Dawn of the Christian dead (part 3): Better than zombie power


Apparently, one of the attractions of the zombie is absolute freedom. You can do anything you want. Nobody will argue.

For many, being one of the undead might be too high a price to pay for such absolute freedom. For the rising number of zombie fans, however, so what if your personal appearance takes a little bit of a dive, and you have to walk relentlessly forward with stiff limbs? Freedom is freedom.


Watching the detective

Life, Sola Panel

Watching the latest incarnation of Sherlock Holmes on TV the other night, it occurred to me that the Bible is a mystery story.


Big M Ministry and little s service

Everyday Ministry, Sola Panel

The word ‘ministry’ just means ‘service’.1 It’s a fact I already knew, and perhaps one you know too; but earlier this year I came to see its implications.

I was walking along, praying about my Ministry. I was praying for the wisdom to know which Ministry to do, how much energy to put into certain Ministries, and when to stop one Ministry so I would have more energy for other Ministries. Suddenly, like a bolt to my brain from the rather grey sky (it was the fading end of a Melbourne winter), came the word ‘service’.


Complementarianism and egalitarianism (part 9): The future of egalitarianism (iv)

Pastoral Ministry

This is the final post in this section of Mark Baddeley’s series on complementarianism and egalitarianism. (Read parts 1234567, and 8.)

If it happens that ongoing developments encourage a rethink among some of those people who consider themselves egalitarian, a move to a more biblical understanding by former egalitarians will be aided by two main gestures by complementarians. (more…)

The last things: Paul Helm talks to Peter Hastie

Professor Paul Helm visited Sydney recently to give some lectures at the Presbyterian Theological Centre as well as at conference at Moore College on the theology of John Calvin to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Calvin’s birth. Professor Helm is a noted international scholar and author in the fields of philosophy and theology.


Complementarianism and egalitarianism (part 8): The future of egalitarianism (iii)

Pastoral Ministry

This is the third post in this second segment of Mark Baddeley’s series on complementarianism and egalitarianism. (Read parts 1234567, and 9.)

We have been considering some of the reasons why there may be some moves out of the egalitarian ‘camp’ in the foreseeable future—say, over the next twenty years or so. In this post we’ll consider the problems that arise when champions of women’s ordination cease to campaign for their cause, but have to rule on the basis of it, and conclude in the next by considering how complementarians can respond to these opportunities. (more…)

Complementarianism and egalitarianism (part 7): The future of egalitarianism (ii)

Pastoral Ministry

This is the second post in this section of Mark Baddeley’s series on complementarianism and egalitarianism. (Read parts 1234568, and 9.)

In this four-part series we are looking at some of the reasons why some egalitarians are likely to reconsider their commitment to women exercising authority in the church. This time around, we are looking at the pressure placed upon egalitarians by the gay lobby. The times, they are a changing, and yesterday’s radical advocate of equality and liberty (for fighting for women’s ordination) is today’s muddle-headed conservative champion of prejudice (for not approving homosexuality). One of the biggest challenges evangelical pro-women’s ordination advocates are going to experience is the growing move to approve of active homosexual lifestyles. (more…)

On being boring

Life, Sola Panel

According to a computer analysis, one particular Sunday in the 1950s (the 11 April 1954, to be exact) was the most boring day in the twentieth century. The most interesting things that happened on that day were a Belgian election (yawn) and the birth of a Turkish physicist specializing in atomic microscopes and computer chips. Apart from that, nothing much else happened.

Being boring seems to be a particularly heinous crime nowadays, even amongst Christians. Of course, this isn’t true at all times and in all places. It’s hard to think of the Protestant martyrs who were burned at the stake in the mid-1500s, or Christians today in Pakistan being sentenced to death for blasphemy, being especially worried about the prospect of boredom. On the other hand, if you’re reading this, you probably belong to that portion of humanity with quite a lot of time on our hands. Time to read blogs, for example. Or play sport. Or to like things on Facebook. And since you probably spend quite a bit of time reading, playing and liking, you probably care a lot more about the ‘interest factor’ in your entertainment, your sport and your friends than, for instance, the average Protestant martyr.

So is there actually anything wrong with being boring? Is boredom just a 21st century Western problem that we all just need to ‘get over’?


Complementarianism and egalitarianism (part 6): The future of egalitarianism (i)

Pastoral Ministry

This is the second section in Mark Baddeley’s series on complementarianism and egalitarianism. (Read parts 1234578, and 9.)

I have argued in a previous series that the disagreement over the role of women in the church has now reached a point where some structural separation at the institutional level is likely to work itself out. The debate is, by and large, over; leaders of the two movements are now moving on to explore the ramifications of their position for doctrine, the Christian life, and how church and ministry are conducted. This will mean institutions will become more monochrome as they take steps that make it hard for people to stay if they disagree. It will also mean that both groups may well find themselves diverging on related doctrines, as the fundamental principles at play behind the concrete debate over women’s ordination increasingly work themselves out to other areas of doctrine and practice. (more…)

Are we devoted to the public reading of Scripture? Part 8: ‘Public’ reading

Pastoral Ministry

Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. (1 Tim 4:13)

This is the final post in Scott’s series on the public reading of Scripture. You may want to read the first part, the second part, the third part, the fourth part, the fifth part, the sixth part, or the seventh part of this series.

As we move into the last post in this series, I want us to finally ask what ‘public’ reading involves.


Getting refocused on the return of Jesus


Most Christian people know they are supposed to believe in the return of Jesus, and yet, of the many Christian truths, this is the one we often sideline first. As we read Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians we see at least four common distorted ways of thinking about this all-important event.


Talking with people from a Catholic background about Jesus

Everyday Ministry

When you finally receive the gospel, you can’t help talking with other people about it. The Christians in Thessalonica had this experience: “For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything” (1 Thess 1:8). (more…)

Diary of a ministry apprentice (Part 6): November-December 2008

Pastoral Ministry

Guan Un, wearer of glasses, drinker of coffee, husband of M.,1 was an apprentice in the ministry training strategy (MTS) in 2008 at the University of New South Wales. In the previous instalment, Guan compared how success is measured in life and in ministry, and pondered taking on another year of MTS. In this final entry, Guan has decided to go on to study at Bible college, and reflects on a year of relationships, transformation, and constant mistakes. (more…)

Is the church still serious about heaven?


When my wife Emma and I made the decision to pursue further theological training in a different country, the theoretical date of departure lay some fourteen months in the future. Nevertheless, almost immediately, it began to affect our lives, from how we spent our time (applications for courses, etc.), how we spent our money (why buy that since we know we’ll be getting rid of it in twelve months?), to the way we conducted our ministry (who is going to replace us in what we do?). From our human perspective it was a hypothetical future—an uncertain hope—and yet its power shaped our understanding of life here in the present in very tangible ways. When you know the direction you are travelling, it is generally easier to know which paths to take now. The future contextualizes—gives proper perspective to—the present, endowing it with its proper significance. (more…)