Speak (not) of the Devil
Posted by Revd Rachel Marszalek, 17 Feb 2015
In this article from Crossway, Spring 2014, Rachel Marszalek argues that the new baptismal liturgy, now being trialled in churches, edits out key Christian doctrines.
The church is experimenting with its baptism liturgy. Edward Malnick, writing in the Telegraph, reported the news as follows: ‘In the current version… vicars ask parents and godparents if they “reject the devil and all rebellion against God” and if they “repent of the sins that separate us from God and neighbour”. However, the new text asks them instead to “reject evil, and all its many forms, and all its empty promises”, with no explicit mention of the devil or sin.’
Reading this, I remembered a paper by Mike Ovey, The Grace of God or the World of the West? from GAFCON 2. In it, he said, ‘My first really significant encounter with worldwide Anglicanism came at theological college. It was 1990 and an east African priest was on secondment with us. He preached in the college chapel. He posed a question. Which gospel do you westerners want us to believe? The one you came with or the one you preach now?’
Ordination Training and the Church of England
Posted by Revd Dr Simon Vibert, 16 Feb 2015
Simon Vibert from Wycliffe Hall, Oxford briefs us on recent changes in Church of England Ordination training so that we can pray for Ordinands and tutors, and for what lies ahead.
First some assumptions: I take it that we believe that well-trained clergy are essential. Clergy need to be schooled in traditional disciplines such as biblical studies (so they have confidence to proclaim the gospel), biblical languages (in order to study the text in detail), Church History, Ethics, and Doctrine (to learn the lessons of the past and refute error). Alongside these subjects are the practical areas of Preaching, Leadership, Church Growth, and Apologetics, all of which are best learned from practitioners and by having the opportunity to hone skills and grow in godliness during the training experience. Academic Learning; Practical Training; Personal and Spiritual Formation can only be truly attained when sustained attention is given to the training experience of an Ordinand.
J. C. Ryle, one of the founders of Wycliffe Hall (opened in 1877), wrote the following in an essay entitled ‘The Importance of Dogma’:
‘The consequences of this widespread dislike of dogma are very serious in the present day. … It produces what I must venture to call, if I may coin a phrase, a jellyfish Christianity…: that is, Christianity without bone, or muscle, or power.
Photo by Joerg Hackemann / 123RF
Do not be afraid!
Posted 18 Dec 2014
The winter edition of Crossway has just been published, leading with an article on the fears of conservative evangelicals as we enter the new year, and the only antidote to those fears.
Church Society Council Chairman, Paul Darlington also looks at the way ahead for us after the announcement of the first women bishops, reflecting on the lessons we can learn from the book of Habakkuk.
A major article by Dr Simon Vibert from Wycliffe Hall in Oxford examines the recent changes in theological education and outlines the challenges facing tutors and ordinands at our theological colleges.
Overflowing with ministry opportunities!
Posted by Jane Tooher, 6 Oct 2014
In the latest edition of Crossway, Jane Tooher looks at how a complementarian view of gender relationships is a positive encouragement for all kinds of ministry.
Some people believe that a complementarian position on the ministries of men and women, stifles women and stifles the church. But that’s not necessarily true. It depends on your working definition of complementarianism, and upon your practice.
I define gender complementarity (as per the Values of Moore College) as an ‘affirmation of the fundamental equality and mutual dependence of men and women as image bearers of God, while recognising proper differences in roles and responsibilities in life and Christian ministry.’ And it’s in our practice, more often than in our definitions, that complementarianism can be distorted.
Rightly understood and lived out, a complementarian position helps men and women recognize who they were created and redeemed to be, and it helps the people of God recognize the beauty of interdependence and the variety of gifting that God has given to build his church, as we take his great message of salvation of Jesus Christ to the ends of the world. Far from stifling, when properly understood, complementarianism liberates women as essential to the life and health of Christ’s church.