40th anniversary of the murder of Archbishop Janani Luwum to be observed

“The Government of Uganda and the country’s Anglican Church will join forces next month for a major commemoration to mark the 40th Anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Janani Luwum. Archbishop Luwum was murdered by Uganda’s then-president, Idi Amin, on 16 February 1977. …”

– Report from the Anglican Communion News Service.

The Archbishops’ Statement on the Reformation

“The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have released a joint statement on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The statement recognises that ‘many Christians will want to give thanks for the great blessings they have received to which the Reformation directly contributed’. Furthermore it includes among those blessings, ‘clear proclamation of the gospel of grace, the availability of the Bible to all in their own language and the recognition of the calling of lay people to serve God in the world and in the church’. The Archbishops make clear that the Church of England will be participating in the celebrations of this anniversary, ‘including sharing in events with Protestant church partners from Continental Europe’.

So despite how some of the more popular press might try to spin it, this statement is not a repudiation of the Reformation nor of its doctrine. …

At Theological Theology, Moore College Principal Dr Mark Thompson asks if “the departures from biblical truth that occasioned the split at the time of the Reformation have been addressed by the Roman Church”.

Katoomba Christian Convention – a short history


From Lionel Windsor:

“During our time at the CMS Summer School at Katoomba, our family has been greatly blessed by the hospitality of Paul Innes, who operates Blue Mountains History Tours.

As part of Paul’s history work in the Blue Mountains, he regularly contributes history articles to the Scenic World Tourist Magazine. The latest story from the Summer 2016 edition concerns the history of the Katoomba Christian Convention…”

Read it here.

Seventeen years closer to Eternity

Eternity sign on Sydney Harbour Bridge, January 2000Seventeen years ago, Sydney celebrated the beginning of 2000 by displaying on the Harbour Bridge the word Eternity in the iconic copperplate handwriting of Arthur Stace.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge (literally) since then, and in many ways the world has changed. But the basic need of men and women is the same – to hear the gospel and be saved.

In 2017, be encouraged to continue to trust Christ, and to live in the light of eternity. Read the story of Arthur Stace in our Resources section.

(Keep in mind the evangelistic opportunities which could come with the 50th anniversary of the death of Arthur Stace.)

With thanks for Broughton Knox on the Centenary of his birth

David Broughton Knox was born on Boxing Day, 1916.

Today is a good day to give thanks to the Lord he loved. Here are two tributes, written at the time of his death in 1994, by two men who knew him well:

David Broughton Knox – What we owe to him – by Archbishop Donald Robinson.

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus – tribute to Broughton Knox – by Archbishop Sir Marcus Loane.

See also:

Reformation Themes: The Bible Alone and Faith Alone – from Paul Barnett

Bishop Paul BarnettBishop Paul Barnett has written two encouraging reflections on key Reformation themes. Read them at the links below.

Reformation Theme: The Bible Alone.

“2017 will be the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation. On 31st October 1517 an unknown monk in a small town nailed 95 debating points to a church door.  It was a common academic practice to invite debate but these ‘theses’ went viral and Martin Luther became famous overnight. …”

Reformation Theme: Faith Alone.

“The young Martin Luder – that was the family name – had been a law student in the major university town, Erfurt. Against his father’s will he became an Augustinian monk.

But he was a poor tortured soul who felt himself under the wrath of God. He engaged in punishing fasts and endless confessionals. As a mendicant monk he begged his way 1000 miles from Erfurt to Rome as a pilgrimage.

But he was clever. The order appointed him Professor of Bible at the new university in the little, ‘nowhere place’, Wittenberg. In preparing his lectures on Romans and the Psalms he made a great discovery. …”

The Parish of Peakhurst / Lugarno – a snapshot from 1974

peakhurst-1974This 1974 newsreel about the Anglican Parish of Peakhurst – Lugarno will bring back memories for many of our readers.

27 minutes, on YouTube.

Inside Sydney: An Insider’s view of the changes and politics in the Anglican Diocese of Sydney, 1966-2013

inside-sydney-bbjThe Rev Canon Dr Bruce Ballantine-Jones OAM, former President, and now Emeritus Vice-President, of the Anglican Church League, has published a significant history of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney.

