5 Summary Points from ReNew 2019
By Andrew Towner, 03 Oct 2019
Let me offer a few summary statements which bring together who we are as the ReNew movement, and much of what we have heard during this conference.
1. Our unity is in Jesus Christ and his glorious gospel, as taught in the Bible. Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.
- it is not necessary to have full agreement on political engagement and strategy because God has given to us unity in Christ by the Holy Spirit.
This is worth emphasising. If the Father has given someone his Son, if the Son has given someone himself, and if the Father and Son together have given that person the Holy Spirit, the very least that I as a Christian should give them is a handshake or a hug.
2. Our prayerful desire as a movement is to encourage each other to take the next step(s) forward in faithful boldness.
- because our contexts, convictions and consciences are different, those steps will vary.
3. Conscience is not king! Biblically we must do two things with our consciences: obey them and educate them. Obey them, because the person who knows the good they ought to do and does not do it, sins. Educate them, since only Scripture is perfect. Hence we need others, and one blessing of a movement and conference such as this is others who can be iron to sharpen iron.
- the taking or not of a certain action neither implies bravery nor cowardice. It is not necessarily brave to leave the formal structures of the Church of England, since there exist many bad and selfish reasons to do so; nor is it necessarily bold to remain within those structures, as many poor and ungodly reasons could motivate that decision too.
4. Gospel ‘positives’ must drive and motivate gospel ‘negatives’ so that love for truth drives concern with falsehood, and the glory of Jesus as sufficient Saviour motivates engagement with the multi-faith movement and so on.
- we will all be actively pursuing positive gospel partnership(s) as well as visible differentiation, and especially through the ReNew network locally, regionally and nationally.
5. Unavoidable avoidance / visible differentiation from false teaching and teachers is a non-negotiable for an evangelical. This is not a call to a communal witch-hunt, but false-teaching and error must be contended with and the faithful must distance ourselves from such things.
- united across ReNew with Jesus as our glorious focus
- in our different context
- with our consciences to be both obeyed and taught by the Bible
- and pursuing the gospel positives joyfully
- we will be prayerfully working out visible differentiation in various different ways
As a movement we are prayerfully resolved to be on the front foot – not put off by the latest tweet by some twit – but working towards a nation of healthy local Anglican churches both within and without the formal structures of the Church of England by pioneering, establishing and securing them in Bible-open gospel ministry.