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‘Newman: Church development, reform and the Anglican future’ Canon John Twisleton’s paper at St Michael, Lewes Keble Seminar 25th April 2018.

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John Henry Newman’s greatness lies in his capacity to point us to the big picture of things which is Christianity’s forte and to shake off what’s parochial and narrow-minded, the stuff that puts the brakes on forward thinking and the beckoning dynamic of history.

Ex umbris et imaginibus in veritatem was his motto - its on his grave: from shadows and images into the truth. Life is a forward movement we can choose - he chose it - from what Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 3 and 4 as from such shadows and images into the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 

His great Apologia was first published 5 years after Darwin’s Origin of Species (1859),  a story of spiritual evolution that complements Darwin’s thesis on biological evolution. To live is to change Newman wrote and to be perfect is to have changed often. He held to a dynamic view of life and history and like Darwin he is one of the most famous Victorians. His take on change though was always mindful…