Volume 10 | February, 2019 View as Webpage
Monthly News & Updates
Dear Friend in Christ,

At the time of writing this, troubles from around the world are threatening to crush us. We've heard of violence in Nairobi, fires in Burundi, accusations in Malawi, false teaching in Scotland and Wales, strife in England, and Ebola in the Congo. And that's not all.

Our hearts long, with God's, to fix it all. To provide what is needed, to fight for truth, to heal what is broken, to--well, to do what only God can do. To create Heaven here on Earth.

Praying when one cannot act can feel like a cop-out, but we focus on God's Truth found in James 5:16b,
"The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working." We know that prayer unleashes God's almighty power and that He alone knows how to bring good out of evil. Therefore, we are not anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving we let our requests be made known to God.   And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

One item that we would commend to everyone's prayers and action is the funding of EFAC Global. We shared the 2019 OKRs last month, but the truth is that they cannot be accomplished without adequate funding. We are currently asking chapters to help us, applying to various trusts, and asking churches to include us in their missionary budget. However, if everyone receiving this newsletter was to give just $10/month, we would entirely fund EFAC for the year! And, if you can give more without noticing it, then you can make up for those who cannot give $10/month. Please give this serious consideration. We believe that it is the Lord's will for the work of EFAC to go forward. The Lord has given the EFAC leaders these verses: This benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. So now finish dong it well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. Please DONATE !

Now, we hope you enjoy the February EFAC newsletter. If you do, consider sharing the blessing and forwarding it to a friend.
Julia Cameron Joins the EFAC Team!

Julia Cameron is joining EFAC as the Director of Publishing. Julia has led communications and publishing teams for OMF International, IFES, and the Lausanne Movement. She will work to establish publishing in EFAC chapters, while serving UK churches and missions through Dictumpress.com , a new endeavour. Julia is an author and editor; she is active as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and is a member of St Ebbe’s Church, Oxford, where she helps with the postgrad student ministry. We are glad to welcome her to the team!
Memories of Canon Dr. Michael Green and the Post-War Evangelical Triumvirate 

by Richard Crocker

At my first diocesan clergy conference in the United States, I was approached by one of the attendees. He said, “The bishop has suggested I talk with you about cementing my evangelical formation.” Sent to Nashotah House to train for the Episcopal priesthood in an Anglo-Catholic setting, this young man had discovered the post-war Evangelical Triumvirate of Stott, Packer, and Green--and found that he agreed with their approach to ministry. He noticed  the careful and balanced application of faithful biblical exegesis to contemporary questions characteristic of the best of Anglican evangelicalism . And he liked it. The only problem was that this young man had not yet found any Anglican evangelicals near where he lived, in the American Mid-West. So, a kind bishop steered him in my direction.
                                       
My first encounter with the Evangelical Triumvirate of Stott, Packer, and Green was as a schoolboy and new believer in Birmingham, England.  Read more .
A new video about
what EFAC did in 2018.
Check it out by clicking here and then clicking
where the arrow on the photo above is pointing!
Glorify God in Your Body
A new resource from the Church of England Evangelical Council
(EFAC-England) 
 
If you are looking for a new and comprehensive guide to Christian sexual ethics from an orthodox Anglican viewpoint then a new resource,  Glorify God in your Body,  written by the well-respected Anglican theologian Dr Martin Davie, is available from the Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC).
 
In its foreword to this resource CEEC writes: 
 
"The Church of England is currently facing a navigational challenge unlike any she has experienced in living memory. On the one hand she is facing the new reality of a government redefinition of marriage—something unforeseen even at the height of the 1960s sexual revolution. On the other, she is witnessing within both a simultaneous rise in the use of experience as a hermeneutical tool and a divergent exegesis of Scripture on matters of sexual ethics."
 
This study is an invaluable signpost for such a precarious time. The CEEC commends it as a resource in the discussions that will take place as part of the “Living in Love and Faith: Christian teaching and learning about human identity, sexuality and marriage” project—but it will also be a gift on a much wider scale. Its genius is in its scope – and the way in which the author (supported by a team of evangelical theologians) brings together a robust exploration of an apostolic understanding of Scripture with a pastoral consideration of key life issues.
 
It is worth emphasizing further what this book is and is not. This book seriously engages with the pastoral and ethical issues of our time and is written with knowledge of and appreciation for scientific study and sociological consideration. But it is not intended as a contribution to the biographical narrative that is dominating much of the current church debate around human sexuality. Rather, it is a substantial and robust apologetic for a classic biblical understanding around issues of identity, sexuality and gender—an understanding that is held to by the vast majority of Anglicans throughout the world.
 
We commend this book for study: by those preparing resources as part of the “Living in Love and Faith” project, by those who teach and preach in our parish churches, for young people and students wrestling with the realities of a society that appears to have lost its historic and Christian ethical moorings and for any wishing to dig deeper into Scripture regarding sexual ethics.’
 
Glorify God in your Body  will be available in hard copy from the Latimer Trust ( www.latimer trust.org ) and as an e book from the CEEC website ( www.ceec.info ). 
On Christ Our Foundation
Extract 2 of Life in Christ by John Stott, to be re-published by Langham Publishing in 2019.*

The stability of buildings depends largely on their foundations, and so does the stability of human lives. Yet today many feel like the psalmist: “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Ps. 11:3). Familiar landmarks are being obliterated. Moral absolutes that were once thought to be eternal are being abandoned.

In such times, it is important to remember that Christians have always thought of Jesus Christ as the only solid foundation. This truth is celebrated in great hymns like, “Christ is our cornerstone; on him alone we build”. Note the preposition “on”. I have been struck by the number of New Testament passages in which the preposition “on” ( epi ) is used in reference to Jesus.

