A theological and missional review of the Coronation – with Mark Earngey, Brett Murphy and Sandy Grant

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“After Queen Elizabeth’s funeral last year, Saturday’s coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla was probably the biggest reaching church service of our lifetimes.

We analyze the service theologically and missionally and compare it with the coronation service of Charles’ Mother Queen Elizabeth II.

Is it in any way better theologically and where is it worse?

Watch or listen here.

See also:

The true significance of King Charles’ Coronation – Murray Campbell, who writes not only about the Coronation, but about Psalm 2, Nick Cave – and GAFCON.

“Airbags on Pokies” — The Dean of Sydney

Sandy Grant, the Dean of Sydney, writes about the choice before NSW voters this Saturday –

“Friends in Christ, I encourge you to join me in this prayer for our State, with the election of a new Parliament this Saturday, 25th March:

Almighty God and Loving Heavenly Father, we humbly ask you to direct the hearts of those who seek election to our state parliament, and of us as we exercise our democratic freedoms. May we vote unselfishly for the common good. Protect politicians from the temptation of self-serving. Enable them to make realistic promises and help them keep their word. Uphold those elected to serve in the new Parliament through all the heavy demands that come upon them, that they may serve with integrity. May the decisions of our parliaments, state and federal, lead to the safety and welfare of this country, so that peace and happiness, truth and justice may be established among us. Amen. 

As you know, I have spoken strongly in favour of reforms to prevent and minimise harm from poker machine use, which currently sees people in NSW lose $8 billion a year. That’s about $23 million per day! And the worst losses are often in the poorer areas of our city.

I have been calling for reform for almost 15 years, since I first became aware of the dreadul damage done by poker machines on their users and families.”

Read it all at the Cathedral website.

Image: If only modern poker machines took bets of just 25 cents.

A Legacy (Thus Far) Marked by ‘Bewildering Ambiguity’: Pope Francis Reaches 10 Years as Papal Leader

In today’s issue (15 March 2023)  of The Briefing, Dr Albert Mohler looks at the first ten years of the papacy of Francis.

“He represents so much of the muddled liberalism of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries…”

Hold your horses

“A few days ago I was at Wycliffe Hall, speaking to some Anglican ordinands about why everyone should do rural ministry. Unsurprisingly the conversation soon turned to LLF, and that General Synod vote. Since I am a member of Synod, I was quizzed about what had happened. After a bit, one student asked me, “Given what’s happened, how can you be so upbeat”? …

I don’t think I have seen such a strong, broad and deep evangelical unity in the Church of England as I see now. It often takes an emergency to bring a group together, and that is precisely what has happened.”

– At Church Society’s blog, Church Society Regional Director the Rev Dr Chris Moore argues that ‘this is the time to stand up, not to walk away’.

Photo: Diocese of Hereford.


Thirty years ago, the Rev John Richardson travelled from the UK to study short-term at Moore College. (This was before the rejuvenation of Oak Hill College in London.)

While in Sydney, he wrote an article which was published in the ACL’s newsletter. (UK Evangelicalism: Optimistic? – PDF version)

At the time, he was not optimistic about the future of Evangelicalism in the Church of England, and argued that strong evangelical leadership was needed –

“You cannot head off a stampede by calling the cows to come back. If the present debacle in English Evangelicalism is to be arrested it will require people of courage and vision who are prepared to go out ahead of the herd, to kick, to shout and to make a noise, so that those who are genuinely Christian, but who are so much like sheep without a shepherd, may be brought back to the good pastures.”

Do continue to pray for evangelical clergy in the Church of England, that they would be given great wisdom by the Lord.

And do pray that the new evangelical unity of which Dr Moore speaks will be effective for the gospel.

How euthanasia has revived the death penalty

“Belgium is not the only nation to euthanise prisoners. In Canada, where assisted suicide is also offered as a medical treatment, three prisoners have been euthanised to date. The story of one of them, known only as ‘patient one’, illustrates the key problem with this practice. …”

Spiked Online. (Link via Anglican Mainstream)

Image from a St. Helen’s Bishopsgate video.

Revival at Asbury: A Cold Take

“The revival at Asbury College has already come to an end. What began as a brief and simple chapel service turned into a weeks-long worship event that drew tens of thousands of participants and elicited tens of millions of opinions. …

It seems to me that news of an outbreak of revival is best met with a guarded optimism. We don’t need to be naive but also don’t need to be incredulous. …

Speaking personally, I would like my first instinct to be ‘Praise God’ rather than ‘Fat chance!’…”

– You may have heard, the last couple of weeks, about the reported revival in a small private university in Kentucky. Tim Challies shares some thoughts on what has happened and how Christians might respond.

