We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: http://www.amazon.com/Book-Common-Prayer-Biography-Religious/dp/0691154813/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417814005&sr=8-1&keywords=jacobs+book+of+common+prayer. January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Cranmer-English-Reformation-1489-1556/dp/1592448658/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420055574&sr=8-1&keywords=A.F.+Pollard+Cranmer. February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at: http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Cranmer-Jasper-Ridley/dp/0198212879/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422892154&sr=8-1&keywords=jasper+ridley+cranmer&pebp=1422892151110&peasin=198212879
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Reconstruction of Canterbury: Canterbury Archaeological Trust
Roman Canterbury c. AD 300: a reconstruction based on archaeological evidence. Drawn by John Atherton Bowen © Canterbury Archaeological Trust Ltd
Roman Ridingate c. AD 300: a reconstruction based on archaeological evidence. Drawn by John Atherton Bowen © Canterbury Archaeological Trust Ltd
Anglo-Saxon Canterbury c. AD 600: a reconstruction based on archaeological evidence. Drawn by John Atherton Bowen © Canterbury Archaeological Trust Ltd
St Thomas Becket’s Canterbury: a reconstruction based on the evidence of archaeological remains, medieval documents and standing buildings. Drawn by John Atherton Bowen ©
Tudor Canterbury: a reconstruction based on archaeological and documentary evidence and standing remains. Drawn by John Atherton Bowen © Canterbury Archaeological Trust Ltd
Hostility to Religion in U.S. at "All-Time-High"
Posted by David Virtue on 2012/8/29 12:00:00 (473 reads)
America today would be unrecognizable to our Founders
By Tom Strode
The Baptist Presshttp://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=38588
WASHINGTON -- Hostility toward religious expression "has reached an all-time high" in the United States, according to a new report.
"The Survey of Religious Hostility in America" shows a rising tide of attacks on religious liberty in the public square and in schools as well as against churches and ministries, Liberty Institute (LI) and Family Research Council (FRC) said in the 140-page report. The organizations released the document Aug. 17 and held an Aug. 20 news conference at Tampa, Fla., during the Republican National Convention's platform committee meeting in that city.
The report, which is an update of a 2004 survey by LI, documents more than 600 instances of hostility toward religion -- hostility it says is dramatically growing in both frequency and type. Most have taken place in the last 10 years. Religious liberty advocates have prevailed in legal challenges in some of the incidents, not in others.
"America today would be unrecognizable to our Founders," said Kelly Shackelford, LI president, and Tony Perkins, FRC president, in the introduction to the survey. "Our first freedom is facing a relentless onslaught from well-funded and aggressive groups and individuals who are using the courts, Congress, and the vast federal bureaucracy to suppress and limit religious freedom. This radicalized minority is driven by an anti-religious ideology that is turning the First Amendment upside down."
They pointed to the Obama administration's common use of the term "freedom of worship" instead of "freedom of religion" as part of the problem.
"This radical departure is one that threatens to make true religious liberty vulnerable, conditional, and limited," Shackelford and Perkins said. "As some have said, it is a freedom 'only with four walls.' That is, you are free to worship within the four walls of your home, church, or synagogue, but when you enter the public square the message is, 'leave your religion at home.'"
The Obama administration's advocacy in an important case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in January likely is one of the more criticized of the incidents of hostility documented in the survey. The administration contended there is no "ministerial exception" that safeguards the rights of churches to hire and remove leaders without government regulation. The high court unanimously disagreed, saying such government involvement would infringe on both the First Amendment's protection of religious free exercise and its ban on government establishment of religion. The ruling came in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Another Obama administration policy cited in the report is its abortion-contraceptive mandate, which requires all health insurance plans to cover contraceptives -- even ones that can cause abortions -- and has a religious exemption critics find woefully inadequate.
Among other instances of hostility cited in the report:
-- The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at one point prohibited references to God in funerals at national cemeteries, a policy invalidated by a federal court.
-- A Texas city barred citizens at a public senior adult center from praying before meals, singing Christian songs or listening to religious messages.
-- Public school officials in Texas banned students from bringing gifts for classmates that referred to Jesus or contained other religious messages, actions that elicited censure by federal courts.
