With much thanks for Bishop Donald Robinson

Posted on September 7, 2018 
Filed under People, Sydney Diocese

“One of the towering figures of Anglicanism in the 20th century and former Archbishop of Sydney Bishop Donald Robinson, has died at the age of 95. …

The first to pay tribute was the current Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, who described the contribution of Bishop Robinson as ‘immeasurable’.

“We have lost a giant in the world of New Testament scholarship” Dr Davies said in a statement.

“Bishop Robinson, who lectured at Moore Theological College for more than 30 years, influenced a generation of future ministers and scholars. His innovative approach to Biblical Theology is one of his many lasting legacies.

While a scholar of great intellect, he was also a man of great humility and grace.” the Archbishop said.”

SydneyAnglicans.net has the first tribute.

Bishop Robinson’s funeral service will be held at 11:00 am next Tuesday, September 11, at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney.

(Top photo courtesy Dr Chase Kuhn, via Dr Mark Thompson. Bottom photo from the 1982 Sydney Diocesan Year Book.)

Anglican Future starts with ‘Gospel Confidence’

Posted on September 7, 2018 
Filed under Australian dioceses, Encouragement

“The opening of the Anglican Future Conference in Melbourne has begun with a stirring call for Christian leaders to defy secular stereotypes of the church as a dying force. …

The conference, with the theme “Grace and Truth in Uncertain Times” is organised jointly by the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Church (EFAC) and the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, Australia and New Zealand, chaired by the Bishop of Tasmania Richard Condie.”

– Russell Powell reports at SydneyAnglicans.net.

The Lydia Project: Conversations with Christian Women

Posted on September 7, 2018 
Filed under Resources

“As a young girl, I just loved to talk. I talked all the way through primary school and high school, and when I became a Christian at fourteen, I loved to talk with my Christian friends and leaders about what it meant to follow Jesus.

Thirty (thirty!?) years on, I still love to be a part of these encouraging Christian conversations.  They spur me on to keep standing firm in Christ, and they open my mind and heart to new ways of thinking about the things of God. …”

– At Equal But Different, Moore College graduate Tori Walker introduces her Lydia Project podcasts (hosted by The Gospel Coalition Australia).

St. John’s Cathedral Brisbane ‘celebrating and supporting’ Brisbane Pride Festival

Posted on September 6, 2018 
Filed under Australian dioceses, Culture wars

St. John’s Cathedral Brisbane, the ‘mother church’ of the Diocese of Brisbane, has announced it will be “Celebrating Pride and supporting the Brisbane Pride Festival throughout September”.

Announced via the Cathedral’s Facebook page.

Church of England Bishop gives backing to rainbow eucharist

Posted on September 6, 2018 
Filed under Church of England, Culture wars

“A Eucharist to celebrate LGBT Pride has taken place in the Diocese of Oxford with the full backing of the local suffragan Bishop and Archdeacon.

After the service on 30th August, well known LGBT activist and lay member of General Synod Jayne Ozanne tweeted a photo the service in Reading Minster (Oxford Diocese), where the Communion table is covered in the rainbow flag …”

– Report from Anglican Mainstream. Photo: Jayne Ozanne.

Banning ‘Conversion’ Therapy, what does it mean?

Posted on September 6, 2018 
Filed under Culture wars

“Media outlets have renewed a campaign to outlaw gay conversion therapy (GCT). The Age published an article on the weekend with the title, Churches, LGBTI Christians urge crackdown on ‘conversion’ therapy.

The headline is somewhat misleading, for according to the SOCE website (the group who are asking the Federal Government to ban GCT), only four churches have signed their statement along with 3-4 church ministers. No doubt there other supportive Churches, but nothing like the groundswell of ecclesial enthusiasm that the newspaper implies. …

While the SOCE Survivors document is vague at points, a spokesperson from SOCE has this week responded to a friend of mine who was also seeking clarification from them. The spokesperson said,

‘Anything other than the full affirmation of lgbtiq individuals as fully equal (including in the church, with a move toward correcting the poorly translated words currently classed as “homosexual” in the bible) is really unacceptable.’ … ”

Murray Campbell takes a close look at what proposals to ban ‘conversion therapy’ actually involve. You should read this.

