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[sat 30.jan.10 rob] This is an amazing read. With thanks to the ACL website for this news item.
Earlier this month the Portland Monthly in Oregon, published the transcript of an interview with atheist Christopher Hitchens. He spoke with Unitarian minister Marilyn Sewell. One of them rejects Jesus, the other wants Jesus but without ‘all that stuff’ –
Sewell: “When you speak of ‘religion’ in your book God is Not Great it seems to me that you’re generally referring to the fundamentalist faith of various kinds. I’m a liberal Christian, and I don’t take the stories from the Scripture literally. I don’t believe in the doctrine of Atonement – that Jesus died for our sins, for example. Do you make any distinction between fundamentalist faith and liberal religion?”
Hitchens: “Well, only in this respect: I would say that if you don’t believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ – in other words, the Messiah – and that he rose again from the dead and that by his sacrifice our sins are forgiven, you are really not in any meaningful sense a Christian.”
The transcript on the website has been fairly heavily edited and leaves out an exchange immediately following the above.
Sewell says she believes…
“in the Jesus Story as story – as narrative – and Jesus as a person whose life is exemplary and that I want to follow, but I do not believe in all that stuff that I just outlined…”
Hitchens: “I simply have to tell you that every major Christian thinker and theologian has said that without the resurrection and without the forgiveness of sins, what I call the Vicarious Redemption, it’s meaningless. In fact, without that it isn’t even a nice story…”
– It’s worth hearing the 2 minute 30 second segment starting 9:14 into the audio (click here for the 40MB mp3).
As always, if you want to make a comment, go to our facebook group, "Tasmanian Anglicans".
Recently, the ACL website referenced Bishop John’s comments on the 'happy clappy' saga. Many thanks for your prayers ACL!
[sat 30.jan.10 rob] This quote comes from the Herald Sun. Will it mean something to Australians? How will Australians take such news?
Forget the Focus Magazine survey the newspaper is commenting on, I was more interested in the newspaper reporting of it. The response from The Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne and *a* Catholic priest was very interesting. The interesting part? Where’s Jesus? Was it the interviewer or the interviewed that dropped Jesus out of the discussion. My hunch would of course go with the newspaper.
However, this does sound like an interesting water cooler discussion at work on Monday? For those thinking of using it here it is.
[fri 29.jan.10 rob] Would you like a bit of encouragement in preparation for Sunday? Let’s think about God’s glory for a few minutes? Do you find total satisfaction when you see the glory of God? Do you see God’s glory as the goal of all existence? John Piper says in this 5 minute video:
" I'm just overwhelmed, and have been for 40 years, with the centrality in the Bible of the glory of God. It is presented to us pervasively as the goal of all existence.
So it should be pervasive, right down to whether I just took that last swig of water for the glory of God. "
About the www.DesiringGod.org website:
It is a website full of God-centred resources from the ministry of John Piper. Many of his books are available here for free and there a truckload of encouraging videos to watch.
[wed 27.jan.10 rob] Do you know anything about the strained relations between Christians and Mulsims in Jos, Nigeria? In this article on the ChristianityToday website, the Anglican Archbishop of Jos, Benjamin A. Kwashi, speaks out on last week’s deadly attacks and the media coverage that followed.
Bishop Kwashi said, "Brethren: be fully assured that our faith in Christ is intact, and shall remain so in life and in death. We have a gospel to proclaim, a gospel that brings light in darkness, hope in despair, courage in danger, and joy in sorrow. It is a gospel that brings life in all its fullness, and it is this gospel alone which can bring a lasting solution to the problems of the world and of Jos. The Lord be with you."
Click here to view Bishop Kwashi’s opinion piece.
Please continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in Jos. May the Christians in Jos continue to be faithful to their Lord Jesus Christ, remain strong and protected by the mighty power of our Heavenly Father and may the Holy Spirit allow their graciousness and love to be a fragrance that draws their enemies to Jesus.
[tue 26.jan.10 rob] On Australia Day, it’s a good thing for us to reflect upon our beautiful country and its need for the grace of Jesus... To think about our friendly neighbours and their need to know God’s glory. Jesus Christ placed his church here to be a witness to his grace and glory in bringing forgiveness, and salvation. So, if Jesus told his disciples to be missional in John 20, what does it mean for churches in Tasmania to be missional churches? Or, to use the technical jargon, what is our Missional Ecclesiology?
