A Thin Gruel For The Soul

“The great Christian philosopher and theologian, Dallas Willard, once wrote that every compelling and coherent worldview must address four questions:

What is reality?
What is the good life?
What is a good person?
How does one become a good person?

Christianity, including the Anglican way of following Jesus, has answers to these questions. Reality is the unshakeable Kingdom of God (Hebrews 12:18-29). The good life is not about consumption, but rather righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). The one who is blessed by Jesus (in every counter-intuitive and counter-cultural way he names in Matthew 5:1-12) is the good person. And one becomes such a person, a “disciple” according to Jesus, by denying oneself, taking up one’s cross, and following Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:24).

Sadly, you will find no answers to these questions in What do Anglicans Believe: A Study Guide to Christian Doctrine from Anglican and Ecumenical Statements, published by the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) last week …”

The American Anglican Council’s Canon Phil Ashey points to a better way than a new book which has just been published.

ACR Winter 2020 Journal

The Australian Church Record’s Winter 2020 Journal is now up on their website.

Grab your copy for plenty of stimulating reading. And pass on the link to others!

The doctrine of God in Ephesians

Recently, Lionel Windsor at Moore College, posted the key reflections on the topic of The doctrine of God in Ephesians in his series Lift Your Eyes: Reflections on Ephesians.

See them here.


What is your heart’s desire?

“We all have them. They may be wishes on a wish list. Or we call them dreams and talk about ‘my dream holiday’ or ‘our dream home’. The poet Longfellow wrote of ‘longings wild and vain’. The Bible speaks in Psalm 37 about ‘the desires of our hearts’.

Some people have clearly defined ambitions. CS Lewis splendidly described the ambition to get inside what he called ‘The Inner Ring’, to be accepted into a particular group, an outsider no longer.

Can you identify your heart’s desires – the things that rank as priorities in your life? …”

– Encouragement from Allan Blanch at The Australian Church Record.

An Evening Conversation with J. I. Packer – A 1999 Interview by Mark Dever

In October 1999, Mark Dever interviewed Dr J. I. Packer in an event at Capitol Hill Baptist Church.

The 59 minute video from 9Marks is a very worthwhile use of your time.

Glory of Christ – Part 2

“In the second of these short reflections on the glory of Christ, I want to draw attention specifically to the constitution of his person in two natures, fully divine, and fully human. As a truth it is something that can be stated with relative ease. …”

– Andrew Leslie continues his series on the Glory of Christ – at The Australian Church Record.

We Preach Christ Crucified — J. I. Packer at the 1978 Moore College Lectures

The Donald Robinson Library at Moore College has digitised and made available the videotapes of  Dr. J. I. Packer’s 1978 Moore College Lectures.

His topic? “We Preach Christ Crucified.”

Watch here.

Forgiveness in Three Images

“Christians always want to understand the world better than it understands itself in order that we can comment on it with light and understanding.

However, we are members of another kingdom (Phil.3:20-21) ruled by a king who is not from our earthly world (John 18:36-37).

For sinners, one of our first issues must be that of forgiveness – which is probably not first on the list of world priorities.…”

Encouragement from Psalm 103, and the Rev. Dr Peter Barnes, Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia.

Psalm 136 and The bread and butter Christian

“How much is thankfulness part of your life as a follower of Jesus? How much, in our current situation, are you tempted to grumble? How much do you focus on the negative and lose sight of the positive?

These questions are significant because giving thanks to God is the mark of a follower of Jesus. Or conversely, the mark of a pagan mind is a lack of thankfulness. See what Paul says in Romans 1:21a: ‘For although they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him….’

It is for this reason that I think Psalm 136 is such important teaching in our current climate…”

– Encouragement from Ben George at The Australian Church Record.

GAFCON devotions with Bp Michael Nazir Ali

For the month of July 2020, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali is writing and recording daily devotions (“Lift up your hearts”) for GAFCON.

Read/listen or subscribe here.

Shepherding: The Work and Character of a Pastor

9Marks Journal editor Jonathan Leeman writes,

“We’ve been publishing the 9Marks Journal for over a decade, yet we’ve never done one focused on the pastor – his work and character. So let’s call this Journal irresponsibly overdue. While editing it, I found myself, first, convicted; second, encouraged; and third, well supplied with tweet after tweet of wisdom. I’m confident you’ll enjoy and benefit from it.

The pastor has to wear lots of hats in the course of his work: program-director, administrator, counselor, evangelist, and, at the top of the list, preacher and teacher. Yet in all of this, he is a shepherd. He watches over sheep, principally by concerning himself with their understanding of God’s Word and how it applies to their life together and with outsiders.”

Get the latest issue here.

You are enough, and other lies we like to swallow

“I don’t know about you, but the recent months of school at home exposed some pretty ugly cracks in the façade I’d created for myself of being a good mother. It’s much easier, it turns out, to parent your children when they aren’t in the same physical space as you every minute of every hour of every day. Somewhere in my head I’d always thought I’d manage pretty well as a home-school parent. Turns out… not so much. …”

– Jocelyn Loane writes at The Australian Church Record.

The Alpha Course: ’emotionally powerful but theologically confused’

In the latest episode of The Pastor’s Heart, Dominic Steele and Tony Payne discuss the latest version of The Alpha Course.

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