What should you read before you get ordained?
Posted by Ros Clarke, 31 Mar 2020
Ros Clarke recommends the top five Church Society books to prepare for ordination.
Whether you are due to be ordained this year, currently in training, or consider the possibility, there are some important questions to consider first. At Church Society, we publish a wide range of resources for clergy and lay people, including books, a magazine and a journal, and online resources including a podcast and videos as well as blogposts and even some children’s resources. We hope there’s something valuable in everything we publish, but these are our top recommendations to help those who are considering or training for ordained ministry in the Church of England.
1. Foundations of Faith
Anglican pastors and theologians from around the world reflect on the foundational teachings of global Anglicanism. Putting the Thirty-nine Articles in their biblical and historical context, they navigate some of the difficult terrain with clear and compelling application for today. There is a commentary on each of the 39 Articles, together with relevant scriptures, questions for reflection and a prayer. The book is thus a devotional guide as well as a doctrinal one. This is essential reading for every Anglican minister.
Paperback | Hardback | Digital
Posted by Fiona Gibson, 31 Mar 2020
Fiona Gibson considers the next of the seven deadly sins for our Lent series, The Blessed Life.
Is being slothful really all that bad?
If you’ve ever had occasion to stay in a hotel you’ll be familiar with the ‘do not disturb’ signs provided for weary travellers to hang on the outside of the bedroom door to ensure the housekeeping team don’t burst in with vacuum cleaners while the occupant is attempting to slumber. One such example frames the request very politely indeed: ‘Please don’t wake me. I want to sleep a little longer.’
Perhaps that’s the image you conjure up when you hear the word ‘sloth’. Of all the deadly sins we are being challenged about in this Lent series, sloth is the one most of us know least about. Sloth is usually reduced to the idea of laziness and what, really, is so deadly about being a bit lazy? Laziness isn’t really seen as much of a problem these days. It might be a minor character flaw, but is it any more serious than that? Can sloth really be called a sin — and a deadly sin at that?
The Church Fathers certainly thought so. And, whilst they might not have used the language of Seven Deadly Sins, Luther and Calvin thought so too. So what is it?
Posted by Dave Clancey, 30 Mar 2020
Dave Clancey continues our Lent series, The Blessed Life, with the next of the seven deadly sins.
What has made you angry in the past two weeks?
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
All sin is ugly, but some sins seem uglier than others. Surely wrath is one of the ugliest. The word conjures up images of red-faced rage, of fist-clenched fury, of an out-of-control offensive to crush and destroy. And when described that way, most of us can put this ugly sin far from us. We’re happy to condemn wrath as an ugly sin, we’re also happy to thank God that we’re not like ‘other people’ (Luke 18:11) who are afflicted with it.
And yet, the sin of wrath may be closer to us than we imagine. Wrath lives in the same semantic world as anger, and anger is complicated. The Bible instructs us to rid ourselves of anger (Ephesians 4:31, Colossians 3:8), assumes that we will be angry (Ephesians 4:26, James 1:19), and is happy to recount the Lord Jesus’s anger (Mark 3:5).
Anger is complicated because it’s good and appropriate to be angry against sin. To hear of the vulnerable being abused and taken advantage of, or of Christian brothers and sisters persecuted or oppressed because of their faith — these things should stir in us a response of ‘that’s not right!’ Anger directed towards sin is good and appropriate. God’s people are themselves condemned by the Lord when they are indifferent toward such evil (Amos 6:6).