Each depicts him as being the ground on which we stand or the foundation on which we build. Earlier, we saw how God’s initiative of grace has been taken “through” Christ; the preposition “on” now describes our response. God has acted through Christ, and we rest on what he has done. God has spoken through Christ, and we build our lives on this unique revelation.

Resting on the Work of Christ
We saw in the last post that, having borne our sins on the cross, Jesus “sat down”. Christ is “resting” from his work, having finished it, and we should be “resting” on it, depending on him alone for our acceptance with God. This is what the author of Hebrews calls the “Sabbath-rest for the people of God” (Heb. 4:9), adding that “anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works” (Heb. 4:10). Work and rest exclude one another. If we are working for our salvation, we are not at rest.

Saving faith is resting faith, the trust which relies on the Saviour. John Paton, a 19 th -century missionary to the New Hebrides, found a good metaphor to express what this means when he translated the expression  pisteuo eis, to “trust in” Jesus (John 1:12), using a word that means “leaning your whole weight on something.” 

There is an urgent need to understand this today. Many are spiritually restless and anxious and lack any assurance of salvation. Some even teach that the very idea of Christian assurance is presumptuous. True assurance, however, is not presumption. It is rather a “full assurance of faith” (Heb. 10:22), based not on the faith itself but on its object, Jesus Christ. 

In Old Testament days God taught his people about the need for such faith, telling them not to look to other nations like Egypt and Assyria for help but to rely on the “precious cornerstone for a sure foundation” that God himself had laid in Zion (Isa. 28:16). For Isaiah, this stone was the Davidic monarchy, represented at that time by King Hezekiah but one day to be fulfilled in Jesus.

Isaiah’s call to faith became a popular text in the early church. Both Peter and Paul quote it, both apply it to Jesus, and both link it with other verses in Isaiah about “a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall” (Isa. 8:14,15). They clearly identify the two alternatives: Jesus is either a foundation-stone or a stumbling-stone. As Paul argues in Romans 9:30–10:13, either we build our lives on him or we bark our shins against him, stumble and fall. 

Relying on the Promises of Christ
Humble, confident reliance on Christ as our foundation involves reliance upon his word as well as his work. As an old hymn says, “How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, is laid for your faith in his excellent word!”

 I sometimes wonder if there is any more vital lesson for Christian living than this: God has made promises that he will never break. So many of us complain of spiritual doubt, darkness, depression and lethargy, of besetting sins and unconquered temptations, and of many other spiritual ills, while all the time we do not use the secret weapon God has put into our hands. As Bunyan illustrated so well in  Pilgrim’s Progress , the way out of Doubting Castle is the key called Promise.

Not only has God made promises in his word, but he has also pledged himself to his people by an everlasting covenant. This covenant he ratified by the blood of Christ and renews to us when we come to Holy Communion. With these foundations for faith, we have no excuse for faithlessness.

Building on the Teaching of Christ
Edward Mote enshrined the truths I have been speaking about in his hymn that begins, “How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, Is laid for your faith in his excellent word.” The chorus, repeated after every verse of that that hymn, is “On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.”

This distinction between rock and sand goes back to Jesus himself and his parable of the two housebuilders (Matt 7:24–27; Luke 6:47–49). When their houses were completed, they looked exactly alike. Their only difference lay in their foundations—the one was built on rock and the other on sand. But, when the storm came, the difference between them became clear. The house built on sand collapsed in irretrievable ruin.

Jesus knew what he was talking about. Seismologists know that a house built on a solid bedrock foundation can withstand an earthquake, whereas one built on alluvial soil will not.  But what did Jesus mean when he spoke of building on rock or on sand? He gives us the answer himself. The wise person is the one who “hears these words of mine and puts them into practice,” while the fool hears them and does nothing. The difference is not between knowledge and ignorance, but between obedience and disobedience. 

One of the evidences for Jesus’ uniqueness as God’s Son is the unassuming manner in which he advanced such claims. The distinction between wisdom and folly in this life, and between survival and judgement in the next, he dared to say, depends on whether people obey or disobey his teaching. Each individual has to decide on what foundation they are going to build. 

What Jesus taught applies equally to the church. It too needs a firm foundation. And Jesus has given it one. “On this rock I will build my church,” he said (Matt. 16:18). This ‘rock’ should be understood as “the faith professed by Peter, not Peter professing the faith.”(1) The foundation on which the church is built is “the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone” (Eph. 2:20). This point is supported by the apostle Peter himself, who quotes three Old Testament texts about rocks and stones and does not apply them to himself but to Christ (1 Pet. 2:4–8). 

So, we must boldly proclaim that “the church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord.” For, as Paul says, “no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3:11). “No other foundation,” wrote Paul. “No other name,” said Peter (Acts 4:12). On that name we rest. On that foundation we build. 

(1) Archbishop Kenrick, quoted by W. H. Griffith Thomas in  The Principles of Theology  (London: Longmans, Green Co., 1930), 470–1. 

*Please note that the process of summarizing this passage from John Stott's book, executed by Dr. Peter Walker, necessitated a few minor changes to his exact wording. This was done with the publisher's permission.
EFAC News

Logo: We have a new logo! Check it out at the top of the page. Over the coming month, we will be working on replacing our former logo with this one.

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While you're on our website anyway, check out the whole thing and let us know what you think! Input is welcome.
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Do remember to pray for all EFACters around the world, that they will be faithful to the mission of Jesus Christ and powerful in His service. Especially pray for the many who are having to stand for the Gospel in the face of opposition from those inside or outside the Church.

Also, we have BIG plans for 2019; pray that God's people will be moved to donate enough to make it possible to accomplish all that the Lord has instructed us to do.
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We encourage you to give us what you won't miss every month. More and more people are doing this and it is so helpful for us to be able to plan what we can do to help spread the Gospel throughout the world.

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