Category : Provinces Other Than TEC

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Church of England

Heavenly Lord,
you long for the world’s salvation:
by the power of your Holy Spirit stir us from apathy,
restrain us from excess
and revive in us new hope
that all creation will one day be healed
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen (slightly edited–KSH).

Posted in Church of England, Spirituality/Prayer

John Stott gives an introduction to the life and work of Charles Simeon

John Stott on Charles Simeon at Taylor University from Randall Gruendyke on Vimeo.

Posted in Church History, Church of England, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(WSJ) Inside the World’s Most Blatant Covid-19 Coverup in Tanzania: Secret Burials, a Dead President

Tucked away in a northern suburb of this sprawling East African city is a burial site that is evidence of one of the world’s great coronavirus coverups.

At the Kondo graveyard in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, unmasked volunteers have been digging holes and felling trees to expand a compound that has tripled in size since last year. During the pandemic’s first wave, hazmat-suited government officials came at night to secretly bury the dead, graveyard workers and bereaved families said. Now, small groups of mourners gather for hasty ceremonies next to floral tributes.

Kondo’s gravediggers said those buried there since last year have one thing in common: All died as a result of the coronavirus, yet none were recorded as suffering from Covid-19. They said they know by speaking to the families and officials from the municipality.

“This is one of the government’s coronavirus cemeteries, but we’re not allowed to call it that,” said Said Ali Salum, a caretaker who has worked there so long that locals call him “Mzee Wa-Makaburi,” or Mr. Graveyard. “We used to bury one a week [before the pandemic], but over the past year we have reached 17 a day.”

Tanzania, a country famous for Serengeti safaris and a turquoise coastline, has engaged in a grim experiment with implications beyond its borders: denying the existence of Covid-19. How that is playing out offers clues on the hidden toll of the pandemic across the developing world.

Read it all.

Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, Tanzania

(TLS) Giles Foden on the salient ideas, elegant writing and ethical commitment of this year’s Nobel laureate, Abdulrazak Gurnah

ew announcements could give greater pleasure to followers of the broad church of African literature than that of the East African-born novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah as winner of this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature. We would all like to give the honorific Swahili greeting shikamoo – “I touch your feet” – but we can’t do that literally right now, and he wouldn’t like it anyway, I reckon, being a very self-effacing man, despite his great talent.

Born in 1948 on Zanzibar, then still a British colony, Gurnah came to the United Kingdom in 1968. This was the year of Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” speech and four years after the violent Zanzibar revolution that eventually led to the union of Zanzibar and Tanganyika as present-day Tanzania – a moment later dramatized in his debut novel, Memory of Departure (1987). He studied at Canterbury Christ Church University and earned a PhD at the University of Kent in 1982, before teaching for a few years at a university in northern Nigeria. He then returned to Kent, rising through troublesome academic ranks to become Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, until his retirement in November 2018, an occasion on which I was honoured to give a valedictory lecture. At the end of that peroration, I rashly predicted the likelihood of Nobel laurels. The best bet I never made. Gurnah’s academic work during this period, like that of his fellow laureate J. M. Coetzee, focused on colonial and post-colonial writing – branching out, when the field went mainstream, into some creative-writing tuition.

All through this time – the early part of which saw post-colonial writing going against the grain of predominantly white, neocolonial establishment authority – Gurnah was writing groundbreaking fiction. To date, he has produced ten novels that grapple with the subjects of the immigrant experience, displacement, memory and colonialism. These concerns – the transnational, the trauma narrative – are very current now, but they were just a speck on the horizon when Gurnah began developing his oeuvre. He was a prime mover in this respect, and that is part of what has catalysed this award. As the chair of the Nobel committee, Anders Olsson, remarked, “Gurnah has consistently and with great compassion penetrated the effects of colonialism in East Africa, and its effects on the lives of uprooted and migrating individuals”.

This element of compassion was clearly an important factor for the Nobel committee.

Read it all (subscription).

