About

Stephen has been reading, writing and reflecting ever since he can remember. His first published piece (the school year book of 1974) was his Grade 2 story about a family of mice being terrorised by a shark on the beaches of Perth. A prescient warning if ever there were one.

He currently works as a pastor and church planter for Providence Church, and in his writing dabbles in a number of fields, notably theology and culture.  In collaboration with Sydney writer David Cornford he is producing a novella on a misguided quest for vengeance entitled The Queensberry Rule.

Stephen and his family live in the eastern Hills of Perth – a vantage point just high enough to give him a good idea of how incredibly fast the city is growing.

24 thoughts on “About”

  1. Howdy Steve, nice to see you blogging again 🙂

  2. Na, not bloggin. I wish I did … I have a block to keeping it updated!!
    Chat sometime?

  3. do you have an rss feed steve? I just cant see it

  4. Steve, I’ve linked you. I’m glad that Perth now has such a thoughtful and stylish (in prose terms) blog on theology and culture.

    • Hi Nathan – thanks for that!
      Yeah interesting post by Damon. While I do think there is something in it, and I definitely think that in Oz Christianity has suffered down the last century for being “not for the blokes”, I think Damon’s post is subversive, in that it is reframing the whole “manly” Christian thing. In reading the start of 2Peter last night I was drawn to the list of things we are to possess in increasing measure, and “self-control” and “brotherly-kindness” are up there! They are the true tests of being a man and often lacking in our culture. I had dinner last night with some of our leaders and one, who in his past life was a serious brawler talked about this very issue. He is a strong man, but the gospel has made him a self-controlled one too.
      Having said that, I am a little sceptical about the Driscoll approach because it seems to tap into a style of manliness that is more about show-boating than anything else. This tends to bleed into the whole church planting culture too that springs from Mars Hill (Acts 29) or at least it did in the early days. There is enough anecdotal evidence that rugged individualism (baptised as the type of leader we need for a church plant) has caused more than a few problems in Acts 29.

      • That is the same thing that Jason B Ladd says in his book One of the Few re blokes. Ironically I heard about you from a bloke on a blokes facebook page in relation to Margaret Court.

  5. Hey Steve, I’m interested in your last comments about A29. Which also reminded me that we were going to Skype sometime!

  6. Anil Jacob said:

    Steve: I appreciate the clarity of your comment on the TGC piece to the effect that today’s nation-state is basically Babylon/Rome/Egypt. It’s very clear that these archetypes in the Bible are still around today.

    Nothing very much has ‘actually’ changed! 🙂

    Thanks very much,

    Anil (Delhi)

  7. Hello! I’ve read through some of your posts and I found it to be informative and also thought provoking. I encourage you to keep it up. I’d love to see more of your works ! May we strive to follow and pursue Jesus more and more.

  8. Steve, can you write me a brief note so I can write to you about a topic I think you could help me with?

  9. Between 2 worlds – the daily devotions you did for the bible society have been really encouraging and thought provoking. Thank you!!

  10. Rodney Chiang-Cruise said:

    Homophobic much?

  11. Kevin Donnelly said:

    Hi, Kevin Donnelly here. The Safe Schools Coalition argues that 10% of students are same sex attracted, 4% are gender diverse or trans and that 1.7% are intersex – are there any surveys or statistics to prove whether this is correct or not? Best wishes.

    • Hi Kevin
      Cheers for your observations. Something about lies, damned lies and statistics does spring to mind. My qualification on any of this is the almost ubiquitous (discredited) Kinsey “10 per cent” mantra. I do have some statistical info which I will find and get to you. Of course the issue of same sex attraction depends on the manner in which the question is asked doesn’t it? Does SSA mean they identify that as their primary sexual attraction, or that they have, as many kids often do, felt attracted to someone of the same sex. Whole load of philosophical underpinning behind the SSC stats. But let me check

  12. Hi, Stephen. I appreciated your blog post today, “Driscoll and The Bogeyman Narrative”. A few thoughts.

    To some degree, I think you are confusing the glee of the ‘the gospel-less Schadenfreude’ with what is actually a sigh of the collective consciousness’ sense of right, wrong, and the need for justice. Sighs of dismay, sighs of relief.

    About that book…. I think many are waiting for such a book. A comprehensive study is needed. For the sake of the present and the future. The repercussions & consequences are deep and far-reaching.

    You mention that whoever writes it is going to have dig the knife a little deeper than Zylstra was able to. If it is done fairly and honestly, and published as such without the bullying control of the shadowy powerbrokers of Evangelical, Inc., what will be turned up is this: the role of The Gospel Coalition.

    You say, “This thing was not done in the dark, let alone swiftly. The sheep had been bleating – and loudly for some time.

    The problem with church leadership in such lofty settings – and it’s not exclusive to Mars Hill’s set up – is that it is not until the brand reputation is threatened that anything is ever done.”

    TGC enabled Mark Driscoll and used him to further their own pursuits. When he became a liability, when their brand reputation was threatened, they dropped him. Indeed, “The welfare of the broken and bleeding sheep never seems to be the decisive factor in bringing things to a head.”

    However, upon TGC distancing themselves from Mark Driscoll, was anything beyond that ever done? I don’t recall observing The Gospel Coalition taking any responsibility for the consequences of having promoted Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill. The consequences: lives and relationships ruined, destroyed by degrees.

    But it seems the brand name(s) [“TGC”, and the names-in-branding of its contributors], pet doctrines, and the rewards of revenue streams and personal significance and power are the deciding factors. The human lives at ground zero bearing the brunt of the impact of these things don’t seem to matter at all.

    The influence of TGC and some of its celebrities is huge. Because so many christians and leaders are impressionable minus critical thinking, ideas and methods which Mark Driscoll generated – things which harm people but protect power at the top — have spread far across denominational lines like a virus. Like a disease.

    The Gospel Coaltion and the celebrities it champions have been very irresponsible. They are culpable.

  13. Kimberley Suchta said:

    Stephen, I tried to find a place on your blog to email you privately but didn’t see it. I wanted to let you know about a book called “Suffering and the Heart of God, How Trauma Destroys and Christ Restores” by Diane Langberg. As I read your article today about the recent article by TGC and Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill, this book kept coming to mind to an answer to many of your questions. I highly recommend it. In it, Diane Langberg, a psychologist, who also loves the gospel, writes about churches just like Mars Hill and why things like what happened at Mars Hill… happen. Her 40 plus years of experience with pastors and lay people alike who have been traumatized by events similar to what happened at Marks Hill were astonishing and helpful to me in my own healing, coming from a similar experience. Her work and writing is a hidden gem that the church needs desperately in these times of fallen celebrity pastors. I think you will find it fascinating. She also has other resources including lectures available. You can also follow her on Twitter.

    • Hi Kimberley

      Thanks for that information. I will check it out. My wife is a clinical psychologist and has found a similar pattern to what it seems Diane sees, and what it sounds like you yourself have experienced. I will definitely follow her on Twitter and get that book too for my wife as well as for me. Thanks for the contact.

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