We have a problem with Truth

Posted on April 16, 2024 
Filed under Resources

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“We are moving into a post – post-modern world  But what does that look like and mean for truth – and us as pastors – as we attempt to communicate with our churches?

Our church members have unconsciously adopted some of the presuppositions of our society in the way we process texts and information.

We are living in a fake news world on social media with a parallel loss of confidence in institutions and authorities. …”

Dominic Steele speaks with Moore College Lecturer (and ACL Council member) Lionel Windsor.

Lionel has recently published Truth be Told to help us ‘in the task of sharing the truth of the gospel with confidence and conviction’.

Time to remove Canterbury as the guardian of the entrance door to the Anglican Communion?

Posted on April 16, 2024 
Filed under Anglican Communion, GAFCON, Global South

From Church Society:

Canterbury and the Future of the Anglican Communion

Two crucial Anglican gatherings take place in the next few weeks. First in Rome (29 April to 2 May), a gathering of the Anglican Primates, called together by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Soon afterwards, in Cairo (11 to 15 June), a gathering of the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches, for their inaugural assembly. High on the agenda at both meetings will be the future structures of the Anglican Communion. But twelve Primates from the Global South Fellowship have already publicly rejected the current Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, as leader of the Communion. It remains to be seen whether any of these twelve will be present in Rome. Several younger Anglican provinces, like Chile (founded in 2018) and Alexandria (founded in 2020), have begun the process of deleting Canterbury from their constitutions. Other Global South provinces will soon follow suit.

Yet in our Anglican polity, to be “in communion with the See of Canterbury” is often viewed as an essential part of Anglican identity. For example, in the controversy over the failed “Anglican Covenant” proposals, the Church Times declared: “Communion with the see of Canterbury has always been the defining feature of what it means to be an Anglican”. Likewise, Paul Avis asserts in his popular textbook, The Identity of Anglicanism: Essentials of Anglican Ecclesiology (2008): “The litmus-test of membership of the Anglican Communion is to be in communion with the See of Canterbury.” Avis goes so far as to call it “the ultimate criterion”.

Almost a century ago, the 1930 Lambeth Conference include the phrase, “in communion with the See of Canterbury”, as part of its famous description of the Anglican Communion (Resolution 49). This idea has cascaded down the generations and still holds sway in the 2020s. But its origins and contested meaning are interrogated in a new article in the Spring 2024 edition of The Global Anglican, written by Andrew Atherstone, an Oxford historian and member of the Anglican Consultative Council (one of the four so-called “instruments of Communion”). He argues that our Anglican textbooks should be re-written, and that the time has come for Canterbury to be removed as the guardian of the entrance door to the Anglican Communion.

Church Society has made Andrew Atherstone’s article available for free download as a PDF file. Well worth reading and pondering.

(Emphasis added.)

Prayer for Bondi

Posted on April 15, 2024 
Filed under Sydney Diocese

“A service of solemn prayer for those affected by the tragedy at Bondi Junction will be held at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney on Tuesday, April 16 at 6pm.

The Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC, will attend. …”

— Read more at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Religious Freedom and the NSW Conversion Practices Ban Act 2024

Posted on April 14, 2024 
Filed under NSW, Resources

Associate Professor Neil Foster writes at Law and Religion Australia:

“I have prepared a paper exploring the operation of the NSW Conversion Practices Ban Act 2024 in relation to the freedom of churches and other religious groups to continue to provide teaching and guidance based on the tenets of their faith. The Act has received assent but will not commence operation until 3 April 2025.

Overall, the Act contains much better protections for religious freedom and the welfare of vulnerable children and young people than similar legislation elsewhere. But there are some areas where it is not clear, and it will require careful consideration by religious groups, as well those interested in so-called ‘gender transition’ issues even from a non-religious background.”

Download his paper here.

Sorry, but Christianity must be more than just cultural

Posted on April 14, 2024 
Filed under Culture wars, Opinion


“In 2007, the four men who came to be recognised as the leaders of New Atheism – Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens – met at Hitchens’s apartment in Washington DC to affirm their alliance and explore together the nature of their respective anti-theisms.

Hitchens, ever the contrarian, voiced two heretical views at the meeting: first, that as religion is so deeply engrained in humans due to their evolutionary trajectory, it is unlikely that it will disappear; two, that it is undesirable that religion should disappear since arguing with religious people sharpens sceptics’ polemical skills. Hitchens later stated to Doug Wilson, his debating partner on the ‘God is not Great’ book tour, that for the rest of his life he would never forget the look of hostile incredulity on Dawkins’s face when he said those two things. …”

– At The Conservative Woman, Peter Harris points out that “it is not enough to defend those Christian-based moral values … by calling ourselves cultural Christians”.

Image from Dawkins’ LBC interview two weeks ago.

A prayer for victims of violence

Posted on April 13, 2024 
Filed under Sydney Diocese

After this afternoon’s tragic and distressing scenes at Bondi, Archbishop Kanishka Raffel has published this prayer at SydneyAnglicans.net.

It’s a prayer you may choose to use yourself – and it would be appropriate to use in church tomorrow.

The post also notes:

Praying for the victims and their families at Bondi Church, Sunday April 14th, 2024.

New book from David Mansfield — About Love

Posted on April 13, 2024 
Filed under Resources

“If you want to learn from Jesus’ most sustained and intimate teaching to his disciples, read this book.

Dave Mansfield wrote About Life (2001) on the first half of John’s Gospel (1-12).

The long-awaited sequel covers the second half of this magnificent book (13-21). …”

– At SydneyAnglicans.net, Andrew Barry commends About Love by Dave Mansfield .

