“Everybody, except the scrooge, agrees it is a time to celebrate – there’s just no agreement about what we are celebrating. So everybody wishes everybody ‘happy Christmas’, but in true post-modern fashion it means different things to different people.”
– Phillip Jensen on Christmas.
“In many previous generations and still in some places today, Christians might be surprised that a pastor has to write in this way. But recently I had to remind the congregations I serve that there is something more important than charity. Read on to see what I meant…”
– Sandy Grant shares a letter he wrote to the congregations at St. Michael’s Cathedral, Wollongong.
“Social media has opened up a wonderful new way in which Christians can express spiritual unity despite physical distance. … When a Christian friend posts about his sick daughter, within minutes our non-Christian friends can see that a whole bunch of us are praying for healing and strength.
But Christians are no less prone to abusing God’s good gifts as anyone else.”
– Latest post from The Australian Church Record.
“Does something become legitimate by virtue of legislative enactment? Does the decision of a parliamentary majority or of a court of law suffice to settle the question of whether a course of action is appropriate, or legitimate or valid? Can Christians recognise the legal or constitutional reality of a situation without for a moment consenting to its reality in a deeper sense — something that legitimately exists in a world constituted by God’s word?
Two recent developments in Australia raise this question in stark terms for us.
The first is the conduct of same sex ‘marriage’ services in the Australian Capital Territory last weekend. …
The second development is the consecration of women as bishops in the Anglican Church of Australia.”
– Moore College Principal Mark Thompson writes an important post at Theological Theology. Challenging times ahead.
“Six months. That’s how long it took to get from the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act to the decision of a Colorado judge ordering a Christian baker to make a cake for a same-sex ceremony. Just six months. …”
– Albert Mohler writes on the latest developments in the US.
“We humans have to live with grey. Sometimes we must weigh whether an action or life-choice is right or wrong. But so often, actions and life-choices are shades of grey rather than simply black or white. …”
– Oak Hill’s Principal, Dr Mike Ovey, responds to the Pilling Report –
Part 1 – God’s work versus God’s will?
Part 2 – Does sincerity grant a veto?
“Jesus and the apostles expected the nations of the world to be won for him. This is a historical statement that is historically true that will stand in the face of even the most stringent, critical analysis.
Consider how improbable such a vision must have been.
‘Make disciples of all nations’ he said but those to whom he said it were but eleven in number, simple uneducated men, without friends in high places. Their own track record had not been good; one was a betrayer, another a denier and all were deserters.
He, their leader, had been handed over by the temple hierarchs and crucified by the Romans.
Yet he expected world conquest, but not achieved by naked power but by mere words backed up by an ethical life. …”
– Bishop Paul Barnett looks at Jesus’ ‘improbable plan’.
He begins by giving thanks for the meeting in Nairobi, before turning to what’s next –
“We have to come down from the mountain to face the challenges ahead.
And so we have. The Church of England has just released what is known as the Pilling Report, the conclusions of a Working Group commissioned by the House of Bishops to report and make recommendations on issues of human sexuality.
I am sorry to say that it is very flawed. If this report is accepted I have no doubt that the Church of England, the Mother Church of the Communion, will have made a fateful decision. It will have chosen the same path as The Episcopal Church of the United States and the Anglican Church of Canada with all the heartbreak and division that will bring. ”