Welcome to Manna !

As the Israelites journeyed from Egypt to the promised land they encountered numerous difficulties: an “uncrossable” sea, a limited supply of drinkable water, a lack of food, and hostile forces. Each and every time, however, the Lord provided for his people, whether in the form of a passage through the waves, potable water, manna and quails, or victory.

The School of Ministry, Theology and Culture at Tabor Adelaide is committed to helping meet the needs of God’s people today. And although these resources hardly come from the hand of God (as editor, a point to which I can safely attest!), our hope is that, in some small way, the videos, articles and reflections we provide will contribute in a positive way to the life of the body of the Christ, and the various ministries we are all engaged in. Our prayer is that as you read these articles, watch these videos and digest this material, you will receive sustenance and nourishment for your journey.

Welcome to our blog!

Dr Aaron Chalmers

Head of School Ministry, Theology and Culture

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Tabor presents the first in a series of Postgraduate Intensives for 2018

The Spiritual Life of a Minister with Dr Stuart Devenish     

February 12 to 16

MTC Post Grad Spiritual Life

Please email for more information on this intensive or how to enrol.
Information for all 2018 intensives  – available here

 

One week today…!

Wowee does time fly as fast as Superman racing to save a damsel in distress…

Theological: A Christian Pop-Culture Conference is only one week away, and we’re getting more than a little excited about the engaging content coming your way.

Whether it’s Matt Grey exploring how our superheroes may not be so super anymore, or Joanna Hubbard tackling the complex portrayal of our Christian leaders in the media, this is one line-up of sessions you just won’t want to miss.

And if you still haven’t got those tickets booked, book now or forever hold your peace!

thor - matt gray

 

vicar of dibble - joanna hubbard

An engaging program of events!

Haven’t had a chance to look at the rich and varied program of events for the upcoming THEOLOGICON: a Christian pop-culture conference, yet?

Keep your eyes peeled on our social media pages as we release some engaging snippets of information regarding some of our most timeless stories, and the speakers who will be shedding light on the Christian tropes and themes behind them.

For example, take a closer look at Melinda Cousins’ pop-culture artefact session on Wonder Woman:

wonder woman content.png

Or how about reading up on how Tim Hein will be exploring the presence of God in the lyrics of Nick Cave:

nick cave - tim hein

Or better yet, you can always browse our full program any time by following this link.

Still haven’t got your tickets? Be sure to book yours soon to secure a place in this exciting program of events!

November is juuuuust around the corner, so we’ll be seeing you soon!

2017 Mentoring Training Days

Australian Christian Mentoring Network

Who do we listen to? How do we untangle the guidance of God from our own desires, needs and sometimes unconscious preferences? We all struggle with these questions ourselves, sometimes deeply when it comes to big life decisions. As mentors, walking with others as they seek discernment is a key part of our role. In this day seminar, we will explore listening to and discerning the many voices that we and our mentorees hear. Our own Sally Jones, Spiritual Director and Mentor, Committee member of the ACMN, will be leading us in reflecting on this important area. There will be opportunities for discussion and reflection as part of the day. It will be a great time of networking, learning, reflecting on practice and gaining new insights and tools. Join us at one of our regional day seminars. More information is available on our events page. This is open to anyone involved in walking through the challenges of life with another – helpful for pastoral carers, leaders, spiritual directors and other ministry contexts. We hope to see you there!

Cost: $100 per participant or $75 for ACMN members
Dates: Brisbane 21st August
Sydney 22nd August
Melbourne 23rd August
Adelaide 24th August
Perth 25th August
For more details or to register: http://www.mentoringnetwork.org.au/2017/05/31/voices/

Jesus, the Family and the Present Debate

The nature of marriage and the family is presently being re-negotiated in secular society. In response, many Christians are doing everything they can to preserve traditional understandings of marriage and family, thinking they are defending the Christian faith. This article attempts to help Christians think more biblically about the family, in order to help us better respond to the current debate around the family.

Jesus on the Family

Jesus’ teaching on the family was radical and unexpected in his day. He took the principle of “leaving” and “cleaving” in Genesis 2:24 to be a foundational mandate for the created order. And along with it, he took the fifth commandment, to “Honor your father and mother” (Exodus 20:12), to be an abiding mandate for Israel and his disciples as the People of God. Yet it is clear that Jesus had in mind a fundamental re-prioritization of the family. For example, in Matthew19: 29 Jesus calls on his disciples to leave houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for his sake. Any decision to follow Jesus as Lord potentially involves a call to abandon blood-relatives – on account of one’s new-found faith in Christ. This is a question of changed allegiances at the very deepest level. As a result, some have labeled Jesus a “breaker” of families rather than a protector of the family.

In addition to re-prioritizing, Jesus also redefined family. For example, in Matthew 12: 46-50, he draws the focus away from his human family (Mary and his siblings), and instead points to his disciples saying, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother”. In this way, Jesus distinguished between his own blood-relatives, and those who are his spiritual family, prioritizing faith and its communal belonging and expression over familial, blood-related belonging.

The Church as Family

An important example of how the early church embraced Jesus’ reprioritization and redefinition of the family can be found in the outcome of the Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15. Whereas the early Jerusalem church was predominantly Jewish in its make-up, the ruling made by the Council was that entry into the faith-community was not on the basis of blood-dependent ethnicity, but on the basis of one’s confession that “Jesus was Lord”. According to Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”. Thus, entry into the early church was not blood-dependent, but faith-dependent. And by extension, belonging to the Christian faith required those who had been given entry to the faith-community, to demonstrate their faith on the basis of confession, mutual obligation and ritual means, in the form of baptism and the Eucharist. The apostle Paul employs family-like language to congregational relationships, on the basis that they were “sons and daughters of God”, (2 Cor 6: 18), and they were to treat one other as adelphoi, as brothers and sisters in the Lord (Rom 14:10-12; Eph 6:23-24).

 Significance for Today

On the basis of this brief excursion into the teaching of Jesus and the early church on the family, we observe three keystone realities. The first is that Jesus (like King Midas of old), transforms everything he touches … and this includes the family. His re-defining and re-prioritizing of family manifests itself in a change of emphasis from family as blood-community to family as confessing-community. The second is that the way we demonstrate our new kinship is the way we treat each other as “children” of God. Tragically, many churches experience pitched battles over differences in theology, preferences for worship-style, and conflicting personality-types. But viewed from a Jesus’-eye-perspective, the best way to measure our love for God is the quality of the love we have for one another (John 13:34). And the third is that family – whether viewed in terms of blood-relations (via the family of origin) or faith-relations (via the confessing church) – must demonstrate the values of the kingdom of God. So the measuring-stick for both will be righteousness, truthfulness, justice, and living for God as a matter of “first priority” – this is what the family of today (and the future) must be and strive to become if it is to remain ‘Christian’. If Jesus’ teaching on the family in his day was radical and unexpected – his teaching on the family in our day continues to be equally challenging and provocative.

Dr Stuart Devenish- Director of Postgraduate Studies, Tabor

sdevenish@adelaide.tabor.edu.au

Diaspora Families and Pastoral Care

Immigration is contributing to the growth of the Australian Christian community, with some of these diaspora families seeking out multi-ethnic rather than mother tongue culture congregations. The presence of these families brings tremendous blessing, but it can also create new challenges, especially when it comes to pastoral care, as they may operate with different family needs, values, practices and expectations. In this context, cultural intelligence (the capacity to function effectively cross-culturally), particularly CQ Knowledge and CQ Strategy, becomes significant.[1] Read More