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Centre for Christian Living podcast

Bringing biblical ethics to everyday issues.

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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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 Kapic. Kelly knows about this kind of suffering firsthand, and has written an award-winning book on the subject called "Embodied Hope: Theological meditations on pain and suffering". Kelly brings biblically rich reflections and honest practical wisdom to the conversation. You won’t want to miss this one.Find show notes and transcript at https://ccl.moore.edu.au/2018/08/01/podcast-episode-018/

37mins

1 Aug 2018

Rank #1

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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 doubly hard to cope with. Its physical symptoms and everyday consequences are hard enough, but there is also the confusing and disorienting experience of “me” being anxious or terrified, when another part of “me” is trying to explain to myself that there’s really no reason to be so anxious.Moore College lecturer Paul Grimmond knows about this firsthand, and in this episode, he not only explains what “clinical anxiety” is and what it feels like, but shares his insights into how we should think about and respond to anxiety as Christians.For show notes and episode transcript, visit https://ccl.moore.edu.au/2019/06/05/podcast-episode-029/

44mins

5 Jun 2019

Rank #2

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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 to share some of her personal experience of being single (and ministering to other singles), but to give us a sneak peak at the results of her research.Transcript and show notes available from https://ccl.moore.edu.au/2018/09/03/podcast-episode-019/

39mins

3 Sep 2018

Rank #3

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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;3. The practical implications: An extended question time looking at how the Bible’s theology shapes our response to environmental challenges.For show notes, visit our website: https://ccl.moore.edu.au/2019/08/15/podcast-episode-032/

1hr 22mins

15 Aug 2019

Rank #4

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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 free word of encouragement Christians speak to each other, and prophecy?* If we’re supposed to admonish one another as Christians, how practically speaking do we do that?(If you have any questions from our podcast, or about the Christian life in general, send them to ccl@moore.edu.au. We’ll be running another Q&A episode soon.)Find an episode transcript and show notes at https://ccl.moore.edu.au/2019/05/21/podcast-episode-028/

28mins

21 May 2019

Rank #5

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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 practical wisdom for living.Many Christians aren’t sure what to make of Jordan Peterson and his "12 Rules for Life". In this episode, we talk to David Höhne about the foundations and main elements of Peterson’s program, and how Christians should understand and respond to his ideas.Show notes and transcript: https://ccl.moore.edu.au/2018/05/15/podcast-episode-015/

44mins

15 May 2018

Rank #6

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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 the message of the Bible about homosexuality not only as true, but as good.The strength of Sam’s book (and this conversation) is that he approaches the whole subject from the starting point of the gospel:“The message of Jesus on sex has been countercultural and challenging to every single culture. And is challenging to every single person. So it is not the case that Jesus comes up and says, ‘To all heterosexual people, you know, well done, good job, keep it up! As you were.’ You know. ‘Bless you.’ And then he says to everybody else, ‘Oh dearie me, we’ve got a problem.’ Jesus says to all of us, we have a huge problem.”For show notes and transcript, visit https://ccl.moore.edu.au/2018/10/04/podcast-episode-020/

35mins

4 Oct 2018

Rank #7

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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 the deceptively simple approach that he and others have developed has transformed the lives of Christians and non-Christians all around the world.For show notes and episode transcript, go to https://ccl.moore.edu.au/2019/05/02/podcast-episode-027/

37mins

1 May 2019

Rank #8

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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 both on the massive amount of secular research into happiness that has flourished over the past few decades, and on what the Bible says about positive emotions like happiness.Find episode show notes and a transcript on our website: https://ccl.moore.edu.au/2019/04/01/podcast-episode-025/

42mins

2 Apr 2019

Rank #9

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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 this episode, we go back to the Bible with Phillip Jensen to discover what idolatry really is, and why it is still a danger to the Christian life today.For show notes and episode transcript, go to https://ccl.moore.edu.au/2019/07/31/podcast-episode-031/

40mins

31 Jul 2019

Rank #10

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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 ways.Find show notes, links and transcript at https://ccl.moore.edu.au/2019/04/23/podcast-episode-026/

1hr

23 Apr 2019

Rank #11

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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 one. It’s something we do together as a church. At most baptisms or dedications, we promise as the congregation to be part of this.But do we take that responsibility seriously? And what does it mean in practice—for both parents and churches—to “train up a child in the way he should go” (as Proverbs 22:6 puts it)?Peter Tong joins us on this episode of the CCL podcast to answer these questions.Visit https://ccl.moore.edu.au/2018/06/18/podcast-episode-016/ for show notes, links and transcript.

39mins

18 Jun 2018

Rank #12

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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 on the socio-psychological findings that chart the observable differences between male and female character traits, and ask what the Bible has to say about this. How does the Bible direct us to act as men and women, and relate to one another in Christian community as men and women?For a transcript and show notes, head to https://ccl.moore.edu.au/2019/03/03/podcast-episode-024

39mins

4 Mar 2019

Rank #13

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Podcast episode 012: The Holy Spirit and the Christian life

There was a time not so long ago when the question of how the Holy Spirit worked in the life of the Christian was a source of high controversy. Arguments over the “baptism in the Spirit” and the “gifts of the Spirit” dominated Christian conversation.These days, those arguments seem to have died down, and that may be a good thing—or then again, not. If we’ve stopped thinking and talking so much about the Spirit because we’ve sorted out the controversies and have a very clear idea of what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit, that would be a good thing. But if we’ve just swept the subject under the carpet, or moved on to something else more interesting, that's not so good.We do need a clear, biblical understanding of the person and work of the Holy Spirit—especially in relation to our daily Christian lives. That’s what we tackle in this episode of the Centre for Christian Living podcast, with Tony Payne talking to Phillip Jensen.

28mins

6 Feb 2018

Rank #14

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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 are for Christian individuals and organisations.One of Michael’s points is that Christians need to inform themselves about these issues—a service that he very clearly and helpfully provides in this episode.For show notes and episode transcript, visit https://ccl.moore.edu.au/2019/07/15/podcast-episode-030/

41mins

15 Jul 2019

Rank #15

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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 foundations of this sort of free society are profoundly Christian, and as our society progressively abandons or repudiates these foundations, so also it undermines our freedom.In this special edition of the CCL podcast, we bring you an edited version of the challenging talk Dr Guinness gave at our May 30 event on the nature of true freedom—both Christian and political.Find transcript and show notes at https://ccl.moore.edu.au/2018/07/10/podcast-episode-017/

47mins

11 Jul 2018

Rank #16

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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 dissatisfying or hard to put into practice. In this episode, we talk to Tim Chester, who has written a book on this subject that (for once) is both biblically deeply insightful and warmly practical for Monday mornings.Tim’s book is "Enjoying God: Experience the power and love of God in everyday life", and in this episode he speaks with Tony Payne about its main themes and ideas.For transcript and show notes, visit https://ccl.moore.edu.au/2018/12/06/podcast-episode-022/

35mins

6 Dec 2018

Rank #17

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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 more.Visit http://ccl.moore.edu.au/listen/podcast/ for shownotes and a full transcript of this episode.

27mins

4 Apr 2018

Rank #18

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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 observations about Australian Christianity (as most returning missionaries do).For the episode transcript and show notes, visit https://ccl.moore.edu.au/2018/11/05/podcast-episode-021/

31mins

5 Nov 2018

Rank #19

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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 February CCL event that will address this topic, Tony talks with Chase Kuhn about Christian community.Find transcript and show notes on our website at https://ccl.moore.edu.au/2019/02/07/podcast-episode-023/

39mins

7 Feb 2019

Rank #20