Monday, January 21, 2008

A New Beginning

In December 2004, I began a blog called To All the World. The title was taken from Mark 16:15, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation." The focus of that blog was to be on the Christian world mission.

Over time, the concerns I have as an Anglican clergyman and Dean and President of an Episcopal seminary began to intrude on the focus of that blog, with the result that posts have often been as much about the controversies in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion as on the Christian world mission. The intrusions were not altogether off-topic. Controversies over matters of faith and morality that are affecting the Anglican Communion inevitably impinge on the Church's ability to fulfill Christ's Great Commission to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ and to make disciples of all nations.

All too often, however, blogs devoted to political battles succeed only in offering political solutions. However, the battles we face are spiritual battles as well.

  • Is Jesus uniquely the Son of God?

  • Is Jesus the only way to Heaven?

  • Is the Bible divinely inspired, and what authority does it have?

These are just a few of the questions that some contemporary western church bodies consider to be up for debate—debates that, in some cases, will be resolved by political means. However, the questions are theological and profoundly spiritual. What is at stake in these battles is the soul of western (and perhaps even world) Christianity.

But even if these battles did not exist, the Church would still stand in the midst of an immense spiritual need. Indeed, there would not be so many debates about God, if there were a greater knowledge of God.

What is needed, then, is for the Church to know God in the authority of his Word and in the power of his Holy Spirit—to be renewed in the knowledge of God in whatever ways she has departed from him—and to be revived in her love for God in whatever ways that love has grown cold. Because we who make up the Church are fallen sinners, prone to wander as long as we are mortal, the continual need of the Church is, and always will be, for revival!

The purpose of this blog, then, will be to offer reflections and point to resources that further the revival of Christ's Church. My own tradition is Anglican, hence the title "Anglican Revivalist." It is an ancient and venerable part of Christ's Church, though it is not a perfect church. (I do not believe that any part of Christ's Church, being comprised, as it is, of fallen sinners, will be perfect this side of heaven.) But I believe that, when all is said and done, it will have proven to be as good a boat from which to fish as any.

Revival is not limited to only part of Christ's Church any more than the Holy Spirit is for only one part of Christ's Church or the Bible is for only one part of Christ's Church. So the resources presented here will not come from only one tradition or be presented for the benefit of only one part of Christ's Body. Rather, they will reflect the fulness of the Christian tradition in order that the whole Church, obedient to God's Word, filled with his Holy Spirit, might proclaim the whole Gospel to the whole creation. Soli Deo Gloria!

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