Check out the ACC YouTube Videos - including Gospel and Grace series, and Marriage
See the ACC YouTube for videos for use in your church or small group, including conference presentations and the DVD Series that were provided to congregations: see link below
A New Heaven and a New Earth
Progressive or Regressive Christianity?
Rev Ted Curnow provides a personal reflection and account of the development and influence of 'progressive Christianity' in the context of the Uniting Church.
Available as a PDF(5 pages)
Total Truth: A review
Is religion only a private matter, or does God belong in the public arena?
Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey, in examining this question, follows in the line of, and further develops, Francis Schaeffer’s How Should We Then Live and Charles Colson’s How Now Shall We Live, both of which would be known to many readers.
Subtitled Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, Total Truth presents a readable and insightful challenge to evangelical Christians to understand all of society and life through a Christian (biblical) worldview rather than a secular one Christians have adopted. That secular worldview is limited to our culture and binds Christians, who restrict their faith to only the private sphere, leaving it at Church each Sunday.
As our worldview governs our thinking, Pearcey encourages readers to develop and apply a biblical worldview to all of life, arguing that this gives us “a biblically informed perspective on all reality,” – a Total Truth – which enables us to see things more clearly and which we can take into our daily life and the world in which we live, i.e., the public sphere. In this way, Christianity is able to challenge, redeem and renew culture.
Total Truth comprises 4 parts.
Part 1 explains how to build a Christian worldview by starting at the beginning – in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth – and the Bible’s teaching that God is the only source of the whole created order, and seeing all of history through Creation, Fall, and Redemption.
From here Part 2 examines Creation and science;
Part 3 the decline of Christian thought over the ages;
and Part 4 how to apply a Christian worldview, and integrate our faith, in all of life and daily living under the Lordship of Christ.
Pearcey shows what this Total Truth means for areas of family, business, public policy, education, arts, science, music, law, politics and Christian involvement in society. She “walk(s) you through practical, workable steps for crafting a Christian worldview in your own life and work” and applying it “to cut through the bewildering maze of ideas and ideologies we encounter in a postmodern world. The purpose …. is nothing less than to liberate Christianity from its cultural captivity, unleashing its power to transform the world.”
“The most effective work …. is done by ordinary Christians fulfilling God’s calling to reform culture within their local spheres of influence – their families, churches, schools, neighbourhoods, workplaces, …. and civic institutions.”
Although written in 2004, Total Truth is a book highly relevant today. The foundation and explanations laid down by Pearcey are most helpful for Christians in the present day in understanding that God belongs in the public arena and in their responding to the push to exclude the Christian faith from the public square.
There is also a study guide edition to Total Truth available – which would be a practical way of reading the book and understanding its message.
Owen Davis is an active ACC member in South Australia.
2019 ACC AGM and Conference News and Presentations
I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes. (Romans 1: 16)
The 2019 ACC Conference and AGM was held 23-25 September in Queensland.
Brief AGM and ACC News
Download the Brief ACC e-News edition with details of the unconfirmed special resolution approved by the AGM. (1 page PDF)
Keynote presentations (Papers and Video) will be provided here when available.
James Parker - Monday night 23 September: I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel.
James Parker provides his personal testimony to illustrate the power of the Gospel.
The Video of Jame's presentation and questions is available now.
James Parker Paper (Printed version - PDF 5 pages). James has provided a PDF of his PowerPoint presentation
Bible Study: I'm Not Ashamed of the Gospel - Tuesday 24 September 2019
Presented by Rev Anne Hibbard - download available for different age groups (2 pages PDF)
Rev Dr Hedley Fihaki presentation - Tuesday 24 September 2019
A biblical excursion on Not Being Ashamed of the Gospel: Romans 1: 16
Wendy Francis - Wednesday Morning: 25 September 2019
Wendy has kindly provided a quick reference guide to the many areas of concern she raised in her presentation.
Rev. Rod James - Resources from Message: Preaching on Wednesday 25 September 2019
Four Important Questions (PDF Booklet 2 pages)
The Core Business of Jesus and the Church (PDF 4 pages)
The Arise Team is prayed for during the 2019 ACC Conference
September ACCatalyst Magazine - special focus: The Confessing Movement
John Smith: Australia’s Apologist and Evangelist.
Ian Clarkson provides a tribute to God's faithfulness and calling in the life of John Smith, the founder of God's Squad.
June 2019 ACCatalyst Magazine
Download the June 2019 Magazine (24 pages PDF)
One year on from the 15th Assembly decision to revise marriage ACC provides some reflections about what has been happening and why.
