Professor John Bainbridge Webster FRSE (1955–2016)

Posted on May 26, 2016 
Filed under People

prof-john-webster“I first met John Webster in 1996 when he began as Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity in the University of Oxford. He was, as a friend of mine and I observed at the time, ‘quite frankly the most impressive theological voice in Oxford today’. …

Webster’s inaugural lecture as Lady Margaret Professor is justly famous. Entitled ‘Theological Theology’, he sought to rescue theology from its enslavement to the pursuit of academic credibility by adopting critical methodologies and return it to its proper vocation of attending to the triune God and all else in relation to God.”

– At his blog, Theological Theology, Dr Mark Thompson pays tribute to Professor John Webster, who died in Aberdeen, Scotland on Tuesday (24th May 2016).

The Church in the Furnace

Posted on May 26, 2016 
Filed under Opinion, Resources

David MansfieldDavid Mansfield follows up on his earlier article, ‘The Church in the Fridge’.

“Sometimes our thoughtlessness and insensitivity can seem cool and indifferent. At other time, as I mentioned in the last blog, in the story of the inveterate hugger of every newcomer and regular that he could get his arms around, our behaviour can be too intense. Rather than a church in the fridge, we may come across as a church in the furnace.

While extreme examples don’t apply to most of us, there may be more subtle ways that we do things that can also come across as a bit intense to the newcomer…”

– As someone who visits many churches, David spots sub-cultural quirks you might not notice. At

Move to see ‘Anti-Transgender speech’ criminalised in Canada

Posted on May 25, 2016 
Filed under Culture wars

pm_justin_trudeau_canada“Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a bill that would criminalize anti-transgender speech, with violators receiving up to two years in prison.

The new bill, introduced May 17 on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, aims to amend the Canadian Criminal Code to expand the country’s ‘hate speech’ prohibitions to include any public speech or communication that ‘promotes hatred’ on the basis of ‘gender identity’ or ‘gender expression.’ It would also change the Canadian Human Rights Act to cover transgender people…“

– Story from The Blaze.

Related: Questions and Answers from the Canadian Department of Justice.

Q. Will “gender identity” and “gender expression” be defined in the Bill?

A. In order to ensure that the law would be as inclusive as possible, the terms “gender identity” and “gender expression” are not defined in the Bill. With very few exceptions, grounds of discrimination are not defined in legislation but are left to courts, tribunals, and commissions to interpret and explain, based on their detailed experience with particular cases.”

Photo: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Freedom for Faith Sydney Conference planned for 12th August

Posted on May 25, 2016 
Filed under Culture wars, Resources

Dr Mike Ovey“There has never been a more important time for Christians to think about the place of religious freedom in Australia. … There is a sense that Christians are more and more out of step with cultural elites and that soon they may hold beliefs which are at odds with Australian law.  Looking globally we see genocidal persecution of believers on a scale that has never been seen before.

Churches are crying out for leadership in knowing how to live in these changing times. Come and be equipped and refreshed.

Dr Michael Ovey, Principal of Oak Hil College in London will headline a great day of teaching…”

Freedom for Faith is planning a conference at St. Andrew’s Cathedral on Friday 12th August 2016. Details to come – this is an important topic, so save the date.

See also the interview with Freedom For Faith Executive Director Michael Kellahan on page 10 of The Pulse, May – June 2016 (PDF).

Greetings for new Kenyan Primate

Posted on May 24, 2016 
Filed under Anglican Communion, GAFCON

Archbishop-Elect Jackson Ole SapitThe GAFCON website has posted these messages of greeting to the new Kenyan Primate The Rt. Rev. Jackson Ole Sapit, who was elected last week:

Archbishop Peter Jensen – on behalf of GAFCON.

Archbishop Stanley Ntagali – Primate of Uganda.

Archbishop Foley Beach – on behalf of ACNA.

Andy Lines – on behalf of Crosslinks, also gives thanks for the ministry of Archbishop Eliud Wabukala on his coming retirement.

Catch up with the Nexus16 conference

Posted on May 23, 2016 
Filed under Resources, Theology

nexus-16-video-0If you missed the Nexus16 conference at Annandale today (or would like to revisit it), you can view the videos at the Nexus website.