-- A Texas city outlawed a Christian ministry to former prisoners from operating within its jurisdiction, an action rejected by the state's Supreme Court.
-- A federal appeals court ruled that prayers before local government meetings violate the establishment clause.
The report calls for advocacy on behalf of religious freedom.
"As dark as this survey is, there is much light," the report says. "The secularist agenda only advances when those who love liberty are apathetic."
Liberty Institute developed the 2004 report after Shackelford and others testified to a U.S. Senate committee about hostility toward religion. Senators asked LI to compile more information after critics charged the incidents were islated.
The report may be accessed online at http://www.religioushostility.org/.
Phil Ashely: "Look Not to the Episcopal Church" (No Kidding!)
By Canon Phil Ashey
The following is from the August 28 edition of the AAC's International Update http://www.americananglican.org/
August 28, 2012
I was therefore astonished by his conclusion: "For me, as those in the Oxford Movement once saw, the disestablished American Episcopal Church, holding out the vision of a catholic and missionary church, offers a more promising future of spiritual renewal for the Anglican world.
The Episcopal Church, a spiritual forebear of Anglicans in Asia, will continue to occupy a central place in God's unfinished plans for Anglicans." Surely Dr. Poon must know that The Episcopal Church of today bears little resemblance to the spiritual forebears of Anglicans in Asia-the missionaries and others who came believing in an Anglicanism rooted in the Bible, the Creeds and the Thirty Nine Articles.
Surely he knows that those Anglican forebears believed in the uniqueness and universality of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of all people-quite unlike the leadership of The Episcopal Church USA and other western, post-modern Anglicans. Surely he must know that it is not the Bible but Post-Modernism that shapes the thinking and governance of post-Western colonial Anglicans in The Episcopal Church, The Anglican Church of Canada, the mother Church of England and elsewhere among Anglicans in the West.
Post-Modernism is the current Western cultural ideology that has been shaping revisions to the Christian faith among Anglicans dominating the governing structures of the Anglican Communion-especially those from The Episcopal Church to whom he invites us to look for hope and a future. How could he have missed the death spiral in average Sunday attendance, baptisms, and confirmations in the Episcopal Church simultaneous with its violations of Lambeth Resolution 1.10 (1998) in the consecration of partnered homosexuals as bishops, the provision of rites for same sex blessings, and now the access of transgendered persons to holy orders?
All of this is the result of (mostly) western Anglican leaders in the grip of Post-Modernism rather than in being in the grip of the Holy Spirit. Post-Modernism emerged in the 20th century especially among French philosophers like Jacques Derrida who emphasized the "deconstruction" of language so that no text-including the Bible-can be understood as having anything but multiple and conflicting interpretations.
The result is a rejection of any kind of "objective and absolute truth," (except for the absolute dogma that "there is no absolute truth".). What this means for Anglicans like you and me is that among western leaders who have embraced post-modernism, there is a lack of confidence in God's word, the Bible, as being the final authority in matters of faith, order and discipline.
It means that words like "grace," "salvation," "sin," "catholic," "missionary" and even "Lord and Savior," can mean quite different things to those who use them divorced and deconstructed from any sense of divine revelation. This is one reason why genuine dialogue and listening have been so elusive in all of the discussions around The Episcopal Church's violations of Biblical, catholic and Anglican communion teaching.
Because there is no Biblical standard for what is right or wrong when language is "deconstructed" and divorced from objective truth, truth itself becomes a moving target based on what is culturally acceptable in a particular context. And, according to post-modernism, no context is better than another.
This week I read a compelling article on "Why Post-Modernism won't win." In it, the author, Philip Rosenthal, lists several reasons why post-modernism is just another "ism" that will follow its predecessors of Marxism, National Socialism and Soviet Communism into the dustbin of history. Those reasons include: -
Western ideological empires are falling faster: "Just as the Western world is changing its clothing fashions and technology faster and faster, so ideologies are rising and falling faster and faster." -
Western Racial dominance is in question and decline: "Recently, for example, the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans called for a restructuring of the global Anglican communion away from 'British empire' dominance to an elected chairman. Reality is most of the world's Anglicans will vote for a more biblical leader than will the British." -
Post-Modern Churches are shrinking: "Even at home in the West, postmodern denominations face a crisis: the more postmodern they are, generally the more their numbers are shrinking - the opposite of what they are telling pastors." -
Demographic shrink: "The more post-modern the country, the fewer are getting married. Children are delayed. Confused gender roles discourage parenting. Postmodernists are murdering millions of their children by abortion... The result is that in a few generations, unless they can win over the immigrants to Postmodernism (which they are not), these Postmodern nations will become minorities within their own countries."
