Tag: Townsville

Four Years

I have been married to my wonderful and talented wife for four years today.

That makes me happy, the prospect of seventy odd more years, and the impending birth of our first baby (in December, this is the first time I’ve mentioned it here) makes me even more happy.

Here she is showing off her talents with firearms at the Townsville army base.

Our jet setting lifestyle means blogging will be a little irregular here until next week some time. We came back from mission in Townsville, spent a week at college, hit the road to Byron Bay for our anniversary, and tomorrow we’re in Melbourne for a wedding – stay tuned for some cafe reviews on thebeanstalker.com.

I’d like to point out that I resisted the urge to refer to Robyn as “my smokin’ hot wife”… I do still think we’re cut out for church planting.

Cyclone Yasi

I’m a bit concerned for my Townsville friends (and friends scattered throughout North Queensland) as they prepare for the imminent arrival of Tropical Cyclone Yasi. My first day selling Townsville to the world was the day of Cyclone Larry – this is heaps worse. So North Queensland is going to need a lot of help post cyclone – not the least of their worries is getting tourists back into towns dependant on the tourist dollar.

But images like these are going to make that job difficult. This cyclone is massive and scary. And makes me glad that just over a year ago (1 year and 5 days) we moved south.

Image Credit: NASA

This cyclone is the same size as the US. Almost.

Praying for those I know, and those I don’t, staring down the barrel of this incredible weather system. And thinking about praying that a dislodged branch may fly from North Queensland and strike Danny Naliah down for the stupid dribble he brings out at times like this

It is very sad that this dark chapter in Australia’s history is led by an atheist Prime Minister in Julia Gillard and an openly homosexual Greens leader who seems to be the Deputy Prime Minister by default, both who have no regard for God nor Prayer.

Catch the Fire Ministries president Dr Daniel Nalliah said Julia Gillard was not elected by the majority of the Australian people, but rather the personal decision of two power hungry independent MPs who catapulted Ms Gillard to the top job.

“Are we Aussies all paying for that decision? It is very well known that throughout history, in a time of national crisis, Kings, Prime Ministers and Presidents of countries around the world have turned to God, irrespective of whether they were Christian, Buddhist, Hindu or Muslim and asked for help or at least called the nation to pray for protection and for the victims of the disaster,” Dr Nalliah said.

“However, for the past several weeks, right through the flood crisis across Australia, I have not heard our Prime Minister call the people of Australia to pray and ask God for protection and for help for the tens of thousands of people who have become victims of this major disaster,” he said.

I’ve said it once. I’ve said it twice. The man is Christianity’s equivalent of an ambulance chaser. With the same propensity for cashing in on people’s misery in order to benefit himself.

Trials and Tribulations

After a few days holidaying in Airlie Beach and catching up with friends in Townsville, which have been really nice, tomorrow sees me “trial for license” – part of the ongoing process of becoming a Presbyterian minister.

I’m preaching at a fairly old school Presbyterian Church in Townsville in front of a few members of the North Queensland presbytery who will “appraise” my performance and pass judgment on my ministry suitability.

I’m preaching on the Beatitudes. Here’s a paragraph from my sermon.

“But I want to suggest, at this point, that we’re not looking at the beatitudes right if we understand them as a set of rules to follow to be part of God’s kingdom. I grew up thinking that the word “beatitude” was a description of what these verses mean – I thought they were a set of instructions for how we should behave, and what our attitudes should be. The beatitudes. But I think the meaning of these verses does hinge on what the word beatitudes actually means. It’s latin. It means “blessings.” And it picks up on that repeated “blessed are” phrase at the start of each verse.

The beatitudes aren’t about what we have to do to be in the kingdom – and in fact, as soon as we read them that way we’re slipping into the same trap as the Pharisees. We’re making rules and regulations for belonging to the kingdom.”

Then I say that the beatitudes are about God’s blessing of us, through Jesus, whose life and ministry are modeled on the beatitudes. Doesn’t seem heretical to me… how about to you?

Hi, ho, hi, ho

I may not be blogging much this weekend. We’re in Townsville for a wedding and possibly not near an Internet connection. Sorry if you’ve been hanging out for more bacon posts…

Go west (or to any other point on the compass) young man

There are times when I engage passionately in arguments when I don’t really mean it. There are other times when I engage passionately because the stakes are incredibly high and I think the issue is both theologically and strategically important. This, friends, is a case of the latter.

