How do we package the gospel in the post modern world? Tony’s talks in the past have critiqued the ‘sin based framework’ as limited – but what is the alternative? In this talk Tony offers us an alternative way to communicate the gospel based around creation and new creation. It includes sin – but as a subset of a bigger message. Tony builds the talk on the idea of ‘argument’ as the key communication genre of evangelism. Arguments are the art of persuasion, so Tony gives us some background on the theory of argumentation. You can find the slides that accompany this talk on our Gospel Conversation website.
Welcome to 2017. We will begin the year with a couple of surprise releases – two of our important talks that we did not upload during the year. You might ask why we failed to do so – and the answer is ‘human error’! So that error has given us some holiday food for thought while we are in recess. The first one is from Iain Provan’s series “Seriously Dangerous Religion” and it is called ‘Of Humus and Humanity’. If you missed this talk, grab it now. It is a linchpin of Iain’s argument and of our faith. Iain explores the ‘Jerusalem’ view of humanity and contrasts it with the ancient world’s view. Moses and ‘Jerusalem’ offered the world an inconceivably high view of humanity – and one that for the first time, was a universal view not a hierarchical one. It was a view to cover every single human being in creation. He explores the social and revolutionary impact of this view. What I particularly like about Iain’s talk is the picture of God that this view implies – a God without needs who has created the universe for us and our enjoyment.
In a couple of week we will post the second talk from our missing files – my talk summarizing how we might construct a fresh alternative to the ‘sin based gospel’ – a framework for the ‘creation gospel’ as a compelling argument for our faith.
Tony Morgan describes how he found God in Insurance. For years he was stuck in a dual carriage pathway that separated his faith from his work, but then he discovered that 'insurance' was not just the context for expressing his faith - it was co-working with God and thus it was true worship. Insurance also brought him face to face with one of the most imponderable areas of God at work - ie areas of huge natural loss.
Tony interviews Mark Scott about his experience of leading large organisations as a 'follower of Jesus'. Mark ran the Australian Broadcasting Commission (Australia's equivalent of the BBC) and helped it transform into the digital era. He now leads the NSW Dept of Education. How does a believer lead such large 'secular' organisations? Mark talks with remarkable candour and authenticity about how his worldviews framed his leadership and how his inner journey is fed by his highly personal walk with Jesus.
Tony begins our Faith at Work series by stretching the scope from 'Faith at work' to 'God at work'. This immediately opens up the topic beyond the normal approaches of evangelism and ethics, to the role and nature of faith in the public space - indeed to the broad question of the relationship between the individual and the state. He gives us a broad framework with which to think about this important area in a fresh and expansive way.
This talk builds the foundation for the rest of Iain’s talks in this series. In it, Iain describes the critical paradigm shifts that separated the ‘Jerusalem’ story from the rest of the great philosophies of the ancient world – from Greece to Egypt to China. Despite all of their differences, these philosophies came from a common worldview – the cosmos is eternal, the cosmos is built for the gods and humans being are an afterthought who survive by serving the needs of the gods. Moses smashed this view and laid the foundation for enterprise and human rights with a ‘blue sky’ conceptual structure that was not a gradual development of these views, but a radical innovative alternative.
The first talk from Iain Provan's series titled Seriously Dangerous Religion
The eminent historian, Edwin Judge, takes us back to the mind of the Roman Empire as they faced the burgeoning growth of Christianity. Furthermore, he recreates the self-identity and characteristics that defined early Christianity - including that this new thing was not a 'religion' in the minds of either the Christians or the Romans. This jewel of a talk/interview merits a couple of hearings as it is packed with the depths and profundity of Edwin's lifelong journey.
Almost no doctrine is more controversial than 'original sin'. It has branded the Gospel as a dark message in the minds of many people - but most Christians just have a foggy notion of what it might mean. In this important talk, Tony challenges the mental models behind 'original sin' and then gives us a much richer model for sin - its beginnings and its imputation. Tony uses Romans 5 and the 'two Adams' to shine a better light on the topic, and then leaves us with suggestions as to how we might frame the gospel differently in the light of these insights.
One of the great stumbling blocks to evangelism and faith is the doctrine of predestination. Calvin was the most vociferous advocate of it, and he built it around his belief in total depravity. But was he right. In this talk, Tony explains where Calvin went wrong because his frame was limited. Tony turns to Ephesians 1 and builds much grander picture of what predestination means.