Wednesday, November 30, 2011

7 statistics about Australians and Christian beliefs

A quick overview of belief in Australia (not much has changed). 7 statistics about Australians and Christian beliefs | Communicate Jesus:
Interestingly (and contrary to media reporting), these beliefs haven’t changed in 50 years.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Advent Guide

Chandlers church has put together an advent guide for families: Advent Guide (pdf):
The Advent season officially commences on the fourth Sunday (Advent Sunday) before Christmas and continues until Christmas Eve or Day. Various theological traditions celebrate the season through an array of customs.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Bad Theology = Bad Marriage

Does God love us regardless of what we do, so our spouse should as well? Bad Theology = Bad Marriage:
I’m afraid a lot of people are going to be in for a shock. Listen, I’m not being judgmental, I’m just telling you the truth. Your marriage reflects your theology and your faith. If you can’t live it at home, you can’t live it. If your relationship is suffering, if it stinks, check your thinking. It may be more about your bad theology than your bad marriage.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Don't Be Like Candace with Your Spiritual Gifts

A good article on spiritual gifts. A while back I did the 3 colours of ministry book and the below quote sums up my issues with things like that: Don't Be Like Candace with Your Spiritual Gifts | 9Marks:
Many churches have used spiritual gift tests to help members discern their gifts. Such tests are not necessarily wrong, but they are a bit like the answers at the back of the math book. They might give you the right answer, but using them to avoid working out the solution misses the point of the exercise.

Also, such tests can work like self-fulfilling prophecies. We answer questions according to how we like to view ourselves, not as we really are.

What part of “nothing” don’t you understand?

Edward Feser responding to a Science article about the start of the universe: Edward Feser: What part of “nothing” don’t you understand?:
So what’s the point of all this ado about nothing? You know what the point is: To try to show that physics alone can explain the existence of the universe. Hence the key line of the piece: “Perhaps the big bang was just nothingness doing what comes naturally.” But read in a straightforward way, this is just nonsense, for reasons of the sort already given: If this so-called “nothingness” has a “nature” and “does” things, then it isn’t really “nothingness” at all that we’re talking about. And of course, the article and the physicists it quotes don’t really mean “nothingness” in a straightforward way in the first place.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Christian Scholarship in the Secular Academy

Should you study theology in the world, or apart from the world? Christian Scholarship in the Secular Academy – The Gospel Coalition Blog:
Richard Lints believes it is absolutely vital that evangelical scholars study in the secular academy. Lints, who teaches at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, earned degrees at the University of Notre Dame and then the University of Chicago. He points out in this discussion with fellow theologian Michael Horton that many of the so-called new evangelicals leaders who emerged after the Second World War studied at such prestigious schools as Harvard and Princeton. The continued marginalization of evangelical scholarship in the decades since then illustrates the high cost of avoiding these culture gatekeepers.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

An Evaluation Of The 2011 Edition Of The New International Version

Quite a good article on the NIV11, it focuses on the controversial changes as well as the update to the English language: Themelios | Article: An Evaluation Of The 2011 Edition Of The New International Version - The Gospel Coalition:
Is the NIV11 a viable, usable translation in conservative churches? In order to decide that, we should first ask on what bases such a question should be evaluated.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Read Romans

83 tweets on Romans by John Dickson. These were quite helpful: Read Romans | Library | Centre for Public Christianity:
A section-by-section explanation of Paul’s letter to the Romans via Twitter (by John Dickson, Centre for Public Christianity, Oct 2011)

Rick Lewers elected Bishop of Armidale

Before we went to Engadine Rick was rector of my current church (before I attended): Rick Lewers elected Bishop of Armidale : Anglican Church League, Sydney, Australia:
Rick Lewers, currently Rector of Engadine, and well-known to many in Sydney, has been elected as Bishop of Armidale at this weekend’s Armidale election synod in Moree.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Woman's Body and Fatherlessness

Motherlessness, the fierce suppression of the mothering instinct, is the immediate cause of an abortion. But that motherlessness is, in its own turn, a function of fatherlessness. This all happens because fathers have believed the lie that it is possible for them to opt out of the creation mandate. That mandate is assigned to every man who is ever given the tremendous privilege of making love to a woman. First the pleasure, then the provision and protection. The privilege of planting seed in a garden brings the necessary responsibility of tending that garden.

A Woman's Body and Fatherlessness

Medicinal Abstractions Don't Heal Anyone

"Two inches of snow on a dung heap can look pretty nice, but it doesn't address the deeper problem. So if we sinful men go left, we sin on the left. If we go right, we sin on the right. If we become atheists, we sin there. If we become Jehovah's Witnesses, we sin there there. Wherever we go, there we are. The generic category of 'religion' cannot help us in this anymore than the abstract concept of 'medicine' can help us when we are sick. We need actual medicine, not the idea of medicine. And this is why we need Christ, not religion" (Letter From a Christian Citizen, p. 104).

