The summer edition of Crossway
Posted by Lee Gatiss, 3 Jul 2015
Your summer reading list is not complete without Crossway — now out!
We lead this quarter with an article by Lee Gatiss on “transforming a church”. A church (whether local or national) never stands still, but is always changing — for good or ill. “Good transformation” is only brought about by the biblical strategy of “preach, pray, love, and stay”, as the word of God does its work to change hearts and minds and lives.
Ros Clarke tells us about how she plans to contribute to this gospel growth in her new role as Online Pastor in Lichfield Diocese, while Mark Earngey looks at the life and ministry of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer who greatly valued the word of God.
Stephen Bowen also looks back on 33 years of ministry in a single place, and the advantages of long-term persistent expository preaching. At the other end of the chronological scale, John Percival reflects on the particular challenges of being a curate, and has some tongue-in-cheek advice for how to really annoy the vicar!
The English Church shall be Free!
Posted by Andrea Ruddick, 15 Jun 2015
On its 800th anniversary, medieval historian Dr Andrea Ruddick looks at the spiritual dimension of the Magna Carta, which begins by asserting that “the English Church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished, and its liberties unimpaired."
It is unlikely to have escaped your notice by now that 2015 marks the eight-hundredth anniversary of Magna Carta, the famous charter of English liberties issued by King John in 1215. Or, at least, the eight-hundredth anniversary of its first draft. In fact, Magna Carta did not attain its iconic status as the cornerstone of English democracy until somewhat later. Its rebranding as a repository of ‘British values’ is still more recent.
Principles of flourishing?
Posted by Revd Dr Lee Gatiss, 2 Apr 2015
Lee Gatiss looks at the 'Five Guiding Principles' now being used to filter all appointments and training for ministry in the Church.
Our bishops have recently decided to add to The Thirty-nine Articles. Well, not in so many words. What they have done (without much in the way of due legal process, unfortunately) is to add to the number of official documents to which ordinands and ministers are required to give assent. From now on, it will be necessary for everyone entering ministry, or moving church jobs, to give their assent to the bishops’ ‘Five Guiding Principles’.
This is a controversial step. It has been hotly debated within theological colleges, not least amongst those who are about to be ordained. It has come as something of a surprise to learn about another hurdle they must clear. And so it should.
Five guiding principles
The Bishops’ Five Principles spring from the recent compromise on the women bishops issue. They appeared as part of the renewed negotiations after the clear ‘No’ vote in November 2012. Though they were never formally agreed to by participants in those discussions, they were described by Archbishop Justin as an ‘electrified ringfence’ around the issue. They have now become an electrified hoop through which every prospective minister needs to jump.
The spring edition of Crossway
Posted by Lee Gatiss, 31 Mar 2015
As the General Election campaign finally begins in earnest, the Spring edition of Crossway has just been published, leading with an article on “British values."
Immigration may well be a big issue during this election, and so we also explore some of the opportunities that has brought us for spreading the gospel. Rather than the kind of syncretism that has been observed recently in parts of Southwark diocese, Stephen Watkinson, who ministers in a predominantly Muslim area of Northern England, has some pointers to help us think about building bridges and building churches which honour our great God and saviour, Jesus Christ.
As more and more women bishops are announced, Lee Gatiss looks at the House of Bishops’ “Five Guiding Principles” on the issue, which are being used to filter all appointments. Can ordinands assent to them with a clear conscience?