Challenge for new Oak Hill President in avoiding ‘Good Disagreement’ trap

“With the leadership of the Church of England increasingly expecting its future ministers to be enthusiastic about theological diversity, the new president of the one distinctively Reformed Anglican training college, Oak Hill in north London, faces a demanding task.

The Revd Jonathan Juckes took up the newly created role of college president last month at the age of 56. This was after the college council decided to appoint a president to work alongside the academic principal following the sudden death last year of former principal Dr Michael Ovey (1958-2017).”

Julian Mann’s opinion piece is a good reminder to continue to pray for Oak Hill College – and to give thanks for the great blessing that college has been for so many.

And continue to pray for Moore College, of course, as the ministry year begins.

Photo: Jonathan Juckes at Oak Hill College.

Is there a place for women on a theological college faculty?

“In recent days a conversation has taken place among complementarians and a few others about whether it is appropriate for a woman to serve on a theological college faculty (or in American terms, as a seminary professor).

The catalyst was a response by John Piper to a question on his ‘Ask Pastor John’ podcast. John Piper, a highly respected evangelical leader in America with deep complementarian convictions, responded with basically a five point argument …

I share many, if not most, of Piper’s complementarian convictions.…

However, while I respect Piper’s convictions, I do not agree with his conclusions. Why is that? I have four reasons. …”

– Principal of Moore Theological College in Sydney, Dr. Mark Thompson, writes at Theological Theology.

Jordan Peterson: an antidote to chaos?

“If you use the internet enough to have found this blogpost, you will almost certainly have seen references to That Interview between Canadian clinical psychologist Jordan B. Peterson and Channel 4 News’ Cathy Newman.

If you haven’t watched the full half-hour exchange (like 5.5m already have), go and do so now. I’ve wagered with half a dozen people who claimed not to be interested that if they watch just five full minutes of the interview, they could then close it down if they so wished and I wouldn’t nag ever them again to see it. They have all watched the whole thing from start to finish. A one-word text, five minutes in, from my initially sceptical brother: ‘Hooked.’ …”

– At Church Society’s blog, Tom Woolford considers Jordan Peterson and his message. What should Christians think?

Iowa University Christian student group reinstated by judge

“…it used to be widely accepted that a person who is heterosexual in ‘orientation’ may legitimately choose not to indulge their sexual preferences, by living in chastity outside marriage, or indeed in celibacy if so called to this option (for example, if marriage is not entered into).

That such honourable choices seem unbelievable to many in the highly sexualised world of the secular West, does not mean that they are not made all the time. Why then is it not possible to accept that an organisation may be perfectly happy to accept as a member a person of homosexual orientation, so long as that person indicates that they undertake not to act on their sexual preferences?  …”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Assoc. Prof. Neil Foster provides some details from the American case, and then asks the legitimate question above.

Where can Justice and Forgiveness find satisfaction at once?

“I want to direct you to one of the most winsome and compelling testimonies I have ever heard, by a convinced and articulate Christian named Rachael Denhollander, a former gymnast who was first molested by Nasser when she was 16.

In her testimony, you will hear her pain. … But if you skip to the 25:40 mark in the video you can see and hear Mrs. Denhollander address Nasser directly and speak Gospel truth into his life. …”

– The American Anglican Council’s Phil Ashey looks at the testimony so many have been talking about this week.


12 Rules for Life – A Christian Perspective

“I have been asked so much about my article Is Jordan Peterson the New Messiah? … that I decided to … write a full review of 12 Rules for Life, complete with quotes so that you can judge  for yourselves –  Peterson is not a preacher but there are enough quotes here to keep a preacher happy for many sermons!  of course reading the book is better.

The following is my review from a Christian perspective. I have to say it is a long time since I have been so excited about a book!”

– At his blog The Wee Flea, David Robertson reviews Jordan Peterson’s influential new book.

Related: Jordan Peterson interviewed on Channel 4 in the UK. (via Rod Dreher.)

