Dunthorne, Paul (1997) The priority of the gospel: church planting in the church of England examined in the light of Anglican tradition and the ministry of the apostle Paul. Masters thesis, Durham University.
Church planting, the establishing of new churches, is a significant feature of the modern Church of England, but has received little theological and historical analysis. This study undertakes such an analysis, using Scripture and Anglican historical tradition, placing church planting in a historical context and examining it in the light of the Apostle Paul's ministry. There is a practical need for church planting, and Anglican missiology has always been committed both to evangelism and to the establishment of the church as its end result, which can be shown historically, both at home and overseas. Anglican history also suggests two further factors: the priority of local, voluntary initiative in evangelism, and the gradual breakdown of Anglican consensus on doctrinal fundamentals, adding further to pressure on the parish system. Reflecting on these findings in the light of Paul's ministry, Paul felt compelled to preach the gospel, which led inevitably to the founding of churches. These churches were involved themselves in mission as a result of being gripped by God's dynamic purposes in and through the gospel. Paul saw his authority and continuing relationship with them as always governed by the gospel, ideally allowing flexibility and independence within a framework of authority and unity unless the gospel itself was at stake. For Anglican church planting, these findings argue for its place within the life of the church, meeting the need for a flexible accompaniment to the parish system. This calls for flexible and creative thinking by both parishes and diocesan authorities. Church planting has much life to offer the Church, but if this life is stifled then there is a risk of a breakdown of church order.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Award:||Master of Arts|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||13 Sep 2012 15:54|