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Bishop John - church 1 (small)

From the Bishop

Click here to catch up on
Bishop John's blog. Here are some recent posts...

  • Eastern Church History Conference – Hobart
  • Anglican Media Release: Poker Machine Reform
  • Bishop’s message of peace
  • A Beautiful Letter
  • E100 Challenge: My Bible reading

From the Bishop's Desk is the bishop's regular email newsletter. Click here to see his recent newsletters or to join the mail list.

Bishop John's recent publications, Addresses, letters, reflections, messages: click here.

Bible Study & Preaching Material

Stressed out with no time to write bible studies? Try our Lectionary-based study outlines for home and church-based study groups and personal study; will also help preachers. To have a look, click here.

The Bible

Preaching Resources

This resource is provided to help guide, encourage and resource the preachers in our diocese, be they new or experienced. It's new and evolving, so we recommend that you drop in from time to time.

A PRAYER FOR transformingLIFE

Transforming God,
as we meet together
fill us with your wisdom.
Give us the capacity
to work boldly
and with humility,
embracing the challenge of mission.

Use us to bring transforming life
to our Christian communities and
all Tasmanians

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Download the transformingLIFE document

Will the Imagine Project change your life?

CMS: This study is a gift

CMS Australia logo

While Andrew & Pam Lake visited over 24 parishes in the Diocese before heading to the posting in Damascus, Andrew had been busy on another project. He has released this short book called Christian Mission for Tasmanians. This is a very personal approach from Andrew on this important topic of Mission written for the Missionary Diocese of Tasmania. Andrew says of the book,

"My hope and prayer is that this study will help put mission front and centre of the church's agenda. I make no claim to infallibility and will have achieved my aim if this has helped start some fruitful conversations about mission."

We offer our thanks to Andrew, having served in the Diocese as an Archdeacon and Mission Support Officer. But now we offer our thanks for this impressive gift to the church in Tasmania.

Of particular interest to you, dear reader, is the freely available nature of this book. In fact, you can click here to read it right now. So is it free? Andrew explains in his Forward:

"This study is a gift to the Tasmanian church. It is freely available on the diocesan website but I invite you when you use it for personal or group study to make a donation of $10 per person to the Church Missionary Society of Tasmania."


Archive of Home Page: 2011 December

Bible Reading Plans for 2012...

The Bible
[sat 31.dec.2011 rob] Tomorrow is the New Year. You may have thought about giving up smoking, doing more exercise, reading that book you always wanted to read, even going to the theatre more.

But what about regularly reading your bible with an aim to reading all of it? For some of us, we are doing quite OK, thank you! For others of us, we may find our current model is getting a little 'old' and needs a refresh.

Here is an article by Justine Taylor at The Gospel Coalition which looks at various ways we can read through the bible. He begins:

The Gospel Coalition
There are lots of ways to read the Bible in a year, and I won’t try to capture all of them. But here are numerous options, in no particular order. You may want to look through it and see what you think would work best for you.

Click here to read the article.

Do you use a plan for reading through the whole bible? What method do you use? Please take a moment to encourage others by leaving your comments on our Facebook page... (or click here)

Bible Reading Plans for 2012... Encouragement

The Bible
[sat 31.dec.2011 rob] Do you need encouragement to read through the bible?

The ESV website has automated bible reading plans using RSS, iCal, Mobile Phone, Email and even a printable version. More than that, it offers many ways of reading through the bible:

You can select any of these to be sent to you with the RSS, iCal, Mobile Phone, Email or print options:

Chronological (Through the Bible chronologically (from Back to the Bible)
Daily Light on the Daily Path (the ESV version of Samuel Bagster’s classic)
Daily Office Lectionary (Daily Psalms, Old Testament, New Testament, and Gospels)
Daily Reading Bible (Daily Old Testament, New Testament, and Psalms)
ESV Study Bible (Daily Psalms or Wisdom Literature; Pentateuch or the History of Israel; Chronicles or Prophets; and Gospels or Epistles)
Every Day in the Word (Daily Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, Proverbs)
Literary Study Bible (Daily Psalms or Wisdom Literature; Pentateuch or the History of Israel; Chronicles or Prophets; and Gospels or Epistles)
M’Cheyne One-Year Reading Plan (Daily Old Testament, New Testament, and Psalms or Gospels)
Outreach (Daily Old Testament, Psalms, and New Testament)
Outreach New Testament (Daily New Testament. Read through the New Testament in 6 months)
Through the Bible in a Year (Daily Old and New Testament)
Truth Bible Memory Plan (Memorize a new verse from the ESV Bible every week, with daily reminders)

Click here to visit the ESV website.