I’ve stirred up a veritable hornets nest of criticism both here and elsewhere for daring to question the assumption that people should stay in Sydney to do ministry. I thought it might have been one of those cases where I took an argument too far and risked causing offense. So I read my comments on Izaac’s blog a day later and in a rare moment of clarity and conviction found that I still completely hold on to every word I have written both here and elsewhere.

I did unwittingly cause Izaac some offense by quoting his post in an email to Phillip Jensen seeking clarification on his position. This was by no means my intention. Izaacs editorial surrounding the comments is balanced (and far less polemic than mine). I have no bone to pick with his contextualisation of the quotes. And I want to, in a public forum, apologise for the way in which I presented his views. I do think before I go further in criticising the statements attributed to Phillip I should find out if my criticisms are on the mark.

The irony of this situation is that I had heard recently, on another matter, that Phillip himself was critical of someone for speaking what everybody was thinking because “every statement is political”.

I wonder about the political wisdom of making a statement – polemical or otherwise – suggesting that areas of the country where there are more people than sheep (and I suspect removing the hyperbole this can be translated to rural Australia) – are of less strategic importance than the city. That’s not the attitude demonstrated by the ministry of Jesus, nor is it the attitude expressed in the parable of the lost sheep. People of all stripes and locations are important to God and need the gospel. Which means people of all stripes and locations need gospel workers with a heart for sharing the message of the cross.

It doesn’t seem to serve the cause of the gospel in reaching the rest of Australia and the world – but it does seem to serve the cause in Sydney. Phillip’s statements are fine in that they represent political statements that further his cause – gospel ministry in Sydney – I don’t really get the flack I’m wearing for disagreeing and presenting an alternative priority for growth in Australia.

It’s all well and good to suggest that other regions and states should be looking after themselves and setting up sustainable cities – but if you choose the Billy Graham crusades when the Jensen brothers were converted as the start of a groundswell of evangelicism in Australia, or if you choose any other moment in Australian history, the influence of Moore College as Australia’s premiere and premier training institution for evangelical workers needs time in order to create a cycle of self replication.

Here are a couple of potential case studies.

Case Study Number 1 – Maclean

Maclean, the town Izaac and I grew up in, has a population of about 3,500 people. It’s not a “strategic regional centre”. When my family moved their 20 years ago there was a night service meeting in Yamba (population 5,000) and two morning services – one in Lawrence (population – from memory less than 1,000) and the other in Maclean. We stayed in Maclean for ten years and by God’s grace left a thriving and gospel centred church family behind when we moved to Brisbane. Maclean has been vacant for almost half of the last ten years (by my guestimation). The strategic regional centre for the Lower Clarence is not Maclean – it’s Grafton. Grafton is the natural hub for small towns in the region. And holds the lion’s share of the regional population.

The church in Maclean has, again by the grace of God, produced a number of Godly young adults who still live in Maclean and a number who are serving in churches around the country – in Perth, Tasmania, Brisbane, Sydney and throughout New South Wales. For a town of less than 4,000 people Maclean is more than punching above its weight in terms of people entering theological training and ministry apprenticeships. But there has been a pretty long lead time. It has taken 20 years from the moment an evangelical ministry beginning in Maclean for two of us to be entering Bible College (and I think we’re the first). I can’t even truly claim to have completely grown up in Maclean (and Izaac rightly credits the faithful ministry he has received in Sydney for propelling him to where he is today).

To suggest that Maclean should have produced its own ministers to sustainably and strategically (as some have done both overtly and between the lines) look after the future of the region is disingenuous and doesn’t really take into account the nature of regional centres where a high percentage of young adults leave to seek their fortunes (and education) in the city.

According to Wikipedia 3.2% of residents of the Clarence Valley earn a living in “sheep, cattle or grain farming”… there’s a pretty good chance that there are more sheep in the region than cattle. According to the Clarence Valley Economic Development stats page more than 7% of residents are engaged in agriculture. ABS census statistics indicate that the Mid North Coast region (which includes Maclean) is home to approximately 3,000 sheep. It seems going to Maclean is ok. But not if it is a question of cattle rather than sheep. There are 409,000 head of cattle in the statistical division and 297,000 people. The region extends from Taree to Grafton. Maclean is typically rural.

