ISSUE 02 | WINTER 2017
EXPOSITORY PREACHING –
THE PECULIAR GLORY
THE ANTIDOTE TO ANAEMIC WORSHIP
OF THE WORD OF GOD
NEWS AND UPDATES FROM THE UNION FAMILY
R. Albert Mohler on the centrality of
John Piper and Michael Reeves speak
Introducing Union’s hubs and Learning
preaching to Christian worship.
about the truth and power of the Bible.
Communities around the world.
Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey to the birthplace of the Reformation alongside Michael Reeves and Phil Hill. Hosted by Union School of Theology from 5th-11th November 2017, with Optional Pre-Tour visit to Oxford and Cambridge. Weâ€™d love you to join us! To reserve your spot on the Union Reformation Tour, contact Rev. Phil Hill at Union Campus, Bryntirion House, Bryntirion, CF31 4DX, UK. Call +44 (0) 740 0743 164 or email email@example.com
FROM OUR PRESIDENT Michael Reeves writes about the Church’s greatest need: the word of God.
EXPOSITORY PREACHING – THE ANTIDOTE TO ANAEMIC WORSHIP R. Albert Mohler on the centrality of preaching to Christian worship.
AN INTERVIEW WITH NATHAN FELLINGHAM Dan Hames asks Nathan Fellingham about worship, theology, and deciding to study at Union.
THE PECULIAR GLORY OF THE WORD OF GOD John Piper and Michael Reeves speak about the truth and power of the Bible.
14 IMPACTING ROME Leonardo De Chirico reports on the work of the gospel in the heart of Rome. Editorial board Daniel Hames (Editor) Joel Morris Sarah Bennington Union Oxford 3 George Street Oxford OX1 2AT UK Union Wales Campus Bridgend CF31 4DX UK Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Freephone: 0330 123 4446 Twitter: @UnionTheology Design Luther Spicer Campus Photography Linda Acunto
16 WE ARE UNION Introducing Union’s hubs and Learning Communities around the world. 19 GROWING UNION AND CHURCH PLANTING How you can help Union enable healthy church growth. 20 THE JOINT DECLARATION ON THE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION: A CURTAIN ON THE REFORMATION? Michael Reeves examines the theology of salvation at the Reformation and today. 24 THE PRACTICE OF CHURCH PLANTING Union’s course for those whose ministry will involve pioneering new churches in unreached places. 27 PROSPECTUS Learn about our courses on campus and in Learning Communities.
1517-2017 A lesson for healthy church growth Five hundred years ago, in 1516, something happened that
would change Europe forever. Erasmus published his Greek New Testament, planting the seed of the Reformation. It
was there that Martin Luther would discover the astonishing news of a gracious God and his free gift of righteousness. The astonishing refreshment of the church
through his word he brings his new creation
in the years that followed was therefore the
into being (2 Cor 4:6). The church has come
fruit, not of one man’s ingenuity, but the word
into being because God has spoken.
of God. The Bible was why the church – and, indeed, all Europe – was turned upside down.
The point became basic for the Reformers: the church is born of the word of God, and grows in
In the years that followed, Luther would become
both size and health by the word of God (Eph
clearer and clearer on this. After getting the
4:11-13). Indeed, wrote John Calvin, ‘wherever
Reformation ball rolling in 1517 with his 95
we see the Word of God purely preached and
theses, Luther found himself debating a number
heard, and the sacraments administered
of Roman Catholic theologians. And more and
according to Christ’s institution, there, it is
more, the question of how the Bible relates to the
not to be doubted, a church of God exists.’ 1
church kept coming up. Luther’s first sparring partner, Sylvester Prierias, argued that the
Five hundred years later, this is a truth that needs
Scriptures ‘draw their strength and authority’
to be heard loud and clear: the church receives its
from the Church of Rome, and in particular the
life and health and growth from the word of God.
Pope. Next, Cardinal Cajetan weighed in, claiming
We especially need to hear this again in post-
that Scripture must be interpreted for us by the
Christian Europe, where the situation is generally
Pope, who is an authority above Scripture.
so disheartening. Faced with reams of horrifying statistics about church decline, a wearing negativity
As they saw it, the Bible was written by the church,
or defeatism can set in. Focussed on the sheer
and therefore the church is a higher authority than
enormity of the uphill battle before us, a siege
the Bible. As Luther saw it, the Bible is the word of
mentality can develop. Losing the confidence to
God. The church is not its ultimate author. Quite
step out with the old word of God, we circle the
the opposite: the church was created by the word.
wagons and lose the confidence to step out into the world. Or we look elsewhere for the solution. But
As in the beginning God brought light, life
Christians can know that we are not mere teachers
and creation into being through his word, so
of an unfashionable message, nor salesmen of one
Calvin, Institutes, 4.1.9
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religious product: we herald the very word of God.
found in the Bible by looking at the question of
The word of God entrusted to us is the very power
justification today. And we are delighted to share
of God which does not return empty, and which
some of the stories from our Union hubs – stories
will one day drive all darkness away for good.
of how that gospel is transforming lives today.
This is the need of the hour. If we are to see a
Five hundred years later, we are looking forward
reformation and refreshment of the church today,
– looking forward to seeing God’s word go out in
we need churches filled with the glorious and
our generation, fuelling the mission of the church
surprising news of Jesus held out in his word.
and enlivening it again. I hope this magazine will be an encouragement to you in this vision.
This issue of the Union magazine is appropriately devoted to these concerns of the Reformation. Albert Mohler examines the importance of expository preaching of Scripture, and John Piper describes how the Bible proves itself to be this very
Michael Reeves Michael Reeves is President and Professor of Theology at Union
word of God. We also consider the good news Luther
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Expository Preaching — The Antidote to Anaemic Worship Evangelical Christians have been especially attentive to worship in recent years, sparking a renaissance of thought and conversation on what worship really is and how it should be done. Even if this renewed interest has unfortunately
Music fills the space of most evangelical
resulted in what some have called the ‘worship
worship, and much of this music comes in the
wars’ in some churches, it seems that what
form of contemporary choruses marked by little
A. W. Tozer once called the ‘missing jewel’ of
theological content. Beyond the popularity of
evangelical worship is being recovered.