The videos include interviews with various attendees – and the talks!

Are you ashamed of Jesus?

Posted on May 23, 2016 
Filed under Resources

not-ashamed-of-jesus“You’re an embarrassment to be around.”

“Please don’t walk next to me – I don’t want people to know that we’re together.”

These are painful words that no one ever wants to hear. But does my life speak these words to Jesus?

This is the question that has troubled me since my first day visiting persecuted Christians in the Middle East with Open Doors…

– At Communicate Jesus, Steven Kryger has a challenge for you.

Primate of Uganda welcomes new Kenyan Primate

Posted on May 22, 2016 
Filed under Anglican Communion, GAFCON

abp-stanley-ntagaliArchbishop of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali, has sent this message to the newly-elected Archbishop of Kenya:

The Rt. Rev. Jackson Ole Sapit
Anglican Church of Kenya

Dear Archbishop-elect Jackson,

Greetings from the Church of Uganda in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

On behalf of the House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda, the clergy, and laity of the Province, we extend our hearty congratulations to you on your election as the next Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya.

We have been praying for the election and believe that God’s will has been done. Your colleagues have recognized God’s apostolic calling and anointing on you, and we believe His grace will be sufficient for the big ministry ahead of you. We shall warmly welcome you to the GAFCON Primates Council and look forward to walking together as neighbours in East Africa in the cause of Christ, His Gospel, and the expansion of His Kingdom into every corner of our region and into every heart. 

We thank Archbishop Eliud for his steadfast leadership of the Anglican Church of Kenya and the global GAFCON community. He has been single-minded in proclaiming and contending for the “faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). We believe the future is very bright for the Anglican Church of Kenya and we thank God for your election to serve as Archbishop and shall pray for you as you prepare to receive the baton being passed to you.

Your brother, in Christ,

The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali

– via GAFCON.

Women teaching Men — How far is too far?

Posted on May 22, 2016 
Filed under Opinion, Theology

Mary Kassian“Where is the line when it comes to women teaching men? May women preach on Sunday mornings? Teach a Sunday school class? Lead a small group? Instruct a seminary course? Speak at a conference? At a couples retreat? Or on the radio?

May women ever teach from Scripture when men are in the audience? Should men even be reading this article? How far is too far?

It’s a question being asked by scores of women who want to be faithful to the Bible and want to exercise their spiritual gift of teaching in a way that honors God’s pattern of male headship in the church…”

– Mary Kassian outlines an answer at Desiring God. (h/t Tim Challies.)

Church of Scotland votes to allow ministers to be in same-sex marriages

Posted on May 22, 2016 
Filed under Other denominations

church-of-scotland-ga-2016“The Church of Scotland’s highest law-making body has voted to allow its ministers to be in same-sex marriages.

The church’s general assembly, which opened in Edinburgh on Saturday, voted in favour of extending a law passed last May that permits ministers to be in same-sex civil partnerships.

The decision, after years of deliberation, means the church maintains the traditional view marriage as between a man and woman, but allows individual congregations to ‘opt out’ if they wish to appoint a minister or deacon in a same-sex marriage or civil partnership…”

– Story from The Guardian. (Photo credit: Church of Scotland.)

Related (from June 2012): St. George’s Tron, Glasgow, secedes from Church of Scotland.

“We believe the Church of Scotland is choosing to walk away from the biblical gospel, and to walk apart from the faith of the worldwide Christian Church.”

Can we love our enemies in a godless world?

Posted on May 22, 2016 
Filed under Opinion

hugh-mackay-abc-news“At the Sydney Writers’ Festival yesterday, the much loved social commentator and author of The Good Life and Beyond Belief Hugh Mackay opined about the teacher at the root of Western ethics: ‘Jesus never told anyone what to believe in. He only spoke about how to treat each other.’…”

– At the ABC’s The Drum, John Dickson answers Hugh Mackay’s assertion. (Hugh Mackay photo credit: ABC.)

See also: You got that one wrong, Hugh Mackay. Jesus absolutely told people what to believe in. – Bible Society Australia.

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