A Tale of Two Levels – and Good news for Gnostics

At Church Society’s blog, Stephen Walton looks at the connection between two current stories in the Anglican Communion –

“What do these two stories have in common? Many things, but I want to concentrate on just one, that these are two new manifestations of a very old error: Gnosticism.”

–  You can follow his argument here.

The Bible’s guide to time travel

“Time is a funny thing. It goes too fast. Then too slow. We want it to stand still and then wish it didn’t. We love losing track of it but incessantly strive to find it. There are few things more frustrating and difficult than running out of time or wasting it. We just can’t seem to get it right! Why does time so often feel out of joint? ”

The Australian Church Record has published the first two parts of a series by Annabel Nixey.

Part 1. Trusting the original Time Lord.

Part 2. Accepting that time is broken.

“The bus pulls away just before you reach it. The priceless opportunity disappears just before you can grab it. Just when that person finally gets back on their feet, something else goes wrong. Bad, broken timing.”

The Enduring Authority of the Christian Scriptures

ACL Council member Mike Taylor tells us the Kindle version of The Enduring Authority of the Christian Scriptures – edited by Don Carson – is on special at a (currently) very good price.

Check it out here.

Christmas in the Future

“The countdown to Christmas is in full swing. …

For Christians, Christmas is the annual festival celebrating the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ—an event that split history in two. We recall the God who acted in mercy by entering this fallen and broken world to redeem it. We remember that in Christ, God is with us—Jesus, our “Immanuel.” And while we too countdown to Christmas and the year’s end that it signals, we reflect on the saving grace of our God.

We draw this significance of Jesus’ birth from the accounts in the Gospels, as well as the reflection of the New Testament writers generally. With another two thousand years of Christian reflection since, plus our favourite carols playing in the background, the importance of Christmas has been ingrained into us. Although the annual celebration is fixed immovably into our calendars, the Christmas event itself lies behind us. We have to look back over our shoulder, as it were, to see it.

But it was not always so. …”

– Moore College’s George Athas helps us put Christmas in perspective.

Biblical friendship (part 2): Being a friend

“In part 1 we looked at John 15 and saw that a friend is loving, sacrificial and outward looking.

The book of Proverbs fleshes out this picture of what it means to be a friend. Proverbs is immensely helpful in thinking through the issue of friendship, which isn’t surprising because it’s a book of wisdom that tells us how God’s creation operates. So let’s look at what we can learn from Proverbs about friendship. …”

– Caitlin Orr continues her series on Biblical friendship. At The Australian Church Record.

Themelios 43.3 now available

The latest edition of Themelios is now available for free download from The Gospel Coalition.

Your gut is wrong

“The gut plays a very important role in the day-to-day life of those born after 1980. For one, these generations are obsessed with food, with every second meal being posted on Instagram and every second TV show relating to food.

But the gut also plays a powerful role in the initial reaction to any given situation. The initial gut reaction often controls the emotions and determines the response that follows, even directing the ongoing course of action.

We see it in evangelism when we mention that Jesus is the one and only way to God (John 14:6). The hearer’s gut reaction is …”

– Mike Leite writes at The Australian Church Record.

Life in Four Stages — free eBook from Albert Mohler, today only

In exchange for your name and e-mail address, Albert Mohler is offering a free copy of his eBook, Life in Four Stages: A Biblical Celebration of Childhood, Youth, Adulthood, and Age, as a PDF file.

“Scripture teaches us that God has fashioned each stage of life with precious glory. That’s why we are summoned to not only recognise the stages of life, but to live in them as God intended for his glory.”

Is God Green?

“Almost 50 years ago, in 1972, the crew of the Apollo 17 space mission took the first full-view photo of planet Earth as they made their way to the moon.

For the first time ever, humanity saw an image of the whole planet from afar. They saw the clouds, the land, the oceans sitting there: whirling, powerful, innocent, vulnerable.

This view from above was emblematic of a revolution taking place in the hearts and imaginations of millions around the planet. …”

– ACL Council member Dr. Lionel Windsor introduces his new book, Is God Green?

(Available from Matthias Media. Photo by Harrison H. Schmitt.)

A Hell of a Difference: How our understanding of Hell affects the Christian life

From Moore College’s Centre for Christian Living:

“What does the Bible teach us about Hell? Does our view of Hell change our view of God? How should our understanding of Hell influence how we live now?

Hell can be a difficult, awkward subject. It’s easy to talk about why we’re looking forward to Heaven at church morning tea, but there’s likely to be award silence if we try to open a discussion on Hell. Jesus, however, spent a lot of his time talking about Hell, so perhaps we need to think about it and talk about it more.

On the evening of Wednesday 24 October, Paul Williamson will help us to start this discussion.”

Details from Moore College.

Destroy and kill: the command for Israel and for us

“If God didn’t want idolatry to be a snare for the people of the old covenant, how much more does he want us to kill what will turn our hearts away from single-hearted devotion to the Lord? …”

– Andrew Barry reflects on what it will mean to be genuinely holy. At The Australian Church Record.

What Is the Greatest of all Protestant “Heresies”?

“Let us begin with a church history exam question.

Cardinal Robert Bellarmine (1542–1621) was a figure not to be taken lightly. He was Pope Clement VIII’s personal theologian and one of the most able figures in the Counter-Reformation movement within sixteenth-century Roman Catholicism. On one occasion, he wrote: ‘The greatest of all Protestant heresies is _______ .’

Complete, explain, and discuss Bellarmine’s statement.

How would you answer? What is the greatest of all Protestant heresies?

Perhaps justification by faith? Perhaps Scripture alone, or one of the other Reformation watchwords? …”

– Sinclair Ferguson writes at Ligonier Ministries.

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