Why bother with women’s conferences?

Posted on May 15, 2017 
Filed under Opinion

“In the run-up to women’s conferences, I often hear the ‘why bother?’ question. I think the underlying thoughts are that Christian conferences generally are useful – but why do we need to have a conference just for women? And why do we need to have only female preachers at a women’s conference? Don’t we just want the best preacher for the job, regardless of whether they are male or female? …”

– At GoTherFor.com, Kirsten McKinlay suggests there is real value in creating a context for women to preach to women.

Why do good works?

Posted on May 13, 2017 
Filed under Theology

“The first question that arises when the Doctrine of Justification by faith only is clearly set forth is: What then is the place of good works in the Christian economy?”

The Australian Church Record continues to republish Archdeacon T.C. Hammond’s thoughts on The Thirty Nine Articles.

Related: A city’s care, two waysSydneyAnglicans.net.

Jesmond Conference 2017 talks

Posted on May 12, 2017 
Filed under Church of England

Concerning the Church of England:

“One recent survey was particularly depressing. It showed that disbelieving clergy are correlated with church decline, for example, only 50% of clergy from declining churches agreed it was ‘very important to encourage non-Christians to become Christians’, compared with 100% of clergy from growing Churches.

Also 100% of clergy and 90% of worshippers from growing churches agreed that ‘God performs miracles in answer to prayers’, compared with 80% of worshippers and 44% of clergy from declining churches. …”

– This excerpt from the February 2017 Jesmond Conference Statement (PDF file download link) highlights the desperate need for clear gospel proclamation in the Church of England.

Bishop Martin Morrison of REACH-SA spoke of one way forward being the irregular consecration of bishops. Conference talks here.

The Jesmond Consecration

Posted on May 11, 2017 
Filed under Anglican Communion, Church of England

Bishop Pryke is a godly man who is committed to the teaching of the Scriptures. He is a conscientious Anglican who believes the classic doctrine of the church as expressed in the 39 Articles and the Book of Common Prayer.

His godly character is attested by those who have observed him in ministry over many years. He is an entirely appropriate candidate for leadership among God’s people. The consecration is valid, there can be no doubt about that.

It is, however, irregular, but that irregularity is borne out of the desperate situation in which believers who remain within the Church of England find themselves. …

– In his latest post at Theological Theology, Principal of Moore Theological College, Dr. Mark Thompson, writes about the consecration of Jonathan Pryke, and why so many see it is necessary.

Abortion bill defeated in NSW Parliament

Posted on May 11, 2017 
Filed under Australia, Culture wars

“The decision of the NSW Legislative Council to reject Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi’s extreme abortion bill is a win for both women and unborn children in the state, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.

The Abortion Law Reform (Miscellaneous Acts Amendment) Bill 2016 sought to make abortion legal up to birth, remove the rights of doctors to conscientiously object, and ban prayer vigils and sidewalk counselling outside abortion facilities or be subject to 12 months in prison or a $16,500 fine.

ACL NSW director Mark Makowiecki said the bill did not include any safeguards for women seeking abortion, nor did it require abortion practitioners to hold a medical qualification. …”

– from an Australian Christian Lobby media release.

And from Paul Green, MLC, Christian Democratic Party:

“We have received hundreds of emails and letters, including a correspondence from the Catholic and Anglican Archbishops. As well as support of over 55,000 people signing and promoting petitions regarding this Bill.

I also commend the work of organisations such as Australian Christian Lobby, Abortion Rethink, Canberra Declaration and many more for vocally standing against this Bill. Rather than decriminalising abortion, we need to review our attitudes and practices to ensure there are appropriate safeguards for the well-being of the unborn child, the woman, and others impacted by the decision.

We need to address the underlying causes and provide women with real alternatives to unplanned pregnancies that are not going to expose them to further harm.”

(both via e-mail)

Earlier post: Proposed Abortion Law changes in NSW.

Jesmond Parish Church Press Statement — New Style English Bishop

Posted on May 11, 2017 
Filed under Anglican Communion, Church of England

“On St Athanasius’ Day, 2 May 2017, Jonathan Pryke, the senior minister, under its vicar, of Jesmond Parish Church, Newcastle upon Tyne, was consecrated a ‘bishop in the Church of God’.

This was by the Presiding Bishop of REACH SA (the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa), formerly known as CESA (the Church of England in South Africa) …

The service took place neither in a Church of England “place of worship” nor an unconsecrated place of worship designated under s.43 of the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011. It did not take place in Jesmond Parish Church. The ceremony was according to the REACH SA consecration Holy Communion service with only REACH SA bishops taking part. …”

Read the whole statement from David Holloway, Vicar of Jesmond Parish Church.

Image: Jonathan Pryke at The Jesmond Conference — Reformation in the Nation and Church, March 2017. Bible Reading 1. Bible Reading 2.

Watch all the videos from the Conference for the theological background to the decision to consecrate a new bishop.

Hotel hosting Christians targeted by ‘Safe Schools’ supporters

Posted on May 10, 2017 
Filed under Culture wars

“A Melbourne hotel has been caught in the crossfire of debate about the contentious Safe Schools program.

Arrow on Swanston, in Carlton, had agreed to host an Australian Christian Lobby event last night with speakers discussing Safe Schools and gender reassignment.

Before the event, the hotel received harassing phone calls and online threats that called the ACL a hate group and condemned the business for associating with them. …”

– Report from The Australian.

Background: What is Safe Schools? – The Australian Christian Lobby.

GAFCON UK Statement on the consecration at Jesmond Parish Church

Posted on May 9, 2017 
Filed under Church of England

“Gafcon UK are aware that Jesmond Parish Church have for some years been in a form of impaired communion with the Bishop of Newcastle, and have developed a special relationship with REACH-SA (formerly CESA). …”

A statement from GAFCON UK on the consecration, by the REACH-SA Presiding Bishop, of Jesmond Parish Church’s Jonathan Pryke. (Jesmond Parish Church is a key evangelical church in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.)

See also this story from Christian Today.

Barnabas Fund launches Manifesto for Persecuted Christians

Posted on May 9, 2017 
Filed under Global

“Barnabas Fund is calling on all political parties to make specific commitments to help persecuted Christians in their election manifestos. The manifesto, which is endorsed by both church leaders and peers from across the political spectrum, calls for specific actions by the next government to tackle genocide in the Middle East.

It warns that without specific urgent actions there is a very real danger that that entire Christian communities will have ceased to exist in large parts of the Middle East by the time of the next UK general election in 2022.”

Barnabas Fund has released this Manifesto in the context of the UK General Election.

Social change and gospel preaching

Posted on May 9, 2017 
Filed under Resources, Theology

“How does a disciple-making agenda fit with the need for us to express our love for our neighbours through engagement in social action?

This interview between Kel Richards and Phillip Jensen is full of enormously helpful insights on this question, both for individuals and for churches. It is well worth the investment of 28 minutes.”

GoThereFor.com points us to a conversation between Kel Richards and Phillip Jensen recorded a few years back. As they say, well worth the investment of your time.

Jakarta’s Christian governor found guilty in Islam blasphemy trial

Posted on May 9, 2017 
Filed under Global

“An Indonesian court has sentenced the minority Christian governor of Jakarta to two years in prison for blaspheming the Koran at a trial that undermined the country’s reputation for practicing a moderate form of Islam. …”

– Report from ABC News. (map: Wikipedia.)

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