Attending to the National Soul — Book launch

Here’s an invitation to all ACL members and others interested in Australian history:

Attending to the National Soul – Evangelical Christians in Australian History 1914 – 2014 by Stuart Piggin and Robert D. Linder follows the highly awarded book The Fountain of Public Prosperity – Evangelical Christians in Australian History 1740–1914, which was published in 2018.

Both volumes are the result of thirty years’ research and writing.

Monash University Publishing is delighted to invite you to the launch of Attending to the National Soul, at St Stephen’s Church, 179 Macquarie Street, Sydney (opposite Parliament House) on 12 December 2019, 3.00 – 5.00 pm.

The event will be chaired by Dr Meredith Lake and the book will be launched by Dr Tim Costello.

RSVP to Stephen Chavura by 28 November.

Commendations for the book:

In June 2018, former Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson spoke with Stuart about the first volume, The Fountain of Public Prosperity, in this interview.

And the first volume, The Fountain of Public Prosperity, was awarded the 2019 Australian Christian Book of the Year. At the award ceremony, Dr Piggin explains something of his hopes for the book.

Religious discrimination bill so flawed it cannot be supported, Anglicans say

“The flaws in the Coalition’s religious discrimination bill are ‘so serious’ it cannot be supported in its current form, the Sydney Anglican diocese has warned. …

In a separate submission, the Freedom for Faith group has claimed the bill fails a commitment by the prime minister, Scott Morrison, ‘that the law would not take faith groups backwards in terms of protection of religious freedom’. …”

– Story from The Guardian.

Submission on the Religious Freedom draft laws

Associate Professor Neil Foster shares his personal submission on the Government’s package of draft laws on Religious Freedom – at Law and Religion Australia.

If you would like to make your own submission, you have until 5:00 pm on Wednesday 2nd October 2019.

The passing of new abortion laws — Statement from Archbishop Glenn Davies

Anglican Diocese of Sydney

Media Statement

Abortion laws pass the NSW Parliament

I want to thank the people of NSW who have petitioned, rallied and written to their parliamentary representatives during the recent debate on abortion.

Much has been achieved through these efforts so that the Bill that was finally passed by the Parliament is a far better Bill than what was introduced eight weeks ago.

We said at the time that it was unconscionable to attempt to rush this through the Lower House in the originally proposed timeframe, without any public consultation. We are grateful for the time that both Houses gave to the Bill and for the amendments made in both Houses.

Yet we are deeply saddened by the passing of these laws and the abortion-on-demand regime they introduce. The life of both a mother and her child in the womb are precious to God. We must love them both and protect them both.

May God have mercy on us.

Dr Glenn N Davies, Archbishop of Sydney, 26 September 2019

– Source:

Tragic day for Australia as NSW parliament passes its deadly abortion bill

“The Australian Christian Lobby has expressed its deep disappointment at the passing of the controversial abortion bill in the NSW Parliament today.

The bill, which has seen the third longest debate on any bill in the Legislative Council, quickly passed the Legislative Assembly this morning on the voices, after passing the Upper House with amendments last night. …”

– Press release from The Australian Christian Lobby.

Possibly ‘the worst law passed in New South Wales in modern times’

“Last night the controversial bill, which has been the source of public and political debate over the past eight weeks, passed the upper house 26 votes to 14.

This paved the way for it to be reintroduced to the Lower House today.

Ms Berejiklian, who faced significant public criticism from conservative figures over the bill, was not in the chamber for the final vote.…”

– Report from ABC News.

(Image from the 15 September 2019 Stand for Life rally in Hyde Park.)

Freedom for Faith submission on the draft Religious Discrimination Bill

Freedom for Faith has released its submission to the Commonwealth Government on its Exposure Draft Religious Discrimination Bill. …

I recommend it as an excellent overview of the Bill, with a good summary of its good points and some areas where it could be improved. …”

– See Neil Foster’s latest post to download a copy of the submission, along with previous comments – at Law and Religion Australia.

New Principal announced for SMBC

An announcement from Sydney Missionary and Bible College:

“We’re delighted to inform you today that the SMBC Board has appointed a new Principal.

After a lengthy recruitment process, attracting outstanding local, interstate and overseas candidates, we can today announce that the new Principal of Sydney Missionary and Bible College will be Derek Brotherson. …”

– More at the SMBC website.

A Corinthian Tale

There are growing signs that the ecclesial weather is changing and our churches are not prepared.

As the broader culture becomes more insistent about its moral narrative, Churches have become less certain. Universities, media personalities, and political representatives vocalise a secular righteousness with increasing confidence, while ecclesial leaders pray that kicking the can down the street will do the trick. …

No Christian denomination or Church in Australia can afford to play dodge ball with the marriage issue. As far as I can see, there are only three options available for churches and denominations: choose capitulation, accommodation, or faithfulness. …

Doing nothing is not a solution. To ultimately decide on inaction is a form of accommodation.”

– Murray Campbell, Pastor of Mentone Baptist Church, has been keeping an eye on movements in the Anglican Church of Australia. You should too.

See also:

Newcastle Synod to debate same-sex blessings –

NSW MPs plan spill motion against Premier Gladys Berejiklian

“Three Liberal MPs say they will move a spill motion against New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian, saying she has ‘broken trust’ over the handling of the state’s abortion bill.

In a joint statement, MPs Tanya Davies, Matthew Mason-Cox MLC and Lou Amato MLC called for the spill at about 8:30pm after learning key amendments to the bill had been rejected…”

– Report from ABC News.

The Australian (subscription) reports that the three MPs say, in a statement,

“Three weeks ago it was made clear to the Premier and the Government that at an absolute minimum, four key amendments were required to the Abortion bill to ensure continued membership of the Liberal Party room – a prohibition on sex selection abortions, proper medical care for aborted babies born alive, protection of conscientious objection rights for doctors and allied health professionals and stricter regulation of late term abortions.

At 7:50pm tonight we were informed all the amendments were rejected in full or in part with vague undertakings for further discussions in the morning.”


The leadership spill his been called off.

Riverstone MP Kevin Conolly speaks about his concerns with the bill.


Thousands flood Hyde Park for anti-abortion rally

“Thousands have rallied in Sydney’s Hyde Park against proposed changes to NSW abortion laws.

The large and vocal group carried banners and chanted anti-abortion slogans such as ‘Stand For Life’ and ‘Kill the Bill’. …”

– Report from Nine News.


Tony Abbott tells rally proposed abortion laws are ‘effectively infanticide on demand’ – ABC News.

“Former prime minister Tony Abbott has told an anti-abortion rally in Sydney that the proposed bill to decriminalise abortion is ‘effectively infanticide on demand’.

Thousands joined the rally to oppose the bill which is due back before the NSW Upper House this week for amendments to be debated. …”

Saturday’s Pro-abortion rally in Sydney. – Michael Smith News.

“Send a strong message to our Parliament” — Stand for Life Rally, Hyde Park, Sunday 15 September

Archbishop Glenn Davies has written to all clergy in the Diocese of Sydney concerning the “misleadingly entitled” Reproductive Health Reform Bill 2019, which he says, “in its current form [will] do great damage to our society in the legalisation of the death of innocent lives in the womb”.  Read more

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