News from the Top End

Posted on February 22, 2017 
Filed under Australian dioceses

The latest issue of Top Centre, the newsletter for the Diocese of the Northern Territory, February 2017, is up on their website.

Please be encouraged to use it to inform your prayers.

GAFCON Statement on C of E General Synod’s rejection of Report

Posted on February 21, 2017 
Filed under Church of England, GAFCON

From GAFCON:

“Canterbury can no longer be the defining centre, but through the Gafcon movement a growing number of faithful Anglicans are now recovering their true identity in the gospel itself…”

Read the full statement:

“The Church of England is in turmoil following the General Synod’s rejection of a report by the House of Bishops recommending that there should be no change in the Church‘s traditional teaching on marriage and sexuality. 

Even though the report held out the possibility of change and signalled a permissive approach in practice, it was abruptly rejected by an almost unprecedented vote against a motion to ‘take note’ of the report, usually just an uncontroversial preliminary to further debate.

After the vote, the Archbishop of Canterbury repeated his call for ‘a radical new Christian inclusion’ and it seems likely that this is a watershed moment with the Church of England now set on the same path as the Episcopal Church of the United States (TEC) and other Provinces that have taken it upon themselves to reinvent fundamental Christian doctrine.

Gafcon UK have already commented that ‘The confusion created by the General Synod vote on 15th February makes it abundantly clear that a new vision is now needed of what Anglican Christianity in England can and should be.’

It is also increasingly clear that a new vision is needed for the Anglican Communion as a whole. Despite its enduring historical symbolism, Canterbury can no longer be the defining centre, but through the Gafcon movement a growing number of faithful Anglicans are now recovering their true identity in the gospel itself as the Bible is restored to its rightful place at the heart of the Communion.”

– Source, GAFCON.

The radical call to ‘go the wrong way’ — Archbishop Welby’s charge to General Synod

Posted on February 20, 2017 
Filed under Church of England

“At the end of the recent General Synod, when an alliance of orthodox Christians and pro-gay progressives defeated the Bishops’ report on Marriage and Sexuality, the Archbishop of Canterbury issued a rallying cry to a perturbed and divided Synod and whatever part of the wider Church was listening in.

It had three elements:

1. “We need a radical new Christian inclusion in the Church.

2. “It must be based on good, healthy, flourishing relationships, and in a proper 21st century understanding of being human and of being sexual.

3. “The way forward needs to be about love, joy and celebration of our humanity; of our creation in the image of God, of our belonging to Christ – all of us, without exception, without exclusion.”

The problem these words present, is that they involve a distortion of Christianity. …”

Gavin Ashenden evaluates Archbishop Justin Welby’s call to the Church of England General Synod.

Background:

This is what the concerns are about – Archbishop Welby’s statement – Wednesday 15th February 2017.

Statement from Archbishop Justin Welby following the General Synod’s vote “not to take note” of a Report by the House of Bishops on the report earlier today on Marriage and Same-Sex Relationships.

“No person is a problem, or an issue. People are made in the image of God. All of us, without exception, are loved and called in Christ. There are no ‘problems’, there are simply people. 

How we deal with the real and profound disagreement – put so passionately and so clearly by many at the Church of England’s General Synod debate on marriage and same-sex relationships today – is the challenge we face as people who all belong to Christ.

To deal with that disagreement, to find ways forward, we need a radical new Christian inclusion in the Church. This must be founded in scripture, in reason, in tradition, in theology; it must be based on good, healthy, flourishing relationships, and in a proper 21st century understanding of being human and of being sexual. 

We need to work together – not just the bishops but the whole Church, not excluding anyone – to move forward with confidence.

The vote today is not the end of the story, nor was it intended to be. As bishops we will think again and go on thinking, and we will seek to do better. We could hardly fail to do so in the light of what was said this afternoon. 

The way forward needs to be about love, joy and celebration of our humanity; of our creation in the image of God, of our belonging to Christ – all of us, without exception, without exclusion.”

New Deacons for Sydney

Posted on February 19, 2017 
Filed under People, Sydney Diocese


SydneyAnglicans.net has published a list of those ordained as deacons on Saturday, 18th February, 2017. Good to pray for them all.

