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Showing posts from November, 2016

When will the Church of England be disestablished?

What is an established church? A Church that is officially recognized as a national institution Erastianism: The faith of the ruler is the faith of the people.
THE SITUATION IN THE EARLY CHURCH State (Roman Empire) – State religion (worship of the emperor and tolerance of local practice). The small Christian communion was sometimes tolerated and sometimes persecuted
Pliny, Letters 10.96-97, Pliny to the Emperor Trajan It is my practice, my lord, to refer to you all matters concerning which I am in doubt. For who can better give guidance to my hesitation or inform my ignorance? I have never participated in trials of Christians. I therefore do not know what offenses it is the practice to punish or investigate, and to what extent. And I have been not a little hesitant as to whether there should be any distinction on account of age or no difference between the very young and the more mature; whether pardon is to be granted for repentance, or, if a man has once been a Christian, it does him …

Thank you. Remembrance Sunday 2016

In 5 days’ time, 100 years ago, the guns were finally silenced on one of the bloodiest battles in human history.
It was not, of course, the end of the war. But by the end of what we know as the battle of the Somme, more than 1 million men were wounded and 300000 were killed. There were, on the first day alone, 57470 casualties, making it the worst day in the history of the British army.
Since then another battle has raged: the argument about whether that sort of loss of life was necessary. Field Marshall Douglas Haig has been in turn praised (it is estimated that more people turned out for his funeral than did for the funeral of Princess Diana), ignored, damned and it is only now that that judgement is again being reassessed. 
But today is not the day for asking whether what was asked of the men at the Somme was right or wrong, wicked idiocy or an evil necessity. Today is the day when we remember the astonishing sacrifices that were made by those who served – then, in more recent conflic…

The resurrection is for real

Luke 20.27-40
This week we are thinking a little more about the resurrection.
The Sadducees, as we see here, did not believe in the resurrection. They believed in God; they believed in the first five books of the Old Testament – the Mosaic law. And they believed that death was the end.
I’ve got a lot of time for the Sadducees. They are serious, thoughtful, hard-nosed rationalists. They are going to face up to death with no sugar-coated pill. They would not have been willing to buy into the half-baked sentimentalist claptrap about people dying and going up there to sit on clouds and be with those we have loved for ever.
So they challenge Jesus about the resurrection. They say to Jesus, ‘OK, if there is resurrection, when we are there who will we be with?’ They tell of this unfortunate woman who marries an even more unfortunate man. He dies before they have children. The law of Moses said that she needed to marry his brother. It makes sense. First, it ensured that she as a childless w…