Gospel Conversations



Gospel Conversations takes a creative approach to attaining a deeper understanding of the gospel and what it means to us today. Our speakers are not ministers, but range from a diverse community of Christian thinkers who lead their various fields of knowledge in history, design thinking, theology, philosophy, and organisational leadershipamong others. Each month we host a live event in Sydney, then publish it as a podcast.


  • David Bentley Hart in conversation with Tony Golsby-Smith - Part 3, Why did the wrong guy win?

    17/09/2021 Duración: 01h29min

    Why did the wrong guy win? The Disastrous results of the rivalry between two visions of God Gospel Conversations welcomes you to the third talk on Gregory of Nyssa between Tony Golsby-Smith and David Bentley Hart. The towering genius of Augustine casts a long and too often dark shadow over western Christianity. What would Christianity have looked like if the equal genius of Gregory had achieved such dominance? Why did the wrong guy win? Tony and David rove over these questions in a riveting conversation. Don't forget to engage with us through our website or with our new social media platforms Website - www.gospel.conversations.com  Twitter - https://twitter.com/gospelconv Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/gospelconversations/ 

  • David Bentley Hart in conversation with Tony Golsby-Smith - Part 2, on Gregory & his Sister Macrina

    07/08/2021 Duración: 01h14s

    Welcome to the second conversation between David and Tony on Gregory of Nyssa. ‘Gregory and his Sister on the Resurrection of all Humanity’ How a woman’s mind framed the gospel around the resurrection. In a sense that is the topic of David and Tony’s second conversation on Gregory of Nyssa. In this chat they discuss Gregory’s epic “On the Soul and the Resurrection’ which is structured as a dialogue between Gregory and his influential sister Macrina. In this dialogue Macrina is the teacher and Gregory is the dull and doubting learner. The context is poignant and personal as it is set in the immediate shadows of the death of their brother Basil, and in the imminent death of Macrina herself. Gregory is despondent in the face of this shadow of death. But Macrina leads him on a grand sweep from the beginning of all things in the mind of God to the end of all things in the ‘feast of the tabernacles’ when all mankind will be welcomed into the holy of holies. David explains why this is his favourite work on Gregory’s

  • David Bentley Hart in Conversation with Tony Golsby-Smith - Part 1, on Gregory of Nyssa

    11/06/2021 Duración: 01h15min

    People all over the world are rediscovering the great 4th century theologian, Gregory of Nyssa.  David Bentley Hart is an unabashed admirer of the great Cappadocian Father calling him the most innovative theologian of the early church. In this first of three interviews on Gregory’s thought and influence, David introduces us to Gregory and explains why he was the so-called ‘pillar of orthodoxy’ and yet was also a thinker who took the gospel into the widest realm of any of the church fathers.  Along the way, Tony and David compare Gregory with Coleridge, and explore the poetic eloquence which distinguished Gregory. They dive in some detail into Gregory’s masterpiece, “On the Making of Humanity” and David explains just how Gregory did nothing more profound than invent a new Christ centred anthropology – and cosmology – that rocked the ancient world.

  • Talk 4. Knowledge at Work: Practical stories of Faith, Hope and Love from the world of work and big change.

    28/04/2021 Duración: 01h02min

    In this last talk, Mark and Tony discuss how ‘Faith, Hope and Love’ shape all wise human enterprise not just religious activity. They share stories from their long careers in corporate life and consulting, of how Faith, Hope and Love gave breakthrough perspectives on projects and problem solving. They argue that all humans share in an instinct and desire for Faith, Hope and Love so Christians don’t have a mortgage on these qualities. But we do have the gospel that confirms and anchors them, so we Christians can advocate and pursue them on behalf of everybody – and not just in church but in the wider fields of all human enterprise.

  • Knowledge is not facts, it’s a Person: Faith, hope and love in 1 Corinthians

    09/03/2021 Duración: 01h25s

    In this third talk Mark and Tony continue to explore the theme that true knowledge must be framed by faith, hope and love.  In this talk, Mark applies the new framework to 1 Corinthians, and explains how the topic of ‘knowledge’ shapes the whole book – and how the incarnation reframed knowledge around the transcendent qualities of ‘faith, hope and love’.  But this reframing challenged both the Jews and the Greeks and was in fact offensive to them both (although in different ways). Furthermore, applying this framework to practical situations, (which Paul does throughout the book) demands innovative thinking – innovative thinking that does not look for cookie-cutter answers but rather looks to Christ and the new gospel to supply the code that unlocks wisdom.

  • Faith, Hope and Love as ‘ways of knowing’.

