When God de-prospers us

Couldn't Help Noticing, Life, Sola Panel

12-12-Alcorn

Courtesy: Tim Challies, challies.com

Mightn’t it be true that sometimes God lowers our standard of living to raise the standard of our giving!?

This meme is one where I feel very ambivalent (see original at end of this post). I normally like Tim Challies‘ illustrated quotes. And I understand Alcorn is a solid evangelical. And I know nothing of the context of this thought Challies has featured from Alcorn’s works. [* see below for update.] No doubt he says much that’s good.  (more…)

Photo: istockphoto.com

Ignore the digital outrage

Couldn't Help Noticing, Everyday Ministry, Life, Sola Panel

Sometimes the best strategy is to say nothing. Ignore the offence. At least be careful how you share your digital outrage! (more…)

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Seeking God’s kingdom first in the everyday

Life

“What do you do for work?” is one of the most common questions that we ask when we meet someone new. For most of us, work is right at the heart of how we see ourselves and how we explain ourselves to others. Usually, it’s at the heart of our diaries, too—in any given working week, this is the place where we spend around half our waking hours. (more…)

Special Issue Sundays

Life, Pastoral Ministry, Sola Panel

Special Issue Sundays at church – I’m not convinced!

Recently a friend suggested that Australian churches should consider an Anti-Gambling Sunday like in the United States (September 21). As the Americans said, “Gambling, at any level, is an investment in trouble.” (more…)

In fear, for his glory

Everyday Ministry, Life, Pastoral Ministry, Sola Panel, Sola Panel

This post is, oh, only about three months out of date. But hey, a lot has happened since I wrote it. Anyhow, here it is.

In a month or two I will be giving my first conference talk.1

I feel a bit like Paul, if you will allow me to rip a verse out of context: “I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling” (1 Cor 2:3 NIV).

(more…)

Dying with Dignity?

Life, Sola Panel

Here’s the submission I made to the relevant committee of the Senate of the Australian Parliament regarding Senator Richard Di Natale’s private member’s Exposure draft of the Medical Services (Dying with Dignity) Bill 2014. (more…)

Your work + my life = balance!

Life

Around ten years ago my local chicken shop came under new management.

Talking to the new owner, he spoke of his home country and his unhappiness in Australia.

“This is a hard country. It is not home. It’s not like home. I miss my home.”
“Where is home?”
“Russia.” (more…)

No perfect holiday

Life, Sola Panel, Sola Panel

We’re just back from a far-from-perfect holiday. There were many lovely moments: winter’s wind blowing spray backwards from the waves; the golden lights of evening on the harbour; sampling the world’s best coconut ice cream. (more…)

Identity

Life

“Hello, my name is Bill, and I’m an alcoholic.”

So goes the usual opening of testimonies at Alcoholic’s Anonymous. The willingness of Bill, to accept and openly testify to the fact of his addiction to alcohol is a great step forward in addressing his problem. But is Bill telling the truth when he says “I’m an alcoholic”? Is that his true identity or should he be saying “I’m a human who is addicted to alcohol”.

Are there bad children or only children who do bad things? Are there liars or only people who tell lies? Are there thieves or only people who steal? Do we punish criminals or crimes? Does God love the sinner but hate the sin? (more…)

God made me this way

Life

The nature/nurture debate is as endless as the determinist/freedom dispute.

The safe position to adopt combines both nature and nurture. Yet that doesn’t end the debate; it simply moves the discussion onto the character of the combination.

Scientific research will not bring a resolution. Not simply because the question is large and complex and the research is narrow and detailed, but because the reason for the debate is the implications of its outcomes. (more…)