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Photo of Canon Ashley Null

Peter Toon Lecture 2014

Divine Allurement - Cranmer's Comfortable Words. By Dr Ashley Null. The Peter Toon Lecture 2014.

Because justification by faith emphasized personal faith, persuasion was important to the Protestant Reformers. The verb ‘allure’ was thus closely connected with their expression of the Gospel, and this is reflected in the liturgy of the Book of Common Prayer. Cranmer’s work not only gave the church its distinctive identity at the time of the Reformation, but has subsequently had a formative influence on worldwide Anglicanism.

Peter Toon was a Yorkshireman, an Anglican minister, theologian and church historian. He was formerly librarian of Latimer House in Oxford, curate of St Ebbe’s, and later a tutor at Oak Hill College. He went on to serve in churches in the United States until almost the end of his life. He was President of the Prayer Book Society in the United States, but eventually returned to serve as Priest-in-Charge of a Staffordshire village church. He died in 2009.

He left behind some 40 books, together with numerous essays and articles on a wide variety of topics, from Puritanism and popular doctrinal works, to spirituality and liturgy. As well as editing The Concise Evangelical Dictionary of Theology and The Compact Bible Dictionary, he also wrote on the great Puritan, John Owen, publishing his Oxford Orations, his surviving correspondence, and a biography, God’s Statesman. But the burden of much of Peter Toon’s writing was for the importance of the historic formularies of the Church of England: the 39 Articles, the Book of Common Prayer, and the Ordinal.

Ashley Null is canon theologian for the Episcopal Diocese of Western Kansas, visiting fellow at Cambridge, visiting research fellow at Humboldt-Universität in Berlin, and recent recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. As one of the world’s foremost experts on Thomas Cranmer, Dr. Null is a well-known speaker and writer.

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