Heroes of the Faith: Apolo Kivebulaya

“Some heroes of the faith are forgotten and deserve rediscovery. One of these being Apolo Kivebulaya, a remarkable church worker in Africa for 40 years and a reminder of the way so many African Christians have spread Christianity on that continent.

Apolo was born into a peasant family in 1864 in Kampala in what is now Uganda…”

Canon J. John writes of Apolo Kivebulaya in his series on Heroes of the Faith.

Many in Uganda and DR Congo still give thanks for Apolo Kivebulaya.

Also published at Christian Today. (Photo: via J. John.)

Archbishop Welby explains why he wears Pope Paul VI’s pastoral ring

“Wrapping up an interview with Vatican News, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, showed those present the pastoral ring he is wearing. It’s not just any ring, but a very important ‘fragment’ of the history of ecumenism. Indeed, it was given by Pope Paul VI to the then Anglican Primate, Michael Ramsey, on March 23, 1966, during his historic visit to Rome. …

On that day the Italian Pontiff, now a Saint, took off his pastoral ring and put it on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s finger.”

– Story and photo from Vatican News. (Justin Welby is in Rome for a series of meetings with Pope Francis and other religious leaders.)


Evangelical Religion – by Bishop J.C. Ryle

What is the gospel? – by Dr Mark Thompson

Long Ago and Far Away: Thomas Cranmer, author of the Prayer Book – by Allan Blanch

The Thirty Nine Articles of Religion.

Review of Reformation Anglican Worship

Reformation Anglican Worship by Michael Jensen is the latest volume in The Reformation Anglican Essentials Library. As its name suggests it provides a thorough survey of the principles of Anglican worship found in the denomination’s Reformation legacy.

For what is obviously a scholarly work, Reformation Anglican Worship is a surprisingly enjoyable read. Jensen has found just the right balance between depth of information and an accessible style which anyone with an interest in the topic will appreciate. …”

David Ould provides this review, plus a link to a special price from The Wandering Bookseller.

John Piper’s 9/11 Radio Interview

From Desiring God:

“Twenty years ago today, at 8:14 a.m., American Airlines Flight 11 was highjacked. And with it began a nightmare no one who lived through it will forget. …

The following morning, Pastor John was called on to be one of the Christians who would speak into the tragedy — for him, on KTIS, a local radio station. Where was God on 9/11? There, for about forty minutes, he spoke wisdom into the shock and sorrow.

We want to share the recording with you today on Ask Pastor John, on this twentieth anniversary. The interview covers the importance of grieving and creating space for sorrow, yet a sorrow under God’s all-encompassing sovereignty. Pastor John explains why 9/11 was a call for national humbling, a wake-up call. God was shaking the foundations of America and calling sinners to come to Christ — a global call not just for Americans but also for Palestinians, Saudis, and Afghans. …”

Read the background and listen – at Desiring God.

Review: ‘Christians’ by Greg Sheridan

Journalist and author Greg Sheridan has just released a new book titled ‘Christians: The Urgent Case for Jesus in Our World’. He opens with this explanation of why he wrote it:

This book is about the compelling, dramatic, gripping characters you meet in the New Testament. Above all, it is the search for Jesus. It seeks to meet him directly, in the New Testament, and in history, and to meet him indirectly through his friends, both his first friends, and some of his friends today…”

– At The Gospel Coalition Australia, Akos Balogh reviews Greg Sheridan’s new book, Christians: The Urgent Case for Jesus in Our World.

The book is available from The Wandering Bookseller.

In a Pandemic, people need to be ready for Eternity

Today is the 91st anniversary of Arthur Stace hearing the gospel at St. Barnabas’ Broadway, on Wednesday 6th August 1930.

In the midst of a global pandemic, the message of Eternity is as relevant as ever.

Related posts.

(Photo of Arthur Stace by Les Nixon, December 1952.)

The Election of Archbishop Mowll: A Decision with Consequence

“The Conservative Evangelicalism which permeates the diocese of Sydney today has not always characterised the diocesan leadership. Although Sydney may always have had an Evangelical flavour, in the early 20th century the leadership of the diocese represented a more liberal emphasis.

The election of H.W.K. Mowll as Archbishop (1933-1958) changed the trajectory of the diocese toward a more conservative theological position. The significance of Mowll’s leadership was not merely a result of his duration in office, but rather the growth, innovation and theological consolidation which he instigated. …”

– Dr. Ed Loane, Warden of St. Paul’s College, University of Sydney, reflects on a turning point for the Diocese of Sydney.

Judging the Macquaries — with Peter Adam

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“In reconciliation week we turn our attention to Colonial Australia and a new book out from John Harris, ‘Judging the Macquaries’ – with Peter Adam.

The Black Lives Matter movement is bringing the characters of powerful people in colonial times into sharp focus, particularly their attitudes and actions towards slavery and indigenous peoples.

Lachlan and Elizabeth Macquarie are among those being scrutinised and reassessed.

John Harris paints a more spiritually positive picture of Governor Lachlan Macquarie than had previously been understood.  His wife Elizabeth Macquarie was a clear evangelical.  Lachlan Macquarie’s Christian faith causes him to stand out in significant policy areas from the dominant views of the time: in his attitudes, behaviour and policies relating to both convicts and indigenous persons.”

Watch or listen here.

Luther and the Diet of Worms @ 500

“On April 18, 1521, Martin Luther—age 37—gave his famous “Here I Stand” speech at the Diet of Worms.

On April 17, 1521, Luther arrived in Worms after completing his 15-day, 300-mile journey from Wittenberg. …”

– At The Gospel Coalition, Justin Taylor reminds us of this key moment in history.


From Article VI of The Thirty Nine Articles:

Of the Sufficiency of the holy Scriptures for salvation

“Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.”

