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July 2010
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September 2010

Our Approach in the Marketplace ...

Most Christians and churches today have a variety of approaches to presenting Christ and the gospel in the public marketplace. Some go with "Turn or Burn" while others try "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life." It is important to carefully consider what the gospel actually is and what our approach should be to people we are trying to reach. In Luke 10, Jesus gives detailed instructions to his disciples as they were about to go out into the villages with the good news of the kingdom. In his teaching, Jesus has a clear strategy. First... Read more →

Thinking Globally ...

While those of us who live here in Australia wait anxiously to see who is going to become our next Prime Minister after such a close federal election, let's be sure to lift our eyes and realise that we are only one small part of what is now a global village. We live in a networked world and through technology we can be instantly aware of what is taking place anywhere on the planet. This can become overwhelming at times but we can also become numb and immune to the issues and suffering that others are experiencing right now. God... Read more →

Some Post-Election Observations ...

The voting is over and the 2010 Australian federal election has turned out to be the closest election result in our short history as a nation. No out-right leader has emerged yet and we may end up with a hung parliament. A few observations are clear: 1. The Labor Party has had a large swing against them right across the nation, with many seats falling to the Liberals. Maybe the de-throning of Kevin Rudd has come back to haunt them after all. Julia Gillard looks a little shaken, to say the least. 2. The Liberal Party has made a remarkable... Read more →

Make Your Vote Count ...

This coming Saturday is the Australian 2010 federal election. An election is an important time in the life of any nation and this one is no different. At our church, we do not tell people how to vote or who to vote for. We do, however, encourage each individual to pray, to conduct some research about the values and policies of each candidate and political party, then to vote in an informed manner as responsible Australian citizens and as followers of Christ. The Australian Christian Lobby have helped us prepare to vote by conducting an extensive research project of each... Read more →

The Australian Liberal Party

The Liberal Party of Australia has been the opposition party since losing the 2007 federal election. Prior to that, it had held power since the 1996 election. At the state and territory level, the Liberals hold government only in Western Australia. The Liberal Party was founded after the 1943 federal election to replace the United Australia Party. When in government, the Liberals usually govern in a coalition with the National Party. Tony Abbott is the current leader of the Liberal Party with Julie Bishop as his deputy. For more background on Tony Abbott, click here. For more details about the... Read more →

The Australian Labor Party

The Australian Labor Party has been the governing party in Australia since the last federal election in 2007. Labor currently governs all states and territories other than Western Australia. Labor is the country's oldest political party, having been founded in 1891. Julia Gillard is the current leader of the Labor Party and the Prime Minister of Australia. The former Deputy Prime Minister became Prime Minister on June 10th, 2010 when former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd stepped down, after losing the support of his party. She is the first female Prime Minister and the first not to be married. For more... Read more →

What about Family First?

The Family First political party was founded in South Australia in 2002 and spread nationally in 2004. The Family First party has not sought to promote itself as a Christian or church-based party but rather as a party with a primary focus on looking out for families. Family First currently has four members in parliament, two in SA, one in NSW and one in Federal Parliament - Steve Fielding, who was elected in 2004. Steve and his family attend CityLife Church. However, I do not act as Steve's policy adviser. We have casual conversations from time to time about various... Read more →

What about the Australian Green's Party?

The Australian Green's Party is gaining more and more interest here in Australia, especially amongst the younger generation who seem to be looking for an alternative to the Labor and Liberal political parties. It is estimated that the Greens could win anywhere between 10-16% of the Australian vote. There is also a high probability that they will hold the balance of power in the Senate after this election, which will place them in a very influential role, much like Family First member Steve Fielding has had over the last term (Family First does still have a chance to be re-elected... Read more →

Preparing to Vote ...

The Australia federal election is just under two weeks away (Saturday, August 21st). Every election is a very important time in any nation and as followers of Christ we should take our responsibilities as citizens seriously. Voting is a privilege and we should be diligent in our research of each candidate and the various political parties vying for our support. The Australian Christian Lobby has done us an excellent service by compiling the various viewpoints of each party on a wide variety of issues. See their web site here, which includes a recent interview of Julia Gillard who was not... Read more →

Does the Prime Minister need to be a Christian?

Last week I received a phone call from Barney Zwartz, a journalist from the Melbourne AGE newspaper. He wanted to get my pulse on the upcoming federal election. We had a 5-10 minute conversation together and talked about a range of issues. In his actual article, I ended up with one quote ... "Mr Conner, senior pastor at Melbourne's biggest church, CityLife, said he was not concerned by Ms Gillard's atheism: 'Primarily you are looking at them to have what it takes to run the nation' - but felt Mr Rudd's dumping would cost Labor more than the party realised."... Read more →

A Subversive Poem

In the opening of his letter to the Christians at Colossae, the apostle Paul pens a subversive poem that would have grabbed the attention of his listeners and aroused a variety of strong emotions (1:15-23). He was intent on promoting the supremacy of Christ. He did this by showing that Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, and the head of his body, the church. The authors of recent commentary on Colossians (Colossians Remixed by Keesmaat & Walsh) have paraphrased this poem into a targum - something that conveys the kind of message in... Read more →

Are iPad Users Selfish?

Speaking of technology ... the uptake on the newly released iPad has been quite phenomenal. Apple is struggling to keep up with orders for its latest cool toy, now taking the marketplace by storm. What do those without iPads think of those who have one? What iPad users really like? One consumer research group believes that iPad users are 'selfish elites' (read the full article here). Others question the basis of the research. I think it's most important that we keep our priorities in place. After all, live is about 'loving people and using things' not the other way around. Read more →