Review: They Shall See His Face

“You may never have heard of Amy Oxley Wilkinson (1868–1949), although it’s possible you know of her great grandfather, Rowland Hassall – one of the first missionaries to come to Australia after fleeing trouble in Tahiti – or his son Thomas, who started the first Sunday School in Australia at Parramatta in 1813, and went on to be an Anglican minister in the rural south of Sydney, who earned himself the moniker ‘the galloping parson’ for visiting his far-flung flock on horseback.

If not them, you will surely know of the Rev. Samuel Marsden, chaplain, missionary and farmer, whose eldest daughter Anne married Thomas. Amy was their granddaughter, the eighth child of John Norton Oxley and Harriet Jane Hassall…”

– At The Gospel Coalition Australia, Dr. Claire Smith reviews They Shall See His Face, by Linda and Robert Banks. It’s about the most widely known female Australian missionary in China and the West in the early 20th century.

The book is available from a number of retailers, including from The Wandering Bookseller.

A Greater Peace

“Sergeant Philip Ball is an Australian soldier buried in Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery in France.

He was 21 years old when he was killed in action on 28 March 1918. He was a brave soldier, who was awarded the Military Medal in July 1917.

After the war his parents chose an unusual epitaph for his headstone in Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery:


I have not found a similar inscription in the thousands of epitaphs I have collected from Australian war graves of the First World War. But it is a question that challenges any reader …”

Moore College Historian Dr. Colin Bale writes at The Gospel Coalition Australia.

Related: Bells to ring for Armistice Centenary –

The History of the English Standard Version

A most encouraging ten minute video from Crossway. Take the time to watch, and give thanks.

What is Reformation Day?

“A single event on a single day changed the world.

It was October 31, 1517. Brother Martin, a monk and a scholar, had struggled for years with his church, the church in Rome. He had been greatly disturbed by an unprecedented indulgence sale. The story has all the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster. Let’s meet the cast. …”

– At Ligonier Ministries, Stephen Nichols reminds us what it was about.

The Legacy of David Broughton Knox

“David Broughton Knox was one of the most influential Anglican leaders in the second half of the twentieth century.

His long service as principal of Moore Theological College, Sydney, had an impact much further afield than that city. Along with this, the unique place Sydney Diocese has in the Anglican Communion has been significantly shaped by Knox’s ministry and theological priorities. …”

– The Latimer Trust has published the papers presented at the Moore College Library Day in 2016.

The Legacy of David Broughton Knox is edited by Ed Loane and is available from The Latimer Trust in the UK, and from several other booksellers (prices in Australian dollars).

What Is the Greatest of all Protestant “Heresies”?

“Let us begin with a church history exam question.

Cardinal Robert Bellarmine (1542–1621) was a figure not to be taken lightly. He was Pope Clement VIII’s personal theologian and one of the most able figures in the Counter-Reformation movement within sixteenth-century Roman Catholicism. On one occasion, he wrote: ‘The greatest of all Protestant heresies is _______ .’

Complete, explain, and discuss Bellarmine’s statement.

How would you answer? What is the greatest of all Protestant heresies?

Perhaps justification by faith? Perhaps Scripture alone, or one of the other Reformation watchwords? …”

– Sinclair Ferguson writes at Ligonier Ministries.

Donald William Bradley Robinson (1922-2018)

“We at Moore College rejoice today that our dear brother and father in the faith, Archbishop Donald William Bradley Robinson AO, has been called home to be with Christ, ‘which is better by far’.

The debt we owe to this faithful disciple and Bible teacher is truly incalculable. Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, many of whom do not even know his name, have been shaped in their reading of the Bible by the approach to biblical theology that he pioneered at Moore College in the 1950s and 1960s. Graeme Goldsworthy’s Gospel and Kingdom and Vaughan Roberts’ God’s Big Picture have taken that approach around the world.

