Paul's Perspectives on the Righteousness of God
- Written by: Paul Barnett
One of the important issues of recent times is the 'new perspective' on Paul (the name Professor Dunn gave it in 1983).
I want to look at Paul's own perspective on something, the righteousness of God, focusing on Galatians.
Let me make four preliminary observations.
First, the word 'righteousness' and its brother word, 'justified' are law court words. For example, in 1 Cor 4:4 Paul speaks about the Corinthians' 'judgement' about his ministry where he says,'I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted (Greek: justified').
Paul uses this language to describe the relationship with God of those who are (in Paul's words) 'in Christ', Christian believers. He says that they are 'justified' (= 'acquitted').
The passive voice means that if I am 'justified' it means that someone else has 'justified' me, and that someone else is God. So: to be 'justified' means to be 'acquitted', acquitted by God.
Preaching from Acts
- Written by: Michael Raiter
As a preacher, I always have to resist the temptation of preaching from biblical narratives, either Old Testament or New Testament. I love them. Well, I just love stories generally. Actually, most of us do. From kids to 'prime timers', Christians love the stories of the Bible. Why, even Hollywood loves them as it regularly presents the stories of Moses, David, Esther, and the passion of the Christ on both the big and the small screen.
Stories have a universal appeal. Just watch people on trains or planes passing the time reading the latest Grisham or Clancy. Wise journalists often present a news item by beginning with a story. A report on the latest Middle East conflict, or a plane crash, or stem cell research will often begin with a human-interest story about someone affected by the particular issue.
So, I don't need to be convinced to preach from books like Acts because the battle in gaining and maintaining audience interest is already half-won.
EFAC National Conference 2006 Reflection
- Written by: Tim Harris
Given the plethora of glossy conference advertising that crosses our desks these days, it is worth asking why we should consider participating in such events. I'll return to that question in concluding, but let me say that this conference was more than an opportunity to hear quality input - although such quality input was indeed presented in abundance.
The keynote sessions addressed the conference theme 'Growing Gospel Passions': Passion for Christ (Peter Jensen); Passion for Prayer (Steve Abbott); Passion for Ministry (Lyn Sarah), and Passion for God's Glory (Glenn Davies). I usually reckon that if I come away with one memorable presentation I've done well, but these were delivered with such a consistent mix of insight, challenge and passion, they are worth acquiring and giving an ongoing life. If you haven't heard them, download them and pass them on to home groups or fellow-workers.
Employing an evangelist in the local church
- Written by: Tim Patrick
Paper from 2006 National EFAC Conference
In this seminar I am not beginning by arguing that we should employ specialist local church evangelists but simply working from the assumption that this is something to think about. However, towards the end of the seminar, a couple of questions arise as to whether such a position really is the best way to sharpen and grow a church's evangelism.
What to look for in an evangelistOf course the baseline requirements for any Christian leader are that they measure up to the biblical standards in passages such as 1 Tim 3:1-10, Titus 1:7-9 and 1 Pet 5:1-4. These qualities and gifts are required of all in Christian leadership. Beyond this, we must also specifically look for a person of both truth and love – someone with a passion for the Word and also for the world around them. It is no good being an evangelist if you are only interested in theology and doctrine and don't have a real heart for the lost.
Episcopal Leadership Today
- Written by: Stephen Hale
Episcopal Leadership Today - Helping or Hindering Church Renewal?
Paper presented at the 2006 National EFAC Conference
The Anglican church is an Episcopal church. One way or another Bishops have a lot of potential for good or ill. Given the need for significant parish renewal, how can Bishops help to foster this?
Nurture a sense of the need for a deep dependence on God
It is a struggle to go forward in many places.
To go forward will only happen with God's help and blessings.
Bishops can foster and model deep dependence in God through prayer.
Mission at our Doorstep
- Written by: Hooi Wan Cheng
These students are to be found in our universities, high schools, language schools and other institutions.
In my experience, reaching out to overseas students from China is much easier than reaching out to regular Aussie adults. There is also the strategic importance of reaching out to them.
- Those who eventually return to China after their studies here, become influential people who can reach out to their families and friends.
- Those who return to China over their school holidays, would be good channels for short term mission trips.
- Those who do not return to China after completion of their studies, would be able to reach out to immigrants (increasing by more than 10 percent annually), as well become assets to local Chinese churches.
Passion for Ministry
- Written by: Lynne Sarah
Paper presented at the 2006 National EFAC Conference
At a conference on "Growing Gospel Passions", my topic is Passion for Ministry – and I must say preparing this talk has made me sharpen my thinking about both passion and ministry. People who know me will say that I'm not a particularly passionate person (apart from the occasional shout at the TV when watching football) and as an adult convert I, to begin with, sort of drifted into ministry…
But over 25+ years of being involved in ministry and observing others in ministry, I have reached the conclusion that ministry and passion for ministry are all about our response to the grace and mercy of God – loving God and loving one another. Let me expand on that – first, by having a look at:
1. Definition - the what question
Passion – what is it? My dictionary says passion is: a very strong emotion; an intense enthusiasm for something – which is not all that helpful as it could describe what's going on in anything from a football crowd to a suicide bomber. It seems to me that words like passion and vision are bandied about pretty freely these days and its generally assumed we all know what we are talking about when we use them – but I must confess that I get a bit muddled at times. So, its been good for me to think through what passion is all about, in the context of ministry.