Thursday, December 12, 2019

The Prophet Isaiah and the General Election

From the appointed lesson for Morning Prayer (Isaiah 32:3-8)

Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed,
    and the ears of those who hear will hearken.
The mind of the rash will have good judgment,
    and the tongue of the stammerers will speak readily and distinctly.
The fool will no more be called noble,
    nor the knave said to be honorable.
For the fool speaks folly,
    and his mind plots iniquity:
to practice ungodliness,
    to utter error concerning the Lord,
to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied,
    and to deprive the thirsty of drink.
The knaveries of the knave are evil;
    he devises wicked devices
to ruin the poor with lying words,
    even when the plea of the needy is right.
But he who is noble devises noble things,
    and by noble things he stands.

Friday, February 15, 2019

More Church Statistics

With the Anglican Church in North America poised to enter its second decade it seemed opportune to David Goodhew of Cranmer Hall and myself to look at such data as currently exists and provide an overview of where the denomination may be going. Thanks to the Covenant website, you can read our preliminary findings here.

There is much more to be researched and written regarding the most recent expression of the Anglican tradition and it is our hope that this will be realised in the not too distant future. Certainly there is ample scope for a goodly number of doctoral dissertations.

UPDATE, February 16.

For those who wonder about cross-denominational comparisons, comprehensive data on church growth can be found in the ARDA reports for 2000-2010. Below are listed Christian denominations that gained more than 5,000 adherents in this period (Pentecostal churches in red, Holiness churches in green and Eastern Orthodox churches in purple).

The Latter-day Saints gained just under 2 million (+45.5%), while the Assemblies of God (+14.9%), Seventh-Day Adventists  (+29.5%)and Church of God (Cleveland) (+13.9%) gained between 100,000 and 350,000. 

In the 50,000-100,000 range were the Christian and Missionary Alliance(+29.5%), Evangelical Covenant Church (+49.1%), Evangelical Free Church of America (+25.0%) and Vineyard USA (+42.4%).

In the 25,000-50,000 range were the Evangelical-Presbyterian Church (+61.6%), the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (+11.5%), the International Pentecostal Holiness Church (+19.7%), the Presbyterian Church in America (+8.3%), and (unusually) the Unitarian Universalists (+15.8%).

In the 10,000-25,000 range were the Community of Christ (+24.6%), the Pentecostal Church of God (+22.7%), the Baptist General Conference (+8.9%), the Southern Baptist Convention (+0.1%), the Missionary Church (+28.8%), Christian Churches and Churches of Christ (+1.0%), the Mennonite Brethren (+49.0%), the Serbian Orthodox Church in North America (+23.2%), and the Free Methodist Church of North America (+11.5%).

Two other churches gained more than 5,000, the Orthodox Church in America (+10.1%) and the Church of God of Prophecy (+8.0%).

ACNA's recent gains would appear to track those of the Orthodox Church in America pretty closely, with a projected gain of 6,500 in the course of a decade, or a roughly 6% decennial increase (a rate comparable with the Orthodox Church in America and the Presbyterian Church in America and greater than the Southern Baptist Convention)

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

A New Book

Almost eight years ago I first broached with Grant LeMarquand at Trinity School for Ministry the possibility of a book centred on the Kikuyu Conference of 1913 and the theological debate that erupted in the Church of England as a result.

This project has gone through many twists and turns in the years that followed and the final result, released tomorrow as part of Brill's Anglican-Episcopal History and Theology series, is very different from what was originally envisaged. I would nevertheless argue that the topics under consideration, covering a period from the twilight of the British Empire to the political and cultural upheaval of the early twenty-first century, serve to illuminate the ecclesial conundrum that is contemporary Anglicanism. 

To my fellow contributors, and especially to my co-editor, Mark Chapman, I extend a profound expression of thanks for the patience and good humour with which they have greeted the numerous delays on our journey. May all our readers be informed and encouraged by the lessons of the past.