On the move

Editorial by Anthony Woollard
from Signs of the Times No. 69 - Apr 2018

It is always a delight, in this second issue of the year, to focus on reporting from the annual residential meeting of the Council of Modern Church at the beginning of March.

Not only is Hinsley Hall, the Roman Catholic centre of the Diocese of Leeds, a most pleasant venue, but the fellowship at Council is always a renewing experience, even when we have contentious issues to discuss, as we have often had in recent years.

Read more ...

God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but not three persons

by John Goodchild
from Signs of the Times No. 69 - Apr 2018

There is a world of difference between the one God of the monotheist and the gods of the polytheist.

A polytheistic God is usually partial, having favourites, and cannot offer a basis for an overarching morality. When the first Christians experienced Jesus as God they did not want to think of him as a second God. They could use the idea of Jesus as the Word of God - the expression of the mind of God in human life. If we express what is in our mind we do not empty our mind. God was not diminished or changed by the incarnation and Christ as the Word made flesh could be said to have existed from the beginning of time.

Read more ...

Three persons, one God

by Adrian Thatcher
from Signs of the Times No. 69 - Apr 2018

In response to John Goodchild’s reflection on the Trinity, I wonder:

  • why, in his title (‘…not three persons’) he denies, without a single argument, what is central to the Christian doctrine of God?
  • why he conflates Trinitarianism with polytheism?

Read more ...

History as past, present and future: Reflections on Hamilton

by Frances Eccleston
from Signs of the Times No. 69 - Apr 2018

It was a theatre trip long in the planning. A couple of years ago our lovely and somewhat apolitical daughter Grace became immersed in a heavyweight political biography of Alexander Hamilton, the U.S. founding father whom history had forgotten.

The apparently dry volume was covered in her annotations and underlinings. How come?  Grace had heard the cast album of the newest Broadway hit musical, Hamilton, and was captivated. She became an avid social media follower of everything connected to the show and its writer-director Lin-Manuel Miranda. She insisted we should see it as a family when it opened in London. And so it was we found ourselves in the Victoria Palace Theatre, part of a noticeably young and excited audience, who burst into screams of delight as Hamilton walked onstage for the first number.

Read more ...

Response to crisis: Restoring our covenant with Creation

Report on the South West Regional Day Conference, Saturday 3rd February 2018, by David James
from Signs of the Times No. 69 - Apr 2018

In the late 1960s, Charles Napier, a lecturer at the old London College of Divinity, was leading a Doctrine seminar. During it, he proclaimed that in future years it would be Creation, not Salvation that should engage the mind of the Church as it communicated its message to the world.

Most were, in that context, dismissive of his words, but they often came to mind at Manvers Street Baptist Church in Bath on Saturday 3rd February as we listened to Margaret Barker and Bishop Nick Holtham.

Read more ...