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Letter to the Editor: Response to the Last Editorial

Letter to the Editor Response to Last Edition’s Editorial Dear Editor, Thank you very much for your Christian charity and spirited editorial, Friday 8th October 2021, ( E.C. No.8090).  Also thanks are due to you for reprinting so much excellent reformed evangelical...

Letter to the Editor: The Murder of Sir David Amess

Murder of Sir David Amess Dear Editor, I grieve at the loss of a friend and former Party colleague Sir David Amess, MP who was murdered in an increasingly dangerous world. In the 70s I worked with David in the Young Conservatives before he became an MP and he was...

Reformation Sunday Advert

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:                        15 October 2021. My ‘Advert’ titled “Reformation Sunday 31 October” said, “The Church of England should still celebrate this 500th year since Martin Luther declared at the ‘Diet of Worms’ in 1521, “Here I stand. God help...

Leicester Diocese Illogical

Letter to the Editor Leicester Diocese Illogical   Sir, Leicester Diocese’s decision on 9 October to replace its traditional Parishes with ‘Minsters' is both spiritually and financially illogical.  The Church of England’s own growth report ‘From Anecdote to...

Barnabas Fund Reports: Turkey Escalates Airstrikes Against Christians in Syria & Iraq

Barnabas Fund Reports Turkey Escalating Airstrikes Against Christians and other Minorities in Syria and Iraq Turkey has escalated a supposedly anti-terrorist military campaign in Syria and Iraq which appears to be targeting Christians and other minorities. A spate of...

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Gospel-Driven Anglicanism Part 4

Should I Stay or Should I Go? By the Revd Dr Mark Pickles Part 4 Gedaliah is appointed governor and we read that Jeremiah purposely chooses to live amongst “those of the poorest of the land who had not been taken into exile in Babylon” (40:7). Things have taken a turn...

466th Anniversary of the Martyrdoms of Latimer & Ridley

466th Anniversary of the Martyrdoms of Latimer & Ridley Saturday, 16 October marked the 466th anniversary of the martyrdoms of Bishops Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley.   They were burned at the stake after being found guilty of heresy due to their refusal to...

Clive West Memorial Trust Lecture: John Yates III to Speak

Clive West Memorial Trust Lecture  Revd Dr John Yates III to Speak The annual Clive West Memorial Lecture will be held on Thursday, 11 November at 19:30 at St Nicholas’ Church, Lisburn Road in Belfast.  This year’s speaker is the Revd Dr John Yates III, Rector of Holy...

Book Review: Bleeding for Jesus

Bleeding for Jesus John Smyth and the cult of the Iwerne Camps Andrew Graystone Darton, Longman and Todd, 2021 (ISBN: 9781913657123, 250pp, £12.99) This book is the latest instalment of a long-running tragedy. It comes six years after the author was first made aware...

School Pupils Across the Country Memorise Passages from BCP for £1,000 Prize

School Pupils Across the Country  Memorise Book of Common Prayer Passages  £1,000 Prize for Winner By Tim Stanley Hundreds of school pupils across the country are busy this term studying prayers and readings from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer in a bid to win a prize...

The Splendour of the Cross & Gospel of Grace by Revd Dr Mark Pickles

An excerpt from the Revd Pickles book, Gospel-Driven Anglicanism, pages 24-25

“Only against the backdrop of my sinfulness and God’s holiness, do I really see the glory and splendour of the cross and the gospel of grace.  Following on from the Confession in the Communion service, there are words of absolution that reassure us that God has ‘promised forgiveness of sins to all who truly repent and then we come to the so-called ‘comfortable words’, verses of Scripture that speak words of gospel grace about the Lord Jesus who came into the world to save sinners.  Such a biblically-soaked liturgy serves to magnify the cross and the grace and love of God:

“Above all things you must give humble and hearty thanks to God—for the redemption of the world by the death and passion of our Saviour Christ, both God and man who did humble himself even to the death upon the cross for us miserable sinners who lay in darkness and the shadow of death, that he might make us the children of God and exalt us to everlasting life.  And to the end that we should always remember the exceeding great love of our Master and only Saviour Jesus Christ, thus dying for us and the innumerable benefits which by his precious blood-shedding hath obtained to us …”. BCP Holy Communion, Third Exhortation 

“If this is our condition, hopeless and helpless then we need a Saviour who does more than meet us half-way but who does for us everything that we could not do in order to accomplish our salvation.

“The so-called ‘Comfortable Words’ in the BCP Communion service following on from the Confession serve to reassure and draw the worshipper near to God in full assurance of His gracious acceptance on the basis of the perfect, sufficient provision for sin in the death of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ashley Null in his book, Divine Allurement puts it this way on pages 8, 10-13, and 13.

“The red thread that runs throughout Cranmer’s writings is this simple truth:  the glory of God is to love the unworthy—Jesus himself is the one who stands by our side.  He is the one who answers for us when we are accused of being sinners!  Here is the heart of the revolution in the understanding of Jesus that the English Reformers wanted to proclaim.  For believers, Jesus is not  our judge.  He is our defence lawyer—Cranmer sent out Scripture’s Comfortable Words—as a falcon, flying forth in a spiralling gyre, grounded in the human condition but gradually looping higher and higher towards the lofty of the divine, holding humanity and the Trinity together in a dynamic mutual dialectic, funnelling love from above into the hearts of the beloved below so that they at last have the power to love God and one another on earth as it is in heaven”.

The Revd Dr Mark Pickles is the Director of the North West Partnership and was the Director of Anglican Ministry Training at Oak Hill College, London.  Used with permission of the author.

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