society on Vimeo.

Photo of contributor

Posted by Lee Gatiss, 13 Jun 2018

The lectionary readings this week teach us about the true long-term flourishing of those who seek to please God.

The lectionary readings for this week are Ezekiel 17:22-24, 2 Corinthians 5:6-17, and Mark 4:26-34.

You can also follow along with these video expositions on the Lee on the Lectionary Facebook page. We also tweet the video link every Sunday morning at 6am for those who like a morning exposition of the word. Follow us @churchsociety.

Read more

dotted rule

Picture of a piano

Photo of contributor

Posted by Chris Edwards, 12 Jun 2018

Chris Edwards offers some practical suggestions for churches without suitable musicians.

Music in churches can be hard work at the best of times. For a start, everyone has an opinion, and it’s remarkable how the same piece of music can be simultaneously too loud, too quiet, too fast and too slow! And then there are the multitude of vested interests. (The band that has played together for fifteen years and “clearly” can’t be redeployed without grieving the Holy Spirit. The choir that fights incessantly for its rights. The flautist who absolutely must play on a Sunday morning because “that’s how she worships”.)

But if musicians can be hard work, then being short of them can be hard work too. Many churches in that situation simply feel trapped. The hardworking musicians feel trapped by a sense of impending burnout, conscious that if they’re ever away for a weekend then everyone is left in the lurch. The church family feel trapped: perhaps they’d love to sing some more contemporary music but they don’t have anyone to lead it well…and how will they ever attract the kind of musicians who could lead it, when their music is like it is at the moment? And the minister feels trapped, especially if he is not himself the musical type. He knows the musicians are doing their best, but he also knows the reality that the church’s music is off-putting for visitors and not serving the congregation well. What can be done?

Read more

dotted rule

Photo of contributor

Posted by Ros Clarke, 11 Jun 2018

In this month's book review podcast, Ros and Amanda are discussing Adam Mabry's book, "The Art of Rest".

Art of rest book cover and link

Read more

dotted rule
Photo of contributor

Posted by Ruth van den Broek, 7 Jun 2018

Ruth van den Broek offers her thoughts on John Wyatt's new book, "Dying Well".

This is it. This is the practical, wise, accessible, real, and encouraging book on dying I have wanted both for myself and for the church.

It’s been astonishing how many of the things I’ve been thinking about over the past years and have been trying to collate during my recent hospital stay are here (in particular, ars moriendi updated and the seven sayings specifically for the end of life). Though I suppose, given how God works, it shouldn’t really be that astonishing.

It’s been a delightful and challenging read. It’s confirmed a lot of my thoughts on the end of life and its challenges and opportunities. It’s helped me cement some of the practical details of my own end of life plans. It’s encouraged me with Gospel truths, the faith and joy of the personal stories and, at the same time, the permission to grieve and lament as is necessary. It’s also given me an excellent (to put it bluntly) kick up the backside with regards to my need to take up again the active practice of the art of letting go - I’ve been distracted and holding on far too tightly recently.

I think John has done a wonderful job and I’m extremely grateful to both him and IVP for allowing me to read an early draft of it. I have no doubt that this book will be of great use to individuals and to the church. I’m certainly going to give it to lots of people and hope to get my church book club to read it.

Book cover of Dying Well

Dying Well is now available for pre-order from IVP.

Read more

 

Church Society blog

June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017