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Anglican Futures: Anglican Alphabet Spaghetti

Anglican Futures Anglican Alphabetti Spaghetti A dummies guide to the plethora of organisations and acronyms linked to faithful Anglicans in the UK and Europe. I once spent some time around military personel.  Everything had its own TLA (Three Letter Acronym) right...

Canterbury Tales: Favourite Bible Stories Retold by Archbishop Justin Welby

Canterbury Tales Favourite Bible stories retold by Archbishop Justin Welby The Good Samaritan A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead, halfway...

Anglican Mission in England Elects Two Suffragan Bishops

Anglican Mission in England Elects Two Suffragan Bishops The Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) met in Synod on 18 June.  While there, they elected two suffragan bishops to aid Bishop Andy Lines in providing episcopal oversight for the overall work.  Bishop Lines also...

Pride Flags Causing Conflict at Christian School

Pride Flags Cause Conflict at Christian School Conflict has broken out in a Christian school in Oxfordshire over the display of “Pride” flags. The institution in question is Kingham Hill School.  The same Trust (Kingham Hill Trust) oversees Oak Hill College, an...

Prayer Book Society Raising Funds to Put BCPs in the Hands of Choristers

Prayer Book Society Raising Funds to Put BCPs in the Hands of Choristers The Prayer Book Society, which will soon celebrate its 50th Anniversary, is raising funds to put a special edition BCP into the hands of junior choristers around the nation.   The idea came to...

Book Review: Reimagining Britain by Justin Welby

Reimagining Britain Foundations for Hope Justin Welby Bloomsbury, 2018, new edn. 2021 (ISBN: 978-1-4729-8497-5, 322pp, £12.99) The Archbishop of Canterbury has made several notable political interventions recently, including over ‘partygate’ and the Rwanda deportation...

Birthday of Anglicanism in America

Birthday of Anglicanism in America By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins June 16, 1607 was the birthday of Anglicanism in America. On this day Captain John Smith and 104 others celebrated the Lord’s Supper when they arrived safely in Jamestown, Virginia. Jamestown was the...

Barnabas Fund Report: Two ChiBok Girls Found

Barnabas Fund Reports Two Chibok Girls Found After 8 Years 24 June 2022 Two women, who were among hundreds of schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram from the Nigerian town of Chibok eight years ago, have been found. Hauwa Joseph was discovered among a group of other...

New Bishop-elect for the Diocese of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory

Church of Ireland News New Bishop Elected for Cashel, Ferns & Ossory The Church of Ireland diocese of Cashel, Ferns, and Ossory now has a bishop-elect.  The Venerable Adrian Wilkinson, Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross was elected to succeed the Rt Revd Michael...

Editorial: Lessons to be Learned from the American Pro-Life Movement

Editorial Lessons to be Learned from American Pro-Life Movement Friday, 24 June 2022, the Feast of St John the Baptist, will be a date which will live in infamy amongst the supporters of abortion.  On that date, the US Supreme Court, overturned the precedent set by...

Known by God: A Biblical Theology of Personal Identity

This is a great book that offers true comfort to broken believers and real insights into deep scriptural themes. Rosner takes a biblical theological approach, looking at what it means to belong to and be known by God, seeking to shown how this over-looked theme is developed through the canon. Rosner’s contention is that being known by God and belonging to God are key to self-identity.

After setting out the nature of western society’s contemporary identity angst and assessing our common identity markers, Rosner turns to Scripture to explain what humans are, what it means to be made in the image of God, being known by God in the OT and known by God and Christ in the NT, how our union with Christ affects our identity, how being adopted shapes our self-understanding and behaviour, and finally, how God’s work of salvation in and through Christ gives us a shared memory and defining destiny with other believers.

The final part of the book looks at the impact this material has for questions of personal relevance, humility, comfort in sorrow, and moral guidance. In the last chapter Rosner explores how Christian practices such as baptism, communion, and church, help us know who we are, and that God knows and love us. It would have been helpful for Rosner to reflect on how God knows our sins and weaknesses and that knowing us in our sin he can meet our needs in ways appropriate to us, as seen in, for example, the woman at the well in John 4, or the disciples’ ignorance in John 11. More thinking could have been done in light of the fact God does not need to discover us either, or the method of his knowing.

Throughout the book Rosner brings to the fore the way in which God knows us intimately and personally. Particularly striking was Rosner’s teaching on Jesus in John’s Gospel and the letters to the seven churches in Revelation; as well as the way his understanding of being known by God is shaped by the doctrines of creation, election, redemption, union with Christ and adoption into God’s family. Rosner’s section on how this offers comfort to people with diminished lives and facing the end of life was excellent. Along the way there was great teaching on lots of other topics too, such as how to read Bible metaphors as God intends them to be read, holy communion and the importance of song in Christian meetings.

The book is pastoral, exegetical, theological, and personal. It is a book to read and re-read as its teaching is so importance for all Christians—we desperately need to grasp who we really are! Those who want to think systematically about this topic will find lots of helpful material on which to build, and those who want to encourage others should buy it for them or encourage them to buy it.

Robert Brewis is Associate Minister at Christ Church, Chadderton.  This review was first published in Crossway magazine, July 2020.

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