How does the cross overcome not just our guilt, but our shame?

Jon Kuhrt writes: A continual challenge in Christian community work and social action is the connection between the practical work being done to the actual message itself. People can pour into church buildings for toddler groups, foodbanks, lunch clubs, youth clubs and night shelters. But often these social action programmes become detached and disconnected from the message which inspired the work in the first place. 

Fruit and roots

How does this work connect to the church’s core message? How can the fruit of social action remain connected to the roots from which it has grown? These questions are important. If not addressed they create tensions which turn easily into strife and conflict between churches and the projects they have started. Its a reality I have seen many, many times.

There is often a tangible lack of confidence and ambition to make connections and to integrate the message alongside the action. Some people use woolly theology to justify this dis-integration, sometimes trotting out the line attributed to St Francis:

‘Preach the gospel at all times, use words if necessary’.
But as Justin Welby succinctly put it:

‘Francis almost certainly never said it. And if he did, he was wrong’.
Articulating hope

I agree with Welby. Our failure to communicate what we believe is nothing to celebrate. The gospel is good news. It is a message about God’s grace and truth: what He has done and what he continues to do.

Glory and grace

This guest contribution comes from David Shepherd, who is regular contributor to discussion on this blog. Originally from Trinidad, David is an Architectural IT Manager who ‘discovered a passion for “unschooled” apologetics all too late in life’. He worships in Guildford Diocese where is he a member of the House of Laity on Diocesan Synod. God’s Glory is a … Continue Reading

On the cross when Jesus died, was ‘the wrath of God satisfied’?

I recently posted on Facebook a link to the decision in the Presbyterian Church (USA) to drop the  hymn “In Christ Alone” because the song’s authors refused to change a phrase about the wrath of God. The original lyrics say that “on that cross, as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied.” The Presbyterian Committee … Continue Reading