Apologetics Australia Evangelism Media

Third Space – A Christian Website for Non-Christians…Welcome Home!

A few weeks ago we were planning a Third Space website – it was to be the usual – a website about Third Space, explaining the concept, what we are about and what we are up to.    Then I went for a walk along Manly beach.  Annabel and I stopped for a meal in a lovely cafe/bar which was somewhat crowded.  Indeed it was so crowded that we asked a couple if we could share their table.  Being typical friendly Aussies they said ‘of course’ and being typical friendly Aussies – they chatted to us.  It was a fascinating conversation as Rob explained, amongst other things,  what it was like to work in a builders yard in 40 degree heat and I explained what exactly my job was!  As we parted I really wanted to give Rob something, to point him to a church where he could explore more, to introduce him and his wife to Christ.  But I had nothing. And it really bothered me.  REALLY bothered me.

When I returned to work on Monday the thought crossed my mind – why would we do a website about ourselves, or for Christians?  There is plenty material for Christians.  In fact it seems to me that there is more material for Christians about communicating the Gospel, than there is for non-Christians communicating the Gospel.  I have a fear that even some of those that do seek to communicate the Gospel are doing so in a way that seems more aimed at showing Christians that we are communicating the Gospel, than actually thinking about non- Christians.  So we changed the remit for those designing our website.   Can you design something which non-Christians can use – which will look at a wide variety of things from a Christian perspective and be a place where they can explore a new world of ideas?  After several weeks this is what we have come up with….(thanks especially to Janelle and Ken for all their hard work).

https://thirdspace.org.au/

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The idea is that people come into the house and enter the room they are interested in…

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There will be articles, videos and talks on a wide variety of subjects.  Why?  Because we want to show that the Gospel impacts every area of life.  And we want people to see that Christ is interested in every area of their lives.   And he is the answer, foundation and ultimate desire for all our lives.

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Feel free to explore and also to give us feedback – ideas, constructive criticisms etc.  All welcome.  This is a developing resource and the more people involved the better!    There is also a Facebook page which you can join and use.

If you are a Christian please pray for, use and help us in any way you can.  If you are not a Christian we are looking for your feedback too.  And above all we would love you to use this…let us know what you are interested in  – and we will see what we can do!

Letter from Australia 9 – Third Space – the Beginning

Evangelism in Todays Church – Interview with Eternity Magazine

Third Space – An Interview with The Gospel Coalition Australia

37 comments

  1. What makes you think they want to learn about your church?

    In Australia, in case you haven’t already realised, religion is a private affair. The fastest way to turn someone off is to start talking religion.

    1. The intelligent ones do. The ones that don’t think that asking someone to think about Christ is ‘talking about my church’! And there are plenty people who do. I find that in Australia many people want to talk about religion – in fact it is a subject I almost never need to bring up, because other people do! COme out of that atheist bubble and into the real world!

      1. And there are plenty people who do

        Well, could that be because you’re moving in religious circles?

        And no. You clearly don’t understand Australia. We do not discuss religion. It’s a private affair. We recently elected an openly atheist PM. Want to know how much time was dedicated to discussing that? Zero. Not a single word through the entire campaign. Want to know why? Because we do not discuss religion.

      2. Actually I move in all kinds of circles and read and watch secular media – there is not a day goes by without religion being openly discussed! You recently elected an openly pentecostal PM (not atheist) – and a great deal of time has been spent discussing that. Thereby proving that your statement that Australians do not discuss religion is completely false – which won’t stop you believing it!

      3. (Nb. My comment, left hours ago, seems to have disappeared. I trust you haven’t deleted it by way of censorship and there was a simple glitch, so i’ll re-post it)

        Are you in all honesty trying to tell me, an Australian, that people spontaneously start talking to you about religion, without your prodding? Honestly? A waitress, for example, takes your order then makes some passing comment about Jesus? You take in, say, the Seven Sisters, and someone approaches you completely out of the blue to talk about religion?

        Is that what you’re truly trying to say to me?

        Honestly?

        As for politicians, and the general societal perspective on religion spoken about in public, I’ll simply point you to this 2012 article: Best of 2011: God under Gillard by Marion Maddox

        In his recent study of the faith of Australian prime ministers, John Warhurst has concluded that, between Federation in 1901 and the overthrow of Labor leader Kevin Rudd in 2010, four prime ministers were “articulate atheists or agnostics,” while a fifth’s atheism or agnosticism, though not explicitly articulated, could be inferred from his statements and actions.

        Warhurst classified eight prime ministers as observant Christians (understood as attending church at least monthly during their prime ministership), two as conventional (occasional churchgoers) and nine as nominal (attending only for formal and official occasions).

