Graham & Wendy Toulmin (DRCongo with CMS)

Many remember with prayer the Toulmins, Bishop Isesomo and the church in the DRC.  Here’s some prayer updates from them:

Give thanks for:

  • Graham’s surgery for prostate cancer in October and pray for his complete recovery so he can join Wendy back in Congo 20th November as planned.
  • Encouraging pastoral visit with Elizabeth Richards from CMS visiting Aru in September.
  • Dental school academic year has begun well and Wendy has been able to organise the courses while Graham remained in Australia

Wendy says – Life is simple here in many ways, but also very complicated and frustrating in others, so please pray for grace and wisdom and strength for each day. And please pray for the country of DRCongo – for peace and stability. Elections are scheduled for 23rd December 2018, postponed from November 2016. The second and final term of President Kabila expired December 2016.  Ebola and warfare are frequent in East DRC.

Are you feeling torn?

I’m torn – between defending the rationality of Christian faith, or embracing our postmodernist age by simply proclaiming it’s true and works for me.  At the recent ACL Synod dinner (that Alan, Barbara and I annually attend) Canon Colgan urged us to do less apologetics pleading “it’s reasonable and rational” and more proclaiming “this is what God says”.  He argued let the world think we’re fools and let God convince them otherwise (I paraphrase him badly).

Then I’m reading catholic journalist Greg Sheridan’s provocative new book “God is Good for you”, which I commend. His shorter book complements the one by  Larry Siedentop that Prof Alan Watson has been encouraging us to read.   Sheridan’s major thesis is that Christianity is not only true, but by any objective view it has been good for society generally and for Australia in particular; that our society is abandoning it at its peril and that what is replacing it in social and moral influence is destined to leave a far worse legacy.  He begins with a very helpful precis of the demise of religious influence and presence in Western culture,  whilst recognising that Australia is still a Christian majority country.  Recognising that the West is out of step with the rest of the world which is becoming MORE religious, and arguably MORE Christian than ever before.

I think Colgan is right to identify in us a fear of being thought foolish and therefore a desperation to convince others of Christianity’s rationality for our sake, more than for theirs.  I think he’s right in urging us to expectation abuse when we share the gospel but to also expect God to miraculously convince sceptics and save.  I think though that love also seeks not just to win arguments and bolster church ego at being right, but to seek to remove genuine barriers for post modern “Ozzies” who think Christianity is dangerous and harmful.  I commend Sheridan’s book to you, though not all of his conclusions.

Your Pastor and Brother In Christ, Graham Crew .