Posted in Books, England / UK, History, Tanzania

(Vatican Radio) Archbishop Welby: Church is synodal when walks together, serving, not dominating

Q: It was very interesting to hear you talk about, not only from the top down, but the middle-out, and also from grassroots up, in terms of care for our common home. There’s been a lot of criticism of politicians and international leaders of not doing enough. Is there a way that the faithful in the churches, the other religions, can act apart from the gridlock that we sometimes see in the political world?

The answer is obviously yes, but that will not be enough. It is necessary but not sufficient. So, you will have seen, in the declaration made by the Holy Father, by the Ecumenical Patriarch, and myself a few weeks back—two or three weeks back—that calls on governments, on businesses, on individuals, and on churches and faith groups, to change their actions.

The trouble is any one of those that is left out will undermine the process. So, governments need to change the trade rules and tax rules, in order to incentivize the green economy for the future.

Companies need to change their practices, and move to zero-carbon; individuals need to change their practices; and faith groups need to be there demonstrating, by their actions, and appealing by their words for these changes to happen, and supporting the changing public opinion.

I saw the president of Italy Tuesday morning, and he said more than once that we must lead public opinion. The faith groups must lead public opinion, and I think he was quite right to challenge us in that way.

Read and listen to it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, --South Sudan, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Roman Catholic

A Prayer for the Feast Day of John Coleridge Patteson

Almighty God, who didst call thy faithful servants John Coleridge Patteson and his companions to be witnesses and martyrs in the islands of Melanesia, and by their labors and sufferings didst raise up a people for thine own possession: Pour forth thy Holy Spirit upon thy Church in every land, that by the service and sacrifice of many, thy holy Name may be glorified and thy kingdom enlarged; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Church History, Melanesia, Spirituality/Prayer

New Dean coming to St Albans from Canterbury

Dean-Elect Jo Kelly-Moore’s appointment follows the departure of the Very Revd Jeffrey John who was Dean from 2003 to 2020 and who is now an Anglican Chaplain in Paris. The appointment of the Dean is made by the Crown on the advice of the Bishop and other leading figures in the diocese following a rigorous selection process involving a church and civic panel. The panel was chaired by the Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, emphasising the reach of the Cathedral across all the communities of the Diocese of St Albans.

Speaking about the appointment, the Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, said:

“This is a timely moment to welcome a new Dean to the Cathedral and the Diocese after eighteen months of lockdown. Jo brings outstanding experience to our Cathedral from Holy Trinity Cathedral, Auckland, Aotearoa, New Zealand and from a leading post in the Church of England as Archdeacon of Canterbury – a post also playing a key part in the ministry of Canterbury Cathedral with its international dimension.

“That makes Dean Jo well placed to build on the legacy of Dean Jeffrey in establishing public understanding of St Albans Cathedral as the home of Britain’s First Saint, St Alban.

“She will commend herself to the community in St Albans and more widely in the diocese and beyond through her warmth and the sense of quiet command that she conveys.

“I warmly welcome her.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(The World) After the revolution, a secular Sudan?

“One of the main reasons that actually separated the country [of] South Sudan was the unwillingness of the previous regime to repeal Sharia law from the country. That would actually have saved the country,” he argued.

Many people from Nuba fear there’s a risk of other parts of the country breaking away, or of ongoing conflict, if Sudan is not able to take religious ideology out of government affairs.

As a government peace adviser, Komey said he brought in experts from Turkey, Nigeria and other countries with large or majority-Islamic populations (but secular constitutions) to meet with members of Sudan’s government.

“That actually opened minds that Sudan, which is majority Muslim, can still go secular without endangering people,” he said.

But in Sudan’s public sphere, secularism remains a provocative and emotional word for ordinary people.

Read it all.

Posted in Religion & Culture, Sudan

(NWE Mail) Barrow MP supports Church of England project for carers

The Diocese of Carlisle is partnering with a Christian charity to provide free retreats for people who were frontline carers during the Covid pandemic.

Barrow and Furness MP, Simon Fell has put his support behind the scheme and is asking the public to get behind the Crowdfunder that is hoping to raise £20,000.

This project is hoped to achieve some much-needed respite for carers.

