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We Wish You a Merry Saturnalia: Northern Churchman

We Wish You a Merry Saturnalia? The Northern Churchman There is a familiar feel to this time of year. The Christmas advertising on television, the darker evenings, the Carol Services – and the inevitable scoffers who call the Christmas story a myth. Not ‘Once in Royal...

Mark Pickles: The Story of Two Trampolines

Gospel-Driven Anglicanism By the Revd Dr Mark Pickles The Story of the Two Trampolines:  A passage that is frequently referred to during times of great revival is Isaiah 64:1-3:  “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your...

Ten Thousand Bibles for London’s Children

TBS Auxiliary Meets Ten Thousand Bibles For London’s Children The Greater London Auxiliary of the Trinitarian Bible Society was delighted to report at its Annual Meeting held on 15 November that over 10,000 Bibles have been distributed to London schools since the...

Good News for Egypt’s Christians

Barnabas Fund Reports Good News for Egypt’s Christians The government of Egypt licensed 125 churches and church-affiliated buildings on 14 November. It is the 24th batch of approvals made since the government committee overseeing the licensing process started work in...

Church Society’s Response to MP Ben Bradshaw

Church Society’s Response to MP Ben Bradshaw In the aftermath of Desmond Tutu’s daughter being refused permission to preside at a funeral in a Church of England parish, Labour MP Ben Bradshaw told The Guardian that the “C of E must move swiftly to welcome lesbian...

Collins: Who’s Your Righteousness?

Who’s Your Righteousness? By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins Who’s your righteousness? "The Lord our Righteousness" was the sermon preached March 20, 1757 at St. Mary's Church in Oxford. It offended nearly everyone that day and William Romaine was invited to never preach...

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Act of 1963

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Act of 1963 Persons Against Whom Proceedings May be Instituted. Proceedings under this Measure may be instituted against an archbishop, any diocesan bishop or any suffragan bishop commissioned by a diocesan bishop or any other bishop or a...

Editorial: Joy to the World Cup

Editorial Joy to the World Cup The result of the 2022 FIFA World Cup is already in. And it appears the Church of England has lost. The latest advice from the Church of England’s Support Hub is for parishes to consider the timing of Christmas Carol Services to avoid...

Symes to Step Down from Anglican Mainstream Leadership

Symes to Step Down from Anglican Mainstream Leadership By Chris Sugden Andrew Symes is to stand down as Executive Secretary of Anglican Mainstream on January 1, 2023, after nearly ten years in post. Rev Symes, 56, who had earlier served with Crosslinks in South...

Retired Bishop Given Life Suspension

Retired Bishop Given Life Suspension By George Conger The former Bishop of Ramsbury has been suspended for life from the ordained ministry after he admitted to having sexually abused two women. The Daily Mail reported the Rt Rev. Peter Hullah had been the subject of...

Anglican Futures: Mere Christianity: the Body & Gender Identity

What follows is an answer I recently gave to someone asking what the Christian tradition believes concerning the body and gender identity, and whether it matters. For orthodox Anglicans, the focus on the creeds in what follows is important for three reasons. First, it shows that this is not an eccentric position: it’s mere Christianity, the universal church’s common theological inheritance. Secondly, Article VIII and the liturgies of the Prayer Book recognise the Creeds as true, authoritative and important confessions of orthodox Christian faith, because they can be proved from Scripture. Thirdly, the Church of England’s pastoral guidance on the welcome of transgender persons encourages using the authorised liturgy for Affirmation of Baptismal Faith to mark someone’s new self-identification. In the light of what follows, this can be seen to be a startling abuse and denial of our baptismal confession, the Apostles’ Creed.

The human body is centrally important to the Christian faith. Orthodox Christian theology regards the human person as a psychosomatic (integrated soul-body) unity, according to God’s design in both creation and salvation. The importance of the body can be seen clearly in the Bible, which has binding authority for Christian belief and practice. It is also clearly reflected in Christianity’s major creeds and theological texts. This can be seen in the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed, which are theological summaries of the Bible’s central teaching, and whose doctrines are accepted by every Christian tradition.[1]

The Creeds reflect the Bible’s affirmation of the original goodness of creation as the good craftsmanship of a good God (Genesis 1). This includes the embodied reality of humanity, made in God’s image as male and female (Genesis 1:26-27). This understanding of humans as sexually dimorphic (as a species, male and female, and as individuals male or female) image-bearers of God is at the heart of historic Christian anthropology.[2]

Following reference to creation, the Creeds then focus attention on the central realities of the Christian gospel: First, Christ’s taking on of human flesh in the incarnation, in which human nature (body and soul) is dignified in its personal union with God’s Son. Then, Christ’s sufferings in human flesh under Pontius Pilate, his death by crucifixion, his burial, and his bodily resurrection from the dead on the third day. Significantly, the Gospels emphasise that Christ’s tomb was empty, and that Christ therefore rose with the same body he had before he died, a body that still bore the marks of the nails with which he was crucified, and the spear with which his side was pierced. Thirdly, both the Bible and the Creeds treat Christ’s resurrection as the certain promise of the bodily resurrection of all people for judgement, and Christian believers for embodied eternal life. 

These beliefs lie at the core of the Christian faith. Public confession of them, in the words of the Apostles’ Creed, is required for baptism: “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, I believe in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried…on the third day he rose again…I believe in…the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life of the world to come”.

Used with permission. The authors of all Anglican Futures articles are kept anonymous. www.anglicanfutures.org

 

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