John Anderson on Fatherhood and other matters

Former Leader of the National Party and Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson has been posting interviews and reflections on his website.

Most recently, he read on camera two op-eds on fatherhood which had been published in The Australian and Quadrant.

Related:

Christians in a Fragile Democracy: An Interview with John Anderson – from the Gospel Coalition Australia.

The benefits of a long-term ministry

“I was ordained in 1971 and retired in 2012, and I spent 33 of those years as the vicar of St John’s Felbridge, a small Surrey village which is effectively part of East Grinstead, a town in West Sussex. It is a long time to spend in one place, and in my retirement I have been reflecting on the positive and negative aspects of ministry of that sort of length. …

Staying in one parish for 33 years would be disaster without a commitment to expository preaching. Over the years I have benefited enormously from the ministry of the Proclamation Trust, which encouraged me to keep working at opening up the Scriptures.”

– In this article from Church Society’s Crossway archives, Stephen Bowen looks at the challenges and advantages of staying in one church long term.

Masks

“I don’t understand why people would have a problem being asked to wear a mask. It might not be popular to say it out loud, but we all put on masks.

So what’s the problem? Long before COVID came along we were masked and long after it will disappear we will continue to be masked. So what’s the problem?…”

A gospel slant on masks from the Bishop of Armidale, Rick Lewers.

Hagia Sophia and the Signs of the Times

“The Byzantine Cathedral Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) was built in 537AD by Emperor Justinian and remains one of the world’s most recognised and beautiful buildings. It is deservedly a Unesco World Heritage site: a museum of immense beauty and historical significance.

Although I have never had a chance to visit Istanbul and to walk inside this magnificent building, I have long dreamed of wandering along its marble floors, admiring the mosaics and being entranced by the dome above.

But this museum is no more. …

What is happening in Turkey should serve as a reminder for churches not to take for granted the time we have to live and serve and to preach Jesus Christ as Lord. …”

– Murray Campbell sees an important lesson for churches in current events.

Loving the Liturgy

“Churches returning to physical services after the pandemic lock-down are having to be creative and adaptable under the present restrictions.

With singing not allowed, many are re-discovering the benefits of using liturgy in our corporate worship.

Is this something to be regretted, a backward step, or something to be grateful for?…”

– At Church Society’s blog, Andrew Cinnamond shares some reasons this can be a very good thing.

Hidden behind the bannered slogan

“Being truthful makes a person or a group trustworthy. To be trusted, an openness and honesty is required. To present a truism but then hide other agendas may attract listeners at first, but when what is hidden is exposed, trust will be lost, cynicism will grow, and the community will be wounded.

As a church leader I should know. I have felt betrayed by the hidden evils perpetrated by the groomers and paedophiles that have haunted the darker corners of church history.

Perhaps, naïvely, I thought such evil could not exist where Christian slogans were so righteous. While the slogan may be right and good, life offers evidence of the insidious nature of those who hide behind slogans with ulterior motives. …”

– Bishop of Armidale Rick Lewers cautions against naïvety.

Where are all the senior ministers?

“Currently there are around 30 vacant parishes in the Sydney Diocese.

Generally vacancies last longer now, because there are fewer people putting their hands up for rector roles. That is seen across the Diocese. As Bishop of the Georges River, I certainly have had parishes that have taken more than two years to fill. …”

– Bishop raises some important matters for prayer – at SydneyAnglicans.net.

All Things to All People? The Gospel is the Issue

“I think most of us with any sense of awareness can recognize that we are living in one of those great transitional moments in human history. But there is one thing that must not change: the Christian task of bearing faithful witness to the glory of God in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Some would disagree and argue that the Christian witness, to be faithful, must change anything and everything to fit the culture as it changes over time and across locations. They might quote the apostle Paul: ‘I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some’ (1 Cor 9:22).

I propose, however, that far from a mandate to accommodate all things, Paul’s words here are a manifesto for ministry that puts the gospel above all things. …”

Encouraging words in dark times, from Albert Mohler.

Lennox

“The name Lennox means ‘From the field of elm trees’. It is Gaelic in origin and both the name of a character in Macbeth and the name given to my newly born grandchild.

He will not simply be a character in a play, he will be a life lived across a moment of time, a time that the more pessimistic of grandparents may consider concerning.

Who would think that a child born into an educated and materialistic western society would arrive at a time of such civil unrest, where historical divides and the anarchist heart of humanity remains and the atheistic humanist’s dream lies dead?…”

– Bishop of Armidale Rick Lewers writes this article for his local paper.

Something more important than lighting a candle

Writing from Canada, The Anglican Samizdat points out that there are more helpful things to do during the current crisis than to light a candle.

Coronavirus and your workplace: Four reflections from a month travelling Australia

“I have spent the past six weeks travelling around Australia, running City Bible Forum’s annual Life@Work conference—a conference for Christians in the workplace. The theme of the conference this year was “Unmasked”, exploring how we might reveal more of who we are in the workplace to our colleagues, and not just our strengths.

However as the weeks progressed the conference theme took an unexpected twist…”

Melbourne City Bible Forum’s Andrew Laird shares some observations, and encourages Christians to hold out the hope of the gospel.

Is the end of handshaking the start of real fellowship?

“The latest recommendations for limiting the spread of Coronavirus include no handshaking.

For churches, where the handshake may be an informal, or sometimes official, type of greeting it may seem like a loss. I think it may be a gain and will cause us to rethink just how close our fellowship can be. …”

– At SydneyAnglicans.net, Russell Powell has a great suggestion for an alternative to a handshake.

It pays to hold your nerve in the Transgender Debate

“As Douglas Murray observes in his book The Madness of Crowds, we’re making long term decisions about people’s sexual and mental health based on untested ideas that have been around for the past twenty minutes.  And now people are starting to take a reality check. …”

– Stephen McAlpine sees signs that the tide beginning to turn. Image: BBC.

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