Reviews
The damage of the “too hard” box

The damage of the “too hard” box

There is no problem in the "too hard" box that wasn't made worse by being tossed into the "too hard" box. Regardless of how sinister or innocent our motivation may be, the result tends to be the same. The damage to you You might be surprised by the suggestion that tossing people into the "too hard" box damages you, but it does. Because you cannot tolerate a full "too hard" box without harming those most exposed—most vulnerable—in your circle of influence. And you cannot dismiss the weak and vulnerable without degrading your own soul. Here are four ways in which you will tend to be damaged if you are quick to write off those who ask you for help. First, you will become responsible for real spiritual damage. You will, by your condemnation or avoidance, be partially responsible for weakening ...

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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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