A Hero Without Equal

When the greatest event of history is about to be celebrated this weekend, it seems remarkable that so much else is dominating news headlines. Cricket’s ball tampering scandal unfolding in South Africa is one such example. It offers an intriguing contrast to the Easter story. At a time when role models are placed on pedestals from which they too easily fall, Jesus remains the timeless hero of history. Continue reading

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The Aussie Legacy of Billy Graham

Billy Graham died yesterday, aged 99. Perhaps the most influential church figure of the twentieth century, many still suggest today that their pursuit of Christian ministry was due to his impact. Graham still holds the record for the highest attendance at the Melbourne Cricket Ground which put his March 1959 crowd at 143,750. It is estimated that he preached to more than 200 million people worldwide. Some fascinating aspects of his Australian legacy offer enduring keys to ministry success. Continue reading

Why Christmas Matters

I find that Christmas provides a perfect opportunity for me to share my faith with others. A majority of Australians still identifying as Christians, according to the recent census. I have argued in previous years that any offence over Christmas carols or references to Jesus are usually taken on behalf of others who are not usually offended. We can overthink caution or aversion, but here’s three reasons why Christmas still matters and should be celebrated intentionally and positively. Continue reading

Lessons from a PR Fail

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse has released its report and it has understandably caused a stir. The Catholic Church predictably came under heavy criticism, and recommendations included celibacy becoming optional and confessions to priests being freed from the absolute guarantee of protection. Pope Francis is encouraging the findings to be studied in depth but the initial response of some Australian Catholics is quite disturbing, perhaps a missed opportunity that could quickly become a lost one if some basic remedial steps are not taken. Continue reading

Lessons from the SSM Debate

“Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.” A great slogan for an old movie that begs the question as to whether it is still safe to wade into debate on social issues. A week on from the survey result that has paved the way for gay marriage in Australia, we are already seeing a public attack on foundational social values such as the right to freedom of speech. Continue reading

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

How ironic that many advocating the rights of love, do so with very little love. Since any society should have the right to a say on such a foundational change as that proposed in today’s same-sex marriage plebiscite, let’s not pretend that two people’s love is no-one else’s business when that love also lays claim to the right to marry. (Even the hosting service of this website now imposes a rainbow banner.) What does love really require, though? Continue reading

What Research Says About The Value Of Christianity

A recent Weekend Australian article rightly observed that people underestimate the value of Christianity. Its further decline, said the article, will bring “a crippling loss of civic purpose.” With churches providing an enormous supply of volunteer labour and welfare support, Christianity consistently evidences social transformation reflective of its values. Although this is often masked by disproportionate attention to appalling clergy abuses, many also prejudicially reject Christianity as an anti-intellectual faith. Actual statistics, though, are telling. Continue reading