Mr Fell said “This is a fantastic project which will help some of the people who have had a harder job than others over the past year.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England, Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

Archbishop, Pope and Church of Scotland Moderator write to South Sudan’s leaders

When we last wrote to you at Christmas, we prayed that you might experience greater trust among yourselves and be more generous in service to your people. Since then, we have been glad to see some small progress. Sadly, your people continue to live in fear and uncertainty, and lack confidence that their nation can indeed deliver the ‘justice, liberty and prosperity’ celebrated in your national anthem. Much more needs to be done in South Sudan to shape a nation that reflects God’s kingdom, in which the dignity of all is respected and all are reconciled (cf 2 Corinthians, 5). This may require personal sacrifice from you as leaders – Christ’s own example of leadership shows this powerfully – and today we wish you to know that we stand alongside you as you look to the future and seek to discern afresh how best to serve all the people of South Sudan.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, --South Sudan, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Pope Francis, Presbyterian, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

(NYT) As a Family Is Mourned, Canada Grapples With Anti-Muslim Bias

With coronavirus restrictions still in place in much of Canada, many families have taken up going out together for evening strolls. On Sunday, however, a pleasant walk became the scene of a deadly attack by a motorist who used his truck to kill four members of a family in London, Ontario, and injure a boy who is now an orphan. They were targeted, the police said, because of their Muslim faith.

Along with grieving, the deaths have prompted anger and demands for government action against bigotry and violence toward Muslims.

“Even after this, there are still people saying that Islamophobia doesn’t exist,” said Mohamed Salih, a member of London’s City Council. “The challenge and a reality we must face is that far too often in our city, there is Islamophobia. It’s something we’ve known for far too long.”

On Tuesday night, the province of Ontario temporarily lifted pandemic rules banning large gatherings to allow thousands of people to gather for a memorial outside the London Muslim Mosque to remember the Afzaal-Salman family. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended.

Read it all.

Posted in Canada, Islam, Religion & Culture

The BBC Story on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s ‘personal apology’ over charity abuse

The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued a “full personal apology” to the survivors of abuse by former barrister John Smyth QC in the 1970s and 80s.

Smyth, who died aged 77 in 2018, violently beat boys who attended Christian summer camps.

Justin Welby said: “I am sorry this was done in the name of Jesus Christ by a perverted version of spirituality and evangelicalism.”

Survivors who recently met Mr Welby welcomed him “taking responsibility”.

In a statement issued by Lambeth Palace, the archbishop said: “I continue to hear new details of the abuse and my sorrow, shock and horror grows.

“The Church has a duty to look after those who have been harmed. We have not always done that well.”

He said the Church’s safeguarding team will investigate every clergyperson which they suspect “knew and failed to disclose the abuse”.

Mr Welby worked in the evangelical Christian camps for public schoolboys run by Smyth, but denies any knowledge of the abuse at the time.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Church of England, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Teens / Youth, Violence, Youth Ministry

(CNS) Catholic Bishops urge Mexicans to vote in elections, but some see warning signs

Ascencio’s diocese has been hit hard by drug cartel violence, something highlighted by a recent visit to the besieged town of Aguililla by Archbishop Franco Coppola, apostolic nuncio. The bishop expressed bewilderment at a mayoral candidate in Michoacán appearing on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s wanted list.

“In my diocese … it’s very likely there’s complicity between organized crime and those exercising political power,” Ascencio said. “They have told me that they’re overwhelmed by the crime situation and security is not their duty; it’s something for the federal government.”

In this election cycle, the bishop said more candidates have sought him out for meetings than in past years. He notices that “they haven’t taken reality into account.”

“What’s not seen is that power in not in the hands of legitimate rulers,” he said. “Power in many places is held by organized crime. It seems like the political sector is at the service of organized crime.”

Read it all.

Posted in Drugs/Drug Addiction, Law & Legal Issues, Mexico, Politics in General, Roman Catholic

(Bloomberg) Its not just India. New virus waves hit developing nations.

Although nowhere close to India’s population or flare-up in scope, the reported spikes in these handful of nations have been far steeper, signaling the potential dangers of an uncontrolled spread. The resurgence — and first-time outbreaks in some places that largely avoided the scourge last year — heightens the urgency of delivering vaccine supplies to poorer, less influential countries and averting a protracted pandemic.

