To celebrate the start of The ACR Online we’ve been glancing back at our previous launch editions, beginning with our very first in 1880. Since then, The ACR has had five different reincarnations (or should we say resurrections?). Yet, it is striking how each new version has stood squarely on the shoulders of its predecessor. Time after time The ACR has aimed to be gospel-soaked through and through.
You can see this pattern in the re-launch article of 1914 included below. After running from 1880 to 1894, ‘The Record of the Church of England’ had taken a 10 year hiatus before being recommencing on 2 January 1914 as ‘The Church Record’. Our stance again was unashamedly Anglican (then – Church of England) and boldly evangelical. The goal was constructive: “our primary aim will be to build up, rather than to destroy’, whilst reserving the right to speak plainly and frankly (but always charitably) when necessary. This article continues the focus on mission and youth ministry, an emphases we’ll carry on at The ACR Online through our international and kids/youth strands.
‘The Church Record’ then ran continuously from 1914 to 1987, changing to ‘The Australian Church Record’ in 1926. We ceased publication in 1987 due to increased running costs, but a decade later we kicked off again…
Below you’ll also find our kick-off article from 1998. Although now in colour (an attractive 90’s teal!), our goal hadn’t changed. As it explains: ‘We’re back because of our concern to see the biblical evangelicalism of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney further preserved and strengthened’. This article pulls no punches. It’s commentary on the challenges of experientialism, traditionalism and ‘moving the line backwards’ (i.e. lowering the lowest common denominator for Anglican unity) feels remarkably relevant today. Perhaps that’s because while times change, the gospel call remains the same – trust in Christ the crucified, as revealed by His Spirit, in His word.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this walk down memory lane, but even more so we pray you’ll be encouraged and spurred on by ACR Online. The medium may have changed, the articles may be shorter, but our goal is the same as those gents and ladies in 1880: to leave you clearer on the gospel, keener to serve Christ and more confident on how to do so.
Grace & peace,