Memo from the boss

A Lead Balloon

MEMO: To all staff

FROM: The company directors

Our latest management research suggests that work isn’t everything. The best employee is a well-rounded employee, and so that you can become the best employee possible, we are taking positive steps to encourage you to balance out the different aspects of your life—your family life, leisure time, physical, cultural and spiritual well-being. Outlined below is a lifestyle programme which we feel will achieve the best results for you … and for us.


Talking sex

Pastoral Ministry

Should Christians talk sex? Should preachers preach sex? There are compelling reasons why, despite the difficulty, the answer is ‘yes’.

I’m writing this article anonymously not because I am embarrassed about preaching on sex, or because there is something in particular to hide. I’ve preached on it many times and think it’s important that we address the topic regularly. It’s just that many people are embarrassed in preaching on the subject, and I would like to help others to address that difficulty, rather than find myself pigeon-holed as the preacher who will come and give a talk on the subject when your minister or women’s worker feels the topic is too hot to handle. It is a hot topic, that’s true; but that is just one more reason for addressing it head on from a biblical framework rather than avoiding it.


Interchange: Christian men reply to Elle

Feedback on the controversial article ‘The Prince and the Porker’ (Briefing #293).

Candy or Depardieu?

If Ms McPhearson’s experience of her husband’s and her friend’s husband’s view of female bodies is true, she and her friend both have my deepest, male sympathies. But let’s be honest with ourselves! Is it only men that are guilty of this crime? As a “fat and ugly” (not my words) bachelor, I daily live with the fact that I won’t find a wife until I lose weight—a fact told to me not only by a Christian woman but by a Christian woman who is actually in full-time ministry teaching other Christian women!


An interview with John Stott

John Stott is spending July in Australia, lecturing and preaching in a number of cities. We posed these questions to him while he was still in London, preparing for the visit. Thanks to Wendy Toulmin and Langham Partnership Australia (Inc) for organizing this interview.


Interview: Jesus the Man (ABC radio)


The Briefing tracked down the interview that David Peterson mentions in his article, ‘The Dead Sea Scrolls again’, in which three Qumran scholars—Barbara Thiering, Geza Vermes and Max Wilcox—speak with ABC Sunday Night Talk host, John Cleary, about Thiering’s new book, Jesus the Man. Geza Vermes is Emeritus Professor in Jewish Studies at Oxford University and is an acknowledged authority on the Dead Sea scrolls, and Max Wilcox is a senior lecturer in history at Macquarie University in Sydney. Many of you will have already heard of Thiering’s pesher technique of interpreting Scripture and her conclusion that Jesus did not die on the cross and that the new Testament actually describes in code his life with the Essene community. Her ‘new’ approach has been writ large in the popular media. But the following turbulent, sprawling academic argument gives us some idea of how the book has been critically received. For those who missed the broadcast, here is a highly condensed version of what was said.