- Logical Inconsistency: First, at the core of post-modernism, "They call for 'tolerance' of their views, but are intolerant of others views. . . Secondly, they argue that nothing is absolute. But having stated this, they have just stated a belief which in their minds is absolute." The problem is that there is no logical way to argue from a post-modern perspective that anything is wrong-from pedophilia to terrorism.
The Damage of Post-Modernism is already being exposed: the fruit Postmodernism is producing in Europe and America [includes]: Dysfunctional families; divorce;abortion of babies; teen sexuality; degradation of women by pornography; spreading homosexuality; elitist arbitrary government by courts displacing democracy; population shrink - and probably it will soon slide into more problems such as legalizing sex with children and infanticide."
You can read the whole article here. http://emergingthreat.blogspot.com/2012/06/why-postmodernism-wont-win.html Surely Dr. Poon knows from the history of western ideologies that they eventually run out of steam as the intellectual elites, including church leaders,-even Anglicans-move on to the next new "ism" that will tickle their ears (quote from 2 Timothy 4:3)
Surely the future and hope of Anglicanism lies not in looking to a dying Episcopal Church and other post-modern, post-western colonial leaders in the grips of an ideology divorced not only from the Bible, but from anything meaningful and hopeful to humanity. No: the hope and future of Anglicanism lies in a return to the same values and convictions that led the spiritual forebears of Anglican believers in Asia, Africa, South America and elsewhere in the Global South to the evangelistic growth they are enjoying today.
The hope and future of Anglicanism lies in a return to the conviction that there is an objective truth which God has revealed ultimately in his word, the Holy Scriptures... in the incarnation, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ who is uniquely Lord and savior of all people... and in his supernatural transforming love through the agency of the Holy Spirit.
The Rev. Canon Phil Ashey is COO of the American Anglican Council. He is based in Atlanta
TEC Bishop Notes TEC-Seminary Graduates Deficient Intellectually (No Kidding!)
Dear Brothers and Sisterswww.virtueonline.org
August 31, 2012
When you live in the rarefied world of Anglican politics where liberal and conservative theologians talk, think and rage publicly, where bishops offer up their wisdom, (a lot of it unmitigated rubbish) and priests move across the Anglican chess board with handwringing exculpations and reasons why they do what they must do, it is important to remember that Jesus began his earthly ministry with 12 fisherman who had little education, took three years to get the hang of the message, became His most radical disciples and then died pretty miserable deaths. Of course things changed with the much educated St. Paul, but the first disciples got first dibs on the Master and we must never forget that. The opening salvos were from fishermen not theologians.
I say this because The Living Church, a magazine for catholic, evangelical and ecumenical Episcopalians and Anglicans whose editor Dr. Christopher Wells is a man I regard highly and whose news (associate) editor Doug LeBlanc I regard as a personal friend, ran a number of articles in their August 26 issue that, frankly, blew my mind.
The Rev. Canon Michael Poon, director and Asian Christianity coordinator of the Centre for the Study, wrote an article titled LOOK BEYOND ENGLAND looking at the global picture of Anglicanism. He concluded the article, "For me, as those in the Oxford Movement once saw, the disestablished American Episcopal Church, holding out the vision of a catholic and missionary Church, offers a more promising future of spiritual renewal for the Anglican world. The Episcopal Church, a spiritual forbear of Anglicans in Asia, will continue to occupy a central place in God's unfinished plans for Anglicans. The shaping of the next generation is the key."