(Image: Tim Challies during a visit to Sydney in 2018.)

On not snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory

“In the immediate aftermath of the Synod vote, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York declared that the vote meant that; ‘For the first time, the Church of England will publicly, unreservedly and joyfully welcome same-sex couples in church’ …

The problem with this interpretation, however, is that it fails to do justice to the motion which Synod passed. When we look at this motion carefully, we find that what Synod actually voted for makes any general liturgical affirmation of same-sex relationships by the Church of England impossible. …”

– Martin Davie expands on the same point made earlier by Dr Ian Paul. That is, the addition to the Bishops’ proposed motion of an amendment – paragraph g – limits what the Bishops can do.

The paragraph reads –

“g) endorse the decision of the College and House of Bishops not to propose any change to the doctrine of marriage, and their intention that the final version of the Prayers of Love and Faith should not be contrary to or indicative of a departure from the doctrine of the Church of England.” (bold added)

He continues,

“… the addition of clause (g) to the Synod motion was a great victory. This is because when taken seriously it will mean that the Church of England continues to maintain an orthodox biblical position. However, in order to avoid ‘snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory’ traditionalist Anglicans need to do three things. …”

Do read it all here.

Image: Several members stand to seek the call during the debate in the Church if England’s General Synod.

A Catastrophic Failure of Leadership

Principal of Moore Theological College, Dr. Mark Thompson, responds to the Church of England’s General Synod vote late last night:

Tragically, overnight, the Church of England continued its headlong plunge into irrelevance. A catastrophic failure of leadership, in particular from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, led to the General Synod agreeing to allow the blessing of same-sex civil unions. The bishops of the Church of England pledged at their consecration to guard and uphold the faith, yet, with their behaviour during this General Synod, despite public displays of empty piety, this is precisely what they did not do. They have shown themselves to be theologically bankrupt, pastorally inept and without both courage and wisdom.

Many faithful members of the General Synod of the Church of England grieve with us today at this outcome. As was said in debate, it is a perverse folly to call on God to bless what he has declared in his word to be sin. This vote will not change that and so it becomes one more sign that the leadership structures of the Church of England are under judgment.

We need to pray for the churches in England. We in this country owe so much to gospel-hearted men and women who came from England to share the news of salvation and life in Jesus with those who had lived here for millennia and those who travelled to these shores in more recent times. There is a wonderful heritage in the Church of England that, for many years, has been squandered by its leaders.

Where things will go from here is difficult to say. We must pray that those leaders still holding fast to the teaching of God’s word will be given extraordinary wisdom as they respond to this heart-breaking turn of events. Britain is crying out to be re-evangelised. The gospel we have to share is such good news, for same-sex attracted people as much as for any others. Our sin, together with the shame and guilt it brings, can be forgiven. A new life of hope and purpose and joy can be ours, if we will come to Jesus. He is the Saviour who reaches out to men and women where they are, in our various forms of brokenness and lostness, but loves us too much to leave us where we are.

Heavenly Father, please guard and guide your people in the United Kingdom. Give them courage and hope at this moment and please do such a work amongst them that we may look back and see the good that came even in the midst of this moment of terrible unfaithfulness. For the glory of Jesus and the extension of his kingdom, Amen.

The Church of England faces a huge week

“One thing worse than Sam Smith’s performance at the Grammys is the revisionist Bishops in the Church of England who are this week gaslighting both the sheep under their care and deceiving the general public.

Presumably, Sam Smith thinks that dressing up in a satan costume and performing a song called ‘unholy’ is making some kind of loud and shocking creative statement. Perhaps someone could tell him, he’s doing nothing more than copying a longish line of musicians. It is all rather boorish, except that mimicking the very personification of evil isn’t a particularly bright idea.

Over in old England land, ecclesiastical leaders have taken up that ancient inquisition of the Devil, by suggesting, ‘Did God really say?”…”

– Murray Campbell in Melbourne summarises what’s happening in the Church of England and argues it has lessons for Australian churches.

Don’t take CMS Summer School for granted!

“I reflect on the 2023 CMS Summer School as someone who could only make it for one day.

