Credible Witness

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Darren Cronshaw

Companions, Prophets, Hosts & other Australian Mission Models

From Introduction
White settlement of Australia began with the landing of the First Fleet of convicts in New South Wales on 26 January 1788. In-cluded on board was Australia’s fi rst church leader—the  chaplain Richard Johnson. On the first Sunday Johnson conducted a church service of thanksgiving, though the fi rst few days were marked more by drunken revelry than by heartfelt prayer. In the early days of white settlement, the church and its pastoral leaders had a state-sanctioned chaplaincy role, but this did not always best facilitate the mission of the church. Johnson’s successor Samuel Marsden, for example, became known as the ‘flogging parson’ because he mixed his pastoral duties with those of a magistrate. Such a reputation in the formative period of the colony did not help the relationship of the church and its representatives with the average Australian. Mission today is also challenged by the marginalisation of the church and diff erent expectations on the role of pastoral leaders, as well as the increasing complexity of their work. In whatever age, mission is what God does in the world to bring God’s world and people back into proper relationship with him. It includes justice, mercy, evangelism and discipleship. Yet mission is expressed in different ways depending on varying contexts and needs, and the differences in gifting and personality of the missionaries (which includes all of God’s people)…


“A personal and perceptive overview which weaves together the past and present to give an authentic picture of Christian mission in Australia. Credible Witness is an inspiring read and an insightful analysis for creative thinking and practice. I highly recommend it.”
— Tim Costello

Principal, Tabor College Melbourne. “Darren Cronshaw has done us a great service in tracking the ‘types’ of Christian spirituality that have exerted an influence over the religious landscape of this country. He brings both a sense of objective scholarship to the subject, as well as the passionate heart of an Australian missionary. He has done a superb job, and by doing so has debunked the myth that Australia is a godless, irreligious society with little taste for the Christian message. His assertion is that we have a long history of effective Christian spirituality in this country that can provide for us way-markers for the future shape of mission in this country. He is not naïve about the failings of Christian mission in the past, but helps to rehabilitate these missional types for the positive lessons we can learn from them. This is far from a secular society, but that doesn’t mean it is a society close to Christian revival or to a wholesale return to church attendance. Rather, it is a society still open to and ready for an expression of the Christian faith that sounds and feels indigenous to Australian soil and which is rich in integrity, justice, love and peace. I trust that this book fills you with courage, ingenuity, passion and creativity for the journey that is before us – the continuation of a credible witness to the claims of Christ to all Australians.”
— Michael Frost  Morling College, Sydney


Author: Darren Cronshaw
ISBN: (Paperback)