Episode 4 - Same Sex Marriage

Filming 5pm, Saturday 27 October 2012

Potentially one of our more controversial topics of this first series of elephantTV but one that the world is speaking about so the church should be well informed in this conversation. There seems to be three trains of thought within the church, two of them come down to if homosexuality is genetic, or a choice. If it is genetic then refusal to support Same Sex Marriage would appear to be discrimination, if it is a choice then possibly no discrimination is taking place. The third position that more and more Christians are taking is that the church has no place trying to dictate the parameters around marriage to a society where marriage is no longer the domain of the church, but an institute of the state. Where ever you stand on this our guests will ask hard questions of you, and give you good solid teachings around why marriage is…or indeed isn’t…for a same sex couple. 

Dr Stuart Edser 

Dr Stuart Edser is the Principal Psychologist at Newcastle Psychology & Health. He has several degrees in psychology and education, including a PhD. In the past he was a secondary English teacher, a qualified piano teacher, professional musician and an experienced public speaker. He was a minor seminarian in the Catholic Church living in a monastery for three years as an early teen, but also an elder, leader, preacher and teacher in the Protestant evangelical and charismatic wing of the Church. In this wing, he was a co-founder of a church in his twenties, a church that still exists in the Newcastle suburb of Highfields. After years of struggle and self-acceptance, he now lives happily with his partner Chris.

Dr. Edser is the suthor of Being Gay, Being Christian. The primary aim of his book is to explain to gay or same-sex attracted people that they can be both gay and Christian - that the two are not mutually exclusive. It offers a calm but authoritative voice of science and scholarship, explaining that gay people are neither sick nor sinful as a result of their sexual orientation. As voices of prejudiced fundamentalism shriek from all sides of the Christian church, it invites the reader to a new experience of God.

Lisa Michelle 

Lisa Michelle is Christian, gay and human. After a lifetime of battling to align her faith with her sexuality (or a lifetime of denying her sexuality in order to appease her faith) she decided to lay aside the Scriptures and go directly to God, asking Him to reveal His will for her in this area. She received many confirmations and such inner peace that she “came out” about 3 years ago and is enjoying living authentically and congruently with her Abba Father. Lisa has a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology major), a certificate in Counselling Theory, has done several papers in Pastoral Care and Counselling Children and has recently qualified as a Chaplain. Lisa is a volunteer Counsellor with Rainbow Youth, a writer and a singer and song-writer. She is in a committed relationship with a wonderful Christian woman whom she intends one day to marry. Not civilly unite.

Rev Dr Merv Duffy 

Merv Duffy is a Marist priest from Christchurch, ordained in 1985. While studying for priesthood Merv completed a degree in Mathematics at Victoria University of Wellington. He taught Mathematics, Computing and Religious Education at secondary level, principally at St Patrick’s College, Silverstream, and Pompallier College in Whangarei. Merv was one of a group of teachers involved in the writing of textbooks for the ‘Understanding Faith’ religious education syllabus. Merv participated in the expert panels for the writing of Unit Standards and Assessment materials for Religious Education. For three years Fr. Duffy was employed by the Qualifications Authority as the National Moderator for Religious Education. Subsequently, Merv spent four years in Rome studying for the license and then doctorate in systematic theology.

Rowan Hilsden 

Rowan describes himself as an ugly sinner, with an awesome saviour. At 31 he is the husband of one wife, father of four kids, and senior pastor of Auckland Ev Church. His particular passion is to see people totally captivated by Jesus, deeply grounded in the gospel, and growing in their love and knowledge of the true and living God. He has completed one year of a Bachelor of Science (Psychology), a Bachelor of Arts in (Graphic Design), and a Bachelor of Divinity from Moore Theological College in Sydney. Rowan has worked as a photographer, graphic designer, network administrator, run his own business in software development, was a university chaplain, and an ordained Anglican minister in a large multicultural church in Sydney, before moving to Auckland to start Auckland Ev Church. He enjoys photography, motorcycle riding, long walks on the beach, a good movie, and the look on someone’s face when they truly get what Jesus has done for them!


If you are interested in hearing from these guest speakers and maybe adding your own two cents worth in please fill in the booking form and email it back to us. 

