Mike Frost

The way of nature
and the way of grace

“All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful.”
– Flannery O’Connor.

In the film, Tree of Life, one of Terrence Malick’s characters says in voiceover, “The nuns taught us there are two ways through life, the way of Nature and the way of Grace. You have to choose which one you’ll follow.”

But choosing is tough. Even when walking the way of grace you do it right alongside the way of nature.

Jesus referred to that as being in the world, but not of the world. And it’s a specialized balancing act, not one we always get right. At least I don’t.

So my musings here will be about that awkward negotiation between nature and grace, knowing that, as Flannery O’Connor said, we are inclined to resist grace because it hurts to be changed. But in the long run, bottom line, Jesus is king and following the way of grace leads us deeper into the world he’s creating for us.

You probably won’t agree with everything I say, but I’m trying to stimulate a positive, generative conversation. And starting conversations is a good thing, if you ask me. Right?

So join me as I share my thoughts, excerpt my upcoming writing, launch debates and generally rabble-rouse, all in a genuine attempt to figure out what the reign of King Jesus looks like in earthy, real terms, right here, right now.

Latest Blogs

The Gifts of Advent 4: RECONCILIATION

Rosalie Kunoth-Monks is an Amatjere woman, born in the outback in 1937 at the height of Australia’s so-called assimilation policy. At that time, it was believed that Aboriginal peoples were so vastly inferior to the culture of white settlers that they would soon die...

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The Gifts of Advent 3: WHOLENESS

[This is the third in a four-part series on the gifts of Advent. The first post explored BEAUTY and in the second I looked at JUSTICE]   Ring the bells that still can ring Forget your perfect offering There is a crack in everything That's how the light gets in. ~...

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The Gifts of Advent 2: JUSTICE

[This is the second in a four-part series looking at the gifts given to us in the coming of Jesus. The first gift I explored was BEAUTY. You can read it here.]   One of the most powerful ways to show people the truth of Christianity is to serve the common good. ~...

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Christian Faith

Things to do before I die

Each year at Morling College I teach a subject called the History of Christian Mission. Since I’m a storyteller and not an historian, I tell my students this course is church history minus the boring bits. They like that introduction. So they hear all about Adoniram...

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Christian Ministry

Megachurches are not churches?

I think the thing that’s most disturbing is the megachurch because megachurches are not churches. ~ Eugene Peterson   Some years ago, my car was broken into and my satchel containing my diary and computer was stolen. It was right on the eve of me going to the UK...

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Mission

Blaming Islam is just too easy

In the wake of the Manchester Arena bombing I’m seeing a lot of commentators demanding we call a spade a spade and identify Islam as the global problem of our time. Several of them claim we’ve been pandering to Muslim extremists by downplaying the danger they...

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Mission is a lot like midwifery

Joseph Campbell once said, “If you want to change the world, change the metaphor.” Maybe if you want to change the church you should change the metaphors you use to describe it too. You’re probably familiar with the church’s use of militaristic imagery to describe its...

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Culture & Politics

Bible/Jesus

Art & Popular Culture

About Mike

I’m a 20-year veteran of the academy, but I still don’t call myself an academic. On my immigration forms I write “teacher” in the occupation box.
I’ve taught at Morling College in Sydney that whole time and am currently the head of the missiology department there.
My doctorate examined a mission-shaped approach to being and doing church, and I’ve written a bunch of books in that field. Some of them have even been popular. Thank you if you bought one.
I enjoy music by guys who can’t sing that great (Dylan, Cohen, Cave), hiking the national parks of North America (15, so far), and reading Flannery O’Connor. I’ve seen every film made by the Cohen Brothers and Stanley Kubrick and I still hold out hope that Terrence Malick has one more masterpiece in him.
I helped launch the Small Boat Big Sea community in Manly. I co-founded the Forge mission training network. I have won camel races in Kazakhstan, cliff-diving competitions in Thailand, and chess tournaments at the Kremlin. And I have spoken with Elvis (not all this might be true).
And through it all I have been loved by an amazing woman who has stood by me for over 30 years and whose capacity for endurance seemingly knows no bounds, my wife, Caz (this part is definitely true!).

Books by Mike

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So I often feel like an outsider in Christianity – because of my politics. So I often feel like an outsider in feminism – because of my theology. Yet I choose to be a feminist in the way that I believe Jesus would be a feminist. #WomensMarch
https://t.co/808c8wJtzq

We attended a beautiful @CommonGraceAus prayer service tonight, in response to Aunty Jean Phillips' invitation to gather with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brothers & sisters for lament and prayer as we approach Jan 26th. More venues here: https://t.co/BKREhi0GeQ

Trump's progress - "vision, chutzpah and some testosterone". Voices from outside the anti-Trump echo chamber. https://t.co/H5WwkwKEwp

Huh? THIS is what normal passengers watched on Qantas flights in 2017!?! THIS?? Meanwhile that bald 50-something weirdo in 47C was watching Final Portrait, I Am Not Your Negro, Neruda, My Cousin Rachel, The Beguiled, and A Ghost Story. #freakyweirdo

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I dreamed last night that Donald Trump was dying and I was called to the White House to provide spiritual direction to him in his final days, but I couldn't get him to pay attention to anything I was saying. He kept saying he wanted to take me out to eat Trump steaks. Seriously.

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