Top Centre news July 2017

Posted on July 14, 2017 
Filed under Australian dioceses

The July 2017 edition of Top Centre, the newsletter of the Diocese of the Northern Territory, is available on their website.

Fuel for prayer.

Eugene Peterson ‘changes mind on gay marriage’

Posted on July 13, 2017 
Filed under Culture wars

“I think that kind of debate about lesbians and gays might be over. People who disapprove of it, they’ll probably just go to another church. So we’re in a transition and I think it’s a transition for the best, for the good. …”

– In a wide-ranging interview for Religion News Service, Eugene Peterson (best known for the paraphrase The Message) reveals that he has changed his mind about same-sex relations.

Update (14 July 2017) :

Eugene Peterson Retracts Support for Gay Marriage, Says He Was ‘Put on the Spot’.

Eugene Peterson backtracks on same-sex marriage.

Photo: Wikipedia.

An unexpected invitation from the German Government

Posted on July 13, 2017 
Filed under History


“In the year of Reformation celebrations much is centred on Europe and especially Germany.

In June, our Principal was invited by the German government to join a ‘Dialogue with Germany’ in Berlin, Eisenach, Erfurt and Wittenberg on the relevance of the Reformation and how it is being celebrated in the land in which it all began. …”

– More interesting news from Moore College.

Photo: Mark Thompson outside the Wittenberg door.

Graham Cole back at Moore to celebrate the Reformation

Posted on July 13, 2017 
Filed under History, People

Coming up later this month, Dr Graham Cole, former member of the Moore College faculty, will deliver a public lecture entitled: The legacy of the Reformation through the eyes of J.C. Ryle.

In the Marcus Loane Hall, Wednesday 19th July, 7:00pm – 9:00pm.

Graham studied at Moore College from 1973 to 1976 and was ordained in 1977. He served as Curate at St James Turramurra before returning to Moore to lecture in Christian thought from 1980 until 1992.

He subsequently served as Principal of Ridley College, Melbourne (1992–2001), Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago (2002–2011), Anglican Professor of Divinity and Beeson Divinity School, Alabama (2011–2015), and in 2015 he returned to Trinity to become its Dean.

– Details at the College website.

Religious Freedom Protection in Australia — 2017 update

Posted on July 13, 2017 
Filed under Australia, Resources

Neil Foster at Law and Religion Australia writes:

“I recently presented a paper surveying general religious freedom protections available in Australia, based on a similar paper I presented in 2015 but updated with some more recent developments. The paper can be downloaded here. …

Hopefully the paper will be a useful resource in this area.”

GAFCON Chairman’s Letter July 2017

Posted on July 12, 2017 
Filed under Church of England, GAFCON

“False teaching is restless and relentless, and the Church of England itself is in grave spiritual danger. It is much to be regretted that there has been far more concern about alleged ‘boundary crossing’ than about the contempt of God’s Word that made a missionary bishop necessary. In fact, the Bishop of Edinburgh, who has strongly supported the Scottish Episcopal Church’s adoption of same sex ‘marriage’ was invited as a guest of honour to the Church of England’s July General Synod meeting.”

– The Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council, The Most Rev’d Nicholas D. Okoh, has released his Chairman’s letter for this month.

General Synod July 2017: Five steps away from Biblical Christianity

Posted on July 12, 2017 
Filed under Church of England, Culture wars, Opinion

“In the space of four days, the General Synod of the Church of England have, in effect, rejected the doctrines of creation, the fall, the incarnation, and our need for conversion and sanctification.”

– Susie Leafe, Director of Reform, sums up the rolling tragedy of the Church of England General Synod. At The American Anglican Council.

The Eternity waterfall after 40 years

Posted on July 12, 2017 
Filed under History, People, Sydney Diocese

Forty years ago, the Eternity plaque at the waterfall in Sydney Square was unveilled.

On Tuesday, 12th July 1977, The Sydney Morning Herald’s Column 8 wrote:

“TRUE to his words of last November, Ridley Smith, the Sydney Square architect, has immortalised the late Arthur Stace, ‘Mr Eternity’. You may recall that Column 8 campaigned unashamedly for a suitable memorial to Mr Stace, Sydney’s footpath evangelist for 20 vears until 1967. Ridley Smith promised it without strings.

