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…)

Biblical inerrancy revisted


In the first part of this look at biblical inerrancy, we examined the answers to two questions: “What is the Bible?” and “What is ‘inerrancy’ when it is applied to the Bible?”. We determined that the Bible is God’s words—which have at their heart God’s promises and what flows from them—and that inerrancy makes a statement about God’s trustworthy and truthful character and our faith in him. (more…)

Biblical Inerrancy


In many circles, especially those influenced by American evangelicalism (which seems to be everyone!), biblical inerrancy is a hot topic. Even if you haven’t come across the issue very much it’s still an important concern, as it goes to the heart of why we believe what we believe. John Woodhouse recently spoke on biblical inerrancy at a conference on Christian leadership; what follows here (and in a follow-up article next issue) is an edited version of that address. (more…)

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…)

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…)

“Jesus did not die on cross, says scholar”?

Thought, Sola Panel

This headline, or something like it, appeared around the globe on news sites last year (e.g. The Telegraph, CNN’s religion blog, and others). The story was also picked up (and embellished) by various blogs. Before you check out the links, let me ask you: What’s your gut reaction when you read a headline like that? Are you annoyed or disgusted that yet another ivory-tower scholar is denying the fundamental truths of the Christian faith? Are you in despair at the relentless attacks of the media on the church? Or maybe you’re pleased that the truth of science and reason is yet again prevailing over the religious dogmas of the past two millenia? (more…)

Have we got the right Bible?


Who selected the books in the Bible? Was it all just a power play between leaders? Mark Thompson surveys the history of our biblical canon, and the central role of Jesus in its formation. (more…)

The editor’s fault

Thought, Sola Panel

One of the many crosses my children have to bear in having me for a father is that I find it hard to stop being an editor.

“Me and Elle are going to the beach today, Dad. Can you give us a lift?”

“Not until you can say: Elle and I are going to the beach today.”


Necessary heresies?



It’s not really necessary to know your heretics, unless they’re doorknocking you.

Even then you can find ways to avoid them or annoy them. I keep a Greek New Testament on hand. When they deny that Jesus is God, I mention John 1:1. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. I point out that in verse 14 of the same chapter, the Word becomes flesh—God becomes man, the man Jesus Christ.


WordWatch: Questions, questions, questions

Word Watch

We live in an age that thinks we should question everything. The bored, affluent culture around us is convinced that there are no answers, only questions. We live in a cynical, sceptical society that views the only worthwhile intellectual activities as being question­ing, disputing, arguing and challenging. Furthermore, when you’ve tested some­thing, you ought to move on and test some­thing else. The goal is an open mind, with every fresh set of questions washing in one side and out the other. (more…)

Reflections on reading the Bible with my kids

Everyday Ministry


For the first 15 years of my life, I thought of the Bible as bizarre, and I thought of Jesus as existing in the same realm as the tooth fairy and Santa Claus. God did amazing work in my life to show me how true the Bible is, but my old self lingers on. I find it particularly hard to make sense of the cultural foreignness of the Old Testament.

I have been reading through Genesis with my nine-year-old daughter for the past couple of months, and it’s been a lesson in humility. I come to Genesis with all of the questions of my old life: did the flood really happen? Did Abraham and Isaac really pass their wives off as their sisters, or did people just get the story confused and tell it twice? (I would have been a good liberal.) So it fascinates me the kinds of questions Anna chooses to ask.


The Dead Sea Scrolls again


Seems like it’s the Barbara Thiering show again. The information jockeys have decided that Dr Thiering’s theories are ‘news’, and so once again we must argue the toss with our non-Christian and quasi-Christian friends over the merits of her arguments.


The Jenolan Caves Scrolls


A few friends have asked me to describe (in 25 words or less) what Barbara Thiering is on about with her interpretation of the New Testament and I am only too happy to oblige. It only took me three years to understand the instructions for using the automatic timer on our video cassette recorder so a pesher or two shouldn’t be a big worry (a pesh-over, actually).