What do I use? I use the old method of M'Cheyne (a Scottish minister from 1835 to 1843). This was more recently taken up by D.A.Carson who published 'For the Love of God' as a daily devotional book. He now has a blog called 'For the Love of God', which is a great blessing for those who use the internet: you can find it by clicking here - for free every day!

Do you use a plan for reading through the whole bible? What method do you use? Please take a moment to encourage others by leaving your comments on our Facebook page... (or click here)

Some recommendations for Christian Books from 2011

The Gospel Coalition
[sat 31.dec.2011 rob] Here are some recommendations for Christian Books released in 2011, by staff writers at The Gospel Coalition website.

Click here to read the article.


Inspirational People website - Jesus All ABout Life (JAAL)
[fri 30.dec.2011 rob]

Salvation is God's way of making us real people.
Augustine of Hippo

Old Stuff #1: "He Saved Us"

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[fri 30.dec.2011 rob] As we close in on the New Year's Eve, an old post to share with you.

This is from 2009, and was posted on the Pyromaniacs website. A great reflection on our walk with Jesus, and the power of God

Let's face it: everyone is not an apologist, and not everyone ought to be an apologist. It takes an interesting and spiritually-mature mix of mental acuity and personal charisma to be an effective and winning apologist. It is not just an exercise in dogmatics or legal or philosophical wrangling.

For the rest of us, the job is to proclaim the Gospel and live like it is true, not to protect the Gospel as if it was in danger of extinction. You know: God saved us -- and for most of us, we should see that God saved us not because of works done by us in righteousness. We got saved when our plight was hopeless -- by the Gospel. By this God according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, we were saved.

He doesn't need saving; he's not in trouble. We're the ones in trouble -- us, and all men like us. And that would be "all men ever born" for those of you who aren't clear about that.

He saved us, and he doesn't need us to return the favor. What he requires is that we behave like people who know what we have, and how we got it, and to treat it like it's the solution to the problem and not like it has problems that we need to provide solutions for. We are the ones who get saved. We are not the ones who ought to be coming to the rescue of the Gospel.

Click here to read Frank Turk's whole post on the Pyromaniacs website.

The Queen's Christmas Broadcast 2011

[tue 27.dec.2011 rob] The Queen's Christmas message speaks of the value of Christian faith.

God sent "a saviour with the power to forgive", the Queen said. She continued saying, "it is in forgiveness that we find God's love".

The Queen's speech is a great encouragement to our world.

  • Click here to watch Bishop John's 2011 Christmas video.
  • Click here to read Bishop John's 2011 Christmas message.
  • Click here to read Bishop John's 2011 Christmas sermon.
  • Click here to read Bishop John's 2010 Christmas sermon.

The Bishop's Christmas Sermon

[mon 26.dec.2011 rob] Bishop John has posted his Christmas sermon, 'My Grandmother's Centenary Heritage', on his blog. It begins:

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
My Christmas Eve sermon this year began with a story about my grandmother’s heritage. Just two weeks ago something happened that helped me to see my grandmother more clearly. I found an old book that I did not recall seeing before. It was this book, Come Ye Apart, a daily devotional reading with Bible verse and reflection. I opened the cover and found these words: "1st PRIZE FOR MEMORIZING THE 6th Chapter of John’s gospel"!

Click here to read Bishop John's Christmas sermon.

Christmas is here!

Easter Cross: South Arm, Tasmania
[sun 25.dec.2011 rob] Happy Christmas! And may all Tasmanian's come to know the reson for the season: Jesus Christ!

