Silver and Gold have I None

“Those who know the Scriptures – or Scripture in Song – will recognise the heading as coming from Peter’s words to the lame man who had been lying by the Beautiful Gate, as part of the temple in Jerusalem (Acts 3:6). Not possessing any money, the apostle could not help him in the way the lame man was hoping for, but, being an apostle, Paul was used to perform a Messianic miracle whereby the man was sent on his way, walking and leaping and praising God. The episode is certainly a reminder that the New Testament Church was not driven by finances and high-powered administration…”

– Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, Dr. Peter Barnes, writes this pastoral letter responding to the financial challenges facing the Presbyterian Church of Queensland.

The Way Forward for the Southern Baptist Convention

“Southern Baptists will soon be gathering in Nashville, and the one big question looming over the Convention will be this — how do we move forward?

This meeting comes as several issues have been building in intensity for years, while others have erupted more recently. Some of the intensity is because the issues are genuinely important. But the fact is that many Southern Baptists left the Convention meeting in Birmingham in 2019 with real concerns about the future. …”

– Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, explain why he has allowed himself to be nominated for the position of President of the Southern Baptist Convention.

He lays out the steps he would plan to take if elected.

How to reach Australia + The Queensland Presbyterian crisis

On the latest edition of The Pastor’s Heart, Dominic Steele speaks with Queensland Theological College Principal Gary Millar at the Reach Australia conference on the NSW Central Coast.

As well as sharing from his keynote addresses on Holiness and Hope, Gary is asked about the problems facing Queensland Presbyterians and the College he leads.

Watch or listen here.

Presbyterian Church of Queensland goes into receivership

“The Presbyterian Church of Queensland has gone into receivership, raising questions about the long-term fate of its aged-care facilities, schools and other operations.

PwC Australia intends to continue all operations while it carries out a sweeping review of the church’s activities and financial position.…”

– Unwelcome news via The West Australian – and a matter for much prayer.

See also this PCQ Media Statement which gives some of the background, and a Letter to Congregation Members from the Clerk of Assembly.

‘We’ve failed the Great Commission and lost the Gospel’

On this week’s episode of The Pastor’s Heart,

“A prophetic word from the most senior evangelical leader in Australia’s Uniting Church, Stu Cameron.

Stu has published two short essays over the last week, the first diagnoses the problems in his denomination, saying: We’ve failed the great commission; Stifled entrepreneurial leadership; and most significantly, Have lost confidence in the gospel.

The second essay suggests a five fold solution: 1. Confess, Repent, Pray; 2. Obsess about Disciple-Making; 3. Release Property Joyfully; 4. Learn Humbly; and 5. Blow it all Up.

Stu Cameron is the new senior pastor of the influential Wesley Central Mission in Sydney…”

Watch or listen at here.

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.

Release From a COVID Christmas

“The pre-covid, covid, and post-covid worlds have striking similarities: we are imprisoned in a world of sin, pain, and death …”

– Dr Peter Barnes, Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, shares his 20200Christmas message.

People and the Reformation

“October 31 is remembered in some places, not as a wretched Halloween Day, as the date when, in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses in Latin to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg in Saxony. In doing so, he unwittingly, to some degree at least, triggered off the Protestant Reformation. …”

– The Rev. Dr Peter Barnes, Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, writes for Reformation Day, this coming weekend.

Knowing our Limitations

If anyone is looking for suitable reading in lockdown – or in wild freedom, for that matter – Blaise Pascal’s Penséesis indeed food for the soul and for the intellect.

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) was a distinguished French scientist who sought to write an apologetic for the Christian faith, but death took him before the work could be completed. No matter, for Pascal’s work in its unfinished state outdoes other writers whose works are finished and neatly revised. Pascal was especially incisive when it comes to exposing the human condition. …”

– Presbyterian Moderator-General, Dr. Peter Barnes, on the understanding we need at this time.

The Pulse: April 2020

The April 2020 edition of The Pulse, the magazine of the Presbyterian Church of Australia in NSW, is now online.

Resources and encouragement from our Presbyterian friends.

Albert Mohler says he will accept nomination as Southern Baptist Convention President

“All my life, I have sought to serve whenever asked by my denomination, and I would hope, if elected, to serve in a way that would unite Southern Baptists, strengthen our work together, add energy to our evangelism, and keep our hearts set on taking the gospel to the nations.”

– Report from Baptist Press.

Wesley Mission to begin search for new Superintendent

“CEO and Superintendent of Wesley Mission, the Rev Keith V Garner AM… has announced that he will retire from this role in February 2021. … Mr Garner holds both the senior executive role and Superintendent of the huge diverse, multicultural Christian ministry.”

– News from Wesley Mission in Sydney.

What Should a Church Look Like?

“The apostle Jude said that he was very eager to write on one subject – our common salvation – when he found it necessary to write against who were assailing the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). In his case, it was a matter of divine inspiration; in my case, it might look more like temptation. Nevertheless, it will be good for us to look later at what we are meant to look like as a church.

My diversion came with news from Union Theological Seminary in New York, which was established in 1836 by Presbyterians. …”

Dr Peter Barnes writes as the new Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia.h

Related:

Flower Power? – Carl Trueman

“Liberal theology may well be rooted in highly sophisticated theories and articulated by extremely intelligent people, but it tends to result in liturgical practices that are at best banal and at worst childish. Talking to plants is a fine candidate for the latter category.”

We harvest what we sow – Murray Campbell

“There is plenty of mockery being aimed at Union Seminary today. Some of it makes you laugh, for if we didn’t, one would likely weep. The absurdity of the original message is being matched by the Seminary today as they double down and attempt to explain why praying to your indoor garden is a great idea…”

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