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Podcast episode 032: Encore episode: Is God green?

In this encore episode from our CCL event on July 29 2019, Tony Payne and Lionel Windsor address environmentalism. It’s a longer than usual episode (around 80 minutes) in three parts: 1. Setting the scene: Tony looks at what environmentalism is, and the assumptions we bring to it; 2. A biblical theology of the environment: Lionel looks at what the Bible as a whole teaches about the world as God’s creation; at humanity’s place within it; and at how all this fits with God’s purposes in Christ;...


Podcast episode 031: An eyeful of idolatry

Idolatry can be confusing—not because there’s any doubt as to whether it’s a good thing or not (it’s definitely not), but because the concept is often applied these days to all kinds of actions that don’t obviously have anything to do with making statues and bowing down to them. My family can be an idol. So apparently can my work, my ministry and my devotion to the mighty Sydney Swans. But when everything can be a potential idol, does the “idolatry” as a concept lose some of its power? In...


Podcast episode 030: Not a podcast about Israel Folau

The Israel Folau affair, which has clogged facebook feeds around the nation for what seems like months, is not the subject of this episode. But the question of religious freedom and religious discrimination is. Anglican bishop Michael Stead joins us to discuss why the cause of religious freedom is worth fighting for in our democracy, what the Australian government’s proposed “religious discrimination” legislation is likely to deliver (and not deliver), and what the implications of all this...


Podcast episode 029: Living with anxiety

In one sense, serious anxiety—the kind that could be called “clinical anxiety” or an “anxiety disorder”—is like other common medical problems: it afflicts quite a lot of us, it has various identifiable forms and physical symptoms, and it can be treated. But of course, suffering from an anxiety disorder is also different from having diabetes or heart disease, because it is a dysfunction not just of a bodily process, but of how we think and feel. This makes the experience of clinical anxiety...


Podcast episode 028: We answer your questions

This is the first of our Q&A episodes, in which Tony answers a bunch of the questions that you’ve sent in by email or asked at one of our recent events. Questions include: * Does the fact that Christ alone is the basis of our fellowship mean that gender-based ministries or affinity-based congregations are problematic? * What’s the relationship between joy and thanksgiving? * Is personal Bible reading insufficient to resist temptation as Christian? * What’s the relationship between the mutual...


Podcast episode 027: A page-turner for the Lord

Richard Borgonon is as natural a salesman as you’re ever likely to meet. But despite his engaging manner and flair for persuasion, he spent most of his life suffering the same frustration that we all experience most of the time: a sense of making no headway at all in sharing Christ with work colleagues and friends. But one day that all changed for Richard—thanks to an unlikely dinner with John Lennox and a non-Christian friend. In this episode we’ll find out what Richard discovered, and how...


Podcast episode 026: Bonus episode: The elusive joy of Christian community (encore)

Quite a few of our listeners have been asking us to roll out the audio from our regular CCL public events as part of our podcast feed. That’s what you’ll be listening to in this bonus episode: an encore presentation of “The elusive joy of Christian community” event held on 26 February, 2019. The material falls into two parts of around 25 mins each: * Tony Payne on what Christian community really is (and what it isn’t). * Chase Kuhn on how we can miss the joy of Christianity in three crucial...


Podcast episode 025: The pursuit of Christian happiness

Is “happiness” a subjective emotional state? Or is it something that is more objectively measurable in terms of the standard of wellbeing someone enjoys? Given that the Bible doesn’t seem to have a particular word for “happiness”, does that mean that happiness is unimportant as far as God is concerned? Is there a Christian pursuit of happiness? And if so, how would it proceed? In this episode, Kirsty Birkett lets us in on the research she is currently doing into all these questions, drawing...


Podcast episode 024: Similar but different? Graham Beynon on gender differences and gospel unity

What is a man? What is a woman? Are we essentially the same? If there are more than biological differences between men and women, how should we think about those differences? And how should we live in light of them? That’s the can of worms we’re opening in this episode of the CCL podcast with English pastor, church planter and author, Graham Beynon. (Graham was in Sydney recently for the annual Priscilla & Aquila Centre Conference, where he spoke on these issues.) In our discussion, we touch...


Podcast episode 023: Where can I find Christian community?

We all want our churches to be more than clubs, more than institutions and more than events that we turn up to each week. We want to experience the joy of genuine community with other Christians. But let’s face it: that sort of community is hard to come by. Our churches often feel more like clubs or institutions or concerts than genuine communities. What does it mean for churches to be “communities”? And how can we be a part of such a community and experience its joys? In advance of our 27...