Dr. Gregg Allison looks at this very question in a series of posts on the Resurgence website called, "Missional Ecclesiology". Dr. Allison says,
"Missional Ecclesiology takes its cue from Jesus’ words to his disciples: “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you” (John 20:21). By this pronouncement, Jesus commissioned and launched the missional church as the community of divinely-called and divinely-sent ministers to proclaim the gospel and advance the kingdom of God."
To have a look at this series, click here. This will take you to the series introduction and an index page for Dr. Allison’s 4 posts. When you have read the posts, why not drop into our facebook page and leave a comment about the series.
If you would you like to know more about Dr. Gregg Allison, click here to read his blog.
[mon 25.jan.10 rob] I assume that if you are an Anglican you have either heard about the frontpage of our State’s major newspaper, or you have seen it for yourself. As Bishop John said in his blog yesterday, it "illustrates some of the challenges of following Jesus in today’s Tasmania."
Click here to read bishop John’s response to the article.
[mon 25.jan.10 rob] An update on all the great news from Smithton on Bishop John’s blog:
"Yesterday’s dedication of the extensions to the St Stephen’s Smithton church building was a fantastic celebration of God’s goodness and the fruition of the dreams and labour of God’s people. As I have said so often, Good facilities facilitate good ministry."
Click here to go to Bishop John’s blog and read more!
[sun 24.jan.10 rob] Do you have a 'Kids Time' in your church on Sundays? Are you trying to think of new ways to liven it up or just looking to do something new and exciting? What about music videos for the kids music?
Sounds good... but where do we find them? Try this one: "All Because Of Jesus" at worshiphousekids.com
Click here to have a look/listen.
Once you are at the site, if you like it, have a look at all the others... Here are some examples:
While I cannot speak for the theological helpfulness of all the songs on the website, personally, I found quite a few were fun to listen to while I reviewed my sermon last night.
[sat 23.jan.10 rob] The Parish of Sandy Bay and Taroona recently updated their website on this website! What could be gained by this? If you were looking for a local Anglican Church in your area, where would you look to see what was on offer? Possibly the Diocesan Anglican website?
Other reasons? I'm sure there are many more. Click here to have a look at what they have done to their 'first impression'.
[sat 23.jan.10 rob] Have you heard about The Global Conversation? There has been a lot of talk about this topic of late. Here is a 'ChristianityToday' take on the topic:
Is it possible to develop relationships that cross cultures and cross significant differences in wealth and power? Andy Crouch, executive producer for the Global Conversation video series, sat down with two men whose churches have nurtured twenty years of partnership in mission, Chapel Hill Bible Church in the United States and the Nairobi Chapel church network in Kenya. Through regular visits to one another’s communities, from short-term mission trips to long-term exchange of missionaries and interns, they have learned how difficult, and how rewarding, global partnership can be.
>>> The video: Click here to go to the video (http://vimeo.com/8040176).
For more, explore Christianity Today International’s documentary-based curriculum on short-term mission, ROUND TRIP:
[fri 22.jan.10 rob] If your parish or agency would like to assist the response to the disaster in Haiti, two Anglican Oranisations supporting the appeal are:
Click to visit their websites and find out how to give financially to their appeals.
[fri 22.jan.10 rob] Prepare Training Day...
Prepare is the powerful tool for Marriage and Relationship evaluation, education and counselling, widely used by Clergy and Counsellors in reparing engaged couples for marriage.
A training day to equip people to use Prepare will be held at St George’s Anglican Church Battery Point (30 Cromell Street, Battery Point) on Saturday February 7, 9am-4:30pm.
The cost is $250 per person whch includes:
For more information about the course, see the Prepare/Enrich website: click here. If you would like to come along to this local training day or have any queries, please contact Paul Chew.
(click on Parishes in the above menu and select St George’s Battery Point).
[fri 22.jan.10 rob] The latest release of From The Bishop’s Desk 02-10
Click here to have a look.
[fri 22.jan.10 rob] Have you seen this movie? Here is the trailer. It looks great.
It looks like a movie I think would be valuable for my youth group... if you have the chance to see it, get onto Facebook and leave a comment on the 'Tasmanian Anglicans' group. A good youth resource? ...Or another American pseudo-Christian movie?
[wed 20.jan.10 rob] A thought provoking video...