        Warhurst observes that the hardest part of conducting his research was the difficulty of finding reliable data about Australian leaders’ faith. MEMBERS’ AND SENATORS’ RELIGION IS NOT A MATTER OF OFFICIAL RECORD, and must, in some cases, be inferred from sources such as marriage and funeral records and whether the subject attended a denominational school.

        As Warhurst notes, “This shows that for some prime ministers, and for their biographers, THEIR FAITH IS ALMOST IRRELEVANT.

        That last line again: “Their faith is almost irrelevant.” Like I said, we do not discuss religion. In fact, the article goes on to talk about “Australians’ suspicion of overt religiosity.”

        So, all I can say is this: you suffer from a species of religious-pareidolia; you see what you want to see, regardless of the reality unfolding around you. You’re missing a critical part of the Australian identity. And of course, as you are there specifically for religious reasons, you are bound to meet religiously-minded people as you are moving in THEIR religious circles.

      4. John – I don;’t have time to monitor all the posts on here and so sometimes they don’t get posted until several hours afterwards. I also don’t permit all posts. Yours came close to not being used. I never said that people start spontaneously talking to me about religion – they usually don’t spontanously talk to me about anything! Your logic is ludicrous. As for seeing what you want to see – that is a perfect self-description – as evidenced by your posts. Your hatred of religion is driving you mad! My job is to meet with non- religious people who want to talk about Christianity. There are so many I am swamped…you appear to be one of them !

      5. Wow – your first answer to someone who gives feedback (as you just invited them to do in your post) is to imply that the person would give different feedback if they were intelligent enough?!

        How very welcoming and gracious of you! It’s like writing a letter inviting a guest to your house (or ‘space’ in your parlance) and insulting them as soon as they arrive!

      6. No = you are quite right – anyone is welcome who wants to come in and discuss. People who throw stones and just want to destroy are not welcome. If you can’t handle intelligent, robust and well informed discussion then this is not the place for you. You will get plenty places on the Internet which allow you to rant and rave – and then cry victim when someone challenges your prejudices. John was not trying to discuss or come in – he was shouting ‘no one is interested’ not realising just how oxymoronic that statement is!

      7. Is there an intention to permit spoilers and captious comments to interject, to disappear down rabbit holes: those who have no honest intention , no integrity to to have an open minded discovery of Christianity, those like John Zande and sjon, who have provided overwhelming historical evidence on the weaflea blog that they are implacably opposed to Christianity, if not hostile, if not New Fundamental Atheists?
        There are sufficient sites that cater for their own creeds. They are not new to Christianity, not explorers.

      8. have provided overwhelming historical evidence on the weaflea blog

        As far as I’m aware, I’ve only commented on one other post. But feel free to point me to this “overwhelming historical evidence” you say exists.

      9. it would seem that intelligence has little to do with it. Call it ‘i have my own beliefs”, or call it “i’m simply not interested”. In the same way that just because YOU are gung ho for, say, model railroads, that does not imply a lack of intelligence because someone else isn’t. It just shows lack of interest.
        And calling someone (in a sideways manner, of course) stupid is rude.

  2. First reaction – I like it! I shall certainly take some time to explore it further. Will it be designed in such a way that it may be used anywhere, or will there be a specifically Australian flavour to it? I trust that it is the former!

    Blessings, and shalom.

    1. It’s worldwide…Australia is a world community. There will be an Aussie flavour – but also Scottish, US, English, European, African, Asian etc….Most will we hope be transferable…

  3. This promises to be a very fruitful idea. I think that relationship with Christ is both a deeply personal and private affair and also a massively public issue. Separating these is like separating life from living.

  4. And David, just to further my point, from the article: Australians don’t talk about religion, but religion talks in politics

    The Australian website Cultural Atlas, whose goal is to “enhance social cohesion,” notes:

    “As religion is regarded as a personal matter of preference, Australians tend not to discuss it publicly or explicitly with those whom they do not know very well.”

    As you can see, you really haven’t grasped what Australia (and Australians) are about cum-religion.

    1. Its amusing to watch how you dig yourself into a hole…and keep digging. Cultural Atlas is a website whose aim is to help immigrant communities settle in Australia. Their statement offers no empirical evidence for your argument whatsoever. Keep Googling! Of course people don’t wake up to strangers and discuss religion – nor do they walk up to strangers and discuss their family, culture, sex, food etc. It doesn’t mean it is not important to them.

      1. So, citing people who’ve actually studied it, and live it, is considered odd by you?

        Curious.

