Posted by George Crowder, 20 Aug 2021
In the third and final part of this short series on Christian essentials, George Crowder explores the true meaning of love.
To attempt to say anything definitive about love is both ambitious and treacherous. It is ambitious, because great minds and skilful artisans have long willingly offered their talents in service of what is the greatest of all virtues, and yet, it still carries a mystery and power we cannot fathom. It is treacherous, because the strength of individualism in our age has made its definition fiercely subjective. Love’s power and value is universally accepted, but it’s exact nature and form is deeply personal and strongly connected to a sense of identity and self-worth.
For this reason, though ambitious and treacherous, definitive words about love are much desired and much needed. Many people are inclined to contemplate the existence of God when drawn on the topic of love. It is both beyond us and all around us. It is both the most valuable treasure and the commonest currency. It makes us feel both lost and found. Our desire to bridge these and so many other paradoxes leaves us hungry for enlightenment.
Photo by Photo by Patricia McCarty from Pexels
Posted by George Crowder, 9 Aug 2021
In the next in this short series looking at Christian essentials, George Crowder examines the true nature of Christian hope.
Christians live in hope and the world we live in is our waiting room. By definition, a waiting room is never the final destination. It is never the place we want to be. This world can be uncomfortable and painful, and Christian life has seasons of tribulation. Temptation, frustration, trials and persecution are par for the course. Yet Christian life can also be very pleasant; fellowship in Christ and spiritual encouragement are uplifting and joyous. Still, this world is not the final destination, there is something better that we yet hope for. There is something that is worth waiting for.
Our life has a goal, just as all creation has a goal, and God sent his Son to redeem us from our sins to restore us and fulfil that goal. Paul evokes how we long for that goal in Romans 8:23. “And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” Our future hope is invested in our eternal relationship with God the Father through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and adoption in the name of the Son.
Without that hope there is no point to being a Christian. It is what lies beyond this life that is the ultimate motivation for faith in Christ.
Photo by Photo by Sunyu Kim from Pexels
Crossway Special Edition: Class
Posted by Ros Clarke, 6 Aug 2021
The Spring 2020 edition of Crossway on the theme of class is now available to download.
Earlier this year we published an edition of Crossway, our quarterly magazine, examining the issue of class in the Church of England. Contributors spoke about the particular challenges for working class people called to ministry, the opportunities that ministering in working class parishes can bring, the systemic discrimination against those from poor educational backgrounds in the church, and ways in which the new selection process may help to overcome some of this.
Unfortunately, due to some printing issues, we don’t have any copies of this edition left in stock. Instead, you can download a pdf of the whole issue here. We would encourage you to share this with others in your church, deanery and diocese. We hope it will be a useful contribution to the ongoing discussions about how the church can do more to reach the whole nation with the good news of the gospel.