Practical and Pastoral – Ted Curnow
Rev Ted Curnow provides a timely comment and asks a question:
Today it appears that there is a crisis in Western Democracy and that it is combined with a crisis in Western Christianity as it faces increasing pressure from a growing secularism. There are those who claim that democracy itself is broken and that to be Christian is no longer a virtue. We are surrounded by so many ideologies that to claim public freedom of speech or to propagate Christianity is now offensive. It appears that we now live not only in a fractured world but also a church with different beliefs, customs and cultures. If we cannot agree on common faith values or principles to govern our life together then the majority will rule. In other words pragmatism now triumphs over faith principles and in this climate it is easy to feel disoriented and confused:
What then is a Christian response to this sort of crisis environment?
Rev Ted Curnow asks: There are many styles of evangelism and many ways of engaging people. If our traditional churches have thrown out mass evangelism for more socio-political or natural, relational programmes then we need to ask, ‘Where is the evidence of fruit and growth?’ If the aging institutional church believes that being contemporary simply means advocating social change then we need to relearn that rather than being an end in itself, it is essential to understand that culture can be a bridge that leads to people having an opportunity to choose Christ. Social transformation still begins with personal transformation rooted and found in Jesus Christ. Full article
A helpful range of tasty bits and pieces worth exploring and following up.
A range of resources and suggestions meant for you and the local church that are Practical and Pastoral.
from Rev Ted Curnow
Over a period of time the familiar slogan, ‘unity in diversity’ has blurred the existence of two very distinct and different gospels in the church today. In touching on the themes of theology and culture this short summary concludes with practical hints for members and Congregations concerned about the future.
This summary document (4 pages PDF) from Rev E.A. Curnow provides a reflection in the post 5 January 2019 context.
Rev Ted Curnow's has also compiled an extensive series of reflections on this momentous period in the life of the church: UCA Where are you?
Tracing the personal journey and reflections of Rev Ted Curnow they bring together a wide range of statements and insights related to the position of the church and Christian marriage. Cultural context, lead up stages, Assembly 2018, the aftermath and sorting out substance and myth.
Note: The reflections and views expressed in this series do not represent the official position of the Assembly of Confessing Congregations.
Walking the line of being faithful to Christ, but being aliened with a church you strongly disagree with can be a hard place. Here some helpful key thoughts are gathered especially for those who feel isolated in their own congregations.
by Rev E.A. Curnow (Download PDF version 3 pages)
This is a series of papers that reflect on the course of the Uniting Church. Tracing the personal journey and reflections of Rev Ted Curnow they bring together a wide range of statements and insights related to the position of the church and Christian marriage. Cultural context, lead up stages, Assembly 2018, the aftermath and sorting out substance and myth.
UCA Where are you? Number 1 (PDF 9 pages)
UCA Where are you? Number 2 (PDF 8 pages)
UCA Where are you? Number 3 (PDF 5 pages)
UCA Where are you? Number 4 (PDF 7 pages)
UCA Where are you? Number 8 (PDF 4 pages)
UCA Where are you? Number 9 (PDF 10 pages)
UCA Where are you? Number 10 (PDF 10 pages)
These papers are also available on tedcurnow.wordpress.com
Further Reference: The Story of Colliding Worlds. The Church is caught in a remarkable period of rapid cultural change. Many Christians grieve over the loss of the past. Others are passionate about moving ahead. This resource explains two very different world-views and ways of thinking, the colliding of two worlds. It calls the church to face change, to faithfully discern the truth and with courage to be loyal in following Christ into the future.
Contending for the Faith
Through the Christendom period our lives have been shaped by the impression of the institutional church being the most stable, enduring institution of society. The Scripture and Christian history warn us that the church will be both persecuted from outside and deceived from within. Rev Ted Curnow reflects that 'nothing is new under the sun', and provides encouragement to continue to contend for the faith today. Download as a PDF (four pages)
Rev Ted Curnow offers a prayer for the 15th Assembly of the Uniting Church to be held in Melbourne 8 - 14 July 2018.
Like Israel of old, the pre-reformation period and the church of 18th century England, there have been periods in history when the people of God have lost their way and been morally and spiritually seduced by surrounding cultures. This has resulted in and a loss of identity, a compromised gospel and mission momentum, but the love of God never lets his people go.
Ted Curnow surveys Christian denominations in Australia and views on same-sex marriage.