The healing way (Exodus 15:23-26)

Posted on September 5, 2018 
Filed under Theology

“When they came to Marah they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter” (Exodus 15:23). This happened to God’s people, after their redemption from Egypt, when he was leading them.

We may rightly regard the incident as a picture not only of the trials of life, but more particularly of the trials of our Christian pilgrimage. The question of fundamental importance, therefore, was—and still is—what was the attitude of God’s people to such a trial? Or what is our attitude? …

The Australian Church Record continues to republish Alan Stibbs’ biblical reflections from 1960.

Does the Secular Party know better than a child’s parents?

Posted on September 4, 2018 
Filed under Culture wars, Opinion

“An extraordinary claim before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal recently, Secular Party of Australia Inc. v the Department of Education and Training (Human Rights) [2018] VCAT 1321 (27 August 2018), alleged that a child at a public school should be prevented from wearing Islamic religious garb in the child’s own interests!

Thankfully the claim failed, but the fact that the case could even be argued illustrates the pressure that some groups on society are placing on parents and children of faith…”

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

Have we finally hit peak Attractional?

Posted on September 4, 2018 
Filed under Opinion

“As I watch the video announcing the series, I can’t help but feel some pity for the countless thousands of pastors who have been convinced by this model. James Montgomery Boice once warned ‘what you win them with is what you win them to’ and the attractional model bears this out: If you draw people with stunts like Wrastlin’, you’ve got to keep them with other similar or bigger stunts. I feel sorry for the pastor who knows that to keep his congregation, he has to keep coming up with bigger and more shocking ideas. …

Ed Young’s latest desperate attempt to draw a crowd is a good opportunity for us to consider the hallmarks of the attractional church model and to compare it to something far better …”

Tim Challies on something far better than the latest cringeworthy attempt to fill a church building.

Trusting in God in drought

Posted on September 2, 2018 
Filed under Australia, Sydney Diocese


“Be strong and courageous” sang Colin Buchanan, but the words of one of his most famous kids’ songs were being applied to all ages as St Andrew’s Cathedral filled with people wanting to pray for an end to the worst drought for more than a century.

The singer’s poignant songs about the Australian bush, farmers and faith hit the right note as the congregation was told of the struggles of those living and working in rural and remote areas of New South Wales. …

– Full story from SydneyAnglicans.net.

See also: The Archbishop of Sydney’s Anglican Aid Drought Appeal.

Calling God “Father”: Stumbling block or salve?

Posted on September 2, 2018 
Filed under Theology

“If someone’s relationship with their human parents is negative or non-existent, could the idea of God as Father become unappealing?

As someone who’s always enjoyed healthy relationships with my still-married parents, I know that I’m fortunate. But the more people I meet, the more this seems as rare as it is fortunate. Countless factors cause people to experience parental relationships that range from tricky to traumatic. For those whose understanding of parenthood comes from an absent father or a neglectful mother, it’s perhaps harder to process the fatherhood of God as something fundamentally good. …”

– At The Australian Church Record, Lauren Mahaffey considers if we should dispense with the notion of God as Father.

Promoting plagiarism in ministry

Posted on September 1, 2018 
Filed under Encouragement, Resources

“Over the last few weeks there’s been a lot of angst in my denomination’s local circles about evangelism. A visiting friend told us we’re no longer keen on it, and the statistics show that over the last ten years we’ve lost people just as fast as we’ve converted them. …

In the midst of this I thought I’d share what our church is doing. We’re a small, struggling church in the part of Sydney where Anglican churches go to die. We’re not big. We’re not successful. Our senior minister is a bit of an idiot. We haven’t found the evangelism silver bullet. …”

– At GoThereFor.com, Mike Doyle at St. James Berala, reckons you ought to find the best of the best – and “plagiarise the life out of it”.

Related:

Reflections on Sydney Anglicanism: An interview with David Robertson – Australian Church Record.

Have we lost evangelism? with Phil Colgan and Craig Schafer.

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