About Lionel Windsor

Lionel has recently completed PhD studies in the New Testament at Durham University in north-east England. He now serves as a minister at St Augustine's Anglican Church in Neutral Bay, Sydney, Australia. He is husband to Bronwyn and father to Adelaide, Harry and Eleanor.


Sola Panel, Thought, Sola Panel

On Tuesday evening, our mid-week church group enjoyed an American-style Thanksgiving dinner together. The Thanksgiving dinner has been a group tradition for a number of years now, although this is the first time our family has been part of it (we joined the group in January). It was a great time of fellowship and fun. We had a couple of real live Americans and a Canadian present, and I’m pleased to say that the dinner—complete with turkey, stuffing, corn bread, mashed potato, pumpkin pie and other tasty & filling dishes cooked by group members—received thumbs-up for authenticity! (more…)

Bible heading fail: “Taming the Tongue”

Life, Pastoral Ministry, Sola Panel

When the biblical documents were originally written, the authors didn’t include section headings. The headings that appear in our modern Bibles were added later, by translators and editors. These headings are designed to divide the text into more manageable chunks, and to make it easier for us to look up passages. Although these headings can be helpful, they do have pitfalls. For example, a heading can create a break in the text which prevents us from seeing links between what comes before and after the heading. Even worse, at times, the heading is not an accurate summary of the passage at all; indeed, occasionally the heading implies something opposite to what the passage is saying. (more…)

What’s happening to our preaching? A response to John Dickson: Hearing Her Voice: A Case for Women Giving Sermons

Pastoral Ministry, Review, Sola Panel

On Boxing Day 2012 (Christmas Day in Australia), a series of electronic booklets called “Fresh Perspectives on Women in Ministry” was released by Zondervan. One of these booklets was written by John Dickson, a highly respected Australian evangelist, writer, researcher and Anglican minister. Although I have only met John briefly, I have personally appreciated and benefited from much of his written work–both academic and popular. He has been involved in Christian ministry for significantly longer than I have; nevertheless we do share a number of things in common. I write regularly for an organisation (Matthias Media) with whom John has had a long and fruitful association. I am a Sydney Anglican minister myself. I also share similar academic research interests to John, particularly regarding the application of New Testament historical research to contemporary ministry. (more…)

Whose incarnation is it anyway?

Thought, Sola Panel

flickr: skycaptaintwoWithin the heart of the Christian faith is an astounding truth. God—who created and sustains the universe—became incarnate. The immortal and perfect Son of God shared our messy, sin-prone death-ridden lives of flesh and blood; he became human, walked with us, suffered with us, and subjected himself to our temptations. Ultimately, he died for us, satisfying God’s wrath, destroying death. While we all exist firmly and squarely on the ‘human’ side of the God-human divide, the incarnation means that we rebels can share in intimate fellowship with God himself through the Spirit of the risen Lord Jesus—now and for all eternity. (more…)

Word-watch: lessons from a naïve blogger

Everyday Ministry, Sola Panel

A few days ago I wrote a short article in which I used the word ‘submission.’ I’ve just now realized that by using this word, I was being a bit naïve. The realization of my own naivety came when I read Kara Martin’s helpful review of the book Fifty Shades of Grey on the Sydney Anglicans website. Kara’s review made me realize that what we Christians mean when we use the word ‘submission’ is often entirely different to what our non-Christian world thinks when it hears the word ‘submission.’ That’s because Christians and non-Christians are spending their time reading two very different books. As a result, Christians and non-Christians are having their passions and desires shaped by two very different worldviews. (more…)