Podcast episode 022: Enjoying God

Do you feel as if your Christian life is dry? Do you feel as though you believe the truth and (mostly) do the right thing, but that the experiential joy of loving God somehow passes you by? Do you think you feel some of the joy of Christ on a Sunday at church, but that carrying that forward into the mundane world of Monday morning seems impossible? Christians have been asking these sorts of questions forever, and there have been many proposed answers over the years. But most of them are...


Podcast episode 021: Mexico, MOCLAM and Mariachi

When Peter Sholl headed off to Mexico more than a decade ago as a missionary, he learnt his first word of Spanish on the plane. Now Mexico is home, not only to Peter and his wife Sarah and their family, but to the extensive teaching ministry Peter conducts throughout Latin America using the Moore College “MOCLAM” course. Peter recently dropped in to our studio to talk about the profound lessons he has learned in Mexico as a Christian and as a trainer of pastors. He also has some wise...


Podcast episode 020: “Is God Anti-Gay?” with Sam Allberry

When Sam Allberry wrote his best-selling little book “Is God Anti-Gay?” back in 2013, it was one of the few good books available on the subject. Five years down the track, it remains an excellent short primer to the main questions that both Christians and non-Christians have about God and homosexuality. In this episode, we talk with Sam about the main message of his book, about the way that the landscape has continued to evolve over the past five years, and about the challenge of presenting...


Podcast episode 019: Being single and Christian

If your church is like most churches, around a third of the people sitting in the congregation on any given Sunday are single. Some have never married; others are widows, widowers or divorcees. What’s it like being single and Christian? How can we think biblically about the subject? And how can churches minister more effectively to the many single people in their midst? Dani Treweek is currently doing some postgraduate research into these questions, and she joins us in this episode not only...


Podcast episode 018: Hard thoughts about pain and suffering

Most of us can cope with pain and suffering for a short while. But what happens when you wake up each morning not wondering whether it might be better today, but knowing in your heart that it won’t be? How can we deal with that kind of chronic pain and suffering without becoming bitter with God and with those around us? And how can we minister to those who endure this kind of long-term pain? That’s the subject of this episode of the CCL podcast, with American theologian and author Kelly...


Podcast episode 017: Political freedom and Christian freedom

We are accustomed in modern Western societies to various freedoms: the freedom to associate, to have opinions and express them openly, to own and dispose of our own property, to act politically and to vote for those who would govern us, to pursue our own interests and intentions—and to do all these things without unjust restraint or coercion or oppression from the state. We take much of this for granted. But according to Os Guinness, as a matter of history and political philosophy, the...


Podcast episode 016: Training our children in the way they should go

“It takes a village to raise a child”, so the saying goes—which may mean that the rich web of relational networks that a close-knit community provides is essential for giving children the social world their upbringing requires. Or it may mean that unless you have someone close by you can offload the kids onto occasionally, you’ll go crazy. Either way, as Christians, we’re aware that raising and training children in the ways of the Lord is not just a parental responsibility, but a communal...


Podcast episode 015: What’s the deal with Jordan Peterson?

Like most cultural sensations who seem to have come out of nowhere, Canadian psychology professor Jordan Peterson has, in fact, been building a large and passionate following in various corners of the internet over the past several years. But it was his recent interview with the BBC’s Cathy Newman that went viral and introduced him to a new level of fame—not only as an opponent of political correctness and the progressive Left, but as the teacher of a bracingly down-to-earth vision of...


Podcast episode 014: Tim Challies on history, evangelism, technology, culture and more

Tim Challies is known throughout the Christian world as a prolific and insightful blogger and author. More recently, he has turned his hand to documentary film-making, with a new project in the works looking at the history of Christianity through significant objects. While in Sydney to look at some of our Christian treasures (like the Fleet Bible), Tim dropped into the CCL studio for a wide-ranging and fascinating chat about history, technology, evangelism, Billy Graham, Western culture and...


Podcast episode 013: How are you travelling?

Everybody travels these days. The question is, most often, not whether we will travel overseas, but where we are thinking of travelling to next. It’s hard for us to recognise just how historically novel this experience is. And it can be hard for Christians to realise that, like every other aspect of our lives, our travel plans need to come under the lordship of Jesus Christ. In this episode of the podcast, we hear the very useful insights of Stephen Liggins, author of a new book on...