Book review: “1 Samuel – Looking for a leader”


1 Samuel

1 Samuel: Looking for a Leader

John Woodhouse

Crossway, Wheaton, 2008. 672pp.


The rise of President Barack Obama and the adulation he’s received says a lot about the way we view leaders. They inspire us. We look to them for hope and security. We believe that if we find the right leader, all will be well and we’ll be in good hands. (more…)

WordWatch: Questions, questions, questions

Word Watch

We live in an age that thinks we should question everything. The bored, affluent culture around us is convinced that there are no answers, only questions. We live in a cynical, sceptical society that views the only worthwhile intellectual activities as being question­ing, disputing, arguing and challenging. Furthermore, when you’ve tested some­thing, you ought to move on and test some­thing else. The goal is an open mind, with every fresh set of questions washing in one side and out the other. (more…)

Book review: “Respectable Sins”


Every now and then, a book comes along that is a must-read. It completely changes the way you think. It changes your attitude towards God. It changes your behaviour. Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges is such a book—a must-read for all Christians. (more…)

Give me Fervr

Resource Talk

The arrival of the iPhone in 2007 redefined the template for the exploding markets of both mobile phones and PDAs. But it signalled something maybe even more significant: the expanding reach of the worldwide web. Since the early 90s, the web has operated primarily through home or work computers. But more recently, we see it penetrating into almost every aspect of life. Now it’s not uncommon to find the web in your car, your phone, your cafe, your school, your fridge and maybe even your parents’ home! (more…)

The Geneva Push

Pastoral Ministry

It is a little-known fact that Calvin and the Genevan Consistory sent hundreds of trained missionaries into France and the rest of the Europe to preach the gospel and plant new congregations of believers. In this interview, The Briefing talks to Al Stewart about the ongoing importance of church planting in light of Al’s work with Evangelism Ministries in Sydney and The Geneva Push, a new Australia-wide church-planting network whose name is derived from the work of Calvin and his colleagues.


Diary of a ministry apprentice (Part 2): March 2008

Everyday Ministry

Guan’s story so far in four sentences: Guan likes self-deprecation, but isn’t very good at it. He is ever so slightly obsessive about his iTunes collection, he is married to M,1 and at the time of writing (2008), he has just started ministry training (MTS) at the University of New South Wales (hereafter known as ‘the Uni’). So far, the year has begun with a whirlwind staff conference and recruiting students at the human flood that is the Uni’s Orientation Week (see Briefing #375). Now things begin to settle into a rhythm, but life is not without its challenges. (more…)

Freedom to do what you don’t like

Everyday Ministry, Life

Phillip Jensen teases out the true nature of Christian freedom.

There are two kinds of freedom. Christian freedom is the freedom to be a servant of others (Gal 5:13)—the freedom to do what I don’t like. But the freedom that allows me to do whatever I want is not Christian freedom; it is license and sometimes licentiousness. When in the name of Christian liberty, I am free to do what I wanted to do anyway, a deep suspicion enters my mind; it is not that God wants to deny me any pleasure, but that I know that my motives are corrupted by sin. (more…)


Everyday Ministry, Resource Talk, Sola Panel

I am one of the few who doesn’t regularly follow the worldwide hit show 24. My days are certainly not as action-packed as Jack Bauer’s. But I know that Bauer’s work isn’t as important as what I’ve been involved in over the last 24 hours of my life. Here are just the climatic scenes:

Bible brief: Leviticus

Bible Brief

The word ‘Torah’ (which is what the Jews call the first five books of the Bible) means ‘instruction, regulation or law’. It occurs throughout key passages in Leviticus (e.g. Lev 6:14, 25; 7:1, 7, 11, 37). Leviticus follows Exodus 40, where Moses sets up the tabernacle according to God’s instructions (Exod 24:15-25:9ff). The book is set when the Israelites are camped at Mount Sinai on their way to the Promised Land.


Podcast: The Geneva Push: An interview with Al Stewart


Paul Grimmond talks to Al Stewart about the ongoing importance of church planting in light of Al’s work with Evangelism Ministries in Sydney and The Geneva Push, a new Australia-wide church-planting network (MP3).

Audio MP3

Unity in the gathering or ‘adults only’ church?

Life, Pastoral Ministry

Meeting together is extremely important to Christians. It reflects the wonderful truth that God’s gospel breaks down barriers. When Christians gather around God’s word, all kinds of people rub shoulders who, but for the gospel, wouldn’t be seen dead together. We do, however, allow ourselves one major exception: rather than listening to God’s word together, one group of people —the children—are typically taken out of the meeting to be taught separately. This seems to keep everyone—adults and children—happy, and allows each person to be taught at an appropriate level. (more…)

Planters versus founders

Pastoral Ministry

What’s in a name? Does it matter if we call someone a ‘church planter’ or ‘church founder’? According to Phillip Jensen, it matters quite a lot. (more…)