[fri 15.jan.10 rob] Did you read the last Administrative Circular from the Registrar’s Office? (Click here to have a look) Have you read the latest from +John’s 'From The Bishop’s Desk' yet? (click here to see the latest)
A highlight from both of these was the update from Circular Head: A great encouragement by way of a letter from Jenny Poke as the Parish get excited about the January 23 opening of new facilities at St Stephen’s Smithton. I think it is a great encouragement for every church trusting God and pushing their own boundaries with exciting and challenging new ministries. Jenny writes:
“Far from being a small sleepy town in a parish in decline and devoid of young people, Circular Head Parish, it seems, is thriving. The introduction of a contemporary worship team a few years ago, has seen the whole parish flourish, with young children, adults and elderly all joining in worship together. The Circular Head parish caters for all ages. Two contemporary services are held each month which caters for families. These are Bop with God and ½ Eleven. Regular Holy Communion and Morning Prayer services are also held throughout the Parish. Two years ago it was decided that our buildings at Smithton needed renovation to support the new ministry programs. This included a large dining room, kitchen and toilets at the rear of the church, and an office and another large room downstairs to cater for our youth group activities.
A special service to open this project is planned for Saturday 23 January 2010, commencing at 11am and followed by lunch. A warm welcome is extended to join in with us at Smithton on this special day. For further enquiries please call Jenny Poke 0419 501 626 or Graham Crole 6452 1183.
It is exciting to see God’s amazing work, as such a wide range of people accept and help each of our diverse ministries work in Circular Head.”
So exciting! So encouraging!
This great news might lead you to do one of two things (or possibly both):
1. Get on your knees and thank God for his great delivery of providence upon his people in Circular Head Parish, and for the faith and trust that He has built up in His family there.
2. Pray that God will do this in your Parish... wherever you are... For the sake of the Gospel and for the glory of God.
Indeed, we have a wonderful God!
[fri 15.jan.10 rob] Out on Wednesday was the first 'From The Bishop’s Desk' for 2010. Click here to read it now!
[thu 14.jan.10 rob] CMS SummerView began at Port Sorell this evening in grand fashion with wonderful singing/worship and a great exhortation from Rev'd John Tongue to be enthusiastic for Jesus (from 'entheos' in 2 Corinthians). There was an interview with our special guest speaker Peter Adam (who you may know as the Principal of Ridley College in Melbourne), and another interview with the new State Director of CMS, David Boyd and his wife Prue. It’s been a great evening and we look forward to a wonderful extended weekend with great teaching and encouraging fellowship.
Please pray for CMS SummerView. Please pray for our Christian brothers and sisters meeting around God’s Word. Please pray for Peter Adam as he brings the Word of God to the gathering. Please pray for those who will be listening that their ears may hear and be challenged by the Word of God. You might like to consider going along by yourself (or with a family) next year!
[thu 14.jan.10 rob] A message from our friends at Tabor College. They will be holding an information day:
next Wednesday 20th January 2010 at 45 Melville Street, Hobart from 10am – 6pm.
Please come along anytime during the day if you are interested in finding out more information, or would like to enrol in any of the great courses Tabor Tasmania has on offer for 2010. On campus study available in Hobart and Launceston, distance study also available. For more details call 6231 5889 or visit www.tabor.tas.edu.au.
[mon 11.jan.10 rob] I was reading Bishop John’s blog today and found this post about great things happening in Hobart...
"From the St George’s Battery Point newsletter Sunday 10 January 2010 for your prayer and encouragement:
Welcome. A special welcome this morning to the representatives of the parish of Southern Midlands without whom we would not have the opportunity to employ the Revd Luke Isham and benefit from his ministry, or their partnership in outreach to rural Tasmania."
A new Anglican ministry venture between St.George’s Battery Point and the Southern Midlands network. Click here to go to Bishop John’s blog and read more about this exciting new venture. And praise God for the wonderful things He is doing in our state of Tasmania! May the name of Jesus be proclaimed all the more loudly.
Click here to go to the St.George’s Battery Point website to see more of what they are doing in their local area as well as in rural Tasmania.
[sun 10.jan.10 rob] Our friend David Roger-Smith has been at it again, with another update to our Diocesan Preaching Page.
This time: Planning a preaching series: Preaching through the lectionary or through the bible? The article looks at how preachers should go about planning a preaching series and the things they should consider in the process.
This is the third article to be updated in our Diocesan preaching series. Click on one of the following articles - all recently updated - from our Diocesan Preaching Page to view them:
For the Diocesan Preaching Page, with all the articles in one place (including those not yet updated), click here.
[sun 10.jan.10 rob] Hot off the presses from my Bishop’s blog: A bus with athiest advertising on its side is here in Hobart. It may surprise you to know that our Bishop is on the side of the Athiest this time... Really?
Click here and read what he has to say for yourself!
[fri 08.jan.10 rob] Did you like yesterday’s post on intercessory p