I’m not sure John Chapman would have approved of this article, on two counts. For a start, it speaks more positively of him than he would have been comfortable with; but more particularly, this article tries to do two things at once, a vice that Chappo decried in many a trainee preacher. (more…)
There’s nothing like a bunch of marriage books to make your head spin. Mostly I avoid them—too many guilt-producing suggestions about the ‘must-dos’ of a relationship—but I’ve been writing a seminar on the topic, so it was time to hit the books. (more…)
In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve been pretty enthusiastic about The Course of Your Life.
Perhaps you’re even a bit tired of seeing it advertised here in The Briefing—we’ve included it in every Briefing since the course was launched at the end of 2011. There hasn’t been any other Matthias Media resource that has been given that level of priority. Ever. (Even though we tend to get enthused about everything we publish.) (more…)
Last time I wrote something for this column, I wrote about a book that deals with problems and questions I face in my own life (God’s Good Design). This time I’m writing about a book that’s not really for me. In Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: Ethics and the beginning of human life, Dr Megan Best writes about the stuff that married (or about-to-get married) people need to know—things like contraception, pregnancy, infertility and IVF. She wrote the book “in response to many requests from Christians who are struggling to find the information they need to think clearly about the morality of reproductive technology” (p. 9). I’m not married and I have no children. I’m hardly the target audience for this book, yet it fascinated me. (more…)
On Boxing Day 2012 (Christmas Day in Australia), a series of electronic booklets called “Fresh Perspectives on Women in Ministry” was released by Zondervan. One of these booklets was written by John Dickson, a highly respected Australian evangelist, writer, researcher and Anglican minister. Although I have only met John briefly, I have personally appreciated and benefited from much of his written work–both academic and popular. He has been involved in Christian ministry for significantly longer than I have; nevertheless we do share a number of things in common. I write regularly for an organisation (Matthias Media) with whom John has had a long and fruitful association. I am a Sydney Anglican minister myself. I also share similar academic research interests to John, particularly regarding the application of New Testament historical research to contemporary ministry. (more…)
Silencing Satan: Handbook of Biblical Demonology
Sharon Beekmann and Peter Bolt.
Wipf and Stock, 2012, 234 pp.
The Sam Freney who first came to know Christ was an arrogant young man in late high school, thoroughly self-assured, and convinced of the rightness of Western modernism and the superiority of reason above any kind of mysticism or kooky spirituality. In other words, a pretty typical white Anglo-Saxon Australian teenage male. (I like to think I’ve changed since then, at least a little. At minimum, I’m not a teenager any more.) (more…)
When did you last doubt the truth of Christianity?
Notice that I asked when, not if, because I’m assuming that this is one of the temptations that is common to man—the temptation to turn away from God, to doubt his goodness, his faithfulness, even his reality. (more…)
Former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia John Anderson last night strongly criticized the level of public debate in Australia and Western society. (more…)
This week we’ve had a young man with us on work experience. One of the things we asked him to do was to read Keep the Faith and write a book review of it. Paul is only in Year 10 at School, but we think he’s done such an excellent job that we want to give it a wider audience. Here’s his review…
The name and ministry of Philip Hacking may not be well known to readers of The Briefing. (This reviewer certainly did not know of Philip before reading this book.) To set the record straight, Philip Hacking has been a faithful minister of the gospel for more than 40 years in the Church of England, serving in the parishes of St. Helens, Edinburgh and Sheffield. The essays making up The Renewed Pastor survey various aspects of pastoral ministry and were presented to Philip in appreciation of his ministry. (more…)
Barry Danylak, Crossway, Wheaton, 2010, 256 pages.
Some Christian topics seem to engage our interest and time more than others. Predestination is a classic; marriage and singleness is another. With so many books already written on this subject does Redeeming Singleness bring anything new to an already crowded ‘relationships’ section of your local Christian bookstore (if you still have one)? (more…)
Do you believe in the power of the word? These guys do.
I wish we’d taken his name and number, or asked him to write up his story. (more…)
In recent decades, the fights that many churches have had over musical styles have been termed the ‘worship wars’—typically cast as a battle between traditionalists on one side, who wish to retain the noble beauty and heritage of historic church practice, particularly in music; and modernizers on the other, who want church services to be contemporary, relevant, engaging, and so on. (more…)