Friday, February 16, 2007

D. R. Davies XXI: Hull to London

D. R. Davies was appointed Curate to Canon A. E. Glover at St. John's Newland, Hull. It was still wartime, and Hull, as a major port, suffered terribly. Canon Glover allowed his well-known curate to preach as often as he liked, as well as teaching Davies the duties of a curate. St. John's was (and still is) an evangelical church, so we can only assume that Davies was kept on the path of orthodoxy.

In spite of the pressures of wartime and the duties of his office, Davies found time to write and read. He wrote several books, including The Two Humanities, and Secular Illusion or Christian Realism? books that stressed the fallen nature of man and the necessity of redemption through Christ. In addition, he began a regular column in the Record, a Church of England newspaper. Initially published as 'The Watch-Tower,' its name was changed to 'D.R.D's Column' when the identity of its author became known.

On the retirement of Canon Glover, Davies took the post of acting vicar until the Rev. Frank Ford was appointed the living. A clever man, possessed of a clever wife, Rev and Mrs. Ford became firm friends of the Davies'. In contrast to Davies' ministries at Ravensthorpe and Southport, this was a time of friendship and new opportunities. Still, Davies was looking to move on to his own church, preferrably in London. When he was offered the living of Emmanuel, West Dulwich, Davies jumped at the opportunity.

Davies had long yearned to become a famous London preacher, and with his appointment to Emmanuel, this ambition was realised. In his memoirs, written towards the end of his life, however, Davies skips over this period in a few lines. Apparently, this no longer mattered to Davies, what mattered was that he was asked to preach, or rather the gospel he was asked to preach. Many evangelicals had come to view Davies as a 'prophet for the times.' For one notable Evangelical, however, Davies was not a prophet, but a crooked signpost, pointing the wrong way.



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