Don’t neglect to Show Up

“Folks attending the membership class at our church are often surprised at the emphasis we place on attending our Lord’s Day gathering. However gifted someone might be at talking to teenagers or working on the website, we insist their presence at corporate worship is a far more essential and significant way to serve the flock. This priority isn’t just a particular quirk of our church; it should be a biblical priority for every church. …”

Timely encouragement from Mike Gilbart-Smith at 9Marks.

30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World

In 2021, Ramadan is from April 13 to May 12.

“Join thousands of Christians worldwide using 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World to pray for our Muslims neighbours.

The 30 Days event coincides with the Islamic month of Ramadan, one of Islam’s most important months of fasting and prayer.

You’ll be inspired, encouraged and informed each day as you journey through the stories of different regions in the world, and discover how to pray for the Muslims living there.”

Details here.

Delighting in the Triune God from the Book of Revelation

Melvin Tinker is contributing this month’s Lift up your hearts devotions for GAFCON.

(And do check out his book That Hideous Strength: A Deeper Look at How the West was Lost.)

 

Andrew Bolt interviews Bishop Paul Barnett on the Evidence for Jesus

Sky News host Andrew Bolt speaks with Author Paul Barnett about what sort of historical evidence supports the biblical claims about the life and events surrounding Jesus Christ.

Watch and share.

Andrew Bolt’s interest was roused by “A Short Book About Jesus: The man from heaven” by Paul Barnett published by CEP in 2015.

How to Build Up Your Church: A Guidebook for Members

“For years now, 9Marks has argued that church membership is not just a status, it’s a job. By joining a church, you’re not joining a club, you’re stepping into an office. Jesus has given you work to do, and he’s given you the competence and authority to do it.

Most 9Marks Journals aim at pastors and church leaders. This one was written for members. Its purpose is to lay out some of the essential elements of that job. So we called it a guidebook. Print it out. Read it one article at a time over a month. Ask God how you might better serve your fellow members, your pastors, and your non-Christian neighbors. …”

– Jonathan Leeman introduces the latest 9Marks Journal. Looks like a good one!

The blood that brings us close

“Every so often, I go to a local community college to watch Israeli films with some of my Jewish friends. Recently, we watched a film called A Borrowed Identity. It’s a beautiful film, based on a touching memoir by popular Israeli Palestinian novelist and TV writer Sayed Kashua.

The film tells the story of an Arab boy who, through various circumstances, comes to take on a Jewish identity. It explores friendship, love, life, identity, and humanity. Its message is that if we can just come close to people, experiencing their humanity and seeing their struggles first hand, we will be able to overcome our differences. The film offers a hope of peace through shared humanity.

But sadly, ideals like this don’t always reflect reality, do they? …”

– In time for Easter, The Australian Church Record  has published this reflection from Lionel Windsor on Ephesians 2:11-13.

Updated NSW rules for churches

“A new Public Health Order will apply from the beginning of Monday 29 March 2021 to churches in NSW: the Public Health (COVID-19 Gathering Restrictions) Order 2021.

One of the biggest changes is that there will no longer be restrictions on singing in services (hooray!) There was actually a temporary exemption in place over the weekend of 27-28 March to allow this to happen a bit early. But this new CGR Order will now operate on a long-term basis.

In this post I will just summarise the provisions affecting churches, and where they can be found in the new Order. …”

– Neil Foster at Law and Religion Australia has the latest on COVID requirements for churches in NSW.

What to preach on for Anzac Day?

David Cook writes:

“This year Anzac Day falls on a Sunday, providing an opportunity for congregations to reflect together on the sacrifice of our servicemen and servicewomen who have served our national interest in wars and peacekeeping missions since the Boer war up until our present involvement in Afghanistan.

Last week I met Wilf who enlisted in 1944 as an 18 year old and had 2 years service in the Pacific islands in WW2. Wilf’s two older brothers had also enlisted at 18 and had served in the army before him.

When I asked Wilf why he went to war, he responded, ‘We all fought for freedom, for liberty and in our case for freedom to continue to preach the gospel.’ Wilf is 95 years of age and we met after an evening service in Melbourne.

What to preach this Anzac Day?

We could preach on the theme of service, sacrifice, thanksgiving and remembrance.

But I think we best serve the spirit of the Anzac, by preaching on the freedoms for which they fought and for which so many of them died.

I intend to preach on 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. …”

Read why, and be encouraged to preach Christ this ANZAC Day.

The named Jew and the name of God: A new reading of Romans 2:17–29

Lionel Windsor at Moore College has something to exercise your thinking:

“I’ve just had an article published in the journal Novum Testamentum. In the article, I provide a detailed defence of a new reading of Romans 2:17–29.

Most commentators don’t spend much time in this passage. They tend to concentrate much more attention on the previous passage (Romans 2:1–16). This means commentators tend to be far too quick to make assumptions about what Romans 2:17–29 is “all about” (i.e. the topic), and so – I argue – end up misconstruing what Paul is actually trying to say in the passage (i.e. the argument). English translations of the passage tend to reflect these assumptions and so perpetuate the misconstruals. …”

Check it out here.

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.)

What would a conversion therapy ban mean for gay Christians like me?

“As a gay Christian, I’m worried about the calls to ban ‘gay conversion therapy’.

Of course, it’s right that gay people are protected and some of the practices referred to as conversion therapy are deeply wrong. But there’s a danger that  badly-drafted legislation could make life impossible for those working in churches when gay people come to us for help. …”

– Ed Shaw writes at The Spectator.

Photo courtesy Living Out.

Anglican Aid: See the grace of God overflowing to a world in need

Anglican Aid has produced this short video to introduce their work.

Moore College Open Events 2021

Here are some dates for your diary from Moore College.

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