The pernicious evil of the prosperity gospel and the theology of the cross

“Several years ago now I was travelling down a road in Nigeria on which, at almost every corner, there stood a church with a name that promised their members, and all who would join them, success, victory, wealth and happiness. …

Of course the prosperity gospel is not just a feature of aspirational Christianity in the majority world. It is alive and well and destroying lives in Western countries too. In fact there are very large churches which, in one way or another, are making similar promises right here in Australia.  

The prosperity gospel sees God’s glory and God’s blessing in all the wrong places and in so doing it draws attention away from what matters most and the reason why Jesus came, and lived and taught, and died and rose again, and is ruling now. …

– Dr Mark Thompson, Principal of Moore Theological College, and a Vice President of the ACL, writes at Theological Theology. Read it all there.

Free Seminary-Level Course with Carl Trueman on the Reformation

From Justin Taylor at The Gospel Coalition:

“Thanks to the generosity and permission of Carl Trueman – Paul Woolley Chair of Church History and professor of church history at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, as well as the author of Luther on the Christian Life – and The Master’s Seminary, you can basically take Professor Trueman’s course online for free. (You just don’t have to take any tests, write any papers, or get any credit!)”

This might keep you busy for a while.

(Dr. Trueman will be delivering the Annual Moore College Lectures in August, as part of the College’s celebration of 500 Years of the Reformation.)

An Intro to the Institutes

“The opening sentence of John Calvin’s The Institutes of the Christian Religion alone is worth a lifetime’s contemplation: ‘Nearly all the wisdom we possess, that is to say, true and sound wisdom, consists of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves.’

What is it about Calvin that so inspires me? This: his disciplined style, his determination never to speculate, his utter submission to Bible words as God’s words, his submission to Christ’s Lordship, his sense of the holy, his concern to be as practical as possible; the fact that godly living was his aim and not theology for the sake of it. In a forest of theologians, Calvin stands like a Californian Redwood, towering over everyone else.…”

– at Reformation21, Derek Thomas introduces a work which every Moore College student is required to read (in addition to the Bible!).

T.C. Hammond: The Value of the Old Testament

“There are three important declarations in Article Seven.

(1) The Old Testament is not contrary to the New.
(2) The Fathers looked for more than transitory promises.
(3) The moral injunctions in the Commandments of Moses are binding on all Christian men. …”

The Australian Church Record continues to republish Archdeacon T.C. Hammond’s series on The Thirty Nine Articles of Religion. They’re up to Article 7.

500 years on – does the Reformation still matter?

“When all is said and done, the fundamental question for every human being is, ‘How can a sinner like me stand before God on the Day of Judgement?’

Does this still matter? There is only one answer. …”

– In the first of a series of posts on the Reformation, Dr. Peter Jensen writes on the sinfulness of the human race and the danger of the soul.

Annual Moore College Lectures 2015 published

Moore College rejoices in Kevin Vanhoozer’s publication of his book based on the material he presented at the Annual Moore College Lectures 2015.

The publication is: Biblical Authority after Babel: Retrieving the Solas in the Spirit of Mere Protestant Christianity.”

– Read the full post here.

D.B. Knox: The Authority of the Bible — Pt 1

From a lecture to the Evangelical Union, Sydney University, as appeared in The Australian Church Record, November 18, 1948.

“The subject I have chosen is the authority of the Bible, and I propose to deal:

1. Content of Authority.
2. The reasons for giving the Bible that authority.

The first part can be dealt with in a sentence or two. As the Presbyterian Confession of Faith has it: ‘The Bible is given by inspiration of God to be the rule of faith and life,’ or as the Church of England puts it in her Articles ‘Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary for Salvation,‘…”

– Read Part 1 at The Australian Church Record.

(Photo: D. Broughton Knox in Sydney in 1956.)

Scripture: Is it really all we need?

tc_hammond-acl_scan“In 1955, when T.C. Hammond came to the 6th of his reflections on the 39 articles, he did something different. He didn’t write one piece for the ACR. He wrote two. And then followed them up with a third piece in the next issue.

Why? Why this extra attention on Article 6? It seems that in this article he saw a watershed moment. …”

The Australian Church Record is continuing to republish Archdeacon T. C. Hammond’s writings on The Thirty Nine Articles of Religion.

And here’s part 2.

See also:

The Thirty Nine Articles.

Propositional Revelation, the Only Revelation – by D. B. Knox.

Preparing for death

jean-williams“…you won’t find a shelf labelled ‘death’ at your local Christian bookstore. Have a look, and tell me if I’m wrong. My guess is that you’ll find shelves marked ‘marriage’ and ‘prayer’, but probably not a section on dying.

Your local Puritan bookstore (if there was such a thing) would have been different.”

– At, Jean Williams has a book recommendation. (“Despite the topic, it’s not dreary or depressing, but joyful and uplifting.”)

Death, the New Year and the Hope of Christ

cemetery-5“2016 was a sobering year for our celebrity-driven culture.

A recent CNN article reminded us of the many well known individuals that we lost over the course of the last year. More names have been added just in this past week. More than usual, it seems that many of these celebrities and artists lost in 2016 were icons of culture–a part of people’s personal identities and memories.

Social media has provided an unprecedented forum for shared grief and lament. …

From a biblical perspective, these social laments don’t go far enough; and, sadly they seem to miss the point altogether.”

– At Reformation21, Matt Foreman reflects on the only hope there is.

Reformation Themes: The Bible Alone and Faith Alone – from Paul Barnett

Bishop Paul BarnettBishop Paul Barnett has written two encouraging reflections on key Reformation themes. Read them at the links below.

Reformation Theme: The Bible Alone.

“2017 will be the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation. On 31st October 1517 an unknown monk in a small town nailed 95 debating points to a church door.  It was a common academic practice to invite debate but these ‘theses’ went viral and Martin Luther became famous overnight. …”

Reformation Theme: Faith Alone.

“The young Martin Luder – that was the family name – had been a law student in the major university town, Erfurt. Against his father’s will he became an Augustinian monk.

But he was a poor tortured soul who felt himself under the wrath of God. He engaged in punishing fasts and endless confessionals. As a mendicant monk he begged his way 1000 miles from Erfurt to Rome as a pilgrimage.

But he was clever. The order appointed him Professor of Bible at the new university in the little, ‘nowhere place’, Wittenberg. In preparing his lectures on Romans and the Psalms he made a great discovery. …”

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