Halloween and the Dark Side — What should Christians think?

Posted on October 31, 2014 
Filed under Opinion

Albert Mohler“The coming of Halloween is a good time for Christians to remember that evil spirits are real and that the Devil will seize every opportunity to trumpet his own celebrity…”

– Albert Mohler asks how Christians should respond to Halloween.

Marcus Loane on The English Reformation

Posted on October 31, 2014 
Filed under History, Theology

Archbishop Sir Marcus LoaneIn 1954, Marcus Loane – later Archbishop of Sydney and Sir Marcus – published his landmark “Masters of The English Reformation”.

It was republished in 2005 by Banner of Truth. If you haven’t read it, you ought to. (Availability.)

Here’s the Introduction —

“It was Martin Luther who declared that the doctrine of Justification by Faith Only is the article of a standing or falling church. The recovery of this doctrine was the key to the Reformation in Europe. It was the corollary of the translation of the Bible into the language of everyday life and its circulation in the homes and hands of ordinary people. These two momentous factors were to penetrate the Realm of England during the reign of Henry VIII and will forever be associated in a special sense with the names of Thomas Bilney and William Tyndale. These two, and many others as well, were to die at the stake as a result of their unswerving loyalty to the doctrines of Grace as made known in the Word of God. Nor did they die in vain. The supreme authority of Holy Scripture in all matters of faith and conduct was written into the sixth of the Articles of Religion; and the doctrine of Justification by Faith Only was summed up in unforgettable language in the Eleventh Article. Those two “Articles of the Christian Faith” are the bedrock on whIch the history of the Church of England since the Reformation must stand or fall.

But the pivot of the Reformation in England during the reign of Edward VI was the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper. Ridley’s discovery of the work of Ratramnus led him to reject the doctrine of Transubstantiation and the Sacrifice of the Mass as totally foreign to the teaching of the New Testament. Ridley was able to convince Cranmer that Ratramnus was right; they came to believe that the bread and wine are “the pledges” of God’s redeeming love and that the presence of the Lord Jesus is not to be found in an earthly altar, but in the hearts of those who feed on Him by faith with thanksgiving. Ridley was to expound this doctrine with clarity and dignity in his Treatise on the Lord’s Supper, and Cranmer was to defend it with great learning in his controversy with Gardiner. This was the doctrine enshrined in the Source of the Holy Communion in the Book of Common Prayer in 1552.

When Queen Mary came to the throne, Ridley, Latimer and Cranmer were the outstanding Reformers who were thrown into prison. In all the debates which ensued, in their trial and condemnation for heresy, and in the sentence of death which consigned them to death by fire, the one basic issue was their doctrine of the Lord’s Supper as opposed to the dogmas of the church with regard to Transubstantiation and the Mass. If the Church were right and they were wrong, they were not only condemned to a terrible form of death as heretics but were doomed to a lost eternity. Their real greatness was seen in the fact that they dared to stand by their convictions, formed as a result of intensive study of the Scriptures, and to die at the stake rather than yield to the pressures that were brought to bear on mind and feeling. And the candle they lit is one which by the grace of God will never go out.

What happened more than four hundred years ago is still vitally relevant. The integrity and authority of the Bible have been under constant assault from many quarters and it is no longer the one Book in the homes and hands of all. Many people today think that a good life, a good name, and a good reputation will somehow make them acceptable to God. And the reformed doctrine of the Lord’s Supper has been obscured by an emphasis on the Real Presence which approximates more and more towards medieval teaching and practice. Let Bilney and Tyndale speak again; let Latimer and Ridley and Cranmer be heard afresh. They witnessed “a good confession” for their heavenly Master and sealed it with their lives.

May this book renew the impact of their life and death on another generation “in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” [1 Cor. 6:11].”

(Photo: Ramon Williams.)

Free Reformation Day resources from Ligonier Ministries

Posted on October 31, 2014 
Filed under History, Resources

Martin Luther“In celebration of Reformation Day, for the first time ever we’re replacing our usual $5 Friday sale with Free Reformation Day Friday.

Until 11:59pm ET on Friday, October 31, 2014, [2:59pm AEST Saturday, November 01] you can download the following digital resources for free.”

A generous gift. eBooks, plus audio and video resources on the Reformation, with a focus on Martin Luther and John Calvin. (Around 2GB in total.)

Putting Halloween in its place

Posted on October 31, 2014 
Filed under Resources

Halloween - Trick or Treat?Glen Scrivener, former Oak Hill student and Church of England minister in Eastbourne, has made an evangelistic video you could use this weekend (it could also tie in very well if your church is observing Reformation Sunday this weekend).

Read Glen’s comments about it at the Oak Hill College website. You can download it at Vimeo. (This is a re-post from last year.)

Power and Promise

Posted on October 31, 2014 
Filed under Resources, Theology

Power and Promise by Peter JensenHere’s a new release from Christian Education Publications – Power and Promise, a series of devotions ideal for Lent (or any other time) from, Peter Jensen.

Details here.

Senator encourages involvement in Solidarity Sunday

Posted on October 30, 2014 
Filed under Australia, News, Resources

Senator David FawcettSenator David Fawcett spoke yesterday about the persecution of religious minorities, particularly Christians, under ISIL, and informed the Senate of Solidarity Sunday. (YouTube.)

Tears and Hope 2014

Posted on October 30, 2014 
Filed under Sydney Diocese

Tears and Hope 2014The annual ‘Tears And Hope’ service of healing for survivors of abuse is to be held at St John’s Darlinghurst, next Monday, November 3rd at 7:00pm.

Download a 1.3MB PDF flier to share with others, and pray that the service may help to bring comfort and healing.

“Bill Shorten’s description of Christians ‘wide of the mark’.”

Posted on October 30, 2014 
Filed under Australia

The Hon Bill Shorten“The Australian Christian Lobby’s Lyle Shelton has said Bill Shorten’s speech backing same sex marriage at their conference was “wide of the mark” because of his characterisation of Christians as people who invoke God and Bible to attack blended families and demonise people for who they love. …”

– report from The Australian.

See also:

Armidale Centenary

Posted on October 30, 2014 
Filed under Australian dioceses

Armidale history“Sydney Archbishop Glenn Davies will be the keynote speaker at a special service in Armidale next month to commemorate the centenary of the Anglican Diocese of Armidale…”

– from The Armidale Independent. See also the Diocese of Armidale’s Centenary page, history publication (‘I Will Build My Church’), and upcoming events.

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