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Belief Enablers. What Turns Australians On to Christianity

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In my last post I reported the findings of research into what blocks engagement with Christianity for Australians. The research also provided insight into what fosters engagement. First, while half the population are not open to changing their religious views, half are, including a significant minority (7%) who are very open. Second, the methods most likely to engage those who do not currently...

Belief Blockers. What turns Australians Off the Church

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This week I came across a piece of brilliant market research into Australian attitudes to Christianity and the church conducted in late 2011 by McCrindle research. For those Christians inclined to think of creation and evolution as the key ideological battleground, to assume the Church commands respect, and who are worried about the influence of prominent atheists like Richard Dawkins, the report...

Which Jesus?

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As I survey the Australian church it seems to me there are three portraits of Jesus commonly found. I call them the forgiving Jesus, the empowering Jesus, and the just Jesus. These portraits shape our values, our mission, our ethics, our piety, our worship and our engagement with the world around us. So the portraits matter. My contention is that when we tend toward one or the other of the three...

What We Need To Learn About Mission Among the Poor

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In recent years there has been a growing interest among Christians in serving the poor. Unfortunately our enthusiasm is not always matched by wisdom. Wipf and Stock have published a paper I wrote on what the development sector has to teach us about being enthusiastic and effective. It’s part of a collection of papers on Baptist futures. [button link=”; type=”icon”...

Review: The Message and the Kingdom

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In The Message and the Kingdom, historians Richard Horsley and Neil Silberman "attempt to reconstruct the social history of early Christianity from a wide variety of newly available evidence drawn from recent studies of ancient Roman culture and from archaeological discoveries throughout the Mediterranean world" (chapter 1). Their argument, in summary is: 1. The Roman Empire was an oppressive...

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