­
EFAC Australia

General

In this first edition of Essentials for which I have editorial responsibility I am glad for the quality and range of focus on the content that follows. If there is a thread that holds together each element of Essentials Spring 2019 it is the theme of ministry.
Simon Manchester, now approaching the conclusion of thirty years as Senior Minister at St Thomas’ North Sydney, reflects firstly on the importance of a pastoral approach fuelled and characterised by grace rather than frustration. Simon then steers us towards three books that focus on the weighty responsibility and matching joy of gospel ministry.
Adrian Lane reminds us of the wonderful work of BCA in this its centenary year, and in that light also gladly commends to us a new and expanded edition of Leon Morris’ autobiographical account of his time serving as a BCA minister during World War II.
On a sadder, but nonetheless vital, note Christopher Ash considers how we ought to respond in a wise and godly way when a Christian ministry is undermined by revelations of abuse.
In his review of the new book of essays from the Doctrine Commission of General Synod Marriage, Same Sex Marriage and the Anglican Church of Australia, Bishop Rick Lewers helpfully draws out the results of two contrasting approaches to ministry that flow from two contrasting attitudes to the nature and authority of Scripture. In the process we are drawn straight to the heart of this issue.
As I read through these contributions and others in this edition of Essentials I am reminded of the core truth that although ministry is not getting any easier or less complex, the gospel of repentance and faith for the forgiveness of sins is no less powerful or glorious. Even when we fail, or when those around us fail, God is good and Jesus is keeping his promise that “repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations” (Luke 24:47, NIV).
Gavin Perkins - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Gavin Perkins is Rector of St Jude’s Bowral, NSW

To look through the collection, see the article list on the left.

Publishing of Essentials is made possible by a paid membership so if you're not currently a paid-up member/subscriber we encourage you to become one so we can continue to fund this very worthwhile journal. Our Membership form is here.

Gender

There has been plenty of attention given to current issues in gender and sexuality in the pages of Essentials in recent years. However, discussion has generally been about developments in the wider culture to which evangelicals have a
more or less united attitude. But in this issue we look at issues involving gender where unanimity does not exist amongst evangelical Anglicans, and so there will surely be things you disagree with in the pages that follow. On the whole, I aim for Essentials to be irenic and to stay close to the things which unite us (not always successfully) but this quarter, I’m relaxing that approach, and I think it is good from time to time to be able to include a set of articles that may not have everyone
nodding in agreement together. Before we get to that, however, Chase Kuhn gives us a lovely and pithy opening piece on the late Donald Robinson’s enduring influence. Once you go on, you will find a fine pair of articles on the evolution of the egalitariancomplementarian debate. First, Tim Foster gives an account of the development of these disagreements from an egalitarian perspective, and then Kara Hartley does the same from a complementarian perspective. Some of the frenzy may have gone out of the discussion, but, as Tim demonstrates, that does not mean new proposals are not being brought forth, tested and adopted or discarded, and, as Kara points out, the social context of the debate colours the issues in new and different ways. 

Is complementarianism on the way out?
he Masculinist thinks so.
In an issue largely themed on the state of the Christian discussion on gender, it might be worth finishing by noticing emerging energy for critiques of complementarianism from quarters which are dissatisfied with the character and direction of the cultural take on gender, and dissatisfied with egalitarianism and complementarianism as faithful and viable roads to walk.

Fresh Legs

This year will bring some fresh legs onto the Essentials editorial team. You may have noticed that a disproportionate number of the contributions to Essentials come from Western Australia (which is the price you pay when the editor lives in Perth!) In order better to tap into the EFAC networks in other states, we are glad to be welcoming two new editors: Gavin Perkins, Rector of St Judes, Bowral, NSW, and Mark Juers, Assistant Minister at St Hilary’s Network, Kew, Victoria. I hope and expect that these two will help us hear from new contributors and bring more national breadth to the journal. I am very much looking forward to what they will bring to this journal in 2019 and beyond.
Of course, as I always do, I encourage readers to contact me about making contributions to Essentials, wherever you live. It gives me great pleasure to have articles, book reviews, Bible Studies and Cabooses from city and bush, east and west, north and south, and off the mainland too.

­