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
Matthew 1:18-25 (ESV 2001, Wheaton: Standard Bible Society)

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.
Luke 2:8-18 (ESV 2001, Wheaton: Standard Bible Society)

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him."

John 3:16-17 (ESV 2001, Wheaton: Standard Bible Society)

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:6-8 (ESV 2001, Wheaton: Standard Bible Society)

Easter Cross: South Arm, Tasmania

Happy Christmas Tasmania!

[sun 25.dec.2011 rob] Click here for a Christmas message from the Bishop of Tasmania, John Harrower.

Christmas is here!

[sun 25.dec.2011 rob] Here is the last post in our 'Christmas is coming' series:

Song: Do You Hear What I Hear?
Artist: Third Day

Song: Angels We Have Heard On High
Artist: Leigh Nash and Sixpence None The Richer

(Happy Christmas Greg ;)

The Bishop's Christmas Message

[sat 24.dec.2011 rob] Bishop John's Christmas Message for 2011.

Tasmanian Anglican Seal
Hope for a desperate world

How has 2011 been for you? It has brought its challenges, has it not? I guess it will be remembered for such ‘natural’ phenomena as the tsunami striking Japan, extraordinary floods in Thailand and, closer to home, floods and fires in our country.

But it will also be remembered for developments rooted in human behaviour – the Arab Spring, the Occupy movement, the European financial crisis, the Fukoshima nuclear disaster, the death of Osama bin Laden. And don’t get me started on Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan…

There was a Broadway musical in the 1960s titled Stop the World; I Want to Get Off but, hey, that’s not an option. Instead, I find myself frantically trying to get my head around what’s going on, to get a glimpse into the issues, to respond rather than react. Is the new ‘government’ better than the disgraced tyrant? Can the global financial crisis be solved? What role does greed play? And gloating? And unbelief?

Where does hope lie? For millions, the Bible continues to speak into our human condition with hope and sure guidance. A columnist in Melbourne’s The Age in early December, writes, “We do not see the Bible…as having any weight in serious matters, moral, historical...”, but offers instead only the ‘rational’ guidance of a liberal, secular society. In contrast, Greg Sheridan in The Australian observes that whilst it is possible to tell right from wrong without religion, “there is little to suggest we are making a success of it”.

Much controversy and chaos, but personally I’m glad Christmas is upon us once again. Christmas means hope; Christmas brings again a much-needed reminder of unchangeable truth.

God weeps for our world and the mess we are making of it and God has taken responsibility for our world by sending his Son.

Hope may be in desperately short supply for so many, but the Babe of Bethlehem brings just that, the sure hope that God loves us.

May you have a blessed Christmas as again we celebrate the Saviour’s birth.

John Harrower

Anglican Bishop of Tasmania

Click here to read this message on Bishop John's blog.
Click here to watch Bishop John's 2011 Christmas video.
Click here to read Bishop John's Christmas sermon from 2010.

Christmas is coming #12

[sat 24.dec.2011 rob] As we arrive at the night before Christmas, something appropriate for Christmas Eve!
How will you welcome in this day of remembrance in 2011?

Song: Silent Night (a live recording)
Artist: Third Day

Some Christmas Reading for Christmas Eve

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[sat 24.dec.2011 rob]

Some reading for Christmas Eve:

1. Stanley Hauerwas on Christmas:

Christian humanism is not based on the presumption that our humanity is self-justifying. Rather Christians are humanists because God showed up in Mary’s belly. We are not an evolutionary accident. We are not bubbles on the foam that coats a stormy sea. We are God’s chosen people. We have been given good work to do in a time when many no longer think there is good work. What an extraordinary claim. What extraordinary good news. Praise God, and with gratitude enjoy the glory of his creation. Together, at this time called Advent let us wait in joyful expectation for the surprising coming of the Lord.

Click here to read the article on Christmas at ABC Religion and Ethics. With thanks to Michael F. Bird for the link.

2. Michael F. Bird: "December 25 means the Triumph of Christianity over Paganism"
This article is very victorious (to say the least). But that's the point, isn't it: Christmas is a celebration over a victory. Victory over sin, freedom to the captives! In this article,
Michael F. Bird says,

"Christmas means that the unconquerable god of the Romans just got conquered. A pagan Roman holiday just got stuffed with more Christianity than a December Turkey stuffed with spiced bread crumbs. Dawkins can issue a secular intifada against Christianity all he likes, but we got the best holiday, the best music, and the best message – joy to the world and peace on earth. So Christmas ain’t going away any time soon."

