Some years ago now, Mike Carlton then the intrepid Sydney Morning Herald columnist, political commentator and the highly visible once Sydney radio disc jockey, understood that the core of the Reformation - was being able to read the Bible in plain language.
For Luther, in plain German, Calvin in plain French, Wycliffe in plain English.
Mike Carlton cited ABC Q&A host Tony Jones' question to Australian Roman Catholic Cardinal George Pell whether atheists can reach heaven. "Certainly" was Pell's answer and Mike Calton's comment is as follows:
"Thus, with one small word but one grand gesture, gorgeous George swept away the brilliant edifice of 2000 years not just of Catholic teaching, but of Christianity itself. You don't have to believe in God to make it past St Peter and in through the pearly gates."
Mike Carlton makes the point: "I'm not sure he's right, though. Reluctant as I am to quote scripture to a prince of the church, this would seem to fly in the face of John 14 verse 6: ''Jesus saith unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.''
He adds a personal touch, with good Biblical knowledge: "Christened a Catholic, educated an Anglican, I was always taught this meant that only faith in Christ got you to heaven. Heathens of any sort need not apply." (www.smh.com.au)
I too was taken aback by the Cardinal. Mike Carton was spot on. I was watching Compass ABC Religion at 6.30pm Sunday 25 September that same year on western Sydney's plethora of religious minorities and what they believed. The Cardinal would have fitted right in.
The Reformation and its emphasis on the Bible seems to have passed by George Pell, The Bible has been translated into English for over 500 years, we've celebrated in 2011 the 400th anniversary of the 1611 King James Bible.
Moreover many Roman Catholics in Australia today read their bibles regularly, and the Charismatic wing of the Roman Catholic Church in Australia is passionate about the Bible and their mid-week bible study and prayer groups are given to reading the bible in plain English, that all might understand its straight forward meaning.
Indeed, as Mike Carlton pointed out Jesus' words are quite specific in John 14 verse 6: ''Jesus saith unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.''
This is central to Christian teaching and theology, it is the core of the deity of Christ, it speaks of whom Jesus is, and the plain English reading of the text leaves little room for deviation or confusion.
It is why missionaries have gone to the four quarters of the earth since the Resurrection of Jesus - to speak into the hearts of people that He is the way, the truth and the life.
It is this message that is so hated by those who oppose Jesus Christ and the Salvation He offers and why so many of Jesus' followers have been and are persecuted and martyred.
Remove this and you're back, back, back, back ......
Dr Mark Tronson - a 4 min video
Chairman – Well-Being Australia
Baptist Minister 45 years
- 1984 - Australian cricket team chaplain 17 years (Ret)
- 2001 - Life After Cricket (18 years Ret)
- 2009 - Olympic Ministry Medal – presented by Carl Lewis
- 2019 - The Gutenberg - (ARPA Christian Media premier award)
Gutenberg video - 2min 14sec
Married to Delma for 45 years with 4 children and 6 grand children