Autumn 2018

Editorial

THE ATONEMENT has long been a contested area in Christian doctrine – if only because the Church has never decreed any single teaching on exactly HOW Christ’s work of salvation is to be understood. But the way we understand it has important implications for the way we think of God and for how that affects our spirituality, our emotions and our personal behaviour. In this issue Andrew Campbell and Rob Clements present a dialogue exploring recent ideas of ‘nonviolent atonement’ which, while it seeks to correct ideas of a vengeful God, may risk accepting a world indifferent to injustice. Still confronting atonement issues, mindful of 1918 and the first Armistice Day, Peter Rutherford follows with a reflection on the ‘false picture of God’ which chaplains such as Woodbine Willie (Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy) found had alienated soldiers from Christian faith, and which he passionately denounced in his poetry.

Further good things in this issue are of particular ecumenical interest: Maurice Elliott writes of his recent experience of the Global Christian Forum meeting in Colombia, noting that this is the broadest inter-church body we have, and the most prayerful, with membership including the full spectrum of the universal Church, from Orthodox and Roman Catholic through to Pentecostals. There follows an introduction by its co-chair Archbishop David Moxon to ARCIC III’s recently completed statement advocating closer alignment between our Churches in the areas of ecclesiology and ethics; then a reflection on the ongoing work of the Dublin University Mission to Chota Nagpur by Steve Brunn. John Rutter then shares some thoughts on the little known life and work of Peter Martyr Vermigli, a close associate of Thomas Cranmer.

Pope Francis’ visit of August attracted interest, participation, and perhaps also a degree of indifference in the C of I. Archbishop Jackson took part in certain key occasions; Greg Fromholz was in the thick of it; and Stephen Farrell pondered it from a distance. Both the latter share their thoughts in this issue, as does Brian Grogan SJ, who provided a much needed point of stillness at the RDS congress.

This issue closes with a Liturgica column from an English professor of theology, Thomas O’Loughlin, which is followed by a wide selection of book reviews – historical, theological, ecclesial and liturgical. ENJOY!

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