Censorship was a debate most people thought was won (or lost) in the 1960’s. But it has been neither won nor lost—just changed—and that for the worse. (more…)
We’re publishing a major article on singing in church by Rob Smith in the September Briefing, but if you’re in Sydney and want to hear some singing by Rob Smith before that, try this …
Rock performances. Accounting textbooks. Voice coaching sessions. Self-help books. Leadership seminars. Adult education techniques. Sociological surveys. Jazz piano lessons. Child safety courses. Food safety courses. Statistical surveys. Statistics lectures. Corporate management textbooks. Primers on psychology. Magazine articles on cosmology. Blogs on modern communication techniques. Tips on writing style. (more…)
In this talk from a Matthias Media conference in 2009, Mark Dever talks about what it means to be a ‘shepherd’ of God’s people, and what a shepherd does. (more…)
“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”
Where do you go to church? For me, I go to an Anglican church in North Epping, Sydney, Australia. Easy, right? I suppose a better question is this: where are you when you’re at church? These verses from Hebrews 12 show us why that’s a question that’s worth asking, and what’s going on when we gather as God’s people. (more…)
There is no joy in hell.
Its very existence reassures us of ultimate justice. Where else can the victims of the Holocaust find justice? But justice is little comfort when we consider hell’s horror. (more…)
I asked this question recently to a bunch of young ministry trainees at a ‘Trellis and Vine’ workshop, and I was delighted at their answer. (more…)
In this Churchman editorial about recently-resigned Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Gerald Bray displays the peculiar genius the British have for politely and respectfully pouring a bucket on someone. (The link downloads a pdf.)
This is the third post in my series on memorizing Bible passages. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here. Next time I’ll conclude with the “why” of Bible memorization, and the impact it’s had on me; but today I want to talk about the “how”.
They say that memory is dead. Socrates sounded its death knell back in the days when books began to replace oral culture – for who needs to remember what’s been written down? Now we’ve gone one better with the outsourcing of memory to electronic devices.1 It’s said that human beings have forgotten how to remember.
I’m sure there’s some truth in that, but I won’t accept it. (more…)
Just recently I came to realise that I had been treating a part of the Bible like a Mr Squiggle picture. Mr Squiggle was a kids’ TV show I used to watch. Children throughout Australia would draw little random squiggles–a couple of lines or curves on a piece of paper–and mail them in to the TV network. During the show, Mr Squiggle–a marionette puppet with a pencil for a nose–would add extra lines and curves to the squiggle, from his own imagination, to transform it into a recognisable drawing of something nice for the young audience (a cat, a house, a bunny rabbit). It was riveting viewing. Really. (more…)
For the time being, it seems the greatest threat to gospel-telling in such a society is not that we will be hauled before the city council, beaten, and have our property taken away. What we are really dealing with is some awkwardness.
Awkwardness is perhaps the biggest threat to evangelism for far too many of us.
One of the best watch-the-penny-drop moments I’ve ever had reading the Bible with people has been with these few verses from Exodus, as they realized for the first time that ‘grace’ isn’t a New Testament concept.
Three months after escaping slavery in Egypt, Israel came to the foot of Mount Sinai. Moses went up to speak with God on behalf of the people, where he heard a deliberate summary of the events of the preceding chapters (v. 4): God acted against Egypt to release the Israelites from slavery, he brought them out smoothly and powerfully, and he did it to bring them to himself. (more…)
In a culture that dismisses faith as unreasonable, can Christians remain confident that the Bible is both reliable and relevant? Is the gospel still good news?
If you can get to Sydney in July this looks great.