Inside Sydney: An Insider’s view of the changes and politics in the Anglican Diocese of Sydney, 1966-2013 is available from The Wandering Bookseller. Click on the image for ordering details.

Here are some Endorsements of the book:

Inside Sydney is an insider’s personal perspective on one of Australia’s truly representative democracies, the Anglican Diocese of Sydney. Every democracy has a political dimension and Canon Bruce Ballantine-Jones participated in that democracy at every level for half-a-century. Here are the mature reflections on his experience, an analysis of how the Diocese works and why it does not and cannot work.

A lifelong lover and player of the political game, he must have been tempted, like professional politicians who write their memoirs, to engage in self-justification. But this account transcends that genre. It explains very complex machinery with exceptional clarity and never loses sight of its purpose: to support the proclamation of the gospel and to bring the people of Sydney to the new life in Christ which is the hallmark of his own life and ministry. It is essential reading for all who love the Diocese and also for those who do not love it, but need to understand it.

Associate Professor Stuart Piggin, Centre for the History of Christian Thought and Experience, Macquarie University.

This is an important book that should be widely read and discussed among those with an interest in the Diocese of Sydney and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Inside Sydney is a substantial study of an important question: How should the considerable resources of the large and complex organisation known as the Anglican Diocese of Sydney be harnessed to serve the cause of the Lord Jesus Christ? It is not the last word on its subject, nor is it indisputable in its conclusions, but it does offer an ‘insider’s’ account of events from 1966 to 2013, through which the author draws his conclusions, both critical and constructive.

Those who know BBJ will not be surprised to find the book honest (at times frankly so), very well informed (the author was directly involved in much of this story), generous (where critical judgements are made there is also a warm recognition of positive qualities and contributions) and engaging. I highly recommend this book.

Dr John Woodhouse, Former Principal Moore Theological College, Sydney.

Few developments in the Anglican world have been more significant and yet less widely understood than the remarkable growth and expansion of the Sydney diocese over the past half-century. This book offers us an eye-witness account of what has happened and an assessment of what it might mean for the future of the Anglican Church in Australia and in the wider world.

It is to be hoped that the publication of these memoirs will encourage others to share their insights as well, so that friends and observers of the Sydney scene will have a deeper understanding of the many forces at work that have produced this remarkable turn of events.

– Gerald Bray, Director of Research, Latimer Trust, London.

Available from The Wandering Bookseller: Inside Sydney: An Insider’s view of the changes and politics in the Anglican Diocese of Sydney, 1966-2013.

See also this interview with Bruce Ballantine-Jones, “Gospel Ministry and Church Politics: What’s the Connection?

The Importance of Peter

the-importance-of-peterThis year has seen two books published from the hand of Bishop Paul Barnett, my predecessor as Bishop of North Sydney and a distinguished lecturer, author and scholar   (whose number of publications clearly surpasses that of his successor!).

The first was his contribution to the Reading the Bible Today Series with the release of his commentary on Philippians and Philemon. The second is his appreciation of the contribution of the Simon Peter to early Christianity…”

– Archbishop Glenn Davies reviews The Importance of Peter in Early Christianity by Paul Barnett – at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Find where you can purchase the book at this link.

Diocesan BBQ at Gilbulla

diocesan_bbq_nov_1966_495A blast from the past – from Southern Cross magazine, September 1966.

(We don’t do Barbecues like that any more!)

Being There: Wittenberg

Dr Paul Barnett“I have valued the experience of being in important places because it brings history to life.

A long time love of the history of the New Testament has taken me many times to Jordan, Israel, Turkey and Greece. The landscape, remains of buildings, even the climate, adds value to the written word.  Being there also raises questions of chronology. What happened when, and how long was it before b followed a?

I had not visited the places that figured in Martin Luther’s life story until 2014, and more recently in 2016. Many buildings are being restored in anticipation of big crowds in 2017, the 500th anniversary of Luther’s ninety-five theses being nailed to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg. …”

– Bishop Paul Barnett reminds us that the events of the Reformation happened in real places which you can visit today.

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