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Be Faithful: Remaining Steadfast in the Church of England Today

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Posted by Ros Clarke, 1 Aug 2017

The latest book from Church Society, by Lee Gatiss, Mike Ovey, and Mark Pickles, looks at the theological and pastoral challenges facing Anglican evangelicals.

We live in a turbulent time, and life is not always easy for evangelicals within the Church of England. How can we move forward together, without being blown off course or losing our way? How can we meet the theological and pastoral challenges of our day?

In this new book out today, Lee Gatiss, Mike Ovey, and Mark Pickles survey the scene and draw inspiration from the past for our present difficulties. As Bishop Rod Thomas says, “This is a timely reminder to think theologically about the challenges the Church faces… a great stimulus to thoughtful, faithful evangelicalism within the Church of England.”

Mike Ovey, erstwhile Principal of Oak Hill Theological College, London looks at how we can be faithful teachers in an age of confusion, examining the major threats to the truth of the gospel flourishing in the Church today. Bishop Donald Allister says that in this chapter, Ovey “has produced one of the best and most persuasive cases for conservative evangelicalism, its central focus on the cross, and its analysis of today’s Church.”

Mark Pickles, Director of Anglican Ministry Training at Oak Hill urges us to be faithful stewards in a fickle world, where incessant official frowns and distractions can prevent us being faithful and wise servants of the gospel for the long haul. As Anglican blogger Amanda Robbie says, this is “a helpful call to follow the ways of patience and kindness as we seek to love the church and to follow Christ with steadfastness within our denomination.”

And Lee Gatiss, Director of Church Society unpacks what we can learn from the great evangelical champion, Bishop J. C. Ryle, that we might be faithful to Christ and resilient in hope as we seek the reformation and renewal of the church in our days. He speaks about what we might need to do in order to both stand firm and fight on effectively within the Church of England.

Paul Harcourt, the National Leader of New Wine England comments that, “In the current conditions of stormy seas, some who are concerned for the direction of the Church of England have contemplated jumping ship. The challenges that evangelicals face may be new, but the pressures are not. Rooted in scripture, shaped by pastoral concern for the nation, and informed by a historical perspective, this book is a helpful contribution and a strong argument for staying in the boat.”

Mary Durlacher, an evangelical leader in the General Synod, adds, “For every loyal Christian dismayed at the unfaithfulness of a Church of England building on foundations ever less apostolic or biblical, this short book is a must-read. Three of our foremost pastor theologians bring their combined wisdom to challenge and remind us what it means to be faithful to the gospel and the people of Jesus Christ. Whether a minister or a member of the congregation, there is much needed encouragement and helpful perspective to be found in this short book. No-one should seriously contemplate ‘jumping ship’ without first reading this.”

This brief but punchy book is available to buy today from our website. With special discounts for bulk orders, this would be an excellent summer read and something to give to all ministers and PCC members in the autumn.

Dr Ros Clarke is the Associate Director of Church Society

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