The Challenge of Feminism

Equal but Different has republished two articles by Dr Claire Smith on “The Challenge of Feminism” –

Part 1 – Should We Call Ourselves Feminists?

Part 2 – God’s Better Solutions.

How the Person Became a Self

“In 2020, while the world was on lockdown due to COVID-19, Carl Trueman published one of the most important books of the last several decades.

In The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, Trueman built on the insights of contemporary thinkers such as Philip Rieff and Alasdair MacIntyre to show how modern thinkers … gave expression to a worldview … that made possible and plausible the arguments of the late-modern theorists who shaped the postmodern sexual revolution …

It is a penetrating analysis of recent intellectual history that shows why people are willing to believe ideas today that our grandparents would have rejected out of hand—without need of argument, evidence, or proof—just two generations ago.

The only problem? The book is over 400 pages long. … I knew that many of Carl’s potential readers would not have the time or appetite to wade through so many of his finer, nuanced discussions. So I emailed Carl, praising the book as essential reading. But I also suggested that he consider writing a shorter, more accessible version of the basic argument for non-specialists. Carl has now produced that volume with Strange New World, and it sparkles on every page. …”

– If the length of The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self put you off, Strange New World might be just what you need. Ryan T. Anderson writes at First Things.

The book is available widely – here are some booksellers.

Scripture Alone — David Cook

Even if you haven’t, David Cook has seen the preaching and the damage done –

“Coming from a Presbyterian background I had personally experienced the destructive effect of modernism or liberalism; preaching was hesitant, indefinite, and unclear. There certainly was no sense of authority. All one could say, after hearing a sermon, was that the minister believed in some sort of divine being!”

He writes at The Expository Preaching Trust:

Attending Bible College in the 1960s involved a two-year course, each year having three terms.

This meant that six areas of Systematic Theology were covered, the first being the foundational Doctrine of Revelation—what we believe about the Bible.

Entering Moore College in 1973 meant attending the transformational lectures of DB Knox as he led us through TC Hammond’s, ‘In Understanding Be Men’, the first chapter of which is entitled, ‘Final Authority in Matters of Faith’.

All other doctrines flow from a right understanding of what we believe the Bible is, its source, its nature and its purpose.

Coming from a Presbyterian background I had personally experienced the destructive effect of modernism or liberalism; preaching was hesitant, indefinite, and unclear. There certainly was no sense of authority. All one could say, after hearing a sermon, was that the minister believed in some sort of divine being!

The available Presbyterian Theological Schools, with a non-commitment to the inspiration of Scripture, its supremacy, authority and sufficiency, had produced a generation of preachers with nothing to say, apart from vague, theistic, positive psychology.

When Paul urges Timothy in 2 Timothy 3 to understand the times, avoid the alternatives and preach the word, all these imperatives are based on a firm conviction about Scripture’s divine source (2 Timothy 3:16).

Abandon the foundation of what God tells us about Scripture and the pulpit, and all true pastoral ministry will be lost!

Fifty years on and we need this reminder because fewer of us have experienced those empty, powerless days.

Scripture’s inspiration means that its authority is supreme, over church and culture.

Scripture’s inspiration means that it is sufficient, we need not, and should not look for any other special word from God, that extra word is at best a hunch.

Scripture is God’s word, not yours or mine, therefore we have no right to add to it or subtract from it.

Scripture is the instrument God uses to bring the lost to life and to bring the believer to maturity (Isaiah 55:11; Acts 12:24; 19:20; 20:32; 1Cor 1:18;1:21; 15:2; Eph 1:13;  2Timothy 3:15-16).

As disciples of the Lord Jesus, we share his conviction as to the authority and centrality of Scripture (Mark 12:10; John 10:35).

Thus all Christian leaders must be awake to what our recent history has taught us, and actively resist any influence to water down the central and supreme authority of Holy Scripture.

As our old friend John Chapman used to say, ‘The authority is in the text, brother. Preach the text’.

‘It is at the very root of the Evangelical position that the supremacy of Holy Scripture be held in its fullest sense… no words can too strongly express the importance of securing, beyond doubt, the unsuperseded authority of the Sacred Scriptures in all religious discussions whether of doctrine or practice’. (TC Hammond, ‘In Understanding be Men’, p.39).

First published at The Expository Preaching Trust.

An unwanted gift

“Have you ever received a gift that you did not want? A number of years ago I asked my father to buy me a cast-iron griddle pan, but he decided to give it to my wife Pearl instead. I was delighted. She was less than impressed. Not every gift is something we want.

I received a gift I didn’t want recently. Despite abundant caution and double vaccination I received a bad case of COVID-19. And it really was bad. I cannot remember feeling so ill in my life. Even a month later I’m still in the process of recovery. Yet, despite all that, and amid recognition of all the pain and loss it has caused so many, I still consider it a gift. …”

Bishop of Western Sydney Gary Koo shares what he has learned through COVID – at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Image: Bishop Gary Koo / Anglican Media Sydney.