Click here to read his article.
Dr. Michael Bird is Lecturer in Theology and New Testament at Crossway College in Brisbane, Australia.

Another Nativity video: The BeatBox Nativity v2.0

[sat 24.dec.2011 rob]

mUmBRELLA gives us a little more marketing...

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[fri 23.dec.2011 rob] Eternity Newspaper points out that media and marketing website mUmBRELLA, got wind of Hobart Cathedral's Christmas advertising.

Click here to see the little snippet.

Australians and Religion

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[fri 23.dec.2011 rob] Over on Olive Tree Media some fascinating insights into Australian attitudes to Christianity in a short four page summary of a recent survey.

For example, the Christian attitude to homosexuality is a bigger barrier to accepting Christianity than hell and judgement.

One comment that I found particularly helpful:

"They should put a message across that they're not going to

bash people over the head for not coming in ten years."

Click here to see the four page summary with diagrams and clear information.

With thanks to Matthias Media for this snippet and the link.

Christmas is coming #11

[fri 23.dec.2011 rob] From the YouTube webpage:

"Hark The Herald Angels Sing performed by the Liverpool Cathedral Choir from the album, Silent Night. "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" is a Christmas hymn or carol written by Charles Wesley, English leader of the Methodist movement along with his brother John Wesley. It first appeared in Hymns and Sacred Poems in 1739, under the topic of "Hymn for Christmas-Day". The original opening couplet was "Hark! how all the welkin rings / Glory to the King of Kings". The version known today is the result of alterations by various hands, most notably George Whitefield, Wesley's co-worker, who changed the opening couplet to the familiar one we know today."

Song: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Artist: Liverpool Cathedral Choir
Album: Silent Night

Christmas is coming #10

[thu 22.dec.2011 rob] I hadn't heard this Christmas song before, but this video does include lyrics. After listening to this song, I did a search on for 'This Is Christmas', and I was amazed how many non-Christian musicians are ready to tell me what Christmas is. This song by Kutless seems to have some real answers.

Song: This Is Christmas
Artist: Kutless
Album: O Come All Ye Faithful (2010, BEC Recordings)

Learn more about Kutless at, and

God in flesh: Incarnation

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[thu 22.dec.2011 rob] Are you planning some theological reading for Christmas? What about Jonathan Edwards' "Of Christ's Incarnation"?

Who was Jonathan Edwards? Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758) was a Puritan theologian and pastor, and the most significant American churchman of the 18th century. He was a leading figure in the first Great Awakening.

This is an excerpt from Jonathan Edwards' sermon series, "A History of the Work of Redemption". From a deep and extensive knowledge of Scripture, Edwards sets out to survey the whole of the redemptive work of God in history, from the Fall of man to the consummation of all things. A thrilling conclusion emerges: Everything in human history from start to finish is subservient to Christ's work of redemption. The whole of his sermon series is also available at the site.

Click here to read the sermon on the Theology Network website.

Christmas at St.David's Cathedral

St. David's Cathedral Christmas 2011
[thu 22.dec.2011 rob] St. David's Christmas services for 2011...

Christmas is coming #9

[tue 20.dec.2011 rob]
Song: O Come, All Ye Faithful
Artist: Jeremy Camp
Album: O Come All Ye Faithful (2010, BEC Recordings)

Learn more about Jeremy Camp at, and

Bishop John's Christmas Video

[mon 19.dec.2011 rob] On Bishop John's blog he speaks about his new Christmas Video:

A ‘first’ for me: a video message for Tasmania at this Christmas season.

Will Briggs inspired the session, including the climb to the top of the Cathedral tower! Thanks also to Samuel Green for his technical expertise.

I respond to Will’s questions: - [How would you answer them?]

What joy do you find in Christmas?
What is the key message of Christmas you would like Tasmanians to hear?
What is the challenge of Christmas for you personally?
How does Christmas challenge and confront us as a community?
What are your hopes and expectations for 2012?