What world is he living in? Does he not know anything about what has and is going on in TEC or why it was necessary for the birth of AMIA, CANA and, ultimately, the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)? Does someone need to buy him a round trip ticket (Singapore to NY) to see the state of The Episcopal Church? Does he have any idea what damage Bishop Gene Robinson and the later consecration of a lesbian bishop has been done to the integrity and gospel witness of TEC? Does he need to witness how multiple lawsuits over church property that has run into the tens of millions of dollars and has bankrupted the church? Does he not know of the more than 100,000 who have fled TEC and formed ACNA which now fast approaches 1,000 new churches? If he came to NY City, would he arrive in time to see a For Sale sign on the doors of 815 2nd Avenue in order to keep paying the legal fees of David Booth Beers? Is he aware of closing cathedrals, of aging and dying parishes with virtually no evangelizing going on at all? What "next generation" is Poon talking about?
TEC's seminaries are in deep financial trouble and the product they are turning out has even been criticized by the liberal bishop of Arizona Kirk Smith who publicly said we need to reduce the number of seminaries to three and then opined that "The graduates they turn out-and I speak from personal experience-are not exactly well-formed, either in intellectual knowledge or leadership ability. We need scholars in the church, to be sure, but even more we need young men and women who can grow the church. This clearly is not happening, which means..." What about this does Poon not understand? Even the liberals know the church is in trouble and Poon says that "TEC will shape the next generation."
If he was looking beyond England, why did he not see the rise of the GAFCON in the Global South, or the totality of the Global South that owns 80% of the Anglican Communion and is pretty solidly evangelical? Why did he ignore the Jerusalem Declaration which has more support than The Covenant?
Another article by Mark Chapman, an Oxford theologian, does a Retrospect on the tenure of Rowan Williams painting him as a sort of heroic failure, a man who consistently did not force his own views on people, or usually even given a steer. He closes with this, "Williams has carried the burdens of conflict, and has shown a huge and sometimes costly commitment to unity...".
What unity? When Robinson was consecrated in 2003, Williams did nothing about it except to say that this was not a nice thing to do and please don't do it again...that this could affect unity. Global South leaders never again broke bread at any primatial gathering with Frank Griswold, abandoning altogether such gatherings, and began forming their own more perfect unions. What about the absence of 200 bishops at the last Lambeth conference.
Both men write as though the C of E and TEC are still somehow viable players in global Anglicanism; SE Asian theologian Poon completely ignores the incredible evangelical growth of the Global South and their growing leadership role in the Anglican Communion. He praises The Covenant without mentioning The Jerusalem Declaration.
One sees the same kind of blindness in North American Anglican Communion Institute (ACI) theologians. I wonder if, perhaps, I am slowly losing my mind and that one day I will wake up from some spiritual fog -- just in time to see TEC rise up in glory as its finances dwindle, its parishes close, its aging flocks die off leading us all into the Promised Land of completed "listening", renewal, reconciliation and revival with a smear of Indaba to make it all work.
For a truly brilliant analysis of Poon's diatribe read Canon Phil Ashey's Look Not to The Episcopal Church here: http://tinyurl.com/8bfhy6v
GAFCON to Crown Commissioners: Concerning Archbishop of Canterbury
Posted by David Virtue on 2012/8/28 12:00:00 (1228 reads)
FROM: The Global South of the Anglican Communion Secretariat:
37 St Paul Road, Vacoas, Mauritius http://www.globalsouthanglican.org/
TO: The Rt Hon the Lord Luce KG, GCVO Chairman,
Crown Nominations Commission
20 July 2012
It is the reality of the Anglican Communion in the 21st Century that the majority of Anglicans are found within the Global South, especially in Africa. Resulting from the faithful witness of Western missionaries over the past two hundred years, Anglicans today stand in worship and witness amidst diverse cultures, among ancient traditions and often in inter-religious tensions.
As noted in the media release of the Church of England on the appointment of the Archbishop of Canterbury, one of his responsibilities is to be "the Focus of Unity of the Anglican Communion... primus inter pares among the bishops." This role calls for the new Archbishop of Canterbury to always act in a conciliar and collegial manner with his fellow Primates because his decisions will affect the life and witness of Provinces worldwide.
The new Archbishop of Canterbury should have the experience and cross-cultural sensitivity to understand the concerns and conflicts in the worldwide Communion. Ho has to be able to communicate effectively with, and gain the respect and confidence of, his fellow Primates in the Global South. He has to be able, together with his fellow Primates, to more effectively restructure the Anglican Communion Office and the Anglican Consultative Council to better serve the Communion.