A Wake-Up …

“With the continued missile onslaught on the cities of Ukraine we feel the pain and the suffering and the loss of life. ‘Why this evil and suffering in this 21st century?’

In his 1940s book, The Problem of Pain, CS Lewis considers the question of pain and suffering from the perspective of the meaning and purpose of life. …”

– At the Anglican Connection, John Mason has a reminder of the signs of the times.

How Can Jesus and the Father both be God?

“Thanks for asking this great and important question. There are a few issues tied up here but let me begin by offering a basic answer and then try to explore it a bit more deeply.

You ask how the Father can be God and yet Jesus can also be God. Of course, this is similar to what John talks about at the start of his gospel. Referring to Jesus as the ‘Word’, he declares that:

In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

How can the Word (the eternal person who became Jesus) be with God and be God. Is this simply a contradiction?

How can this make sense? How can the Word (the eternal person who became Jesus) be with God and be God. Is this simply a contradiction?…”

– In a new feature at The Gospel Coalition Australia (“Ask TGCA”), Andrew Moody seeks to bring some clarity in answering the question “How Can Jesus and the Father both be God?”.

Peter Jensen: The Challenges of Global Anglicanism — The Mission of the Church

From Church Society:

“In this first of our 2022 Lent series on the challenges of Global Anglicanism, Rt Revd Peter Jensen former Archbishop of Sydney and General Secretary of GAFCON, speaks about the challenge of taking the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ to the world.

He identifies three challenges: identity, truth and relationships.”

Good to watch and share.

‘Two faces …?’ — an Ash Wednesday reflection

“Human relationships on the personal and international level must rate as the greatest challenge for the world’s future. The cold-blooded invasion of Ukraine reveals an oft unspoken issue that confronts us: flawed human nature.

The Russian author, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn once commented, If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?

Robert Murray McCheyne, who was a great influence on CS Lewis, observed, The seeds of all sins are in my heart, and perhaps all the more dangerously that I do not see them.

Let me make a suggestion. Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of the season of Lent that continues through to the day before Easter Day. …”

– Read (or listen to) John Mason’s Word on Wednesday reflection for Ash Wednesday from the Anglican Connection.

Australian Anglicans and Sexuality — with David Bennett

From The Pastor’s Heart –

“Australian Anglican Evangelicals are praying that the Australian national Bishops meeting (in March) and the General Synod (8-16 May) will affirm the Bible’s teaching on marriage, sexuality and chastity.

The General Synod  will consider three motions and two propositions affirming the Bible’s teaching on marriage and chastity. …

David Bennett is a former Sydney gay activist, now a Christian, and a member of Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s College of Evangelists.”

Watch or listen here.

Archbishop of Perth Set to Proceed with Ordination that will “Split the Diocese”

“The Archbishop of Perth, Kay Goldsworthy, is set to proceed with an ordination later this week that, according to sources in the diocese, is set to ‘split the diocese’.

On the evening of Thursday 24 February 2022 Archbishop Goldsworthy will preside over the ordination at St George’s Cathedral where four candidates will be made deacon. …”

David Ould has the story.

Photo: Archbishop Kay Goldsworthy, courtesy Diocese of Perth.

When you lose your salvation based on a technicality

“When coming across stories like these, it is very tempting to use them to bash Roman Catholicism or to win an argument. It is imperative to resist these sinful temptations…”

– At The Cripplegate, Jordan Standridge looks at a recent news story which illustrates the divide between the Church of Rome and biblical Christianity.

No Shortcut to Success

In a recent episode of the Pastors Talk podcast from 9Marks, Jonathan Leeman and Mark Dever commend the book “No Shortcut to Success: A Manifesto for Modern Missions”. They also chat with the author, Matt Rhodes.

While primarily on the topic of missions, it’s an encouragement for those labouring at home.

Listen at 9Marks.

Bible Gateway removes The Passion Translation

“A Bible version designed to ‘recapture the emotion of God’s Word’ was removed from Bible Gateway last week. The Passion Translation (TPT) is listed as ‘no longer available’ among the site’s 90 English-language Bible offerings.

First released as a New Testament in 2017, The Passion Translation includes additions that do not appear in the source manuscripts, phrases meant to draw out God’s ‘tone’ and ’heart’ in each passage. …”

– Story from Christianity Today.

Related:

Burning Scripture with Passion: A Review of The Psalms (The Passion Translation) – Andrew Shead, April 2018.

“Brian Simmons has made a new translation of the Psalms (and now the whole New Testament) which aims to ‘re-introduce the passion and fire of the Bible to the English reader.’ He achieves this by abandoning all interest in textual accuracy, playing fast and loose with the original languages, and inserting so much new material into the text that it is at least 50% longer than the original.”

The Passion “Translation” of Romans: Problems and questions – Lionel Windsor, November 2017.

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