Review: The Book of Books - The Radical Impact of the King James Bible by Melvyn Bragg,

by Alan Wolfe
from Signs of the Times No. 45 - Apr 2012

The 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James ('Authorised') version of the Bible spawned a large amount of activity: TV series, exhibitions (particularly the collection of superb 'first editions' at Lambeth Palace Library), and above all numbers of books from the sublime to the trivial.

These comment about the background to its writing, its style and content, its influence on the English language and literature, how it assisted in the spread of English (and later American) power and influence, and also Protestant Christianity, over what we now call the Third World; and they occasionally even discuss how it has affected its original sponsor, the Church of England.

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Apologetics without apology

by Jonathan Clatworthy
from Signs of the Times No. 45 - Apr 2012

Christian 'apologetics' is the defence of Christianity against critics by means of argument. As one would expect, whenever there have been critics there have been apologists, from the biblical book of Acts onwards.

There are recurring themes: philosophical arguments for the existence of God, spiritual arguments for a religion of redemption, moral arguments for a more-than-human standard of behaviour, historical arguments about Jesus and the gospels and scientific arguments about the creation of the universe.

Without arguments like these, criticisms of Christianity would go unanswered. Nevertheless some theologians have opposed all apologetics, none more forcefully than Karl Barth whose influence was immense throughout the twentieth century.

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A correspondence on creeds

between David Storey, Anthony Woollard and Jonathan Clatworthy
from Signs of the Times No. 45 - Apr 2012

David Storey

I wonder what you make at my attempt at a more universal creed but hopefully Christian. I have tried it on others including Jonathan who suggested I pass it on to you.
We believe in God, Creator and Divine Lover
    of all humanity and creation.
We believe in Jesus, the Christ,
    who has manifested the nature of God to us
    and still seeks to assist us live a divine life.
We believe that the Spirit of God
    guides and strengthens us to create
    a world where God's will is done.
So may all humanity and creation be blessed.

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Collegiality and conciliarity and their implications for the Covenant

by Jean Mayland
from Signs of the Times No. 45 - Apr 2012

In the year 2000 the Council for Christian Unity of the Church of England published a booklet entitled Bishops in Communion: Collegiality in the Service of the Koinonia of the Church.

It was actually written[viii] by the Faith and Order Advisory Group of the Council for Christian Unity who drew on ideas from the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches which had published a study of 'Episkope in the service of the koionia of the Church'.  This study explored the ways in which the collegiality of church leaders or overseers or bishops could enhance the communion of separated churches while not destroying their diversity.

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Innovation and a changing church

Editorial by Anthony Woollard
from Signs of the Times No. 45 - Apr 2012

The main event in Modern Church's life over the past few weeks has been the residential Council meeting at Hinsley Hall in Leeds.

The Council draws together the Trustees with our distinguished President  and Vice-Presidents and the rest of the 'electoral college' from which  the Trustees are drawn. Thus, it assists the Trustees in taking into account  the wisdom of a wide range of our members.

It is a tribute to this relative innovation of an annual residential meeting that the overwhelming majority of Council members, including the President and three Vice-Presidents, gave up 24 hours of their time to discuss the issues facing Modern Church. Two themes dominated. First, how to improve the quality and circulation of our learned journal Modern Believing; and, second, how to make our conferences, the other flagship of our activities, even more attractive.

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