Dr. Stephen Chavura on the history of Western civilisation

In his latest Conversations video, John Anderson speaks with historian Dr. Stephen Chavura on the history of Western civilisation, Western thought and the historical roots of freedom, democracy and the rule of law.

Timings from the video on YouTube

00:00 – Intro
2:02 – Why history?
4:16 – Western civilisation
12:01 – Slavery & racism
23:32 – The American Revolution
26:25 – The Enlightenment
28:34 – Nietzsche
33:57 – Created equal
49:24 – Enlightened thinking?
52:15 – Australian history.

Review: Christianity and Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen

“To Machen, liberalism was not simply a different style of churchmanship, or a rival Christian theology. It was an entirely different, and man-made, religion founded on a sentimental and superficial view of God. …”

– At The Gospel Coalition Australia, Andrew Prideaux commends an excellent book, J. Gresham Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism.

(Free versions of the book are available for download at Monergism.)

Remembering Archbishop Thomas Cranmer

On 21 March 1556, Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer died at the stake in Oxford.

Learn about this towering figure of the English Reformation:

In 1989, Canon Allan Blanch wrote this appreciation of Archbishop Cranmer for ACL News.

Also that year, Church Society published these extracts from Cranmer’s works in Cross†Way (PDF).

See also this 1990 article by D A Scales in Churchman (PDF) for an understanding of the key theological issues for which Archbishop Cranmer died:

“The doctrine of the Lord’s Supper was not unimportant in Cranmer’s eyes, because that Sacrament speaks of the central doctrines of the Christian faith — of salvation through the atoning death of Christ. It was instituted, in St. Paul’s words, to proclaim the Lord’s death till he come: right views of the death of Christ and right views of the sacrament will tend to go together; false views of the sacrament will tend to obscure an understanding of our salvation through the finished work of Christ…”

In 2001, ACL News interviewed Dr. Ashley Null, recognised expert on Cranmer.

Further reading:

Masters Of The English Reformation by Marcus Loane (published 1954) is an excellent introduction to the English Reformation and five key figures: Bilney, Tyndale, Latimer, Ridley and Cranmer.

Portrait of Thomas Cranmer by Gerlach Flicke. (This is a re-post.)

Marcus Loane on The English Reformation

Archbishop Sir Marcus LoaneIn 1954, Marcus Loane – later Archbishop of Sydney and Sir Marcus – published his landmark “Masters of The English Reformation”.

It was republished in 2005 by Banner of Truth. If you haven’t read it, you ought to. (Availability.)

Here’s the Introduction —

“It was Martin Luther who declared that the doctrine of Justification by Faith Only is the article of a standing or falling church. The recovery of this doctrine was the key to the Reformation in Europe. It was the corollary of the translation of the Bible into the language of everyday life and its circulation in the homes and hands of ordinary people. These two momentous factors were to penetrate the Realm of England during the reign of Henry VIII and will forever be associated in a special sense with the names of Thomas Bilney and William Tyndale. These two, and many others as well, were to die at the stake as a result of their unswerving loyalty to the doctrines of Grace as made known in the Word of God. Nor did they die in vain. The supreme authority of Holy Scripture in all matters of faith and conduct was written into the sixth of the Articles of Religion; and the doctrine of Justification by Faith Only was summed up in unforgettable language in the Eleventh Article. Those two “Articles of the Christian Faith” are the bedrock on whIch the history of the Church of England since the Reformation must stand or fall.

But the pivot of the Reformation in England during the reign of Edward VI was the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper. Ridley’s discovery of the work of Ratramnus led him to reject the doctrine of Transubstantiation and the Sacrifice of the Mass as totally foreign to the teaching of the New Testament. Ridley was able to convince Cranmer that Ratramnus was right; they came to believe that the bread and wine are “the pledges” of God’s redeeming love and that the presence of the Lord Jesus is not to be found in an earthly altar, but in the hearts of those who feed on Him by faith with thanksgiving. Ridley was to expound this doctrine with clarity and dignity in his Treatise on the Lord’s Supper, and Cranmer was to defend it with great learning in his controversy with Gardiner. This was the doctrine enshrined in the Source of the Holy Communion in the Book of Common Prayer in 1552.

When Queen Mary came to the throne, Ridley, Latimer and Cranmer were the outstanding Reformers who were thrown into prison. In all the debates which ensued, in their trial and condemnation for heresy, and in the sentence of death which consigned them to death by fire, the one basic issue was their doctrine of the Lord’s Supper as opposed to the dogmas of the church with regard to Transubstantiation and the Mass. If the Church were right and they were wrong, they were not only condemned to a terrible form of death as heretics but were doomed to a lost eternity. Their real greatness was seen in the fact that they dared to stand by their convictions, formed as a result of intensive study of the Scriptures, and to die at the stake rather than yield to the pressures that were brought to bear on mind and feeling. And the candle they lit is one which by the grace of God will never go out.

What happened more than four hundred years ago is still vitally relevant. The integrity and authority of the Bible have been under constant assault from many quarters and it is no longer the one Book in the homes and hands of all. Many people today think that a good life, a good name, and a good reputation will somehow make them acceptable to God. And the reformed doctrine of the Lord’s Supper has been obscured by an emphasis on the Real Presence which approximates more and more towards medieval teaching and practice. Let Bilney and Tyndale speak again; let Latimer and Ridley and Cranmer be heard afresh. They witnessed “a good confession” for their heavenly Master and sealed it with their lives.

May this book renew the impact of their life and death on another generation “in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” [1 Cor. 6:11].”

Photo: Ramon Williams. (This is a repost from 2014 in remembrance of the martyrdom of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer on 21 March 1556.)

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