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Questions & Responses

This category contains 30 posts


‘Let no one who is not eager for truth and peace enter here’ (Plato)

Articles on this site express varying points of view, to encourage mature thinking on serious issues. The assumption is that you will want to study a controversial topic from various angles before you arrive at a conclusion, rather than simply believe what someone told you when you were impressionable! (So some stuff here is ‘hot’. Proceed at your own risk!). See the Statement of Faith for John Mark Ministries' theological stance.

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Some notes from a Progressive (Evangelical) Christian Viewpoint

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Some notes from a Progressive (Evangelical) Christian Viewpoint JULY 16, 2014  Corrected/and reposted 25/4/2017 [To be updated] Note from Rowland: This article has been published in Gesher, the official journal of the Council of Christians and Jews (Victoria), Vol. 4 No. 5, November 2014.  As I write, today (14/7/2014) the story of a […]


MARRIAGE EQUALITY Key resources… Find these by googling titles etc. and adding jmm.org.au ARTICLES (roughly alphabetical by author) A: About 60 most-read articles on all sorts of subjects, including this one AA: A fairly thorough overview: Homosexuality & the Bible (6 articles) AAA: Too busy? Here’s just one (Steven Chalke’s) Prof. Gary Bouma (One group […]


We ‘peregrinating preachers’ tend to have a store of favourite themes. Here’s one version of a sermon I’ve preached hundreds of times (that’s not a misprint)! You ask, ‘Should anything be preached that often?’ My response: anything I believe is worth saying is worth saying again. This story has themes implicit within it which are pivotal to our […]


LET’S MAKE IT SIMPLE: WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? (A sermon) Preachers could learn from TED / TEDx talks. Their motto: ‘ideas-worth-spreading.’ The world’s leading ‘thinkers and doers’ – like Bill Gates and Richard Branson, and a few hundred others – speak for 18 minutes or less. The talks are then posted daily, free, on TED.com […]

Dave Andrews, The Jihad of Jesus: The Sacred Nonviolent Struggle for Justice

Dave Andrews, The Jihad of Jesus: The Sacred Nonviolent Struggle for Justice,  Wipf and Stock, 2015. Dave begins: I do not write this as an expert… [but] as a Christian, in conversation with Muslim friends  This is for Christians who’ve been listening to too many crusading combative pastors, like Mark Driscoll, and for Muslims who follow […]


(A chapter in my forthcoming book Questions and Responses: the toughest questions I’ve ever been asked). + A young friend had a baby out of wedlock, and when he was born the hospital didn’t let her see him. She had been persuaded to surrender him for adoption. The one-night encounter with a dark-skinned Asian student gave […]


 Christians come in about 13 varieties. These varieties (or mindsets) can be found in all religions. You mustn’t judge any religion simply on its caricatures. My theses: Each mind-set makes part of Christianity the whole of it. There’s nothing wrong with the parts. But like a car, if […]


The question: ‘WHAT ARE THE BEST REASONS – IN WHAT ORDER – FOR SOMEONE CHOOSING TO BELIEVE IN [THE EXISTENCE OF] GOD? What’s your experience? Here are my rough notes on ten classic routes from non-theism to theism/Christianity. I’ve put them in the order I’ve experienced them (both in terms of time, and relevance). Yours? […]

MARRIAGE: Find the Acronym

MARRIAGE (FIND THE ACRONYM!) On the 15th April, 1995, the Rev. Jan Croucher (my wife) and I ‘celebrated’ the marriage of our daughter Amanda, to John Southwell. The beautiful service at the Heathmont Baptist Church in Melbourne, Victoria, began with Amanda’s four cousins – sisters who are all brilliant musicians – playing Bach’s Air on the […]


ABUSE VIOLENCE WAR  (Latest chapter for my new book Questions & Responses). She came to talk to me in our church office after being discharged from hospital, and still wore the bruises her violent husband had inflicted on her. ‘I’m not taking this abuse any more’, she said. ‘You don’t have to,’ I responded, knowing […]