Category Archives: Theology

What makes a good preacher?

By Brian Edgar

What makes a good preacher? One answer is that words make a good preacher, words that communicate the Word of God. The Word. They can illuminate, transform, challenge encourage and uplift. On the other hand, one can argue that it is good listening which makes a good preacher. People make the preacher. Their expectation, their hopes and their prayers are a critical part of good preaching.  If the preaching is poor, it may not be so much because of the preacher’s poor words but because of the people’s poor listening! Read More »

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The theology of theological education

By Brian Edgar

There are a number of very different approaches to theological education. David H. Kelsey argued that there are ‘two normative types of theological education’ which he referred to as  ‘Athens’ (which stresses the role of the academy in transforming the life of the individual) and ‘Berlin’ (which represents a university model which focuses on the need to educate competent professionals to strengthen the life of the church).

The inadequacy of a simple polar model Read More »

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Renewal in a College Community

By Brian Edgar

From time to time the Holy Spirit leads his people in such a way as to break down existing patterns of prayer and worship in order that he might renew his people. Sometimes this is because of inadequacies in the attitude of those worshipping, as we read in Isaiah 1:10-20 where God is tired of the sacrifice and worship of those who do not repent of their sinfulness. At other times the working of the Holy Spirit comes simply to give a renewed vision of the majesty and holiness of God, Read More »

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Christ and multiculturalism

By Brian Edgar

There is one simple thing to say about multiculturalism: it is an essential part of the gospel.

It is important to note that Christians do not support multiculturalism for just the same reasons as others.  Some people support multiculturalism for pragmatic reasons, because it produces benefits for Australia and is a great source of social wealth and dynamism.  Others support multiculturalism in Australia on the basis of history, because over the past 200 years Australia has continually added to the indigenous community successive waves of migrants from many ethnic, cultural and racial backgrounds.  Some support multiculturalism for philosophical reasons arguing for the principle of tolerance as an essential dimension of community life.[1] But ultimately the real reason for supporting multiculturalism is simply because it is right and Christians ought to continue to support multiculturalism despite all pragmatic difficulties and circumstances that would lead to other outcomes even when they appear to be simpler or more attractive. Read More »

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The soul – where does it come from?

By Brian Edgar

The Soul:Where does it come from?Where does it go to? In the twenty first century, just as much as at any time questions about human origins and destiny lie before us.  Where does humanity come from? What is our true nature? Where are we going? Read More »

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On being friends with Muslims

By Brian Edgar

Muslims in Australia frequently find relationships with the rest of society to be strained. Consequently, Christians have a responsibility to work to ensure that social relationships are positive and healthy and, consequently, whatever else is needed Christians need to follow God’s example and do as Jesus said and love Muslims just as they love Christians (‘love your neighbour as yourself’). Read More »

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Don’t mention politics! politics and the pulpit.

By Brian Edgar

Let me suggest the top five reasons preachers give for avoiding any significant reference to politics in their preaching, along with a response as to why they aren’t really convincing.

1. ‘It’s too political an issue and therefore too controversial. To many people ‘political’ means ‘controversial’ and ‘divisive’. Therefore it is best to leave such issues alone in order to allow individuals to make up their own minds about them. It’s safer that way.’
The trouble is that the gospel affects the whole of life. Read More »

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A theology of public life – Mathewes

By Brian Edgar

Those of us who, in our youth, studied the work of sociologists and cultural theorists like Peter Berger, were aware of the consensus (whether we agreed with it is another matter) that religion was declining, being marginalized and becoming increasingly secular. In that context any notion of a ‘public theology’ was irrelevant. Religion was seen as retreating into the domestic isolation of home and personal opinion. But against these predictions religion has actually grown in influence in the public sphere, and ‘public theology’ has developed Read More »

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Sent to heal – Taylor

By Brian Edgar

There was a time, not so long ago, when many churches held healing services in addition to, or as part of, regular Sunday services.  Now it seems that over the past decade or so this ministry of the church has virtually disappeared. Or at the very least it has become the preserve of some Pentecostal churches with their particular understanding of what it involves.

The loss of the healing ministry from other traditions  means not only the loss of an important, corporate activity of God’s people in offering prayer for physical, emotional and spiritual healing but also the loss of a constant, public reminder to Christians and the wider community of the fact that there are dimensions of life which lie outside human control. Read More »

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Re-Imagining God and Mission

By Brian Edgar

If you intend to write or produce a book, the best thing you can do yourself and your readers is to get a good topic. This book, Reimagining God and Mission in Australia deals with a good and vitally important topic: it is looking at what God, through the church is doing, and could be doing in Australia. Read More »

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Christianity and politics – Clark

By BrianEdgar

The book Tales of Two Cities comprises seven contributions on aspects of the relationship of Christian faith with contemporary, secular, pluralist politics. The papers were originally presented at a conference organised by Affinity, a network of approximately 1,200 churches throughout Great Britain and Ireland.

The papers vary considerably in length and style. Field’s discussion of Rutherford is particularly lengthy. There is a strong historical leaning with the writers generally seeking to find wisdom for the present from writers of the past. Read More »

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Why politics needs religion – Sweetman

By Brian Edgar

It has long been argued that most secularist attempts to remove or restrict religious dialogue from the public arena are based on a misunderstanding of the true nature of a ‘secular’ society.   But in Why Politics Needs Religion Brendan Sweetman, Professor of Philosophy at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri, argues that these anti-religious sentiments are not so much a misunderstanding of the concept of secularism as an essential dimension of it. Read More »

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Speaking my mind – Campolo

By Brian Edgar

By its very nature evangelicalism should be prepared to test conventional wisdoms by the light of scripture.  It ought to be a mixture of theological conservatism (holding to orthodox, scriptural faith) and social radicalism (refusing to accept any view – whether secular or religious – which does not align with obedience to Jesus Christ).

Integrating these two dimensions is Tony Campolo’s aim in Speaking my mind: the radical evangelical prophet tackles the tough issues Christians are afraid to face Read More »

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Sexuality, the Image of God and the Trinity

By Brian Edgar

Of the many public dialogues, conferences and debates on homosexuality in the life of the church in which I have participated, the most helpful was one where I engaged in dialogue with David, an active homosexual minister in the Uniting Church. It was particularly helpful because we pre-arranged the dialogue, and, As well as sharing in advance the best and most positive arguments that we wanted to make (so that the other could prepare to comment on them) we were also determined to ask ourselves the much harder question about the weaknesses we perceived in our own positions. Where did we think our argument was weakest? Read More »

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‘An Enigmatic Life: D B Knox’ by Cameron

By Brian Edgar

David Broughton Knox was indeed ‘the Father of Contemporary Sydney Anglicanism’, but his influence extends even further than that, for Sydney Anglicanism is now influencing Anglicanism and evangelicalism around Australia and the world. Read More »

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