The Clarity of Scripture

a-clear-and-present-word-140Moore College Principal Mark Thompson was interviewed by Michael Horton on The White Horse Inn broadcast earlier this month. The topic: The Clarity of Scripture.

“Does the incredible variety of Christian denominations and interpretive traditions imply that the Scriptures themselves are unclear? How can we know what the Bible really says if there are so many different interpretations of it? ”

You can listen here. Most encouraging.

Mark’s book, A Clear and Present Word – The clarity of Scripture, (New Studies in Biblical Theology 21) was published by Apollos / InterVarsity Press in 2006.

Paul in Rome in the Sixties

Dr Paul Barnett“The book of Acts indicates that Paul was under ‘house arrest’ in Rome, most probably between 60-62.

Luke’s text suggests that Paul was then released, something First Timothy and Titus also imply.

Second Timothy, written from Rome, however indicates that Paul was soon to face execution. Presumably, this execution was at the decision of Nero Caesar following the Great Fire in 64.”

– Confused about the Apostle Paul’s final years in Rome? Read this fascinating new article by Bishop Paul Barnett to understand better what was going on.

Tip: You may want to first read his earlier piece, ‘Paul lived in Rome two whole years’. The Mysterious Ending of Luke-Acts.

Nepal appeal launched by Anglican Aid

nepal-earthquake“Anglican Aid has joined other agencies in launching an appeal for victims of the Nepal earthquake.

A huge quake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale struck the mountain Kingdom on April 25th…”

– Read the latest from INF and CMS via this story at SydneyAnglicans.net – and there’s a donation form for the Nepal Emergency Appeal here.

For background, here’s a message from Global Recordings Network Nepal Director, Surendra Shrestha”

“We need your special prayer because we have no water supply at all, no electricity and food starting to get shortage. No shop is open and even if there is open, no supplies there. We need God to intervene in this situation to provide all this need during this time. We don’t know what to do, we are in very confused situation. We all are nervous and nothing coming in our mind except pray. All around us looks like war zone. Some of the village is 95 percent destroyed. In one village call Barpak there were 1200 houses and only four of them are standing. The results are still coming in and earthquake is still on and off [aftershocks].”

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends

defence sunday“100 years ago an Aussie Padre by the name of Andrew Gillison, serving in the 14th Battalion, found himself heading for Gallipoli.

At first, the chaplains were ordered to stay on ship and care for the wounded, but Andrew was not the kind of Christian man to stay where it was safe when others were in need…”

– Read Bishop of Armidale Rick Lewers’ ANZAC message.

Prayers for ANZAC Day

ANZAC ResourcesOver at SydneyAnglicans.net, Mark Charleston has some prayers which could be used on the ANZAC Day weekend – and with links to more for Defence Anglicans.

Related: Anzac Day: More Than Civil Religion – Ian Lambert, Bishop to the Australian Defence Force

(Photo: Defence Anglicans.)

The Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

The Journal for Biblical Manhood and WomanhoodThe latest issue of The Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood has been released and is available as a download without charge.

Worth checking out. (h/t Tim Challies.)

Anzac Day – A reflection — Bishop Stuart Robinson

Bishop Stuart RobinsonAs we approach the 100th Anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli and the 70th Anniversary of Victory in the Pacific later in year, I’m minded to report a conversation I had with a soldier – NX146695 – who witnessed the formal “surrender” in the eastern half of the Netherlands East Indies on September 9, 1945.

On Morotai Island, NX146695, along with 10,000 Australian and Allied troops, stood motionless as Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Military Forces, General Blamey accepted Japanese Second Army Commander, Lt. General Teshima’s surrender of approximately 126,000 men.

NX146695 has vivid memories of that great day.

But he also carries memories of the cost; the cost of freedom; the cost of peace.

NX146695 (who is now 92) came face to face with death – and survived; many of his friends and comrades did not.

Indeed more than 100,000 Australians have given their lives – from the Boer War to Peacekeeping operations in this new century.

Even as we speak Australian Forces are on their way to Iraq to engage with a new enemy…not a country per se – but an ideology cloaked in a religion; ‘I.S.’ by name.

NX146695, Sergeant Harold Robinson, my father, knows first-hand the reality of being ready to lay one’s life down for another – as do so many of those who will read this simple piece.

It was Jesus who once said, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this that they lay down their life for their friends” John 15:13.

That inscription is also found on countless headstones across the former Western Front. I served as a Priest in Flanders and in the dead of winter I’d stand in those old trenches and weep as I contemplated the agony and the despair that faced combatants (on all sides).

And yet all is not hopeless. It isn’t.

Lest we forget that in order to bring peace between God and his wayward family, that’s exactly what Jesus – the one who first articulated those headstone inscriptions, did. He gave his life.

Yes, Jesus absorbed sin’s curse and sin’s punishment that I might go free.

My sin was laid in him – his righteousness was laid on all who believe.

He was willing to pay a very great price; the price of peace – his life for mine; for all who believe.

And we know his work was effective; we know that peace with God is available to all who trust this Jesus, because God raised him from that death; the price for sin having been fully paid by God in Christ.

As we honour those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom, so too must we honour and worship and serve Him who gave his life that we might be set free from the clutches of our last great enemy – even death itself.

– Bishop Stuart Robinson is Bishop of Canberra & Goulburn.

Sticks and stones: why words matter

Steve MorrisonMatthias Media has made the first chapter from Steve Morrison’s book Born This Way available to read online.

Read it here, and also watch Steve talk about the book.

Get a copy from Matthias.

No Regrets, No Retreat

No Regrets, No Retreat“I don’t use the television much anymore. There was a time when I watched a lot of movies and a lot of programs, but these days there isn’t a lot that catches my attention enough to actually dedicate the time to it. There isn’t much that promises more value than I would get from the same time spent with a good book. But I always make an exception for Dispatches from the Front…”

– Tim Challies highlights the latest video from Tim Keesee.

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