Dealing with Guilt and Shame

“Western culture regards guilt and shame as overwhelmingly negative experiences. The catch-cry of our times is “believe in yourself”, and ridding ourselves of guilt and shame is part of the near universal pursuit of positive thinking. Yet, for many, guilt and shame are all-too crushingly real and inescapable. We feel their weight even as we try to banish them with positive spin.

In our first Centre for Christian Living event of the year, Faculty member Dr Dan Wu will explore what the Bible has to say about guilt and shame – what they are, and how they can be both negative and positive experiences for Christians. Most importantly, Dan will unpack how these experiences relate to the defining reality for all human life – the glory of God seen in the cross of Jesus. …”

– Read about Moore College’s Centre for Christian Living event coming up on Wednesday 7th March.

When heresy is accepted in the Church of England

“If one is to claim that a certain teaching is heretical, we need to be clear what we mean by the term.

Alister McGrath writes, ‘Heresy arises through accepting a basic cluster of Christian beliefs – yet interpreting them in such a way that inconsistency results. A heresy is thus an inadequate or deficient form of Christianity. By its very deficiency, it poses a threat to the Gospel.’ The reason why heresy gains traction in the church is because it contains at least an element of truth; as such it is parasitic on orthodoxy. ‘In the Catholic faith, we recognise that a heresy is not so much a false doctrine as an incomplete doctrine. It has rejected part of the truth and is representing what is left over as the whole truth. But what a heretic usually ends up doing is attacking the greater truth.’

Jayne Ozanne illustrates this well.

In July 2017, Ozanne placed a private member’s motion to the General Synod meeting in York (GS 2070A) calling upon the Synod to effectively repudiate the practice of conversion therapy for those who experience same sex attraction. …”

– Melvin Tinker takes a sobering look at a very important topic.

Top image from Jayne Ozanne’s persuasive speech at the Church of England General Synod, 8th July 2017. (Youtube.) How persuasive was it?

See the voting result for the Private Member’s Motion.

The full text of the Private Members Motion may be found here.

The World is not Exposed to Chance (Article 17)

“We are not living in a world exposed to chance. We are in the hands of an Omnipotent God. No matter how difficult it may be to realise it in the changes and chances of this mortal life, there is a Divine determination that must reach its true conclusion. …”

– T.C. Hammond’s 1957 reflections on Article 17 have been republished by The Australian Church Record.

Martin Bucer and the Reform of Worship

“If Martin Bucer (1491-1551) is not an unsung hero of the Reformation, he is certainly an undersung hero. This particularly is the case when it comes to public worship.

Bucer’s fingerprints are all over Calvin’s Form of Church Prayers (1542) as well as the Book of Common Prayer (1552, 1559, 1662).

Calvin acknowledges that most of his Form was borrowed from Bucer, while Bucer’s 50-page response to King Edward VI’s first Book of Common Prayer (1549), entitled Censura, led to major alterations in a solidly if incompletely Reformed direction.…”

– At Reformation21, Terry Johnson provides a bunch of reasons to give thanks for Martin Bucer. Bucer’s influence on Sydney Anglicans is not insignificant.

See also:

Remembering Martin Bucer – Steve Tong at The Australian Church Record –

“In 1556 the Catholic Queen Mary exhumed Bucer’s remains from Great St Mary’s, chained his bones to a stake in the town marketplace, and burnt them along with all his available works. This unceremonious treatment was overturned by Queen Elizabeth I in a formal act of rehabilitation on 22 July 1560 and a brass plaque was placed on the location of Bucer’s original grave.

Unlike the very public memorial to Latimer, Ridley and Cranmer in Oxford, Bucer’s brass plaque is hidden from everyday sight. So it is with Bucer’s legacy for Anglican evangelicals.”

Is there a place for women on a theological college faculty?

“In recent days a conversation has taken place among complementarians and a few others about whether it is appropriate for a woman to serve on a theological college faculty (or in American terms, as a seminary professor).

