D.W.B. Robinson and the puzzle of Sydney Anglicanism

“Donald Willian Bradley Robinson, AO (1922-2018), Bishop in Parramatta (1973-1982), Anglican Archbishop of Sydney (1982-1993), could appear to observers as something of a puzzle.

Not that he was complex or difficult personally. On the contrary, Robinson was famously measured and straightforward in his dealings with people – able to play the ball and not the player to an almost superhuman degree. Rather, his life and work puzzled observers by holding together a suite of commitments and values often assumed to be at odds. This is true of Sydney Anglicanism itself, which is more complex and more interesting that either its distractors or its partisans tend to realise.

To crack this puzzle is to understand one of the most profound developers of religious thought in Australia. And it is, in turn, to understand something important about the diocese of Sydney. …”

– The ABC has published this piece by Rory Shiner, who also supplied the photo. Read it all here.

A man of words and a man of his word – Bishop Donald Robinson

“The ninth Archbishop of Sydney, Donald William Bradley Robinson, has been laid to rest after a funeral service in St Andrew’s Cathedral which he helped write 40 years earlier.

Bishop Robinson died early on Friday morning, 7th September. He was 95.

A renowned New Testament scholar, Bishop Robinson was a lecturer and Vice-Principal at Moore College, before becoming Bishop in Parramatta and later Archbishop of Sydney and Metropolitan of New South Wales from 1982 to 1993.

Among his achievements was the production of An Australian Prayer Book (AAPB), highlighted in the eulogy by his daughter Anne. …”

– At SydneyAnglicans.net, Russell Powell reports on today’s funeral service for a dearly loved and respected Christian leader.

See also:

Servant of the Church of God: Donald William Bradley Robinson, 1922–2018 – by Rory Shiner at Shenton Park, who recently completed a PhD on the life and work of Donald Robinson.

Remembering Donald RobinsonThe Gospel Coalition Australia has assembled a number tributes.

The Rev. Peter Robinson spoke about his father’s legacy on 2nd September 2018, as part of the Australian Legacy series at Holy Trinity Wentworth Falls.

(Photo courtesy Ramon Williams.)

Funeral service for Bishop Donald Robinson Tuesday 11:00am

The funeral service for Bishop Donald Robinson will be held at 11:00 am on Tuesday, September 11, at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney.

Donald William Bradley Robinson (1922-2018)

“We at Moore College rejoice today that our dear brother and father in the faith, Archbishop Donald William Bradley Robinson AO, has been called home to be with Christ, ‘which is better by far’.

The debt we owe to this faithful disciple and Bible teacher is truly incalculable. Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, many of whom do not even know his name, have been shaped in their reading of the Bible by the approach to biblical theology that he pioneered at Moore College in the 1950s and 1960s. Graeme Goldsworthy’s Gospel and Kingdom and Vaughan Roberts’ God’s Big Picture have taken that approach around the world.

Donald William Bradley Robinson was born on 9 November 1922, the son of a clergyman in the Diocese of Sydney. He studied classics at Sydney University, graduating in 1946, and theology at Queen’s College, Cambridge, graduating in 1950. …”

– Moore College Principal Dr. Mark Thompson adds his tribute to Bishop Donald Robinson.

Read it all at Theological Theology. (Also published at the Moore College website.)

With much thanks for Bishop Donald Robinson

“One of the towering figures of Anglicanism in the 20th century and former Archbishop of Sydney Bishop Donald Robinson, has died at the age of 95. …

The first to pay tribute was the current Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, who described the contribution of Bishop Robinson as ‘immeasurable’.

“We have lost a giant in the world of New Testament scholarship” Dr Davies said in a statement.

“Bishop Robinson, who lectured at Moore Theological College for more than 30 years, influenced a generation of future ministers and scholars. His innovative approach to Biblical Theology is one of his many lasting legacies.

While a scholar of great intellect, he was also a man of great humility and grace.” the Archbishop said.”

SydneyAnglicans.net has the first tribute.

Bishop Robinson’s funeral service will be held at 11:00 am next Tuesday, September 11, at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney.

(Top photo courtesy Dr Chase Kuhn, via Dr Mark Thompson. Bottom photo from the 1982 Sydney Diocesan Year Book.)

Trusting in God in drought


“Be strong and courageous” sang Colin Buchanan, but the words of one of his most famous kids’ songs were being applied to all ages as St Andrew’s Cathedral filled with people wanting to pray for an end to the worst drought for more than a century.

The singer’s poignant songs about the Australian bush, farmers and faith hit the right note as the congregation was told of the struggles of those living and working in rural and remote areas of New South Wales. …

– Full story from SydneyAnglicans.net.

See also: The Archbishop of Sydney’s Anglican Aid Drought Appeal.

