Reviews
Christian ministry and the “too hard” box

Christian ministry and the “too hard” box

If you're involved in any sort of Christian ministry, you've probably got a steady stream of "projects" coming across your desk. Births, deaths, engagements, marriages, family problems, relationship issues, etc. And if you've been at it for any length of time, you've probably developed an approach to each of these that allows you to move it from the "inbox" to the "outbox" fairly easily. But what happens when the questions get harder and the problems get bigger? What happens when you don't know what to say or do? When your advisers don't know what to say or do? Such projects too easily end up in the "too hard" box. It's not that we don't want to help. We usually do. It's just that it's, well, too hard. The "too hard" box Let's have a look at a typical "too hard" box. As we pull out the sta ...

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“T. C. Hammond” by Warren Nelson

“T. C. Hammond” by Warren Nelson

Nelson, Warren. T. C. Hammond, His Life and Legacy in Ireland and Australia. Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1994. 171 pages. This book is the biography of T. C. Hammond, Irish street evangelist and pastor, and later President of Moore College in Sydney. I chose to read this book because it captures an important piece of Australian church history. Sydney Anglicanism is internationally known as a stronghold of conservative Evangelical Christianity, and T. C. Hammond is a significant part of the story of how that came to be. Hammond was a contemporary of Archbishop Mowll and a theologian/apologist. Hammond was also a significant author. I've perused his In Understanding Be Men which was extremely influential in Australian theological training, not to mention around the world. I also re ...

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The honest epitaph

The honest epitaph

Funerals are awkward things. At a time when people are most attuned to the hard realities of truth, we often sigh as speaker after speaker tries desperately to make a halo fit around the horns of the dearly deceased. I've often thought, therefore, what it would be like if someone could invent a tombstone that gave an honest epitaph. You know, the real one. Such an innovation—alas a mere invention of my fancy—would be at once enlightening and painful. Instead of "Loving Husband and Father," it might say "Self-Indulgent Husband and Father." Or instead of "He Loved Life," it might say "He Never Had the Guts to Grow Up." Stark, to be sure. So stark, in fact, as to be judged indiscreet, crass. Perhaps appropriately so. Still, it stirs the imagination to think what amusement it would be to perus ...

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Our purpose

Our purpose

If you'll take a quick look here, you'll notice that our purpose statement has been updated. The new statement is: Our purpose is to develop a network of Australian readers, thinkers, and theologians whose pursuit is Christ, whose passion is the gospel, and whose greatest pleasure is God. You may be familiar with much of this statement because it contains the same basic ideas that have driven InFocus for more than nine years now. Readers. Thinkers. Theologians. Christ. Gospel. God. My heart is that you will be passionate about the latter triad as you grow to embody the former triad. In other words, I believe with all my heart that where the regenerate believer, submissive to the Spirit of God, devotes his heart to the disciplines of reading, thinking, and theologising, his hands will be st ...

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Can Faith Survive When Hope Dies?

Can Faith Survive When Hope Dies?

or How Does a Young Mother Survive Losing Two Babies? Press Interview with Nancy Guthrie At KCC's #OneLove14 women's event and #Oxygen2014 week-long conference last month in Sydney, the speaker that touched my heart the most was Nancy Guthrie. Here are questions the press asked Nancy and her candid answers. Q: Was there a time in your life where the rubber hit the road with your faith in Jesus? A: Two days after our baby daughter Hope was born, the geneticist came in to my hospital room and told us that she had a rare metabolic disorder and would only live 6 months. I knew that this was going to be where my faith was tested. I grew up in church, went to Bible college and now was in Christian ministry. It's easy to trust God when things are easy and another thing when your baby is dying. I ...

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