Jesus is… beyond fiction

Thought, Sola Panel

I cannot believe how often educated people pull out the claim that Jesus probably never existed. Except that it’s not PC to say so, it really deserves the title of Old Wives Tale! (more…)

→ Seven cautions for eager polemicists


Kevin DeYoung on fighting:

I am not against polemics. It is a necessary virtue for Christians in so far as Christianity believes in the immovability and central importance of truth. Where would the church be today if Athanasius, Augustine, and Luther eschewed polemics? Christians must be willing to enter the fray and engage in controversy if they are to be faithful in a fallen world.

I also know there are many dangers with polemics. I see them in myself and can spot them (more easily, sadly) in others.

All seven are worth reading.


Life, Sola Panel

We made a fire today:
piled branches
in a top-heavy heap
and watched
as flames licked and spat and hissed,
roared high above our heads,
flicked their tails in a column of

Keep the Faith: review


This week we’ve had a young man with us on work experience. One of the things we asked him to do was to read Keep the Faith and write a book review of it. Paul is only in Year 10 at School, but we think he’s done such an excellent job that we want to give it a wider audience. Here’s his review…

→ There’s more to Bible reading than… being on your own


Interesting reflection from Arthur Davis on the ‘Quiet Time’:

Of course, there’s a place for personal Bible reading — and the Church has a rich heritage of contemplative practice that goes way back before mass-produced Bibles appeared. But there is no good reason to expect private reading to be the most important way of accessing the Bible.

Reading the Bible with others is not just acceptable. It’s great. The Bible is a library of community documents crying out to be accessed in all sorts of social ways.

So let’s change the question: What would it look like if we actively treated the Bible as inseparable from community?

What do you think?

h/t @Nathan Campbell

Small, but a lot of punch

Pastoral Ministry

When I was invited to lead a women’s retreat, one of my greatest fears was realized: I was given free reign on my teaching topic. Making decisions has never been my strong suit. I labour over what to eat for breakfast. How would I ever choose one subject from all the Christian topics out there? (more…)

We feel so… powerless. (Blackout in the MM office)

Just letting our Matthias Media and Briefing customers know that our Sydney office has a fairly severe power blackout that looks like it will mean the office is closed all day (Friday). It also means we can’t answer the phones. Nor reply to emails. If you have an urgent order or query, please call our warehouse on (02) 9663 3265 or try us on Monday when it will all hopefully be resolved. (more…)

Thanksgiving: it’s not trivial.

Life, Sola Panel

flickr: Liz Grace

“Count your blessings.” “Put a smile on your dial.” “Raindrops and roses and whiskers on kittens.” Thanksgiving has always seemed a bit trivial to me, a Hallmark greeting card sentiment next to the lyric poetry of praise.1

Here’s how my (faulty) reasoning goes: (more…)

Marching for Allah (5): a cultural shift


I have been arguing that sometimes we fail to realize that some things we think are just western are actually Christian, and we have been shaped by thinkers who worked in an at-least-vaguely-Christian milieu. Let us take an example; a theological issue current in missiological literature. Above, when I was discussing the way people from shame-cultures understand the gospel, I mentioned that very often they see the work of Christ in terms of his humiliation, shame and exaltation. Might we then, when we commend Christ to people from such cultures, explain the gospel in those categories?1 Do we need a new version of Two Ways to Live that is better contextualized? There are many good reasons to do so; not least of which is that the Bible itself understands Christ’s work in this way sometimes (eg. Is 53:3, Ps 25:3, Rom 9:33, 1 Pet 2:6). Christ has dealt with our shame as much as our guilt. He has exalted the humble, and destroyed the proud. In many ways this is a fantastic example of the way people from other cultures can help us to see better what is there in Scripture that our own culture has made us blind to. Even making this observation will be a big step forward in speaking with people of shame-based cultures about the gospel. (more…)