Bible Society Australia celebrates its Bicentenary this Sunday, March 5, in a historic link-up between two of the largest streams within the church, Pentecostals and conservative evangelicals.
In a bold move of unity, the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, is sharing the stage with Hillsong’s Global Senior Leader, Brian Houston, at the National Celebration of the Bible at Hillsong’s main campus in Sydney.
A strong supporter of the Bible Society’s work, Davies has reached across the divide that has kept the leaders being on the same platform – until now.
In an interview with Eternity ahead of the event, he urged Bible Society Australia to keep publishing and printing more Bibles in accessible language, in order to “keep refreshing the non-changing words of the Bible in a changing society, so that people can actually say ‘yes, this is true.’”
Acknowledging the power of the Bible to transform, Davies says he continues to learn new things every time he reads it.
“There’s something personal about the Bible. It’s not just a book written for people at large; it’s actually written for me in particular and for you and for everyone who takes it up. It’s God’s personal message to us,” he said.
“He speaks to me in his word and I speak to him in prayer.”
“The Bible is God’s love letter to humanity.” – Brian Houston
Davies encouraged BSA to continue being innovative in how it brings the Bible to people. He also said the most powerful way to promote the Bible was simply get it into people’s hands, because the Bible would speak for itself. This has been shown by the many testimonies from those who have become Christians just by reading a portion of the Bible.
As leader of a church that sees more than 400 Australians come to Christ each weekend, Brian Houston said the Bible had been his “source of life, hope, direction, wisdom and success” since his boyhood in Auckland, in a Salvation Army family.
“The Bible is God’s love letter to humanity, and I believe with all my heart that it lifts people up, brings eternal hope, offers grace and shows us the way of salvation through Jesus Christ. All that God longs to tell us, show us and teach us about our lives and the fulfilling lives we are meant to live is hidden within this sacred text,” he said.
Houston said the Bible had been and continued to be “absolutely central” to his boyhood dreams of pastoring a healthy, growing church. He loved how the more he knows about God and his word, the more he realises there is so much more to know.
Brian Houston congratulated Bible Society for “200 magnificent years of devotion to the cause of Jesus Christ…”
“His word is an endless well, a constantly renewed source of life and answers for every day, no matter what each day may hold.”
He congratulated Bible Society for “200 magnificent years of devotion to the cause of Jesus Christ and your commitment to get the Bible into as many hands as possible.”
Houston’s support of Bible Society is backed up by the involvement of all Hillsong churches across Australia in the March 5 celebration, which will live-stream the event. In addition, there are “lighthouse churches” in every state that will show the broadcast either live or at a more convenient time.
This year, Bible Society is continuing to provide tools for Bible engagement for all ages. It is distributing 100,000 free Scriptures to chaplains and frontline ministries, providing 13,000 Big Rescue Bibles and 2000 Youth Bibles to Scripture teachers across Australia. As well, it is providing resources for 20 projects in indigenous areas.More