the chorus as a musical form, many evangelical
Nevertheless, if most evangelicals would quickly agree that worship is central to the life of the church, there would be no consensus to an unavoidable question: What is central to Christian worship? Historically, the more liturgical churches have argued that the sacraments form the heart of Christian worship. These churches argue that the elements of the Lord’s Supper and the water of baptism most powerfully present the gospel. Among evangelicals, some call for evangelism as the heart of worship, planning every facet of the service—songs, prayers, the sermon— with the evangelistic invitation in mind. Though most evangelicals mention the preaching of the word as a necessary or customary part of worship, the prevailing model of worship in evangelical churches is increasingly defined by music, along with innovations such as drama and video presentations. When preaching the word retreats, a
churches seem intensely concerned to replicate studio-quality musical presentations. In terms of musical style, the more traditional churches feature large choirs—often with orchestras—and may even sing the established hymns of the faith. Choral contributions are often massive in scale and professional in quality. In any event, music fills the space and drives the energy of the worship service. Intense planning, financial investment, and priority of preparation are focused on the musical dimensions of worship. Professional staff and an army of volunteers spend much of the week in rehearsals and practice sessions. All this is not lost on the congregation. Some Christians shop for churches that offer the worship style and experience that fits their expectation. In most communities, churches are known for their worship styles and musical programs. Those
host of entertaining innovations will take its place.
dissatisfied with what they find at one church can
Traditional norms of worship are now subordinated
language of self-expression to explain that the new
to a demand for relevance and creativity. A media-driven culture of images has replaced the word-centred culture that gave birth to the Reformation churches. In some sense, the image-driven culture of modern evangelicalism is an embrace of the very practices rejected by the Reformers in their quest for true biblical worship.
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quickly move to another, sometimes using the church ‘meets our needs’ or ‘allows us to worship.’ A concern for true biblical worship was at the very heart of the Reformation. But even Martin Luther, who wrote hymns and required his preachers to be trained in song, would not recognize this modern preoccupation with music as legitimate
or healthy. Why? Because the Reformers were convinced that the heart of true biblical worship was the preaching of the word of God. Thanks be to God, evangelism does take place in Christian worship. Confronted by the presentation of the gospel and the preaching of the word, sinners are drawn to faith in Jesus Christ and the offer of salvation is presented to all. Likewise, the Lord’s Supper and baptism are honoured as ordinances by the Lord’s own command, and each finds its place in true worship. Furthermore, music is one of God’s most precious gifts to his people, and it is a language by which we may worship God in spirit and in truth. The hymns of the faith convey rich confessional and theological content, and many modern choruses recover a sense of doxology formerly lost in many evangelical churches. But music is not the central act of Christian worship, and neither is evangelism nor even the ordinances. The heart of Christian worship is the authentic preaching of the word of God. Expository preaching is central, irreducible, and non-negotiable to the Bible’s mission of authentic worship that pleases God. John Stott’s simple declaration states the issue boldly: ‘Preaching is indispensable to Christianity.’ More specifically, preaching is indispensable to Christian worship— and not only indispensable, but central. The centrality of preaching is the theme of both testaments of Scripture. In Nehemiah 8 we find the people demanding that Ezra the scribe bring the book of the law to the assembly. Ezra and his colleagues stand on a raised platform and read from the book. When he opens the book to read, the assembly rises to its feet in honour of the word of God and respond, ‘Amen, Amen!’ Interestingly, the text explains that Ezra and those assisting him ‘read from the book, from the law of God, translating to give the sense so that they understood the reading’ (Neh 8:8). This
This text is a sobering indictment of much contemporary Christianity. According to the text, a demand for biblical preaching erupted within the hearts of the people. They gathered as a congregation and summoned the preacher. This reflects an intense hunger and thirst for the preaching of the word of God. Where is this desire evident among today’s evangelicals? In far too many churches, the Bible is nearly silent. The public reading of Scripture has been dropped from many services, and the sermon has been sidelined, reduced to a brief devotional appended to the music. Many preachers accept this as a necessary concession to the age of entertainment. Some hope to put in a brief message of encouragement or exhortation before the conclusion of the service. As Michael Green so pointedly put it: ‘This is the age of the sermonette, and sermonettes make Christianettes.’ The anaemia of evangelical worship—all the music and energy aside—is directly attributable to the absence of genuine expository preaching. Such preaching would confront the congregation with nothing less than the living and active word of God. That confrontation will shape the congregation as the Holy Spirit accompanies the word, opens eyes, and applies that word to human hearts.
remarkable text presents a portrait of expository
R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
preaching. Once the text was read, it was carefully
Dr. Albert Mohler, Jr. is the President of
explained to the congregation. Ezra did not stage
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
an event or orchestrate a spectacle—he simply
in Louisville, Kentucky.
and carefully proclaimed the word of God.
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An interview with Nathan Fellingham Union Learning Communities around the world are buzzing as
students and Lead Mentors spend time together being equipped for ministry.
Nathan Fellingham, well-known for
It was actually an idea that my wife, Lou,
his songs ‘There is a Day’ and ‘Awake,
planted. She’d said to me several times that
awake, O Zion’, is a GDip student in the
she felt that it would be a good thing for me to
Worthing Learning Community. Dan Hames
do. Then the lead elder at my home church—
spoke to him about worship ministry,
Joel Virgo—suggested it too. So I guess the
theology, and being part of Union.
idea just started to resonate with me.
You’ve been in the world of Christian
What made you choose Union?
ministry—especially in writing songs and
leading worship—for some time. What brings you to the point of theological training now?
I’d had some contact with Mike Reeves on a couple of occasions and had also co-written an article with my dad for the Union Theology website, so it felt to me like there was a connection there. Practically speaking, it was the Learning Community that made it a possibility. For me as a self-employed musician/songwriter it wouldn’t have been viable to do it any other way. Have you always been interested in theology? How has that grown over time, and how do
you see your worship ministry relating to it? Yes, I’ve always had an interest, predominantly in the realm of getting rich theology into our songs. It’s so important to understand why we gather together to worship. It’s important to serve our congregations by caring about what they’re being fed with in that context, and also as they listen to songs at home or driving in the car. I’ve also always had a keen interest in understanding how God can use creativity— especially in music—to help point people to him. Recently people have been sharing an online article by Jamie Brown which outlines his
concerns that evangelical worship is heading
for a crash because of ‘performance-ism’. Do
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you have any reflections on that? What is your
grace to us, and like any skill, it’s something to be
heart for worship ministry going forward?
worked on and honed– and can do such an amazing
Yeah, it’s an interesting article. The easiest thing
job of communicating truth in a beautiful way.
to say is that, yes, I agree that the dangers he
We can still so often find in the church an attitude
is highlighting in the article are very real and
of things just being ‘good enough’ in the area of
concerning. If our gathered times of corporate
music, rather than trying to push for excellence.
worship are not enriching theologically and
Jeremy Begbie says that often: ‘music is treated
the congregation isn’t engaged and drawn in to
as the mere carrier of “theological truth” and is
participate, and if Jesus isn’t exalted and glorified
valid only insofar as we can spell put clearly what
then we’ve certainly missed the mark, however
the message is. Music becomes an attractive gloss
high the quality of the music is. But there are a
for conceptual truths – secondary and colourful
few things in here that I would also want gently
wrapping to be tossed away once the specific “idea”
to push back on at least a little! I think that
has been grasped.’ You can so easily see how this
labelling all the concerns under the banner of
approach leads to mediocrity in music. ‘As long as
‘performance-ism’ is unhelpful. It’s very easy to
we’ve all been able to sing the words together, we’re
equate somebody ‘performing’ to them having a
ok’. I think it can and should be more than that.
