Worldview and Christian mission

Posted on January 18, 2021 
Filed under Apologetics & Evangelism, Resources

“I have a friend who was once a committed Buddhist. Wonderfully, he has come to know the Lord Jesus as his saviour. But he had a lot of questions.

The trouble was that his Christian friends kept answering questions he wasn’t asking. One of his big questions was, ‘How can you say God suffers?’ He was given lots of great answers explaining why people suffer – but he wasn’t confused about that. He knows people suffer. My friend couldn’t get his head around the idea that God might suffer on the cross. The reason this was such a big issue for him was because of his worldview. …”

– Dr David Williams, Director of development and training for CMS Australia at St Andrew’s Hall, spoke about worldviews at CMS Summer School. has published an edited version of his talk. Very helpful.

We Believe — The Story of the Apostles’ Creed

Posted on January 17, 2021 
Filed under History, Theology

“The Augsburg Confession. The Helvetic Confession. The Gallican Confession. The Belgic Confession. The Westminster Confession and Catechism. The Second London Baptist Confession. The Canons of Dort.

What do these historic evangelical confessions have in common? Each of them has its roots in the Apostles’ Creed.

The Creed, also known as the Twelve Articles of Faith, expresses essential biblical doctrines that have been articulated, defended, and embraced for nearly two thousand years of church history. …”

– At Desiring God, Brian Hanson gives a helpful backgrounder to The Apostles’ Creed.

See also:

Andrew Moody’s series on The Apostles’ Creed at The Gospel Coalition Australia.

Light at the End of the Tunnel — Mothers Union Sydney Seminar

Posted on January 17, 2021 
Filed under Resources

Here’s information about this year’s Annual Mothers Union Sydney Seminar, coming up on Friday 26th February.

Victoria’s Conversion Practices Bill is as bad as they say it is

Posted on January 15, 2021 
Filed under Australia, Culture wars, Resources

“The Bill creates a powerful set of bureaucratic mechanisms by which religious groups presenting the classic teachings of their faith may be subject to investigation and ‘re-education’ by human rights officers. It arguably makes the presentation of some aspects of Biblical teaching unlawful if the aim of that teaching is to encourage someone to follow that teaching in their own life.

Despite the appearance of addressing horrific and oppressive quasi-psychological procedures inflicted on young people, the Bill goes well beyond this laudable goal, and will make it unlawful to provide assistance in obeying the Bible to those who explicitly and with full understanding request such help. Enactment of this legislation would be a serious mistake. …”

– In an important post, Neil Foster at Law and Religion Australia, takes a careful look at the Victorian legislation.

Plans for Bishop of Armidale’s Consecration and Installation

Posted on January 15, 2021 
Filed under Australian dioceses

From the Diocese of Armidale:

“Our new Bishop, the Reverend Rod Chiswell, will have his consecration and installation service at St Peter’s Cathedral Armidale on Saturday 27th February 2021 at 10 am, followed by a reception at the Armidale Ex Services Club.

The Metropolitan of NSW, the Most Reverend Dr Glenn Davies, will be presiding.

Unfortunately COVID-19 restrictions mean that numbers at the service and reception will be limited, and so attendance will have to be by invitation only. However there are plans to make a live stream of the service available.”

Photo: Rod and Jenni Chiswell.

Blayney’s new Anglican minister

Posted on January 14, 2021 
Filed under Australian dioceses, People

“Reverend Wally Cox is the iteration of Bishop Calder’s plans to bring new life and energy into the Bathurst diocese parishes, and Reverend Cox is under no delusions as to the difficulty of the task in front of him as he begins his life as Blayney’s new Anglican minister…”

– Report and photo Mark Logan, The Blayney Chronicle.

You are Not Your Own

Posted on January 14, 2021 
Filed under Culture wars, Resources, Theology

“This set of resources has been produced by Church Society to help Christians learn about the Bible’s teaching on sex and marriage, particularly as the Church of England engages with the Living in Love and Faith material on identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage.

The seven topics in the series are designed to help Christians understand the Bible’s teaching on sex and marriage within a broader biblical context. …”

Worth checking out.

Somewhat related: Colin Buchanan sings “You are not your own”.

George Orwell’s ‘1984’ tops Amazon’s Best-Seller List

Posted on January 14, 2021 
Filed under Culture wars

After a tumultuous 2020 and a similar start to 2021, George Orwell’s “1984” is currently number 2 on Amazon’s best seller list.

There may be a sermon illustration or a gospel opening in that news.

Marriage has always been…?

Posted on January 13, 2021 
Filed under History, Theology

“The purpose of this paper is to provide a short account of the development of marriage within the Christian faith.

It is sometimes argued that the presence of incidental changes to the practice of marriage throughout the history of the Christian church legitimises any kind of further change. It will be demonstrated that while aspects of Christian marriage have changed throughout history, the substance of the doctrine of marriage as a union between one man and one woman does not change. The reasons for the persistence of the core doctrine of marriage fundamentally relate to the Church’s continual effort to remain faithful to Holy Scripture…”

– At The Australian Church Record, Mark Earngey publishes what he wrote as part of the Diocese of Sydney submission to the recent Appellate Tribunal.

Lady Jane Grey: A Firm Faith

Posted on January 12, 2021 
Filed under History

Post tenebras spero lucem. After darkness, I hope for light. This phrase was reportedly etched with a pin onto a wall within the Tower of London shortly before 12 February 1554. The significance of these words arises, in part, because of their author: Jane Dudley, otherwise known as Lady Jane Grey, the so-called ‘Queen of Nine Days.’ She was England’s first female monarch, and her execution at age seventeen remains one of the most moving and mysterious episodes of English political and religious history.

These words are also significant because they were etched within the broader context of that great movement of God five hundred years ago, which we know as the Reformation. …”

The Australian Church Record has published this excerpt from Mark Earngey’s short biography of Lady Jane Grey. Copies have been sent to Sydney Anglican Rectors, courtesy of the ACR.

Ministry Tip: Communicating Christ Clearly

Posted on January 11, 2021 
Filed under Encouragement, Resources

“I think the most important thing that I have been taught in the whole area of Communicating Christ, was to know what you are aiming for, and be focussed on getting there.”

– In this short and to-the-point video, Dominic Steele encourages preachers to be focussed.

Handling the Bible in Love and Faith

Posted on January 10, 2021 
Filed under Church of England, Culture wars, Theology

“I want people to be convinced that the word of God is good. God is so generous, and his word saves and enriches and fulfils life. God will offer anyone the opportunity to approach him, unashamedly, in Christ. He will teach us all to let go of the old ways of hate, and separation, and disunity. His welcome is universal and unconditional. …”

– At Church Society, Kirsty Birkett continues her reflections on the approach to Scripture of the Church of England’s Living in Love and Faith.

See also Lee Gatiss’ preview (last October) of Living in Love and Faith:

“The problem here is that we are never allowed to come to a settled mind on this, and it is repeatedly said that clergy are free to preach and teach the opposite of what the church has always believed.”

David Peterson’s Commentary on Romans republished

Posted on January 9, 2021 
Filed under Resources

David Peterson shares,

“My commentary on Romans, which was published in 2017 by Holman in Nashville, has been republished by Lexham Press in Bellingham. They have picked up the whole series and renamed it Evangelical Biblical Theology Commentary.

Everything remains the same, except that they have used a different type-face for headings in the text. It is really pleasing to have this series up and running again, because it is well conceived and its future was uncertain for some months.”

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