Wonderful salvation: A study in 1 Peter 1:1-12

“Peter opens his letter by contemplating the amazing character of Christian salvation. The very thought of it immediately calls forth worship and doxology. Blessed by God the giver!

Let us make what Peter wrote the subject of our own adoring meditation. Let us see what we can here learn about our wonderful salvation. …”

The Australian Church Record has republished this encouragement from Alan Stibbs from sixty years ago.

Australian Church Record — Winter 2018 — now online

The Winter 2018 issue of The Australian Church Record (number 1919) is now available on their website.

It’s a must-read. Be sure to download your copy – and let others know.

From this issue:

“The work that only Christians can do should have first priority for most of us.”

– Dean of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel.

The promises of God (2 Corinthians 1:20)

“For how many so ever be the promises of God, in Him is the yea: wherefore also through Him is the Amen, unto the glory of God through us” (2 Cor 1:20, R.V.)

Let us see how much we can learn from this one verse about the promises of God. …

– Encouragement from the Rev. Alan Stibbs in The Australian Church Record.

The worst sermon on the Internet?

Tim Challies has been exploring “great sermons that have made a widespread impact and stuck around for the long haul”.

In this final entry in his series, he turns to a sermon which is not so great.

Why the Catholic Church is anti-Catholic

It’s like a company where the boss says to his employees, “There is a ‘no smoking indoors’ policy at this workplace”, and then the shift manager tells the employees, “What the boss really means is that you can’t smoke indoors while he’s around”…

– At GoThereFor.com, Mark Gilbert highlights the division at the heart of Roman Catholic teaching.

Undivided – An Open Letter to Vicky Beeching

“Vicky Beeching is a relatively well-known Christian singer songwriter who is now better known for being gay and an advocate of the LGBT agenda within the church.

When she came out as gay she knew that her career on the American Christian music scene was over, but she now has a new career as a darling of the regressive establishment, as they continue their ‘redefinition’ of the Christian faith.

Her new career has resulted in numerous media appearances, an award from the Archbishop of Canterbury and a new book. ‘Undivided’ has just been published to a mixed reception. This is my review in the form of an open letter.”

– At his blog, The Wee Flea, David Robertson has published a very thoughtful open letter. Do take the time to read.

The destiny of God’s people

“No idea is more fundamental to the purpose of God in history, as it is revealed in Holy Scripture, than this one: “They shall be my people, and I will be their God” (Jer 32:38).

This truth is for us the more significant because it is men and women like we are whom God has thus chosen. Such a phrase is, therefore, not only a revelation of God’s purpose; it is also a disclosure of our own destiny. We are created and called by God to be his people, and to know him as our God. This is the chief end of man – to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever. Let us then consider what this means in more detail. …”

The Australian Church Record has dug into their vaults to republish this article by the Rev. Alan Stibbs.

Two challenging addresses from GAFCON Thursday plenary sessions

On Thursday, in the plenary sessions at GAFCON 2018, participants heard two very challenging  addresses – from Dr. Mike Raiter (The Missing Jesus) and Canon David Short (God’s Strategy).

Watch at the links.

Review: The Bible Project – Brilliant but Flawed

“Understanding and teaching the Bible can be hard work so it feels like a win to find a resource that can help us do it well. Over the last few years, many people have watched and enjoyed The Bible Project videos and started to use them more in teaching.

In this post, I want to raise a few concerns about the theology taught in The Bible Project and invite you to think about how you use them for yourself and in teaching.

Firstly, though, let me say there’s a lot to like about these videos. …”

– At The Gospel Coalition Australia, Richard Sweatman raises some important questions about a popular teaching resource.

How to preach 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 well

On this week’s edition of The Pastor’s Heart podcast/vodcast, Dominic Steele speaks with Dani Treweek and Lionel Windsor about a key New Testament ‘gender’ passage.

It’s well worth spending 38 minutes to think about the passage, and how to preach it in today’s culture.

Thankful for the Doctrine of the Trinity — Leon Morris

“Some people seem to think that the doctrine of the Trinity is the result of a concerted effort by the theologians to make it difficult for ordinary men to understand the nature of God.

So far from this being the case history shows that theologians tried every alternative they could, and the Trinity is simply man’s effort to say what he can about the deity in the light of Scripture and the history of Christian thought. …”

– from Leon Morris, in The Australian Church Record, June 1955.

(Today, 27 May 2018, is Trinity Sunday.)

On how the Reformation changed Sunday gatherings — 9Marks

In the latest 9Marks “Pastors’ Talk” podcast, Dr. Jonathan Gibson (Moore College; Cambridge University; now teaching at Westminster Seminary) is interviewed about the book Reformation Worship: Liturgies from the Past for the Present.

He wrote and edited the book with former ACL Council member Mark Earngey.

From the Foreword by Sinclair Ferguson:

“The book you now hold in your hands, or that perhaps lies on your desk, is a resource of almost unparalleled richness in its field, representing as it does an immense labor of love on the part of its editors and translators. Here, gathered together in one large volume, are liturgies crafted by some of the leading figures in the Protestant Reformation and employed by them to aid worship in a wide variety of places and churches.

We owe an immense debt of gratitude to those who have participated in this project. They would, I feel sure, tell us that the best way we can repay that debt is to read carefully, to assess biblically, and then to reach down into the first principles of worship variously expressed in these liturgies from the past, and apply them wisely and sensitively in our worship in the present. This can only lead to a new reformation of the worship of God the Trinity. Such access to the Father through the Son in the power of the Holy Spirit can alone help the congregations of God’s people, in the place and time they occupy, to worship with renewed mind, transformed affections, and holy joy. …

… we ought not to devalue the contents of these pages by treating them as a kind of liturgical archaeological dig, the concern only of those who are interested in antiquities or aesthetics. For these liturgies were crafted out of a passion for the glory of God. And while this compilation is not formulated as a tract for the times, it carries an important and powerful message for the contemporary church.

Download a PDF sample from New Growth Press.

(Reformation Worship: Liturgies from the Past for the Present is available from these booksellers.)

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