Love your neighbour enough to speak truth

Rosaria Butterfield. Photo: Desiring God 2015“If this were 1999—the year that I was converted and walked away from the woman and lesbian community I loved—instead of 2016, Jen Hatmaker’s words about the holiness of LGBT relationships would have flooded into my world like a balm of Gilead. …”

– At The Gospel Coalition, Rosaria Butterfield responds to some comments by a ‘best selling author’ (whose books have just been pulled from LifeWay Christian bookshops).

Make the time to read Rosaria Butterfield’s observations about the nature of sin and the Christian life. (Image: Desiring God.)

The uglier side of humanity

Rick Lewers“Tolerance and acceptance is important for a nation’s well-being but tolerance and acceptance is a lot easier when people are respectful. This is particularly important in the current climate of debate on issues of human sexuality and marriage.

Before people misunderstand or misquote me, by tolerance and acceptance I do not mean that I agree with all the sexual choices people make. …”

— Bishop of Armidale Rick Lewers writes on the need for genuine civility.

The New ‘Jerusalem’ Papyrus: Not so Fast…

papyrusHere are some things to remember, as this Jerusalem Papyrus garners attention:

The fact that the papyrus itself has been carbon dated to the 7th century BCE certainly does not mean that the writing on the papyrus is ancient In fact, it really means nothing. After all, ancient papyrus is readily available for purchase online (check the web and see!), thus, no modern forger worth his or her salt would forge an inscription on modern papyrus. …”

– Dr. Christopher Rollston, at George Washington University, shares his thoughts on the Papyrus which is making news.

Thanks to George Athas for the link.

The Ashers “Gay Cake” appeal — one of these things is not like the others

tid-cakeWhen our children were watching Sesame Street one of the regular clips featured the song “one of these things is not like the others“, training children to look carefully and make distinctions where things are different. In a case involving Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street, the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal has shown that it is not very good at making distinctions between things that are different. …“

– At Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster considers the latest ‘gay cake’ court case, this one in Northern Ireland.

Related: Many links on stories related to the case – at Anglican Mainstream.

Legal implications of same sex marriage for Christian life and ministry

Assoc Prof Neil FosterI was privileged today to present a paper on issues from a Christian perspective raised by the possible introduction of same sex marriage – at a seminar on the topic held at the Lower Mountains Anglican Parish centre at Glenbrook. …”

– Neil Foster from Law and Religion Australia provides a link to the paper he gave.

Suggestions from a Scottish Sabbath

kirsten-mckinlay-1Kirsten McKinlay, who has recently come to Sydney from Scotland, reflects on what is different about Sundays in Sydney – and how we might be missing out.

“… I do miss that rest was standard on a Sunday in Scotland. It turns out that it’s much harder to cease from my work when it isn’t the cultural norm, and no one else is doing it! Whether a biblical mandate or not, it’s possible that Sydney Christians have missed out by neglecting the Sabbath.

Whether we see it as obligatory or not, it is good to have a set pattern of expecting our work to stop on a certain day, because our restless hearts won’t always feel like stopping. Having this rhythm of rest can be a useful check on our pride—when we think the world depends on us—and stops life from becoming overwhelming.”

– Read it all at

The Open Letter from Evangelicals to C of E Bishops: a commentary

The Rev Andrew Symes, Anglican MainstreamOn Wednesday 12th October a letter was sent to the College of Bishops, signed by nearly a hundred evangelical leaders, making it clear that “further changes to practice or doctrine” on sexual ethics would result in serious damage to the Church of England. The letter isn’t titled. There was no sophisticated media strategy involved in getting it out, other than asking signatories to make it more widely known.

There was initially some confusion about whether it was meant to be kept ‘in house’ among the evangelical constituency, or publicised in the wider media. The organisers, led by John Dunnett of CPAS and some of the committee of the Evangelical Group on General Synod, then let it be known that it is a public letter.

The issue is considered to be of sufficient urgency that it can’t just be a private communication with Bishops, but must also be a signal to the wider church. …”

Andrew Syme at Anglican Mainstream, provides some commentary about that letter.

‘Accusations laid bare: In defence of the Archbishop’

accusations-laid-bare acrFrom The Australian Church Record:

“The editor of the Australian Church Record has penned a important response to a recent article by Julia Baird concerning a group of Anglican church leaders who have accused Archbishop Glenn Davies of silencing supporters of same-sex marriage.

The ACR response can be downloaded by clicking on ‘Download Special Issue’ from”

Direct link to the special issue – PDF file.

Related: Same-sex marriage: Anglican Church leaders accuse Sydney Archbishop of silencing supporters – by Julia Baird, ABC News.

In other media news this week, David Ould has received an apology from The Sydney Morning Herald.

A world without God

David RobertsonWow. How did this one get past the censors? It was incredible. And moving beyond words.

What am I talking about? Sally Phillips most extraordinary documentary, A World without Down’s Syndromewhich screened on the BBC this week.

Sally is well known as the TV comedy actress from TV shows like Miranda and the Bridget Jones films. She is also a Christian and her oldest son Olly has Down’s syndrome. …

I’m not ashamed to admit I wept – not just a wee cry, but sobbed. I don’t know when I last saw something so moving, profound and world revealing.

– David Roberston (Minister of St. Peter’s Free Church in Dundee) writes at The Wee Flea. The documentary is available here.

Related: Mom of baby with Down syndrome sends remarkable letter to doctor who recommended abortion.

Jesus Always, the sequel to Jesus Calling

jesus-alwaysThis book is going to be big. Huge, even. Its predecessor has sold well over 10 million copies and more than a decade after publication has no less than 6 editions on the list of Christian bestsellers.

Today, at last, comes the long-awaited sequel, releasing to great fanfare—a million-copy first printing backed by a huge $300,000 marketing spend. One way or another you will come across this book and so will most of your friends and neighbours. You will see it on Amazon, in Costco, in airport bookshops, and perhaps even at your church’s book table. It’s Jesus Always, Sarah Young’s sequel to Jesus Calling. …

The big claim in her little books is that the words come to the reader from Jesus through her. At least, that was the claim of Jesus Calling and, as far as I know, it has not been retracted. Instead, it has been removed. If you are enthusiastic about Jesus Calling or wondering about Jesus Always, this is the one claim you must face head-on. You cannot treat Jesus Always as just another Christian book when Young herself claims it is so much more.”

Tim Challies confronts the huge problems caused by a book which seems to claim to contain revelation direct from the Lord Jesus.

Here’s a promotional trailer for the new book.

Some of Victoria’s ‘inherent requirements’ amendments may be unconstitutional

victoria-mapThe Victorian Government introduced the Equal Opportunity Amendment (Religious Exceptions) Bill 2016 into its Parliament on 30 August 2016. It has passed the Legislative Assembly without amendment, and is presently before the Legislative Council. …

I have commented in a previous post as to why I think this is poor legislation from a policy perspective. In that previous post I briefly noted that an argument could be made that some of the amendments, at least, would be unconstitutional. Since that previous post I have looked into the area further and am fairly sure that this is the case. Here I want to develop the case a bit further. …”

– In his latest post at Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster sheds light on the proposed Victorian bill.

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