Donald William Bradley Robinson was born on 9 November 1922, the son of a clergyman in the Diocese of Sydney. He studied classics at Sydney University, graduating in 1946, and theology at Queen’s College, Cambridge, graduating in 1950. …”

– Moore College Principal Dr. Mark Thompson adds his tribute to Bishop Donald Robinson.

Read it all at Theological Theology. (Also published at the Moore College website.)

The Judges of Jesus

“Luke brilliantly plots the intersection of the eternal with the temporal (Luke 3:1–2). It was in Tiberius Caesar’s fifteenth year, AD 28, that John the Baptist began proclaiming the word of God.

He also remarkably captures the political complexity of Palestine. Pontius Pilate was military governor of Judea, Herod’s son Herod Antipas was tetrarch of Galilee, and Caiaphas was high priest of the temple city, Jerusalem.

In the narrative that follows Luke traces the movements of Jesus within the jurisdictions of those three men. …”

– At his blog, Bishop Paul Barnett reflects on the legacy of the three judges of Jesus.

The night John Newton ‘attended an eclipse of the moon’

On Tuesday 30th July, 1776, John Newton observed a lunar eclipse.

The experience prompted a diary entry and a hymn!

“The moon in silver glory shone,
And not a cloud in sight,
When suddenly a shade begun
To intercept her light.

How fast across her orb it spread,
How fast her light withdrew!
A circle tinged with languid red,
Was all appeared in view. …”

Read it all at the John Newton Project. (Linked from their home page.)

If you would like to see tomorrow morning’s total lunar eclipse (Saturday 28th July 2018) – from Sydney, look to the west before sunrise.

Partial Eclipse Begins at 4:25 am AEST
Total Eclipse Begins at 5:30 am (That’s when the Moon moves fully into the Earth’s shadow)
Maximum Eclipse at 6:21 am (That’s the deepest part of the eclipse.)
Moon sets at 6:55 am – which is the same as sunrise.
Twilight will wash out any subtle colours before sunrise.

Watch, and be encouraged by John Newton’s example to draw some meditations from the experience.

(Photo: 15 April 2014 lunar eclipse over Parkes, courtesy John Sarkissian.)

Andrew Atherstone on C H Spurgeon

Take the time to watch this talk by Andrew Atherstone on C. H. Spurgeon, with a wonderful account of Spurgeon’s conversion.

The big point: Preach Christ, and preach the Cross!

From the 2018 Evangelical Ministry Conference in London. Very encouraging.

J. C. Ryle: Prepared to Stand Alone, by Iain Murray — Review

“One of the greatest Christian leaders to come out of England in the nineteenth century was John Charles Ryle. Famously known as ‘the man of granite with the heart of a child,’ Ryle stands out as a towering example of Christian fortitude and pastoral excellence.

Although he died more than a century ago, he still has much to say to our generation. And perhaps no one is better suited to teach us about Ryle than renowned biographer Iain Murray. …”

– At the 9Marks website, Nate Pickowicz briefly reviews Iain Murray’s J.C. Ryle, Prepared to Stand Alone.

Why Cranmer would have approved of the Oxford Martyrs’ Memorial

“How many British national newspaper journalists apart from Peter Hitchens would be willing and able to write so knowledgeably about the sixteenth-century Protestant martyrs burned at the stake in Oxford? Surely not very many.

Mr Hitchens’s highly educative piece about the English Protestant martyrs in First Things, the magazine for the New York-based Institute on Religion and Public Life, certainly achieved its purpose. It showed the moral difference between the Protestant Christians martyred under Mary Tudor and the Jesuit fanatics executed for high treason under Elizabeth Tudor.

But his portrayal of the conduct in the fire of persecution of respectively Bishop Hugh Latimer, burnt at the stake in 1555, and Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, burnt in 1556, calls for a rejoinder for the sake of a more complete picture of the Church of England’s theology as expressed in its historic formularies, namely its 1662 Book of Common Prayer, Ordinal and 39 Articles of Religion. …”

– Julian Mann, Vicar of Oughtibridge in South Yorkshire, reflects on Peter Hitchens’ characterisation of Bishop Latimer.

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