For it to produce its own sustainable gospel work (on the assumption that this requires a home grown college trained worker) either Izaac or myself would have to go back there. I can’t for at least 8 years (candidacy locks me into Queensland for six) and Izaac would have to do two years of PTC training at the end of a four year degree. The suggestion that these regions should fend for themselves is pretty laughable.

Case Study Number 2: Townsville

I’ve spent the last four years in Townsville. It’s fair to say that evangelical ministry in Townsville is in its late infancy. There are perhaps five churches in Townsville that could be defined as evangelical. Townsville has a population of 180,000 people. It’s growing at about 5,000 people a year. All the ministers serving in Townsville have come there from elsewhere.

Dave Walker has been working for AFES in Townsville for (I think) nine years. AFES Townsville, again by the grace of God, has trained hundreds of students in that time. A number of these students are in full time ministry in high school chaplaincy, others have left Townsville for graduate positions. None, at this stage (to my knowledge) have entered theological training at this point. Nine years of fruitful labour has not been enough to meet staff shortfalls with the student ministry – let alone going close to providing enough workers for church ministry in the city.

I don’t think Dave will have a problem with me pointing out that AFES have been trying to appoint a female staff worker for the last couple of years – pursuing a number of candidates but attracting none to this point.

According to the ABS, North Queensland has no sheep, but it does have 496,000 head of cattle. Compared to Sydney the North Queensland region is an evangelical baby. It is not in a position to be self sustaining – give it 150 years and perhaps the region will have a population, and training college, similar to Sydney’s now. Sydney apologists can’t forget that they owe their strength to missionaries who came to Australia in the first fleet. All regions around the world, since Jerusalem and Judea, require workers to come in from the outside.

There aren’t all that many sheep in Queensland. Just 3.9 million. Luckily there are 4.1 million people. We should have no trouble filling vacancies in regional Queensland now should we?

I’m sure my friend Mike from Rockhampton could share equal tales of unrequited ministry opportunity – which is why those of us outside of Sydney get a little put out when we see a map like the one featured in this post.

Hottest 100 things to do in Townsville

Here’s the list. As promised. There are a lot of food related items. Apart from item number one they are not yet in order of quality. I will be putting these together as posts with pictures and stuff – probably on a separate blog.

My definition of Townsville is the same as Tourism Queensland’s – it includes everything north to Mission Beach, west to Charters Towers and south to the Burdekin.

So, Townsvillians – do you have anything to add or subtract?

I guess that I should state, for the record, that I enjoyed many of these experiences either free of charge or at a significant discount. That did not guarantee them a place on the list – I left a few things off.

