Want to see somebody talk about the gospel in the media? Check this out

So. I’ve banged on about how Christians have a responsibility to use a mass media platform, if provided, to talk about Jesus in a winsome and engaging way. I’ve said that there are certain representatives in the political field who don’t do this well, and certain people who do.

And now, I have an example. This is how you go into an essentially hostile environment. Kochie lobs this set-up shot in front of the artist of a controversial piece of art work depicting Jesus as indigenous (which he was, to Palestine), transvestite (which he wasn’t), and as a drag queen. It’s clearly a piece of art designed to shock. He gives the artist free range to slag off Christianity’s record when it comes to these groups. And then he turns to Guy Mason, who’s an Anglican minister from Melbourne. And Guy smashes it out of the park. He talks about how Jesus died for sinners (a bit of substitutionary atonement). And invites people to use this as an opportunity to consider the way Jesus loved sinners and died for all of us. He leaves the shrill artist speechless, and debunks any sense of hostility.

I especially love the little dig about it being a “cliched” piece of art.

But you can also be “on message” for the gospel by not being deliberately on message. Kate Bracks. MasterChef. Is a Christian, this wasn’t a big deal in the series – except when she refused to call the Dalai Lama holy. She’s a Christian. And on Sunday night she won a competition that was watched by bucket loads of people. Perhaps because she didn’t want God being a product placement alongside Handy Ultra Paper Towel, or perhaps because she’s just classy, she didn’t choose to thank God when she won. Publicly, anyway. She thanked her husband and she acted with grace, poise and charm. And then. Today. She got to talk about why she didn’t thank God.

Kate says she thought about it, but then:

“But then I thought, everyone then goes ‘Oh great, it just sounds like the Logies’. It sounds corny and that is not the type of Christian I am,”

But what sort of Christian is she? This seems like a good opportunity to make a statement about her faith, right… well, she does (with a bit of humour when she was asked if she prayed for the win):

“I’m always talking to God but I don’t actually pray that he’ll help me win because I don’t really think he cares too much about that to be honest,” she said.

“I would say that I believe what the Bible says and I try to live that way so that it’s about trying to have a relationship with God and not about the things you do or don’t do.”

That’s how you do it. Classy. Winsome. Gospel centred. I know some churches that are lining up to get Kate along. Lets hope she doesn’t get worn out too quickly by this attention.

An open letter to Australia’s Television Networks Regarding the Royal Wedding

Dear Seven, Seven2, Nine, Ten, 11, ABC, SBS, Mate, Go, Gem, 1HD, and anybody I’ve missed,

I don’t care about the royal wedding. I’m sure there are thousands, nay, millions of other men and women out there in the Australian populace who feel the same way. On a scale of one to “I really don’t care about this stupid wedding” I’m about a 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. I would rather have my eyelids removed with a potato-peeler than keep them peeled to your stupid coverage featuring irrelevancies like Ita Buttrose, and Dame Edna, who you’ve dragged out of the closet to cover the circus. Only it’s not a circus. There are no monkeys. Actual monkeys I could tolerate. I could even tolerate the Arctic Monkeys – and they are British.

The royal family are, always have been, and always will be, an anachronism. Foisted on us by history. Irrelevant except that they adorn our currency, provide us with an annual public holiday for the Queen’s Birthday, and open the Commonwealth Games. Which are like the Olympics, only we win.

Please stop. Resume normal coverage. Stop blabbering on about dresses. British etiquette. Telemovies about the lovely romance of two boring English people. Don’t take me through the empty house that Kate once lived in as though it is news and not just some PR consultant’s attempt to jack up the price of British realty. And stop interviewing the bogans who went to England for the wedding as though they are normal Australians. They are freaks.

I would prefer a bunch of Biggest Loser outtakes, Eddie Macguire game show pilots, anything with Sam Newman, or whatever non-ratings dregs you can drag up to fill the air – even endless repeats of old seasons of NCIS – and I’m sure I’m not alone. This charade has gone too far. I’m calling it what it is. Television for the lowest common denominator, by the lowest common denominator.

If we were to score some sort of public holiday from this process I’m sure we could come to some sort of agreement.

That is all.

P.S – Seriously. Channel 10, I know you think you’re really clever juxtaposing the “food is fuel, not pleasure” mantra of the Biggest Loser with the “we need more butter and amazingly decadent desserts” mantra of MasterChef – but surely some crossover episodes could have been arranged where the contestants from the former learn to eat healthy, but tasty food, and those from the latter learn to cook the same…

That is really all. Seriously.

A signature dish

Unlike Ben, I’m sticking with MasterChef through thick and thin. Yes, the plate dropping incident was shark jumpingly contrived. Yes, George reminds me of the type of sports fan who throws “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie” in to any pause in conversation, and yes, the product placement can be a little over the top, and yes, the contestants are all prima donnas who spout mangled sporting cliches about how this experience is life changing and elimination is but a small hurdle on the path to dream fulfillment… but it’s about food. So it’s compelling viewing.

Have you got a signature dish? What is it?

I like cooking curries. Some people have told me they like my Butter Chicken recipe, my wife has told me that the Beef Massaman I made this week is “my best curry ever”… so here’s my attempt to recreate the recipe for posterity’s sake… it’s designed to have leftovers – because curry is always better two days later.


  • Approx 400g of Rump Steak
  • A large onion
  • Crushed garlic (1 dessert spoon)
  • Two potatoes
  • One large tin of tomato soup, or a small tin of concentrate (plus an equal volume of water).
  • One standard sized tin of Coconut Cream
  • 100gm of butter
  • Curry Powder (to taste)
  • Turmeric (a pinch)
  • Cinnamon (a pinch)
  • Hungarian Sweet Paprika (two pinches)
  • Fish Oil (two teaspoons)
  • Brown sugar (a tablespoon)
  • Massaman curry paste (the type that comes in a jar)


  1. Slice the onion. Fry it on a low heat with the garlic, some olive oil and curry powder.
  2. Dice the potatoes, boil them till they’re soft.
  3. Mix the tomato soup, coconut cream, curry powder, paprika, cinnamon, and butter in a large pot. Keep it on a relatively high heat and stir until the ingredients are a nice smooth sauce.
  4. Add the onion and potato to the sauce.
  5. Add the brown sugar and fish oil.
  6. Mix the massaman paste in a frypan with a dash of olive oil. The jar probably says to fry it until you can smell it. Do that.
  7. Dice the steak. Add it to the frypan – coat the pieces liberally with the fried paste. Cook until the pieces are medium rare.
  8. Add the steak to the sauce.
  9. Simmer on low heat for 45 minutes.
  10. Serve with rice.

I’ll try following these steps again in a week or so to make sure I haven’t missed a step. But I think it’s all there. Tomato soup is a terrific base for cooking. I also use it in my Butter Chicken and Spaghetti Bolognese.