“It’s very important to realize that the situation in India can happen anywhere,” said Hans Kluge, the regional director at the World Health Organization for Europe, during a briefing last week. “This is still a huge challenge.”

Ranked by the change in newly recorded infections in the past month over the previous month, Laos came first with a 22,000% increase, followed by Nepal and Thailand, both of which saw fresh caseload skyrocketing more than 1,000% on a month-over-month basis.

Also on top of the list are Bhutan, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Cambodia and Fiji, as they witnessed the epidemic erupt at a high triple-digit pace.

“All countries are at risk,” said David Heymann, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. “The disease appears to be becoming endemic and will therefore likely remain a risk to all countries for the foreseeable future.”

Read it all.

Posted in Bhutan, Cambodia, Health & Medicine, Japan, Nepal, Southeast Asia, Thailand

A Sermon from the new series “The John Stott Centenary: Biblical Convictions for the Contemporary Church”–Rico Tice: “Proclaiming the Gospel of God through Evangelism”

Watch and listen to it all. There are some great John Stott stories in the mix–KSH.

Posted in Church of England, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology: Evangelism & Mission, Theology: Scripture

More Music for Easter–How Great Thou Art

Listen to it all (and enjoy the inside of the Cathedral).

Posted in Church of England, Easter, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry

The Archbishop of York’s 2021 Easter Sermon

It’s the most profound question in the world. Who are you looking for? I mean, what are you really looking for? What is it that you seek? Whom will you follow? How will you set the compass of your life?

And then he speaks her name. For a moment she’s on time. That tender moment where time and eternity fuse together in the moment of recognition. Her eyes are opened – there – in the dawning of a new day and a whole new humanity. A spring of hope for the world that will never run dry; a love that can never be too late. Jesus: the early bird, the song thrush singing before the dawn; the pelican who feeds her young with her own shed blood; the crucified one who took upon him our flesh and plumbed the depths of grief, has been raised up. And all of God was with him in his dying. And all of us are with him in his rising.

She cries out, ‘Rabbouni! Teacher’; and she holds onto him for dear life. He is the one to follow. He is the one to build a life upon.

But she’s too early again. It is not yet that day when we are with God in paradise. There is work to be done. This new thing that you are seeing. It is for everyone. It must be shared.

Gently, he prises her hands away. ‘Do not cling to me. I have not yet ascended… but go to my brothers and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father to my God and your God.’

The endless message of Easter. The timeless message. I am rising.

She thought he was the Gardener. She was right. He is the gardener: the new Adam tending a new creation, re-planting the seeds of human destiny.

Read it all.

Posted in Christology, Church of England, Easter, Eschatology, Preaching / Homiletics

A Prayer for Maundy Thursday from the Church of England

Posted in Church of England, Holy Week, Spirituality/Prayer

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2021 Ecumenical Easter Letter

Across the world we look towards the promise of the vaccine, and rebuilding society after the tumult of the last year. We take our places as salt and light in the world, remembering that, as Christians, we are called to keep our eyes fixed not on ‘normal’ life, but on the eternal life Jesus promises us in His Kingdom. That is our ultimate hope and our salvation. May we find comfort and hope in the God who died for us, and may we proclaim His name in the confidence that He is risen indeed.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England, Ecumenical Relations, Holy Week

The Church of England’s detailed response to IICSA report

The Church of England has…published its detailed responses to the recommendations of the IICSA report from October. As the report stated, the Church of England failed to protect some children and young people from sexual predators within their midst. While the Church will continue to apologise, the main focus is now recognising the distress caused particularly to victims and survivors and acting to improve its safeguarding structures and to change its culture.

Read it all.

Posted in Children, Church of England, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology

Today’s Prayer in the ACNA cycle of Prayer

In the ACNA Cycle of Prayer, today we pray for the Province of Sudan and the Most Rev. Ezekiel Kondo, Archbishop; and for the Province of South Sudan and The Rt. Rev. Justin Arama,
Archbishop, and his wife, Joyce.

