Ashley Null on Thomas Cranmer

In 2001 we spoke with Dr Ashley Null about Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, and primary author of the Book of Common Prayer.

“Thomas Cranmer was born in 1489 and baptised into the medieval catholic church. He studied at Cambridge, receiving a Doctorate of Divinity in 1526, and served there as a don.

As a theologian, Cranmer was very much influenced by Erasmus’ emphasis on going back to the original sources for the Christian faith, in particular, of course, the Bible.

In the late 1520s, the authority of Scripture was at the centre of the most pressing English political issue of the day – Henry VIII’s divorce case. …”

– In this interview Dr. Null speaks about why it is important for Anglicans to know about Archbishop Thomas Cranmer.

Reformation Sunday & Slogans

“Friends in Christ, this Sunday we celebrate Reformation Sunday (including Bach’s cantata 79, written for the occasion, as part of the 10:30am service).

The Reformation began as a series of protests (hence ‘Protestant’) against abuses of the mediaeval Roman Catholic Church, perhaps most notably the sale of indulgences. By the way, in this context, an indulgence is not something to do with giving into luxury, one too many chocolates or wines. Nor is it the collective noun for grandparents, as in an ‘indulgence of grandparents’!

The word had and still has a special meaning for Roman Catholics. That Church taught that God forgives believers the eternal punishment for our sins. But we must also purify ourselves from the ‘temporal punishment’ due to every sin, either in this life, or after death in Purgatory. Purification takes place through prayer, acts of charity, patiently bearing suffering, and so on – or via gaining an indulgence. …”

– At the Cathedral website, Dean of Sydney Sandy Grant explains why Reformation Sunday is worth celebrating.

The Greater Love Declaration

From the UK:

“The Greater Love Declaration is a statement by Ministers and Pastoral Workers from across the different Christian Denominations as a statement of classic, orthodox Christian teaching on marriage, sex and identity.

In it we affirm the essential and unchangeable place of this teaching in Christian theology, its foundation in Christ’s own example of self-giving love, and our duty and commitment as ministers of the gospel to uphold, teach and proclaim it.”

‘The Greater Love Declaration’ was launched last week by ministers from several denominations. The website states,

“It is our hope that this will be of use to Ministers, who wish to declare their loyalty to Biblical, and historic Christian teaching; to all Christians, who wish to understand their own beliefs better; and to anyone else who wants to understand standard, orthodox Christian teaching on Marriage, Sex and Identity.”

The initiative has been commended by a range of Christian leaders.

Are There Many Ways to God? Most “Evangelicals” Say Yes.

This 3 and a half minute video from Ligonier Ministries in the US shares one key finding from the latest ‘State of Theology’ survey. (Link via Tim Challies.)

Chronics and the cross

“An older Christian once told me, ‘if you live long enough, you will suffer’. Over the years, I have seen how true this statement is and for our young family, it has been around the area of health.

As I look back, I have vivid memories of two occasions where my wife and I sat anxiously while the doctors were trying their best to deliver to us sad and life-changing news.

Having walked through such dark moments, I am now even more convinced that we need a good theology of suffering. This is especially so, given the rise of the wealth-and-health gospel, which though appealing, does not prepare Christians for the grim reality of the brokenness of life this side of heaven. …”

– At The Australian Church Record, Moore College graduate Tawanda Masango writes from Zimbabwe.

Also hear his podcast from June 2020 – COVID-19, God’s Megaphone.

Photo: Gospel Coalition, Africa edition.

David Cook — Letters to the Editor

“I am a mostly frustrated letter writer to the Editor of the Australian newspaper, about 1 in 5 of my letters get published and then sometimes, with unacceptable editing!

Recently I wrote a letter in response to a column by Tony Abbott in which the former PM quoted Margaret Thatcher as saying that, ‘reality will always trump ideology’.

Abbott’s 3 examples of ideology were the virus hysteria, the emissions obsession and cultural self loathing …”

– At The Expository Preaching Trust, David Cook reminds us how the Scriptures bring us back to reality.

Hezekiah, the early church, and learning how to live in the State of Victoria

“The story surrounding the new and now former Essendon football club CEO, Andrew Thorburn, has entered the fourth day. The saga continues to dominate the news with a collation of new articles and opinion pieces in the newspapers and with interviews on radio and TV.  …

As all of this is going on, I’m reading through the Old Testament book of 2 Chronicles. I was struck by some key moments in this Bible reading, including how ‘right now’ the story feels. Let me share with you 2 encouragements and a warning.”

– Murray Campbell in Melbourne sees much encouragement in Scripture.

Blasphemy on a Billboard: Governor of California manages to reach a new Low

Is his The Briefing for Monday 3rd October 2022, Albert Mohler looks at the billboards sponsored by the Governor of California.