‘Mutual submission’? Scrutinizing a lazy slogan

Thought, Sola Panel

A furore has indeed erupted over the use of the dreaded ‘s’-word in certain proposed new marriage vows. The word ‘submit,’ of course, comes from the Bible (e.g. Ephesians 5:22-24); the proposed vows are an attempt to give couples the option of using biblical terminology in place of the traditional, often misunderstood, term in the prayer book: ‘obey.’ The inclusion of the ‘s’-word, however, has caught many people’s eye (and ire). It needs to be said that the word ‘submit’ can never be understood alone. The concept of submission in marriage is always part of a package deal. It’s one side of a double-sided coin: the other side is the husband’s responsibility to sacrifice himself for his wife, loving her tenderly and caring for her (e.g. Ephesians 5:25-30). That, in itself, should rule out any suggestion of abuse of women by men. (more…)

The perils of plundering the Egyptians

Pastoral Ministry, Sola Panel

flickr: Gary Soup

In our previous post, we looked at a story that has often been used as analogy for the way that Christians can use secular wisdom in gospel mission and ministry. This is the account of the Israelites, plundering the gold of the Egyptians as God rescued them from slavery (Exodus 3:19-22). The analogy works because at least some of the Egyptian gold probably ended up being used to worship God (Exodus 25:1-8). But keen readers will notice that there’s another place the Egyptian gold ended up too:

Plundering the Egyptians: The place of secular wisdom in gospel mission and ministry

Pastoral Ministry, Sola Panel

flickr: knitsteel

Rock performances. Accounting textbooks. Voice coaching sessions. Self-help books. Leadership seminars. Adult education techniques. Sociological surveys. Jazz piano lessons. Child safety courses. Food safety courses. Statistical surveys. Statistics lectures. Corporate management textbooks. Primers on psychology. Magazine articles on cosmology. Blogs on modern communication techniques. Tips on writing style. (more…)

Dangerous love

Everyday Ministry, Thought, Sola Panel

flickr: MousyBoyWithGlasses

Just recently I came to realise that I had been treating a part of the Bible like a Mr Squiggle picture. Mr Squiggle was a kids’ TV show I used to watch. Children throughout Australia would draw little random squiggles–a couple of lines or curves on a piece of paper–and mail them in to the TV network. During the show, Mr Squiggle–a marionette puppet with a pencil for a nose–would add extra lines and curves to the squiggle, from his own imagination, to transform it into a recognisable drawing of something nice for the young audience (a cat, a house, a bunny rabbit). It was riveting viewing. Really. (more…)

Polygamy in the Bible: A sordid tale

Life, Thought, Sola Panel

I saw an excellent interview on Australia’s Channel 7 Sunrise program recently. Christian leaders were being asked about their opposition to proposals to redefine marriage, and were discussing the Bible’s view of marriage. At one point, the interviewer asked a question which is often brought up in these contexts: Doesn’t the Old Testament condone polygamy? There was, of course, a question behind the question: Since the Old Testament says polygamy is OK, why should we listen to it on any moral issue? (more…)

An anatomy of sin

Life, Thought, Sola Panel

flickr: SashaW

The first stage in Paul’s announcement of the gospel of God’s grace is a concise anatomy of sin (Rom 1:18-32). Sin is, at its heart, a suppression of truth. This suppression of truth has a kind of logical progression to it: rejection of God (vv. 19-21) leads to worshipping the creation (vv. 22-23), then to sexual degradation (vv. 24-27), then to “all unrighteousness”, particularly rejection of family (v. 30), foolishness, faithlessness, heartlessness and ruthlessness (v. 31). Then there is the ultimate suppression of truth: the shameless promotion of sins committed by others (v. 32). At first glance, though, this logical progression might seem a little arbitrary. Does sexual immorality, for example, really lead people to approve of other people’s heartlessness and ruthlessness? (more…)

Suffer the little children

Life, Sola Panel

The political pressure to redefine the meaning of marriage has recently become more intense and obvious in certain English-speaking countries. But you might have noticed that the vast majority of people in our society aren’t particularly concerned by these developments. Why is that? Here’s one possible reason: in the hearts and minds of the vast majority of modern Westerners, marriage has already been redefined. We just didn’t notice. (more…)