Click here to view the video on Bishop John's blog.

Bethlehemian Rhapsody

[mon 19.dec.2011 rob] A new Nativity video on YouTube. Nothing can prepare you!

With thanks to Jane Banham for this one.

Christmas is coming #8

[fri 16.dec.2011 rob]
Song: O Come, All Ye Faithful
Artist: tobyMac
Album: Christmas In DiverseCity

And if you liked that one, you will love this version of 'Angel's We Have Heard On High' (also from tobyMac's Christmas album), but this time sung with the exceptional vocals of Nirva Ready.

Song: Angels We Have Heard On High
Artist: tobyMac / Nirva Ready
Album: Christmas In DiverseCity

"Modest is hottest"...?
[fri 16.dec.2011 rob] "Modest is hottest"... What does it mean?

Her-meneutics Today is a Christian blog for women. In her article, How 'Modest Is Hottest' Is Hurting Christian Women Sharon Hodde Miller explains how her view on the phrase and the topic has changed. She says,

In conversations the phrase always elicits chuckles, but my response has changed over time. I still wholly affirm modesty as a biblical practice for men and women, but now I hesitate to embrace the “modest is hottest” banner. Those three words carry a lot of baggage.

Whether you agree with Miller's view or not, working through the issues faced by Christian women today is good for us all to engage in.

Click here to read Miller's article.

Religious beliefs in Australia

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[fri 16.dec.2011 rob] Bishop John is reflecting on recent information from NCLS. Bishop John says:

NCLS has published a fact sheet from the Australian Survey of Social Attitudes in 2009... A quarter of Australians have no doubts about the existence of God...

Click here to read more of Bishop John's comments on the recent staticstics from NCLS. Bishop John includes links to the NCLS release on his blog (here).

Bishop John's 2011 Christmas Message (Video)

Tasmanian Anglican Seal
[wed 14.dec.2011 rob] Bishop John has a video Christmas message for 2011.

Please click here to view the video on his blog.

Click here to watch the video on Vimeo.

From The Bishop's Desk

Tasmanian Anglican Seal
[tue 13.dec.2011 rob] From The Bishop's Desk 21.11 (13 December, 2011) is now available for viewing.

Click here to read FTBD 21.11

Christmas is coming #7

[tue 13.dec.2011 rob]
Song: O Holy Night
Artist: Andy Williams

Christmas is coming #6

[tue 13.dec.2011 rob]
Song: O Holy Night
Artist: David Crowder*Band
Album: Oh For Joy (September 30, 2011)

Christmas is coming #5

[sun 11.dec.2011 rob]
Song: Little Drummer Boy
Artist: Johnny Cash
Album: The Christmas Spirit (1959)

Media Release:

Bishop John Harrower to host Andrew Wilkie MHR at Gambling Forum

Tasmanian Anglican Seal
[thu 08.dec.2011 rob]
Bishop John Harrower to host
Andrew Wilkie MHR at Gambling Forum

The Anglican Bishop of Tasmania, the Right Reverend John Harrower OAM, will host Denison MHR Andrew Wilkie at tomorrow's Friday Forum at St.David's Cathedral. The topic of the forum will be the ethics and politics of problem gambling and poker machine reform.
The Friday Forum will be held from 1pm to 2pm on Friday December 9th (tomorrow) at
St. David's Cathedral Hobart, corner of Murray and Macquarie Streets.
Bishop Harrower said, “The Anglican Church in Tasmania has called for the reform of Electronic Gambling Machines for many years.”
“Christian ethics are simply a reflection of the way of Christ. Jesus was an activist for what is right. When we see our society implicitly condoning the exploitation of the vulnerable we must speak out. Not only must we raise awareness about the impact of problem gambling, we must also call to account and push for change.”
“I am pleased to host Andrew Wilkie at the Friday Forum to learn about and support his endeavours in this important area.”
The Friday Forum is a regular event at St. David's Cathedral. The Forum enables a public engagement with topical issues and an interaction with Christian ethics. More details are available on the forum website:
Media representatives are invited to attend the Forum.
Bishop Harrower and Mr. Wilkie will also be available for interview after the Forum at the Cathedral.
Contact: Rev’d Will Briggs: 0428 695 156

