Is God Green?

“Almost 50 years ago, in 1972, the crew of the Apollo 17 space mission took the first full-view photo of planet Earth as they made their way to the moon.

For the first time ever, humanity saw an image of the whole planet from afar. They saw the clouds, the land, the oceans sitting there: whirling, powerful, innocent, vulnerable.

This view from above was emblematic of a revolution taking place in the hearts and imaginations of millions around the planet. …”

– ACL Council member Dr. Lionel Windsor introduces his new book, Is God Green?

(Available from Matthias Media. Photo by Harrison H. Schmitt.)

A Hell of a Difference: How our understanding of Hell affects the Christian life

From Moore College’s Centre for Christian Living:

“What does the Bible teach us about Hell? Does our view of Hell change our view of God? How should our understanding of Hell influence how we live now?

Hell can be a difficult, awkward subject. It’s easy to talk about why we’re looking forward to Heaven at church morning tea, but there’s likely to be award silence if we try to open a discussion on Hell. Jesus, however, spent a lot of his time talking about Hell, so perhaps we need to think about it and talk about it more.

On the evening of Wednesday 24 October, Paul Williamson will help us to start this discussion.”

Details from Moore College.

Destroy and kill: the command for Israel and for us

“If God didn’t want idolatry to be a snare for the people of the old covenant, how much more does he want us to kill what will turn our hearts away from single-hearted devotion to the Lord? …”

– Andrew Barry reflects on what it will mean to be genuinely holy. At The Australian Church Record.

What Is the Greatest of all Protestant “Heresies”?

“Let us begin with a church history exam question.

Cardinal Robert Bellarmine (1542–1621) was a figure not to be taken lightly. He was Pope Clement VIII’s personal theologian and one of the most able figures in the Counter-Reformation movement within sixteenth-century Roman Catholicism. On one occasion, he wrote: ‘The greatest of all Protestant heresies is _______ .’

Complete, explain, and discuss Bellarmine’s statement.

How would you answer? What is the greatest of all Protestant heresies?

Perhaps justification by faith? Perhaps Scripture alone, or one of the other Reformation watchwords? …”

– Sinclair Ferguson writes at Ligonier Ministries.

Marriage: its place and pattern (Ephesians 5:31)

“ ‘For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh’ (Ephesians 5:31, R.V.) (See also Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:45; Mark 10:7-8.)

These words refer, of course, to the action of a man in getting married. They indicate why it should be done. If, therefore, we look at the context of these words, we may expect to find out something about the ground and the purpose of marriage. What is more, these words come more than once in the Bible. …”

– In The Australian Church Record, the Rev. Alan Stibbs reflects on the place and pattern of marriage.

1 Corinthians 5: Why it is Necessary and Loving not to associate or eat with certain ‘Christians’

“1 Corinthians 5 has to be one of the most confronting passages in the NT. The Corinthian church was tolerating a case of blatant sexual immorality in their midst. …”

– Moore College’s Dr Peter Orr tackles an important passage.

The Challenge of Feminism (2): God’s Better Solutions

“In my last post we took a look at some different types of feminism, and also some of the gains achieved by the movement.

We also, in light of those gains, wondered whether we should be calling ourselves feminists. My preliminary response was ‘no’: God’s word gives us better diagnoses and better solutions.

In this post I’ll try to show you what I mean. …”

– Dr. Claire Smith has published Part 2 of her response to the challenge of feminism – at The Gospel Coalition Australia.

Should we call ourselves Feminists?

“The New York Times magazine labelled 2015 as ‘the year we obsessed about identity’, and it’s an obsession that isn’t finished yet. Answers to questions of personal identity – ‘Who am I’ and ‘What do I identify as’ – are now shaping public discourse, and increasingly the answers are expressed in labels. I even discovered recently you can now ‘identify’ as vegan!

And one of the labels people are obsessing over is whether or not to be a feminist.…”

– Dr. Claire Smith asks, Should we call ourselves Feminists?, in her first article on the topic of ‘The Challenge of Feminism’ – at The Gospel Coalition Australia.

Evangelical protest: Its cause and content (Galatians 2:11-21)

“Those who know the truth of the gospel may find themselves compelled within the professing Church to become outspoken ‘protestants’, and to give their positive witness to the gospel in order to counter practical abandonment of its truth, and that sometimes on the part of acknowledged leaders or so called ‘pillars’ of the Church.

Since the need for such protest occasionally recurs, it may well be profitable for us to learn from the New Testament its adequate cause and its essential content.

Such a situation is brought before us in Galatians 2:11-21, where Paul indicates how he had publicly to withstand even Peter to the face. …”

– The Rev. Alan Stibbs’ July 1960 column has been republished by The Australian Church Record.

The healing way (Exodus 15:23-26)

“When they came to Marah they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter” (Exodus 15:23). This happened to God’s people, after their redemption from Egypt, when he was leading them.

We may rightly regard the incident as a picture not only of the trials of life, but more particularly of the trials of our Christian pilgrimage. The question of fundamental importance, therefore, was—and still is—what was the attitude of God’s people to such a trial? Or what is our attitude? …

The Australian Church Record continues to republish Alan Stibbs’ biblical reflections from 1960.

Calling God “Father”: Stumbling block or salve?

“If someone’s relationship with their human parents is negative or non-existent, could the idea of God as Father become unappealing?

As someone who’s always enjoyed healthy relationships with my still-married parents, I know that I’m fortunate. But the more people I meet, the more this seems as rare as it is fortunate. Countless factors cause people to experience parental relationships that range from tricky to traumatic. For those whose understanding of parenthood comes from an absent father or a neglectful mother, it’s perhaps harder to process the fatherhood of God as something fundamentally good. …”

– At The Australian Church Record, Lauren Mahaffey considers if we should dispense with the notion of God as Father.

The Church and the Bible (Part 2)

“What particularly threatens us as members of the Church of England is the very serious danger of the official acceptance by our Church of doctrines and practices which are additional and contrary to the Scriptural witness – and all in the supposed interest of larger and truer unity among Christians.

As each Lambeth Conference makes more obvious, there is the growing pressure of the Anglican Communion, and of a striving after a comprehensive ‘wholeness‘ whose governing principle is not uncompromising loyalty to the Scriptures, as the one supreme rule of faith and conduct, but the holding together in one family of churches which have come to believe and worship differently …”

– Alan Stibbs wasn’t writing yesterday, but in the January 1960 issue of The Australian Church Record.

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