Authentic Ministry: Style or Substance – Preaching 2 Corinthians.

William Taylor is speaking at the John Chapman Preaching Clinic at Moore College on Wednesday 8th February. 

We understand that today is the last day to register at the standard rate.

The inviting nature of Christianity

“‘Albert McMakin’ is not a name familiar to many today, yet this man has significantly influenced your life. He worked on a farm in Charlotte, North Carolina, back in the 1930s—but it is not by virtue of his agricultural prowess that his influence has extended your way. The reason Albert still rates a mention in books and can be easily found via a Google search is because of what he did in 1934.

That year an evangelist was conducting a series of meetings in Charlotte, and Albert persuaded a young 16-year-old man to attend one of the gatherings. As incentive, he said that the younger man could drive his vegetable truck into town for the meeting. The teenager went and, before long, was converted. The teenager’s name was Billy Graham—the man who went on to preach the gospel to more people in-person than anyone else in human history. Albert’s simple invitation was used by God to play a key role in the conversion of this future evangelist. …”

– To start the working week, here’s an encouraging article from Stephen Liggins, at

Impossible to Believe — Preaching in a Secular Culture

“When people identify as believers in Jesus Christ they are making a far more individualistic statement than was possible in years past. Furthermore, they are doing so in the face of alternative worldview options that were simply unavailable until very recently.

In fact, as I was doing research for my book on atheism I learned that the very first use of ‘atheist’ in English came from Miles Coverdale who invented the word during his time translating Scripture.

The remarkable thing to notice is that Coverdale had to invent a term for someone who did not believe in God because he did not know anyone who actually held that conviction. No one in the Elizabethan age would have denied God’s existence.…”

– In his second article in a series on Preaching in a Secular Age, Albert Mohler makes some very worthwhile observations. Read it here.

New Women’s Ministry Stream at Moore College

The Australian Church Record chats with Jane Tooher about Moore College’s new women’s ministry study stream in its Advanced diploma of Bible, ministry and mission. 

Who is this study stream for?

Any Christian woman wanting to be better equipped to serve Jesus Christ and His church in a variety of settings. We are anticipating a range of ages, personalities, backgrounds, and gifting. Some women may not have studied for many years or not at a tertiary level before. Others may have just finished university. Women are able to study the Advanced Diploma either part-time or full-time, as little as one subject at a time with only one day at College per week, so it’s flexible to suit as many women as possible.”

Read it all here.

Dying with dignity

Recently, the South Australian Parliament debated and rejected the Death with Dignity Bill, which proposed to legalise euthanasia. It was the 15th time a euthanasia bill had been rejected by the house.

The bill’s proposer predicts that this is not the end of the debate, referring to the overwhelming public support for “the right to choose and have a dignified death”. With Andrew Denton regularly advertising his desire for legal euthanasia with evangelistic fervour, I agree that we have not seen the end of the debate. But I still hope for a more honest one. …”

– This is an important article by Dr. Megan Best, bioethicist and palliative care doctor who works for HammondCare. She serves on the Social Issues Committee of the Diocese of Sydney.


(Dr. Best is also the author of Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, from Matthia Media.)

Overseas Muslim marriages and Australian law

Two cases involving purported marriages under Islamic law, entered into overseas by Australian residents, have received recent press coverage.

The decisions of the courts involved seem to be clearly correct, and they helpfully illustrate some important principles of Australian law. A person whose home is Australia cannot legally travel outside this country and enter into a valid marriage with a minor, or enter into a second marriage when already lawfully married under Australian law. …”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster looks at the operation of Australian law and overseas marriages.

Dick Lucas on Mark’s Gospel


At the age of 91, Dick Lucas is still going strong. Rector of St Helen’s from 1961 to 1998, and Rector Emeritus since then, he has used his retirement to help preachers and other Bible teachers to understand and communicate the Word of God to people today, not least through the conferences run by The Proclamation Trust.

The most recent fruits of his retirement are recordings of his latest reflections on Scripture, aimed primarily at the Bible expositor but suitable for everyone. Recorded in his kitchen, where most of his sermon preparation takes place, they are starting to be published just prior to Christmas 2016.

This is a wonderful resource, covering Mark 1-8, with the promise of more to come soon.

Secularism, Preaching, and the Challenges of Modernity

Dr Albert Mohler“I began my chapter on preaching and postmodernism in We Cannot Be Silent with these words, “A common concern seems to emerge now wherever Christians gather: The task of truth-telling is stranger than it used to be. In this age, telling the truth is tough business and not for the faint-hearted. The times are increasingly strange.”

As preachers we recognize how strange the times have become. Almost anyone seeking to carry out a faithful pulpit ministry recognizes that preachers must now ask questions we have not had to consider in the past. We recognize that preaching has been displaced from its once prominent position in the culture.

Many of us are wondering, why is preaching more challenging in our cultural moment than it has been in other times? …”

– Albert Mohler begins a three-part series on Preaching in a Secular Age.

Free Bible Reading Plans from Crossway

download-reading-plan“Man doesn’t live on bread alone, but on the very Word of God.

We believe that the Bible is God’s provision of our true daily sustenance because it nourishes us with the truth of who he is. It’s not uncommon, however, for new believers and older saints alike to need some recommendations for how to structure daily time in the Bible. …”

– Crossway has a selection of Bible reading plans you, or your church, could use – with a link to more at

(Image: Crossway, though we’re not certain coffee is always necessary to study the Bible.)

Preparing for death

jean-williams“…you won’t find a shelf labelled ‘death’ at your local Christian bookstore. Have a look, and tell me if I’m wrong. My guess is that you’ll find shelves marked ‘marriage’ and ‘prayer’, but probably not a section on dying.

Your local Puritan bookstore (if there was such a thing) would have been different.”

– At, Jean Williams has a book recommendation. (“Despite the topic, it’s not dreary or depressing, but joyful and uplifting.”)

Religious Freedom, transgender issues and abortion – overruling the US Health Department

Assoc Prof Neil Foster“The recent (31 Dec 2016) decision of US Federal District Court Judge O’Connor in Franciscan Alliance Inc v Burwell (ND TX, Case 7:16-cv-00108-O; Dec. 31, 2016) (thanks to “Religion Clause” for the report and information) is a significant one.

In short, the Obama administration had used the prohibition on ‘sex discrimination’ in US Federal law to enact an administrative regulation requiring Christian health care providers (and some State governments) to provide transgender ‘transition’ procedures, and abortions, to all patients, arguing that denying this coverage amounted to sex discrimination.

This highly questionable interpretation has now been overturned by this very significant decision…”

– Neil Foster, at Law and Religion Australia, reports on developments in the United States.

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