God, History and Australia Day

“I arrived in Australia at the age of seven, in October 1972.  I am tremendously thankful for Australia. I share the experience of thousands of migrants from dozens of countries that Australia has offered freedom to pursue countless opportunities, with few barriers put in my way on account of where I came from.  Most of all, here, God made himself known to me through his gospel, and my local church nurtured my faith.

I am struck therefore with the painful contrast between my experience and that of so many indigenous people of Australia. …”

– Dean of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel, reflects on Australia Day and how Christians should think of it. At

Abortion, Canada, and the relentless wave of Authoritarian Secularism

“I love taking Claude (family greyhound) for an early morning walk through the streets of Parkdale and Mentone, and to listen to the Bible as we go. Today in the Psalms, I was struck by Psalm 8:2, which says,

‘Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.’

Afterward, I was catching up on the news and heard a report about a recent announcement by Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. Organisations applying for Government funding for the Canadian Summer Jobs program, must now sign an attestation that they support abortion. …”

– Murray Campbell in Melbourne looks at the Canadian example as a foretaste of what Christians in Australia can expect.

Large fine for refusing to supply same sex wedding cake upheld in Oregon

“There have been a number of ‘wedding industry’ religious freedom cases arising in the United States and the UK over the last few years.

On 28 December 2017 the Oregon Court of Appeals, in Klein v. Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries … upheld a $135,000 fine levied on the Kleins, wedding cake makers, for declining to make a cake for the wedding of Rachel and Laurel Bowmen-Cryer.

The case is another example of religious freedom (and, arguably, freedom of speech) being over-ridden in the name of ‘dignitary harm’ to same-sex couples. It is a good example of the issues being presented to the current Ruddock Inquiry into Religious Freedom being conducted in Australia at the moment. …”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Assoc. Professor Neil Foster takes a look at the Oregon wedding cake case.

He writes, “Attempts to learn from overseas experience and provide a clear legislative solution to the issues were defeated in the passage of the legislation enacting same sex marriage for this country.” He encourages Australian readers to make their views known to the Ruddock Enquiry.

The Condition of the Stable

“As we enjoy the sounds and smells of our Christmas — roast turkey, excited children, and the amicable throng of the communion table — they are different from the first Christmas. Its outward smells and signs are dung, urine, and the sounds of fear as a child is born under reprobate appearance.

But nothing we have can match the glory of that Bethlehem Christmas. For here the Son of God has come into the world …”

– A Christmas editorial from The Australian Church Record, December 1986.

‘Get with the Program’ — The Church of England votes to ordain Women Bishops — 2014

“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.’…”

This 2014 piece from Albert Mohler is worth re-reading to remember how much has changed in such a short time in the Church of England.

And do pray for those gospel-minded leaders in the C of E, that they will be filled with wisdom, and will stand firm in the faith.


St. Helen’s Bishopsgate relationships with other deanery churches ‘temporarily impaired’.

Anglican Unscripted #357 – Welby revokes Carey’s Permission to Officiate.

Can Evangelicalism survive Donald Trump and Roy Moore?

“For centuries, renewal movements have emerged within Christianity and taken on different forms and names.

Often, they have invoked the word ‘evangelical.’ Followers of Martin Luther, who emphasized the doctrine of salvation by faith alone, described themselves in this way.

The Cambridge clergyman Charles Simeon, who led the Low Church renewal movement within the Church of England, adopted the label. The trans-Atlantic eighteenth-century awakenings and revivals led by the Wesleys were also often called “evangelical.” In the nineteen-forties and fifties, Billy Graham and others promoted the word to describe themselves and the religious space they were seeking to create between the cultural withdrawal espoused by the fundamentalist movement, on the one hand, and mainline Protestantism’s departures from historic Christian doctrine, on the other.

In each of these phases, the term has had a somewhat different meaning, and yet it keeps surfacing because it has described a set of basic historic beliefs and impulses…”

– In The New Yorker, Tim Keller lays out what ‘evangelical’ means – in the context of the label being used by every man and his dog.

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