Personal security (part 1): Introduction


There were 828 homicides in our city in 2010, an increase of 210% from 2009. There were 15,493 cars stolen, many of which were taken at gunpoint, and 323 kidnapping events (often involving more than one captive)—all increases on the 2009 levels. In a city of 4.5 million, that’s a lot of violent crime—and so far, 2011 is breaking all the records.


What kind of nonsense?


At the core of the Christian gospel lies some abject nonsense. But the real question is: what kind of nonsense is it?

The Christian message is not a matter of opinion (although it certainly has a bearing upon your opinions), nor is it a world view or a philosophy of life (although it certainly brings radical changes to your way of seeing the world and living life). Instead, it is the declaration of certain events that took place in human history; events that reveal God’s purposes for his world, and to which certain promises from God are attached.


Good Friday and good-ianity

Everyday Ministry


This Easter you and I will come into contact with equinox Christians. That is, Christians who attend church twice a year: Chrissie and Easter.

It’s hard to communicate to these people the mind-blowing great exchange that is the gospel of Jesus Christ, isn’t it?


Have we got the right Bible?


Who selected the books in the Bible? Was it all just a power play between leaders? Mark Thompson surveys the history of our biblical canon, and the central role of Jesus in its formation. (more…)

A tale of three cities

Pastoral Ministry


It’s 7 am Thursday, and I am sitting in a café on York Street in the central busi­ness district of Sydney. This is my hometown. The coffee, in case you were wondering, is okay. The Suncorp building towers above me, Grosvenor Place tall behind me, and every bus coming off the Harbour Bridge stops outside this café. (more…)

Humble strategic planning

Pastoral Ministry

There are lots of leaders talking about their visions and strategies for ministry. Paul Harrington encourages churches and their leaders to be thinking about God’s plan before making their own. (more…)

The Universe Next Door by James W Sire


The Universe Next Door (5th edition)

James W Sire

IVP Academic, Downers Grove, 2009. 293 pp.

I first read The Universe Next Door while I was at university. We were running an evangelistic event where students lined up to take a quiz to discover what world view would suit them best. We would then give them a pamphlet that explained their likely world view, along with any weaknesses it had and relevant Christian viewpoints they ought to consider. It was my job to write these handouts, and the Christian survey of various world views, The Universe Next Door, was my main source (in combination with Wikipedia, of course). I pored over it for a week, reading and re-reading, and got the pamphlets done in the nick of time. Then, in true student style, I ejected every piece of information out of my brain and moved on to my next assignment. (more…)

The future of books

Resource Talk, Sola Panel

These are troubling times in the book business. As I sit down to write this month’s Resource Talk, the dust is still settling after the financial collapse of the owner of two of Australia’s largest bookselling chains. The management is blaming a mix of factors: the high Australian dollar, the rise of online retail­ing (whereby customers can buy books cheaper and tax-free from overseas), the heavy discounting tactics of department stores, the global financial crisis, and the rise of the ebook.