wrong self-glorifying attitude. I often encounter musicians who are sensitive to this ultimately drawing more attention to themselves because
How do you think theologians and worship songwriters/leaders can work together
they’re fearful of playing with conviction and
more for the good of the Church?
expression. They don’t want to ‘get the glory’. But
It’s so great when theologians get alongside
as soon as we’re playing music, we are in some
songwriters and just drop some inspirational
way performing – it just goes with the territory. So
theological bombs on them to get them
my encouragement to musicians would always be
thinking! I think trying to understand each
to play confidently. Be expressive! But also check
other is so helpful. What makes us tick? Why
your heart. Know why you’re playing but don’t be
are certain songs important? Looking for
scared to play. The writer of the article wouldn’t
ways to encourage each other, recognising the
necessarily disagree with anything I’ve said above,
different gifts, and trying to work together.
but to me it ends up framing performance as negative without any qualification. And I don’t think that is ultimately being specific enough!
Finally, you were in a band called ‘Phatfish’ for twenty years, which finished a few years ago
now. What musical exploits are you up to now? In terms of my heart for worship ministry going
Well, my wife Lou was the singer in Phatfish
forward, I’d say I would want it to be marked by
and she has now recorded several solo albums
the truth and power of the gospel, full of musical
too. These have been projects that we’ve very
excellence, and drenched in the presence of the
much worked on together, in the song writing
Spirit. And with all that leading to people being able
especially. We are just now building towards
to participate with conviction, while being edified
a live album recording of brand new songs in
and edifying others in return! I love this quotation
January 2017. So we’ve been working with various
from Paul Tripp who says, ‘Corporate worship is
people on the songs and trying them out in live
designed to get you to look at life through the lens
environments too. We still spend a good amount
of the presence, promises, and provisions of Jesus
of time out and about doing concerts and leading
Christ.’ In order to do that we need to set forth what
worship at various events, so look out for us!
those promises and provisions are. So my heart for those who write songs, and those who lead times of
corporate singing, is that they learn more and more
Daniel Hames is Head of Resources
how to do that. How to remind people. How to pen words that will do our congregations good. To be so
at Union and lectures in Systematic and Historical Theology.
filled with the wonder of God themselves that they can’t help but have that spill over. But I also believe strongly that God has given us the gift of music as a
UNION MAGAZINE | ISSUE 2 | 9
Calling all worship leaders Weâ€™re delighted to offer a unique six-part mini course on the subject of leading worship by Bob Kauflin of Sovereign Grace. Bob covers the purpose of congregational singing, the role of the worship leader, and pastoring through song. This short but in-depth video course is available exclusively online for ÂŁ6.00 http://theolo.gy/2cXDY1b
The Peculiar Glory of the Word of God John Piper’s latest book, A Peculiar Glory: How the Christian
Scriptures Reveal Their Complete Truthfulness, is destined
to be a modern classic on the Bible.
Piper writes that the scriptures show themselves to be true—self-authenticating—because they reveal the glory of God. Michael Reeves spoke to him about the theology that prompted the book. Michael Reeves: This isn’t a new argument peculiar to you, is it? John Piper: No, not the basic argument of the Scriptures being self-attesting: that is, not so much that they claim to be the Word of God, but rather that they show themselves by their revelation of the glory of God, mediated through them, to be the Word of God. I start with the scriptures but I try to root it in relationship to Calvin, and to Jonathan Edwards, and to the Westminster Catechism. MR: I was particularly excited to see this book because I hadn’t seen anything done at this length and with this level of seriousness since John Owen. His writings were so helpful to me when I was trying to rest all my faith simply on rational arguments for the historical reliability of the scriptures. These are very helpful, but until I read Owen no one had shown me that the Scriptures could themselves be the foundation for faith. How did you come to your understanding of the complete truthfulness and reliability God’s Word?
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I grew up in a Christian home and I was taught
Right. A conviction grows—and it may settle
that this book was God’s word. I never doubted
on you very quickly depending on how you’re
that. Only later did I begin to formulate questions.
taught—where you’ve seen enough of the glory
I remember in seminary hearing Dan Fuller
of the apostles’ writings, and of Jesus’ teaching,
unpack a very sophisticated historical argument
and of the Old Testament, that it warrants the
for the reliability of Paul’s apostleship – and
rest of it. Then when you bump into things that
from these Paul’s writings and, from there, the
don’t feel glorious, your spiritual inclination
rest of Scripture. I was fascinated, but it was
is to be patient and say, ‘Lord, I am confident
really complicated. It gnawed away at me – 90%
that you are here; help me see the glory.’
of people in the world don’t have access to that kind of argument. It drove me to think that
if God indeed spoke in a book, and what’s in
This sounds quite similar to what C. S Lewis
that book has eternity hanging on it, surely he
said: ‘I believe in Christianity as I believe
would provide a means by which all his children
the sun has risen: not only because I see
would be able to know he’s telling the truth.
it, but by it, I see everything else.’
In explaining how scripture reveals God’s glory, you
Exactly. I quote that: it assumes in one of
talk about Rembrandt’s picture, ‘The Storm on the
my chapters a pretty large position!
Sea of Galilee’. Can you unpack that analogy for us? JP:
MR: It is also very different to the idea of a leap
Suppose you have a Rembrandt, and you cover it
in the dark. In fact you say, ‘Faith is not a
with a black sheet of paper. Is that glorious? My
heroic step through the door of the unknown,
question is, how much of it might you need to see
it is a humble happy sight of God’s self-
in order to say, ‘Rembrandt! Beautiful!’ Would a
authenticating glory.’ Now, how is that
pinhole work? Probably not. How many pinholes
then different from say, Pascal’s wager?
would you need? The answer is not easy because differing places on the canvas would yield more
certainty to a Rembrandt expert than others. Over
That wager, ever since I was in college, has haunted
here everything’s kind of dark… this is black… but
me. Firstly as attractive, and then the more I
if you made two or three holes here you can say
learned about the way the Holy Spirit works,
‘That’s a Rembrandt!’ There are parts of scripture
unattractive. Pascal said if you venture everything
that are much more quickly illuminating with
on the gospel being false and are proved wrong,
regard to the glory of God than others. With the
then the stakes are enormous, and the payoff is
book of Job you might need to cut a big hole in the
horrible – it’s hell. If you venture everything on
black block and say, ‘Oh, I get it!’ A lot of pinholes
the gospel being true, and you’re proved wrong,
in Job would not help you very much. In other
you haven’t lost much, and therefore, he said,
parts—Romans might be a good example —just
why wouldn’t you wager that it’s true? Here’s the
a few isolated verses are off-the-wall glorious.
problem: saving faith in the Bible isn’t like that.
