Review: A Public Faith - How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good, and Allah - A Christian Response, by Miroslav Volf

by Graham Hellier
from Signs of the Times No. 46 - Jul 2012

'One God, one authority, one law' and all humanity should be brought to obedience, by force if necessary.

This was the teaching of the Egyptian Islamist, Sayyid Qutb, who died in 1966.  Given the challenge of extreme Muslim fundamentalism, where should Christians stand, when they take to the public arena?

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Changing the church

by Dave Marshall
from Signs of the Times No. 46 - Jul 2012

Browsing through the latest edition of the Canons of the Church of England I was reminded how open they are.

Not in the detail, of course. Most describe precisely how the institution is required by law to operate. The openness is in Section A, which sets out the underlying principles. A key feature of this section is the consistent use of the phrase 'the Word of God' as the authority for statements about the Thirty-nine Articles, the Book of Common Prayer and the sections that follow.

'The Word of God' is explicitly not equated with 'the Holy Scriptures'. Instead 'the doctrine of the Church of England is grounded (my emphasis) in the Holy Scriptures, and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures'.

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A correspondence on creeds continued

from Signs of the Times No. 46 - Jul 2012
Comments on the correspondence published in Signs of the Times No. 45 - Apr 2012

Patrick Lewin

David Storey's proposed creed is an admirably clear statement in modern English of traditional Christian belief but I believe it fails on three counts.

It doesn't lift up our hearts joyfully and make them sing, as does Blake's 'Jerusalem' or 'La Marseillaise' -- compare them with our flat national anthem so devoid of inspiration; 'Love divine all loves excelling' works fine as a hymn but 'Divine Lover' invites ribaldry ('My dear, you must meet my new lover; he's simply divine') and above all because what it says about Jesus is no more true than the parallel passage said or sung in the 1662 Prayer Book:

'And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary, ... He descended into hell; The third day he rose again from the dead, He ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father; From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.'

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A layperson's view of the Covenant

by Alan Wolfe
from Signs of the Times No. 46 - Jul 2012

Current events suggest (at least to me as a layman) that the Church of England has been drifting back towards its predecessor, the Church in England.

Up to 500 years ago the Church was ruled by its Bishops and Priests who saw their function as instructing their congregations what to believe and how to behave; and for those who were seen to disobey in any respect to judge and punish them (even to the point in exceptional cases of inflicting a death almost as cruel as that suffered by Our Lord).

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A new Archbishop and an old or new Covenant?

by Nicholas Henderson
from Signs of the Times No. 46 - Jul 2012
Also published on

The appointment of Church of England bishops follows a convoluted and somewhat clandestine process, formerly through the ecclesiastical machinery associated with the Crown Appointments Commission and now the slightly more transparent Crown Nominations Commission.

This Commission also deals with the appointment of the next Archbishop of Canterbury and embarked on its first meeting in May 2012 with a view to an announcement of the name of the new Archbishop sometime during the autumn of this year.

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