The Irony of The Intolerance of those who demand Tolerance…

There is a scary (but not surprising) post on Virtueonline. Virtueonline has reproduced an article by Melanie Phillips who is a columnist with the Daily Mail, a British Newspaper. Phillips wrote an article (which i have not read) which dared to suggest that attempting to bar a Christian GP from the government’s advisory council on drugs because of his views on homosexuality, bombarding the school curriculum with irrelevant gay references, and prosecuting Christian hoteliers for refusing to accommodate gay men in the same bedroom were examples of a frightening intolerance.

The article which Virtue has reproduced is about the response Melanie Phillips received from people. Responses which, while outrageous for many, shows where British Society is and that the Christian Church in Britain needs to begin to prepare for persecution -persecution which has already begun, but will steadily, and speedily get worse.

Go read it HERE.

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Mere Anglicanism

I have just got back from the Friday session of Mere Anglicanism. As I am just over an hour away from Charleston we are driving back and forth. Today’s highlight for me was Ashley Null’s presentation on the new material he has discovered on Thomas Cranmer.
It was fascinating to listening to the fact that there are now hundreds of pages of notes and documents relating to Cranmer’s extensive studies in the Early Church Fathers and the Eucharist. Null’s findings will be published in academic journal’s over the coming year. Archbishop Mouneer Anis, Dr. Gillis Harp and Dr. Steven Paulson were all on form. Looking forward to tomorrow.

The agenda is below.

MERE ANGLICANISM 2011: CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
All events at St. Philip’s Church, 142 Church Street, Charleston
except as otherwise noted

“Biblical Anglicanism for a Global Future:
Recovering the Power of the Word”

Thursday, January 20
2:00 p.m. Resource Team Meeting
5.30 p.m. Choral Evensong, The Rev’d Jeffrey Miller preaching
8:15 p.m. Dr. William Dickson: Recovering the Power of the Word of God Written
. followed Reception and Social Hour

Friday, January 21
8:00 a.m. Morning Prayer: Chaplain Leander Harding, officiant; Dr. James Nestingen, homilist
9:00 a.m. Archbishop Mouneer Anis:
Recovering the Power of the Word for the Anglican Communion
10:00 a.m. Panel Discussion
10:30 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m. Dr. Gillis Harp: Recovering the Power of the Word in Anglican History
11:45 a.m. Dr. Stephen Noll: Recovering the Power of the Word Philosophically: From the Truth
to the Whole Truth
1:00 p.m. Box Lunch
2:00 p.m. Dr. Ashley Null: Recovering the Power of the Word in Repentance and Renewal:
Recent findings in Cranmer Research
3:00 p.m. Dr. Steven Paulson: Recovering the Power of the Word in Preaching the Gospel of Grace
4:00 p.m. Panel Discussion
6:00 p.m. Holy Communion and Healing at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul,
Dean Peet Dickinson, celebrant, Bishop Lawrence, preacher
7:30 p.m. Advancement Society Banquet honoring the Right Reverend C. FitzSimons Allison

Saturday, January 22
8:00 a.m. Morning Prayer: Chaplain Leander Harding, officiant; Dr. James Nestingen, homilist
9:00 a.m. Dr. Charles Raven: Gospel or not Gospel? Recovering the Power of the Word of Truth
10:00 a.m. Break
10:15 a.m. Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali: Recovering the Power of the Word for Anglican Polity
11:15 a.m. Panel Discussion
12:00 p.m. Noonday Prayer and Homily, Chaplain Leander Harding
12:30 p.m. Conference Summary and Adjournment

Worship And Reality Of God: An Evangelical Theology of Real Presence by John Jefferson Davis

Evangelical / reformed worship can easily be reduced to a few songs, some prayers and the sermon; the sermon being the main focus of the Church gathering. While not neglecting the importance and value of good preaching John Jefferson Davis exhorts the church to rediscover the value and importance of ‘worship’. For Davis, worship has to be an intentional activity – worship does not just happen but is a learned behavior. To be done successfully, it must be done knowledgeably, intentionally and skillfully. Note the words knowledgeably, intentionally and skillfully. This book is about a thoughtful and intentional approach to what worship is and how that looks in today’s evangelical church. The goal, the result of this is not a greater ‘experience’ but the ‘real’ presence of God in our services. Acknowledging that God is there – he is with us and in us and that the church has gathered knowing that the living God is there to meet with us and we are there to glorify Him and to enjoy being in his presence.

Developing a real theology of worship is vital for pastors and Davis’ book is really a must read. I was surprised at how good this book is and what a valuable resource it will be to church leaders. This is not just about a good theology of worship but this book should excite you to worship.

Highly recommended.

The Death of Liberalism?

Back in May I wrote a post that suggested that the Liberal Democrats should not create a coalition government. To do so would damage the Liberal Democrat Party.

The Spectator has a very interesting article in it today. Liberal England Dies Again is an article which suggests that the Liberal agenda is now dying. The compromises and back tracking that the Coalition is forcing the Liberal’s to swallow is making the faithful Liberal followers angry and frustrated and I think most of all, is slowly destroying the Party.

There is an assumption that a politician or a political party MUST push towards holding ‘power’. I do not agree. A Politician may do far more good, being a vocal voice without entering into government. Likewise I think the Liberal Democrats did far more good as a party in the house of commons than they have, or ever could being in a coalition government. I think that history will see that the decision to enter into the coalition government was a very bad one for the Liberal Democrats.

Christian’s Killed In Alexandria Bombing – Very Sad On Two Levels

I read reports over the past couple of days of the suicide bomber who killed 21 Christian’s during a service in Alexandria, Egypt. We pray for the families of those who died.

But then the report goes on to say that Christians clashed with Egyptian police in the northern city of Alexandria on Saturday, furious over killings.

Now, it is easy to be an armchair critic. I do not know the experiences and the tension that is rife over there. However, my feelings are that it is utterly tragic that the Christian’s felt they could act so contrary to Christ’s teachings that they clash with the police because of their anger. That is not the response COMMANDED by christ to our enemies and to those who persecute and even kill us. The Church in Alexandria needs to repent and apologize to the police for their actions and then start to pray together for the family of the bomber – for their enemies and for the gospel to be proclaimed.

Small Faith, Great God by N.T Wright

What is faith? A blind leap into something? A hope which may not come true? For Tom Wright the issue is not so much what is faith, rather the issue is the OBJECT of the faith. And for Christians the object of faith is Jesus Christ.

In this small book, based on sermons, Wright unpacks what this faith in Jesus Christ might look like for Christians. A faith that is strong and sustaining – able to bring us through both the best of times and the very worst of times. A faith which is practical and real.

I found this book immensely refreshing, especially in just enjoying Wright’s exegesis of the Bible passages and his ability to draw them into the here and now making them so applicable for us today. The irony is that through this book you can almost tangibly sense the strength and deep of Wright’s own faith and his love for the glory of God.

If anyone should ask you ‘What is faith’ give them this book.