A diocesan bishop told me recently about a congregation that had decided that it was not “called” to evangelism at that particular time, but would reconsider it in five years. “Why do they think it’s an option?” he asked. “If they had decided they weren’t called to worship, they would have expected me to turn up on the door the next day insisting that, because they were a Christian church, this wasn’t an option for them. Why do we not grasp that evangelism is a non-negotiable?”
Fulcrum’s new series of events – Pivot^Points – aims to get the conversation going about how we can play our part in growing God’s Kingdom. This series will look at a wide variety of topics, but will always revolve around that core theme. The first event is on Wed 17th September 2014, 7.30pm for 8pm.
Here…is a brief attempt to analyse what this recent outbreak of fighting between Israel and Gaza has been about – with four clues which help me to make sense of the big picture….As we watch this terrible tragedy unfold…we should be praying for all who, in the spirit of the Beatitudes, ‘hunger and thirst to see right prevail’ and seek to be peace-makers.
If Christians are deeply divided on the Holy Land, Evangelical Christians are more divided than most. In nearly a decade at the Evangelical Alliance, I helped steer it through a number of controversies which seriously threatened its unity — from debates on homosexuality to the nature of hell, from the Toronto Blessing to prosperity teaching, from penal substitutionary atonement to identificational repentance. Yet of all the conferences and ‘summit meetings’ I organised to broach such vexed questions, the tensest and most volatile was that day meeting in June 2003 on how Christians should regard the state of Israel, and on how they should understand the condition of the Palestinian people in relation to it.
Yet the value of having freedom to choose is not found in simply having the choices available. It is in having the freedom to make the right choices…It simply cannot be based only on the notion of the freedom and right to choose. It must be based on other values.
Fulcrum is delighted at the Synod’s vote to enable women to become bishops, with the support of more than 3/4 of all three houses.
There is a large, hidden question behind Carey’s comments, and it is a question behind the key ethical issues of our day, including the related debate (as much as there is one) about abortion, but particularly in the debate about sexuality. That question is the role of experience. Carey and others are basing their case on their own experience, in this case of encounters with those suffering and facing death, and the experiences of those they have met. And in the discussion these experiences are presented as the end of all argument. If this is my experience, how can you argue against it?
As we approach the House of Lords’ debate on Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill, it is clear that there is a concerted attempt to undermine the church’s traditional opposition to laws enabling the killing of the suffering and dying. What follows offers the briefest of sketches of some of the main false steps in recent Christian arguments.
Carey’s case for legalising assisted suicide is a counsel of despair devoid of Christian faith and hope. I still cannot believe he wrote it.
Justin Welby has not yet written a leadership manual, but were he to do so, these would be his top four principles: strategize, build a trusted team, don’t play safe, recognise your fallibility.
How – and in what sense – did the apostles first recognise God in Jesus? A review of a book responding to Bart Ehrman by by Michael F. Bird, Craig A. Evans, Simon J. Gathercole, Charles E. Hill, and Chris Tilling.
To encourage and enable commemoration of the First World War, the Liturgical Commission of the Church of England recently produced a number of resources. They raise an interesting issue for evangelical Anglicans – what do we think about praying for the dead?
SPCK has just published Being A Curate edited by Jonathan Ross-McNairn and Sonia Barron. Paula Gooder describes it as a “gem of a collection” which is “a must-read for all future curates, and for anyone else who will accompany them on their journey”.