‘Caught Up in God’s Epic…’

“Everyone loves a story. Stories grab our attention and draw us in. Some stories don’t satisfy – perhaps because there’s no conclusion, or injustice and evil succeed. Great epics, such as Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings stir our imagination and touch our inner longings for a better world. We don’t want epics like this to end: we become involved with the characters and the plot. But they do end, and we have to come back to earth.

Significantly, in a world that is crying out for identity, there’s a very real interest in the ‘story’ of family forebears, or culture.

The Bible has been described as the greatest story ever told. But it is an epic with a difference – it is set in the context of real events that point to a future. …”

– At The Anglican Connection, John Mason is continuing to share his challenging and encouraging “Word on Wednesday” meditations. He’s currently writing on Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians.

J I Packer on the Death of Death

Today marks one year since J. I Packer was called home to be with Christ.

It’s very appropriate that the Gospel Coalition has republished his Introductory Essay for John Owen’s Death of Death in the Death of Christ.

“There is no doubt that Evangelicalism today is in a state of perplexity and unsettlement.

In such matters as the practice of evangelism, the teaching of holiness, the building up of local church life, the pastor’s dealing with souls and the exercise of discipline, there is evidence of widespread dissatisfaction with things as they are and of equally widespread uncertainty as to the road ahead.

This is a complex phenomenon, to which many factors have contributed; but, if we go to the root of the matter, we shall find that these perplexities are all ultimately due to our having lost our grip on the biblical gospel. …”

Read it all here.

Image: Regent College, Vancouver.


“Applying the truth of the ‘there and then’ of the Bible to the ‘here and now’ of life today, is a challenge for every preacher. No part of preparation is easy but I think most preachers find application and illustration especially challenging.

David Veerman, the editor of The Life Application Bible, says this is partly due to a lack of training, and to the fact that application is hard work. However we must not make the mistake of leaving it to our listener, thinking that the listener will make the connection between then and now. …”

– At The Expository Preaching Trust, David Cook writes to help preachers.

J. I. Packer’s Final Book

“J. I. Packer, who went to be with his Triune covenant Lord on July 21, 2020, was never able to see this final book in print. But The Heritage of Anglican Theology was near and dear to his heart, the one book he wanted to give his last years to. …”

– At The Gospel Coalition, Justin Taylor introduces J. I. Packer’s last book.

Image: Regent College, Vancouver.

The Importance of Complementarianism

“I was asked recently about the role of women at my church. This is a topic I love to speak about and I am always excited to list off the many ways that women serve.

As an example, last Sunday we had women leading music, praying, reading the Bible, teaching kids’ church, and leading an easy English Bible study. Outside of Sunday ministry women serve as parish councillors, wardens, small group leaders and, in many other ways.

While I am thankful for each of the ways women serve, I made a mistake by answering the question about the role of women when I answered it in this way. …”

ACL Council member Rev. Kate Haggar writes at The Australian Church Record.

Review: Priscilla and Aquila Conference, 2021

“The Priscilla and Aquila Conference at Moore College on February 1st this year was another in that long line of what we have to come know as… pandemic conferences.  Much reduced physical attendance, large numbers of online attendees, a virtual speaker broadcasting from another state. Yet it proved to be first rate. If I was writing this for millennials, I’d say it was a ‘cracker of a conference’!

Gary and Fiona Miller joined us from Queensland Theological College (complete with backdrop of the Brisbane CBD) for the 2 plenary Bible talks on ‘Genesis Women: Why the patriarchal narratives aren’t patriarchal’. …”

– At Equal But Different, Lesley Ramsay commends the talks given at this year’s P&A Conference.

Queen’s Birthday Conference 2021

“Our society has removed all reference to, or analysis of, ‘evil’ and yet wants to engage in moral discourse! How can Christians engage with our world, when our message is all about the evil within the human heart and God’s removal of it.

The Queen’s Birthday Conference 2021 gives Christians an opportunity to think through The Removal of Evil.

The conference is a great time to hear Phillip Jensen teach God’s Word clearly, meet together and discuss the implications with each other during refreshments, pray and ask questions in the Q&A session – all of this is included in your registration for the In-person event at St Andrew’s Cathedral. (Update: In-person registration is no longer available, but you can register to watch online!)

Our MC for the afternoon is Simon Gillham, Vice Principal and Head of Department of Mission at Moore Theological College.

You can register for the Online event …”

– Details and register at phillipjensen.com/qbc2021.

The Importance of Fellowship

“In Sydney, our evangelical theology is one where we treasure the local parish and congregation. This is an absolutely right thing to do at a scriptural level but we need to recognise that there is also a bigger fellowship that occurs between like-minded people.

So, one of the things that the diocese has been, really since Bishop Barker, is a movement. That is, we are not just a group of people, nor just as a denomination, nor just people who share a common ordination, but we have been a movement of Anglican evangelicals.

Indeed, this movement is about wanting to see the glory of the Lord cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. That is really what we are about as a diocese, and it has been the beating heart for a long time. …”

– In this piece which was first published in the latest ACR Journal, Autumn 2021, Archie Poulos has a challenge for parishes great and small.

The Importance of the Gospel

“Where would you be without the gospel? I shudder to think of where my life would have headed without it, and it horrifies me to hypothesise about a future without it.

Wonderfully, I am not weighed down by such thoughts. For I love to remember when I came under the sound of the gospel, and I am enthusiastic and excited (sometimes nervously!) at the prospect of ministering the gospel wheresoever the Lord takes me, and howsoever long the Lord grants me. The gospel matters to me. And I strongly suspect the gospel matters to you, in much the same way. …”

This piece by Dr Mark Earngey at Moore College was first published in the latest ACR Journal, Autumn 2021.

Women Pastors, Women Preachers, and the Looming Test of the Southern Baptist Convention

“In truth, the issue of women serving as pastors fuelled the Conservative Resurgence in the SBC. The question was instantly clarifying. The divide over women serving in the pastorate served as a signal of the deeper divide over the authority and interpretation of the Bible. …”

– Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler sees a fresh test coming to the Southern Baptist Convention.

Wrong Paradigm, Wrong Diagnosis, Wrong Solution

“Our response to the world needs to embrace more than lament, but a deep malaise has descended upon contemporary Western society.

There is a hardness of heart, but a softness in the head; a trivialisation of life, yet a lack of humour; and a coarsened culture but a distorted sensitivity concerning giving offence.

Any example would do as an illustration, but the recent moral outrage at the sexual misbehaviour of parliamentary staffers in Canberra is clear enough. …”

– Dr Peter Barnes, Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, makes the case that if the diagnosis is wrong, the solution will evade you.

Romans Crash Course

From Lionel Windsor at Moore College:

“This is a 75 minute video course in Paul’s letter to the Romans designed for small group leaders, children’s leaders, and anyone else who wants to get a handle on this incredibly rich biblical letter.”

Watch here.

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.

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