Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Bible Studies: Living way bible study

Living Way Bible Study (LWBS) is a practical course of study with a special emphasis on the application of God's Word to the life of the individual.
While emphasizing practical application, LWBS presents each book of the Bible as the holy, inspired, Word of God, the confessional position of the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod.
Our purpose is to help equip believers to live joyfully in God's redeeming love and to share with others God's plan of salvation.
LWBS is also a means to reach those interested in the Christian faith and who may not be members of a church.  With its emphasis on the Bible itself, it has an appeal to Christians as well as to others who are searching for the truth.

The Four Step approach
1. PERSONAL – The student prays for guidance from the Holy Spirit and answers the Personal Application (P.A.) questions at home using only the Bible (no commentaries).
2. SMALL GROUPS – The class meets for an opening and divides into small groups of 8–10 people. The small group leader guides the group through the P.A. questions, encouraging each to share their answers and discuss further as time allows.
3. THE MESSAGE – The lecture or message is given by a pastor or layperson who has researched the material and presents the study, giving personal insight and augmenting, but not duplicating, the author’s comments.
4. THE NARRATIVE – The author’s comments or narrative, along with the P.A. questions for the next lesson, are given out at the end of the class. At the next class meeting, before answering the P.A. questions, the small groups may choose to review the author’s comments of the last lesson, and share what each has highlighted as meaningful or important.
With this four-step method the student has the opportunity to study the particular section of Scripture covered by the lesson from four different approaches. This emphasizes the Bible text and gives the student an understanding and ownership for each section studied.

To view sample copies and obtain complete studies visit

Monday, August 21, 2017

Chris Yarran AFL footballer testimony need for God

Chris Yarran is an AFL footballer who went from being one of the best footballers for his club, to falling as a result of a number of issue, he tried many things humanly possible but it was interaction with some Christians and God that is leading him out of a dark patch in his life.  

Same Sex Marriage resources for 2017 Australian plebiciste

The Australian government is holding a non-binding non-compulosry plebiciste in the form of a survey undertaken through the Australian Bureau of Statistics so that parliament can be informed about the communities view in relation to Same Sex Marriage.  
Australians over 18 before the 24 August 2017 who are registered in the Electoral Roll will be invited to take part in this survey.  
The survey will be mailed to people from the week beginning 12 September and need to be completed and posted by 6pm on 27 October.
The results of the survey will be made available by 15 November 2017.  
For comprehensive information relating to the survey visit the ABS website.

As Christians we are encouraged to respond to this survey in ways that are consistent with God's Word.   To do so this it means we are not just to rely on our gut reactions, what others feel or how others may respond to us, but we are encouraged to study, reflect on and gain an understanding from God's Word in relation to both the outcome and how we conduct ourselves during this period of discussion and debate. 

Some resources that may help you
Lutheran Church of Australia resources
August 2017 Bishop's statement
Homosexuality - what the LCA says - an article in the Lutheran magazine November 2016
Summary of LCA's Commission on Theology and Inter Church Relations paper: Human Sexuality 3 key issues
Background paper of LCA's Commission on Theology and Inter Church Relations paper: Human Sexuality 3 key issues
A Discussion paper -  Lutheran schools and Homophobia
LCA's Bible Study on Sexuality

Other resources from outside the LCA 
Coalition for Marriage - is led by the Australian Christian Lobby, Marriage Alliance, the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney and the Anglican Diocese of Sydney. 
Seven Christian response to Same Sex marriage article by John Dickson Centre for Public Christianity
Lutheran Church Missouri synod -  Bible Study:  Why Marriage matters!
Reconciling Works - Lutherans for full participation- Bible Study Your people shall be my people 

As we engage with this issue, please consider not just the outcome, but also also how you relate to others in relation to this issue, both those you agree with and those you disagree with.  Ephesians 5:1-2 reminds us to: Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children  and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.   

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Book: Changing Lanes, Crossing Cultures

Many countries are now extremely multi-ethnic. People from numerous overseas countries have made their homes in other countries, but they often have very little contact with Christians, and minimal understanding of the gospel. This book is about helping Christians and churches to understand the WHY, WHAT, HOW and WHEN of vibrant cross-cultural ministries, and to get involved.

