Thinking Anglicans

Don't call us evangelicals

In January, the Church Times carried a two-part feature article by Theo Hobson which is now online.
Part 1: Don’t call us evangelicals
Part 2: When the world is our parish . . .

These articles make interesting reading in conjunction with the book, Mission Shaped Church which is to be the basis for a General Synod debate next week.

Theo Hobson talked to a wide range of people including Nicky Gumbel, Mark Oakley, Grace Davie, Rob Gillion, Dave Tomlinson, and Si Jones.

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Carys MoseleyRodolfo GuzmandarylJoe SnavelyChristopher Culver Recent comment authors
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Rodolfo Guzman
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Rodolfo Guzman

I studied the Alpha course and found it dreadfully simplistic. The only effect it had on me was that it made me seriously consider becoming a Hindu or a Buddhist. The big problem with Evangelicalism today is that with all the research that has taken place in biblical scholarship and with the discovery of the Nag Hammadi documents the old claims of the evangelicals simply do not satisfy the contemporary mind. It is sad, because Christianity still has so much to offer, but nowadays Nicky Gumble, or for that matter CS Lewis just won’t do. They just won’t do.

Christopher Culver
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“The big problem with Evangelicalism today is that with all the research that has taken place in biblical scholarship and with the discovery of the Nag Hammadi documents the old claims of the evangelicals simply do not satisfy the contemporary mind.” Maybe you could give an example of how biblical scholarship should lessen evangelical zeal? I don’t see what Nag Hammadi has to do with the discussion, much of what was found there was Gnostic, and could be dated to much later than the traditional four gospels. Besides, Christians in any event should be prepared to ignore unpleasant archeological appearances… Read more »

Rodolfo Guzman
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Rodolfo Guzman

I am not proposing that biblical scholarship should diminish evangelical zeal – but it should make us think what the message of the gospel is for today’s world. In the light of new research some Gnostic gospels are appearing as valid early Christian alternatives or complement to the canonical gospels, which, by the way, do not seem to be so early in the opinion of many reputable scholars. There is a new more inclusive, more mystical Christianity waiting to be born which will be much more relevant to today’s world – a world in which not only Jesus saves, but… Read more »

A. Reasner
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A. Reasner

We are definitely the “have it your way generation” and this comes to mind when I read the comments that say “the traditional way of presenting the Christian message is irrelevant and indefensible” and that the “new more inclusive, more mystical Christianity [waits] to be born” and that “God became man so that man could become God.” This new Christian message that you hope for is an echo of Satan’s tempting words in the garden, that you too can become like God. Let’s not let the Prince of Deceit get us in that way again. There are ways that seem… Read more »

Christopher Culver
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“There is a new more inclusive, more mystical Christianity waiting to be born which will be much more relevant to today’s world – a world in which not only Jesus saves, but also Buddha and Krishna. The churches are empty, and they are empty not because the world is evil, but because in today’s world the traditional way of presenting the Christian message is increasingly irrelevant and indefensible – and yet Christianity is true and the fact that God became man so that man could become God will never cease to enlighten the world and rekindle the church – if… Read more »

Joe Snavely
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Joe Snavely

The Alpha course, and its emphasis on Christian community, has been the most profoundly positive experience that I have had as a spiritual seeker. Don’t agree with all of the theology? That’s ok, you’re still welcomed, still valued, still loved and prayed for and with. The message that Alpha offers is very basic (it is after all intended primarily for the unchurched), but it does a good job of telling the Christian story and a great job of modeling the Christian community. I thank God for the program and leaders like Nicky Gumbel, as well as many of the leaders… Read more »

daryl
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daryl

Christopher Culver said (quoting at the start Rodolpho Guzman): “There is a new more inclusive, more mystical Christianity waiting to be born which will be much more relevant to today’s world – a world in which not only Jesus saves, but also Buddha and Krishna. The churches are empty, and they are empty not because the world is evil, but because in today’s world the traditional way of presenting the Christian message is increasingly irrelevant and indefensible – and yet Christianity is true and the fact that God became man so that man could become God will never cease to… Read more »

daryl
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daryl

I should apologise for the last remark in my post above – the personal swipe, at least. Public and sincere apologies to Mr Culver for an unwarranted and unfair remark. Especially culpable since I’m a newcomer. If the regulars here wish it, I’ll depart and not return. But I make no apologies for remarking on the danger to Anglicanism of allowing its Pharisaical tendencies to hijack the definition of “acceptable” belief, especially to the exclusion of doctrines that might challenge and correct our very “Catholic” tendencies here in the west (Protestantism, and evangelicalism in particular, being in my view basically… Read more »

Rodolfo Guzman
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Rodolfo Guzman

Greetings in Christ: I few words to clarify my comments: when I said that “God became man so that man might become God” I was quoting the orthodox bishop and church father Athanasius. As to what the Church of England permits in terms of belief, I should add that my views are very similar to those of Marcus Borg, Richard Holloway and Alan Jones – all three very prominent Anglicans. Also, I recommend the books by Anglican theologian Geddes Mc Gregor – who has preached regularly at Westminster Abbey and who believes in reincarnation. I also recommend a visit to… Read more »

Carys Moseley
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Carys Moseley

Alpha is not ‘working’ as evangelism. If anybody has read Stephen Hunt’s book ‘Anyone For Alpha ?’, which is an excellent sociological study of the impact of Alpha across the country, you will discover that only 5% of attenders of Alpha courses have absolutely no previous connection with the churches. The vast majority of attenders are already Christians and are using Alpha as a ‘refresher course’. Their churches often send them on Alpha to ‘brush up the basics’. What this really means is two things: 1) Alpha has failed as evangelism. 2) Evangelical churches don’t know how to help people… Read more »