ACC Chair and Open Letters on Religious Freedom
The ACC, through its National Chair, Rev Dr Hedley Fihaki was a signatory to the open letters on Religious Freedom that were sent to the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader in May 2019.
Copies are available below.
Letter to the Prime Minister (The Hon. Scott Morrison)
Letter to the Opposition Leader (The Hon. Bill Shorten)
Future of the UCA - !?!
What is happening in the UCA?
If one went by the PR news and letters, it seems the main idea is to continue on without considering the implications of the 15th Assembly decision to revise marriage. The failure to suspend the Assembly decision was not unexpected as Clause 39 (b) (ii) was hardly designed to actually allow a review. In any case, what was needed from union was a separate independent body that would review decisions, rather than a system that placed any review back with the actual body that made the decision.
It has been a tumultuous few months, though the feedback to UCA publications and hierarchy has probably been more minimal simply because most members would now not even bother. My anecdotal feedback from contact with ACC and other evangelical congregations is that at least 3000 people have left since the 15th Assembly. Sadly, many members have just drifted away in hundreds of congregations, one, two, three or four at a time, perhaps some not even noticed, or worried about by ministers and leaders. I am quite amazed now how this happens when often people have been members of the same local church for 50, 60 or 70 years. I have also been intrigued at the number of phone calls and contact ACC has had from non-ACC members who have left or are trying to work through their future, especially in increasingly divided congregations (our social media and website has prompted extensive contact since the 15th Assembly as individuals seek out others who are considering what is happening).
The disappearance of often key lay leaders is not insignificant at this critical time of the UCA in terms of the ageing of members and viability of congregations, especially in terms of offerings and people resources. What will this mean for the UC in those areas that are not propped up by property income (especially property income that can support stipended ministry)? Simply, 50-60% of UC ‘congregations’ will become non-viable in the next 5-10 years. Many are now more a preaching place (and perhaps occasional at that). The average age of members is such now that in the medium future there will not be the people able to support stipended-ministry and/or undertake many of the normal tasks associated with a functioning congregation (and assets from sales will mainly go to supporting the institutional life of the UCA and not the grass roots – the congregations).
And yes, the evangelical cause has been weakened (not just ACC as the majority of evangelicals are not in ACC member congregations); but, and here is the fundamental point, the UCA is catastrophically weakened as evangelical congregations are the central ones engaged in consistent evangelistic outreach and discipleship based on orthodox beliefs that provides a foundation for the future.
Why do some leaders have no real empathy or understanding of what is happening?
Some have a very different idea of ecclesiology. For them there is simply no distinction between the church and the world. The church is everyone, even if you are not aware you are part – this is the post-modern idea of the village church.
It is also where the context of ‘Uniting’ comes in – the UCA will be a social and community service, providing ‘good works’. The growth of ‘Uniting’ and its increasing secular visibility is clearly evident in its advertising campaigns and branding. (For a comprehensive overview of the ‘Secular Welfare’ scenario, see Dr Keith Suter’s work on possible scenarios for the future of the Uniting Church.
Others though want a new church, which actually means a new ‘faith’ and they believe the present church needs to be cleared out of those who are preventing this new ‘faith’. Some don’t care about congregations and the local witness over many years even if they say they want to keep property for the continuing witness of the local Uniting members. Some are suffering a delusion that people will flock into a truly liberal church, basically one that has no orthodox belief, denying especially the resurrection of Christ, because after all they believe they are more intelligent now and believe Christ was only a simple deluded peasant. It is an ideological orientation towards a utopian life on earth now, and they believe that evangelicals are the deluded ones! Never mind the fact that there is no evidence to support a growing liberal denomination and where there may be the occasional slightly larger liberal church in a city of several million people, this has more to do with it providing a niche-market to often disaffected members and ministers. It is no wonder that one of the main concerns of some leaders is to maintain the larger evangelical and CALD congregations in the UC fold, because if they left, overnight the UC would become a worshipping community with fewer followers than those who now say they are a Jedi.
Peter Bentley is the National Director for the ACC.
Future of the UC?
Members will be interested in the following -
Dr Keith Suter continues his exploration of the future of the Uniting Church in his latest on-line opinion piece:
"The Uniting Church is in a crisis. Its membership is in decline but the church bureaucrats ignore the signs of impending doom. For example, the publicity material often contains photographs of happy smiling young people – but a person visiting a Uniting Church congregation will find few such young people."