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Holiday Reading – Protestants The Radicals Who Made The Modern World by Alec Ryrie

Holiday reading is resuming after a hiatus.
Protestants – The Radicals Who Made The Modern World by Alec Ryrie is a sweeping 500 page historical survey that seeks to demonstrate that understanding the modern world is impossible without understanding the Protestant movement.
It also came highly recommended.


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Tomorrow Is Jenny Geddes Day 2017

Jenny Geddes Day doesn’t really exist, she wouldn’t have approved.
Jenny Geddes is the person who was reputed to have picked up the stool upon which she was sitting and hurling at the Dean of Edinburgh, who was reading from a prayer book based on Anglican liturgy during a worship service.
If someone turns up tomorrow with a stool, you’ve been warned.


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Forty Years On And A Question About Protective Investment Or Sacrificial Investment (via John Wilson)

John Wilson, current moderator-general of the Presbyterian Church of Australia remembers the time forty years ago when the Presbyterian Church of Australia continued after the departure of those who formed the Uniting Church.
It was a season in which the desire to continue had to be matched by a vision of what was worth the struggle of continuing.
After some history and some observations John includes six questions that are posed as challenges to a denomination that has no reasons to rest on its proverbial laurels.
Here’s the sixth and final challenge:

Notwithstanding our generous giving to support cross-cultural work here in Australia, world mission and relief of the poor, the PCA is not free from the love of money. Somewhere … between our personal wealth and congregational accounts and our denominational resources … we have enough wealth within PCA to securely fund 600 first-inducted ministers and then 600 assistants to the ministers and then to fund 600 church plants. (Spending time working alongside our colleagues and friends in India and Africa has shown me that). But we have our wealth tied up in seldom-used property, worldly investments, material comforts, insurance safety nets and superannuation nest eggs. We still have a holding mentality (holding reserves for a rainy day) instead of releasing funds for expansion, church planting, new works and different works for the kingdom (refreshing our memory of my point 2 above).

Question: Can we be content with less, for the advancement of the kingdom (1 Timothy 6:7)? Are we really free from the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10).

Read the whole post here.


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Welcome Doctor Martin

Martin Luther takes up residence in the Batcave annex at mgpc, just in time for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
I haven’t jumped ship though.
John Calvin bobble head still rules the roost.


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A Problem With Long Sermons

This anecdote was included in a blog post about the historical length of sermons during and after the reformation:

A rather unforeseen and unfortunate consequence of lengthy sermons (coupled with compulsory attendance at church) presented itself on the Isle of Skye in 1578. On a misty Sunday morning, members of the clan MacDonald ran their ships ashore in Ardmore Bay and walked up to the nearby church, where members of the clan MacLeod, long-time enemies of the MacDonalds, were worshiping. The lengthy sermon being received inside provided the MacDonalds ample time to bar the doors from the outside and set fire to the building. Only one individual survived the flames and managed to raise the alarm. The MacDonalds paid for their crime (which, to be fair, was itself retaliation for earlier injuries received) — not to mention their lack of foresight — when they returned to the bay and found their boats stranded on the beach by a receding tide and a mob of angry MacLeods approaching.

Read the whole post here.


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Denis Shelton’s Story (via David Cook)

David Cook’s latest column for the Presbyterian Church of Australia relates some of “the personal history of Rev Denis Shelton, repeated here as a reminder, encouragement and a warning.”
Denis was a minister in the Presbyterian Church of Australia during the 1960s who ran afoul of the (then) theologically liberal mainstream.
His crime:

After training he was appointed to Warren in Western NSW where he was ordained. He immediately had problems. The local Presbytery insisted that all parishes use only the Joint Board of Christian Education Sunday School material which denied the truth of the Bible, the deity of Jesus Christ and the bodily resurrection. The material consisted of ethical exhortation without any spiritual power.
Denis refused to use it, using rather the Aboriginal Inland Mission and David C Cook materials. The Presbytery warned him that he could be charged with contumacy if he did not obey the Presbytery’s directive…

Never believe liberalism is tolerant and inclusive.
Read the whole post here.


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Saint Patrick’s Day 2015

Not Irish, not a snake-charmer, not officially named a Saint.
Why all the fuss and green beer?
A short video.