Saving faith doesn’t walk up to a person with a
So to the doubting believer, you wouldn’t say
bag over their head and say, ‘Are you beautiful
if they’re struggling to see the glory of God in
or are you ugly? I’m going to venture that you’re
this verse of scripture, they just need to read
beautiful, Jesus.’ That’s so dishonouring to Jesus!
it again and again. It might be that they need to read a lot more broadly in God’s Word, and
then that text that didn’t fit for them will start
It’s a different understanding of the nature of
making sense in the light of other texts.
the gospel. The gospel is simply to get out of hell rather than to come to know and enjoy God.
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Right. Saving faith is not concluding that
John, what practical difference does all this make
something is beautiful for which you have
to the way you approach and read the Bible?
no evidence that it is beautiful. You cannot honour God by saying, ‘I trust you, but I have
no reason to trust you.’ That doesn’t honour
Surely it means that pastors, small group leaders,
God. It may look heroic; it may look like we’re
teachers, will handle the Bible with a view to
going to venture into the dark and cast all our
showing that glory is seen not just by a rational
effort in that direction, but all it does is glorify
inference, but as a revelation of beauty. So we
us – it doesn’t glorify him. The Holy Spirit must
will labour to show with every text that this is a
reveal the truthfulness of God. So the difference
part of a beautiful redemptive history. Beauty
between a leap in the dark and what I’m saying
and glory and the radiance of God will become a
is that the Holy Spirit takes the dark away.
category in our preaching and teaching that may be higher than it has been. I think it will produce
fresh, deeper, more earnest prayer, because I
You say a particular kind, or a peculiar, glory.
realize how dependent I am on the Holy Spirit.
Why do you say ‘peculiar’ glory?
But it doesn’t mean that I will somehow become less textually rooted. I really fear this: I fear this
with regard to the gospel-centeredness today or
I saw texts, like in Isaiah where it says, ‘Who is
any other ‘centeredness’ today. I fear that as we
a God like you, who works for those who wait
work through texts, we immediately jump off
for him?’ compared with these Babylonian gods
the text, hover above it with our paradigm, and
who must be carried. I began to see that there
thus constantly prove our paradigm, and never
is a strain in scripture where the majesty of God
go back in there. No! This word follows this word;
shines most brightly because it’s manifested in
this clause follows this clause. We should stay
lowliness; manifested in servanthood. You follow
there in the text because the glory is seen in the
that right through into the life of Jesus. It’s a
minutiae of the text, just like the glory was seen
peculiar glory in that majesty and meekness
in the minutiae of Jesus’ life.
coalesce. Edwards, on Revelation 5, speaks of Jesus as the lion and the lamb. He is a lion-like
lamb and a lamb-like lion. He’s not glorious
And that’s how we stay faithful and loyal to him.
because he’s a lamb; he’s not glorious because
John, thank you so much. I hope and expect that
he’s a lion; he’s glorious because he’s a lion-
your book will be a modern classic on the Bible,
like lamb a lamb-like lion. Right through the
bringing liberation and joy as we see the self-
Scriptures we see this particular angle on the
evidencing nature of the scriptures.
glory of God. We have a God who is high, and holy, and dwells with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit.
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Impacting Rome Italy is in desperate need of a biblical reformation. Five hundred years ago the Protestant Reformation was suffocated through repression and coercion. The circulation of Bibles was prohibited and
Rome is the capital city of the nation and
proclamation of the gospel was forbidden. The
represents in many respects the heart of Italy
Roman Catholic Church instead promoted a religion
and its people and culture. Impacting Rome will
centred on a confused gospel with a powerful
therefore result in open doors and opportunities
institution mediating Godâ€™s grace to the people.
to the rest of the country. By the grace of God
This situation has been unchallenged for centuries.
since its beginning in 2010 the church Breccia
Today, evangelicals make up less than one per cent
di Roma (www.brecciadiroma.it) has sought to
of the population. There is great need to spread
be a catalyst for gospel renewal throughout the
a strong biblically-based gospel across Italy.
city. The preaching of the Word, an emphasis
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on church life and multiplication, evangelism,
training pastors and leaders for 20 years. Today we
theological training and gospel-centred cultural
see a potential for an even greater breakthrough:
events, mercy ministries to refugees and the poor … have all been and continue to be part
1. We have three academic centres with
of Breccia di Roma’s strategy and vision to see
experienced local tutors: Padova (north),
the gospel transform Rome and its people.
Rome (centre), and Caltanissetta (south). Nearly 150 students are studying with us.
In recent months the church purchased a fantastic property in the heart of Rome. The space is next to
2. We have a partnership with Union School
historic sites (Coliseum), institutional buildings
of Theology to offer GDip and MTh level
(Presidential Palace), financial institutions (Bank
programs to Italian students: (https://
of Italy) and academic centres (i.e. two main
Catholic universities are next to us, the Gregorian and the Angelicum, with thousands of students
Starting this academic year we have been hosting
from among whom the future bishops and popes
the Union Learning Community in Rome at our
of the Catholic Church will come). Symbolically,
new building. The first two Italian students began
it represents the right of the Gospel to be a
a Graduate diploma in theology. This is another
public voice, right in the midst of the powers
dream coming true. So far Italian students had to
of this world, after centuries of oppression and
go abroad to get theological training at graduate
harassments. We are right there to preach the
and post-graduate level. With this new initiative
Gospel, train people to become servant leaders,
we are offering it without uprooting people,
impact the city and the nation. The work is already
in the context of the life of the local church,
blossoming and the potential is breathtaking.
with cheaper costs and with contextualized mentoring. It is something of a watershed.
This move is somewhat historic. The last property bought in Rome city centre for Gospel work dates
For a number of reasons, leadership training has
back to 1920. Since then, the city has been neglected
not been a priority for evangelical churches. As we
and churches have tended to be fearful. Now it’s
look forward to a new window of opportunity for the
time to reverse the tide and to invest in promoting
gospel in Italy, leadership training is key. There is
the Kingdom. The space is an ideal centre for
no single issue more urgent than this. This is why
training leaders, church planters, and professionals
we are so excited to see what God is doing and look
to be gospel witnesses throughout the country.
forward to what He has prepared for us. We dream a biblical reformation in Italy and are working hard
We want to bring the highest quality theological
to be instruments of it. We are thankful to Union
training possible to the largest possible number
for partnering with us in this wonderful vision.
of potential pastors and leaders. We have now the experience and the tools for doing this. If blessed by God, this project could result in a watershed
Dr Leonardo De Chirico Pastor, Church Breccia di Roma
initiative for the consolidation and expansion
Lecturer in Historical Theology at IFED
of the Italian evangelical church in the future.
