USU withdraws threat to deregister EU

Posted on May 2, 2016 
Filed under Culture wars

sueu-logo“The Evangelical Union (EU) will not be deregistered, with the University of Sydney Union (USU) deciding at its April Board meeting to amend clubs and societies (C&S) regulations to allow faith-based declarations as a condition of membership…”

– from Honi Soit. More from Bible Society Australia.

Church of England uses ‘trendy’ Post-it notes in new service celebrating the role of godparents

Posted on May 1, 2016 
Filed under Church of England

Church of England“The Church of England has been accused of ‘dumbing down’ after drawing up a new service in which worshippers use Post-it notes, clap like football fans and move their fingers like ‘twinkling stars’.

The new liturgy will be used in hundreds of churches for the first time today to celebrate the role of godparents.

But in an outspoken attack, the former Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, said it reflected the Church’s ‘now familiar desire for being trendy’…”

– Story from Mail Online.

Here’s The Church of England’s Godparents’ Sunday site, with the liturgy mentioned in the article (PDF file).

Archbishop Nicholas Okoh elected as GAFCON Chairman

Posted on May 1, 2016 
Filed under GAFCON

abp-nicholas-okoh-nigeria“Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria, the Most Rev’d Nicholas D. Okoh has been elected the new chairman of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) Primates’ council.

A statement issued by the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) secretariat, which was made available to LEADERSHIP Weekend yesterday said Archbishop Okoh was elected during a meeting of the Primates’ council held in Nairobi, Kenya from 18 to 22 April, 2016…”

– from Leadership (Nigeria) via Anglican Mainstream.

Archbishop Peter Jensen on the ‘failure’ of the Canterbury meeting and ACC-16

Posted on May 1, 2016 
Filed under Anglican Communion, GAFCON

Peter Jensen“The ACC-16 Lusaka gathering was irrelevant to the GAFCON bishops. We stated again that the meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in Lusaka, only highlighted again the inability of the current instruments to uphold godly order within the Communion.

Delegates from the Episcopal Church, by their own admission, voted on matters that pertained to polity and doctrine, in defiance of the Primates. This action has damaged the standing of the Anglican Consultative Council as an instrument of unity, increased levels of distrust, and further torn the fabric of the Communion. I think that is pretty definitive. The Anglican Communion should be preaching the Word of God…”

– GAFCON General Secretary Peter Jensen was intervewed for VOL as he attended the CANA East Diocesan Synod in Pennsylvania last week.

THL Parker on Calvin, the Reformation, and Justification

Posted on April 30, 2016 
Filed under People

thl-parkerThe great Calvin scholar, THL Parker, has died aged 99.

Church Society’s Lee Gatiss looks at three great quotes, and three articles he wrote for Church Society’s journal, Churchman.

“I was saddened to learn that Thomas Henry Louis Parker died on Monday just short of his century. Born in 1916, he was a student here in Cambridge at Emmanuel College, was ordained into the Church of England in 1939 after training in London, and served a number of churches as curate and rector, including a spell at Christ Church Cambridge…”

– Read the full article at the Church Society blog.

Keith and Sarah Condie to spearhead new mental health and pastoral care initiative

Posted on April 29, 2016 
Filed under Sydney Diocese

keith-and-sarah-condie“Dr Keith Condie, Dean of Students, and his wife, Sarah, have been appointed Directors of the Mental Health and Pastoral Care Institute with Anglican Deaconess Ministries…”

– News from Moore College.

2016 New College Lectures: Jesus and the Ten Gospels

Posted on April 29, 2016 
Filed under Resources

Dr Simon Gathercole“Some of the most widely published challenges to the Christian faith today have come in the publicity surrounding the ‘apocryphal’ Gospels not included in the Christian Bible.

The idea that there is nothing particularly special about the four New Testament Gospels has appeared in both the popular media and in Biblical scholarship, from references to the Gospel of Philip in the Da Vinci Code, to the publication by the Harvard Theological Review of the so-called ‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ fragment.

These lectures will discuss the relevance of these Gospels outside of the Bible, comparing them with Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.”

– New College at UNSW announces this year’s New College Lectures, to be given by Dr Simon Gathercole, Tuesday, 20th & Thursday, 22nd September 2016.

(Photo courtesy Lanier Theological Library.)

Sydney Synod votes to merge Anglicare and Anglican Retirement Villages

Posted on April 28, 2016 
Filed under Sydney Diocese

Sydney Synod“The Synod of the Diocese of Sydney has voted to merge Anglicare and Anglican Retirement Villages (ARV) to better meet the need for their services in the future.

Anglicare is celebrating its 160th anniversary, having been established as the The Sydney Church Society in 1856 by Bishop Barker. ARV was founded by Archbishop and Mrs Mowll in 1959 and has grown to be a significant force in aged care services.

But Archbishop Glenn Davies told a special synod called to consider a merger that the landscape of aged care in Australia has dramatically changed…”

– Full story from Russell Powell at

Here’s a media release from Anglicare: ARV and Anglicare Sydney merge to further expand services in the community.

Good Disagreement in the Church of England?

Posted on April 28, 2016 
Filed under Opinion

Bishop Wallace Benn“We live before a watching world.

Jesus did say: ‘By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another’ (John13.35). So there is no excuse for rudeness or cavalier attitudes to each other.

Paul, in the chapter that begins to work out the implications of the gospel for our daily living and relationships, writes: ‘Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honour’ (Romans 12.10). So in that sense ‘good disagreement’ is a healthy and desirable thing to aim for.

But the concept of ‘good disagreement’ is becoming something that is applied in a much broader way. It is being used to promote a ‘live and let live’ approach to important doctrinal issues and sexual ethics in particular. Unity is appealed to in a way that trumps vital revealed truths. Is this helpful or right?…”

– Bishop Wallace Benn writes in Evangelicals Now. (Photo: GAFCON.)

Related: Reflections on a church that recently embraced egalitarianism – Denny Burk.

Philippians & Philemon: Joy in the Lord now available

Posted on April 27, 2016 
Filed under Resources, Theology




Paul Barnett’s new commentary, Philippians & Philemon: Joy in the Lord, is now available from CEP.

You can check out some sample pages at this link.

Update: CEP tells us that that they have a 20% off everything sale – including this new commentary – from now until Friday 29 April.

The Reformation meets ‘Trellis and Vine’

Posted on April 26, 2016 
Filed under Encouragement, Resources

mark-dever-interviews-phillip-jensenMark Dever interviewed Phillip Jensen at Together for the Gospel 2016 two weeks ago in Louisville, Kentucky.

In an enjoyable and encouraging interview, Phillip introduces his hearers to Sydney Anglicans and the English Reformation, explains why Anglicanism is the way it is now, and much more. Phillip also speaks of the latest from Matthias Media – The Vine Project, by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne. (The book will be available during May.)

See the 39 minute video here.

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