        OK, how about the ABC article: How we worship

        Religion in Australia is rich and unlike anywhere else in the world, but most of the country believes those who worship should keep their beliefs to themselves.

        It doesn’t mean it is not important to them.

        Goodness, there’s that religious-pareidolia playing out. And I can prove it… again:

        2008 Gallup poll indicated nearly 70 percent of citizens regard religion as “having no importance” in their daily lives.

        You see, David, you really, truly do not understand Australians.

        And may I ask why you didn’t address my other questions?

      2. Again it appears as thought facts and reason are not your strong point. I understand that. After all your fundamentalist atheist faith does not lend itself to those.

        Would you like to share the peer-reviewed studies by Cultural Atlas on which they base their advice?

        Are you seriously citing ABC as the authority on religion in Australia? Maybe you should ask them why, if religion is so unimportant, they have a whole department dedicated to the subject?

        Your Google searching for confirmation bias really does need to be backed up with a wee bit more sense. I would suggest you go with the actual census eight years later (not a poll). In 2016 over 50% said they were Christian….around 10% other religions….and around 30% no religion.

        As to answering your other questions – no – I can’t be bothered. I have a life and have no time to waste any further with your illogical and irrational nonsense. Feel free to broadcast your prejudices on your own platform – not mine. !

      3. Would you like to show me any article or commentary that contradicts what I’m presenting?

        To date, you’ve provided nothing outside your own opinion. I have demonstrated though numerous external sources that your position is incorrect. But, if you have something that supports you, then present it. I’d be happy to read.

        So, as per the 2008 Gallup poll: 70% of Australians regard religion as “HAVING NO IMPORTANCE” in their daily lives.

        That’s actual data, David.

        50% jotting down Christian on the census form is not indicative of religious participation, or import.

        As to answering your other questions – no – I can’t be bothered. I have a life and have no time to waste any further with your illogical and irrational nonsense.

        I see, so you were lying about having “done the research.”

        Why lie, David?

        You do seem to lie a lot. May I ask why?

      4. Ok John – I’ve been very patient with you – but you’re done. You will not be posting on here again unless your posts contain some new information or some reasoned argument.

        I showed you the 2016 official census which had over a 90% takeup of the population. You give me an opinion poll of (1500?) people from 8 years earlier which does not even say what you say it does!

        And now you are accusing me of lying – you’re done…

    2. Well done John.
      It didn’t take long that with little or no self-awareness, you at the same time provide contemporaneous evidence that you asked me for and barrel down a rabbit hole.

    3. my feelings exactly, John. As Yankees, what church someone goes to is very low on the totem pole of intetest for most folks. I have never had anyone ask, and I have never asked anyone else, ‘what do you believe?’

  5. “The intelligent ones do.” I am not an Atheist nor do I associate with “Organized Religion” anymore because of statements like the one above made by you. Though I don’t have data to back this up, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say you’ve already turned off many of the people you are trying to reach.

    1. Ken – of your reason for not believing in Jesus or what you somewhat sneeringly call ‘Organised Religion’ is a light hearted humourous response, then there is not much I can do to help you. You would really have struggled with Elijah’s mockery of the prophets of Baal, or Jesus’s description of the Pharisees as ‘white washed tombs – twice dead!’. And of course you don’t have data – you go by your feelings and on that basis feel quite happy to condemn others and make judgements about the effect of their actions…

      1. “And of course you don’t have data – you go by your feelings and on that basis feel quite happy to condemn others and make judgements about the effect of their actions”

        Isn’t this “The Pot calling the Kettle black” ?

      2. Not if you are referring to me and most Christians. We are told not to go by our feelings – because they are so untrustworthy. Unlike many atheists…especially the more fundamentalist ones.

      3. @ theweeflea
        Well now, David, are you truly suggesting those who become Christian do so solely because of evidence?

  6. I live in Australia and when some crazy person starts talking religious claptrap my cobbers and me down our beers quickly and move to another pub.

    1. Yes – because when you are in a pub you and your mates are often accosted by crazy people who want to talk about religion! Although I would tend to be more tolerant of atheists than you are – they are usually the ones who speak the most religious claptrap. I note also your insecurity and inability to dialogue with those who disagree with you…you have to runaway and hide in your beer with those who agree with you – just in case you might have to think…

  7. Hey David, just dropped by and spent a few minutes over a wee dram in your pub. Quite pleasant really. Did notice though that it seemed not to the taste of several customers who appeared at a loss on how to leave, and get to the next pub. Strange – you’d think most people would know you can leave by the door you came in by? Maybe you could add a new room – Basic Browser Use – how to leave a bar (sorry – site!) you don’t like?

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