Copies are available from The Wandering Bookseller.

Scotland’s Destiny and the Rewriting of History

Posted on April 12, 2024 
Filed under Culture wars, Scotland

“Orwell’s 1984 is more and more sounding like a handbook for Western ‘progressive’ society in the UK.

As a small example of this, take the re-opening last week of the £27 million refurbished museum in Perth, Scotland.

A friend of mine went along and was somewhat shocked to find the following. …”

David Robertson highlights an example of the re-writing of history in Scotland.

The article was first published in Christian Today.

How not to get flustered in evangelistic conversations

Posted on April 11, 2024 
Filed under Encouragement, Evangelism, Resources

“My first job in Christian ministry was in the chaplaincy department of a private school in suburban Sydney. After the best part of a decade as an infantry officer in the Army my hope was that, in comparison, talking to teenagers about Jesus would be pretty easy.

It took me about 15 minutes to work out that, rather than this being a walk in the park, it was closer to a limp through the valley of the shadow of death. …”

— Encouragement from Dave Jensen – at SydneyAnglicans.net.

“The Lord who gives the vision gives the provision.”

Posted on April 11, 2024 
Filed under GAFCON

A new Global Anglican Podcast from GAFCON:

“In this second interview, Archbishop Miguel Uchoa speaks about the boldness required to put the gospel mission first when church planting. His vision for Brazil is to see no less than everybody reached by the ministry of Christ, and doing so requires church leaders to reject a spirit of maintenance as they seek after the lost.

Anglicans can become a cultural conquerors when our compassion for the world consumes more of our time than merely combating heresy. Archbishop Uchoa urges us to ‘send the best’ leaders among us to plant new churches, trusting that God will multiply his people.”

Listen here.

Explainer: NSW Conversion Practices Ban

Posted on April 10, 2024 
Filed under NSW, Sydney Diocese

Anglican Media Sydney has published a helpful explanatory post on the newly passed NSW “Conversion Practices Ban Act”.

See it out for an outline of what the law means, and how church leaders have responded.

Responses to a new book about the recent history of the Diocese of Armidale

Posted on April 9, 2024 
Filed under Australian dioceses, History

Today saw the launch of a new book – Darkness: The Conversion of Anglican Armidale, 1960-2019 by Thomas A. Fudge, Professor of History at the University of New England.

You can get a feel for the likely tone of the book from a report by John Sandeman in July 2023 (link via our website). And the University of New England website has an interview with Professor Fudge.

Today the Diocese of Armdale has published two responses to the new book –

One by Bishop of Armidale Rod Chiswell

“‘Darkness – the conversion of Anglican Armidale 1960-2019’ is a book that seeks to bring to light hitherto unheard voices responding to the transition of the Anglican Diocese of Armidale from a middle church diocese to a lower church evangelical diocese. …”

However Bishop Chiswell challenges two of Professor Fudge’s key presuppositions as well as his conclusions.

The other is a Review of the book by Dr. Mark Earngey, Head of Church History and Lecturer in Christian Thought at Moore College –

“Professor Fudge has produced a weighty tome on some of the recent history of the Anglican diocese of Armidale. … While conversion is normally associated with light (e.g. 1 Peter 2:9: ‘that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light’), Fudge interprets the growth of evangelical Anglicanism in the Armidale diocese in terms of darkness.”

In his Review, Dr Earngey provides very helpful historical and theological perspective.

Read both responses at the Diocese of Armidale website.

The Heavens Declare

Posted on April 9, 2024 
Filed under Theology

Overnight (Monday night, Australian time), millions of people across North America will have witnessed a total eclipse of the Sun.

Such events are a reminder to us of far greater realities:

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”Psalm 19:1.


“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”Psalm 8.

Photo: This total solar eclipse was viewed across south-eastern Australia on 23 October 1976.

6 Months Later, Israeli Pastor Says, ‘I’m Commanded to Love My Enemies’

Posted on April 8, 2024 
Filed under People

“Former Israeli army officer and Reformed pastor David Zadok will never forget the call from his wife.

She rang him early in the morning of October 7, just an hour or two after his overnight flight from his home in Israel landed in Finland. …”

– The Gospel Coalition (US) speaks with Israeli Pastor David Zadok.

Navigating new laws on Conversion Practices: A Pastoral Approach to Compassion and Legal Compliance

Posted on April 8, 2024 
Filed under NSW

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“What is permissible and not permissible under new conversion practice laws in New South Wales – with Neil Foster, Matt Aroney and Michael Stead.

Sydney Anglican Bishop Michael Stead, who chairs Freedom for Faith and Living Faith, describes the new laws as the least worst that he has seen in Australia.

Associate Professor of Law at Newcastle University and author of the Law and Religion blog Neil Foster says the law is unnecessary, but better than has been implemented in other parts of Australia.

Professor Foster supports moves to ban oppressive or violent practices that are designed to change someone’s sexual attraction or impair gender identity. However, Professor Foster says the laws (which have a criminal and civil component) can go beyond those bad things to areas where a minister is explaining the teaching of the Bible and wanting to help people to live in accordance with the bible.

Acting Minister of Watsons Bay Matt Aroney says he doesn’t think the new laws will impact his pastoral practice. Matt wants to turn down the anxiety levels. He encourages to choose thoughtfully to respond to the people in front of us with the love and compassion that Jesus has.

Matt applies the principles of his new book ‘Renovated: How God makes us Christlike’ to caring well for those Christians experiencing same sex attraction or gender incongruence.”

An important topic for ministers and churches to understand.

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