Almighty Father, we pray that they may be faithful witnesses for Jesus Christ and empowered
by your Holy Spirit to serve you in the world.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Spirituality/Prayer, Sudan

(Church Times) Chelmsford diocese to lose stipendiary clergy posts

Chelmsford diocesan synod has formally approved a proposal to cut 61 stipendiary clergy posts by the end of 2021; a possible 49 more posts are to go if the financial situation does not improve.

The cuts come five years in advance of the original proposal for 2025, in the light of the pandemic. But plans have been in place since 2011 — when 47 per cent of stipendiary clergy were due to retire within the decade — to reduce clergy posts to the minimum sustainable number of 215 (News, 9 June).

A traffic-light system will operate, where posts “to be retained or filled if vacant” are classified as Green, and those “desirable and should be retained if finances permit” are Amber. Red posts are those “unlikely to be filled with a full-time stipendiary incumbent, and other options for enabling ministry should be considered.”

Benefices in the Red category which are unable to cover the average £80,180 costs of a full-time stipendiary priest will be invited to discuss alternatives, such as interim ministry, a self-supporting priest, or a licensed lay minister.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England, England / UK, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

(CT) Sudan’s Partially Answered Prayers

Sudan is rejoining the community of nations.

After 30 years of pariah status under former dictator Omar al-Bashir, the nation has established relations with Israel, taken steps to improve religious freedom, and ensured removal of its US designation as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Archbishop Ezekiel Kondo of Sudan has witnessed the entire history.

Born in 1957 in the Nuba Mountains region, he was ordained an Anglican priest at the age of 31. In 2003, he became bishop of the diocese of Khartoum, Sudan’s capital city.

In 2014, Kondo became archbishop of Sudan within overall administrative unity with South Sudan. And in 2017, he was enthroned as primate of the newly created Anglican Province of Sudan.

Read it all.

Posted in - Anglican: Latest News, Sudan

An update on the safeguarding complaint against the Archbishop of Canterbury

A formal complaint made to the National Safeguarding Team, NST, in June, that the Archbishop of Canterbury did not follow correct safeguarding procedure when responding to an allegation against Smyth, has not been substantiated. The complaint referred to Lambeth’s response to allegations which first came to attention in 2013 and information relating to the specific issues raised has been reviewed. Information relating to a further complaint sent to the NST in August, about wider issues, has now also been reviewed and no safeguarding concerns have been identified. All the information reviewed will now be sent to the Makin Review, due to publish next year, for further scrutiny.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Violence

Church of England’s Anti-Racism Taskforce launches

A Taskforce set up to make bold changes to ensure greater racial equality in the Church of England has got under way, with the Archbishops of Canterbury and York joining its meeting today.

The Anti-Racism Taskforce will carry out preparatory work ahead of the launch of the Archbishops’ Commission to address racism in spring next year.

The nine members of the group will make recommendations for immediate action that can be taken by the Church of England to improve its record on racial justice and equality. They will also recommend the proposed remit and membership of the Commission.

Jointly chaired by Revd Sonia Barron, Director of Ordinands and Vocations for Lincoln Diocese, and Revd Arun Arora, a Vicar in the Diocese of Durham, the Taskforce is expected to complete its work by the end of January.

Revd Sonia Barron, Co-Chair of the Taskforce, and a former adviser to the Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns, (CMEAC) said: “The Taskforce has been set up at a critical time in the history of the Church of England, with the Black Lives Matter movement pushing racial justice right up the agenda. The Church has an opportunity that it cannot afford to miss – we cannot just pay lip service to issues of racism as we have done for so long. It is vital that we listen to all the different voices out there and having listened, fulfil our mission as a Church, by taking appropriate action.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England, England / UK, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture

(Reuters) Blasphemy convictions spark Nigerian debate over sharia law

Fuad Adeyemi, an imam in Nigeria’s capital Abuja, respects those who believe that a 22-year-old man accused of sharing a blasphemous message on WhatsApp should be punished. But he thinks the death sentence is too harsh.

He was referring to a ruling handed to Yahaya Aminu Sharif by a sharia court in the northern state of Kano in August. On the same day, the court sentenced a 13-year-old boy, Omar Farouq, to 10 years in prison, also for blasphemy.

The sentences caused an international outcry and sparked a broader debate in Nigeria about the role of Islamic law in a country roughly evenly split between a predominantly Muslim north and mainly Christian south.

