The Criminalization of Christianity in Finland

Posted on January 23, 2022 
Filed under Culture wars, Opinion

“In a foreshadowing of America’s future under coercive secularism, a Finnish politician and Finnish bishop will go on criminal trial next week for merely upholding historic Christian teaching on sexual morality.

The trial is a telling measure of the erosion of Christianity in Europe.

Juhana Pohjola, a Lutheran bishop, and Päivi Räsänen, a member of Finland’s Parliament, stand accused of an act increasingly forbidden in the de-Christianized West: quoting the Bible. …

After Räsänen quoted from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans in a tweet, she found herself under police interrogation for 13 hours.”

The American Spectator.

Sunday morning encouragement

Posted on January 23, 2022 
Filed under Encouragement

With thanks to Emu Music.

Gary Millar’s “Read This First”

Posted on January 22, 2022 
Filed under Resources

“As our culture continues to become less ‘Christian’, more and more people are becoming less and less familiar with the Bible – in some cases, they have never actually seen a Bible, let alone read it. I’m convinced that we can do a better job at helping people to get started.

Personally, I’ve often wanted to be able to hand something to people which helps them to get into the Bible, rather than just giving them a gospel (or a whole Bible) and expecting them to make sense of it. This is a very simple ‘primer’ to help people do just that. …”

– At The Gospel Coalition Australia, Jacob York asks Gary Millar about his new book, Read This First.

Anglican Aid — Tonga: Volcano Emergency Response

Posted on January 20, 2022 
Filed under Resources, Sydney Diocese, World news

From Anglican Aid:

“Anglican Aid and the Anglican Relief and Development Fund Australia have partnered with the Evangelical Wesleyan Church in Tonga to distribute urgently needed relief to the people impacted by the recent volcanic eruption.

We are also working with Missions New Zealand to provide supplies to four Anglican Churches in the capital, Nuku’alofa, to distribute among their local communities.”

Details of the appeal here.

Resources for churches to publicise the appeal. Top image: JMA.

Three Simple Ways to Flatten your Neighbour

Posted on January 20, 2022 
Filed under Culture wars, Resources

“As our society becomes increasingly post-Christian, it’s no surprise to see the vanishing of a Christian view of humanity—an understanding that allows for complexity, even expects it.

Instead, we give in to the impulse to divide everyone into categories of ‘bad’ or ‘good,’ and then treat them accordingly.

The result? Fewer and fewer people, even in the church (and we ought to know better!), who are able to distinguish what’s good and bad in the same person, or truth and falsehood in particular causes. …”

Wise observations from Trevin Wax at The Gospel Coalition.

Synod cancelled

Posted on January 19, 2022 
Filed under Sydney Diocese

“The next Synod, or church parliament, of the Diocese of Sydney will not go ahead in February as planned.

The special session, planned for 26 February to 2 March, was to have begun with an historic ‘Synod in the Greenfields’ day in which Synod delegates would have toured new areas of Sydney’s outer suburbs and the Archbishop was to give his Presidential Address in the new suburb of Oran Park. …”

– At SydneyAnglicans.net, Russell Powell reports on the decision to cancel February’s Synod due to Covid.

Expository Preaching Trust launches 2022 Programme

Posted on January 19, 2022 
Filed under Encouragement, Resources

“2022 is the 11th year of the Trust’s ministry. Our ministry takes three forms …

1. Preaching Workshops …
2. Mentoring …
3. Preaching Clubs … ”

Read all about it at the website of the Expository Preaching trust.

The Church of England’s astonishing appointment

Posted on January 18, 2022 
Filed under Church of England, Culture wars

“The words ‘La La Land’ came to mind when I heard of the appointment of the new Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments. This role manages the process for the appointment of bishops, deans and other senior posts in the Church of England, and it is to be filled by Stephen Knott, currently Justin Welby’s deputy chief of staff. …”

– At Christian Today, David Baker is disturbed by a recent appointment in the Church of England.

Sadly, it seems to be business as usual for the Church of England.

Related:

Stephen Knott to be new Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments – Archbishop of Canterbury’s website.

Anglican Aid’s Prayer Diary 2022

Posted on January 18, 2022 
Filed under Encouragement, Resources

The Archbishop of Sydney’s Anglican Aid Prayer Diary for 2022 is now available on their website.

Plenty of fuel for prayer.

Related:

Love, serve, train – how one man is giving back – SydneyAnglicans.net

John Anderson with William Lane Craig

Posted on January 17, 2022 
Filed under Apologetics & Evangelism, Resources

Before Christmas John Anderson spoke with philosopher, theologian and apologist Dr. William Lane Craig for his “John Anderson Direct” series –

“John and William discuss the historical plausibility of the resurrection of Christ, contemporary physics and faith, the existence of evil, and the Jewish Renaissance.”

Watch here. (The video on YouTube has links to sections of the conversation.)

The Story behind Amazing Grace

Posted on January 16, 2022 
Filed under History, Resources

Marylynn Rouse from The John Newton Project was interviewed on Premier Christian Radio’s Sunday Night Live for 16 January 2022.

Most encouraging.

Sunday morning encouragement

Posted on January 16, 2022 
Filed under Encouragement

With thanks to Emu Music.

The pastor, the church and social media

Posted on January 15, 2022 
Filed under Resources

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“What’s best practice for churches and Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and TikTok?

How does a pastor’s non Christian and Christian audience impact the way we use social media.

To what extent do potential church members decide to join/not join your church, based on your social media posts?

How can we shift internal church disagreements off social media, rather than airing disputes before unbelievers?”

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