Good Governance Workshop 26 November

Posted on November 17, 2015 
Filed under Resources, Sydney Diocese

Good Governance Workshop 2015

What was the Star of Bethlehem? — is this the answer at last?

Posted on November 25, 2015 
Filed under History, Resources

The Great Christ Comet“Readers should be appropriately skeptical any time they hear about a new theory revealing the true star of Bethlehem.

But reading the comments below from various experts – in biblical studies and apologetics and science and cometography – should encourage readers to give Colin Nicholl’s groundbreaking work, The Great Christ Comet: Revealing the True Star of Bethlehem, serious attention…”

Justin Taylor on a fascinating new book – and there’s an 85 minute interview of the author, Colin Nicholl, by Eric Metaxas.

From the book:

“When it comes to claims of major advances in the understanding of long-debated Biblical mysteries, many people are naturally very skeptical. We have all seen too many television documentaries on mysteries of the Bible. A grandiose claim is made at the start of the program, and we wait patiently – or, more often, impatiently – through commercials and a long, drawn-out build-up for the narrator finally to unveil the supposedly great discovery. When the program does eventually get there, almost without exception we end up rolling our eyes and regretting that we have just wasted an hour of our lives. The most common, but by no means the only, problem is that key details of the Biblical text have been twisted or ignored in order to accommodate the featured hypothesis.”

– from this excerpt (PDF) on the Crossway website.

C of E Prayer website promotes Hail Mary and prayers to St. Christopher

Posted on November 25, 2015 
Filed under Church of England

justprayThe Proclamation Trust’s Adrian Reynolds is rather glad the Church of England cinema ad for The Lord’s Prayer was banned – for several reasons. [Watch the ad here.]

One reason relates to the website advertised by the ad:

“For there, on a protestant site, are prayers to pray including the Hail Mary and a prayer addressed to St Christopher for travelling mercies.”

Read it all here.

‘Historic day for Catholics of Anglican heritage as Pope names first Ordinariate Bishop’

Posted on November 25, 2015 
Filed under Church of England, Other

steven-lopes“Catholics of Anglican heritage are getting an early Christmas present from Pope Francis: The Holy Father has appointed the first Catholic bishop ever to lead one of three non-territorial dioceses (known as ordinariates) established to preserve the Anglican patrimony in the Catholic Church…”

– from The National Catholic Register.

(Note: The Ordinariates weer established by the Roman Catholic Church for High Church Anglicans unhappy with the liberal drift in sections of the Anglican Communion.)

We’re all friends now, sexuality doesn’t matter, and the Reformation is over, Papal Preacher tells C of E General Synod

Posted on November 25, 2015 
Filed under Church of England

raniero-cantalamessaAt last night’s Eucharist at Westminster Abbey, for the opening of the new General Synod, Franciscan Priest and Preacher to the Papal Household, Raniero Cantalamessa, delivered the sermon.

He asserted that Christians should not be divided over “a moral issue like that of sexuality”.

The issues of the Reformation are past, since we all now agree on “Justification by faith”.

Martin Luther and Thomas Cranmer would preach “Justification by Faith” this way, he said.

Students of the Reformation (or the Bible, for that matter) might like to put down that coffee cup before reading the report from the Anglican Communion News Service. Here’s an excerpt –

“The sermon was given by Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the Preacher to the Papal Household.

He raised the forthcoming 500th anniversary of the Reformation – the great divide between the Western churches. “It is vital for the whole Church that this opportunity is not wasted by people remaining prisoners of the past, trying to establish each other’s rights and wrongs,” he said. “Rather, let us take a qualitative leap forward, like what happens when the sluice gates of a river or a canal enable ships to continue to navigate at a higher water level.

“The situation has dramatically changed since [Reformation times]. We need to start again with the person of Jesus, humbly helping our contemporaries to experience a personal encounter with Him. …

“We should never allow a moral issue like that of sexuality divide us more than faith in Jesus unites us.

“Justification by faith, for example, ought to be preached by the whole Church – and with more vigour than ever. Not in opposition to good works – the issue is already settled – but rather in opposition to the claim of people today that they can save themselves thanks to their science, technology or their man-made spirituality, without the need for a redeemer coming from outside humanity. Self-justification!”

