I would like to make an observation that could be a little “close” to some people and I apologize if I do. I attended the Global Day of Prayer event in my area yesterday and it was a good service with good music, a band, and several speakers. Being an Anglican, I notice things that are strange. The “Amen” Bug as I have called it, is when a pastor or teacher stirs their congregation to repeat the word Amen. Now I’m not saying that this is wrong or strange in light of some denominations, but it can be quite catchy. Many of the speakers that spoke at the service of prayer, were from pentecostal and they have a natural tendency to say phrase like
“Can I hear an Amen?” ” Amen People!” I can’t hear you, I said Amen!” “Amen?”
When you hear your own vicar saying those phrases, which I have never heard him say before, then you have got to say that it is highly infectious. The diagnosis for this bug is to go to a BCP (Book of Common prayer service), and your health will improve, because the use of “Amen” is in what the Anglicans would call “its proper place”. Some side effects from this bug are: Your blood levels rise and voice gets louder, and you start to sweat, and you might suffer from exhaustion from being a bit OTT.
Now I hope that this has given you a few pointers to this bug. I’m in full support for people to be contaminated with this bug, because I would like that to become the “Jesus” bug, (In a good sense) when the name of Jesus and his gospel is spread throughout the world.
As part of my training, I attend the Midland Ministry Training course, and on Thursday 17th May was the most amazing day since September. We had Mike Reeves come and give us a whole day of talks on the history of the church, and especially looking at the Reformation. Mike Reeves is the head of theology of UCCF (Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship), He was a minister at All Souls Church, Langham Place in central London and spent his spare time doing a doctorate in systematic theology at King’s College. He is now responsible for overseeing all the work of Theology Network. He has written so many books on historical theology, and I am planning to buy and read these, so watch this space for any reviews.
As part of the day, he went through the start of the Reformation looking at Martin Luther, then Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin, Johnathan Edwards and the Puritan Richard Sibbs. He then did a contrast on “Religious affections” between Johnathan Edwards and Friedrich Schleiermacher.
The biggest lesson that I learned from the day is from John Calvin’s 4 wheel mode of study to both people and pastors. As part of Calvin’s syllabus to train pastors, he introduced the studies of doctrines. This is something we need to start teaching more in our churches. The thought that I came away was. “We preach more bible yet we don’t teach more doctrine”. We need to start to ground our bible knowledge into the doctrines of the faith, and really get to know our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Only then will we begin to grapple with the heresies and false teachings that are being stirred up in the mix. Let’s all get back into Reformation theology and bring out the true gospel of Jesus Christ.