Once more, with any feeling


By the time you read this I will have dispensed with a house of belongings, left the best job I’ve ever had (enjoy, new assistant Briefing editor!), kissed my nephews goodbye, and cried all over my parents at the airport. My husband and I are moving from Australia to Mongolia, to join with the body of Christ in Ulaanbaatar. And the question on the lips of most people I meet is “Wow, are you excited?” (more…)

No ordinary plan

Resource Talk

Things don’t always go to plan. You try to do your Christmas shopping in October, but somehow you’re still looking for gifts on the 23rd of December. You mean to ask that couple from church around for dinner, but the weeks go by and the invitation slips your mind every Sunday. This is the year you’re going to exercise more and eat better… how did another kilogram sneak on to the scales? (more…)

Learning God is there

Resource Talk

The Birthday Party coverI have a nephew about to turn two, and a week ago I went to visit for the first time in a few months. The last time I’d seen him, the only word I was certain he understood was ‘no’ (even if understanding didn’t always result in the desired outcome). This time I stepped off the train to find him saying ‘tain’ and ‘toot-toot!’, all the while looking at me with admiration for having actually ridden on the object of his affections. When he beamed at me and chirped “Hi!”, I was as smitten as when he was first born. (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…)

Responding to disaster



Earthquakes, floods, snow storms… It wouldn’t take much thought to start a list of all the disasters that have occurred in recent times. Death and misery fill the news websites and television broadcasts, as people lose their homes, livelihoods and loved ones at the hand of nature.

D Broughton Knox, the influential 20th century Australian theologian, also saw disasters come during his lifetime. We thought that this article by him, published in the Selected works of Broughton Knox (Volume III) and originally a radio broadcast from January 1975, would be relevant and thought-provoking.


From euthanasia to the gospel


Euthanasia is a topic that is not likely to go away any time soon. Our friend or colleague, normally keen to avoid thinking about their own death, may now be talking about their right to end their life at some point. So how can we move a conversation about assisted suicide to the gospel? Tony Payne has some practical (and humorous) advice in an article first published in The Briefing in 1995.