Lead Mentor, Union Learning Community, Rome (Italy)
Through IFED (www.ifeditalia.org), we have been
UNION MAGAZINE | ISSUE 2 | 15
SCHOOL AND MISSION
We are Union Men and women are training for ministry and mission all around the world in Union Learning Communities based in local churches. We are excited to see these
multiply and grow, producing labourers for the harvest. Here we highlight five locations with strong links to Union alumni. Are you an alumnus of our campus? Could a Union Learning Community in your church contribute towards raising-up the next generation of leaders? Weâ€™d love to hear from you: email@example.com
UNION WASHINGTON DC A learning community for Maryland in the capital of the United States.
UNION ATLANTA A brand new Learning Community for Georgia in partnership with Sports Fan International.
16 | UNION MAGAZINE | ISSUE 2
SCHOOL AND MISSION
UNION PORTHCAWL A Learning Community for South Wales based in a local church plant, with a mentoring team of Union alumni and past faculty.
UNION WORTHING Englandâ€™s south coast is home to Union Worthing, where students are studying the GDip.
UNION ROME Union Rome is in the heart of the city, close to the Vatican, with a particular heart to teach and equip those working in Roman Catholic contexts.
To find the nearest hub to you, and to discover how to study with us there, please visit the Locations page on ust.ac.uk
UNION MAGAZINE | ISSUE 2 | 17
A CONFERENCE LED BY UK CHURCH PLANTERS, EXPLORING THE THEOLOGICAL VISION & MINISTRY VALUES FOR GOSPEL-CENTERED PLANTING IN UK CITIES
24-25 JANUARY 2017
ST JAMES, CLERKENWELL LONDON, EC1R 0EA
- GRACE RENEWAL IN THE HEART OF THE CHURCH
- CONTEXTUALISATION - WHOLISTIC MINISTRY
- GOSPEL COMMUNITY - GOSPEL PREACHING
-GROWING A GOSPEL MOVEMENT FOR YOUR CITY
Practice of Church Planting The Practice of Church Planting course prepares leaders to plant growing churches throughout Europe. It has been formed in and for the European church and is taught by leading European theologian/church-planters. This Practice of Church Planting course can be taken to complement our BA or GDip courses or taken as a standalone. It provides the ideal opportunity to learn the practices of church planting in the midst of church ministry. This flexible-delivery, module-length course is designed with practitioners in mind. It focuses on gospel truths and how they can be applied in different contexts so that healthy expressions of church can be started. A broad range of practical topics is also covered, from vision casting, to team building, preaching, finances, how to get started, and more. Additional specialist seminar days on issues related to church planting will be held at our Oxford Research Centre. Lecturers: • Professor Stefan Paas • Dr Leonardo De Chirico • Shaun Rossi • Mike Tindall • Neil Powell
For more, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Growing Union Union is devoted to growing leaders for growing churches. We rely on supporters like you, concerned to see that the church’s mission is theologically fuelled and therefore fruitful and hardy. Today, please will you prayerfully consider how you can help us? Union exists today because of donations from people like you. ust.ac.uk/about-us/donate
THE JOINT DECLARATION ON THE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION:
A CURTAIN ON THE REFORMATION? THE DECLARATION AND ITS AIMS On October 31, 1999, the Roman Catholic Church
CANON IX.-If any
and the Lutheran World Federation signed ‘The
one saith, that by
Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification’
faith alone the
(JDDJ), claiming that they were ‘now able to
impious is justified;
articulate a common understanding of our
in such wise as to
justification by God’s grace through faith in
mean, that nothing
Christ.’1 This has led many since to think that
else is required to
the fundamental theological differences of the
co-operate in order
Reformation have now been resolved, and that
to the obtaining
there remains little or nothing of real theological
the grace of Justification, and that it
substance to prevent evangelical-Catholic unity.
is not in any way necessary, that he be
Professor Mark Noll, for instance, boldly declared,
prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema.
JDDJ (http://www. vatican.va/roman_ curia/pontifical_ councils/chrstuni/ documents/ rc_pc_chrstuni_ doc_31101999_ cath-luth-jointdeclaration_ en.html), para. 5. Mark A. Noll and Carolyn Nystrom, Is the Reformation Over? An Evangelical Assessment of Contemporary Roman Catholicism, Grand Rapids, Il.: Baker, 2005, 232. JDDJ, para. 5.
Ibid., paras. 44, 5.
If it is true, as once was repeated
CANON XI.-If any one saith, that men are
frequently by Protestants conscious of
justified, either by the sole imputation
their anchorage in Martin Luther or John
of the justice of Christ, or by the sole
Calvin that iustificatio articulus stantis
remission of sins, to the exclusion of the
vel cadentis ecclesiae (justification is the
grace and the charity which is poured
article on which the church stands or
forth in their hearts by the Holy Ghost,
falls), then the Reformation is over.2
and is inherent in them; or even that the grace, whereby we are justified, is only
The JDDJ itself was rather less sanguine about
the favour of God; let him be anathema.
what had been achieved, and stated explicitly
CANON XII.-If any one saith, that
that it ‘does not cover all that either church
justifying faith is nothing else but
teaches about justification.’3 Nevertheless, it did
confidence in the divine mercy which
claim to be a ‘decisive step forward on the way to
remits sins for Christ’s sake; or, that
overcoming the division of the church’ in that it
this confidence alone is that whereby
managed to express ‘a consensus on basic truths
we are justified; let him be anathema.
of the doctrine of justification and shows that the
CANON XXIV.-If any one saith, that
remaining differences in its explication are no
the justice received is not preserved
longer the occasion for doctrinal condemnations.’
and also increased before God through
This itself, though, was a considerable claim.
good works; but that the said works are
Those ‘doctrinal condemnations’4 it professed
merely the fruits and signs of Justification
to avoid include the binding anathemas of
obtained, but not a cause of the increase
the Council of Trent (1545-63), such as:
thereof; let him be anathema.5
20 | UNION MAGAZINE | ISSUE 2
THE FAILURE OF THE JDDJ
view). And the possibility of two substantially
Since the JDDJ expressly sought to avoid
– even radically – different interpretations
those condemnations, its understanding of
of that paragraph is never mentioned.
justification cannot be that sinners are saved by faith alone without works by the sole
A couple of paragraphs later it becomes
remission of sins and the sole imputation of
clear that the traditional Roman Catholic
the righteousness of Christ. It cannot then
interpretation has, in fact, been assumed.
amount to the evangelical understanding of
Justification is defined as follows:
justification that the Council of Trent sought so carefully to define and oppose. And since it does
Justification is the forgiveness of sins (cf.
not encompass the evangelical understanding of
Rom 3:23-25; Acts 13:39; Lk 18:14), liberation
justification, it cannot be a decisive step forward
from the dominating power of sin and death
to overcoming the theological differences between
(Rom 5:12-21) and from the curse of the law
evangelicals and the Roman Catholic Church.