"Changing Lanes, Crossing Cultures. Equipping Christians and churches for ministry in a culturally diverse society" is a very practical guide to cross-cultural ministry. Its three authors, Choon-Hwa Lim, Andrew Schachtel and Mike Wilson are all cross-cultural practitioners in Australia, with many years of experience between them. Although the book is written from an Australian background, the authors believe that much of it is applicable in a wide range of countries and situations.

Why "Changing Lanes"? There's an urgent need for Christians and churches to learn appropriate and effective new skills, and to change approaches and directions in how we do ministry. This book will help them to undertake the crucial, challenging but very rewarding process of changing lanes in an increasingly multicultural environment.

Changing Lanes, Crossing Cultures includes an examination of the biblical motivation for cross-cultural ministry, steps to overcome obstacles, practical information on how to get involved and many helpful anecdotes and case studies. Each section contains thought-provoking questions for reflection and discussion. It's written so that any person can pick it up and read it, or small-groups can study it over six sessions.

Buy the book 
Interserve - Australia

Friday, August 04, 2017

Book: One in the Gospel 2016 edition

One in the Gospel - the Formula of Concord for our day is more than a commentary about the Formula of Concord, it explores how the Formula of Concord speaks to some of today's basic questions that we face throughout our life, including:
  • What are we here for? 
  • Where are we heading? 
  • Is there a God who cares?
  • What is expected of me?
This is a newly revised and updated edition of a book that first appeared in 1979 under the same title. The first edition, which gained a large readership, was particularly appreciated by lay people and was widely studied in church groups. The book helped many readers understand - sometimes for the first time in their life - what the gospel, the central message of the Christian faith, really is.

Contents include:

  • Discovering our identity
  • Dialogue with the Gospel
  • We are beggars - Is it true?
  • How do I find faith?
  • No strings attached!!
  • Fruits on a Good tree
  • Sinners and Saints
  • For Christ's sake, yes!!
  • Jesus only
  • Blueprint for action
  • Louder than words
  • And there's no other God
  • Happy ending?
  • Free -  to serve the Gospel
  • Chosen!!
  • Is God choosy?
  • Our Lutheran identity

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Book: Protestants: The Faith That Made the Modern World

Five hundred years ago a stubborn German monk challenged the Pope with a radical vision of what Christianity could be. The revolution he set in motion toppled governments, upended social norms and transformed millions of people’s understanding of their relationship with God. In this dazzling history, Alec Ryrie makes the case that we owe many of the rights and freedoms we have cause to take for granted–from free speech to limited government–to our Protestant roots.

Fired up by their faith, Protestants have embarked on courageous journeys into the unknown like many rebels and refugees who made their way to our shores. Protestants created America and defined its special brand of entrepreneurial diligence. Some turned to their bibles to justify bold acts of political opposition, others to spurn orthodoxies and insight on their God-given rights. Above all Protestants have fought for their beliefs, establishing a tradition of principled opposition and civil disobedience that is as alive today as it was 500 years ago. In this engrossing and magisterial work, Alec Ryrie makes the case that whether or not you are yourself a Protestant, you live in a world shaped by Protestants.

