English Evangelicals

They’re shaking up the Church of England:

A handful of big evangelically-minded parishes now exercise huge influence, far beyond their immediate patch. Saint Helen’s in Bishopsgate reaches out to workers in London’s financial district; it has “planted” a dozen new communities in other places, using an American model of religious expansion. Holy Trinity, Brompton has exported a charismatic brand of Christianity via the Alpha course. Meanwhile All Souls in Langham Place, which shares a neighbourhood with department stores, broadcasters and arty bohemians, radiates forth a more sober brand of evangelism. What all these churches have in common is a reluctance to do the Church of England’s traditional job of marrying, baptising or burying people who have no real religious commitment. That is a break with Anglicanism’s familiar role as the undemanding “default mode” of faith for a secular country.

Read the rest: The Church of England: Hot and bothered | The Economist.

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  • Glad you posted this article. I am doing a PhD in theology in England and just wrote this post after reading “Hot and Bothered”:

    “The Americanization of British Ecclesiology…?” http://abyers.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/the-americanization-of-british-ecclesiology/

  • Dan Hauge

    And to think, all this is happening without one single strong British man who truly preaches the gospel . . .

  • ben w.

    These folks would be of the same stripe as the 3 Brits who wrote “Pierced for our Transgressions: Rediscovering the Glory of Penal Substitution.” It’s a solid work of good scholarship and theology, presenting PS along with other understandings of the Atonement.

    It’s interesting that some find these ideas about Christ’s work so “glorious”, and other find them so nauseating. Why the difference?

    • Phil Miller

      Well, I think a lot can be said to answer your last question, but I think a lot comes down to the fact that a lot of spiritual abuse has been doled out from people who claim (whether rightly or wrongly) to be the guardians of PSA. In the US, the doctrine is tied very tightly to Fundamentalism, and I don’t doubt that a lot of the pushback is simply people reacting to that.

      But, on the other hand, there are real theological reasons to disagree. N.T. Wright said this about Pierced for Our Transgressions:

      And my sorrow, reading Pierced for Our Transgressions, is not only that the book seems to be unaware of this possibility, but that, despite the ringing endorsements of famous men, it is deeply, profoundly, and disturbingly unbiblical.

      from here: http://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/news/2007/20070423wright.cfm?doc=205

      Wright is hardly a liberal who outright denies PSA. What he does advocate, though, is a view that refuses to simplify and flatten the Scriptural narrative in a way that it can easily be reduced to soundbites.

      • Phil Miller

        I meant to have that last paragraph be outside of the blockquote… I was trying to be too fancy with my html, I guess!