    08/12/2020 Duración: 01h05min

    Here is the second conversation with Mark Strom on Faith, Hope and Love as ‘ways of knowing’. Mark is on fire in this conversation.  He takes on a roller coaster ride beginning with the famous Pauline talk to the Romans on Mars Hill right through to the ‘mount Everest’ of Christ centred thinking in the hymn of Philippians 2.  Throughout this journey Mark develops a grand theme; that every human made in God’s image is grasping towards higher meaning or ‘hope’ and this includes the idol worshipping Greeks and Romans on Mars Hill but we need the story to make sense of this ‘knowledge instinct’.  The story needs an ending – because endings make sense of stories – and the incarnation of Jesus, which climaxes in his resurrection, is the ending which makes sense for everybody. True wisdom, in fact ‘all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge’ are hidden in that story. Never has that verse in Colossians been more real for me than as I listened to Mark talking here.

  • Mark Strom: Knowledge as Faith, Hope and Love – not data & information

    24/11/2020 Duración: 01h01min

    We are excited to welcome back to Gospel Conversations one of our old friends, Mark Strom. Mark has blessed all of us over the years with his unique grasp of big picture holistic thinking coupled with his easy accessible way of explaining all of that: in particular Mark has been a leader in taking the gospel out of its religious box and putting it into the whole framework of reality – particularly in his work on Paul where he argues that Paul was not just a great theologian but a great philosopher who changed the way the world thinks whether they are Christians or not.In continuing our COVID style of Zoom interviews, we have arranged this series as a dialogue between Mark and Tony – not as a presentation. Our topic continues the broad theme of ‘knowledge’ which we have been pursuing. Mark gives us a big idea – that the famous description of ‘faith, hope and love’ in 1 Corinthians 13 are aspects of true knowing not merely moral qualities. With that fresh perspective he does two revolutionary things: for Christ

  • The modern battleground for the soul: Mark Ridgeway on ai - talk 2

    14/10/2020 Duración: 38min

    The modern battleground for the soul is not in fact religion - it is the field of computer science. This is because we have created the aura of 'artificial intelligence' and the end of that road seems to be that machines can think better than humans can.... if that is true (and the computer Deep Blue' did in fact beat Garry Kasparov at chess) then that implies that our mind is a machine after all. So that leaves no room for the soul, or the spirit. And indeed for God. This is the background for our world today, and for any discussions we have about our faith.  One of our colleagues in Gospel Conversations, Mark Ridgway, worked in Information Technology for his entire life, and did so at senior levels. So he has a good viewpoint on this. This is the first of two talks he has done for us within our broad theme of 'knowledge'.  In the first talk, he gives us a great overview of the development of computing as an industry - including where it has hit a brick wall. In the second talk he dives into 'artificial inte

  • Modern battleground for the soul: Mark Ridgeway - ai talk 1

    08/10/2020 Duración: 38min

    The modern battleground for the soul is not in fact religion - it is the field of computer science. This is because we have created the aura of 'artificial intelligence' and the end of that road seems to be that machines can think better than humans can.... if that is true (and the computer Deep Blue' did in fact beat Garry Kasparov at chess) then that implies that our mind is a machine after all. So that leaves no room for the soul, or the spirit. And indeed for God. This is the background for our world today, and for any discussions we have about our faith.  One of our colleagues in Gospel Conversations, Mark Ridgway, worked in Information Technology for his entire life, and did so at senior levels. So he has a good viewpoint on this. This is the first of two talks he has done for us within our broad theme of 'knowledge'.  In the first talk, he gives us a great overview of the development of computing as an industry - including where it has hit a brick wall. In the second talk he dives into 'artificial inte

  • My quest for reality- a dialogue with Esther Meek

    28/08/2020 Duración: 47min

    Welcome to a special guest for Gospel Conversations – Dr Esther Meek. Esther will be front-lining our next conference in 2021 so we decided to give us all a foretaste of her wisdom and she did not disappoint!  She explains her lifelong story as to how she began a quest for truth and reality – as a 13 year old girl in a conservative Christian family. At first she thought her deep questions were sin, but eventually she found a bigger God at the end of them. Esther has pioneered an epistemology grounded in love not data. The great European scientist and thinker, Michael Polanyi, (a favourite of Mark Strom’s from many years ago) was her doorway to a human centred view of reality. Her message is full of passion and urgency – as she explains how everyone in the modern world are ‘babies of Descartes’ and thus have absorbed a lie about the nature of reality. This introductory talk will whet your appetite for more. So let’s pray that the borders relax next year and Esther can meet with us face to face.

