Worship and Relationship

Thought, Sola Panel

From what I understand, I am one of the few who have been convinced by Tony Payne and Phillip Jensen’s assertion that you don’t come to church for the purpose of worship. Call me a company man or, as I like to think of it, a person who recognizes biblical correction. Either way, I know that I am in the minority. (more…)

Am I really a Christian?


Am I Really a Christian? coverAm I Really a Christian?
Mike McKinley
Crossway, Wheaton, 2011. 160 pp.

From the title of this book you may be expecting something for those struggling with assurance in the Christian faith.1 That is not the book Mike McKinley has written, rather:

Loving people at our school

Everyday Ministry, Life, Sola Panel

Here’s my second post inspired by Lionel Windsor’s ‘gospel speech’ series. The last one was about prayer; this one is about relationships; the next will be on gospel speech.

flickr: Adam Jones, Ph.D.

Our local primary school is marvellously multicultural. During the years they’ve been there, our kids have become best friends with Buddhists from the Punjab, Muslims from Pakistan, and Catholics from Serbia, as well as some fair-dinkum Aussie pagans. At last count, the kids at school trace their recent ancestry to more than 50 countries. In a place like this, mission knocks on your door and asks itself in.


Escaping pornography


When my grandfather was a boy, porn was something that was, for most people, hard to come by. It was the postcard passed around, the naughty story shared. While there was a sex industry—prostitutes, strip clubs, and the like—for most people this was the dark side of society, a place they never visited, rarely talked about. It was certainly not mainstream. (more…)

The importance of being unlike God

Life, Sola Panel

Much of our Christian life is a process of becoming more and more like God. God is holy, so we are to be holy. We love, because God first loved us. In fact, our English word ‘godliness’ implies that the Christian life is, by definition, ‘God-like-ness’. But sometimes, the opposite is true. Sometimes, ‘godliness’ is about being completely unlike God. Here’s an example:

Bring on the revolution

Resource Talk, Sola Panel

Course of Your Life workbookOne of the more exciting and unexpected outcomes of the success of The Trellis and the Vine has been a kind of extended book tour that Col Marshall and I have been doing around the place for the last 18 months—running ‘Trellis and Vine’ workshops, talking to people about the ideas, interacting. (more…)

Preaching Christ from the Old Testament

Pastoral Ministry

Preaching Christ from the Old Testament is hard. It’s hard because the Old Testament text itself can be hard to deal with—it’s long, complicated, and culturally distant. It’s hard because even when we get to grips with the text, it isn’t always easy to see how it relates to Jesus and/or how we can encourage people with the gospel, rather than simply making them feel guilty and weighed down with impossible requirements. (more…)

Don’t get fleeced by Gideon’s guidance!

Everyday Ministry, Sola Panel

We’re in the middle of a short doctrinal sermon series on that perennial topic of Guidance here at St Michael’s. I follow the Guidance of the Voice of God line.
Some people critique without reading carefully enough, because I don’t think it is cessationist per se as some claim. It’s essence is not cessanionism or not, but understanding:


What is the Mission of the Church?

Thought, Sola Panel

There have been many predictions about the next evangelical crisis. Perhaps correctly, many have predicted that it will again be on the nature and authority of the Bible. Is the telltale sign of this the fact that the post conservative post-modernists have tried to change the argument from being about the reliability/accuracy of the Bible to the interpretation of the Bible, all in the name of wanting to be an insider of this “evangelical” club? (more…)

Speech and salvation: a role for pastors?

Pastoral Ministry, Sola Panel

On my previous article about gospel speech, Craig made some comments and suggestions that I thought were so good they were worth a whole new post.

As a layman, what encourages me in evangelism, more than anything else, is hearing about other laymen doing it. For example, a while ago I heard a mate at church describe how he was planning to witness to the bloke in the next cubicle. That did more to encourage me than 10 sermons on evangelism would have done.


Colossians 3:1-4

Bible 101

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

In 2005, the city council of Rome banned round goldfish bowls on account of them being cruel to the goldfish inhabiting them.1 One report on the reasoning behind this decision was that the curved glass would surely give the fish a distorted view of reality, and may even lead to blindness. The councillor behind the law believes “the civilisation of a city can also be measured by this [kind of treatment of animals]”. (more…)

Genesis 3:1-6

Bible 101, Sola Panel

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

The thing about familiar stories is that you eventually stop reading them. You know them too well. And even when you do read them, you don’t really take the words in because you already know what they’re going to say. (more…)