Update: Photo of the Ordination, courtesy of SydneyAnglicans.net.

Dr Peter Adam – sermons on Colossians

Posted on February 19, 2017 
Filed under Encouragement, Resources

Late last year, Dr Peter Adam spoke at the Tasmanian Christian Convention from the Letter to the Colossians.

You can hear his talks at their website.

The pernicious evil of the prosperity gospel and the theology of the cross

Posted on February 18, 2017 
Filed under Opinion, Theology

“Several years ago now I was travelling down a road in Nigeria on which, at almost every corner, there stood a church with a name that promised their members, and all who would join them, success, victory, wealth and happiness. …

Of course the prosperity gospel is not just a feature of aspirational Christianity in the majority world. It is alive and well and destroying lives in Western countries too. In fact there are very large churches which, in one way or another, are making similar promises right here in Australia.  

The prosperity gospel sees God’s glory and God’s blessing in all the wrong places and in so doing it draws attention away from what matters most and the reason why Jesus came, and lived and taught, and died and rose again, and is ruling now. …

– Dr Mark Thompson, Principal of Moore Theological College, and a Vice President of the ACL, writes at Theological Theology. Read it all there.

A Listening Exercise for Friends of the Bible Society of Australia

Posted on February 17, 2017 
Filed under Opinion

“You may be aware there’s a debate among evangelical friends of the Bible Society of Australia – especially those from a reformed perspective – who have very different views about the venue and speakers for the 200th anniversary of that excellent institution.

I want to propose a listening exercise I’ve attempted to sharpen understanding of each other.

It’s this: 1. Listen to the other. 2. State your own concerns. 3. Review whether you felt the force of the alternative view. Then we may see better ways forward. …”

– Sandy Grant writes at Thinking of God.

GAFCON UK responds to the Synod vote, and offers a new vision

Posted on February 17, 2017 
Filed under Church of England, Culture wars, GAFCON

“The confusion created by the General Synod vote on 15th February makes abundantly clear that a new vision is now needed of what Anglican Christianity in England can and should be. …

After the very expensive ‘holding operation’ of the Shared Conversations and the production of GS2055, the inevitable crisis in the C of E is now upon us; one that cannot be covered up by more platitudes about reconciliation and unity.

There is a better way. …

– Read the full important statement from GAFCON UK.

Free Seminary-Level Course with Carl Trueman on the Reformation

Posted on February 17, 2017 
Filed under History, Resources, Theology

From Justin Taylor at The Gospel Coalition:

“Thanks to the generosity and permission of Carl Trueman – Paul Woolley Chair of Church History and professor of church history at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, as well as the author of Luther on the Christian Life – and The Master’s Seminary, you can basically take Professor Trueman’s course online for free. (You just don’t have to take any tests, write any papers, or get any credit!)”

This might keep you busy for a while.

(Dr. Trueman will be delivering the Annual Moore College Lectures in August, as part of the College’s celebration of 500 Years of the Reformation.)

Sam Allberry explains how the message of Jesus on marriage is life-giving

Posted on February 16, 2017 
Filed under Church of England, Culture wars

Video from the Church of England General Synod debate on same sex marriage, 15th February 2017.

A very encouraging and sobering 3 minute speech.

‘Church of England’s report on marriage and sexuality suffers setback at Synod’

Posted on February 16, 2017 
Filed under Church of England, Culture wars

“A report from the House of Bishops about marriage and same sex relationships has received a significant setback in a vote at the General Synod in London. It is an embarrassing symbolic rejection of the Bishops’ report which had stated that there should be no change in the church’s teaching while calling for a “fresh tone” on the issues. Speaking before the vote, the Archbishop of Canterbury said he believed passionately that the report that had been worked on and struggled with was a roadmap and he promised the church would find a new “inclusion.”

However many speakers in the debate said the report was not clear enough or did not go far enough. 

some evangelical members of Synod also expressed concern, fearing that the Bishops’ report was a softening of the guidelines on sexual morality.”

– This report from The Anglican Communion News Service. Photo credit: Lam Pal. ACNS.

See also: Church of England Bishops’ Report: More Questions than Answers – Canon Phil Ashey, American Anglican Council, 04 February 2017.

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