Church membership either turns you into a servant, or proves to you that you’re not one.
That’s the kind of statement that I’ve been making during these "gospel partnership" meetings here in England. Today, Peter Jensen (Anglican Archbishop of Sydney) and I had the privilege of addressing about 170 Christians (mainly pastors & other fulltime workers) gathered from around East Anglia. We met at Christchurch in Cambridge. The program was "Reach" (which we both spoke on) "Build" (which I spoke on) and "Send" (which Peter spoke on). What seemed to draw most interest was the idea of church membership. This idea is common to "gathered" churches, but in an established, state church, though they can see its usefulness, it seems that people are curious of how to make it work. The conversation was amicable and interesting. Peter did a great job enthusing the gathered workers for evangelism. We ended the day by having dinner with Bruce & Lynn Winter. (Bruce retires as Warden of Tyndale House August 2006.)
CJ, as to my canon of theologians, it is late, so perhaps another day I’ll blog about it a little more if you remind me. But I will simply say that my annual rotation is
January: Early church (Polycarp, Ignatius, Didache, etc.)
March: Martin Luther
April: John Calvin
May: The one, the only RICHARD SIBBES
June: Either John Owen or John Bunyan
July: Jonathan Edwards
August: C. H. Spurgeon
September: B. B. Warfield
October: D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
November: Carl F. H. Henry (also CS Lewis)
December: John Stott (also Packer, Carson)
While I don’t agree with everything all of these guys have written, they are my elder brothers and instructors in so many ways. So, I read things these folks have written in bits of time during that month, and at my Theology Breakfast for all comers on Thursday mornings at 7am, where we break our fast of THEOLOGY.
That’s it for now. Hope that’s of interest. I’ve never written about this before, CJ, so feel free and pursue me about this more particularly tomorrow.