  1. Orpheus Island
  2. Kopi Luwak at the Heritage Tea Rooms
  3. Barefoot Art Food Wine, Magnetic Island
  4. Steaks at the Watermark
  5. Yiros at WhiteBlue
  6. Yiros from the Souvlaki Bar on Gregory Street
  7. The view from Castle Hill
  8. The Strand
  9. Horseshoe Bay, Magnetic Island
  10. Breakfast with the Koalas, Bungalow Bay, Magnetic Island
  11. Cinnamon Donuts white fudge sauce and Turkish Delight at Betty Blue
  12. Breakfast at the C Bar on the Strand
  13. Flying in the Tiger Moth with Fly Scenic
  14. Reef HQ Aquarium – the search for Minty
  15. Beer at the Brewery
  16. Sport on the Strand
  17. Indoor Soccer at Willows ISA
  18. Wallaman Falls
  19. Duck at A Touch of Salt
  20. Build Your Own Burger at Cactus Jacks
  21. The Hill at a Cowboys Game
  22. Watching Robbie Fowler at a Fury Game
  23. The Australian Festival of Chamber Music
  24. Crumbed Steak at Molly Malones
  25. Hidden Valley Cabins
  26. Eggs Benedict with Doorstop Toast at Betty Blue’s
  27. Sunset beers at the C-Bar
  28. Swimming at Riverway
  29. Barbeque breakfast on The Strand
  30. Coffee from Coffee Dominion
  31. Coffee school at Coffee Dominion
  32. Steak at the Brewery
  33. Greek Fest
  34. Swim at Crystal Creek
  35. Alligator Creek
  36. The view from Mount Stuart
  37. Steak at Southbank Grill
  38. Stretch Jeep tour of Magnetic Island
  39. Gelati from Juliettes
  40. Mango Icecream from Frosty Mango
  41. Platypus Tour at Hidden Valley Cabins
  42. Hiring a moke on Magnetic Island
  43. Butter Chicken from Masala Indian
  44. Walk up Castle Hill
  45. Radical Bay Magnetic Island
  46. The science room in the Museum of Tropical Queensland
  47. Billabong Sanctuary
  48. Stay in a waterfront apartment at One Bright Point – Magnetic Island
  49. Bushwalk on Hinchinbrook – the pansy version
  50. Fishing at Hinchinbrook Island
  51. Waterfall tour – Jourama, Wallaman, Mungalli, etc
  52. Hang out by the horizon pool at Elandra, Mission Beach
  53. Meat Pies from Pukka Pies
  54. V8s in July
  55. Paronella Park tour
  56. Watching airforce practice
  57. Ghosts of Gold Tour – Charters Towers
  58. Indoor Paintball
  59. Banana Thickshake at BP Cluden
  60. Twisty Greek donut things at the Greek Festival
  61. Dinner at Peppers Bue on Blue, Magnetic Island
  62. Biking around the Ross River
  63. Biking around Anderson Park
  64. The maze and herb garden at the Queens Gardens
  65. Jetski tours of Dunk Island
  66. Boat around Magnetic Island
  67. Sailing on a tall ship around Magnetic Island
  68. Fishing at the reef
  69. Venus Gold Battery at Charters Towers
  70. Sunrise on the beach at Lucinda
  71. Birdwatching at Tyto Wetlands with John Young
  72. Snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef
  73. Forts Walk Magnetic Island
  74. Sunset at West Point, Magnetic Island
  75. Barramundi Farm
  76. North Queensland Tourism Awards
  77. Sleepover at ReefHq
  78. Water park on the Strand
  79. Mudbrick Manor Cardwell
  80. Camping at Bluewater
  81. Camping at Broadwater National Park
  82. Rockslide at Crystal Creek
  83. Swimming at the Secret Spot – Paluma
  84. Lunch by the Marina in Anzac Park
  85. Mariams Thai
  86. Fish and Chips at the Strand
  87. Michels on Palmer Street
  88. Feeding the birds at Bungalow Bay
  89. Groovin the Moo
  90. Catch a DanceNorth production
  91. Poffertjes at Lukabean
  92. Go to the theatre with Tropic Sun
  93. Get some culture at the Civic Theatre
  94. See a show at Riverway
  95. Stay in a treehouse room at Hinchinbrook Island
  96. Cooking school at De Studi
  97. Visit an art exhibition at Pinnacles at Riverway or the Perc Tucker Gallery on Flinders Street
  98. The Great Tropical Drive
  99. Cocktails at Cactus Jacks Skybar
  100. Sang Choy Bow at Benny’s Hot Wok

Pack to the future

The packing has started. We’ve only got three weeks left in Townsville and we’re destined to spend those days surrounded by boxes, packing tape and piles of stuff.

I went to bed last night thinking that today was the day I’d be back at work – but I woke up, dressed, and then remembered that I had booked today off as part of my Christmas break.

Blogging is likely to be sporadic both in work hours and after work as I tie up loose ends here and there.

Robyn has set herself the rather ambitious challenge of packing one room per day while I’m at work.

Hottest 100: Things about Townsville

Now that I’ve officially told work I’m leaving I’m thinking about all the things I’ll be able to post here that I couldn’t before.

I’ve been mindful of the fact that as an employee of my organisation it’s a little bit dodgy for me to be promoting one business at the expense of another. That’s not the done thing around these parts. But once my official duties are over I will be able to share my expert opinion on the best things about Townsville. Thanks to my awesome job I’ve done most of the cool stuff there is to do here – from visiting tropical islands to flying in a Tiger Moth, and I’ve eaten meals and sampled coffee from just about every restaurant and cafe in town.

I’m going to try to write up a list of my 100 favourite things from the last four years. I’m not going to include people (so there’ll be no soppy references to Robyn), just places and experiences.

If you are from Townsville, or have been to Townsville, or have lived in Townsville and you have a suggestion for this list – put it in the comments.

This should be fun.

Peddling Townsville

Given that I’ve only got another month or so of official duties “peddling” Townsville to the world, I think it’s a good idea to get out and enjoy the scenery while we can.

Robyn and I bought bikes a couple of months ago.

Yesterday we took to the streets (and parks) of Townsville in time to take some sunset photos at Aplin’s Weir.