TODAY, the memorial above will be officially unveilled (a small explanatory plaque is yet to come). Yesterday Column 8 had an informal peek. Mr Stace would be proud. There, set in aggregate near the Sydney Square waterfall, in letters almost 21cm (8 in) high, is the famous copperplate message. ‘Eternity’. The one-word sermon gleams in wrought aluminium. There’s no undue prominence. No garish presentation. Merely the simple ‘Eternity’ on the pebbles, as Arthur Stace would have wanted it.”

In 1994, journalist Alan Gill wrote, “The waterfall adjoins a modest cafeteria. [The Architect of St. Andrew’s House and Sydney Square, Ridley] Smith once told me that he hoped visitors would say ‘Meet you at Eternity’ as well as ‘Meet you in Eternity’.” (1)

Ridley Smith (pictured) was named for evangelist John G. Ridley, who was a friend of his father. In November 1932, Arthur Stace had been in the congregation at the Burton Street Tabernacle in Darlinghurst when John Ridley preached on the need to be ready for eternity. It was this sermon which inspired Stace to begin his 34 year campaign of writing that word on the streets of Sydney.

Arthur Stace died on 30 July 1967, fifty years ago this month.

Did the ‘small explanatory plaque’ mentioned by Column 8 ever appear? In 1994, Alan Gill wrote that some complained “the present inscription is ‘out of the way’ and doesn’t explain who Arthur Stace was. Other admirers of Arthur disagree. They believe the ‘odd’ location of the present tribute and the absence of an explanation are part of that blend of mystery and surprise that ‘Mr Eternity’ himself would appreciate.”

(Top photo showing the waterfall on the day of the unveilling, and the photo of Architect Ridley Smith in 2009, courtesy Ramon Williams, Worldwide Photos. Ramon adds, “Ridley Smith sprinkled water around the ‘Eternity’ replica so as to help photograph it.” While the pavement around the memorial has been replaced, “Eternity” on the pebbles remains, as seen in this 2014 photo.)

(1) Alan Gill, “Sydney’s Phantom Preacher”, The Catholic Weekly, 31 August 1994.

Radical Christian Inclusion…?

Posted on July 11, 2017 
Filed under Church of England, Culture wars

“General Synod felt like it reached the watershed this last long weekend.

Superficially we did the usual things: passing obscure legal provisions – for example, giving official permission not to have to wear robes at main services…  the valiant effort to put something to do with mission on the agenda… We even had the obligatory “current affairs” motion…

However, the watershed came apparent from the other seemingly obligatory controversial agenda items. This time, on conversion therapy and transsexual liturgy…”

At Church Society’s blog, Dr Rob Munro, Rector of St. Mary’s Cheadle, near Manchester, observes how much things are changing in the Church of England.

A Tale of Two Communions

Posted on July 11, 2017 
Filed under Anglican Communion, Australian dioceses, GAFCON

“Whenever a church leader makes an important decision, takes a strong stand and then explains their action, they not only reveal their own priorities and convictions but also, more significantly, shape the future of the church they serve and represent. For good reason, such steps are often called ‘defining moments’ and, with the passing of time, are frequently shown to be, what might be called, ‘determining moments’. A series of such moments seems to have taken place in recent days.

On June 30, 2017, Canon Andy Lines was consecrated as the Missionary Bishop of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) to provide spiritual oversight to Anglican churches in Europe that exist outside the current Anglican structures.

As well as the principal consecrator, The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach (Archbishop of the ACNA), 11 Primates, 3 Archbishops, and 13 other GAFCON-linked Anglican bishops were involved in Lines’ consecration. …”

– Here’s a must read article from Rob Smith, in which he examines allegations made by the Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia concerning participation in the consecration of Bishop Andy Lines. See it at The Australian Church Record.

Freedom laws needed

Posted on July 11, 2017 
Filed under Australia, Sydney Diocese

“The Diocese of Sydney, along with a number of other Christian groups, has called for special legislation to enshrine freedom of belief as a ‘positive right’ in Australia, rather than as a negative ‘exemption’ to other legislation.

The call came in a submission to the Federal Government inquiry into the ‘protection and promotion of the human right to freedom of religion or belief worldwide, including in Australia’. …”

– Report from Russell Powell at SydneyAnglicans.net.

← Previous PageNext Page →