On Faith and Belief

Star Dust and Lunar Buggies. An Interview with Charlie Duke, the 10th Man on the Moon

This Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of humankind’s first step on the moon. Only twelve people have set foot on that bright grey satellite we gaze at each night. Charlie Duke was the tenth. In this fascinating interview, you’ll hear him describe the experience in gripping detail. What’s it like to be strapped into a violently shaking projectile that blasts you into space, with myriad possibilities of you dying in the process? What’s it like riding lunar buggies and playing ‘Moon Olympics’ on that powdery surface? Listen in. It’s just a shame he left his boots up there. More…

The Story of the Church is Deep and Rich, and Full of Heroes Like These

Failing politicians. Falling church leaders. We could do with some new heroes right now. Thankfully, the deep, rich story of the church is full of them. Here are four early faith heroes to know about, the simple thing they did to change the world, and how work like theirs led to the very institutions you and I take for granted today. More…

After the Burning of Notre Dame, Let’s Look at the Cross

Last year, on a visit to Antwerp’s Cathedral in Belgium, I was struck by one of its artworks. Struck, because it seemed so out of place with the rest of the cathedral’s pieces. Struck, because I wasn’t sure if it was a joke or even sacrilegious. But as we head towards Easter while the world mourns the destruction of one of its greatest cathedrals, I can’t help but think this strange artwork holds a message for us. More…

Leather-Clad Preacher to Outlaws: The John Smith Interview (1942-2019)

In recent days the world has lost a great hero of the faith. John Smith, legendary Australian preacher, commentator, evangelist and founder of the God’s Squad Motorcycle Club has died after a long battle with cancer. He addressed the United Nations, nearly faced execution in the Philippines, and followed a radical call to reach outlaw bikers and the marginalised with the gospel. But in his early years he was anything but the radical. In this 2007 interview you’ll hear how the once racist youth became a leather-clad preacher of peace, all because of the ‘unconditional, indiscriminiative’ love of Jesus. More…

The One Thing Men Can’t Talk Openly About Yet. But What if We Did?

Last year I took part in a piece for a breakfast TV show. As the cameraman and I were driving to the filming location, he told me a story. “Last night some mates and I were in the pub,” he said, “and the conversation turned to depression. It turns out some of the guys are on antidepressants. We could never have had that conversation a decade ago. We’d have been too afraid of looking weak.” The cameraman and I agreed much progress had been made in men being able to discuss their problems without fear or shame. But I had a hunch there was one topic still too taboo for us to talk about with each other. So I put it to him. Perhaps breaking this taboo will be the next stage of progress in men’s health. More…

Why Believe? In the End, Christianity Rises or Falls on These Two Things

Some days I wonder why I’m a Christian. In a secular age, it isn’t great for your career; in some countries, following Jesus can sign your death sentence. With so many spiritual alternatives, why believe? I got thinking about this recently. A memory of a close call in the Dominican Republic helped bring my reasons down to two. More…

What is the Gospel and What’s Your Role in it? Introducing the Awakening Project

Christians talk a lot about ‘the gospel’. We talk about hearing the gospel, believing the gospel, sharing the gospel with others. But what is the gospel?

When I went onto the streets to see who could tell me, I got answers like:

  • It’s something to do with the Bible and church…
  • It’s about God and love, and means different things to different people…
  • It’s a style of music, right?

If I was to ask the same question in a church I’d probably get a more detailed answer. The Gospel, someone would say, is that Jesus died for our sins and by believing in him we can spend eternity with God in heaven. But is that it? Forgiveness and More…

On Death Row for 28 Years. Here’s How Anthony Ray Hinton Stayed Joyful

Man In Prison

In 1985 Anthony Ray Hinton was charged with a double-murder, found guilty by a jury, and sentenced to death. But he was innocent. His sentence was overturned only in 2015—nearly thirty years later. What’s most astounding about Ray’s story is that he faced those 28 gruelling, unfair years with joy. How? More…

The Day Jesus Messed Up His Nice-Guy Image

Jesus Light of the World

In his famous painting ’The Light of the World’, Holman Hunt depicted Jesus in a white robe holding a lantern, knocking gently on a door that represents our heart. With blond beard, flowing hair and serene face, the Saviour is presented as a meek, mild soother of souls. Nice image—but the Holy Week of Easter really messes it up… More…

066 My Chat with William Paul Young, Author of The Shack

Image from The Shack of Mack (Sam Worthington) and Papa (Octavia Spencer)

When William Paul Young sat down to write a story for his children about a man who meets God in a forest shack, little did he know it would become a publishing phenomenon—and now a movie. In 2008 Paul dropped by the Open House show, to chat about the book’s meaning, the personal story behind it, and to answer his critics. More…