Review of 2015: a selection of our articles
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by Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream.
A very happy New Year to all our readers. As we head into 2016, may this year see the strengthening of prophetic Christian witness that is Jesus-focussed, Bible-based and Spirit-empowered, and the development of a faithful Church which seeks to think correctly, act lovingly and speak courageously, against the grain if necessary.
Here are some pieces written for Anglican Mainstream over the past year, grouped in categories according to topics and issues.
Church of England and the Anglican Communion.
If the Church were a football team, what sort of players should a manager select?
A comment on a pre-election document from the Bishops, and also the first of the “Reform and Renewal” documents:
A prominent London church hosts a Muslim service – why this is wrong on many levels.
In the wake of the GAFCON primates meeting in April, how might this organization help orthodox Anglicans in the C of E going forward?
A response to a Church Times article on mission, which argues for less God and Bible, more mystery and niceness.
A major report suggests that Britain is no longer Christian, and all institutions should reflect this. How might this affect the C of E?
The Plausibility Problem. Ed Shaw makes a solid defense of biblical sexual ethics, from his own personal position of a single, same-sex attracted Christian.
Honest Evangelism. Rico Tice tells it how it is: sharing the Gospel is hard and getting harder, but we can bring people to Christ if we know our message, understand the culture and use simple and effective techniques.
Towards a theology of church growth, ed. David Goodhew. The convention of “managed decline” must be replaced by a commitment to church growth based on good theology and understanding of history.
Good disagreement: grace and truth in a divided church, ed. Andrew Atherstone and Andrew Goddard. Theological basis and practical outworking of the idea behind holding together people with different views in the church.
“Shared conversations” about sexuality and Christian faith – can we have “good disagreement”, or are the theological differences too great?
A report on a conversation between evangelicals and liberals, convened around the publication of a new book on the Bible and sexuality.
Looking at an evangelical Bishop’s two lectures on the sexuality issue: will this be a template for how most evangelicals will respond?
A response to an influential article by David Runcorn, who identifies as an evangelical but is calling for full acceptance of same sex relationships.
To publicly hold an orthodox view on sexuality attracts criticism, so some evangelicals prefer to attack other orthodox believers rather than the real problem.
Report on a debate held in Oxford on the sexuality issue, and a summary of the arguments.
A response to an article by the Dean of Christ Church Oxford, in which he calls for Archbishop Welby to assert the primacy of the revisionist position in worldwide Anglicanism.
Contemporary issues and theological reflection
Father, Son, Spirit, Marriage – how the first two chapters of Genesis and the first two chapters of John link together to affirm marriage as foundational in God’s created order.
Tony Campolo calls for full inclusion of gay Christian couples in church, and a response in the form of ten reasons why he is wrong.
Harvest – reminder of reality. We are called to live within the creation that God has made, not to re-create reality in our own minds.
Is it possible for same sex desire to be reduced? Should counselling be available for this? A short story to illustrate the issue.
The Gospel and spiritual warfare in the face of evil
Child abuse and the church. No sympathy or ‘rights’, please, for those with an inclination to do wrong.
Islamic jihadism: are we dedicating ourselves to prayer in the face of demonic power?