Our God is a kind and generous God, and he’s given us a pattern for life together in families and the church family that is rich, beautiful, free, affirming and complex.
The problem is that sometimes we’re not so good at translating this pattern for life into reality. If we’re honest, sometimes we’re far too driven by tradition: we just keep doing things the way they’ve always been done because it’s easy or comfortable. At other times, we’re too influenced by society: we just take on what everyone else is doing—again, because it’s easier to fit in.
This is particularly true when it comes to complementarianism, the idea that God has made us different as men and women, and so the life of the church and our families should reflect those differences in a gloriously positive way.
That’s why at the 2023 Priscilla & Aquila conference, we are looking at “lazy complementarianism”: the ways in which we, as Bible-believing evangelicals, slip into either just doing things the way they’ve always been done, or drinking too deeply from the well of the culture around us.
Join us as Fiona and Gary Millar think through what it means for us as God’s people—men and women together—to live well and commend the gospel for the Lord Jesus.
About our keynote speakers: Gary and Fiona Millar
Gary has been married to Fiona for 28 years, and together, they have three daughters: Lucy, Sophie and Rebekah. Born in Northern Ireland, Gary lived in Scotland, England and the Republic of Ireland before moving to Brisbane, but still hasn’t lost his accent. In his role as Principal of Queensland Theological College, he gets to do three things that he loves deeply: preach weekly in college chapel, teach the gospel from the Old Testament, and equip men and women for a lifetime of gospel ministry. He also has had the opportunity to write books on Deuteronomy, Kings, Prayer, Preaching and the basics of the Christian Life (e.g. Read This First: A simple guide to getting the most from the Bible). He is a Council Member of The Gospel Coalition Australia, and part of Mitchelton Presbyterian Church in Brisbane. He is a slightly obsessive (slow) runner and a bad golfer.
Fiona was born in the high Andes of Peru (of Scottish missionary parents) and now lives in the leafy suburb of Ashgrove with her husband Gary, and their three daughters. Passionate about sharing Jesus with women and children, Fiona delights in opening up the Bible with groups of women, and having God challenge and shape her in the process. After 18 roller-coaster years of ministry in Presbyterian Churches in Ireland, Fiona now serves Jesus at Queensland Theological College and in her local church—with friends who don’t yet know Jesus and with pastor’s wives. Fiona has also finished a Masters in Advanced Educational Learning with UCL, and revels in waking up each day in this land of blue skies and bold colours.
|9:00am-10:30am||Plenary session 1.
Speakers: Gary and Fiona Millar.
|11:00am-12:30pm||Plenary session 2.
Speakers: Gary and Fiona Millar + Q&A session.
Group 1: Church discipline (Glenn Davies)
This elective will look at church discipline from the perspective of someone who has served as a bishop and archbishop. What is church discipline? Why do some churches and denominations seem to exercise it a lot and others seem to never practise it? Is this for cultural or theological reasons? Have practices changed over the years? Should church discipline be different for men and women? What are some things we need to keep in mind regarding church discipline?
Glenn Davies has served in a number of ministry positions—including Archbishop of Sydney (2013-2021), Bishop of North Sydney (2002-2013), rector of Miranda (1995-2001), and lecturer in both Old and New Testament at Moore Theological College (1983-1995). He studied at Westminster Theological Seminary and Moore Theological College, and then obtained his PhD from Sheffield University in 1988. He has been heavily involved in the national church in various ways—including as a member of General Synod, General Synod Standing Committee, the General Synod Doctrine Commission, EFAC (Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion), and as canon theologian of the Diocese of Ballarat (2000-2013). Glenn is also a key figure in GAFCON (Global Anglican Future Conference), being a member of the writing group that produced the Jerusalem Declaration at GAFCON 2008. Glenn currently serves as the first bishop of the new Diocese of the Southern Cross set up by GAFCON Australia. He has been married to Dianne since 1979, and they have two adult daughters and five grandchildren. He enjoys movies, board games and swimming.
Group 1: The ministry of motherhood (Jocelyn Loane)
How should we think about being a mother? In this elective, Jocelyn will share her experience of growing into understanding motherhood as ministry. She will address questions like: what purpose did God have in mind when he designed mothers? How do I keep from making my children an idol, or allowing motherhood to consume my identity? How do I go about making ministry and paid work decisions as a mother? What do I do with the resentment and bitterness that can accompany being a primary caregiver? This elective aims to encourage mothers to be faithful and intentional in their role.
Jocelyn Loane is married to Ed. They have served in full-time ministry together in a variety of contexts since 2008. She is currently a part-time chaplain at Moore. They are parents to five kids and are members of Naremburn Cammeray Anglican Church.