“They should review the judgment … and reduce the punishment,” said Adeyemi, clad in a white robe and sitting on the concrete floor of a half-built Abuja mosque where moments earlier he had led more than a dozen men in prayer.

Read it all.

Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Nigeria, Religion & Culture

(Al Jezeera) Sudan to strike peace with rebels after decades of war

Sudan’s government and rebels are set to sign a landmark peace deal in a bid to end decades of war in which hundreds of thousands have died – an historic achievement if it holds.

Ending Sudan’s internal conflicts has been a top priority of the transition government in power since last year’s removal of longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir amid a popular uprising.

Both sides are due to sign the deal in full on Saturday in Juba, the capital of neighbouring South Sudan, after putting their initials on the agreement at the end of last month.

The location of the ceremony holds great significance – South Sudan’s leaders themselves battled Khartoum as rebels for decades, before establishing the world’s newest nation-state.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Sudan, Violence

(Gafcon) Good News from Sudan

The Gafcon Suffering Church Network leaders, Faith McDonnell and Bishop Andudu Adan Elnail, joined Gafcon’s Everyday Global Anglicans for an interview about recent, positive developments in Sudan. A peace agreement was signed which will have significant implications for the church in Sudan. We hope to learn how prayers have been answered and how we can continue to pray for the Church in Sudan.

Keep praying for our Church family in Sudan and for Bishop Andudu as he leads his people in the Nuba Mountains.

Posted in GAFCON, Spirituality/Prayer, Sudan

JI Packer RIP

Years after the death of President Calvin Coolidge, this story came to light. In the early days of his presidency, Coolidge awoke one morning in his hotel room to find a cat burglar going through his pockets. Coolidge spoke up, asking the burglar not to take his watch chain because it contained an engraved charm he wanted to keep. Coolidge then engaged the thief in quiet conversation and discovered he was a college student who had no money to pay his hotel bill or buy a ticket back to campus. Coolidge counted $32 out of his wallet — which he had also persuaded the dazed young man to give back! — declared it to be a loan, and advised the young man to leave the way he had come so as to avoid the Secret Service! (Yes, the loan was paid back.)

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Psalm 116:15 ESV

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Dr. J.I. Packer, a treasured faculty member, author, churchman, and friend.

James Innell Packer died July 17th in Vancouver, British Columbia. He was ninety-three, and humorous, gracious, and prayerful even in his final days.

One of the most widely-respected systematic theologians of the twentieth century, Jim drew his inspiration primarily from Scripture, but was deeply influenced by the works of John Calvin and the English Puritans. Jim brought seventeenth-century Puritan devotion to life for his twentieth- and twenty-first-century students. While named as one of the 25 Most Influential Evangelicals by Time Magazine in 2005 and author of one of the best-selling Christian books of all time, Knowing God, Jim Packer’s description of himself was as an “adult catechist.” “Theology, friends, is doxology” is a phrase students recall, and in many respects, the adage that shaped his lengthy career.

From his youth as the son of a railway clerk in Gloucester, England, Jim won a scholarship to Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he was noted as a remarkable student with a brilliant intellect. Growing up in a nominal Anglican home, Jim became a Christian early in his time at Oxford, largely through the InterVarsity Fellowship Christian Union and St. Aldate’s Anglican Church.

Following his undergraduate degree, Jim taught Greek at Oak Hill Theological College in London. He quickly felt drawn to further study, and commenced his studies in theology at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. He was awarded an MA and DPhil, writing his dissertation on Puritan Richard Baxter’s doctrine of salvation under Geoffrey Nuttall. “It was the Puritans,” Jim noted, “that made me aware that all theology is also spirituality.”

Read it all.

Posted in Canada, Church of England, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Evangelicals, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Ini Kopuria

Loving God, may thy Name be blest for the witness of Ini Kopuria, police officer and founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood, whose members saved many American pilots in a time of war, and who continue to minister courageously to the islanders of Melanesia. Open our eyes that we, with these Anglican brothers, may establish peace and hope in service to others, for the sake of Jesus Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Melanesia, Spirituality/Prayer