Saturday, 30 May 2015


Are you a father? Or do you have a potential to be a father? (That’s just another way of saying, are you a man?) This is a great book on what fatherhood is, and what it’s for. Let me give you the opening paragraph of the chapter 2 (chapter 1 just explains what he will be doing in the book, that is to change your mind about fatherhood by showing you what fatherhood is and what it’s for. There, chapter 1 down.)
 “I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to maintain a serious conversation with someone while they are attacking your private parts with a knife, but that’s what I found myself doing one early summer morning in 1996.” 
  - p.19 in Fatherhoodby Tony Payne 

How can you not read on? Get it and read it. It’s a good mixture of humour, personal reflections, and biblical wisdom.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Ordinary? Or extraordinary? I can't decide.

It was a great privilege to do a bit of walk-up evangelism around Sydney Uni last Thursday. I went with a fellow college student, who I knew had a Jewish background. In the course of our conversations with people, someone asked what denomination he was from. My friend answered, “I’m a Jesus-man.” I’m a Christian too. So, telling people on the streets about Jesus Christ is I guess what is expected of us two. An ordinary thing to do. But I can’t stop thinking about that one hour spent together trying to talk to people about Jesus.

Below is a basic summary of what people said as we asked them what they thought about Jesus.

“Nah… not interested.”

“No, thanks.”

“I used to go to a Presbyterian church… I’m looking for a better preaching… a minister I used to know went and did something something something…, my wife has a Catholic church background, something something something… No, I don’t go to church at the moment. No, there are some difficulties with believing things about Jesus, his resurrection and oh, the virgin birth… although that’s a bit easier, maybe something happened with y-chromosome, but then, why… yeah, well, I now gotta go and teach a tutorial, so… thanks.”

“What’s your story? Nah, I’ve (you’ve? He was mumbling.) got something better to do.”

“Err… I dunno. I dunno. Something something something… I dunno. I went to a Catholic school, so I went to the mass and heard all that. No, I dunno. I dunno. I dunno. Basically if you do good, you will have a good life. I’m a Buddhist. I dunno. Ok… so what do you believe? So let me get it straight. You mean, even murderers and thieves, just by believing in Jesus can go to heaven? How is that just? What about sick children? Why didn’t God make things better than this? I dunno, I dunno. Something something something. I dunno. Nah, I haven’t read the Bible as an adult. Nah, I have a Bible at home. I went to a Catholic school. I dunno. Nah, see ya.”

“Huh. You don’t want to talk to me, ‘cause Christians hate homosexuals like me, right? No? Yeah? Fair? (walks off)”

These were people who needed to hear that Son of God came and died for us and rose back to life to be King over us. And there I was, a gentile, trying to tell people about Jesus, side-by-side with a Jesus-man who has a Jewish background. Reflecting back on it, I think I can decide. It was extraordinary.

“The Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and partners of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. (Ephesians 3:6)”

Friday, 22 May 2015

Not assuming the gospel

Could you have preached that sermon if Christ had not died on the cross? Could you have developed that Christian leadership principle had Christ not been crucified? I’m not saying be impractical—the Bible has much to say about being practical—but make sure that the practical is tied to the message of Jesus. Otherwise we are on the road to an assumption that will lose the gospel.
   – p. 41, Marks of the Messenger by Mack Stiles

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Trusting God who rules over all things.

God is to be trusted when his providences seem to run contrary to his promises. God promised to give David the crown, to make him king; but providence ran contrary to his promise. David was pursued by Saul, and was in danger of his life, but all this while it was David's duty to trust God. Pray observe, that the Lord by cross providences often brings to pass his promise. God promised Paul the lives of all that were with him in the ship; but the providence of God seemed to run quite contrary to his promise, for the winds blew, the ship split and broke in pieces. Thus God fulfilled his promise; upon the broken pieces of the ship they all came safe to shore. Trust God when providences seem to run quite contrary to promises. 
  -- from A Body of Divinity by Thomas Watson, pp. 86-87, explaining the doctrine of providence (Westminster Shorter Catechism Q11)

Saturday, 9 May 2015

The wicked flourish.

The wicked flourish. This seems to be very much out of order; but God, in his providence, sees good sometimes that the worst of men should be exalted; that they may do some work for God, though it be against their will. ... He makes use of the wicked sometimes to protect and shield his church; and sometimes to refine and purify it. 
  -- from A Body of Divinity by Thomas Watson, p. 85, answering objections to the doctrine of providence (Westminster Shorter Catechism Q11)