At a time when the Christian faith faces challenges from other religious as well as secular worldviews, the new Archbishop of Canterbury must be committed to uphold the orthodoxy of the Christian "faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints" (Jude 3), To fulfill his calling and vow as Guardian of Faith, he must have the capacity to collectively put into effect the decisions taken at Lambeth Conferences and Primates Meetings, especially on issues that have led to the present crisis in the Communion.
To secure the future and the unity of the Communion at a foundational level, the new Archbishop of Canterbury has to work with his fellow Primates to address the ecclesial deficit of the Anglican Communion highlighted in the report of the Windsor Continuation Group.
The Archbishop of Canterbury is also responsible to work with ecumenical partners for the unity of the "one holy catholic and apostolic Church". The new Archbishop of C4nterbury must be able to build upon the work of his predecessors while avoiding any further actions that may widen the gap between us and these partners.
In conclusion, the Global South Primates expect to be consulted on this decision of great importance for the Communion, and look forward eagerly to the new Archbishop of Canterbury to uplift God's people in the Anglican fold worldwide in obedience to God's Word.
We wholeheartedly pray and hope that the unity of our beloved Anglican Communion will be restored and strengthened.
Faithfully in Christ,
/S/ Most Rev Dr Mouneer Anis Primate,
The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & Middle East Chairman,
Global South Primates Steering Committee
/S/ Most Rev Nicholas Okoh Primate,
The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) Vice-Chairman,
Global South Primates Steering Committee
/S/ Most Rev Ian Ernest Primate,
The Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean Honorary Secretary,
Global South Primates Steering Committee
/S/ Most Rev Bolly Lapok Primate,
The Church of the Province of South East Asia Honorary Treasurer,
Global South Primates Steering Committee
/S/ Most Rev Stephen Than Primate,
The Church of the Province of Myanmar (Burma) Member,
Global South Primates Steering Committee
/S/ Most Rev Henri Isingoma Primate,
Province de I'Eglise Anglicane du Congo Member,
Global South Primates Steering Committee
/S/ Most Rev Daniel Deng Primate,
The Episcopal Church of the Sudan Member, Global South Primates Steering Committee
/S/ Most Rev Dr Elind Wabukla Primate,
The Anglican Church of Kenya Member,
Global South Primates Steering Committee
/S/ Most Rev David Vunagi Primate,
The Church of the Province of Melanesra
/S/ Most Rev Joseph Kopapa Primate,
The Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea
/S/ Most Rev Onesphore Rwaje Primate,
Province de l'Eglise Anglicane au Rwanda
/S/ Most Rev Bernard Ntahouri Primate,
the Anglican Church of Burundi
/S/ Most Rev Valentino Mokiwa Primate,
The Anglican Church of Tanzania
/S/ Right Rev Dr Chad Gandiyh
Representing the Primate of The Church of the Province of Central Africa
/S/ Right Rev Dr Johannes Seoka
Representing the Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa
/S/ Right Rev Matthias Medadues-Badohu
Representing the Primate of The Church of the Provinceof the West Africa
/S/ Right Rev Peter Bartlett
Representing the Primate of Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America
CC: Most Rev Dr Barry Morgan Primate
representing the Anglican Communion, Crown Nominations Commission
Mere Anglicanism: 24-26 Jan 2013
Mere Anglicanism Conference January 24-26, 2013
VISION: Mere Anglicanism’s vision is for a reformed, renewed orthodox Anglicanism within North America. We recognize that to achieve a restored and faithful Anglicanism, many battles must be fought, many lessons learned. Seminaries must be re-made with faithful, godly deans and teachers. Orthodox Anglicans must be re-connected with one another, and learn to work together strategically and tactically. Dioceses and parishes must develop the right conditions for re-growing believing, discipled Christians — including choosing the leadership of orthodox bishops and priests. Even our publications and media — magazines, web sites, journals, curricula, devotional guides, and more — must communicate truth with clarity, beauty, and a passionate gospel commitment.
Central to all of these efforts are educated, authentically discipled, active Anglicans — both lay and clergy — who are prepared and formed for leadership. And that is Mere Anglicanism’s purpose.