I wish I could have attended more, but I was overseas. Yet, having landed in Sydney on the Monday of Summer School, I drove up to the Blue Mountains on Tuesday to attend for the day. It was definitely an experience; a combination of jet lag and the increased heart rate from walking up and down that hill – twice – after ten days of overeating over the holidays! And yet it was also an experience of being profoundly joyful and energised amongst fellow Christians.

As I drove back home late on Tuesday night, I remember thinking multiple times that we just can’t take CMS Summer School for granted. …”

– Ben George writes with encouragement at The Australian Church Record.

This present darkness and the crisis of contemporary Anglicanism: Thesis 1

“The world of the 21st century is dominated by principalities and powers opposed to God and the biblical faith.

In much of the non-Western world, enmity and persecution has come from militant religions and totalitarian regimes.

In the West, postmodern ideologues have sought to overturn the biblical worldview of God as the Creator and Lord of life and death and of sexuality and marriage as His blessing for mankind and the sign of His love for the Church. In this quest, they have enjoyed apparent success (but cf. Psalm 2).

Many Anglican churches and their leaders in North America and the UK have succumbed to this false ideology and are promoting its agenda. …”

Dr Stephen Noll publishes the first of fourteen theses toward reviving, reforming and reordering the Anglican Communion.

Photo: GAFCON.

An Eton Mess: The Failure of English Bishops

“The Church of England has finally announced its proposals to their General Synod to deal with the vexed question of how to respond to same-sex marriage. The presentation was led by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Eton-educated Justin Welby and Stephen Cottrell, who together are seeking to lead the Church of England through these difficult times.

For the last six years the Church of England has been going through a process of discussion called “Living in Love and Faith” in order to get to this moment.

In a press release issued while Australia slept, the House of Bishops outlined the legislation they will propose to the upcoming General Synod.

So what are the plans, what do they mean, and what effect will they have on the wider Anglican Communion—especially here in Australia?…”

– David Ould writes at The Gospel Coalition Australia.

What’s an Eton mess?

“It’s a bowl full of broken bits of meringue, fruit and topped off with cream. If at this point you’re thinking that sounds awfully like what you did with your pavlova last year when you dropped it on the floor and rescued those bits not red-carded by the five second rule, then you would be absolutely correct. Eton Mess is, at it’s heart, a failed Pavlova dressed up in a fancy bowl and passed off as something worthy. It is the next generation of that other famous Anglican sweet; the fudge.

What else is the Church of England on about these days?

Archbishop of Canterbury FC lace up for green campaign alongside Premier League stars

“The Archbishop of Canterbury’s football team will host a ‘green’ football match as part of a national campaign to raise awareness of the Climate Crisis with football the focus for practical steps to reduce carbon.”

Dean of Sydney: ALP ‘can do better’ on Pokies

A media release from earlier this week:

“The Dean of Sydney, Sandy Grant, a long-time campaigner for poker machine reform in NSW, has responded to the NSW ALP’s launch of its gambling reform policy today.

He said:

Although I am pleased to see some helpful steps in the ALP’s proposals that will be helpful, the ALP can do better by committing to the principal of introducing a cashless gaming card, with mandatory pre-commitment, for poker machine use right across NSW.

With NSW losses on poker machines approaching $8 billion per annum – that’s over $20 million/day! – we urgently need ‘Airbags on Pokies’.…”

Read it all here.

Before you watch Harry & Meghan

“The age of the internet accelerates the pace of rumour spreading from the old school gossip magazines and water coolers. Twitter and Netflix are the latest machines for globalising gossip. My secret today can be the topic of public scrutiny tomorrow.

The thing is, by watching and reading and gossiping, we’re leaping into a carefully managed trap. We’re suckers for a good juicy story about a family imploding. And what’s bigger than that family being our King and Princes? …”

– Murray Campbell has some thoughts on the story almost everyone is discussing.

Why Religion will Return to the West

David Robertson writes:

This is an important article by Greg Sheridan – which we republish with permission. Please do read the whole article – but this quote stuck out for me –

“Christianity was just as weird to the sophisticated first-century Graeco-Roman civilisation of the Mediterranean as it is to the most disillusioned sophisticate of today.Happily for contemporary Christians, they have a readily accessible account of how the first Christians spread the gospel in a hostile, alien and comprehensively pagan culture. It’s a primary source, uniquely immediate and reliable, and still in print.It is found in the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament, and in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. It’s worth reading these two short books – only 50 pages between them – straight through, as they offer a gripping, vivid picture of the first Christians. …”

Read it all at ASK.

Photo: Greg Sheridan, Foreign Editor, The Australian.

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