by Revd Dr Gillian Straine
from Signs of the Times No. 48 - Jan 2013

It is my pleasure to provide this response to Jeyan Anketell's review of Making Sense of Faith in God by Jonathan Clatworthy which appeared in the October edition of this newsletter. 

I do not intend to review the review (I agreed with it entirely), nor to provide the traditional review fodder of describing the book in terms of its structure, content and argument as this can be all found it Jeyan's article. Instead, I offer a few thoughts on how this reader, who is both a scientist and theologian, encountered the book in the light of what has already been described, and where it fits into the broader debate between the magisteria of science and religion.

by Tim Laundon
from Signs of the Times No. 48 - Jan 2013

Walk the Jesus Walk by John Simmons - who was formerly responsible for post-ordination training for the Methodist Church in Great Britain - follows the agenda set by Together in Hope (2008).

It is written both for those who have been discouraged by simplistic or naive Christian teaching or by negative experiences of church. However, it would probably also be helpful in addressing the all too common situation in our churches of clergy feeling that they must avoid critical or radical thinking for fear of upsetting the congregation, while the congregation - ironically - also yearn for a more substantial engagement with what it means to be a Christian amid the complexities of our lives and our society. 'We really do need to "grow up into Christ" (Ephesians 4:15)', writes Adrian Alker (2008:6), editor of that first booklet, and Walk the Jesus Walk sets out a few first steps towards that aim.

by David Driscoll,
from Signs of the Times No. 48 - Jan 2013

A few years ago I wrote an article for Signs of the Times in which I made the suggestion that emotion ought to be placed alongside scripture, tradition and reason as a fourth pillar in classical Anglicanism.

The article was in response to the criticism that Modern Church, in stressing the importance of reason as a component to faith was in danger of missing out on its mystery. A further criticism highlighted the possibility where faith was concerned of not being sufficiently in touch with one's emotions. Francis Spufford's Unapologetic might just help here, especially given the book's intriguing strapline, 'Why, despite everything, Christianity can still make surprising emotional sense.'

by Alan Wolfe
from Signs of the Times No. 48 - Jan 2013

The intention of this book is to help us to see God in everything, even the most trivial, and to live our lives accordingly.

Its format consists of short three-page sections, each including an introduction, a meditation and 'considerations for the heart'. There are 32 of them grouped under four headings: With Our Bodies, In Our Dwellings, With Our Everyday Things, In Our Gratitude.

by Jonathan Clatworthy
from Signs of the Times No. 48 - Jan 2013

Modern Church has supported the ministry of women since the 1920s. We welcomed the decision in 1992 to permit women priests; the introduction of women bishops is now overdue. On 20th November 2012, however, the Church of England's General Synod failed to achieve sufficient majorities to proceed.

The current discriminatory situation damages the Church of England. The long-term effects  of an all-male hierarchy have skewed the Church's vision and priorities as important issues have been ignored. We need the insights and energies of women in our leadership.