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Suffering, Perseverance and God’s Infallible Plan

12/08/2019  |  Richard Chin   He was brutally executed for high treason. After being arrested and tried, he was stripped naked, dragged through the streets, hung almost to the point of death, pulled limb from limb, disemboweled, and beheaded. His body was then quartered and sent to the four corners of England as a powerful warning. On August 23rd, 1305, William Wallace became a martyr…

The Cross (5/6): The Garden of Tears

| ​Rory Shiner  “It was at this point that Bilbo stopped. Going on from there was the bravest thing he ever did. The tremendous things that happened afterward were as nothing compared to it. He fought the real battle in the tunnel alone, before he ever saw the vast danger that lay in wait.” (J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit) In The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins must…

The Cross (4/6) Covenant Renewal, Participation, and Politics

 ​Rory Shiner   The vast majority of churches celebrate a meal variously called “the Lord’s Supper”, “Holy Communion” or “the Eucharist”. Having in the previous article made a study of the Last Supper, what bearing might this have on our understanding of the Lord’s Supper? Covenant Renewal Many of the debates around the Lord’s Supper focus on the question of elements themselves.[1] Is the…

The Cross (3/6) The Passover

| ​Rory Shiner  “This is my body, which is for you”—Jesus on the death of Jesus Ty Treadwell’s book The Last Supper is a record of the final meals chosen by inmates on death row. Victor Fugeur (hung 1963) chose for his last meal a single olive. John Wayne Gacy (executed 1994) choose a bucket of Original Recipe KFC, deep-fried prawns, chips, and a punnet…

The Cross (2/6) Wisdom, Power and a Dead King

​Rory Shiner  Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. (1 Corinthians 1:22-23) The crucifixion of Jesus didn’t come to Jew or Greek as an empty vessel, waiting to be filled with meaning. It meantsomething already. For the Jews, said Paul, the cross was “a stumbling block.” For the…

The Cross (1/6) Why did Jesus die?

Rory Shiner  BIBLE & THEOLOGY Why did Jesus die? This series is entirely given over to exploring answers to that question.  It’s an odd question to ask in some ways.  What sort of question are we asking? It could, of course, be a medical question. History tells us Jesus died by crucifixion, but a coronial inquest might want to go into exactly how crucifixion brings about…

Hope For Evangelism In A Secular Age – Part 2

by Akos Balogh (see last week for part 1) 3) Eschew Utopianism There can never be a perfect world this side of eternity. Christians should be people of love and justice. We’re to do good to all people (Gal 6:10), as we love our neighbours as ourselves (Matt 22:39). But as we do this on a personal level, on a corporate level…

Hope For Evangelism In A Secular Age

by Akos Balogh              Christians are often seen as “moral outlaws” in 2019 Australia. We’re now being pressured to leave our ‘bigoted’ views behind, at least out of the public square. And the temptation for Christians is to panic and become alarmist, as if God has forfeited His divine rule over the West.              So how do we live as Christians in…

“Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast” – Part 3

By Richard Chin (AFES) 4. Systems The systems—or organisational structures—produce their own cultural effect. The key is to understand the purpose of systems and set them up thoughtfully so that they serve God’s plan and strategy. For example, in Acts 6, the apostles had to organise a “system” to ensure that the daily distribution of food to all the widows was fair,…