Posted by George Morrison

Mervin Tinker                   Word on the Week                     27th November 2021.

“Then the king said to his men, “Do you not realize that a commander and a great man has fallen in Israel this day?” (2 Samuel 3:38).

The death occurred this week of Mervin Tinker.   He was minister at St John’s Parish Church, Hull.   He was one of the leading lights in the group of Evangelicals in the Church of England.   Although largely unknown in Ireland he was appreciated in evangelical Anglican circles and will be missed.

He wrote a number of books aimed at encouraging the faithful and was a popular speaker at conferences.   His address to the Global Anglican Conference in 2018 formed the substance of his last book entitled “That Hideous Strength – How the West was Lost”.  The first part of the title was taken from C S Lewis book of that name.

Lewis’s book is a classic work of storytelling with insights into the human condition. It is part of a trilogy which stages an epic battle between forces of light and darkness across a canvas of other worlds.   It foretold the state we are in today and so made an appropriate title for Melvin’s current book.

“That Hideous Strength”, the title refers to the anti-God alternative in today’s West.  In it his summary of how political debate is conducted today puts it well– “Forget argument and reason, assume your opponent is just wrong or stupid (or both) and explain his ideas away by appealing to pseudo-science.”   You can see it being used regularly in social media.

The book goes on to look at the gender agenda, education, the destruction of the family, and how the Genesis creation account, is being taken over by a pagan view. He finally goes on to helpfully and biblically demonstrate how we can challenge these evils with the truth of the Gospel.

We should commend the truth, culturally engage, and courageously refuse to depart from the Scripture.    We need the involvement of faithful Christian communities that consist of a praying people, a literate leadership (biblically and culturally) and a born again membership.

The Apostle Paul writing to the church at Corinth suggests the remedy; – Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom,but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. (1 Corinthians Chapter 1 verses 22 to 25).

We need to humbly proclaim the Gospel to our ‘Jews’ and ‘Gentiles’ today.