The catalyst was a response by John Piper to a question on his ‘Ask Pastor John’ podcast. John Piper, a highly respected evangelical leader in America with deep complementarian convictions, responded with basically a five point argument …

I share many, if not most, of Piper’s complementarian convictions.…

However, while I respect Piper’s convictions, I do not agree with his conclusions. Why is that? I have four reasons. …”

– Principal of Moore Theological College in Sydney, Dr. Mark Thompson, writes at Theological Theology.

T.C. Hammond: Sin Against the Holy Ghost

“In our former comment on this Article we indicated that we would deal more specifically with the sin against the Holy Ghost which receives special mention. There are two questions that arise for consideration—

The first question is historical. The second question is exegetical. …”

– T.C. Hammond continues to consider Article 16 of The Thirty-Nine Articles and the teaching of Scripture – in this article from the vaults of The Australian Church Record.

The Role of Creeds and Confessions in doing Theology

“A wise traveller makes preparations for a trip (Matt. 10:8–10). Any traveller who attempts a difficult journey without a map risks not arriving or worse.

The Christian life is a journey to the heavenly city (Heb. 11:8–15). A map is a record of the journeys of travellers who have gone before us. Strangely, however, many Christians attempt the Christian journey without the benefit of maps – in this case, the ecumenical creeds and Reformed confessions. …”

– Regrettably, many churches have dispensed with creeds and confessions.

In a featured article from Ligonier’s Tabletalk magazine, R. Scott Clark (Westminster Seminary California) writes about their great value.

Where can Justice and Forgiveness find satisfaction at once?

“I want to direct you to one of the most winsome and compelling testimonies I have ever heard, by a convinced and articulate Christian named Rachael Denhollander, a former gymnast who was first molested by Nasser when she was 16.

In her testimony, you will hear her pain. … But if you skip to the 25:40 mark in the video you can see and hear Mrs. Denhollander address Nasser directly and speak Gospel truth into his life. …”

– The American Anglican Council’s Phil Ashey looks at the testimony so many have been talking about this week.


Article 16: Can Wilful Sinners be Forgiven?

“We are introduced by this Article to a very ancient misconception of God’s message of salvation. Tertullian, who attained prominence at the very beginning of the Third Century, held very rigid views concerning the remission of serious sins committed after baptism.

When Tertullian became a Montanist this rigour was intensified. So fearful was he of the danger of falling into sin which had no forgiveness he exhorted his followers to abstain from the baptism of infants. …”

– More from T.C. Hammond, at The Australian Church Record of November 8, 1956.

T.C. Hammond: Who is a Sinner?

“Christ in the truth of our nature was made like unto us in all things, sin only except, from which he was clearly void, both in his flesh, and in his spirit. He came to be the Lamb without spot, who, by sacrifice of himself once made, should take away the sins of the world, and sin, as Saint John saith, was not in him. But all we the rest, although baptised, and born again in Christ, yet offend in many things; and if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

– Those are the words of Article 15 of the Thirty Nine Articles, “Of Christ Alone Without Sin”.

The Australian Church Record is continuing to republish T.C. Hammond’s 1956 series on The Articles.

Good Grief!

“Grief is a fault line. It opens us up. It exposes us. But it doesn’t just do this emotionally; it does so theologically.

If you want to know a person’s true theology, speak to them when they are grieving. There you will discover what they hope in; how they cope; what makes sense of their world.

As a listener to those grieving, I became acutely aware that grief is never something we feel prepared for, but a season in which we must be prepared. …”

– At, Moore College’s Chase Kuhn calls us to have a biblical understanding of death and grief.

Moralism is not the Gospel (but many Christians think it is)

“One of the most amazing statements by the Apostle Paul is his indictment of the Galatian Christians for abandoning the Gospel. ‘I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel,’ Paul declared. As he stated so emphatically, the Galatians had failed in the crucial test of discerning the authentic Gospel from its counterfeits. …

This warning from the Apostle Paul, expressed in the language of the Apostle’s shock and grief, is addressed not only to the church in Galatia, but to every congregation in every age. In our own day — and in our own churches — we desperately need to hear and to heed this warning.”

Albert Mohler writes on perhaps the greatest danger to genuine Christianity in our time.

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