Religious ‘vilification’ not unlawful in NSW

Posted on February 15, 2019 
Filed under Australia, Culture wars

“In an important decision on religion and free speech in NSW, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal has ruled today in Ekermawi v Nine Network Australia Pty Limited [2019] NSWCATAD 29 (15 Feb 2019) that it is not a breach of the law in NSW to make offensive comments about a religion.

However, the case involved some difficult issues of law, and while the outcome seems correct, it may foreshadow a restrictive approach to free speech in other cases in the future…”

– Assoc. Professor Neil Foster writes at Law and Religion Australia.

‘Anglican splinter group grows as first same-sex blessing goes ahead in Canterbury’

Posted on February 15, 2019 
Filed under New Zealand

“Another Anglican vicar has resigned over the decision to allow same-sex blessings as the first ceremony takes place in Canterbury under the new rule.

Rangiora vicar Andrew Allen-Johns resigned from his parish earlier this month and established a new church in central Christchurch called Anchor. The move comes as a male couple became the first in Canterbury to have a same-sex blessing under the Anglican church.…”

– Story from Stuff.co.nz.

Ordinands 2019

Posted on February 15, 2019 
Filed under People, Sydney Diocese

Over at SydneyAnglicans.net, there’s a list of those to be ordained at deacons tomorrow, Saturday 16th February, at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney.

It’d be good to pray for them and their families!

Never mind the naysayers: Franklin Graham’s visit is good news for Australia

Posted on February 14, 2019 
Filed under Australia, People

“US evangelist, the Rev. Franklin Graham, has begun his Australian tour. From 9-24 February, he is holding a series of evangelistic rallies in Perth, Darwin, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney. Rev. Graham is the son of the late evangelist, the Rev. Billy Graham (1918-2018), and his Australian tour is timed to coincide with the 60th anniversary of his father’s epochal 1959 crusades in Australia.

Throughout his public ministry the forthright evangelist has courted controversy for his frank pronouncements on contentious issues. His occasional wading into the political fray has raised the ire of many, both inside and outside the church, yet his visit to Australia this month is good news. …”

– David Furse-Roberts writes at ABC Religion & Ethics.

Senate committee report on “Religious Schools and Discrimination” bill

Posted on February 14, 2019 
Filed under Australia, Culture wars

“The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee has now (Feb 14, 2019) tabled its Report on the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Removing Discrimination Against Students) Bill 2018, a Private Senator’s Bill introduced last year by Senator Wong with the support of the ALP. (The background to the Bill can be found in previous posts on this blog, starting here, the most recent of which was here.)

The recommendation of the majority is that the Bill not be approved, and instead that the Bill and related issues “be referred to the Australian Law Reform Commission for full and proper consideration” (para 3.86). …

However, in the current Parliamentary situation in Australia at the moment … it is worth noting the dissenting ALP senators’ report.”

– Assoc. Professor Neil Foster provides an update on the Senate committee report on the proposed “Religious Schools and Discrimination” bill.

From two murder victims to one

Posted on February 14, 2019 
Filed under Culture wars

“The horror of abortion seems to appear daily and in ever deadlier form in the nation’s headlines as states across the country pledge their support for late-term abortion laws. …

Before the ink could dry on New York’s ‘Reproductive Health Act,’ a story appeared in the New York Times that reported,

‘As Democrats in New York last month celebrated Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s signing of a law expanding abortion rights in the state, anti-abortion campaigners predicted it would eliminate criminal penalties for violence that ends women’s pregnancies. The debate resurfaced over the weekend after the Queens district attorney, Richard A. Brown, cited the new law… as the reason for dropping an abortion charge against a man who the police say fatally stabbed his former girlfriend when she was 14 weeks pregnant.‘…”

– Albert Mohler has been busy this week, commenting on the latest fallout from the push for greater freedom in abortion.

“Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast”

Posted on February 13, 2019 
Filed under Resources

“Culture can eat Strategy for breakfast. But here is a possible tactic to create a culture that serves God’s infallible strategy …”

– Good stuff from Richard Chin, via The Gospel Coalition Australia. (Image: AFES.)

