Tony Payne talks with Phillip Jensen about the history of The Briefing—how it began, what its aims have been, and where we stand now.
I suppose it’s like looking at old baby photos, but over the past month or so I’ve been browsing through some of the classic early articles in The Briefing. I chuckled over some of the ‘Lead Balloons’ we ran in those early days, like the article that proposed we should build deliberately crummy church buildings from now on, so that when the next generation needs to rebuild them or tear them down in 50 years’ time, there won’t be any loud objections from the heritage lobby about the destruction of our beautiful architecture.
Back in issue #1 of The Briefing, in 1988, the feature article was entitled ‘Have Evangelicals lost their way?’ With this being our final edition ever, readers may be wondering: “Has The Briefing lost its way? Is there nothing left to say?”
Sometimes a new idea is just so obvious that you can only wonder why no-one ever thought of it before.
For example, why did it take so long for someone to invent the ‘multi-position pillow’ to solve the thorny issue of what you do with the underneath arm when you are lying on your side? This particular work of genius is a contoured pillow with various cut-outs to allow you to lie on your arm, without cutting off the blood supply to your extremities. Although there’s now a slight problem: you also need a bed that’s about a foot longer to accommodate your outstretched arm, nestled snugly underneath your pillow. (more…)
Regular readers of The Briefing will be familiar with the ways that the publishing industry has changed over recent years. Reading habits have altered, in no small part driven by exploding digital publishing and low-cost worldwide book distribution models. Furthermore, in the almost three decades The Briefing has been running, the marketplace of ideas has also changed. There was a time not too long ago when it was hard to get access to good quality, Reformed-evangelical articles and essays of the kind that The Briefing has always published; these days there are plenty of quality articles about Christ-centred life and discipleship all over the internet, most of them available for free. (more…)
I have never thought of myself as a technologist, but now I realize that we all are. As Tim Challies has pointed out in his book, The Next Story, humans are incurably and inherently technological. We shape and form and make things constantly as we fulfil God’s creational purpose for us to multiply and subdue the earth. The things we make are usually neither good nor evil in themselves—a wheel, a fork, an office block, a chair, a screwdriver, a book—but each one can be used well or badly, and each one comes with both risks and benefits. (Some technologies, I would contend, are just inherently evil—such as the office laser printer—but we will leave that discussion for another time.) (more…)
Following its publication as an ebook in early May 2014, we are delighted that Women, Sermons and the Bible (WSB) will soon be available in a print version (available from Matthias Media in August). (more…)
Oh sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the earth!
Sing to the LORD, bless his name;
It’s been just over two weeks now since the release of Women, Sermons and the Bible (WSB), and my thanks to many of you for the messages of appreciation and support. I’ve been particularly encouraged by a number of people who have commented on just how clear and accessible the book is, even when dealing with quite complex arguments and claims. Here’s part of one email from a Sydney laywoman:
More details on Tim Challies’ trip to Australia. Apart from the two public events in Sydney this week, Tim will be speaking in Perth on Technology, Pornography and Modesty. Here are the details: (more…)
And besides, what is the point of ministry conferences anyway—do they actually change anyone or anything?
There was a moment of awkward silence in the room when the question was asked. (more…)
Good news — Matthias Media’s new collection of essays interacting with John Dickson’s Hearing Her Voice is now available as an ebook. You can find it: (more…)
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.