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Showing posts from May, 2016

Salvation to the Ends of the Earth

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This months magazine article. We're keen to keep the Thy Kingdom Come momentum.

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[The Lord] says: "It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth." (Isaiah 49:6 NIV)

As Christians, we have the most incredible and the most important news to share with the whole world. In Isaiah the Lord describes this news as salvation and it is not just for Jews, but for non-Jews (Gentiles) all over the earth.

In the NT we find that it is Jesus who fulfils this as “the source of our eternal salvation” (Hebrews 5:9), for he is the one who died for our sins to save us from guilt, death and judgement. Paul takes up the verse from Isaiah to show how Jesus commanded him to take this message of salvation all over the world.

Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: "We had to speak the word of God to you firs…

Article V - Of the Holy Ghost

V. Of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory, with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.
It seems appropriate to be writing about this article just after Pentecost, when the disciples of Christs dramatically received the Holy Spirit (Acts 2). Perhaps because of the Pentecostal and Charismatic movement there is a tendency either to not talk about the Holy Spirit or to talk disproportionately about the Holy Spirit in churches these days. This is a shame, especially as the debate about gifts, which those movements prompted is only a relatively small part of the Bible's teaching about the third person of the Trinity.
Article V gives us a concise, but significant, summary of the classical (western) Trinitarian view of the Holy Spirit (called the Holy Ghost in earlier English). What do we learn:
1. Proceeding from the Father and the Son
This is, perhaps, the most controversial aspect of the doctrine historic…

Grumpy Old Conservative Evangelicals?

It seems to be thought to be a bit of a truism amongst conservative evangelicals, especially in the Church of England, that we have an image problem. We're too grumpy, too difficult, too uninvolved etc. I've noticed it come up in conversation a few times recently, both online and in person. In contrast we are encouraged to be positive and friendly, especially if we want to see progress in our denomination.
If I'm right we tend think along these lines: it's not just what we believe that is unpalatable, but it's the way we believe it. We are harsh in our expression, we're looking for an argument, we're looking to criticise and we're unnecessarily divisive. I'm not saying this is what those outside our constituency think, rather that I think within our constituency we tend to think this. I’ll be honest that it’s a view that I’ve increasingly found a little uncomfortable. As I’ve reflected, I have a few reasons.
1. It is a view that tends to shutdown dis…