The C of E: Limits to diversity and the inevitability of separation?

The Rev Andrew Symes, Anglican MainstreamIs the Church of England basically orthodox in its beliefs, and if so, is this a good thing for the Church’s mission to the nation and in fact its very survival? …”

– At Anglican Mainstream, Andrew Symes asks what is the future of the Church of England if so many in its leadership see orthodox belief as a stumbling-block to connecting with the nation.

After “Shared Conversations” what Gospel will the Church of England share?

Canon Phil AsheyIn Nairobi, Kenya I still remember a Sunday lunch Archbishop Eliud Wabukala hosted for Archbishop Justin Welby and other Archbishops, bishops and honored guests gathered the day before GAFCON 2013 began.

During that lunch, Archbishop Peter Jensen gave the opening remarks. He reminded all those present—and as he looked directly at Archbishop Justin Welby—that he and other GAFCON Primates had been asked not once, not twice, but three times to go back to their Bibles and reread what it had to say about issues of sexuality. Archbishop Peter Jensen said that he and the GAFCON Primates had done so, and had concluded that God’s word on homosexuality and same-sex marriage was clear, authoritative and unchanged. On the eve of GAFCON 2013, he cited this conviction as among the principal reasons he and others in GAFCON were standing for Biblical clarity and authority.

Immediately following, Archbishop Welby was invited to give remarks. He came forward and thanked Archbishop Jensen for his stirring speech. He then gave brief remarks that concluded with, “please don’t forget lost people.” And then he sat down.

The Archbishop of Canterbury failed to engage Archbishop Jensen’s remarks about Biblical clarity and authority. In that context, his plea not to forget lost people reveals the false dichotomy that seems to be at the heart of Canterbury’s thinking and the ‘Shared conversations.’ It is just this: that if we hold fast to the clarity and authority of the Bible, we will never reach lost people…”

– American Anglican Council’s Canon Phil Ashey writes about a revealing incident in Nairobi, and the apparent thinking behind the Church of England’s Shared Conversations. Emphasis added.

(Photo: Canon Ashey reporting from Nairobi in 2013.)

The evangelical predicament: What will a faithful vote look like in November?

Albert Mohler, The BriefingIn his latest issue of The Briefing, Albert Mohler looks at the uncertainties of the modern world – and comments on the predicament facing American evangelical Christians in the coming US election.

What should we think about Pope Francis?

Pope Francis. Photo: The Vatican“Pope Francis in one of the most liked leaders in today’s world. …

An increasing number of Evangelicals say: ‘I like this pope, he talks about Jesus a lot…’

True, Francis knows the language that Evangelicals use (e.g. ‘conversion’, ‘mission’, ‘personal relationship with Jesus’) and is able to articulate it in a winsome way. …

The basic rules of interpretation, however, tell us that using the same words does not necessarily mean saying the same things. …

Evangelicals have to do their homework in order to go beyond the surface of mere phonetics in order to grasp the profoundly different theological vision underpinning Francis’ language. They may find it surprising how far Francis is from the standard evangelical understanding of the biblical Gospel. …

– At Vatican Files (Evangelical theological perspectives on Roman Catholicism), Leonardo De Chirico and Greg Pritchard write about the current Pope.

Our Father knows best

David CookTucked away in the catalogue of sins resulting from humankind’s rejection of God, are the words, ‘they disobey their parents’ (Romans 1:30)…”

– David Cook, Presbyterian Moderator-General, reflects on the importance of families in God’s economy.

‘Cover-up — can’t stop truth coming out’

safeschools“The story of Cheltenham Girls High School is a textbook example of the subterfuge involved in the controversial Safe Schools Coalition and how far education authorities and governments will go to preserve and conceal a program that subverts parents rights and values. …

It all began last week with our story of how teachers at the all-girls school in north-west Sydney were asked in a staff meeting to stop referring to students as “girls”, ladies” and “women”, but to use “gender-neutral” language instead.

– At The Daily Telegraph, columnist Miranda Devine looks at one particular school, and also publishes a recent list of schools involved in the ‘Safe Schools’ programme.

The Hunting of Andrea Leadsom

David RobertsonIt’s the hunting season again.

With the Tory party in the throes of choosing a new leader its time for our PC secularists to start trawling the web in order to find dark and hidden secrets of the various candidates. Have they ever lied in the past? Cheated on their taxes? Kicked the cat? Gone fox hunting?

But the big sin – the one that guarantees the Twitterati and Facebook pages go ballistic – is ‘are they Christian?’. Like, really Christian. Not David Cameron’s ‘my faith is like the patchy reception of Magic FM in the Chilterns’. Instead, a Christian who actually reads the Bible (!), goes to church (!) and even prays!!!

If so, they must be hunted down and burnt at the secular stake…”

– Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland, David Robertson, comments at The Wee Flea.

Assisted Suicide: A Quadriplegic’s Perspective

Joni Eareckson TadaCulture is so easily influenced by the entertainment industry. This is why I am sounding an alarm about a very dangerous message in a film released this summer. The movie? Me Before You.…”

– The wonderful Joni Eareckson Tada has a few things to say about a tragic movie. (h/t Tim Challies.)

Religious schools and discrimination in Victoria

victoria-mapRecently a Greens MP in Victoria, Sue Pennicuik, has introduced a Bill into the Victorian Parliament to reduce the ability of religious schools to deal with potential admissions, or their current student body, on the basis of the school’s religious beliefs. The Equal Opportunity Amendment (Equality for Students) Bill 2016 had its second reading in the Legislative Council on 22 June 2016.

The legislation is arguably an impairment of the religious freedom of parents and the schools, and ought not to be passed…”

In his latest post at Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster discusses the latest moves in Victoria. Among other observations, he wonders of the proposed changes are constitutional. Once again, Neil has done the wider community a service by teasing out some of the key issues for us.

‘A debate on marriage equality need not be hate-filled’

catholic-archbishop-of-sydney-anthony-fisher“In a wide-ranging speech delivered last week and published in the Guardian (“Straight politicians don’t understand what it’s like to hide their relationships in fear), Senate opposition leader Penny Wong made the case against a plebiscite on the redefinition of the marriage.

Her three claims were: that opposition to same-sex marriage is essentially homophobia; that the Australian people cannot be trusted to have a respectful discussion about such matters; and so the matter should be left to the parliament. …

The fact is that many ordinary Australians are both pro-gay people and pro-traditional marriage. They know and love people with same-sex attraction and want only the best for them. They know that such people have often suffered injustices in the past and sympathise with the complaint that something is being denied to them still. But they also believe that marriage is a unique relationship that unites people of the opposite sex as husband and wife and, more often than not, as father and mother. Such ordinary Australians are not bigots.”

This opinion-piece by Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher was published in The Guardian just before the federal election. (h/t Photo: Archdiocese of Sydney.)

Pope Francis continues to sow confusion

Pope Francis. Photo: The VaticanIn the latest episode of The Briefing, Albert Mohler turns to recent statements made by Pope Francis, and considers the confusion being sown among Roman Catholics and the wider public.

It is a masterly analysis, and is worth hearing. Many regard the Catholic Church as the font of Christianity, so the pronouncements of a Pope who contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture and who seems to be re-writing Reformation history deserve examination.

The 17 minute audio segment is the first on this page. (Photo: The Vatican website.)

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