Saturday, October 22, 2005

Never forget where you've come here from

JC Ryle, Five English Reformers

(newly added to my unwritten wishlist: J.C. Ryle, Five English Reformers)

Ant observes that dead guys have lots of important things to say. And Mo is talking about God and reminded me that there is nothing new under the sun. I caved and subscribed to the briefing this week - great to read up some reformation history. Latimer was a legend. Garry Williams is coming to our church in November to give us some more reformation history. Superb. (Kath, before you flame me for getting the briefing, somehow I'm now also a semi-regular reader of theguardian, humbled i've stopped reading the times)

Church history and personal experience are so helpful as guides (under, not over the Bible). My church experience of anglo-catholic-liberalism, toronto-style-pentecostalism, evangelical-baptist and most recently anglican-conservative-evangelicalism is such a help to be able to understand the wide range of people I work with, but also to gain clarity as to how it looks to live under the rule of King Jesus.

Sometimes we find ourselves divided by fundamental disagreements over truth, and at other times because we simply speak different languages. The latter is easier to overcome by patience and understanding. And even the former can be, not by overlooking big issues but because the gospel changes lives! Latimer shows me that - a zealous papist who became a zealous protestant martyr. My life testifies. And ultimately Jesus testifies on every page of the Bible. God works in people and turns them from dead sinners to people who enter into eternal life! Amazing!