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Archive for the ‘anglican’ Category

Here are a couple of videos which seek to explain some parallels between the gospel of Mark and Isaiah.

It is a little but rough and ready. The readings discussed are

Isaiah 40/Mark 1:1-3

Isaiah 48:20-49:11/ Mark 8:1-9,27-38

Isaiah 42:18-26/Mark 11:1-19

Isaiah 52:13-53:12/Mark 15:16-41

Part 1 of 2

Part 2 of 2

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It has been an interesting week over at synod for those conerned about  the state and direction of the Church of England. There are perhaps 200 vicars who are in civil partnerships (If anyone has a better estimate then please let me know) but they are required  to remain celibate.   Synod have recently voted on the motion  that the pension rights of those clergy in a civil partnership will be the same as those who are married.  This saddens me as it seems to suggest that civil partnerships are to be viewed on the same level as marriage.  If this is the case then the  Church of England is becoming more liberal and is rapidly moving away from biblical, historic and global orthodoxy.  Are we a church which is committed to the word of God or one that is blown around by the spirit of the age. May God have mercy upon us!

Looking at the votes we see that  11.8% of eligible bishops voted against the motion, 17.7% of clergy and  40.1% of laity voted against the bill.

Here are the details  from the Church of England website,

PRIVATE MEMBER’S MOTION: PARITY OF PENSION PROVISION FOR SURVIVING CIVIL PARTNERS (GS 1770A and GS 1770B)

Following debate, the Revd Mark Bratton moved the following motion, which was carried by the Synod after a Division by Houses:

IN FAVOUR      AGAINST ABSTENTIONS

Bishops          12                        2                    3

Clergy             97                       23                  10

Laity                78                       59                  9

‘That this Synod request the Archbishops’ Council and the Church of England Pensions Board to bring forward changes to the rules governing the clergy pension scheme in order to go beyond the requirements of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 and provide for pension benefits to be paid to the surviving civil partners of deceased clergy on the same basis as they are currently paid to surviving spouses.’

Audio of session

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Elaine Storkey has a new piece over at the fulcrum website looking at what the future may hold for the Church and culture at large.  The closing paragraph ends with a call to action and cultural engagement.  I agree with this and simply want to comment that evangelical leaders are (aim to be) pretty good at consuming time, energy and resources from their congregation in maintaining and expanding the Church (church gathered, institutional church). We need a holistic missional ecclesiology in which the CHurch (dispersed,body) looks beyond the Church (gathered, institutional) and  seeks to shape culture and the world.

Unless Christians move out of their parochial concerns and address the issues which are dominant in the rest of our world, we will be increasingly marginalized, and our contribution to the events of the coming decade will be minimal. Not only that, but the way people hear the Gospel and the implications it has for the whole of life, will be blurred and confusing.

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The latest volume of Themelios is out which contains a review of N.T Wright’s Justification:Paul’s Vision and God’s Plan by a man called David Mathis from a place called Bethlehem Baptist Church. I thought that sounded familiar so I googled his name and discovered that he is the executive pastoral assistant to John Piper.

That is pretty weird….

Given the seriousness of this interchange between Wright and Piper you might have thought that they may have asked a reviewer who didn’t work for Piper. As it turns out, and there is no surprise here, it is quite a negative review. I do wonder if Piper may have had a hand in it….

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Almighty God, you planted in the heart of your servant William Tyndale a consuming passion to bring the Scriptures to people in their native tongue, and endowed him with the gift of powerful and graceful expression and with strength to persevere against all obstacles: Reveal to us your saving Word, as we read and study the Scriptures, and hear them calling us to repentance and life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

tyndale

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A few years ago, as I was applying to do ordination training and a research degree at Trinity College,  I read Tom Wright’s response to ‘Pierced for our Transgressions’. In this critique, in which he described the book as sub-biblical, he lamented the fact that discussion of the atonement often bypasses the Gospels and heads straight to the Pauline texts. It was this lament which provided a springboard for my own research. On arriving at Trinity, and in discussion with my supervisor, I began to look at Jesus’ death in the gospels. My first paper was an analysis of Mark 10:45 which opened my eyes to how much material I would need to cover. As the years have moved on my focus has moved from the historical Jesus to the Gospel of Mark. with a particular focus on  the death of Jesus in relation to the tribulation, Temple, and exile.   The road is long with many a winding turn….. The following video which I came across by friend and fellow blogger ‘The Bishop’ reminded and encouraged me as to the relevance of my research to the contemporary atonement debate and to the church.

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By Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Dr. Denny Burk, Dr. Tom Schreiner, Dr. Mark Seifrid, Dr. Brian Vickers

Click here for the video

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Chapter 2: Rules of Engagement

In an interesting and stimulating chapter Wright sets forth some of his own methodology and concerns about Piper’s approach.

Wright reminds his readers of the danger of following a systematic approach to the bible which brings a ‘theology’ to the text rather than letting the text speak for itself. ‘But start with exegesis, and remind yourself that the end in view is not a tidy system, sitting in the hard covers of a shelf where one may look up the ‘correct answers’, but the sermon, or the shared pastoral reading, or the scriptural word to Synod or other formal church gatherings, or indeed the life witness to the love of God… this is letting scripture be scripture’ (24)
For Wright it is vital that when looking at ‘justification’ we ‘pay attention tot he actual flow of the letters’. We should also listen to the other Pauline texts such as Ephesians and Colossians.
Wright engages with Piper on the role of 1st century sources for illuminating an interpretation of the bible. Piper says that first century sources can be used to ‘distort and silence what the New Testament writers intended to say.’ This can happen through misunderstanding the first century idea. Piper brings in as support the book edited by Carson ‘Justification and Variegated Nomism’ which seeks to show, at least Carson’s editorial hand does, that Sanders was incorrect to describe second temple Judaism as being covenantal nomist. Wright disagrees with Piper in saying that Carson’s concluding comments do not necessarily match the scholarly work contained in the chapters. His is a point which has been made by several reviewers of Justification and Variegated Nomism.

Piper is reluctant to let 1st century texts inform our reading of scripture. Wright demonstrates extensively that we simply must let other texts inform our reading for unless we read other Greek texts we would not know what the Greek New Testament was saying. Wright shows how the NIV sometimes lets his theological agenda control its translation of scripture. Particular attention is paid to Romans 3:21-26 in which the NIV translates in a way which supports its own theological stance but obscures the Greek meaning.

In summary we can say that Wright wants his approach to a be a ‘historical approach’. He is wary of a theological approach which does not take history seriously.

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