Book Review of ‘God’s Good Design’ (2nd edition)

“All too often modern Christian teaching on the place of men and women in the church is in the context of argument and debate.

Fundamentally, the debate between those who would call themselves complementarian and those would call themselves egalitarian. However, even within those who hold a complementarian position there is debate between those who would disagree about where lines should be drawn. While this can’t be helped it can lead to some unfortunate consequences. Most notably we can deal ‘fast and loose’ with the text of the Scriptures, overstating arguments to support ‘our position’.

This is where Claire Smith’s ‘God’s Good Design’, first released in 2012 and now in its second edition has proven such a valuable resource. …”

– At Equal But Different, Phil and Victoria Colgan review the second edition of ‘God’s Good Design – What the Bible really says about Men and Women’ by Claire Smith.

Complementarianism: A Moment of Reckoning – latest 9Marks Journal

The latest 9Marks Journal focusses on the issue of Complementarianism.

It’s available here.

From this issue: Rosaria Butterfield, How Psalm 113 Changed My Life

“Pastor Ken Smith told us to open our Psalters to Psalm 113A in The Book of Psalms for Singing.

I jumped in with mouth open wide.

But before I realized what was coming out of my mouth, I sang the last lines of the psalm and implicated myself into what I believed then was hateful patriarchy and institutionalized misogyny. …”

The gospel and fatherhood (Ephesians 6:4)

Fathers: Do you sometimes wish your children were born with an instruction manual? Being a dad is a big responsibility. Paul here provides valuable direction.

Read or listen at Forget the Channel, as Lionel Windsor helps unpack Ephesians 6:4.

Paul the Apostle does children’s ministry (Ephesians 6:1–3)

Children’s ministry is important. Paul’s short instruction to children is deeply soaked in theology, biblical theology, and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Lionel Windsor turns to an neglected part of Ephesians chapter 6.

Droughts, Fires and Other Disasters

“what is the Christian to make of what we call natural disasters?”

Presbyterian Moderator-General Peter Barnes offers a Christian perspective.

The gospel and marriage part 1: Wives (Ephesians 5:22–24)

“What Paul says in Ephesians about Christian wives and submission only makes sense in light of what he’s already said about the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Lionel Windsor reaches Ephesians 5:22–24 in his journey through Ephesians.

Read or listen at Forget The Channel.

Submitting to one another (Ephesians 5:21)

“Let’s face it: I’m a 21st century Westerner. More than that, I’m an Australian. So naturally, I have a deeply ingrained, culturally conditioned reaction against authority and ordered relationships.

This anti-authoritarian reflex is part of my cultural heritage. The generation before mine was a generation of social revolutionaries, overturning all kinds of social norms in the name of justice, liberty, and equality. Going back a few centuries, my cultural ancestors were convicts – underdogs chained up and transported here by the British Empire for all sorts of misdemeanours: political insurrection, stealing handkerchiefs, etc., etc.

This heritage has made a deep impact on me. Instinctively, I don’t like ordered relationships. I want to sit in the front seat of a taxi next to the driver, not in the back like Lord Muck as if I’ve got tickets on myself. I’m uncomfortable with people making something of me just because of my position or status. I run away screaming when people use titles like ‘Reverend‘ and ‘Doctor’ (well, not literally, but at least this is what I’m doing on the inside). I feel the Aussie reflex to cut down the ‘tall poppies’, to make sure everyone’s on the same level. …”

The Rev. Dr. Lionel Windsor helps unpack Ephesians 5:21. Take the time to read or listen – at Forget the Channel.

Thank God for ordinary pastors

“The noble task of the ordinary Christian minister is essential for the future health of the churches which make up the Anglican Diocese of Sydney. Yet challenges to the ordinary Christian ministry abound!

The world around us seems to be spinning away from its Christian moorings at a rapid rate, the frailty of the flesh and the failure of leaders in the church saddens us all too regularly, and the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, as he has always done – crouching even at the rectory door. …”

– Moore College’s Dr. Mark Earngey writes to encourage us to be thankful for ordinary pastors – and to pray for more of them. At The Australian Church Record.

Christian singing: Why and how? (Ephesians 5:19–20)

“Christian music is one of the most powerful and enduring ways to teach theology. Singing gets under our skin and into our souls. So the words really matter, at a detailed level. We repeat those words again and again and learn to love them. …”

– Lionel Windsor continues on his journey through Ephesians and encourages us to think about what we are doing (and not doing) when we sing in church. Read or listen at Forget the Channel.

Marriage motions passed as General Synod support questioned

“If we abandon God’s Word we have nothing to offer the world. That is why this motion is before you tonight,” said the Dean of Sydney Kanishka Raffel as he introduced one of the key motions of the 2019 Synod, one which he said he moved ‘with a heavy heart’.

“My heaviness of heart is because the motion before you addresses not a departure from God’s word in the laws of the land but a departure from God’s word that is being promoted by Bishops and Synods in our Church.” Dean Raffel said. “There is one God and Father of us all, one Lord, one faith, and one baptism – but Bishops and Synods in our church nationally, risk rending the fabric of our fellowship by promoting a theology of marriage that is contrary to Scripture.”

The motion followed the Archbishop’s Presidential Address where he spoke of at least two Dioceses pushing to bless same-sex relationships. A ten-point motion, seconded by Bishop Michael Stead, reaffirmed man/woman marriage as the doctrine of scripture and of the Anglican Church, declared that blessings or affirmations of same-sex marriage are contrary to scripture and called for action where the doctrine was not being upheld.…

Read the full report by Russell Powell at Anglican Media Sydney.

The Stingy Religious?

“According to a highly publicised 2015 paper in Current Biology, children who have been brought up religiously are less generous than their religion-free peers.

The good news, if you can call it that, is that only in the last couple of months and some four years after the event, it’s now reported in Psychology Today that the paper has been formally retracted …”

– At The Gospel Coalition Australia, Gordon Cheng points us to the Bible’s teaching on generosity.

The Bible and Same-Sex Marriage: An Overview from Ridley College

“Our purpose in writing this brief letter is to support our fellow Anglicans in wrestling with this issue by offering a summary of the scholarly discussion over what the Bible teaches on homosexuality, and an explanation for why we believe the traditional path on marriage and sexuality is the one that Christ is calling us to take.”

– Ridley College, Melbourne, has issued an open letter affirming the Biblical doctrine of marriage.

As David Ould notes, this is a significant contribution to the conversation among Australian Anglicans, especially in the light of the unilateral action of the Diocese of Wangaratta.

What do you want to become? (Ephesians 5:5–7)

“What do you want to become? When you close your eyes and picture yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, what will you have become? What do you hope for, pray for, and plan for? …”

Don’t be deceived, Lionel Windsor at Moore College has some encouragement for you from God’s word.

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