Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Helpful Encouragement from J.I. Packer

So, who are we today, and where do we stand at this moment in relation to all that is happening in the storm-tossed Anglican Communion? In light of what I have said so far, I put it to you that there are four things we can and must now say. They are as follows.

To start with, we are a community of conscience, - committed to the Anglican convictions - those defined, I mean, in our foundation documents and expressed in our Prayer Book. The historic Anglican conviction about the authority of the Bible matches that which Luther expressed at the Diet of Worms: “My conscience is captive to the Word of God. To go against conscience is neither right nor safe” - that is, it imperils the soul. As for the historic Anglican conviction about homosexual behaviour, it contains three points:

First, it violates the order of creation. God made the two sexes to mate and procreate, with pleasure and bonding; but homosexual intercourse, apart from being, at least among men, awkward and unhealthy, is barren.

Second, it defies the gospel call to repent of it and abstain from it, as from sin. This call is most clearly perhaps expressed in 1Cor. 6: 9-11, where the power of the Holy Spirit to keep believers clear of this and other lapses is celebrated.

Third, the heart of true pastoral care for homosexual persons is helping them in friendship not to yield to their besetting temptation. We are to love the sinner, though we do not love the sin.

We must hold to these positions, whatever the culture around us may say and do. So a biblically educated conscience requires.

Second, we are a community of church people, committed to the Anglican Communion.

We rejoice to know that the more than 90% of worshipping Anglicans worldwide outside the Old West are solidly loyal to the Christian heritage as Anglicanism has received it, and we see our realignment as among other things, an enhancing of our solidarity with them. As I said earlier, what we are doing is precisely not leaving Anglicanism behind.

Third, we are a community of consecration, committed to the Anglican calling of worship and mission, doxology and discipling. Right from the start church planting will be central to our vision of what we are being called to do.

Fourth, I think we may soberly say of ourselves that we are a community of courage, heading out into unknown waters but committed to the Anglican confidence that God is faithful to those who are faithful to him.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Anglicanism in twilight

Chris Sudgen writes in Evangelicals Now about the bleak prospects for us TECies.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Great Conference

Phillip Jensen, Mark Dever and Tony Payne led a wonderful conference last week at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.

One tidbit: Phillip said we should scrap the word, "membership," and use the word "partnership." A member is passive; a partner is active and involved in ministry. Further, 'membership' is not a biblical word, whereas 'partnership' is. In the NT, one is a member of a political or religious association; but a 'member' of Christ is another Greek word altogether. It is word for a part of the physical body.