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The Secret Origin Of The Briefing (via Matthias Media)

The earliest copy of The Briefing in my files is #104.

I wasn’t there at the beginning, though given the fact its publication frequency back then was twice a month (except January), it was still very early days.

During a summer ministry appointment in Queensland a dear couple put some binders of their copies in my hands to read.

The magazine was so energetic and encouraging.

Emphasising what needed to be held on to, while cheerfully (irreverently) taking the mickey out of what could be let go.

Even back then, the vine was central, and the trellis was being put in its (valuable, but not preeminent place).


Here Tony Payne talks with Phillip Jensen about the beginnings of the magazine in an interview that is featured in The Briefing’s final print issue.

It’s a little bit of history.

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The Briefing To Cease Publication With Issue 414

The digital age overtakes The Briefing.
At their website, Matthias Media announces that the next edition of The Briefing will be the last.
I’ve been a subscriber since 1992 or so.
The advent of online material has diminished the effectiveness of what was initially a fortnightly bulletin of ‘brief’ articles, leading to its current form of a longer form magazine published every two months with the content also published on the website.
Though some of their emphases went in idiosyncratic directions, it was a helpful and practical resource.

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Time To Stop Flogging This Parson (via Simon Manchester)

At The Briefing, Simon Manchester seeks to address the historical imbalance that have been present in appraisals Samuel Marsden’s life.

The introduction:

The second chaplain to New South Wales—Samuel Marsden—was born 250 years ago on 28th July 1764. He was slandered for most of his life, and the epithet ‘flogging parson’ has (sadly) stuck down the years and prejudiced thousands against a mighty man. Wise historians have recognized that standing so alone for Christ in a colony made up largely of soldiers and convicts it is no wonder Marsden was vilified.
Consider this entry in Marsden’s diary as a sign of his theology and godliness—as he faced the challenges of gospelling native inhabitants:

“What would I have given to have had the book of life opened which was yet a sealed book to them—to have shown them that God who made them and to have led them to Calvary’s mount that they may see the Redeemer who had shed his precious blood for the redemption of the world… but it was not in my power to take the veil from their hearts. I could only pray for them and entrust the Father of mercies to visit them with salvation. I felt very grateful that a Divine revelation had been granted to me, that I knew the Son of God had come and believed that He had made a full and sufficient sacrifice or atonement for the sins of a guilty world.”

Read the rest of the article at The Briefing.