Reproduced with permission from the reviewer. Copyright 9Marks, February 2013. (more…)
I have never migrated from one country to another. The farthest I have ever moved was 500 miles from our family farm to go to university in Sydney. It was more than 30 years ago, but I can still remember the swirling sense of excitement, anxiety and disorientation of those early months in the Big Smoke. New streets, new transport, new housemates, new church… new everything. (more…)
A couple of days ago I had a moment. Okay, it wasn’t just a moment. It was a few hours. I could tell you how it wasn’t really my fault. How I just followed a link from someone, read about her passion for fiction and clicked on a book in a series that she’s into. (more…)
The heart and wellspring of all evangelical theology is the cross of the Christ. It is in the light of the cross that we truly understand God and truly understand ourselves.
It demonstrates God’s deep and determined love and it demonstrates God’s deep and determined love for sinners (Rom 5:8). I cannot avoid the reality and seriousness of my sin when I attend to the awful glory of what happened outside the walls of Jerusalem 2000 years ago. I cannot avoid the determined and loving purpose of God when I consider who it was who died there. The innocent Christ of God, the Word made flesh, the glorious Son who took to himself in the fullest way possible the form of a servant, was butchered as an insurrectionist by those who denied the Father who sent him. Since God was certainly not powerless to prevent it, nor does he take some kind of perverse pleasure in such acts of gross injustice and cruelty, especially when directed towards his Son, we are forced to ask what made it necessary. What was so serious that such a grim remedy was needed? What turns this divine and human tragedy into an act of love? (more…)
I remember when I was first introduced to the work of Jim Collins, in the form of his bestseller Good to Great. Essentially it is the result of a massive research project (more than 15,000 people-hours) seeking to identify common characteristics in companies that have experienced long-term success. (more…)
Life is pretty good at the moment. I have three great kids. My marriage is going well. We planted a church a few years ago, and we are starting to get some traction. The problems we have are because of growth. All in all, this is one of those seasons people dream about. Life is good. (more…)
In the last issue of the Briefing, we began a little quest to understand what God has to say about work. And, perhaps strangely, we ended up spending a whole article speaking about the creation mandate (God’s command to humanity to multiply, fill the earth and subdue it). Whether you found this helpful or frustrating will probably depend on two things. (1) Are you a big picture person or a details person? and (2) What were you expecting to hear? (more…)
Late last year we were confronted by news of the horrific shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, USA. The senseless massacre of six adults and twenty children quickly sparked calls for governments to consider reforms for gun control, so as to protect lives and prevent these tragedies from happening in the future. (more…)
I’m single. I live in Sydney’s east with my two flatmates and my cat. (The crazy-cat-lady litmus test is that you know you’ve become one and you don’t care.) I’m in my late thirties. Many of the struggles that surround singleness are my struggles too: tossing up between living on my own (and being lonely and possibly broke) or living with flatmates (and regularly having to find and get used to new ones); turning up to things on my own all the time; feeling the unvoiced wonderings of friends, who think I’m too fussy, or gay, or weird; feeling surprised and disappointed that I’m not married by now, and wondering what’s wrong with me. I tire of all of those things. (more…)
One of the standard ways that the New Atheists attack Christianity is by using some of the Old Testament war passages to argue that God is violent and petty. One of the favourite passages for this is the so-called Amalekite Genocide of 1 Samuel 15. But difficulties with passages such as this are not restricted to atheists. In 2009, the popular website Ship of Fools ran a feature called Chapter and Worse. 1 Readers were invited to submit their least favourite Bible passages, and an evangelical acquaintance of mine submitted 1 Samuel 15:3.
The arrival of a first-born child into a family is one of the greatest moments in all human experience. It rates with marriage as one of the big milestones in a person’s life. As such, it is particularly important that the Christian believer should understand it from a spiritual viewpoint, setting it in the context of his or her faith, and therefore relating it to God through Jesus.
Over the course of nearly 20 years in children’s ministry (not including his own childhood), Bruce Linton realized that the establishing principle behind starting a children’s ministry in a church is usually this: noise must be contained so that we, the grown-ups, can get on with church. (more…)
It’s lunchtime. A young mother sits on the bench, painting her eight-month-old’s face with food—that mouth is hard to find. With her spare third eye she watches her toddler negotiate the finer points of park etiquette with the oversized gorilla who isn’t interested in sharing the springy rocker thing—he’s four! For just a moment she gives herself permission to dream about being the council worker digging a trench on the other side of the park. What a life! (more…)
In the print edition of The Briefing (#405) we’ve included an update on how things are going here at Matthias Media, and we wanted to make this available to our online readers as well. We’re so grateful that so many of you care about our ministry and support it in prayer and other ways. We hope this information will help inform your prayers and encourage you with what the Lord is doing. (more…)
It’s been my privilege in two previous issues to be your tour guide for a quick trip through Jeremiah—more of a scenic flight than a safari. Today our tour ends with the book’s final chapters—but here’s the story so far. (more…)