Is that all God’s got to say?

Posted on December 16, 2017 
Filed under Resources, Theology

“I’ve struggled with anxiety in different ways all through my life. … As it turns out, I’m not alone. …

At the primary level, we need to remember that our relationship with God is not dependent on our performance but on God’s grace to us in Christ. And I think that the Bible’s teaching on adoption is extremely important here. …”

– Paul Grimmond helps us think through anxiety from a Biblical perspective. Very helpful with the stresses of Christmas coming up! Read it all at SydneyAnglicans.net.

R.C. Sproul and the Gospel

Posted on December 15, 2017 
Filed under People, Theology

Tim Challies has published links to a number of tributes, as is fitting, giving thanks for R.C. Sproul, including the video compilation above.

They are linked here.

In addition, Albert Mohler speaks about R.C. Sproul in today’s issue of The Briefing broadcast, the last for 2017.

A Bright and Burning Light: Robert Charles Sproul

Posted on December 15, 2017 
Filed under People

“He was one of the great defenders of historic Christianity of our times. It is fair to say that R.C. was the greatest and most influential proponent of the recovery of Reformed theology in the last century. He was a stalwart defender of the Word of God, and one of the primary architects of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy in 1978. His tapes were soon accompanied by his books and the vastly expanding influence of Ligonier Ministries.

When he taught about the holiness of God, a generation of evangelicals was rescued from the emaciated and desiccated theology of cultural Christianity. …”

– Albert Mohler thanks the Lord for R. C. Sproul.

So do Tim Challies:

“Ligonier Ministries has just announced that R.C. Sproul has passed away. But I don’t think he would want you to cry about it. “You can grieve for me the week before I die, if I’m scared and hurting” he once said, “but when I gasp that last fleeting breath and my immortal soul flees to heaven, I’m going to be jumping over fire hydrants down the golden streets…” So, to honor his memory, I won’t cry. But I will write. …”

Justin Taylor:

“Presbyterian minister R.C. Sproul, one of the most influential popularizers of Reformed theology spanning the late 20th and early 21st centuries, entered into the joy of his Lord and Savior on December 14, 2017, following complications from emphysema. He was 78 years old.

Because he preached the whole counsel of God and had a heart to equip God’s people to live before the face of a holy God, he often taught on suffering and death over his five decades of ministry. …”

Rick Phillips:

“We grieve today at the news of R. C. Sproul’s departure from this life, while so blessed at the knowledge that he basks in the glory of the Savior he served and loved.

In mourning our loss of this great preacher and church leader, my mind searches back to the early 1990’s, when what is now called the Reformed Resurgence was only an envisioned hope. I was converted to faith in Christ in 1990 under the preaching of R.C.’s close friend, James Montgomery Boice. This meant that I soon was exposed to the live phenomenon of R. C. Sproul in the pulpit in the prime of his vigor. I had never and never will see again such a combination of passion, intellect, and theological courage. …”

and Michael Horton:

‘The death of a saint always fills fellow pilgrims with inner conflict: joy in their being in the presence of the Lord, without the pains and struggles of this fallen existence, and sorrow at losing a dear brother or sister. These mixed emotions overwhelmed me as I sat next to R.C. Sproul as we shared in the memorial service for our friend, James Montgomery Boice. ‘A mighty general has fallen on the field, in valiant service to his Lord,’ I recall R.C. repeating in his message. And now, with so many others around the world today, I feel the sharp sting of that realization.”

Dr. R.C. Sproul, Called Home to the Lord

Posted on December 15, 2017 
Filed under People

“Dr. R.C. Sproul went home to be with the Lord this afternoon around 3 p.m. surrounded by his wife, Vesta, and family in his hospital room in Altamonte Springs, Fla. He was 78. He died peacefully after being hospitalized twelve days ago …

Known to millions of Christians as simply “R.C.,” he was used of the Lord to proclaim, teach, and defend the holiness of God in all its fullness. Through his teaching ministry, many of us learned that God is bigger than we knew, our sin is more deeply rooted than we imagined, and the grace of God in Jesus Christ is overwhelming.”

– Ligonier Ministries has this announcement.

Canterbury strikes back

Posted on December 15, 2017 
Filed under Anglican Communion

“For Anglicans, communion with the See of Canterbury – and with its Archbishop – is the visible expression of our communion with one another.

In his advent letter to GAFCON, the Primate of Nigeria says: ‘the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration clarified that the Anglican Communion is not determined simply by relationship with the Archbishop of Canterbury’.

However, the relationship with the See of Canterbury is essential for Anglicans. You cannot be in the Anglican Communion without it. …”

– ‘Secretary General of the Anglican Communion’, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, responds to the December pastoral letter from Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council, and probably also to this week’s statement from the Global South Primates.

(It’s worth remembering that The Episcopal Church of the USA, and The Anglican Church of Canada are regarded as full members, in communion with Canterbury, despite their doctrine and behaviour.)

Archbishop Glenn Davies responds to the Report of the Royal Commission

Posted on December 15, 2017 
Filed under Australia, Sydney Diocese

Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney
Media Statement
Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

As we welcomed the establishment of the Royal Commission in 2012 under the Gillard Government and likewise the extension of the Commission’s brief in 2014 under the Abbott Government, we welcome the Final Report of the Commissioners.