California just made it legal for minors to travel there from other states to get cross-sex drugs and surgery without their parents’ consent Not The Bee.

Cranmer’s Collect, the Christian voice of hope

“During the Queen’s funeral in Westminster Abbey, the words of Thomas Cranmer, burnt at the stake in 1556 for his evangelical Christian beliefs, were heard by more people on a single occasion than at any other time in history.

As Archbishop of Canterbury, Cranmer was the author and compiler of the Book of Common Prayer, commanded for use in public worship in England’s parishes in 1552 during the reign of King Edward VI.

Cranmer’s liturgical book, with minor changes, was reintroduced in 1662 for public worship in the Church of England after the restoration of the Monarchy under King Charles II, hence it is now known as the 1662 Book of Common Prayer (BCP). …”

– Julian Mann reminds us of where that prayer came from! and what it means.

Luther’s monumental achievement

“500 years ago today, on 21 September 1522, one of the landmark moments of the Protestant Reformation took place, one that is not often celebrated as much as the posting of the 95 theses, Luther’s stand at the Diet of Worms in April 1521, or the formal ‘Protest’ submitted to the Diet of Speyer in April 1529.

On that day the first copies of Martin Luther’s German translation of the New Testament emerged from Melchior Lotther the Younger’s print shop in Wittenberg. …”

– Moore College Principal Dr Mark Thompson draws attention to a significant anniversary.

Two Ways Ministries Forum on The Necessity of the Resurrection

“In light of the National Day of Mourning next Thursday we will be holding a special Forum on The Necessity of the Resurrection.”

Phillip Jensen writes:

“You may not have been to Forums for a while or you may not be able to get to Forums on a normal Thursday evening but do join us next week, Thursday 22nd September.

The time, location and arrangements will stay the same:
7 pm till 9 pm, Marcus Loane Hall, Moore College.

If you would like to bring your own food to eat dinner beforehand, please join us in the Knox Common Room which will be open with tea and coffee from 6pm and for supper after the Forum.

I hope to see you there, as our nation mourns the death of the Queen of Australia, we consider the resurrection of the King of Heaven.”

Photos: Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney, 2006.

Loving Jesus exposes our hearts

“No matter how many times I read Luke’s Gospel, it always impacts me. This is because we meet Jesus as he meets with different people.

Although it is a little hard to choose, I think my favourite encounter is Jesus’ interaction with the woman who was a sinner from Luke 7:36-50. There is so much to unpack in this story, but let me share with you just three things that struck me. …”

– Ben George writes at The Australian Church Record.

It’s Not About You: How Biblical Theology Transforms Bible Study

Nancy Guthrie spoke at Christ College in Sydney on 18 August 2022. Her topic? – “It’s Not About You: How Biblical Theology Transforms Bible Study”.

The college has now published the video.

After introductory matters and Nancy is interviewed, her address begins at 28’34”.

A very helpful and encouraging talk and well worth your time.

She encourages us not to take our understanding of Biblical Theology for granted, or to assume an understanding of it in our churches.

Living as God’s woman in God’s world

“Some of the biggest questions you can ever ask yourself  as a human on this planet are: who am I? why am I here? what is my purpose?

We ask those questions because we are human, and we ask them as women. And how we answer them determines how we live our lives, how we see ourselves, how we relate to each other, how we treat each other, and above all, how we respond to God.

Let me begin with two affirmations:

1) that we were created for God, for God’s  glory – created to bring glory to God; and

2) that it is only as we live as God intended that we are truly free.

So the questions we need to ask ourselves are:

• what do we learn about who God is?
• what do we learn about ourselves, as humans and as women?
• what do we learn about how God wants us to live in His world? …”

– At Equal But Different, Lesley Ramsay has been posting on the theme of Living as God’s woman in God’s world –

Part 1 – Living as God’s woman in God’s world: Confusion.

Part 2 – Living as God’s woman in God’s world: Old Testament Clarity.

Part 3 – Living as God’s woman in God’s world: New Testament Clarity.

– with the promise of more to come!

She also recommends God’s Good Design 2nd Edition by Claire Smith (Matthias Media 2019).

Mark as the Backstory to the Gospel: Mark 1:1 as a Key to Mark’s Gospel

“In this article I argue that Mark 1:1, while not a purpose statement for the book, is a title and similarly helps us to correctly orientate ourselves to the Gospel. There is a growing consensus in commentaries on Mark for this reading, and I will show why there are good reasons for adopting it. I also want to explore some of the implications of understanding 1:1 this way. …”

– In the latest issue of Themelios (Vol 47, No 2), Moore College’s Peter Orr looks at what the opening of Mark’s Gospel tells us about why it was written.

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