Resources

“…and then the end will come”: How looking forward to our ultimate future brings encouragement in confusing times.

As he walked with his disciples in Jerusalem, Jesus used their amazement at the vast scale of Herod’s temple building to teach them about the puniness of human endeavour in comparison with the power of God in control of a world which seems out of control. He gave them a concise summary of what would happen during the next 2000+ years: wars, natural disasters, false religion and persecution of God’s people, but also, salvation, and his return:

REFORMATION ANGLICAN WORSHIP: Experiencing Grace, Expressing Gratitude

by Michael P. Jensen

Crossway, 190pages
Reviewed by David Virtue, VirtueOnline:

How can they hear without someone preaching to them? Romans 10:14

Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. Acts 8:4

Faithful Christians need to be faithful and flexible in their attitude to what the bible calls ‘the world’. On one hand: positive engagement, with pastoral and evangelistic concern, and creative contributions. On the other: cautious differentiation, challenge of wrong thinking and action, and even preparedness for persecution.
Living in harmony and unity as brothers and sisters in Christ is not an optional extra but something that the Lord desires for his church. And yet, paradoxically, faithfulness to the gospel causes division with those who have a different ‘gospel’. Gafcon follows the the bible in celebrating unity and diversity, in the vision of different peoples and cultures united in worship of the Lamb, shared vision to make him known, and thinking on key issues shaped by the Scriptures.

Gafcon GBE commends theologian Martin Davie’s clear summary and critique of the Living in Love and Faith resources, currently being discussed in the Church of England.

The cross is the means by which Jesus achieved salvation for us; it is also our pattern for death to self and service of others. A reflection on John 12 reminds us that the death of Jesus was unique and necessary to produce the fruit of spiritual harvest among the nations. Today God works through a cross-centred church: humble, committed to sacrificial service, lifting up Christ.

The Book of Joel begins with a pandemic: there have been successive invasions of locusts which have destroyed the Agrarian economy of ancient Israel. Joel regards this ‘natural’ disaster as a judgement on the nation. As in the Old, so in the New Testament, the importance of corporate repentance is held together with need for a personal response.
When faced with a problem, we often look for a strong personality to lead us and protect our way of life. Who is the one who will rescue the contemporary church from secularism? Perhaps we are looking in the wrong place. It’s not a person (apart from Christ himself). Rather, it’s a vision, such as the one articulated by the Gafcon movement which guards the future for global, faithful Anglican life and witness.