Mere Anglicanism is an event-oriented organization that provides the tools and resources to disciple, train, and educate lay and clergy leaders. We bring in thinkers and teachers who help people become informed, equipped leaders and who “take theology home with them”.
Mere Anglicanism does not take a particular stance on what tactics Anglicans should use to reform and restore Anglicanism. For this reason, we do not take a position on whether Anglicans must remain within certain church bodies — or must leave certain church bodies. All of us recognize, however, that whether inside or outside, we must develop discipled, educated laypeople and clergy who are prepared to play their part in the renewal of Anglicanism. We are about deep, intentional Christian formation in the Anglican expression.
LOCATION: The 2013 conference is located at the St. Philip’s Church at 142 Church Street, Charleston, SC 29403.
CONTACT: For further event information contact the Conference Administrator Kester Heaton at email@example.com or call her at (843) 693-1831 or (843) 696-7434.
he Right Reverend Dr. Paul William Barnett is an ancient historian and New Testament scholar and a former Anglican Bishop of North Sydney from 1990 to 2001. He is a prominent historical writer on the rise of Christianity and the historical Jesus. He is currently a fellow in ancient history at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia and a teaching fellow at Regent College, Vancouver, Canada.
Bishop Barnett holds a MA Hons from the University of Sydney, a ThL from Australian College of Theology, a BD Hons and a PhD (London) on the interaction between the New Testament and Jewish history of the first century. His dissertation at the University of London was titled “The Jewish eschatalogical prophets A.D. 40-70 in their theological and political setting”. “ He is now a teaching fellow at Regent College, Vancouver, and is a respected classicist and historian.”
Barnett was ordained in 1965 and ministered at St Barnabas’ Broadway in Sydney and North Terrace in Adelaide before becoming the master of Robert Menzies College at Macquarie University from 1980. He was later the chairman of the New Documents Illustrating early Christianity project which is now in its 10th volume. The ninth volume was dedicated to Barnett and contains an introduction on his impact on New Testament ancient history by Edwin Judge.
Eric Metaxas is the author of the New York Times #1 bestseller, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, which was named “Book of the Year” by the ECPA. Metaxas’ Bonhoeffer also won the 2011 John C. Pollock Award for Biography awarded by Beeson Divinity School and a 2011 Christopher Award in the Non-fiction category. Called a “biography of uncommon power,” Bonhoeffer appeared on numerous 2010 “Best of the Year” lists and was featured in the Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, The New Republic, Harper’s, Kirkus (starred review), NPR, FoxNews, C-SPAN’s Book TV, Christianity Today, The Weekly Standard, and First Things.
Eric Metaxas was born in New York City and grew up in Danbury, Connecticut, attending the public schools there, and graduated from Yale University. At Yale he made a literary splash as editor of the Yale Record, the nation’s oldest college humor magazine, and a subsequent literal splash. In addition to his theological writings, he is an acclaimed, award-wining children’s author. Metaxas has also been featured as a cultural commentator on CNN, MSNBC, and the Fox News. He is the founder and host of Socrates in the City: Conversations on the Examined Life, a monthly event of ”entertaining and thought-provoking discussions on ‘life, God, and other small topics”. Eric’s biography, Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery was published by Harper One, and was the “official companion book” to the feature film, also titled Amazing Grace.
BISHOP MICHAEL NAZIR-ALI
He was born in Karachi, Pakistan. He attended the Roman Catholic-run St Patrick’s school in Karachi and began attending Roman Catholic services and identifying as Christian at the age of 15; he was formally received into the Church of Pakistan age 20.
Bishop Nazir-Ali attended Saint Patrick’s High School, Karachi, read economics, Islamic history, and sociology at the University of Karachi (BA 1970) and studied in preparation for ordination at Ridley Hall, Cambridge (1970). He undertook further postgraduate studies in theology at St Edmund Hall, Oxford (BLitt 1974, MLitt 1981), Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge (MLitt 1976), and the Australian College of Theology (PhD 1983). He has also studied at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard Divinity School. His particular academic interests include comparative literature and comparative philosophy of religion. In addition to teaching appointments in Australia and Canada, he has been a tutor in the University of Cambridge, Senior Tutor of Karachi Theological College, and Visiting Professor of Theology and Religious Studies in the University of Greenwich. He has been elected an Honorary Fellow of his colleges at Oxford (St Edmund Hall) and Cambridge (Fitzwilliam). From 1986 until 1989, while he was Assistant to the Archbishop of Canterbury and Co-ordinator of Studies and Education for the Lambeth Conference, he was Honorary Curate of Oxford St Giles and St Philip and St James with St Margaret.