(Gal 3:10-14). … It occurs in the reception of the Holy Spirit in baptism and incorporation
A closer look at the JDDJ makes this very clear:
into the one body (Rom 8:1f, 9f; I Cor 12:12f).8
HOW THE JDDJ DEFINES JUSTIFICATION
Quite clearly, justification is here said to include
When it first sets out to define the biblical
the process of inner transformation, and not
message of justification, various aspects of
include the imputation of Christ’s righteousness.
salvation are listed alongside each other.
But that is an understanding of justification quite different to that we have seen so ably opposed
In the New Testament diverse treatments
by the Council of Trent. Any theology that makes
of “righteousness” and “justification” are
the believer’s inner transformation a constituent
found in the writings of Matthew (5:10; 6:33;
part (instead of a consequence) of justification
21:32), John (16:8-11), Hebrews (5:3; 10:37f),
is at odds with the material principle of the
and James (2:14-26). In Paul’s letters
Reformation (justification by faith alone).
also, the gift of salvation is described in various ways, among others: “for freedom
WHY THE JDDJ FAILS
Christ has set us free” (Gal 5:1-13; cf. Rom
The essential problem with the Declaration is a
6:7), “reconciled to God” (2 Cor 5:18-21; cf.
consequence of its positive intent. The aim of the
Rom 5:11), “peace with God” (Rom 5:1), “new
JDDJ is to find commonalities, not differences.
creation” (2 Cor 5:17), “alive to God in Christ
But with that comes a lopsided methodology
Jesus” (Rom 6:11,23), or “sanctified in Christ
that obscures those differences. It means, for
Jesus” (cf. 1 Cor 1:2; 1:30; 2 Cor 1:1). Chief
example, that while it will emphasise the agreed
among these is the “justification” of sinful
truth that faith and love are not to be separated
human beings by God’s grace through faith
in salvation, it fails to give any equal weight to
(Rom 3:23-25), which came into particular
explaining how differently evangelicals and the
prominence in the Reformation period.7
Roman Catholic Church would distinguish the
roles of faith and love in salvation. So paragraph In evangelical theology, all these diverse aspects
22 argues that faith and love ‘are not to be
of salvation are important. But they are not to be
separated.’ Absolutely, but that leaves a pastorally
confused. Particularly, the believer’s progressive
vital question unresolved: do my works of love
transformation into the likeness of Christ is not
contribute to my righteousness before God, or is my
to be confused with – or taken to be the cause of
righteousness an ‘alien,’ ‘passive’ righteousness
– his or her justification. Yet in that paragraph,
– the righteousness of Christ imputed to me?
The Canons and Decrees of the Sacred and Oecumenical Council of Trent, trans. J. Waterworth (London: Dolman, 1848), 45-47.
The JDDJ expressly affirms, ‘The teaching of the Lutheran churches presented in this Declaration does not fall under the condemnations from the Council of Trent’ (para. 41).
it is not at all clear whether different aspects of salvation are being listed alongside and including
Similarly, we read in the JDDJ how Lutherans
justification (the traditional evangelical view),
‘emphasize that righteousness as acceptance by
or whether they are being seen as facets of
God and sharing in the righteousness of Christ
Ibid., para. 9.
justification (the traditional Roman Catholic
is always complete. At the same time, they state
Ibid., para. 11.
UNION MAGAZINE | ISSUE 2 | 21
that there can be growth in its effects in Christian
No one may doubt God’s mercy and
living.’9 Of course that is entirely true, but in the
Christ’s merit. Every person, however,
context it is misleading. For while Lutherans and
may be concerned about his salvation
other evangelicals do believe that there can be
when he looks upon his own weaknesses
growth in the effects of grace and justification
and shortcomings. Recognizing his own
on a believer’s life, they do not believe that those
failures, however, the believer may yet be
effects can justify. We are clearly meant to see
certain that God intends his salvation.
a commonality, but there is no evidence here that the two radically different theologies of
At first sight this is rather confusing: can a believer
justification have actually come closer together.
have assurance or not? The second sentence sounds thoroughly Roman, making us concerned when we
Ibid., para. 39, my emphasis.
JDDJ Appendix Resources for 4.6, from The Condemnations of the Reformation Era: Do They Still Divide? Ed., Karl Lehmann and Wolfhart Pannenberg (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1990), 56, original emphasis.
WHY IT MATTERS
see our failings. The third appears more evangelical,
Parsing the details of how evangelicals and the
offering certainty of salvation for the believer. The
Roman Catholic Church understand justification
Declaration’s own explanatory sources explain: ‘a
could give the impression that the differences
person can certainly lose or renounce faith, and
are too refined to be significant. It certainly feels
self-commitment to God and his word of promise.10
more positive and less mentally taxing simply
But if he believes in this sense, he cannot at the
to say they look pretty similar. But when each
same time believe that God is unreliable in his
theology is practically applied to real lives it
word of promise.’ In other words, God is faithful
becomes clear how deep the differences go.
to save, but only to save those who maintain their ‘self-commitment to God and his word of
Take the question of assurance of salvation, which
promise.’ The assurance of believers thus rests
drove Luther on his quest and which the JDDJ
on their own self-commitment. That fits nicely
addresses in section 4.6. According to paragraph 36,
with the theology of the Roman Catholic Church,
22 | UNION MAGAZINE | ISSUE 2
but not with how Luther himself expressed it. The
It also recognized some of the lopsidedness and
believer, he wrote, can have absolute assurance that
ambiguity of the JDDJ in how it constantly sought to find and affirm commonalities. This meant,
Her sins cannot now destroy her, since
for example, that where the Declaration had
they are laid upon Christ and swallowed up
affirmed that the good works of the justified are
by him. And she has that righteousness in
always the fruit of grace, it had failed to clarify
Christ, her husband, of which she may boast
how the Roman Catholic Church maintains that
as of her own and which she can confidently
they are also the fruit of man. ‘We can therefore
display alongside her sins in the face of
say that eternal life is, at one and the same time,
death and hell and say, “If I have sinned, yet
grace and the reward given by God for good
my Christ, in whom I believe, has not sinned,
works and merits.’ 15 That is, the Roman Catholic
and all his is mine and all mine is his,” as
Church still repudiates the material principle of
the bride in the Song of Solomon [2:16]
the Reformation (justification by faith alone).
says, “My beloved is mine and I am his.”11
It must do, for its very understanding of justification remains materially different. Where evangelicalism
Looking with ultimate concern on personal
views justification as a divine declarative act
shortcomings, or confidently saying ‘all his is mine
whereby God pronounces the sinner righteous in
and all mine is his:’ those are the two applications
Christ, Rome still sees justification as an ongoing,
that reveal two quite different theologies.
transformative and cooperative process. For that
reason, the Response also stated that further CONCLUSION
discussions with Lutherans and evangelicals would
The JDDJ claimed to have formulated a new
need to consider the sacrament of penance, by
consensus position that managed to avoid both
which – according to the Council of Trent – the
the condemnations of the Council of Trent on
sinner can be ‘justified anew (rursus iustificari).’
evangelical theology, and those of the Lutheran
With such reference to ‘re-justification,’ the
Confessions on Roman Catholic theology. Yet
Response could not be clearer that, for all attempts
when the Roman Catholic Congregation for the
to find wording that fits both Roman Catholic and
Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical Council
evangelical views of justification, there remains a
for Promoting Christian Unity made an official
material and momentous difference between them.
Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 31: Career of the Reformer I, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann, vol. 31 (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999), 352.
‘Response of the Catholic Church to the Joint Declaration of the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation on the Doctrine of Justification,’ Declaration, http:// www.vatican.va/ roman_curia/ pontifical_councils/ chrstuni/ documents/ rc_pc_chrstuni_ doc_01081998_offanswer-catholic_ en.html
Response, Clarification 5.
Ibid., Clarification 1.
response to the Declaration on behalf of the Church, they felt the need to make some important
All that being the case, it is wishful thinking to
clarifications. ‘The Catholic Church,’ stated the
imagine that the JDDJ has proven anything like
Response, ‘cannot yet speak of a consensus such
an end to the important theological differences
as would eliminate every difference between
between evangelicals and the Roman Catholic
Catholics and Lutherans in the understanding of
Church. The matter of the Reformation was not
Indeed, some of ‘these differences
accurately addressed there, and still stands: are
concern aspects of substance’ so significant they
believers justified through faith in Christ alone, or is
must ‘be overcome before we can affirm, as is done
eternal life ‘at one and the same time, grace and the
Ibid., Clarification 3.
generically in n.41, that these points no longer
reward given by God for good works and merits’?
Ibid., Clarification 4.
incur the condemnations of the Council of Trent.’ 13 In particular, the Response made it clear that
evangelical language describing believers
Michael Reeves is President and
being at the same time righteous and sinner is
Professor of Theology at Union.
unacceptable to the Roman Catholic Church. It remains difficult to see how, in the current state of the presentation, given in the Joint Declaration, we can say that this doctrine on “simul iustus et peccator” is not touched by the anathemas of the Tridentine decree on original sin and justification. 14
UNION MAGAZINE | ISSUE 2 | 23
Book Reviews HIDDEN CHRISTMAS
also provoking us to rekindle a joy and wonder at
by Timothy Keller
the good news of Christmas in our own hearts, and to encourage our church families in the same vein.
Tim Keller’s latest offering explores a range of
DISCIPLING: HOW TO HELP OTHERS
biblical texts around the
FOLLOW JESUS by Mark Dever
theme of Christmas. Each chapter comes at the topic
Jesus commands those who follow him to go out
from a different angle,
and make disciples of others (Matthew 28:19-20).
prodding and probing at
However, we can feel unsure about what it means
the different perceptions (and misconceptions)
to disciple others and how we go about it exactly,
that people have of Christmas.
or even whether we should do it at all. Mark Dever has written Discipling: How to Help Others Follow
The author wastes no time in getting to the
Jesus to help us understand biblical discipleship and
point, reminding us in the book’s introduction
to encourage us in our obedience to Christ (p. 19).
that Christmas, like God himself, is both more wonderful and more threatening than we
Mark defines discipleship as “deliberately doing
imagine. It’s a powerful reminder of the awesome
spiritual good to someone so that he or she will be
significance of the incarnation - a theme which
more like Christ.” (p. 13). With this simple and clear
permeates the entire book, drawing the believer
definition in hand, he goes on to lay out the who,
to delve further into the wonder of the gospel,
what, where, when, why and how of discipling. At
and challenging the non-Christian to see that
only 128 pages, Dever has made good use of the
there is truth and power in the Christmas story.
space afforded to him. He writes in a clear and engaging style throughout, whilst being a faithful
From here on, the book takes a number of passages
guide on biblical discipleship in the context of the
of Scripture in turn, looking at Christmas in light of
local church. I especially appreciated the union of
Jesus’ genealogy, before considering Israel’s wait for
theory and practice when Mark shares examples
a king, and examining Mary’s and the shepherds’
from his own life after laying out a particular
responses to his arrival. Throughout these chapters
aspect of discipling and then encourages the
we are challenged to respond rightly to God’s Son,
reader to think about how they are best suited
who descended to dwell amongst us. However, it
to disciple others in light of what’s been said.
is the later chapters that really throw down the gauntlet, showing that the message of Christmas
Anyone who reads
causes division between and within people, and
it will be well-
challenging us to respond to the king who came
equipped and greatly
down to offer salvation, freely given by his grace.
encouraged to help others follow Jesus.
This book will be a great read for any Christian over advent, helping us to remember the incredible gift of salvation that we have been given in Christ. It will provide a challenge to the thoughtful sceptic, who earnestly seeks to understand the purpose and message of Christmas. And it will undoubtedly provide a wealth of quotes and inspiration for many who are preparing Christmas talks - helping us consider how to challenge the non-Christian, whilst
24 | UNION MAGAZINE | ISSUE 2
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Our Prospectus Union’s vision—Growing Leaders for Growing Churches— is about mission that is fruitful, effective and long-
lasting. Under God, our aim is to recruit, raise and deploy church leaders, providing them with rigorous, biblical and accessible education, training and resources.
