Freedom to provide religious instruction in Australian schools

Associate Professor Neil Foster writes,

“I am presenting a paper on this topic at the University of Notre Dame (Sydney) Law School’s Second Annual Religious Freedom Conference, “Freedom of Belief, Freedom of Action”.

The paper is linked here: Freedom to Provide Religious Instruction paper, for those who would like to read it. It surveys recent challenges to the provision of special religious education in public schools, from a religious freedom perspective.”

– from Law and Religion Australia.

How do I serve Jesus when my family doesn’t want me to?

“Here’s how it is: You’re the only Christian in your family. You’re an active member of your church. But there’s a clash! Your parents have booked a restaurant for Wednesday night …”

– At The Australian Church Record, James Sneddon shares some practical advice.

Responding to the Transgender Revolution

“… In light of such a divide, and the social, medical, political, and legislative changes being wrought by the widespread acceptance of transgender claims, Christians have an urgent need to search the Scriptures carefully and prayerfully to see how God would have us think about and respond to such revolutionary developments.

The main purpose of this essay is to begin such a search and to outline such a response. However, before we embark on this task, it will help us, firstly, to clarify a number of key terms that are a basic part of the current discussion and, secondly, to probe a little more deeply into contemporary gender theory and where it is taking us as a culture. …”

– Here’s a very helpful article by Rob Smith, republished at The Gospel Coalition Australia.

Sydney Synod 2017

Resources and news relating to Sydney Synod 2017:

The Synod Survival Guide — free download

If you are new to Synod, download a copy of the ACL’s Synod Survival Guide by Dr. Robert Tong.

First published by the ACL in 1996, and now in its 5th edition, it is an essential guide to Sydney Synod, and includes lots of very useful end notes and a glossary.

Making it our aim to please God with entertainment

“When I was ten, my friend told me he’d seen a hilarious movie with his older brother, and that we should rent it to watch together.

The sheer fact that it was rated R was enough to convince me. So I asked my mum if she could rent the movie for me, with the convincing line that ‘my friends had watched it’. …”

– ACL Council member Mike Taylor has some godly advice about our entertainment. At

Humanity & Hope in Genesis

“What is the diagnosis of Humanity in Genesis 5-11, and is there any sign of hope? What is God’s assessment of humanity’s state in the world? What hope do we have of building towards something lasting? How can reconciliation with God be achieved?

William Taylor and Mickey Mantle talk with Sam Manchester about these issues in this month’s Preaching Matters.”

The latest instalment of Preaching Matters is out from St. Helen’s Bishopsgate.

Australian Church Record, Spring 2017

The latest edition (No. 1918, Spring 2017) of The Australian Church Record is now available for download from their website.

This issue is packed with useful articles. For example, from Kirsten McKinlay:

“Now more than ever we need to be ready to give a reason for the hope that we have—that the truth found in God’s word is not only still applicable and relevant, but also good.

I can say from my experience as a former student and wife of a current student that Moore College — this firmly complementarian institution — has been a guiding light in thinking hard about how to deal with the evil of domestic violence in light of God’s good design for men and women.”

Download your copy.

Review of NT discrimination law — guest blog

Associate Professor Neil Foster writes,

“The Northern Territory government has released a discussion paper called Modernisation of the Anti-Discrimination Act (Sept 2017). It invites comments by 3 December 2017. You can almost get the tone of the paper from the title! After all, who in this fast-changing age could oppose anything called “modernisation”? But there are a number of concerning recommendations and comments made from the law and religion perspective, and there are some real doubts whether the proposals properly reflect religious freedom principles.

My colleague Dr Alex Deagon from QUT has graciously provided a guest blog post in which he outlines his comments on two major concerns with the proposals to amend the Act. Those who are interested in the interaction of discrimination law and religious freedom should find them very helpful, and may wish to make their own comments in response to the discussion paper. There are other controversial proposals in the paper which may be the subject of future posts. …”

– Read it all at Law and Religion Australia.

Reformation talks from the Presbyterian Church of Australia

It’s Reformation 500 month – October 2017 – and the Presbyterian Church of Australia has released three downloadable videos you could watch for your own benefit, or in Bible Study groups.

The Presbyterian Church of Australia offers this package of three church history videos to assist your church – particularly in its small-group ministries – to help celebrate the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of his 95 Theses, and the subsequent Protestant Reformation … 31 October 1517.

There are three consecutive video sessions (each lasting about 50 min) followed by suggested discussion questions. Ideally, they’ll be of most benefit during the last two weeks of October and the first of November, but they’ll be available for as long as they are being used. …”

– from Moderator-General John P Wilson.

  1. Martin Luther – (1) the struggle in his heart: Romans 1:7-17.
  2. Martin Luther – (2) the struggle against his church: 2 Timothy 3:10-17.
  3. John Calvin – developing the church’s theology: Acts 2:38-47; 1 Timothy 3:14-16.

Principles of Complementarian Ministry

“This is the outline for a brief presentation I gave at the MTS Mission Minded conference On 1 Oct 2017. The presentation was part of an elective panel discussion with Jane Tooher (director of the Priscilla and Aquila Centre at Moore College), Phil Wheeler (director of Evangelism and New Churches) and myself, titled ‘Complementarian Ministry in Light of Eternity’.”

– ACL Vice President Dr Lionel Windsor shares this resource you may find helpful.

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