A Greater Peace

“Sergeant Philip Ball is an Australian soldier buried in Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery in France.

He was 21 years old when he was killed in action on 28 March 1918. He was a brave soldier, who was awarded the Military Medal in July 1917.

After the war his parents chose an unusual epitaph for his headstone in Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery:

I FOUGHT AND DIED IN THE GREAT WAR
THE WAR TO END ALL WARS,
HAVE I DIED IN VAIN?

I have not found a similar inscription in the thousands of epitaphs I have collected from Australian war graves of the First World War. But it is a question that challenges any reader …”

Moore College Historian Dr. Colin Bale writes at The Gospel Coalition Australia.

Related: Bells to ring for Armistice Centenary – SydneyAnglicans.net.

GAFCON Fuel for Prayer — 8th November 2018 update

Here are the latest praise and prayer points from GAFCON.

How to Pray about Your Life

“Our lives and ministries are often combinations: encouragements and discouragements, joys and frustrations, pleasures and pains, successes and failures, sanctification and sin, health and sickness, abundance and want, joys and suffering, support and opposition.

This may be the case in our personal or family life; in our own ministry; in the immediate context of our ministry; or in the broader context of our ministry.

Negotiating all this complexity requires wisdom, patience, and hope. It requires godly contentment and godly discontentment. I often think of Reinhold Niebuhr’s prayer …”

Encouragement from Peter Adam, at the Gospel Coalition Australia.

Real Faith

“The simple goal of evangelism is for people to believe in Jesus and be saved. This is our mission.

Whether it is through our personal relationships, large-scale events, evangelistic courses or the regular preaching of the word on Sunday—we want to see people come to faith in Christ and remain in Him.

But if we want people to come to faith, we must first be clear on what real faith is. We may have gathered a crowd or filled a church, but have we made real disciples with real faith? Real evangelism must seek real faith. …”

– Tom Habib writes in the most recent issue of The Australian Church Record’s Journal.

Planning a Remembrance Day service for next Sunday?

Next Sunday, 11th November 2018, is the Centenary of the end of The Great War.

Archbishop Davies has encouraged all churches which have church bells to ring them at 11:00am.

If you are planning a special service for the day, or intend to include something appropriate in your normal Sunday gathering, these resources from Defence Anglicans may be a help.

Is religion good for children?

“Religion in Ireland is currently under strong and persistent criticism from liberal commentators.

One frequently heard criticism is that it is seriously wrong to “indoctrinate” young children in religious dogma …”

The Irish Times carries this article on the results of a secular study.

Related: When your child sins, Good News! Reformation 21.

“Too often, parents respond to their child’s sin by focusing on how our child is letting them down. They make it clear that the child is failing to live up to the family standard of righteousness. Such an approach fails to clarify God’s standard of righteousness and fails to pave the way for clarity about the good news of salvation. …”

The History of the English Standard Version

A most encouraging ten minute video from Crossway. Take the time to watch, and give thanks.

Life in Four Stages — free eBook from Albert Mohler, today only

In exchange for your name and e-mail address, Albert Mohler is offering a free copy of his eBook, Life in Four Stages: A Biblical Celebration of Childhood, Youth, Adulthood, and Age, as a PDF file.

“Scripture teaches us that God has fashioned each stage of life with precious glory. That’s why we are summoned to not only recognise the stages of life, but to live in them as God intended for his glory.”

The Pastor and Pornography — 9Marks Journal

“Why would 9Marks devote an issue of the 9Marks Journal to the topic of pornography and the pastor? Because it’s an increasingly common sin, and its commonality tempts us to downplay its destructive power in our marriages and ministries. We want you to take it seriously if you’re not, and to have the tools to help others fight if you are.

Think of how much ink Paul spilled on sexual sin in his letter to the Corinthian church. He took it seriously. So should we. …”

– Download the latest 9Marks Journal here.

John Stott on Same-sex Relationships – review

“Churches have been slow to get thoroughly informed about this whole area until recently, despite the battles raging in the Anglican Communion about it. Give people this book to read; it’s super, and will do them good!”

– Wallace Benn reviews Sean Doherty’s revised and expanded edition of John Stott’s writing on this subject for Churchman.

Loving your church family: Some thoughts for the shy, the socially nervous, the introverted and the sinner!

“We have all felt disappointed when others have failed to care for us. Perhaps you have even been disappointed by someone today! I have been pondering the ways I could be more thoughtful in my daily activities in an effort not to be the one who inadvertently disappoints.

Of course, this begs the question: why do I not love those around me as I should and in the process become a source of disappointment? After all, we are called to love others and to be actively seeking to imitate Jesus. Well, the bottom line is I am a sinner. I manage to actively do and say things that cause disappointment. I also fail to do good – there is often an absence of action. …”

– At The Australian Church Record, Felicity Leslie ponders how we do better at relationships in church.

Ruddock Report (part 4): overview and the Big Three areas

This evening, a packed room of Sydney Synod members heard Associate Professor Neil Foster present an overview of the leaked recommendations of the Ruddock Report.

He identifies the three most important areas of reform flowing from those recommendations as:

  1. Rec 15, that the Commonwealth enact a Religious Discrimination Act (and rec 2, on principles to follow in drafting such an Act);
  2. Recs 5-8, that religious schools generally remain free to run their schools consistently with their religious ethos; and
  3. Rec 9, concerning parents being given notice by schools of teaching which might be contrary to their beliefs.

See his full post, with links to his paper and Powerpoint summary – at Law and Religion Australia.

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