Christmas is coming #4

[thu 08.dec.2011 rob]
Song: While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night
Artist: Libera

Christmas is coming #3

[wed 07.dec.2011 rob]
Song: Angels We Have Heard On High
Artist: Chris Tomlin (Arranger: Charlie Sinclair)
Album: WOW Christmas Green (Label: Worship Together)

Cathedral Friday Forum with Andrew Wilkie

Friday Forum - November, 2011
[wed 07.dec.2011 rob] The next Cathedral Friday Forum is on this Friday on the issue of problem gambling. Where ethics meets real life: how problem gambling is everyone’s problem and what can and must be done.
Andrew Wilkie MHR and

Bishop John Harrower
will speak and answer your questions

1-2pm on Friday 9th December
St David's Anglican Cathedral
125 Macquarie Street, Hobart

Click here for more information on this event.
Click here for the Cathedral Friday Forum webpage.

Christmas is coming #2

[tue 06.dec.2011 rob]
Song: O Come O Come Emmanuel
Artist: Casting Crowns
Album: Peace On Earth

Christmas is coming #1

[tue 06.dec.2011 rob]
Song: O Come O Come Emmanuel
Artist: Sixpence None The Richer
Album: The Dawn of Grace

Administrative Circular 10/2011

Tasmanian Anglican Seal
[tue 06.dec.2011 rob] The latest news is now available from the Registrar in the Administrative Circular.

Click here to read Administrative Circular 10/2011.

Reflecting on the reason for the season

[sun 04.dec.2011 rob] I hope you had a great Sunday reflecting on the reason for the season :)

I'm second to one
redeemer, the way, the light
I'm second to one
the saviour, no compromise

I'm laying everything at the foot of the cross
my pride, my life, my all
I'm second to one
and he is second to none

Song: I Am Second
Artist: Newsboys
Album: God's Not Dead (2011)

Preaching... But how high?

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[sun 04.dec.2011 rob] It's Sunday night and you have spent the day preaching. Alistair Bain asks, "How high should you preach?"

He says,

Here are 5 really helpful points on preaching from Michael Bird... answering the question "How High Should you Preach?"

Click here to read Alistair Bain's post and follow the link!

Christmas: Why we need Jesus
[sun 04.dec.2011 rob] In this season of Advent it is wonderful to read encouraging articles about Christmas. Such an article is one by Michael Horton on ChristianityToday.

The delight we can experience at Christmas is not available to athiests and those who reject the sovereignty of our Almighty God and Father. Horton says,

Biblical faith emphasizes that we cannot ascend to God on our own;
rather, the God of the Bible descends down to us.

How can our inadequacies be something to rejoice over? We have never been able to reach God or heaven in our own power; so for God to meet us, He needed to come down to us.

The first Christmas morning reminds us that our Almighty Father knew this and acted for our benefit and his glory.

The all human, all divine child in a manger reminds us that our Father in Heaven has dealt with all our inadequacies and brought justice and forgiveness into the lives of those who trust Jesus.

Christmas is a reminder of God's amazing love for all humanity.

Click here to read Horton's article.

Civil Unions - Why Marriage?

Bp John Harrower (cowboy hat)
[fri 02.dec.2011 rob] From Bishop's John blog,

I support civil unions which have been legalised in Queensland, as they currently are in Tasmania.

The bill, introduced by deputy premier Andrew Fraser, allows same-sex or heterosexual couples to register their union with the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. “Queensland’s parliament has voted to lift the shackles of discrimination,” Mr Fraser said.

If this is success for civil rights in that it removes “the shackles of discrimination” why do we need to redefine marriage?

In his post, Bishop John references this article in The Age.

Click here to read Bishop John's blog.

From The Bishop's Desk

Tasmanian Anglican Seal
[fri 02.dec.2011 rob] From The Bishop's Desk 20.11 (30 November, 2011) is now available for viewing.

Click here to read FTBD 20.11

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AnglicanTas frontpage editor: Rob Stanley