Yesterday, the Church of England published a press release summarising the proposals being brought by the college of Bishops at the end of the 6-year consultation process on same-sex marriage. This included a series of national conversations (tautologically, "shared conversations"), which took place at the General Synod and locally, and a course and set of resources branded "Living in Love and Faith".
Yesterday evening, I had the joy of being invited to our church midweek youth ministry. The teenagers had been given the chance to write down questions they'd like to ask one of their pastors, and I was invited along to tackle those questions and any others that came up during the course of the evening.
Recently, someone asked my advice. They had been asked to present a one hour session on how evangelicals do theology.
It's not hard to think of things to say if someone asked about the content of evangelical theology. We'd talk about our distinctive doctrine of Scripture, of sin, of the atonement, of judgement and so on. There are particular hallmarks that have arisen over the centuries that mark out what evangelicals do when it comes to theology.
This fifth talk draws the threads together, and asks how an orthodox understanding of the Trinity is good news for us. We look at how God's power, God's love, and God being knowable all hinge on God being Triune.
This fourth talk focuses on the work of the Holy Spirit, as he draws us into the fellowship enjoyed by Father and Son, so that God's greatest gift is himself as he shares his inner life with us.
This third talk continues to answer the question how there can be 3 distinct persons within the Trinity, and yet one God (rather than three). This week, I explain how the Trinity is a Trinity of 3 equal persons, each fully God, and yet in important ways the Father comes first. It may seem that this diminishes the Son (and the Spirit); in fact, this safeguards the full divinity of God the Son, and ensures that there is one God and not several.
The second of 5 Sunday sermons on the doctrine of the Trinity, delivered at St Mary's Kemsing during June and July 2020.
This second talk starts to answer the question how there can be 3 distinct persons within the Trinity, and yet one God (rather than three). The answer in this talk is that the 3 persons always work together, with the consequence that their names of Father, Son and Spirit are absolutely essential. (A second answer to that question will come in next week's talk).
The first of 5 Sunday sermons on the doctrine of the Trinity, delivered at St Mary's Kemsing during June and July 2020.
This first talk shows how the doctrine of the Trinity is not something obscure and best avoided; rather, even if you only met Jesus from one of the 4 gospels you would inevitably meet a Jesus who is part of the Trinity. Indeed, the doctrine of the Trinity unfolded by the gospels is accessible and not at all hard to understand.
It's funny how an issue looks different depending on who you're talking to.
When I was at college, my third year dissertation was looking at the faith of the Old Testament saints. How much about God and the gospel did Abraham know? Is he an example that it's possible to be saved without explicitly knowing about Jesus? Or did he know more than we give him credit for.
Sometimes, during our evening services, there is plenty of time for discussion. Recently, we were having a session looking at the name of God, and I was asked a question. I answered it as best I could, but I've been thinking about it some more since. I think I could have done a little better. In case this is helpful, I'll put it here.
The question was whether we could call God our creator, redeemer and sanctifier.