Part I The Reformation Age  
Chapter 1 Luther and the Fanatics   p. 15
  The Call of Reform   p. 16
  An Accidental Revolutionary   p. 19
  "Captive to the Word of God"   p. 28
  The Fanatics' Reformation   p. 35
Chapter 2 Protectors and Tyrants   p. 40
  Taming the Reformation   p. 40
  The Two Kingdoms   p. 47
  Chaos and Order   p. 52
  Revolutionary Saints   p. 56
Chapter 3 The Failure of Calvinism   p. 61
  Parallel Reformations   p. 61
  Calvin's Contribution   p. 65
  Lutheranism in Search of Concord   p. 69
  Dreams of Union   p. 72
  The Unraveling of Calvinism   p. 78
Chapter 4 Heretics, Martyrs, and Witches   p. 84
  Martyrdom and Heresy   p. 85
  Turning the Tide   p. 90
  The Luxury of Intolerance   p. 95
  The Devil's Minions   p. 102
Chapter 5 The British Maelstrom   p. 107
  An Unlikely War   p. 108
  Winning the Peace   p. 113
  Journeys into the Unknown   p. 120
  Quakers and Anglicans   p. 127
Chapter 6 From the Waters of Babylon to a City on a Hill   p. 132
  An Age of Exiles   p. 133
  American Pilgrimages   p. 138
  Preaching to the Nations   p. 143
Part II The Modern Age    
Chapter 7 Enthusiasm and Its Enemies   p. 155
  The Pietist Adventure   p. 158
  Moravian Riders   p. 168
  Methodism: Pietism's English Stepchild   p. 171
  The Revivals' New World   p. 176
Chapter 8 Slaves to Christ   p. 183
  The Emergence of Protestant Slavery   p. 184
  Living with Slavery   p. 188
  The Road to Abolition   p. 195
  The Gospel of Slavery   p. 200
  Slavery's Lessons   p. 206
Chapter 9 Protestantism's Wild West   p. 209
  Big-Tent Protestantism   p. 210
  The Communitarian Alternative   p. 217
  The Narrow Way   p. 221
  Witnessing for Jehovah   p. 226
  Latter-Day Protestants   p. 231
Chapter 10 The Ordeals of Liberalism   p. 238
  The Liberal Project   p. 240
  God's Successive Revelations   p. 246
  The Book of Nature   p. 250
  Liberalism in the Trenches   p. 255
Chapter 11 Two Kingdoms in the Third Reich   p. 265
  Making Peace with Nazism   p. 268
  De-Judaizing Christianity   p. 273
  Shades of Opposition   p. 277
  The Limits of the Possible   p. 284
Chapter 12 Religious Left and Religious Right   p. 291
  Saving Civilization in the Age of World War II   p. 296
  The Gospel of Civil Rights   p. 304
  Prophetic Christianity in the 1960s   p. 309
  The Crisis of the Religious Left   p. 316
Part III The Global Age    
Chapter 13 Redeeming South Africa   p. 327
  Settlers and Missionaries   p. 328
  Blood River   p. 333
  "Separate Development"   p. 340
  The Trek to Repentance   p. 352
  The Independent Witness   p. 359
Chapter 14 Korea in Adversity and Prosperity   p. 362
  Missionary Beginnings   p. 363
  Revival and Nationalism   p. 368
  South Korea's Journey   p. 375
  Full Gospels   p. 380
  Northern Fears and Hopes   p. 385
Chapter 15 Chinese Protestantism's Long March   p. 391
  Dreams and Visions   p. 392
  Protestants and imperialists   p. 399
  Death and Resurrection in the People's Republic   p. 404
  Believing in Modern China   p. 413
  China's Protestant Future   p. 419
Chapter 16 Pentecostalism: An Old Flame   p. 425
  A Tangle of Origins   p. 426
  The Pentecostal Experience   p. 433
  Becoming a Global Faith   p. 443
  The Politics of Pentecostalism   p. 447
  Epilogue: The Protestant Future   p. 455
  Old Quarrels and New   p. 456
  Protestants in the World   p. 464

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Commentary: Hebrews

The Concordia Commentary series is known to be one of the most reliable, Biblically sound commentaries today. This commentary on the Book of Hebrews focuses on the confidence believers have in God and the Kingdom that awaits them in the life to come. The author breaks down the book, drawing out small details and exposing larger themes. This book is sure to serve as a trusty guide for personal or academic theological studies.
The Book of Hebrews is one of encouragement, hope, and confidence.  Jesus Christ is shown to be our great High Priest, the greater Moses, the fulfillment of Old Testament prophesies, the sacrifice for the world’s sins. By faith, we, like those listed in the well-known passage in chapter 11, place our hope in God.
This commentary is built on the common agreement that this book is a written sermon by an unknown speaker.   John Kleinig, the author of this Concordia Commentary, proposes an interpretation of the text that uses a new kind of liturgical rhetoric, a new method of discourse analysis, and a new consideration of the context and purpose of the homily.
May this commentary encourage you to continue to place your hope in “Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2 ESV).