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All articles in category Australia

October 2015
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Visiting the Australian Outback

It took a few attempts before I could get the hang of pronouncing ‘Gulargambone’ correctly. The name means ‘place of Galahs’ or ‘watering place of many birds’, in the language of the local indigenous people. Gulargambone is a small community of about 400 people located more than 500km north-west of Sydney, in New South Wales, Australia. Galahs are grey- and rose-coloured cockatoos found in large numbers in the area. Our journey to Gulargambone began in Sydney with a train ride of nearly seven hours, winding our way up through the Blue Mountains to the west of the city and heading off towards the western plains....

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October 2011
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One year in

One year in Mourners cluster on the parched grass outside the tin-roofed chapel filled with grieving family, as I seek gently to bring the gospel of God to them and to thank the Lord for an aboriginal woman’s life in the face of her early death. A year ago we were strangers, but now are counted friends. A number embrace us as family and we care deeply for them. It has been a long journey from our loving church in Hertfordshire to join the aboriginal community of Gilgandra, yet ‘up to this point the Lord has helped us’.     We have left two adult children...

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Australian Aboriginal churches
April 2010
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Australian Aboriginal churches

Australian Aboriginal churches   Australian Indigenous Ministries (AIM), previously known as the Aborigines Inland Mission, is a conservative evangelical organisation whose foundations go back to 1905.             From the beginning, ministry was aimed at establishing Aboriginal Christians to lead and guide their own people. With the benefit of hindsight, AIM recognises that more in the past could have been done with a less paternalistic attitude.             Today, AIM is working with local indigenous Christians. Many churches have grown up which, whilst not exclusively Aboriginal, do have strong indigenous social and cultural perspectives. In Queensland and New South Wales (NSW) there are long established such Christian...

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Australian Evangelicalism
February 2007
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Australian Evangelicalism

Snapshots of history have their charms and their dangers. The last forty years or so of Australian evangelicalism have seen hopes rise and fall, as they invariably do. The mid-1960s were nothing short of catastrophic — despite the 1959 Billy Graham crusades.   These crusades were considered so successful that many thought Australia came close to revival. Marcus Loane wrote that Billy Graham was ‘God’s man for this century’. The foundations, however, were decidedly weak. For too many churchmen, evangelism had little to do with theological content, and too much to do with the survival of the church as an institution. In the 1960s Sunday...

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The gospel of grace in Australia
June 2004
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The gospel of grace in Australia

The centre of Australian evangelical life in Australia is the Anglican diocese of Sydney – centred on Moore College, the publications of Matthias Press, and the national leadership of Archbishop Peter Jensen. Its influence radiates outwards into the whole of Australian Christian life and work. While some aspects of this influence give me cause for concern, the heart of the gospel of God’s saving grace is undoubtedly proclaimed, and that forcefully. Dr Peter Jensen has given stalwart leadership both inside and beyond his own denomination on issues such as homosexuality and women’s ordination. Reclaiming the foundations   In the last generation (since 1977 when the...

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Developments Down Under
March 2004
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Developments Down Under

Having recently visited the UK, and been invited to write for ET about the situation facing Christians in Australia, I am most happy to contribute this short report on conditions in the Antipodes. Australia and Britain share many of the problems endemic in Western countries generally, and I am sure the reader will readily identify with much that follows. L et me start with an event which occurred in June 1977 — the merger of the Methodist Church of Australasia, the Presbyterian Church of Australia, and the Congregational Union of Australia to form the Uniting Church in Australia (UCA).   The Methodists had in large...

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Missionary Spotlight-The gospel in Australia
January 2001
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Missionary Spotlight-The gospel in Australia

The gospel came to Australia with the ‘First Fleet’ in 1788. On board was Rev. Richard Johnson, an evangelical Anglican clergyman. He ministered under great difficulties until 1800, when he returned to England. It was only in the 1850s and the 1860s – following the gold rushes and the end of convict transportation – that the cause of Christ began to prosper. Strangely enough, this was the very time when biblical criticism and the theory of evolution began to take hold. So 1860-1890 was, paradoxically, a time of both growth and declension for the Christian church. Liberalism From the late 1880s onwards, liberalism became the...

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Missionary Spotlight-Evangelical kaleidoscope
January 2001
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Missionary Spotlight-Evangelical kaleidoscope

The professedly evangelical scene within Australia presents a kaleidoscope – active groups within larger, compromised denominations; a small number of independent congregations; and a burgeoning multitude of neo-Pentecostal causes. Unlike the UK, there are no wider Evangelical associations, nor is there a substantial sprinkling of ‘Evangelical Free’ churches. Bible-believing, gospel-preaching churches are few in number, save perhaps in the enclave of Sydney Anglicanism (all other Anglican dioceses are predominantly Anglo-Catholic). Many evangelical congregations are scattered oases in a spiritual desert, with believers gathering from different theological traditions, thirsty for the preached Word. Even in strongly confessional local churches, there will be adherents who do not...

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