He was ordained an Anglican priest in 1976 and worked in Karachi and Lahore, and became the first Bishop of Raiwind in West Punjab (1984-86) — at the time, the youngest bishop in the Anglican Communion. When his life was endangered in Pakistan in 1986, Robert Runcie, the Archbishop of Canterbury, arranged for his refuge in England. Nazir-Ali says, “…the reason behind some of the difficulties I was facing was removed when General Zia was killed – unfortunately for him, and I am now not doing the work that I was doing at the time with the very poor.” . He became an assistant to the Archbishop at Lambeth and assisted with the planning of the 1988 Lambeth Conference; he was General Secretary of the Church Mission Society 1989-1994 and concurrently Assistant Bishop of Southwark. He was appointed Bishop of Rochester, England in 1994, and in 1999 entered the House of Lords as one of the “Lords Spiritual” because of his seniority in episcopal office, the first religious leader from Asia to serve there. He ceased to be a member of the House of Lords upon his retirement in 2009. He presently serves as director of the Oxford Centre for Training, Research, Advocacy and Dialogue.
Bishop Nazir-Ali’s published writings include the following: Islam: A Christian Perspective (1983); Frontiers in Christian-Muslim Encounters (1987); From Everywhere to Everywhere: A World View of Christian Mission (1990); Thinking globally, acting locally (1992); Mission and Dialogue: Proclaiming the Gospel Afresh in Every Age (1995); The Mystery of Faith (1995); Citizens and Exiles: Christian Faith in a Plural World (2000); Shapes of the Church to Come (2001); Understanding My Muslim Neighbour (2003); Conviction And Conflict: Islam, Christianity And World Order (2005); and many other articles in newspapers and journals.
Dr. Allen P. Ross is a professor of Old Testament and Beeson Divinity School at Stamford University in Birmingham, Alabama. He holds a B.A. in Biblical Studies, Bob Jones University, Th.M., Th.D., Dallas Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D., University of Cambridge.
Dr. Ross joined the faculty in 2002 as Beeson Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew. He is the author of Introducing Biblical Hebrew and Grammar, Holiness to the Lord: A Guide to the Exposition of the Book of Leviticus, Creation and Blessing: A Guide to the Study and Exposition of Genesis, Recalling the Hope of Glory: Biblical Worship from the Garden to the New Creation, and A Commentary on the Psalms (Kregel 2012). He has contributed numerous articles to scholarly journals. Previously, he taught at Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry and Dallas Theological Seminary, and served as director of the Christian Leadership Center, Tallahassee, Florida. With an earlier background in Baptist and Presbyterian churches, he has been associated with the Episcopal Church since 1979.
The Reverend Dr David Wenham is a British theologian and author of several books on the New Testament. Dr. Wenham studied theology at Cambridge University before undertaking doctoral research under F. F. Bruce. After becoming the Theological Students’ Secretary with the UCCF he taught at Union Biblical Seminary in India before returning to become the Director of Tyndale House (Cambridge)’s Gospels Research Project. While in Cambridge he completed part-time ordination training at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, before moving to the staff of Wycliffe Hall in the University of Oxford. He was the tutor in New Testament at Wycliffe Hall from 1983 to 2007 and served under four different principals. He was dean and vice principal for several years as well as assisting with the ministry in the parish of Cumnor. In 2007 David was appointed as Senior Tutor in New Testament at Trinity College, Bristol.
He is particularly interested in questions to do with the origins and historical reliability of the gospels. He is involved in helping people to understand the first century context of Jesus and the early church, and to get students to be intelligently and responsibly excited about the New Testament and equipped to teach it to others. He has written many publications including “The Parables of Jesus” , a guide to the teaching of Jesus and his most recent book “Paul and Jesus: the true story” an introduction to Paul, looking at questions of history and theology in the book of Acts, Paul’s letters and the gospels.