Timothy Bradshaw’s (ed.) Grace and Truth in the Secular Age

Grace and Truth in the Secular Age is a compilation of essays penned by conservative leaders in the Anglican Church in which they call the church back to biblical fidelity and Christian mission. While the focus of each essay is unambiguously directed toward the Anglican community, I believe all Christians would benefit greatly from a close reading of this book. Not only does it serve a cognitive function insofar as it informs us of much that is happening in Anglicanism, but it serves a motivational function as well insofar as it challenges all believers to examine their own denominational contexts and where they might be heading.

Furthermore, these essays are, with very few exceptions, very convicting and moving. One can sense the great concern and, at times, frustration and anger, of these contributors as they call the church to task for its abandonment of its mission and its compromises with modernity. While the tone of some of these essays is polemic, and even apocalyptic, they never come across as mediums for venting. They are, in all, well crafted, deliberate, and passionate in their pronouncements.

One will find in this book essays on most of the major ethical and theological challenges confronting all churches today: abortion, homosexuality, the authority of the Bible, women in ministry, gender inclusive language, and the family. These writers pull no punches and avoid no hot topics. The book concludes with two Anglican statements that will give hope to any who feel that such church communities are inevitably doomed to end up on the scrap heap of liberal theology and social experimentation: the 1997 Kuala Lumpur Statement and the 1994 Montreal Declaration of Essentials. The former seems to be largely concerned with articulating biblical ethics and the latter, biblical doctrine, but there is overlapping in each. Not being an Anglican, I am not sure of the overall significance and impact of these two statements, but, as a believer in Christ and a member of His Church, I am moved to see brothers and sisters within other denominational expressions of the faith seeking to call the erring mass of Christianity back to its Lord.

You will be challenged by, learn much from, and grow deeply as you read this wonderful book.

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