Impossible to Believe: The Endgame of Secularism

Albert Mohler“The story of the rise of secularism is a stunning intellectual and moral revolution. It defies exaggeration. We must recognize that it is far more pervasive than we might want to believe, for this intellectual revolution has changed the worldviews of even those who believe themselves to be opposed to it…”

The third post in a four-part series on Secularisation and the Sexual Revolution from Albert Mohler.

Two Worlds

David Cook“I live in Sydney, a beautiful city, what a pleasure to show friends from overseas around the harbour, the beaches and the mountains.

And yet, like all believers, my home is the eternal city which is above.

The writer of the Hebrews reminds his readers “For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come” (Hebrews 13:14)…”

– In his latest Moderator’s Comments, Presbyterian Moderator-General David Cook reflects on living in two worlds.

Spiritually Discerning the Redefinition of Marriage

Archbishop Justin Welby, General Synod“Between the 11th and 15th of January 2016 the Primates of the Anglican Communion met to deliberate over a number of issues, including the question of a growing demand for affirming homosexual unions within the Western provinces.

This week, in his Presidential address to the General Synod, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby spoke of the Primates meeting, the beauty and energy of the Anglican communion coming together in unity, as well as the crucial process of decision-making and development not being a matter of canons and rules, but one of discernment by the Spirit, based in relationship – but apparently not in revelation. Amidst all the Christian-sounding terminology, what is it that the archbishop was actually saying?

When Welby’s address is read in conjunction with the recently published letter of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to Jayne Ozanne, a homosexual activist and director of Accepting Evangelicals, a clear pattern and approach to the questions of marriage and human sexuality on the part of the Anglican church emerges, which reflects the radically changed priorities of the established church – a process that has been going on for many decades – to declare man’s word for the cultural moment rather than God’s unchanging word to the world. …”

– So, whose word is our authority?

Dr Joe Boot, Senior Pastor at Westminster Chapel, Toronto, has published this strong piece at the Ezra Institute of Contemporary Christianity. Read the full article here.

Mohler: The Secularization of the West and the Rise of a New Morality

Albert Mohler“The claim that humanity can only come into its own and overcome various invidious forms of discrimination by secular liberation is not new, but it is now mainstream. It is now so common to the cultures of Western societies that it need not be announced, and often is not noticed. Those born into the cultures of late modernity simply breathe these assumptions as they breathe the atmosphere, and their worldviews are radically realigned, even if their language retains elements of the old worldview…”

Albert Mohler publishes Part 2 of a four part series on Secularisation and the Sexual Revolution. See also Part 1.

Why evangelistic courses are like a good joke

Stephen LigginsStephen Liggins writes to encourage you to continue to run evangelistic courses.

Here’s why he reckons it’s worth it – at GoThereFor.

The Revolution eats one of its own Midwives

Dr Carl Trueman“I do not often find myself in sympathy with gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell. Indeed, I still remember as a teenager being delighted and relieved at his defeat in the 1983 Bermondsey by-election. It symbolized so well how the new Left, with its preoccupation with gay rights, was of marginal interest to the poor and the working class. Still, it is hard not to have some sneaking admiration for a man who has tried to arrest Robert Mugabe not once but twice.

Yet this veteran human rights campaigner now finds himself on the receiving end of the latest campus malice and silliness …”

– At First Things, Dr Carl Trueman comments on one of last week’s big stories in the UK.

Archbishops’ response to LGBTI activist is a ‘missed opportunity’

canterbury-york-climate“The Church of England has published a reply, dated 12 February, to a letter from Jayne Ozanne, Director of LGBTI campaign group Accepting Evangelicals, and co-signatories.

The letter, which was written by the Archbishop of York on behalf of himself and the Archbishop of Canterbury, responds to Ms Ozanne’s claim that the Church of England has failed its ‘duty of care’ to LGBTI members of the Anglican Church.

Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern and a member of the General Synod, has issued the following response …

‘This letter was another opportunity for the Archbishops to demonstrate appropriate leadership by reaffirming and promoting God’s clear vision for marriage. Instead the letter suggests that the fundamental issue is an ‘ongoing conversation’ as yet unresolved, implicitly suggesting that God has been unclear.

The role of the Archbishops is not to facilitate conversation but to teach the truth, refute error and discipline those who depart from God’s pattern in either teaching or lifestyle.’…”

– Read the full statement here. Read the Letter from the Archbishop of York here (450kb OCR PDF, originally from the Archbishop of York’s website).

Related: (Canadian) Primate listens to concerns of LGBTQ Anglicans

“‘All of us belong to God,’ said Canon Douglas Graydon to Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, at a gathering held to discuss same-sex marriage in the Canadian church. ‘The question is whether we belong to the church.’

It was a question many LGBTQ Anglicans brought forward in a question and answer session that took place after a talk Hiltz gave following the ‘queer Eucharist’ service hosted monthly at the Anglican Church of St. John’s West Toronto”

Protecting free speech in the Same Sex Marriage Plebiscite debate

Assoc Prof Neil Foster“An article in the The Guardian today, ‘Override hate speech laws to allow marriage equality debate, urges Christian lobby’ reports that Lyle Shelton, managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby, has made proposals urging greater protection of free speech for those opposed to the introduction of same sex marriage in the forthcoming Australian plebiscite on the topic.

Of course, the reader will see that the Guardian headline and my summary of the proposals seem quite different. In its support for same sex marriage, the Guardian and those it quotes describe the ACL proposals as follows: the ACL wants to ‘permanently override anti-discrimination laws’ …

I think the Guardian has slanted the ACL views unfairly. (Even more unfairly, the Sydney Morning Herald report on the story features a cartoon of an ACL representative complaining that they can’t be expected to make their case ‘without expressing hatred and bigotry’.) Let me suggest reasons why the ACL proposal, so far as can be ascertained from these press reports, sounds limited, moderate and sensible. …”

– Neil Foster, Associate Professor on Law at Newcastle, adds some clarity to reporting on those opposed to the introduction of same-sex marriage in Australia.

Update: See Part 2 here.

Malcolm in the Middle

David Cook“On Friday 12 February, at the invitation of the Australian Christian Lobby, I joined a delegation to meet Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, in his Sydney office. It was agreed that we confine our remarks to the issue of the plebiscite regarding single gender marriage which will be held, in the event of a coalition victory, soon after the next Federal election. …

When the PM was asked about freedom of conscience for those in the marriage industry, florists, caterers, etc, he said that he was sure that common sense would prevail…”

– Presbyterian Moderator-General David Cook reports that he was ‘profoundly disappointed’ after a meeting with the Prime Minister last week. Read it all here.

Secularisation and the Sexual Revolution: Evangelical Theology and the Cultural Crisis

Albert Mohler“In the face of the sexual revolution the Christian church in the West now faces a set of challenges that exceeds anything it has experienced, of a similar magnitude, in the past. This is a revolution of ideas—one that is transforming the entire moral structure of meaning and life…”

– In the first of a four-part series, Albert Mohler argues that the foundations of the sexual revolution were laid almost a century ago.

True Anglicanism: Gospel proclamation, compassionate care, cultural leadership

The Rev Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream“Here is the main argument put forward by revisionists for the Church of England to change the historic doctrine of sexuality and marriage: ‘the majority of people believe this, so the church leadership should follow’. Leaving aside the interpretation of statistics, and the question of whether this societal change has happened by chance or as a result of sustained cultural re-education by a secular elite, we need to ask: should the Church accommodate itself to the culture as the revisionists demand, or should it be providing a lead in developing a counter-culture which influences and transforms the values of society?

Or perhaps the church should ignore the surrounding culture and be concerned only with the beliefs and actions of its own members and the small fringe of contacts which it hopes to draw in? This approach may have the strength of an authentically biblical foundation, but is it Anglican?…”

– At Anglican Mainstream, Andrew Symes looks at the way forward for the Church of England.

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