Pete Matthew, the CCB Asistant Pastor, and I have just started reading a Latimer Trust publication called The True Profession of the Gospel. The book is written by a friend from theological college days, Lee Gatiss. Lee was comfortably the brightest in my year at Cornhill and so it’s no surprise that he’s now a PhD student in Cambridge. He’s done a fair bit of local church ministry in between; working in Northamptonshire and at St Helen’s Bishopsgate.
In chapter two of the book, Lee establishes that the Church of England has always been Reformed, Protestant and Evangelical. It doesn’t feel like that now, does it? Lee’s keen to reinstall Reformed Theology as the basic operating system for Anglicanism. To do this he’s also involved with a Church Society project. They’ve just launched the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Library. They’ve published a couple of volumes of George Whitefield’s sermons. And Lee’s edited those and written an introduction. You can get them here.
This is the blurb from the website
By constitution the Church of England is a Reformed, Protestant, and Evangelical denomination. In its original foundation it was never intended to be merely the religious expression of changing English culture; nor was it designed as a pluralistic melting pot of various contradictory persuasions. As John Stott rightly asserted in 1970, ‘according to its own formularies, this church is reformed and evangelical’ (in Christ the Controversialist). In recent years such firm confidence has been lost, as alternative versions of Anglican identity and history have gained sway. Evangelicals have too often been content to think, act, and be seen as marginal rather than as mainstream Anglicans. Part of the reason for this has been a neglect of the doctrinal deposit and pastoral piety of our rich heritage of heroes amongst Anglican reformers, revivers and writers from years gone by.
It is hoped that this Reformed Evangelical Anglican Library (REAL) will contribute towards a recovery of their more robust vision of Anglican theology and identity. To that end it is hoped, by God’s grace, that this collection will contain a variety of theological, homiletical, and pastoral works from previous generations to both edify and inspire us as we seek to reform the church and reach the lost in our day.
May God be pleased graciously to continue using us and the Church of England for his greater glory, in every corner of our land and throughout his world, as we uphold what the Coronation Oath calls ‘the true profession of the Gospel… the Protestant Reformed Religion.’
Here’s some more on Lee,
Lee is the Editor of Theologian: the internet journal for integrated theology at www.theologian.org.uk , and Review Editor of Churchman. He is a graduate of New College (Oxford), Oak Hill (London), and Westminster Seminary (Philadelphia), and has worked for churches in Oxford, Kettering, and London. He and his family live in Cambridge where he is researching seventeenth century biblical interpretation.