Group 1: [CANCELLED] Same morals, different God?: When do ethical decisions become theological ones? (David Höhne)
Update 23/01/2023: This elective is now CANCELLED.
Group 1: Nurtured by God's word (Sarah Sholl)
This elective is a description of a training course that has been written to equip the saints for the work of loving one another using God’s word. The course includes two Bible studies to capture the foundation and motivation for reading the Bible with others, using the Swedish method to read 1 Thessalonians and practical steps to prepare an interactive Bible study.
Sarah Sholl has been reading the Bible with women, both one-to-one and in small groups, for over 30 years. While in Mexico with CMS for 12 years, she developed resources to train people to lead small group Bible studies and to use God’s word to love one another. She now works as a chaplain at Moore Theological College; volunteers with CMS NSW & ACT, reading the Bible with missionaries on home assignment; and serves in Summer Hill Church. She is married to Peter, who serves as a Regional Mission Director with CMS Australia, and they have three adult daughters.
Group 2: Speaking and relating well with other complementarians when we disagree (Bill Salier and Kara Hartley)
What happens when we agree in principle but don’t agree in practice? Many Christians say they are complementarian, but differ on how to live it out. What‘s actually going on when we disagree about this topic? What are the common areas of disagreement in the complementarian debate? What things make for respectful disagreement? And what happens when things remain unresolved?
Join our discussion as we examine the topic from a number of angles, and consider a number of scenarios that highlight the issues in the debate, as well as the tricks and the traps in talking about them. You may also find this elective helpful for other issues in the Christian faith.
Group 2: Serving people in a non-complementarian setting: A personal testimony (Tim and Anna Hu)
How does one go about fostering a complementarian understanding of the Christian life where there was none before? In our last post, we became the ministers of a congregation that was previously led by a female pastor. So more accurately, the inherent understanding we walked into was opposite, if not antagonistic, to our complementarian beliefs. It would be far from the truth to say that we had a masterful plan, executed in perfection, and now everybody is on board and persuaded. Instead, what we do have are some reflections about our experiences serving in this context, as well as some theological and practical insights to help people make sense of the complementarian view of life.
Please note: This elective will not be recorded.
About Tim and Anna
Tim and Anna currently serves as chaplains at Moore Theological College. They have been involved in Mandarin-speaking ministries since graduating from college, first to overseas students at a university and then in a parish setting. Tim and Anna also run a small translation ministry called Mimai, making available in Chinese resources from Matthias Media and the Moore College PTC.
Group 2: Key issues in scholarship on 1 Timothy 2:8–15 (Lionel Windsor)
In the last few decades, there’s been an enormous amount of scholarship on the meaning and significance of 1 Timothy 2:8–15. The sheer range of interpretations can be bewildering, leading us to throw our arms in the air and declare that it’s all too hard, so we should all just do what is right in our own eyes. This seminar is designed to help us to regain some clarity and perspective on the passage by giving a broad overview of the main issues. We’ll ask, what are some of the factors that have led to such a wide array of views? What are the main questions being asked in the scholarship? What are the most common answers to these questions? What principles can we use to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of these answers?
While the seminar won’t answer every possible scholarly question, it aims to encourage us to grow in confidence in God’s word and to read and apply this part of Scripture carefully, in line with the gospel of Christ and in fellowship with others. This is an academic elective, so be prepared for some detailed discussion (but you don’t have to know Greek to participate).
Lionel Windsor is a lecturer in New Testament at Moore Theological College. Among his roles, he counts it a joy and privilege to teach exegesis of the Greek text of the Pastoral Epistles (1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus) to third-year students. Lionel is an ordained Anglican minister and has worked in several churches in the Diocese of Sydney. He is married to Bronwyn, and together, they have three children. They attend the evening service at St Augustine’s Anglican Church, Neutral Bay.
Group 2: A position paper for our congregations on the ministries of men and women: A senior pastor’s perspective (Raj Gupta)
Before developing a position paper on the ministries of men and women at St Paul’s Carlingford and North Rocks, there was uncertainty and confusion regarding complementarian ministry and what it looked like. Then Raj, beginning with his ministry team, underwent a lengthy process to develop one. In this elective, Raj will share the document they came up with, he will talk through the process and principles of what they did to formulate it, and he will outline the benefits of having such a position paper for the life of your church.
Raj is the Senior Pastor at Carlingford and North Rocks, and began the extensive process of developing a complementarian policy shortly after he commenced in March 2021. Formerly, he was the Lead Pastor at Toongabbie Anglican Church and Mission Area Leader for the Parramatta area. He also is involved in training rectors and churches with the Centre for Ministry Development at Moore College. He has completed a Doctor of Ministry specialising in the area of how churches of different sizes must operate differently.