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Churchman: Summer 2019 Edition

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Posted by Ros Clarke, 3 Jul 2019

The latest edition of Churchman includes articles on William Cowper, Thomas Cranmer, the theology of the atonement, and Hans-Georg Gadamer's hermeneutics

Peter Jensen’s editorial opens the journal with a stirring call to clergy and lay people alike, in “The Partnership of All Believers”:

“...nothing can take the place of individual, converted men and women, mere Christians, as we may say, prepared to share the gospel, the whole gospel and nothing but the gospel with their contempories. They need to be persuaded of the reality of hell and the uniqueness of Christ as the only way of salvation, and the need for genuine repentance, and they need to be prepared to suffer for having the gall to say such unfashionable things. Furthermore, because the denominational connections impact on this task, they must be prepared to contend for the faith in their denominations also as well as in and through voluntary societies.”

He ends with a challenge to consider your own congregation. How many are truly gospel partners? What are you doing to inform, involve and inspire them to become such partners? Peter’s editorials are certainly living up to their predecessors as must-reads!

The first two articles then examine two very different characters from English church history: the poet, William Cowper; and the reformer, Thomas Cranmer. Jonathan Wu examines William Cowper’s evangelicalism and the effect of his mental health. He concludes that Cowper’s depression caused him to lack assurance, but not to lose his faith. Maurice Elliott takes on the task of examining the legacy of Thomas Cranmer, narrowing his focus to three aspects: “the centrality of accessible, balanced worship; the importance of relevant biblical preaching…; and the secondary nature of church governance.”

Andrew P. Campell’s article critically assesses ‘nonviolent atonement theology’. This theology attempts to deny that Christ’s suffering was salvific or divinely ordained, driven by ethical concerns for those who are powerless and oppressed. It also rejects the doctrine of the wrath of God. Campbell’s article not only shows that these are untrue, but also that they are counter-productive in the ethical problems they hope to solve. Finally, Andrew Hollingsworth outlines the connection between Christian discipleship and hermeneutics in the work of Hans-Georg Gadamer.

The issue concludes with a substantial collection of book reviews, featuring both scholarly and popular works across the breadth of the theological disciplines.

Single issues of Churchman can be purchased here, or you can subscribe here. Church Society members are eligible for a discounted subscription rate.

Ros Clarke is Associate Director of Church Society and Course Leader of the Priscilla Programme

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