  • John Walton: Order not sin - part 2

    02/07/2020 Duración: 47min

    In their second discussion John and Tony explore the theme of ‘order’ in more depth. They agree that ‘order’ is a bigger paradigm than the ‘sin/salvation’ paradigm – and that it cannot be separated from the presence of God.  Anyone who tastes or yearns for ‘order’ is in fact tasting and yearning for God himself. John then develops order into three manifestations; rest, peace and coherence.  In John’s own words, “these all come about through God’s presence in the world (not really having much to do with salvation).  The gospel that we are to preach certainly involved Jesus died for us and our sins, but more importantly the gospel involves God’s presence in the world, the possibility of being in relationship and the rest, peace and coherence he can bring.”  This is a very stimulating discussion that offers a fresh perspective for how we might be ‘disciples’ of Christ in the world today.

  • Why ‘order’ not ‘sin’ frames genesis

    26/05/2020 Duración: 44min

    Tony interviews John Walton about his theory that ‘order’ not ‘sin’ is the dominant theme of the early chapters of Genesis – and that we have in fact ‘over emphasised’ sin as the major problem that the Bible and Genesis confront.  In this free ranging conversation, Tony and John explore this new idea in some depth.  John explains how the concept of ‘order’ is anchored in Ancient Near Eastern cosmology, and Tony jumps straight across to the twenty first century and links the concept of order with design and our role as sub-creators. This interview will be very stimulating for everybody – it does not discount the role of sin in the gospel but it does subordinate it to the wider purposes of God in desiring order in the cosmos.

  • Creation Theology part 2 - Creators not Critics

    29/04/2020 Duración: 46min

    Part one I charted the wider landscape that Creation theology gives us – a wider landscape I argued, than what I called the ‘Redemption’ gospel.  I want to stress that the key theme was not either or choice between the two – we obviously need ‘redeeming’ or ‘saving’ and any thinking person who denies that is deceiving themselves as if humanity has no problem or blood on our collective hands…. No, my point was where does the gospel begin where does the story of the gospel begin.  And we argued that the creation gospel begins with a deep anchor in Genesis one, whereas the redemption gospel begins – de facto – in Genesis three. I made the point that this creation gospel is not a soft gospel.  It challenges the secular mind substantially – more substantially than the redemption gospel because its claims are wider and more stupendous. The claim of the creation gospel is that Jesus is Lord of all and there is therefore no one, no event, no system, that can claim immunity from his rule. He is not just Lord of the ch

  • The Creation Gospel: Part 1. What and Why?

    03/04/2020 Duración: 36min

    Do we need a new ‘Reformation’ to reshape the gospel for the 21st century?  Some people think so. In this talk, Tony gives some shape to the ‘ creation gospel’ – as the shorthand term for these new approaches to the old story. He does this by contrasting it with the ‘redemption’ gospel – the traditional evangelical framework that puts sin and forgiveness at the centre. Importantly Tony is not claiming we have an either/or choice between these two frameworks, but rather we must choose where the Gospel should begin – in Genesis one or Genesis three? He covers lots of this conceptual territory with a story of his journey from one framework to the other. This talk is part one – part two will follow shortly and will dive into the ‘so what’ of this creation paradigm. Both talks serve as an introduction to Rikk’s upcoming talks on “Design and Theology”

  • Brad Jersak: Plato, Plantinga, and Paul—toward Christian knowing

    25/02/2020 Duración: 48min

    Rev Dr Brad Jersak explores Christian knowing through Plato, Plantinga, and Paul the Apostle. This is an incredibly important topic for Christians today as most of us feel caught between the conservative ‘Biblical’ view that dominates Sydney evangelicalism, and a more liberal humanist view that seems to threaten the pillars of faith. Brad has a rich mind and insightful perspectives, including a deep understanding of the early church fathers. He will offer us a much wider paradigm of knowing and revelation that does not toss out the Bible but balances it. In so doing he will demonstrate that far from this being a dangerous liberalising of truth, we are only recapturing the dominant orthodoxy that characterised the early church.Video: youtu.be/9RxQb7VW_yciTunes, Spotify, and SoundCloud: GospelConversations.com/podcastSocial Media: facebook.com/GospelConversationsPoem: BrianZahnd.com/2013/09/reading-bible-right

