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.
“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…)
This post is, oh, only about three months out of date.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).
In the last 24 hours, I’ve received notification via several church members regarding an “URGENT PRAYER REQUEST” to do with systematic beheading of children in Iraq. (more…)
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…)
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?”
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…)
Social justice issues are not the core business of Matthias Media and The Briefing. Nevertheless evangelicals are always intereste, nay committed to social justice. In my view, social justice is not the gospel, but one of its fruits. (more…)
“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…)
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…)
I haven’t been praying much recently. So this is for me as much as for you. Here are some verses that keep nudging at my mind:
It’s a fair bet that most Christians would see prayer as a vital component of our relationship with God. We can bring our worries and troubles to our Father, we can ask for anything in Jesus’ name, we can be confident in our approach to God because of the blood of our saviour—these are all things we affirm and love. (more…)
Friends, is Jesus Lord of your holidays? For many of you, the answer is yes!
Jesus says the two great commands are to love God and to love your neighbour. So I see people making Jesus Lord of their holidays, when they continue to read the Bible and say their daily prayers while out of regular routine in relaxed mode. Or when they take the chance to read and reflect on a solid Christian book they’d not normally get to. (more…)
If there is one practice which seems to many to be the opposite of authentic spirituality, it is saying set prayers. Prayer, we easily feel, ought to be spontaneous, heart-felt, uninhibited. Surely repeating old phrases runs the risk of losing these things. Surely someone else’s words cannot best express my uniquely individual thoughts and needs. Surely this would turn prayer into a hollow religious ritual. (more…)