Friday, November 11, 2011

True Christian manliness? CVM & The Code

This sounds like an interesting book to read: True Christian manliness? CVM & The Code « Shored Fragments:
I’ve read Driscoll, Grudem, Piper, Mohler, and the rest on the subject because I’ve had to; I find them unhelpful and unedifying; there have been moments when my gut reaction to a particularly poorly expressed thought has been a sudden irrational desire to embrace my feminine side...

I say all this because I want here to praise a book on Christian masculinity, and it is appropriate context to indicate that this does not come naturally to me. Carl Beech, Andy Drake, and Ian Manifold are all leaders within Christian Vision for Men (CVM), and a year or so ago they published a little book called The Code: It’s time for a new kind of man.

Bible Translation Debate

This looks interesting with translators from the ESV, NIV and HCSB defending their methods: School of Religion | Biblical Studies Symposium | Liberty University:
"Which Bible Translation Should I Use?"
With Dr. Doug Moo, Dr. Wayne Grudem, and Dr. Ray Clendenen"

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Seriously Religitudinous

"For Christians, this is beside the point. We don't believe religion is the answer. We believe Christ is the answer. When you combine religion with sinners, what you get is religious sin. And when you combine serious religion with sinners, what you get is serious religious sin. All this does is confirm one of the basic tenets of the Christian faith, which is that the human race is all screwed up" (Letter From a Christian Citizen, p. 94).
- Wilson, Seriously Religitudinous

William Taylor on new atheists

A 6 min clip from a sermon by William Taylor on the new atheists: St Helen's Bishopsgate - Resources - Blog:
William Taylor, Rector of St Helen's Bishopsgate, recently addressed the ‘new atheists’ in our ‘Hidden Opportunity – Certain Return’ series from Luke 17-18 on Tuesday Lunctimes. His sermon challenges the ‘new atheists’ to be credible scientists that take into account all the evidence and encourages the Christian to be confident of Jesus’ miraculous powers as a foretaste of the perfect kingdom to come.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The ESV Translation Committee Debates the Translation of “Slave”

This was quite a good video and showed both sides of the debate. Based of their arguments maybe the ESV should be called another American translation, not an "English" one...: The ESV Translation Committee Debates the Translation of “Slave” – Justin Taylor:
Speaking in the video are C. John Collins (Covenant Theological Seminary), Peter Williams (Tyndale House, Cambridge), Gordon Wenham (Trinity College, Bristol), Paul House (Beeson Divinity School), Wayne Grudem (Phoenix Seminary), and Lane Dennis (Crossway Books & Bibles).

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Women and the Monarchy

When tradition clashes with the modern world: Women and the Monarchy | Jesus Creed:
Of course, there’s no rhyme or reason why Prince William’s younger son should succeed to the Throne before his older daughter, but neither is there any rational explanation to the solemn anointment by oil, a ceremony that can be traced back to Biblical times. To attempt to apply our generational chauvinism to customs and traditions that go back centuries, on the grounds of what we consider “fair,” is a mark of our ludicrous pretentions to omniscience. Anyhow, why should the elder daughter succeed before the younger son: isn’t that age discrimination? Shouldn’t all Britons decide which of them will be God’s anointed by a secret ballot?

SBC and Calvinism

A Southern Baptist Church affirms the doctrine of election and grace and so isn't allowed to be part of the Kentucky Baptist Association: SBC and Calvinism | Jesus Creed:
“Our concern in the initial stages of our investigation revolved around the fact that Pleasant Valley Community Church’s confessional statement is one that (is) Calvinistic in nature,” the newspaper quoted from a recommendation by the association’s credentials committee. “It affirms the doctrine of election and grace.”

liberalism and gambling reform

A nice post from a friend of mine on the new gambling reforms in Australia: liberalism and gambling reform | The Box Pop:
One of the best things about Christianity is that it invites us to see the world differently to modern liberalism. Christians, at their best, are meant to be the exact opposite of rank-individualists. Not communists, but communitarians. Because our God is Triune, a complex three-in-one, he is anything but concerned for his own liberty.

The Elephant in the Elephant Room

Some strong statements about a past conference which next one has already caused a stir: The Elephant in the Elephant Room:
That Elephant Room session was full of swagger and bravado, the epitome of hipster coolness. But the biggest elephant in the room on that day was the failure to fear God, the failure to speak with conviction when His Word is so clear.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

US Diocese asked to rehabilitate Pelagius

Wow, another indicator that the Anglican church is forgetting its historic roots: US Diocese asked to rehabilitate Pelagius: The Church of England Newspaper, Oct 28, 2011 p 7. « Conger:
Delegates to the diocesan convention will be asked to reverse the condemnation of the Council of Carthage upon Pelagius, and to explore whether the Fifth century heretic may inform the theology of the Episcopal Church.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Family Radio Founder Harold Camping Repents, Apologizes for False Teachings

Good on him: Family Radio Founder Harold Camping Repents, Apologizes for False Teachings, Christian News:
With his speech sounding somewhat slurred and labored, Family Radio Stations Inc. founder and chairman Harold Camping sought to address in a recent message why Christ failed to return on Oct. 21 as the Bible teacher had predicted. Camping confessed, after decades of falsely misleading his followers, that he was wrong and regrets his misdeeds.