We recognise the courage and strength of the survivors in giving testimony to the Commission. We are glad their painful stories will be preserved as a testament and a warning that such things should never have happened, and should not happen again. Anglican Church apologies, before and during the time of the Commission, can never adequately express the ongoing regret that these appalling acts should have been perpetrated on vulnerable children.

We also recognise the arduous and distressing task it has been for the Commissioners and staff to hear so many horrific stories of sexual abuse in institutions across the country.

Australia owes a debt of gratitude to the chair, Justice Peter McClellan, the Commissioners, Counsels assisting, and the entire staff of the Royal Commission.

We look forward to studying the final report so that we, as the Anglican Church, might examine the recommendations and where there are still things for us to do, we shall attend to these with rigour, compassion and integrity.

Dr Glenn N Davies
Archbishop of Sydney
15 December 2017.

Source: SydneyAnglicans.net.

A Statement from the Global South Primates regarding the ACNA

Posted on December 15, 2017 
Filed under Anglican Communion

“In 2015, the Global South Primates stated in their communique ‘We rejoiced to welcome the Anglican Church in North America as a partner province to the Global South, represented by its Archbishop, the Most Reverend Foley Beach.’

This decision of the Global South Primates came after more than a decade of successive events, and gave the Anglican Church in North America seat, voice, and vote in Global South.

In 2016 the Global South Primates elected the Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach, to the Steering Committee of Global South. We will hereby discuss the events that led to our affirmation of the Anglican Church in North America. …

In light of recent events within the Anglican Communion, we unashamedly remain in full communion with our brothers and sisters in the Anglican Church in North America.”

– Read the full statement from The Global South Anglican Primates.

History-based Faith is Scientific

Posted on December 14, 2017 
Filed under Resources

“Richard Dawkins attacks ‘faith’ as it is not evidence based science and thus irrelevant and dangerous. But the practice of history is ‘scientific’ because it is evidence based.

The New Testament makes a distinction between ‘the faith’ and ‘faith’. The latter is an expression of trust, but it is directed to the former, which is ‘evidence based’. Faith  –> the Faith

This can be illustrated by two texts embedded in Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians  written from Ephesus early in 55 …”

Bishop Paul Barnett writes to emphasise the historical basis for what Christians believe.

Hold on to the Good, Reject what is Evil: Headship and Submission in a World with Domestic Violence

Posted on December 14, 2017 
Filed under Opinion, Resources

“How do you feel when you hear the words ‘domestic violence’ and ‘headship and submission’ together? Uneasy? Embarrassed? Apologetic? There was a time when I felt all those things. Before coming to Moore College, I would have tended towards burying my head in the sand when it came to engaging with the doctrine of headship and submission as it came up in relation to the terribly confronting issue of domestic violence. How can we address the terror effectively while still holding to this doctrine?

Of course, domestic violence is utterly incompatible with the doctrine of headship and submission. That is a truth with which many convinced complementarians are (rightly) very familiar. Nevertheless, this doctrine is despised by the world and is often used against us, being viewed as something that actually fuels abuse.

Now more than ever we need to be ready to give a reason for the hope that we have—that the truth found in God’s word is not only still applicable and relevant, but also good. I can say from my experience as a former student and wife of a current student that Moore College – this firmly complementarian institution – has been a guiding light in thinking hard about how to deal with the evil of domestic violence in light of God’s good design for men and women. …”

The Australian Church Record published this opinion piece by Kirsten McKinlay in October. It’s still relevant.

The Slippery Slope was a Precipice after all

Posted on December 13, 2017 
Filed under Culture wars, Opinion

“For all the talk of slippery slope arguments, when it came to it the same sex marriage decision in Australia was not a slippery slope. It was a precipice after all.

And in such times we need precipitous thinkers. We need leaders in our church who are not content to wait for the cultural changes to come our way, dodging and weaving until the last minute, but who lean into the changes and prepare their people with the ropes and tackle a precipice requires. …”

Stephen McAlpine writes to encourage Christians and Christian leaders in the face of what is to come.

‘5 Most Ridiculous Books to ever become Christian Bestsellers’

Posted on December 13, 2017 
Filed under Opinion, Resources

“If you were to scan the lists of the best selling Christian books of all time you’d see some truly amazing books there. You’d see some books that have helped us better understand who God is and books that have instructed us. and how we as Christians can live lives of obedience to Him, and like you, I’m genuinely thankful for these books.

Sadly though, you’d also see some truly flat-out awful books. Today I’ve narrowed down that list to the five most ridiculous books to ever become Christian bestsellers…”

– Tim Challies provides his list – with reasons.

Related (sort of): The Babylon Bee’s Top Ten Books Of 2017 (satire).

GAFCON Chairman’s December 2017 letter

Posted on December 13, 2017 
Filed under GAFCON

“My dear people of God,

On the 7th December, the first ordinations of the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) took place in London.

AMiE was established by the overwhelming consensus of the Nairobi Conference in 2013 as a mission society in England to help our English brothers and sisters in the massive task of evangelisation. …”

– Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Chairman, the GAFCON Primates Council, writes his December 2017 Pastoral Letter.

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