The Big Question

Posted on July 30, 2020 
Filed under Encouragement, Resources

“One of the finest preachers I have heard is Haddon Robinson, who was the Harold J. Ockenga, Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Gordon Cornwell Theological Seminary, in the United States.

Haddon Robinson visited SMBC for two Preachers’ Conferences in 1995 and 1999 and his preaching had a great impact us.

His book on preaching, ‘Biblical Preaching’, continues to be very influential in the world of expository preaching.

The central thesis of the book is that preaching preparation ought to lead the preacher to reduce his text to one big idea, a single sentence which encapsulates the content of the  Bible passage. Indeed the Wikipedia entry on Dr Robinson lists his notable ideas as: ‘The big idea, Biblical Preaching’. …”

– At the Expository Preaching Trust, David Cook shares lessons he’s learned in sermon preparation.

(Book link added. Photo: St. Helen’s Bishopsgate.)

Sydney Synod off, double for 2021

Posted on July 30, 2020 
Filed under Sydney Diocese

“Archbishop Glenn Davies, after consultation with the Standing Committee, has decided not to call Synod in October.

Synod is, in effect, the parliament of the Diocese, with more than 600 members – mostly lay and clergy representatives – called together from each parish.

A special Synod in August to elect the next Archbishop had already been cancelled and Archbishop Davies, originally due to retire in July, will now stay on until next March. …”

— The latest from

Praying well before COVID-19

Posted on July 29, 2020 
Filed under Encouragement

“Moore College has always been in the business of praying. As a student a few years ago, I distinctly remember being struck by the faculty’s prayerful dependence on our Lord.

They prayed at the beginning of each lecture. They prayed as a response to and as an application of what we were learning from the Bible. They prayed in chaplaincy groups as we shared ministry wisdom and talked through issues at College. They prayed with tears of sorrow as we struggled through life’s hardships. They prayed with tears of joy as we celebrated the happiest of moments in Christian community. They prayed before each exam, focusing our attention on the goals of growing our relationship with God and developing a deep love for people to come to Christ and grow in him. They prayed for us individually during morning tea, lunch, over coffee and as a collective faculty on Monday mornings. …”

– Ben George is so thankful for the model of prayerful dependence he saw at Moore College.

Remembering J I Packer — GAFCON Live event

Posted on July 29, 2020 
Filed under GAFCON, People

GAFCON is holding a live event to remember, and give thanks for J I Packer.

It starts at 6:00am Eastern Australian time, tomorrow (Thursday 30th July 2020).

In times of crisis

Posted on July 28, 2020 
Filed under Apologetics & Evangelism

“In times of crisis what holds your world together? Perhaps some diagnostic questions would help. What is your worldview? Do you even have one? If you do, what are the limits of its capacity to sustain you through crisis?

At least four things are crucial to every worldview: origin, meaning, morality and destiny. Miss one of these and you will have a worldview that cannot sustain you in a crisis. …”

– Bishop of Armidale, Rick Lewers, writes in his regular column on the diocesan website.

Two new episodes of The Pastor’s Heart

Posted on July 28, 2020 
Filed under Resources

Dominic Steele and the team at The Pastor’s Heart have been busy, already producing two episodes this week:

1 – “Thousands of people attended Grace Community Church in Los Angeles [on Sunday, US time], the evangelical megachurch led by Pastor John MacArthur junior.

And the church elders have put out a statement defending their decision …

Moore Theological College’s New Testament lecturer Dr Lionel Windsor and Northmead Anglican Church’s Senior Pastor Adrian Russell join us to discuss the decision.”

2 – “After three years of researching the pornography problem and what to do about it, Marshall Ballantine-Jones has a message of hope.”

– Watch both at The Pastor’s Heart.

Review: Spurgeon on the Christian Life: Alive in Christ

Posted on July 26, 2020 
Filed under Resources

“Michael Reeves has gifted us an excellent addition to the ‘Theologians on the Christian Life’ series, which is clearly written and a joy to read. …”

– At Church Society’s website, Ben Sear provides a brief and encouraging review of “Spurgeon on the Christian Life: Alive in Christ”.

(The book is available locally from Reformers Bookshop.)


Memorial service for J I Packer now online

Posted on July 25, 2020 
Filed under People

After some technical problems with the livestream, St. John’s Vancouver has now posted the video recording of the Memorial Service for Dr. J. I. Packer.

Even though, due to COVID-19 restrictions, only a relatively small number of people were present, many around the world continue to thank God for Dr. Packer.

Canon David Short (pictured) delivered the sermon.

Watch here.

Glory of Christ – Part 2

Posted on July 25, 2020 
Filed under Theology

“In the second of these short reflections on the glory of Christ, I want to draw attention specifically to the constitution of his person in two natures, fully divine, and fully human. As a truth it is something that can be stated with relative ease. …”

– Andrew Leslie continues his series on the Glory of Christ – at The Australian Church Record.

Update on rules for NSW churches under COVID restrictions

Posted on July 24, 2020 
Filed under COVID19

“Following my previous comments on the operation of Public Health Orders (PHO’s) in NSW on churches and religion groups, this post reports on the latest amendment to the rules, which commenced operation today, Friday 24 July.”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster takes a close look at the latest NSW Public Health Order and what it means for churches.

Church restrictions tighten in COVID snapback

Posted on July 24, 2020 
Filed under COVID19, Sydney Diocese

“The COVID emergency in Victoria as well as several outbreaks in Sydney, including in a Maronite congregation, has led to tighter controls on churches, including a requirement to register as COVID-safe businesses.

In a public health order issued on Thursday 23 July, church meetings are now capped at 100, regardless of the size of the building. Previously, there was no cap and the numbers were constrained only by how many could fit with 4m2 distancing. Weddings and funerals also have caps, with funerals at the general 100 person limit and weddings permitted to have 150 people. …

All places of worship must register with NSW Health as a COVID Safe business. They must also have their plan available for inspection.”

– Russell Powell has the latest – including relevant links – at

See also:

COVID-19 Safety Plan for places of worship.

Funeral Service for J I Packer — 4:00am Friday 24th July Sydney time

Posted on July 23, 2020 
Filed under People

The Funeral Service for J I Packer will be held at St. John’s Vancouver (his church for 37 years) at 11:00am Thursday 23 July 2020, Vancouver time.

That’s 4:00am Sydney time on Friday 24th July.

The order of service can be downloaded here.


Memorial service for J I Packer now online.

Notice of ACL Annual General Meeting 2020

Posted on July 23, 2020 
Filed under Announcement

The Anglican Church League hereby gives notice to its members of the 2020 Annual General Meeting.

Date/time: Thursday 13th August, 6:00pm.

Location: St Peters Anglican Church, 187 Princes Highway, St. Peters.  Read more

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