Scholarship and Fierce Sincerity: Henry D. A. Major, The Face of Anglican Modernism

by Calum Gilmour
from Signs of the Times No. 26 - Jul 2007

This is the title of a recent book on aspects of the life of H. D. A. Major, with particular focus on his roots and continuing connection with New Zealand, the home of his youth. Major is probably better known to readers in the UK as the founder of the Modern Churchmen's Union and editor of The Modern Churchman from its inception in 1911 until he relinquished the editorship in 1956. The Modern Churchman was the predecessor of the current journal Modern Believing.

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Fighting fundamentalism

Extracts from Douglas Bartles-Smith's new book
from Signs of the Times No. 26 - Jul 2007

The London bombs have made people even more worried about religious fundamentalism.

It is clear that many Muslims are as counter cultural as many conservative Evangelicals would have us be. They hate the culture in which they have been brought up. 31% of Muslims who were polled in a Telegraph YouGov poll1 shortly after the London bombs exploded agreed with the statement:

"Western democracy is decadent and immoral and Muslims should seek to bring it to an end but only by non violent means."

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Thou shalt (not) tamper with the text!

by Graham Hellier
from Signs of the Times No. 26 - Jul 2007

'The Wicked Bible' was the name given to the 1631 printing that unfortunately missed out the word 'not' from the commandment 'Thou shalt not commit adultery'! It was reported at the time:

His Majesties Printers ... committed a scandalous mistake in our English Bible, by leaving out the word Not in the Seventh Commandment. Order was given for calling the Printers into the High Commission, where upon evidence of the fact, the whole Impression was called in, and the Printers deeply fined, as they justly merited.

An extreme case, but a reminder of the difficult task allotted to the Holy Spirit in checking the transmission of Biblical truth at every stage in the process!

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MCU and the Covenant

from Signs of the Times No. 26 - Jul 2007

The MCU is a theological society. Good theology, like all good scholarship, depends on certain procedures. When opinions differ in the search for truth, it is essential to all scholarship that the arguments for the contrasting positions are opened to public examination, and that debate is allowed to continue until such time as consensus is reached.

Our view stands in the tradition of what is often called 'classical Anglicanism' - as expressed, for example, by Richard Hooker, Jeremy Taylor and Joseph Butler.

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Bouncing the Covenant through the Anglican Communion

by Paul Bagshaw

from Signs of the Times No. 26 - Jul 2007

General Synod will not have the opportunity to debate the content of a Anglican Covenant until, perhaps, it's too late.

The process has been designed to exclude legislative bodies from engagement with the substantive issues. Provincial Synods are to be asked:

  1. (The present debate) is the idea of a covenant acceptable in principle?
  2. (In 2010) please give your assent to a document which has already been agreed by every  international Anglican body.

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