A Christian response to the distressing news

Phillip Jensen“I awoke on Friday morning to the news of Christians fleeing for their lives in Iraq. Over the last couple of months in Iraq, there has been mounting pressure on Christians to convert to Islam. Now, whole Christian townships have been conquered and the people are fleeing to seek Kurdish protection.

In a world riddled by war, revolutions, violence and ever increasing numbers of displaced refugees it’s strange how distressing I found Friday’s news. It’s not simply because the people are Christians, though no doubt that’s part of it. I suspect my distress is that we are being plunged into the kind of war that we do not want to have and that we have eschewed – a religious war.

As I write, I am still struggling to come to a considered response to this terrible news. Here, in point form, are some things that go towards working out an appropriate Christian response.…”

– Dean of Sydney Phillip Jensen sets down some helpful thoughts – and calls for prayer.

See also: Murder of Iraqi Christians – second appeal for prayer from Archbishop Glenn Davies.

Are Christian Missionaries narcissistic idiots? (Quick answer: No)

Albert Mohler“In Ann Coulter’s view, Kent Brantly should never have gone to Africa in the first place. He should have spent his time and energies saving America…”

Albert Mohler responds to an opinion piece by columnist Ann Coulter. While the context is US-based, the command of Christ is the same.

‘Get with the Program’ — The Church of England votes to ordain Women Bishops

Albert Mohler“Writing about the age of John Milton, the British author A. N. Wilson once tried to explain to modern secular readers that there had once been a time when bishops of the Church of England were titanic figures of conviction who were ready to stand against the culture.

‘It needs an act of supreme historical imagination to be able to recapture an atmosphere in which Anglican bishops might be taken seriously,’ he wrote, ‘still more, one in which  they might be thought threatening.’

Keep that in mind as you read the news that the General Synod of the Church of England voted yesterday to approve the consecration of women as bishops of the church …

Ruth Gledhill is profoundly right about another aspect of Monday’s vote as well. It won’t stop with women bishops. ‘Now the church can move into the 20th century, although perhaps not the 21st,’ she wrote. ‘A change on gay marriage would be needed to do that.’ Well, stay tuned, as they say”

Albert Mohler writes on what happens when bowing to the spirit of the age is more important than a serious commitment to biblical Christianity.

‘Anglicans mad only if they ignore Bible’

NZ SRTM derived“Amid the swirl of opinion around the Anglican General Synod’s decision to commit to finding a way to bless gay couples, the epithets for orthodox Anglicans have mounted: anti-gay, homophobic, wrong, immoral, betrayers of Jesus, unloving, judgmental, intolerant, bigoted, ostracising, unjust and hypocritical. Doubtless an incomplete list, but enough to paint a nasty picture…”

– In this opinion-piece for the New Zealand Herald, Michael Hewat (Vicar of the West Hamilton) argues that the NZ Anglican General Synod has failed ‘the LGBT community’.

Related: Same-Gender blessings: NZ General Synod votes. (May 14 2014)

Caring or Killing

Phillip Jensen“‘Is the baby normal?’ is one of the first questions parents ask the doctor and that’s the last time the parents are happy that their child is only normal!

We don’t want our children to be abnormal or have any abnormalities but we do want them to be above average. We don’t want them to be the high achievers who crash and burn in the blaze of celebrity magazine publicity, but nobody wishes their child to be below average. Everybody’s child is above average in their parents’ imagination, and even higher in their grandparents’ estimation.

However, it is very important that our pursuit of excellence and perfection should never be applied to our humanity…”

– Phillip Jensen looks at some implications of being human.

Keeping up with General Synod

Australian dioceses (image: Anglican Church of Australia)As General Synod meets in Adelaide, here are a few ways you can keep up, if you so desire –

Biblical Theology and the Sexuality Crisis

Albert Mohler“As the church responds [the current moral and sexual revolution], we must remember that current debates on sexuality present to the church a crisis that is irreducibly and inescapably theological.

This crisis is tantamount to the type of theological crisis that Gnosticism presented to the early church or that Pelagianism presented to the church in the time of Augustine. In other words, the crisis of sexuality challenges the church’s understanding of the gospel, sin, salvation, and sanctification.

Advocates of the new sexuality demand a complete rewriting of Scripture’s metanarrative, a complete reordering of theology, and a fundamental change to how we think about the church’s ministry.”

– Albert Mohler writes at the 9Marks blog.

Chaplains in Schools Song by Colin Buchanan

SoundcloudYesterday’s “Thank God it’s Friday” with Richard Glover on ABC 702 Sydney had Colin Buchanan as one of the studio guests.

The outcry over a topic for the Festival of Dangerous Ideas at the Sydney Opera House and the High Court Challenge to School Chaplains came together in Colin’s song.

Identity

Phillip Jensen“Hello, my name is Bill, and I’m an alcoholic.”

– Dean of Sydney Phillip Jensen asks us to consider our identity.

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