The incredible message

The gospel is the one message the church must embody. Why don’t Aussies find it credible?

There was a time when the church held powerful influence in Western society. Bishops were on the chessboard, and in the House of Lords.

Today, Australians have told us they don’t belong under that influence anymore. It’s time to review our belief and practice, to ask if we have misrepresented our God or misused our influence.

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Incredible! What Aussies are saying to the church

Only a minority of Australians now identify as Christians. How does the church respond?


Australian Bureau of Statistics figures for the 2021 census arrived this week. For the first time Christians are less than half the population: just 44%. No, people haven’t switched to other faiths: 39% identify as “no religion.”

What are Aussies saying to the church? I’m hearing values such as these:

Continue reading “Incredible! What Aussies are saying to the church”

How do you determine religious truth?

How do you decide what you believe? Is it a gut feeling, what sits right with you or a witness of the Spirit? Do you trust your friends, believing as they do? Do you follow a tradition developed over 2000 years? Or do you need to prove it from the Bible as the only inspired revelation?

The way you determine truth reveals a great deal about you and the kind of church you’re likely to belong to. Christians divide over the basis of truth when we consider our way the only way.

Truth is more than I perceive, stretching beyond the horizon I see.

So here’s how I answered this question in another forum this week.

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Happier than ever: what I heard from Billie Eilish

(Warning: explicit language)

She’s one of the most creative singer/songwriters of our time. Her mystic is the strangeness that never belongs to any genre, a feeling that things are never quite as they seem.

She’s chilled, with lyrics that can be chilling.

She’s a warm soprano, with the highs filtered out.

She’s the mellow whisper that draws us into her trance.

Complementing her voice are filtered electronic rhythms, smooth bass, edgy guitars and percussion, blended by the master-chef Finneas — the less conspicuous member of the duo. She may be a soloist, but it can take a symphony orchestra to create that sound.

That’s all part of the enigma that attracts us to her music. When things don’t quite match, we’re drawn to explore further.

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How do you find God? (podcast) (John 14:8-17)

If God isn’t visible to our physical senses, so how do we see him?

Where do you look to find God?

This podcast (34 minutes) suggests the answer is relational — in the relationships that exist between Jesus, the Father, the Holy Spirit, the people who recognize Jesus’ authority, and the world that doesn’t.

Spoken at Riverview Joondalup, 19 September 2021, it draws from this text:
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Why didn’t God kill the devil instead of his Son?

Interesting question.

Recently I was asked this in a text message:
Q: Why did God sacrifice his only Son to save us instead of killing Satan directly?

Love this question! It accumulates so many misunderstandings of the gospel. Truth is, God’s goal wasn’t to kill Satan. God didn’t need a blood sacrifice before he would save us. And God didn’t kill his Son. Continue reading “Why didn’t God kill the devil instead of his Son?”

How do you know God exists?

Where do you look to find God?

The world has changed. In just ten generations, we’ve moved from not even knowing many places existed to using a GPS with Google Street view. We’ve moved from hand-copied books to the Internet, from camels to Qantas, from saddles to satellites, from superstition to science.

Where does God fit in a world explained by cause and effect? Christians have failed to provide clear, consistent answers to this crucial question:

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