Read the full report here. Photo credit:

New Church of England General Synod meets

Posted on November 24, 2015 
Filed under Church of England

The Rev Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream“The new General Synod is inaugurated today (Tuesday 24th), starting with a Communion service at Westminster Abbey, followed by an opening ceremony in Church House, at both of which her Majesty the Queen is present. The membership, recently elected and tasked with the governance of the Church over the next five years, features a high proportion of first timers. …

Anything to do with homosexual practice or same sex marriage has been kept off the agenda of this Synod. But the issue is there, hanging unseen over the proceedings. Rev Andrew Foreshew-Cain, vicar of a parish only a few miles north of where the Synod meets in Westminster, married his same sex partner last year in defiance of the Bishops’ clear guidance and plea for restraint. He takes up his place as one of the new Synod members; he is due to take Communion in the presence of the Queen and become part of the governing body of the Church. Behind the scenes strong letters will have been written to the Bishop of London and the Archbishop of Canterbury; some may decide not to receive Communion and make other acts of protest.”

– Anglican Mainstream’s Andrew Symes sketches an overview of the current C of E General Synod.

Two big issues… One word answer

Posted on November 23, 2015 
Filed under Resources, Theology

David Cook“I have noticed that articles on Facebook are often headlined: ‘Three reasons why…..’ or ‘Four ways to ….’ or ‘5 key thoughts on ….’.

So I thought I would finish this year in that vein:  Two big issues… A one word answer?

Having now been back in parish/pastoral work for four years, I find that there are two issues that often crop up and they are each answered by one truth. …

The first is the issue as to whether Jesus’ life and work is enough to make us right with God, or, that His work needs to be supplemented by our good works. …

The second issue, in my opinion, even more common in evangelical circles than the above, is the expectation that God still has more to say than He has said in the Bible.”

– Read the full post by Presbyterian Moderator General David Cook.

Thinking of going to Moore next year?

Posted on November 23, 2015 
Filed under Resources, Sydney Diocese

moore-journey“Thinking of coming to Moore next year but haven’t applied yet? The application due date is Monday November 30 2015. Any applications received after this date will attract an admin fee of $250…”

– Encouragement from Moore College to get that application in.

‘Doubting Thomas Welby is no help in these terrible times’

Posted on November 23, 2015 
Filed under Church of England, Opinion

Archbishop Justin Welby“I doubted God after the Paris attacks, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby told a reporter for the BBC’s Songs of Praise. He said when the jihadis struck in Paris he was left asking why? …

I hate to think where Christianity would be if Welby’s predecessors had suffered from the same lack of conviction.”

– Opinion from The Conservative Woman.

Lord’s Prayer cinema ad ban ‘bewilders’ Church of England

Posted on November 22, 2015 
Filed under Church of England

lords-prayer“The Church of England has said it is ‘disappointed and bewildered’ by the refusal of leading UK cinemas to show an advert featuring the Lord’s Prayer…”

– Report from BBC News. Watch the ad here. (h/t Anglican Mainstream.)

Boko Haram ‘more deadly terror group’ in 2014 than IS

Posted on November 21, 2015 
Filed under World news

Nigeria“Boko Haram was the world’s deadliest terror group in 2014, ahead of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, according to a report released on 18 Nov. by the Institute of Economics & Peace…”

– This report from WorldWatch Monitor.

On freedom of speech

Posted on November 20, 2015 
Filed under Opinion

Dominic Perrottet MPIn a Private Members Statement on Tuesday, Member for Hawkesbury, Dominic Perrottet, spoke in NSW Parliament on the importance of freedom of speech in democratic societies.

In particular, he referenced the controversy in Tasmania regarding the “Don’t Mess with Marriage” booklet (“A Pastoral Letter from the Catholic Bishops of Australia to all Australians on the ‘Same-sex Marriage’ Debate”).

You can watch his speech here, or read the transcript.

Related: First they came for the Catholics…Law and Religion Australia.

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