The School of Theology exists to help raise up future leaders who will bring gospel growth in post-Christian Europe. On our campus and our regional learning communities we deliver a world-class theological education, from BA to PhD, that is both geographically and financially accessible. The School specialises in studies for ministry and scholarship, including Bible, theology, church history, and preaching. If you study at UST, above all, we want you to delight in God and grow in Christ and thereby serve the church and bless the world. This magazine prospectus is just a brief taste of what Union School of Theology has to offer. For more information, please visit our website ust.ac.uk or you can email specific questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We also have a number of Taster Days throughout the year, and you are always welcome to visit us at our campus or our Oxford base. *Subject to validation by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David
UNION MAGAZINE | ISSUE 2 | 27
BA (Hons) The BA (Hons) is our flagship campus-based course for all those preparing for gospel ministry. It provides a robust biblical and theological education at the heart of the Union community, giving hands-on experience of what it means for theological rigour to fuel the mission of the church. EQUIPPING PREACHERS AND TEACHERS, PASTORS AND THEOLOGIANS TO SERVE THE CHURCH AND BLESS THE WORLD Our BA in Theology aims to offer the richest possible leadership formation experience. Studying alongside fellow students and faculty, you will have a unique opportunity to develop not only your biblical and theological knowledge, but also the spiritual wisdom and practical skills you will need for effective ministry. During the programme, you will study God’s word in depth, master essential Christian doctrines and learn how to understand and assess the views of major theologians down the ages. Learning biblical languages is optional, but our Greek and Hebrew teaching is widely recognised as exceptional, and we would warmly encourage you to take up the challenge. We offer a wide range of applied modules and formative workshops directly relevant to your future ministry. Our BA (Hons) students graduate with a solid grounding in God’s word and a strong and comprehensive theology of preaching, pastoring, and mission. Studying at the home of Union has its own unique benefits. Set in the beautiful Welsh countryside with large gardens, 30 comfortable study bedrooms and an extensive library makes the campus a great place to study and live. Why not book a Taster Day? Find out more at ust.ac.uk/learning/course/ba *Subject to validation by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David
GDip Our Graduate Diploma in Theology is a highly flexible and innovative course, delivered through the Union Cloud platform at approved Learning Communities around the world. It brings a world-class theological education within reach geographically, financially, and in terms of time commitment. Embedding students in a spiritually formative community within a local church context, it offers an exciting and valid alternative for those for whom three years of full-time campus study is simply not an option. Accessed exclusively through church hubs, our GDip students enjoy the best of both worlds: the quality of theological teaching, monitoring, and resourcing worthy of the very best seminary (utilising Union Cloud and digital library), together with the convenience and added value of sharing and growing together in vibrant local settings under the care and guidance of an experienced Lead Mentor. GDip is designed for those who already have a basic theological knowledge (either through a ministry training course or from private study) as well as some ministry experience. Whether you are just starting out, or are an established church leader who has simply missed out on a formal theological education, the GDip could well be your ideal solution. The course covers all foundational aspects of theology, while offering various options (including biblical languages) to meet differing needs. Union’s Values of delighting in God, growing in Christ, serving the Church and blessing the world inform every module, and both personal spiritual formation and development of practical skills are a priority. Find out more at ust.ac.uk/learning/course/gdip *Subject to validation by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David 28 | UNION MAGAZINE | ISSUE 2
MTh The Master of Theology programme is designed to produce the wise and thoughtful leaders that churches today so desperately need. It offers a flexible and high-level theological equipping for gospel ministry in todayâ€™s culture, complementing and completing our BA and GDip programmes. We believe our Master of Theology in Scriptural Context programme is unique for two reasons. First, we want to serve the needs of pastors, theologians and those in full time work or ministry concerned to increase their understanding and expertise in a wide range of disciplines. So you may choose a mix of modules covering both academic theology and more applied and pastoral subjects. Secondly, we want to offer maximum flexibility of delivery to accommodate the busy and everchanging routines of those in church leadership. So you may choose to study modules over an intensive few days on campus or over a more extended period in our off-campus Learning Communities. Whichever way you prefer to study, we guarantee the quality of theological teaching, monitoring, and resourcing remains the same. In both contexts you will discover the value of learning alongside fellow students from very different backgrounds and profit from highly experienced and pastorally sensitive supervision. CAMPUS On campus, the MTh programme may be completed on a full-time basis in 12 months, or on a part-time basis taking up to 6 years. Most part-time students complete their modules in 2-3 years. Six intensive teaching weeks are scheduled each year, in three periods of consecutive weeks. Two weeks are held at the end of August and beginning of September, two are held in early January, and two are held in March. A full-time student will typically need to attend all 6 teaching weeks in the academic year. Why not book a Taster Day? LEARNING COMMUNITY The MTh accessed through Learning Communities is available as a two year, part-time option. In Learning Communities, students work through the MTh modules in a less intensive way, typically coming together on a weekly basis throughout the teaching weeks of the semester. Enjoy the advantage of learning together in a vibrant local setting under the support of an experienced Lead Mentor. Find out more at ust.ac.uk/learning/course/mth *Subject to validation
by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David
UNION MAGAZINE | ISSUE 2 | 29
MPhil & PhD Union is dedicated to raising up the next generation of evangelical scholars who will resource and equip the church with theology of the highest quality. Our research degrees give students the opportunity to explore their subject in great depth, supported by a dedicated supervisory team. THEOLOGICAL EXCELLENCE THAT STRENGTHENS THE CHURCH AND FUELS ITS MISSION A research degree at Union School of Theology will allow you to study a subject in real depth under the supervision of leading evangelical scholars. There are no taught modules or classes, which means that, wherever you are in the world, study can be undertaken with us with minimal disruption to your ministry or employment. The MPhil and PhD are postgraduate awards achieved following the production of a thesis and its successful defence in an oral examination. The maximum length of an MPhil thesis is 60,000 words and for a PhD 100,000 words. Prof. Robert Letham, Chair of our Research Committee is ready to answer any question you may have relating to your proposal. Find out more at ust.ac.uk/learning/course/mphil-phd *Subject to validation by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David
Global Ministry Course Campus-based and built around the English Language programmes of Union School of Theology, the GMC mentors and disciples students who have a vision for global ministry. TRAINING DISCIPLES FOR GLOBAL MINISTRY The GMC seeks to strengthen the faith of those from non-English speaking countries whose longing is to delight in God, grow in Christ, serve the church, and so bless the world. The 6-month Global Ministry Course and the 13-week Intensive Global Ministry Course offer English language study while deepening the studentsâ€™ understanding of the gospel and Christian belief. The varied curriculum is designed to produce Christ-like disciples who develop a global mind-set and become the Christian leaders of their generation. The GMC caters for English language students from pre-intermediate to advanced levels, preparing them for University of Cambridge and IELTS examinations up to university entry standard. The Intensive Global Ministry Course offers similar content in abridged form. Living with British students on our campus provides students with daily English practice. As students attend a local church, their confidence and spiritual maturity can grow as they enjoy opportunities to serve and meet with other Christians. The course includes regular day trips to local and national tourist attractions and Christian heritage sites. An organised and accompanied trip to another European country is also provided and is always a highlight of the course. The GMC runs from July-December and January-June. Find out more at ust.ac.uk/learning/course/global-ministry-course
30 | UNION MAGAZINE | ISSUE 2
Throughout the year Unionâ€™s campus in South Wales hosts Open and Taster days, allowing you to see the heart of Unionâ€™s values in action. However you are thinking of studying, whether on campus, in a learning community or through distance learning, visiting our campus will give you an opportunity to see the facilities, hear a lecture and speak to faculty and students. For more information, including dates, please go to
www.ust.ac.uk/pages/open-and-taster-days ISBN: 9781857924640