God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9)

“In 2 Corinthians 9 Paul exhorts his readers to prepare to take their share in a collection that he is making for the poor Christians at Jerusalem. Let us see what we can learn from this chapter about Christian giving. …”

The Australian Church Record republishes this piece by former Oak Hill Principal Alan Stibbs.

J. C. Ryle: Prepared to Stand Alone, by Iain Murray — Review

“One of the greatest Christian leaders to come out of England in the nineteenth century was John Charles Ryle. Famously known as ‘the man of granite with the heart of a child,’ Ryle stands out as a towering example of Christian fortitude and pastoral excellence.

Although he died more than a century ago, he still has much to say to our generation. And perhaps no one is better suited to teach us about Ryle than renowned biographer Iain Murray. …”

– At the 9Marks website, Nate Pickowicz briefly reviews Iain Murray’s J.C. Ryle, Prepared to Stand Alone.

Reformers Bookshop: Reformation Worship Deal – Expression of Interest

“Reformers Bookshop is considering putting together an offer for Reformation Worship by Jonathan Gibson and Mark Earngey – a new book on reformed liturgies throughout church history.

If there is sufficient interest, Reformers Bookshop will offer 30% off the retail price with free shipping.

Normally retailing at $99.99, this offer will make Reformation Worship available for $69.99 with free shipping to Australia or New Zealand. …”

– If you haven’t already ordered a copy of this highly commended and much anticipated book, check out this proposed deal from Reformers Bookshop in Stanmore.

Read more about the book in our post last week.

“In the modern church where so little attention is given to ‘entering his courts with praise,’ this collection of liturgies should inspire and correct much of the blandness of the assemblies of God’s people on earth so that they might truly reflect that festal gathering of angels at Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, to which we have already come.” — Archbishop Glenn Davies.

The greatest enemy of freedom is freedom

“Christians find themselves at odds with our world on many fronts. But surely we can all agree that ‘freedom’ is a good thing—something we should all protect and promote as widely as possible.

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as that, because there are starkly different visions of “freedom” at play in our society. In fact, as Os Guinness will explore in this lecture, what Western culture regards as ‘freedom’ may, in fact, be the enemy of true freedom.

As Christians, we need to understand the ‘illusions of contemporary freedom’ (as Os Guinness describes them) so that we can embrace true Christian freedom and bring its blessings to a needy world.”

Coming up at Moore College’s Centre for Christian Living on Wednesday 30 May 2018, 7:30pm-9:30pm. See the link for details and booking.

In Defence of Duty

“We treat the idea of duty with some suspicion these days. We fear that doing things ‘out of duty’ means acting in a way that isn’t genuine and therefore is less meaningful. But is that the whole story?…”

– Adrian Russell takes a look at duty – at The Australian Church Record.

30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World 2018

“The 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World is a prayer focus which coincides yearly with Ramadan, an important month of fasting and religious observance for Muslims.

Christians worldwide are called upon to make an intentional but respectful effort during that period to learn about, pray for and reach out to Muslim neighbours.”

– Ramadan begins Tuesday evening of this week.

Here are some resources to help you to love your Muslim neighbours by praying for them.

If you use the wonderful PrayerMate app, you can subscribe to prayer points to use each day.

Who’s actually in charge of the Church?

GAFCON General Secretary, Peter Jensen, explains why the doctrine of the authority of Scripture is absolutely fundamental to the GAFCON movement.

On how the Reformation changed Sunday gatherings — 9Marks

In the latest 9Marks “Pastors’ Talk” podcast, Dr. Jonathan Gibson (Moore College; Cambridge University; now teaching at Westminster Seminary) is interviewed about the book Reformation Worship: Liturgies from the Past for the Present.

He wrote and edited the book with former ACL Council member Mark Earngey.

From the Foreword by Sinclair Ferguson:

“The book you now hold in your hands, or that perhaps lies on your desk, is a resource of almost unparalleled richness in its field, representing as it does an immense labor of love on the part of its editors and translators. Here, gathered together in one large volume, are liturgies crafted by some of the leading figures in the Protestant Reformation and employed by them to aid worship in a wide variety of places and churches.

We owe an immense debt of gratitude to those who have participated in this project. They would, I feel sure, tell us that the best way we can repay that debt is to read carefully, to assess biblically, and then to reach down into the first principles of worship variously expressed in these liturgies from the past, and apply them wisely and sensitively in our worship in the present. This can only lead to a new reformation of the worship of God the Trinity. Such access to the Father through the Son in the power of the Holy Spirit can alone help the congregations of God’s people, in the place and time they occupy, to worship with renewed mind, transformed affections, and holy joy. …

… we ought not to devalue the contents of these pages by treating them as a kind of liturgical archaeological dig, the concern only of those who are interested in antiquities or aesthetics. For these liturgies were crafted out of a passion for the glory of God. And while this compilation is not formulated as a tract for the times, it carries an important and powerful message for the contemporary church.

Download a PDF sample from New Growth Press.

(Reformation Worship: Liturgies from the Past for the Present is available from these booksellers.)

Euthanasia and Assisted Dying — the law and why it should not change

“This is a paper I presented recently at an evening considering issues around euthanasia and assisted dying: Euthanasia Paper May 2018. It presents reasons why changing the law in these areas is not a good idea in the interests of society at large and the vulnerable sick and elderly in particular.

For further material on this issue, see the excellent site “Health Professionals Say No”, which as well as providing a long list of health professionals who oppose euthanasia, also links to a set of resources for further study. …”

– Associate Professor Neil Foster writes at Law and Religion Australia.

The Theological Necessity for Pragmatism

“This year is the 30th anniversary of the landmark address given by Phillip Jensen at the U.K. Proclamation Trust’s Evangelical Ministry Assembly, titled.

It is entitled ‘The Theological Necessity for Pragamatism’ (though this wouldn’t fit on something called a tape, so the official title is ‘We Must be Pragmatic’).

The talk is brilliant, in my view, and worth listening to in full. It is as relevant today as it was then.

Here are some notes to give you an idea of the trajectory of Jensen’s talk.”

– Read Raj Gupta’s notes – and, if you haven’t heard it before, listen to Phillip Jensen’s full talk.

If you have heard it before, do listen again.

From our archives — A reminder of why there is an Anglican crisis

Every so often, media reports warn that the current situation (whatever it is at the time) might provoke a split among Anglicans. The truth is that this is nothing new – but each ‘crisis’ is no less serious or tragic.

From our archives, here are five articles which are well worth reading. Among other things they provide context for the formation of GAFCON:

– all from our Resources section.

From Dr. Mark Thompson’s paper, The Anglican Debacle: Roots and Patterns:

“The first thing to note about the crisis the Anglican Communion is facing today is that it has been coming for a very long time. …

That background might lead you to ask, ‘So what’s changed now?’ If the denomination has long been compromised in these ways, and evangelicals have always struggled within it, why are we arguing that we have now reached a moment of crisis where decisive action needs to be taken? What is different about what’s happening at the moment? …”

Church Website Providers — Comparison of pricing and features

Over at Communicate Jesus, Steven Kryger has published an up-to-date comparison of providers of church website providers.

Also see his earlier post: 15 things the best church websites do.


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