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The Church and the Ministry
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The Church and the Ministry


Longman 1919

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Published in 1888, this work by Archbishop Gore asserts that Apostolic Succession is and has always been an essential element of Christianity. The three fold ministry of Bishop, Priest, and Deacon was a central doctrine in the Oxford Movement. Along with this doctrine was the belief that Bishops were successors to the apostolic ministry. Well-researched and insightful, this volume appeals to both Scripture and early church history in its argumentation. It also addresses a number of objections to Apostolic Succession. As stated in the preface to the first edition: “[This book] maintains that Christianity is essentially the life of an actual visible society, and that at least one necessary link of connexion in this society is the apostolic succession of the ministry. In a word, this book claims on behalf of the apostolic succession that it must be reckoned with as a permanent and essential element of Christianity. It is an ‘apology’ for the principle of apostolic succession.”

Product Details

  • Title: The Church and the Ministry
  • Author: Charles Gore
  • Publisher: Longmans, Green and Co.
  • Publication Date: 1913
  • Pages: 253

About Charles Gore

Gore, Charles (1853–1932) Anglican bishop and theologian.

Born at Wimbledon (England), Gore was educated at Harrow and at Oxford University, where he was elected a fellow of Trinity College in 1875. He became vice–principal of Cuddesdon Theological College in 1880, then served as first principal of Pusey House, Oxford (1884–1893). While there, he founded a religious order, the Community of the Resurrection, of which he remained head until 1901. After six years as a canon (clergyman) of Westminster Cathedral, he was appointed bishop of Worcester (1902).

Largely through Gore’s efforts, the new diocese of Birmingham was established. In 1905 he became its first bishop. Transferred to the see of Oxford in 1911, he served there until 1919, when he resigned. Settling in London, he devoted himself to writing and teaching: for example, from 1924 to 1928 he was dean of theology at King’s College, London.

Gore was a convinced High Churchman, emphasizing the Church of England’s Roman Catholic heritage. His book The Ministry of the Christian Church (1880; new edition, 1919, edited by C. H. Turner) became the standard exposition and defense of the principle of the apostolic succession. But he was an Anglo–Catholic of the most liberal kind who accepted the findings of evolutionary science and biblical criticism. This is portrayed, for example, in his essay, “The Holy Spirit and Inspiration,” in Lux Mundi (1889, a volume of essays that he edited).

Furthermore, Gore had a “permanently troubled conscience” concerning contemporary social and economic problems. A founder of the Christian Social Union (1889), in his book Christ and Society (1928) he emphasized the social implications of the gospel and made a strong plea for an unofficial interdenominational organization of Christian forces “to reassert the social meaning of Christianity.” In the view of W. R. Inge, a critic of Anglo–Catholicism, Gore was “one of the most powerful spiritual forces of (his) generation.”

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