  • My journey into Christ's Cosmic Redemption—Tony Golsby-Smith

    12/01/2020 Duración: 38min

    How broad are God's plans? Tony shares his life story: from his childhood in Fiji to becoming a teacher and then, to everyone's surprise, a strategy consultant to some of Australia's largest corporations. He began to see God working everywhere and this led him to ultimately discover Christ's Cosmic Redemption—which is good news for the entire cosmos!Video:https://youtu.be/8fq7xvqQoHQSlides:https://www.slideshare.net/gospelconversations/my-journey-into-christs-cosmic-redemptiontony-golsbysmith-217420845iTunes, Spotify, and SoundCloud:https://GospelConversations.com/podcastSocial Media:https://Facebook.com/GospelConversationshttps://Twitter.com/GospelConvershttps://YouTube.com/user/GospelConversationsWebsite:https://GospelConversations.comMailing List:http://eepurl.com/guDp4n

  • Knowing and Mystery speakers and talks

    30/12/2019 Duración: 08min

    Brad Jersak (Feb 14th), Esther Lightcap Meek, Rikk Watts, Tony Golsby-Smith, Ron Winestock, & Leisa Aitken will help us explore "Knowing and Mystery"—2020 theme. Talks will include: —Is Design the new theology? —What is the Gospel's offer of hope to a postmodern world? —What does Scripture actually teach about women in ministry? —Will Artificial Intelligence save humanity or make us obsolete? —Loving to Know —Mystery in the Quantum world —What were Maximus the Confessor and Origen's views on Mystery? Video:https://youtu.be/_w2BkOKbWdk iTunes, Spotify, and SoundCloud:https://GospelConversations.com/podcast Social Media:https://Facebook.com/GospelConversationshttps://Twitter.com/GospelConvershttps://YouTube.com/user/GospelConversations Website:https://GospelConversations.com Mailing List:http://eepurl.com/guDp4n

  • Gerard Manley Hopkins: Inscape & the Glory of God

    21/11/2019 Duración: 55min

    Gerard Manley Hopkins only lived a short life and he never published a single poem during his lifetime. However, this intense and brilliant Jesuit priest revolutionised forever how poetry was written and laid the foundations for twentieth-century poetry. He is arguably the greatest religious poet of all time, and yet some psychiatrists also believe that nobody wrote about depression with such penetrating insight as he did. He was a true manic genius. The theory of ‘inscape’ underpinned lots of his poetic philosophy and inspired such greats as Tolkien. In this talk, Tony will open up the wondrous world of Hopkins for us.Video:https://youtu.be/4OYpGH7_WCU Slides:https://www.slideshare.net/gospelconversations/gerard-manley-hopkins-inscape-the-glory-of-god iTunes, Spotify, and SoundCloud:https://GospelConversations.com/podcast Social Media:https://Facebook.com/GospelConversationshttps://Twitter.com/GospelConvershttps://YouTube.com/user/GospelConversations Website:https://GospelConversations.com Mailing List:http:

  • Coleridge: transformation through participation

    30/10/2019 Duración: 56min

    Sarah will extend our series on Poetry and Faith by taking us into the world of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the great philosopher and poet of Romanticism, who lived at the tumultuous time of the French Revolution abroad and the Industrial Revolution at home. In the face of this tumult, Coleridge and the Romantics championed humanity, the imagination and the mystery of Nature as the source of all meaning. Coleridge, a troubled Anglican spirit, found the origin of humanity’s imagination in the great ‘I AM’ of God.Podcast (iTunes, Spotify, PodBean, and SoundCloud platforms):https://GospelConversations.com/podcast Slides:https://www.slideshare.net/gospelconversations/coleridgeunity-and-the-abrahamic-covenantsarah-golsbysmith YouTube Channel:https://YouTube.com/user/GospelConversations Social Media:https://Facebook.com/GospelConversationshttps://Twitter.com/GospelConvers Website:https://GospelConversations.com Mailing List:http://eepurl.com/guDp4n

  • Living in the Light of the Future: Universal Restoration and Practical Theology—Robin Parry

    18/10/2019 Duración: 42min

    Robin's final talk in our series explores perhaps the most significant question of all: "How does a belief in universal salvation influence my life and service in the world—including things like evangelism, counselling, and taking funerals?" Robin is a pastor as well as a theologian, and he brings a wealth of practical experience to this huge question. Does universal salvation mute the gospel and just make us melt into a kind of uncritical pantheism? Robin argues that universal salvation, far from muting our voice in the world, amplifies our voice, and the many ways through which we can bless the world.Podcast (iTunes, Spotify, PodBean, and SoundCloud platforms):https://GospelConversations.com/podcast Slides:https://www.slideshare.net/gospelconversations/living-in-the-light-of-the-future-universal-restoration-and-practical-theologyrobin-parry YouTube Channel:https://YouTube.com/user/GospelConversations Social Media:https://Facebook.com/GospelConversationshttps://Twitter.com/GospelConvers Website:https://Gospe

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