NEW

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...

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.

Previous

Next