Everyone loves a good burger. For the record you can buy the best hamburger in Townsville at the Cactus Jack’s Saloon Bar on Flinders Street. BP Cluden’s burgers are good. But they pale in comparison to the Cactus burger. Which pales in comparison to this world record winning effort (from this is why you’re fat).

That’s a Guinness World Record Book winner.

In honour of that effort here’s a burger bed you can’t buy

And a burger cushion set that you can

Sleep tight

It’s almost summer. Which presents a number of uniquely tropical problems in Townsville – when do you turn the aircon on? How cold do you set it? How do you keep mozzies out?

There’s a cool little collection of sleep related cartoons over here. Like this one:

All credit to Mikey for the link

The father of all links posts

Ah, another week, another post chock full of links from the narrow sector of the world wide that I like to call the blogosphere.

I thought I’d get a little bit geographically specific with this little link edition. Just to give you an idea of the spread of blogs that I read (that you should too). This is by no means comprehensive – but here are some of the homes of regular commenters, people I know, and people I reckon you should discover (along with some choice posts from their sites).

Right-o. Lets go.

Starting with those in my own neck of the woods – the Townsville scene… (in no particular order). 

  1. Tim – doesn’t post often and when he does it’s usually a YouTube video.
  2. Leah – is the Andrew Bolt of the North Queensland Christian blogosphere, or perhaps the Tim Blair. She also covered North Queensland’s lost and found saga this week where a local lad from a local church went missing in the bush, and was found a couple of days later.
  3. Stuss – has picked up the pace a little, though most of what she’s saying is about gardening and decluttering. Which is fine. Because both are good things.
  4. Phoebe – hasn’t really said anything for 21 days. I just counted. But no list of bloggers from Townsville would be complete without her.
  5. Joel – if Leah is the Tim Blair of the Townsville blogosphere then Joel is the Piers Ackerman.
  6. Carly – is an education student and gives some interesting insight into the female psyche with pieces like the one she wrote last week about Oprah.
  7. Chris barely posts enough to rank a mention. But he’s a blogger. In Townsville. So he sneaks in.

If you’re in Townsville, and I’ve missed you, let me know in the comments.

Moving south, here are some of the notables in Brisbane…

  1. Kutz – I mentioned his new endeavour last week. It’s been trickling along. I’m sure more comments from nice friendly readers would keep his motivation levels up.
  2. Tim and Amy – The same could be said for these two. They’ve kept a pretty steady pace and you should go over, read what they have to say, and say hello.
  3. Simone – well, I’ve talked about her blog enough for you to know what goes down over there. She gets a prize for being the third blogger to mention my dad* this week. Her little piece of speculation about narrative in the new creation was interesting enough to get my hippocampus firing today.
  4. Will Henderson – gets the prize for being the first to mention dad*, and also for being the first Acts 29 affiliated church planter in Australia – a story that apparently hadn’t received all that much coverage before I mentioned it the other day (based on some posts like this one from Jeff Attack)… check out the website for his upcoming plant. Unfortunately it’s a bit grungy. And we all know how I feel about grunge.

Now, on to Sydney. The city of my birth and home of many good blogs.

  1. Izaac is back from a holiday and taking on the challenge of posting about Christian love and social justice.
  2. Ben celebrated his birthday yesterday – and I promised him a link. Then he posted a story about how the Governator has the Conan sword in his office – that I was all set to feature in my next little string of “Curiosities” posts.
  3. At the fountainside Soph asks the important questions about train etiquette – something we’ll have to (re)familiarise ourselves with next year.
  4. Ben (of the Bathgate variety) lists five things that made him tough(er). I score one on his list.
  5. Dave Miers managed to scoop Mikey Lynch by posting an interview with Andrew Heard, one of the Geneva Church planting crew (another post on the network from Dave), before Mikey could wrap up his series of similar interviews with church planting figures (including Will Henderson and Al Stewart).

Mikey (from Tasmania) was also the second person to, somewhat vicariously, mention dad this week because his name came up in one of the posts from the aforementioned series of interviews.

It has also become apparent – from what Andrew Heard said on Dave’s blog and what Al Stewart said on Mikey’s – that the Geneva portmanteau was only a vicious rumour, and that the name is actually a reference to Calvin’s work in that city. Which is a good thing.

And to conclude, here are my favourite ten posts from my blog this week (including bits from Robyn and Benny).