Denham Court Anglican Church celebrates 180th birthday

“As the face of Denham Court continues to evolve each year, one beautiful building has stood the test of time.

Parishioners at Denham Court Anglican Church celebrated the historic building’s 180th birthday on Sunday. …”

– Local news from The Macarthur Advertiser.

Photo: Denham Court Anglican.

Anglicare opens new community pantries in St George and Sutherland Shire

“Anglicare has opened three new Mobile Community Pantries in St George and Sutherland Shire.

Stocked with household pantry items, Anglicare Sydney’s Mobile Community Pantry… will be arriving at Rockdale, San Souci and Southerland Anglican churches.”

– story from The St. George and Sutherland Shire Leader.

Have we lost evangelism? with Phil Colgan and Craig Schafer

“A good friend tells you when you have something stuck between your teeth just before the photograph is taken.

Scotland’s David Andrew Robertson was a guest on The Pastor’s Heart a few months ago and is a good friend.

In an interview with Australian Church Record, having spent three months in Sydney, he’s had some significant things to say about the Sydney Anglican Church and asks have we gone off the boil on seeking the lost saved? …”

– Take the time to watch Phil Colgan and Craig Schafer discuss the state of evangelism with Dominic Steele at The Pastor’s Heart.

And a response from David Robertson:

“This is a fascinating discussion about evangelism in Sydney – in response to this interview I gave to the Sydney Anglican magazine. This is from an excellent podcast called The Pastors Heart. hosted by Dominic Steele. I found it very encouraging to hear pastors and church leaders take seriously this issue.

I contrast these Sydney Anglican brothers with what I hear from Anglicans here (Rico Tice resigning from the Archbishops commission on evangelism, Kelvin Holdsworth complaining about the roads being closed for a cycle race in Glasgow, the Leeds diocese facing bankruptcy, or the endless attempts to impose LGBT ideology upon the church), and I am heartened by what I hear. (at a personal level it was good to have people take one seriously and not just shrug their shoulders or shake their heads!).

Those of us who are not Sydney Anglicans (or even Australians!) could learn a great deal from this conversation – I loved the line ‘You can’t convert the public square, you can only see people converted’. …”

Alight for the Lord

“With an eye to spreading the blessings God has given, CityAlight – the music ministry of St Paul’s, Castle Hill – has created a series of videos about their most popular songs.

The idea behind this is twofold, explains CityAlight’s music director Tiarne Kleyn. …”

– Encouragement from SydneyAnglicans.net.

Archbishop of Sydney calls for Prayer for the Drought

The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr. Glenn Davies, has today written to all clergy in the Diocese, asking for prayer in this time of drought.

In part, his letter reads:

Dear brothers & sisters

Greetings in the name of Christ.

I am sure that you all are acutely aware of the drought that has stricken NSW, and indeed much of Australia. While we do have some rural parishes, much of Sydney Diocese is urban and suburban, and while fruit and vegetables might increase in price, we still have food to eat and water to drink. Yet so much of those living in rural NSW do not take such basics as food and water for granted. Farmers need water for their crops and graziers need water for their livestock, just to keep them alive.

We welcome the NSW Government’s announcement this week of an additional $500 million in drought relief, but governments cannot do it all alone. We as Christians with the bounty of our resources should show the generosity of Spirit – generosity prompted by the Holy Spirit – to give to those in need. This week the Archbishop of Sydney’s Anglican Aid has established an appeal for funds to assist those whose livelihood has been seriously jeopardised by the drought in northern and western NSW. These funds will be distributed through Anglican churches across our State, and I would be grateful if rectors could bring this to the attention of their people this coming weekend.

However, we should also pray for rain. Our heavenly Father delights in his children bringing their requests before his throne, so I would also appreciate it if you could offer special prayers for rain this coming Sunday.

You could use such prayers as you will find on page 92 of An Australian Prayer Book or page 205 of A Prayer Book for Australia.

Or you might care to use the following prayer.

Our heavenly Father, we acknowledge our ingratitude when we have taken your goodness for granted, when the heaven has poured forth rain and the earth has produced its fruit.

Yet now we cry to you for help, as the drought in New South Wales deepens.

Have mercy on our land; have mercy on the people of the land. May your bountiful hand send forth rain upon our parched earth.

Fulfil your promises that while the earth remains, seedtime and harvest shall not cease, so that those in remote and rural areas may find relief from their distress and glorify your name for the provision of their needs.

We ask this in the name of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Related:

Save the Date for Moore College Sunday

“Moore College Sunday will be held on August 5th this year.

This is a very important day in the life of our College, when we partner with churches all over Sydney and beyond, inviting them to pray for the College, its gospel work, graduates, students, faculty and staff…”

– More from Moore. And further.

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