Sunday, July 30, 2006


Neil Atwood, Toongabbie Anglican Church minister, always has interesting things to say. This post is pertinent to all who value our freedom to exercise Christian ministry in state schools in New South Wales:

Have your say on church and government
The Australian Democrats are currently building policies that will effectively shut out churches and Christians from many parts of life and community that we have currently have access to.
Things like SRE in schools, hospitals run by Christians or churches, but funded by the State, and so on.

They are inviting input from the public on these issues, and this is a good opportunity for Australian Christians (like everyone else) to express their view on the issues.

You can do that via this online survey on the Democrats website:

God and Government Survey

So if you are an Australian Christian, spend a few minutes now and tell the Democrats what you think!

Thanks for alerting us, Neil.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Praying Beyond Health Concerns

David Powlison's article on praying, found in the latest series of articles available at 9 Marks has helpful guidelines on how to pray for those who are sick (which Powlison says is often our major prayer activity) but also encourages variety in our subjects for prayer, based on the examples of prayers in the Psalms and Paul's Prayers.

I can't pass up the opportunity to recommend Don Carson's terrific book Call to Spiritual Reformation, which is a superb gudie to praying in the light of Paul's prayers.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

More On New Covenant Theology

How does the Old Testament relate to the New Testament? How does the Christian Church relate to Israel? Do Christians have to keep the Old Testament laws?

These are some questions that all Christians ponder. But we don't all come to the same conclusions. Some Christians emphasise the similarities between the Old Testament and the New. This is known as a theology based on Continuity. And other Christians take note of all the changes that we find in the New Testament and favour a theology of Discontinuity.

But, all of us have elements of Continuity and Discontinuity in our theology, because this is forced on us by the bible itself.

The Covenant Theology of Presbyterians and Anglicans tends to emphasise the Continuity between the Old and New Covenants, and it is this favouring of continuity which leads them to teach that infants should be baptised.

The Dispensationalist Theology of others, including some Baptists and some Pentecostals emphasises the differences in the covenants and is part of the reason why they only want to baptise believers.

New Covenant Theology is intended to be a via media between the above 2 systems. It is Reformed, like Covenant Theology, but emphasises differences in Christ's New Covenant not brought out by Presbyterians and Anglicans. Although the terminology is somewhat new, it is close to the teaching of John Bunyan and also the writings of Don Carson and Douglas Moo, who were prepared to write commendations of Zaspel and Wells' book New Covenant Theology, while not wanting their theology to be given this label.

Steve Lehrer's new book New Covenant Theology: questions answered builds on the excellent work done by Fred Zaspel and Tom Wells.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Theology & Evangelism by J.I. Packer

"Evangelism and theology for the most part go separate ways, and the result is great loss for both. When theology is not held on course by the demands of evangelistic communcation, it grows abstract and speculative, wayward in method, theoretical in interest and irresponsible in stance. When evangelism is not fertilized, fed and controlled by theology, it becomes a stylized performance seeking its effect through manipulative skills rather than the power of vision and the force of truth. Both theology and evangelism are then, in one important sense, unreal, false to their own God-given nature; for all true theology has an evangelistic thrust, and all true evangelism is theology in action." - J.I. Packer

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

New Covenant Theology

I don't think New Covenant Theology has been discussed much in Australia.I'm hoping this will change, because I think it is a successful integration of biblical teaching and is an improved, more biblical version of Reformed Theology. Watch this space!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Sermons on the whole bible

Mark Dever's sermon series on the entire bible has got me hooked. I have a copy of his The Message of the New Testament but so far have spent much more time listening to these sermons on every book of the New Testament than reading the manuscripts. I am also enjoying listening to the sermons on each book of the Old Testament. Mark is senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC.

It takes a while downloading all 69 sermons [bonus points if you can figure out why there are 69 and not 66 ...] but I have found the effort worth it, as I have travelled to and fro between Bathurst and Orange this year.