  1. Benny on Ministry
  2. Robyn on Grammar (PS – you should all encourage Robyn to blog more – she needs some comment love…)
  3. Good bad haircuts
  4. Bad relevance
  5. How to pick a cafe
  6. Cool stuff to do with your photos/iPhone
  7. Tips from a guru (my dad – since he’s the flavour of the blogosphere these days…*)
  8. The one about being wrong.
  9. The one about yawning.
  10.  The one about being a PK, and the follow up about being a PK being a bit like being Harry Potter.

* I should point out that these constant mentions of dad being mentioned are a mixture of patri-pride and because I think it’s slightly funny that he feels a sense of discomfort about being in the spotlight. It’s not because I think he’s super special (though he is). And if you want to join the fan club here’s the video I made for his 50th.

Ten things I enjoyed about the Townsville 400

  1. The feeling of professional satisfaction – the organisation I work for played an integral role in bringing the event to Townsville, I have written more about V8s than anything but energy generation. I know lots about energy generation. This photo is largely unrelated.  
  2. The noise – is absolutely thrilling. The “pop” the cars make when changing gears sounds like fireworks. We were sitting in stands next to the starting grid and the start of the race was phenomenal. 
  3. The crowd – was massive. It’s weird how into the sport fans of V8s are – they’re covered in team merchandise.
  4. The professionalism – The V8 organisation, the teams and the drivers are the most personable sports stars I’ve ever interacted with – if sitting in a room as a bunch of drivers talk about the sport is “interacting” – the Melbourne Storm weren’t far off. But these guys can sell merchandise and know who butters their bread (the sponsors).
  5. The carnage – everyone goes to races for crashes.
  6. The spectacle – it’s a visual feast, fast cars, colourful starting grid set-ups, the mini racing, the utes… it was a grand day out.
  7. The teamwork – one of the things I’m really starting to appreciate about motor sports (and cycling) is the team tactics – and the contribution to “individual” success that comes from the surrounding team – like the pit crews. They change tires, fuel up and do running maintenance in a blur. We were sitting opposite the pits and I spent as much time watching the pit crews as watching the cars.
  8. Photography – I was determined to snap a few photos of moving cars looking like they weren’t moving with the background all blurry. I got a few such shots – you can see other photos from the day here. I took about 1,300 photos.
  9. The Jesus car – Andrew “Fishtail” Fisher drives a ute in the V8 Ute race – his team is called “Jesus – All About Life” – he gets great exposure and they read out the full name of his “sponsor” every time he gets mentioned (see point 4). The exposure is tremendous. In the first ute race he ran three other drivers off the road – and busted a tire while doing so.
  10. My wife – I went to the V8s with Robyn. She makes everything more fun.

Why I didn’t blog much over the weekend

  1. I organised the Willows Presbyterian Church Calvin 500 Conference.
  2. I spoke at said conference about Calvin v Servetus
  3. I organised the dinner part of said conference (and made coffee) where Mike Raiter talked about the New Calvinism.
  4. I attended the Townsville 400 V8 Supercar Event
  5. When I wasn’t doing those things I was cleaning out my big fish tank after a mishap with the filtration killed three of my pet fish and endangered the life of a pet turtle.
  6. I was telling the national director of MTS why I like MTS but don’t think it’s for me.
  7. Or I was watching The Ashes and Robyn was using the laptop.

The Geneva Convention

The Christian blogosphere is drowning in a sea of Calvin posts. It’s his 500th birthday around now – depending on where you are on the planet. We’re taking things back to Geneva tomorrow at church as we “celebrate” the milestone.

I don’t have much to add – except to say that I’m putting the finishing touches on my “novella” on Calvin’s life for our conference tomorrow. My topic deals with Calvin and Servetus – a heretic killed on his watch (but not, as some would suggest, by him).

Heretics were killed back then. There was a very blurry separation of church and state, and heresy was a destabilising political force. It’s hard to reconcile the actions with our current system of government and our religious freedoms – but there wasn’t really much choice in those days.

Calvin had a hand in significant political reform too – helping move a number of theologically reformed countries towards more “democratic” systems of government.

Challies.com has a great article on the episode and I commend it to you – if you can’t be bothered reading all that, and you’re in Townsville, come along to the conference tomorrow afternoon at Willows.

I’m going to use the word antidisestablishmentarianism in my talk too – that should be a real highlight. I’m all about brevity and concise communication…

I’ll share a bunch of Calvin links for you all to enjoy in tomorrow’s link post. Huzzah.