Peacemaking in God’s Church

3. PEACEMAKING IN GOD’S CHURCH  (Self-published, 2015, ISBN-13: 978-15186-1518670862; ISBN-10:1518670865, pp.v + 164)

Available on Amazon both as Kindle ebook and in paperback.

From the back cover

This  book  is  born  of  a  deep-seated  belief  that  only  a  reunited  and  prayerful  Church  is  ever  going  to complete  our  mission  to  bring  about  God’s  kingdom;  which  was  the  main  subject  of  Jesus’  teaching  and represents  the  only  imaginable  hope  for  the  future  of  planet  Earth.    Maintaining  the  historic  tensions between  the  churches  –  and  in  particular  the  gulf  which  opened  up  between  Roman  Catholics  and evangelicals at the Reformation – is therefore a luxury we cannot afford.

Martin  Mosse  presents  some  principles  of  peacemaking  –  first  from  the  gospels  and  then  from  the  life  of his  ancestor  Charles  Simeon  –  from  which  he  proposes  a  structure  for  peacemaking  according  to  which contrasting  beliefs  may  not  always  be  mutually  exclusive.    For  instance,  religious  and  non-religious approaches  to  God  may  be  complementary.   Again,  confusion  has  often  arisen  from  the  fact  that  there are  two  bundles  of  good  news  in  the  New  Testament  both  designated  ‘gospel’.    Positive  attempts  to present  Roman  Catholics  and  evangelicals  to  each  other  in  a  favourable  light  are  followed  by  trenchant and  radical,  but  even-handed,  criticisms  showing  how  both  sides  have  diverged  from  their  earliest scriptural  origins.    Such  divergences  in  their  deepest  thinking,  while  unrecognised,  make  reconciliation impossible.    Mosse  goes  on  to  plead  for  a  return  to  the  ancient  and  biblical  practice  of  waiting  on  God  in silent,  contemplative  prayer.    This  allows  God  to  re-order  our  minds  and  lives  and  leads  to  the  mystical dimension   which   has   frequently   been   manifest   within   Roman   Catholicism,   but   which   evangelical Protestantism  was  born  without  and  needs  to  recover.    Such  a  practice  on  both  sides  could  bring  about a healing of the Church and so advance the kingdom of our problem-solving God.

Comments

Comments so far received include:

Martin  Mosse’s  heart  is  in  the  right  place;  he  is  properly  offended  by  the  scandal  of  Christian  disunion, and  wants  to  bang  together  the  heads  of  the  warring  parties  and  get  them  to  come  back  to  the  ancient Christian discipline of silent contemplation allied to attentive reading of the Bible.’ Nicholas King, SJ, Academic Director, Theology, at St Mary’s University, Twickenham.

’An  informed,  engaging  and  compelling  reminder  that  every  Christian  is  called  to  cooperate  with  the Holy  Spirit  in  building  God’s  kingdom  of  peace  here  on  earth,  but  that  if  the  Church  wishes  to  be  heard, it  must  first  demonstrate  that  work  of  peace-making  within  its  own  body.    Offering  fresh  insights  and drawing  helpfully  on  Scripture  and  history,  here  is  a  call  for  integrity,  understanding  and  humility  in  the costly work of bringing peace to a broken world.’Revd Simon Sayers, Rector, Warblington with Emsworth.

‘A great read, very well, laid out and offers a really positive way forward.’(Roman Catholic)‘Your  analysis  of  and  commentary  on  the  historical  divide  that  confounds  the  whole  problem  are  exactly right  and  to  the  point….  Your  constructive  approach  cum  amore  should  at  least  facilitate  a  more meaningful dialogue without rancour.’(Protestant)‘This  is  the  sort  of  book  that  ought  to  go  to  house  groups  throughout  the  country.    Dr  Mosse  challenges Christians  to  think  why  they  believe  what  they  believe.    Have  they  done  justice  to  all  aspects  of scriptural  evidence?    Whether  you  agree  or  disagree,  prepare  to  be  stimulated  and  challenged  –  and  to enjoy many lively evenings of group debate!’(Orthodox)‘I  commend  your  muscular  approach.  Peacemaking  is  surely  not  about  being  conciliatory  to  the  point  of wishy-washiness.  It’s  condescending,  tantamount  to  saying,  ‘You  can’t  handle  the  entailments  and inconsistencies  of  your  beliefs,  so  I  won’t  confront  you  with  them.’  Much  better  to  be  candid.  Now  that’s respectful. Treats people as adults.’(‘Truth seeker’)

Ordering details

Copies may be bought from Amazon.co.uk