The Power of the Gospel and the Meltdown of Identity Politics

Posted on February 13, 2019 
Filed under Culture wars, Opinion

“American politics increasingly resembles a soap opera and, at least for now, Virginia has taken center stage. The drama in the state continues to unfold as the Commonwealth’s top three Democrats face pressure to resign. …

Virginia serves as a prime example of the self-destructive nature of identity politics – a political philosophy that expansively designates identity by race, social background, or gender at the expense of other identities.”

– Southern Seminary President Albert Mohler argues that “the biblical worldview is the only antidote to identity politics” in his latest column.

Glorify God in Your Body – new book from Martin Davie

Posted on February 12, 2019 
Filed under Church of England, Culture wars, Theology

The latest Podcast from Church Society discusses an important new publication by Martin Davie – Glorify God in your Body. The book’s subtitle is Human identity and flourishing in marriage, singleness and friendship.

Clear biblical teaching on these topics is much in need in today’s church.

From the cover of the book:

“This study, written by Dr Martin Davie in collaboration with a representative group of other Evangelical theologians, is commended by the Church of England Evangelical Council as a resource in the discussions taking place in the Church of England in relation to the House of Bishops’ ‘Living in Love and Faith: Christian teaching and learning about human identity, sexuality and marriage’ project.

It explores a Christian approach to human identity, marriage, singleness, friendship, sex and family life in the light of the worldview that is laid out for us in Scripture and the classical Christian tradition. It considers the current challenges to this approach arising from the sexual revolution and from technological developments in the fields of birth control and infertility treatment and looks at how Christians should respond to them in ways that will enable them to fulfil St. Paul’s injunction to ‘glorify God in your body’. (1 Corinthians 6:20).

From the Church of England Evangelical Council website, you can download the complete 324 page book as a PDF file, or in Kindle and ePub versions. There’s also a link to purchase printed copies from the Latimer Trust.

Read the Press Release accompanying the publication of the book (PDF file).

Two current stories highlight the need to not only understand God’s word, but also to live by it.

The Reality of Sexual Abuse Hits Home: What Happened? What Do We Do Now? – Albert Mohler.

“A massive investigative report appeared in the Sunday editions of the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News. The headline was direct — ‘20 years, 700 victims: Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads as leaders resist reforms.’…”

Thomas Brown elected 10th bishop of Maine in historic vote – Episcopal News Service.

“Brown will become The Episcopal Church’s only openly gay and married bishop currently leading a diocese. … The church currently has one other openly gay bishop. The Rt. Rev. Mary Glasspool was elected as bishop suffragan of the Diocese of Los Angeles in December 2009…”

Taking our biblical rest — Encouragement from Archbishop Glenn Davies

Posted on February 11, 2019 
Filed under Encouragement, Theology

“The rhythm of work and rest is a biblical rhythm, founded in creation and expressed in the fourth commandment. The seven-day pattern of six days of work and one day of rest continues into the new covenant, because the end of the age when we enter God’s Sabbath Rest has not yet arrived. …”

At SydneyAnglicans.net, Archbishop Glenn Davies encourages a biblical view of rest.

Franklin Graham touring Australia

Posted on February 10, 2019 
Filed under Australia

“On the 60th anniversary of Billy Graham’s historic 1959 visit, his son Franklin has started his tour to six Australian cities, including two events in Sydney.

The 1959 Billy Graham evangelistic tour changed the landscape of Christianity in Australia, with tens of thousands of people converted – including those who would later become significant leaders, such as Peter and Phillip Jensen. …”

– Russell Powell reports at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Infanticide becomes Justifiable

Posted on February 10, 2019 
Filed under Culture wars

“Infanticide was once ‘unthinkable.’ But over the last few decades, some of the world’s foremost bioethicists have considered baby killing worthy of respectable debate.

Princeton University’s Peter Singer is the most famous such advocate. A crass utilitarian, he argues that ‘being human’ doesn’t have any moral import. …

How is it that infanticide has become justifiable when it was unthinkable in the years following World War II (German doctors were hanged at Nuremberg for killing disabled babies)?”

– Wesley J. Smith writes at First Things.

See also: “The Unthinkable Sin” – by Joseph Randall, at Reformation21.…

And related posts.

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