The New Knighthood: A History of the Order of the Temple by Malcolm Barber

By Malcolm Barber

The Order of the Temple, based in 1119 to guard pilgrims round Jerusalem, constructed into probably the most influential firms within the medieval global. It has retained its carry at the sleek mind's eye due to the dramatic occasions of the Templars' trial and abolition 200 years later, and has been concerned about ancient mysteries from masonic conspiracy to the survival of the Turin shroud. Malcolm Barber's lucid narrative separates delusion from background during this complete and certain account of the Order, from its origins, flourishing and suppression to the Templars' ancient afterlife.

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The litany of dedication that day resonated with who we are becoming today. They prayed: • For a church of which Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone. • For a church which will exalt not a religion of creed or authority, but a religion of saving grace, personal experience, and spiritual power. • For a church that shall exalt the ministry of the open Bible. • For a church that shall fulfill a ministry of social service and be a renewing and cleansing power in the community. • For a church with an open door for all people rich or poor, homeless or destitute, who need the help of God through us.

In fact, that event planted a vision of racial justice in the soul of a teenager named J. Lawrence McCleskey, who now tells the story as a bishop in the United Methodist Church. I share these stories as examples of the way new life for the future can be rooted in the past. One of the important tasks of leadership is to affirm the best moments in a congregation's history as we reshape its life for the future. When people ask me to explain the amazing work that God is doing in our congregation, I always say that what we are seeing today grows directly out of the spiritual roots that were planted here more than a century ago.

And the continuing work of the Holy Spirit in the church today is to plant that same sense of mission and vision in the heart of every congregation. It didn't take an exceptional amount of spiritual insight or pastoral brilliance to see that Hyde Park Church needed to catch a fresh vision of its mission for the future. Before we could answer the practical questions about what to do and how to do it, we needed to answer some fundamental questions that went to the heart of our life together. Who are we?

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