Remember our Chains

“Across a wide swath of the world — from North Africa to North Korea, from Central Asia to Central Africa — ‘the persecuted church’ is simply ‘the church.’

These believers — like first-century Christians in a twenty-first-century world — live, serve, and witness in the face of hostility, and remind us of our roots.

And if the opening decades are any indication of things to come, this century promises to exceed the persecution of Christians of the last bloody century.…”

– Tim Keesee, founder of Frontline Missions International, describes the state of the persecuted church today. At Desiring God.

See also:

World Watch List 2021.

Anglican Connection Online Conference – February 2-3, 2021

The 2021 Anglican Connection Conference in the USA, not surprisingly, will be an online conference.

One advantage of that is that Australians (and others outside the US) will be able to benefit!

“Our culture is like sand, shifting and changing. It says there is no right or wrong; you make your own truth. Fame and popularity have become more important than kindness and virtue. And just like the tide and the waves, our culture will bend us to its will as long as we sit on the shore.

Jesus said: “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matthew 7:24).

This year’s conference seeks to challenge and equip God’s people to understand our shifting culture and to point them to God’s Word at this time of complex cultural change.

The Anglican Connection is not only for Anglicans.

It is for all who are keen to harness the riches of the 16th Century Reformation in the Gospel cause today.”

Speakers include John Lennox and Rico Tice.

Update: John Mason writes, Registration at US$25.00 gives you access to the conference in ‘real time’ and at any other time until May 31. But you need to register by January 28.

See the Anglican Connection website for all the details.

While you’re there, check out John Mason’s weekly posts, “Word on Wednesday” weekly Bible reflections.

Many ACL members know John well. He’s ministered in Sydney, Canberra and New York.  He’s currently President of the Anglican Connection and Commissary to the Archbishop of Sydney in the USA.

What’s wrong with the world? Is there hope?

“Guilt, weakness, spiritual slavery, prejudice, arrogance, tribalism, conflict, war, victimhood, persecution, pain, suffering, futility, ignorance, lying, deceit, anger, theft, greed, pornography, sexual sin, darkness, fear, drunkenness, substance abuse, domestic abuse, workplace abuse, spiritual powers…

In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he says many things about the problems we face in this world. He also gives us wonderful reasons to find life, hope and healing in Jesus Christ. Along the way, he provides practical teachings about how to respond and live together.

Here are some key reflections relating to the topic of what’s wrong with the world according to Ephesians in my series Lift Your Eyes: Reflections on Ephesians.”

from Lionel Windsor at Moore College.

On How Pastors Should Prepare their People for Eternity

In the latest Pastors Talk podcast, Jonathan Leeman and Mark Dever chat about something more important than politics.

Challenging and encouraging. 25 minutes well spent. Do listen.

Listen here.

Mark also mentions the talk he gave at Together for the Gospel 2020The Accounting We Shall Give.

Worldview and Christian mission

“I have a friend who was once a committed Buddhist. Wonderfully, he has come to know the Lord Jesus as his saviour. But he had a lot of questions.

The trouble was that his Christian friends kept answering questions he wasn’t asking. One of his big questions was, ‘How can you say God suffers?’ He was given lots of great answers explaining why people suffer – but he wasn’t confused about that. He knows people suffer. My friend couldn’t get his head around the idea that God might suffer on the cross. The reason this was such a big issue for him was because of his worldview. …”

– Dr David Williams, Director of development and training for CMS Australia at St Andrew’s Hall, spoke about worldviews at CMS Summer School.

SydneyAnglicans.net has published an edited version of his talk. Very helpful.

Light at the End of the Tunnel — Mothers Union Sydney Seminar

Here’s information about this year’s Annual Mothers Union Sydney Seminar, coming up on Friday 26th February.

Victoria’s Conversion Practices Bill is as bad as they say it is

“The Bill creates a powerful set of bureaucratic mechanisms by which religious groups presenting the classic teachings of their faith may be subject to investigation and ‘re-education’ by human rights officers. It arguably makes the presentation of some aspects of Biblical teaching unlawful if the aim of that teaching is to encourage someone to follow that teaching in their own life.

Despite the appearance of addressing horrific and oppressive quasi-psychological procedures inflicted on young people, the Bill goes well beyond this laudable goal, and will make it unlawful to provide assistance in obeying the Bible to those who explicitly and with full understanding request such help. Enactment of this legislation would be a serious mistake. …”

– In an important post, Neil Foster at Law and Religion Australia, takes a careful look at the Victorian legislation.

You are Not Your Own

“This set of resources has been produced by Church Society to help Christians learn about the Bible’s teaching on sex and marriage, particularly as the Church of England engages with the Living in Love and Faith material on identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage.

The seven topics in the series are designed to help Christians understand the Bible’s teaching on sex and marriage within a broader biblical context. …”

Worth checking out.

Somewhat related: Colin Buchanan sings “You are not your own”.

Ministry Tip: Communicating Christ Clearly

“I think the most important thing that I have been taught in the whole area of Communicating Christ, was to know what you are aiming for, and be focussed on getting there.”

– In this short and to-the-point video, Dominic Steele encourages preachers to be focussed.

David Peterson’s Commentary on Romans republished

David Peterson shares,

“My commentary on Romans, which was published in 2017 by Holman in Nashville, has been republished by Lexham Press in Bellingham. They have picked up the whole series and renamed it Evangelical Biblical Theology Commentary.

Everything remains the same, except that they have used a different type-face for headings in the text. It is really pleasing to have this series up and running again, because it is well conceived and its future was uncertain for some months.”

Launch 2021, 1st – 3rd February 2021

An event for school-leavers keen to live for Jesus!

Speakers: Phillip Jensen and Richard Chin.

For details, go to phillipjensen.com/launch.

Another look at the reliability of the Scriptures

“The reliability of the Bible is such an important question that it needs to be revisited time and again. Since Christians claim that the Bible is God’s word, we need to give a defence or – to use the old terminology – an apology to the world for this claim.…”

– At GoThereFor.com, David Martin gives a reminder of why we can trust the Bible.

Our New Year’s resolution – humility?

“If 2020 has taught us anything, it is surely that things are not always as they seem. We are generally more fragile than we like to admit. And with a sudden realisation of fragility there often comes frustration, anger, a claustrophobic feeling perhaps and definitely a lack of tolerance. …”

– At The Australian Church Record, Ben George proposes a New Year’s resolution.

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