Testing your faith in divine intervention

Thought, Sola Panel

In the last few tragic days, I received the following comment in my twitter feed from an Australian journalist.

AIDS researchers and a Catholic nun among #MH17 victims. If you believe in a god, this would seriously be testing your faith.

I replied,

Crucifixion Historicity

Thought, Sola Panel

I have heard the claim that Jesus never died on the cross many times over the years, in person, in the press, on the web and via social media. Here is my reply. (more…)

photo | thinkstockphotos.coma.au

The boat and the anchor

Everyday Ministry

Something really significant is going on beneath the surface of conversations that are properly anchored in Christ. Not just the content is different. Much more significantly, the attitude we bring with us is different as well. You see, if our lives are anchored in Christ then we’re free to respond to hostile questions without either striking back (one of the most common fear responses) or checking out (physically or emotionally). (more…)

→ Where are the honest atheists?


From a fascinating article by Damon Linker at The Week on the continuing crop of ‘new atheists’:

If atheism is true, it is far from being good news. Learning that we’re alone in the universe, that no one hears or answers our prayers, that humanity is entirely the product of random events, that we have no more intrinsic dignity than non-human and even non-animate clumps of matter, that we face certain annihilation in death, that our sufferings are ultimately pointless, that our lives and loves do not at all matter in a larger sense, that those who commit horrific evils and elude human punishment get away with their crimes scot free — all of this (and much more) is utterly tragic.

(h/t Jean Williams)

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…)

Evangelizing Mormons

Everyday Ministry, Sola Panel

There is an Evangelist at our church. His name is Ed. I have never really had a concrete position on whether Scripture prescribes an “office” of Evangelist at the local church. The reason I am thinking it through now is that I never encountered such a person at the four previous churches I worked at or attended. So I assumed nothing—positive or negative. Even when I preached through Ephesians 4, I somewhat glossed over the issue in verse 11. (more…)

Apologetic evangelism: an oxymoron?

Everyday Ministry

Apologetic evangelism is neither apologetics nor evangelism. Since the language of today is apologetic, and certainty is considered arrogance, how then can we evangelise modern, or post-modern, society? (more…)

→ In Defense of Apologetics


Tim Keller:

Apologetics is an answer to the “why” question after you’ve already answered the “what” question. The what question, of course, is, “What is the gospel?” But when you call people to believe in the gospel and they ask, “Why should I believe that?”—then you need apologetics.

Towards the end of this short piece, Keller makes the same (excellent) point concerning the myth of human rational neutrality that Martin Ayers outlined in his previous article here, Keep the faith. Both are worth a read.

Q&A today


We Christians today find ourselves at a very contested intersection with science and ethics. The amount of conflict is partly because in a post-Christian society there is no longer any shared ‘moral grammar’ about the common good. Our world has not just drifted from but also actively rejected many of the beliefs and virtues that largely derived from the Christian world view of previous centuries. (more…)

Christmas Poetry

Life, Sola Panel

Thanks to the CASE team (CASE = Centre for Apologetic Scholarship & Education) at New College, I’ve enjoyed receiving their quarterly journal for the past few years. Each one has a theme, and they’ve had some real winners in the last two years, including on: (more…)

Exploding Fenella Souter’s Myths of Christmas

Review, Thought, Sola Panel

Last Saturday, the ‘Good Weekend’ magazine published by the Sydney Morning Herald (and the Melbourne Age?), ran an article by Fenella Souter entitled “Truth, Lies and Santa Claus: Exploding the Myths of Christmas” (not available online). (more…)

Disproving God

Everyday Ministry, Sola Panel

I’ve been thinking about the problem of evil. Not so much the very pressing and existential problem of my own evil, but the classic three-part gotcha argument that every half-baked neo-atheist trots out these days with a smug smile. It usually goes like this:

Making conversation with Muslims

Everyday Ministry

Recently in Sydney there has been a billboard advertising campaign, with signs carrying various messages, including “Jesus: A prophet of Islam”, placed around the city. Run by Diaa Mohamed from the Islamic organization MyPeace, it certainly got some media attention. What was more interesting was the Christian response to it. Some were positive about it, others were negative, and some even said that it was offensive. (more…)