Episode 3 - Evolution

Filming 1pm, Saturday 27 October 2012

Many would think that in a conversation around evolution and creationism that elephantTV would need to being in some panellists from outside the church to speak on evolution but many polls the world over say up to 30% of Christians do not accept creationism. We have 4 fantastic panellists for this episode to education, inform and entertain us in a conversations around creationism, and evolution.

Ps. Dale Campbell 

Dale Campbell is an American who has now lived in NZ for nearly 8 years. He is married to Diane together they have a four year old son, Thomas. He took several papers toward a degree in Religious Studies at Missouri State University in the US, and upon moving to NZ he completed a Bachelors Degree in Applied Theology and a Diploma in Pastoral Leadership from Carey Baptist College. Dale has been Associate Pastor at Northcote Baptist Church for almost 6 years. Although years ago he firmly held young-earth and anti-evolution views, he now sees an ancient creation and natural evolution as compatible (biblically, theologically and philosophically) with a Creator who is even-more Ancient than creation, and sovereign over the entire natural creation. As a chaplain at AUT, he regularly speaks in forums with other faith leaders on these and other topics. He blogs at fruitfulfaith.net, and also enjoys playing music and photography. 


Melissa Day 

A homeschooling mother of 5, Melissa is a passionate evangelist. Melissa was introduced to Jesus at 26, and had a dramatic conversion from the darkness of the occult. She holds the Bible as her most precious resource. Melissa’s favourite subject is Creation Science, which she loves teaching her children. Melissa is a former contributor to Radio Rhema’s ‘Quickwords’ devotional slot, and now helps to run a pro-life counselling ministry which supports pregnant mothers in their choice of life. Melissa and her husband Ben ran Ray Comfort’s Living Waters ministry in New Zealand for 6 years, and still train and encourage evangelists all around New Zealand. 

Dr. Don Batton 

Don has a B.Sc.Agr. (First Class Honours) and Ph.D. from the University of Sydney. Dr Batten then researched tropical/subtropical fruits such as mango, lychee and custard apple, covering floral induction, breeding, environmental physiology, taxonomy, and mineral nutrition. His experiments overturned long-held ideas that had hindered the scientific understanding of lychees and mangoes and caused poor yields due to inappropriate management.

Don became a Christian at age 10 and later taught evolution; he adopted a vague ‘God-used-evolution’ approach. While doing his doctorate, he realized that evolution is more a belief system than science. He came to believe what God had revealed in the Bible, which radically changed his world. Working with Creation Ministries International in Brisbane, Australia, since 1994, Don has spoken around the world on creation. He is the major author of The Creation Answers Book and 15 Reasons to Take Genesis as History. He is one of the four rotating editors of Creation magazine, which goes to 140 countries. You can read more in an interview with Don.

Dr. Graeme Finlay 

Dr Graeme Finlay BSc, MSc (Honours) and PhD degrees from the University of Auckland, and a BTheol degree from the University of South Africa.

Graeme is a cell biologist with thirty years in cancer research and have contributed to some 70 publications, he is currently a Senior Lecturer in Scientific Pathology, University of Auckland.

Graeme has written in the areas of Science and Christian faith. When he has time he likes to especially read NT studies. His favourite authors are Tom Wright and Richard Bauckham.

Dr Finlay is married to Jean, a musician, and they have a married daughter and son, both at University.

If you are interested in hearing from these guest speakers and maybe adding your own two cents worth in please fill in the booking form and email it back to us. 

Episode 2 - War

Filming 10am, Saturday 27 October 2012

We shot a pilot last year where we looked at the topic of war which was kind of the genesis of elephantTV, once we saw the content we realised how valuable the idea was to the church so we couldn’t not include War in our first shooting of the broadcast quality version of elephantTV. You can see the clip from the pilot here and just remember it’s not filmed for broadcast, so please excuse the quality of the shoot. 

Dr Chris Marshall 

Dr Chris Marshall is the St John’s Associate Professor of Christian Theology and Head of the School of Art History, Classics and Religious Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. He holds a BA (Hons) degree from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (1975), a BD from the Melbourne College of Divinity in Australia (1980), a PhD in New Testament Studies from the University of London, England (1985), and an MA in Peace Studies from the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Indiana, USA (1995).

Chris has been widely used as a conference speaker and lecturer in New Zealand, and around the world. In 2008 he received an award for Sustained Excellence in Teaching at Victoria University, and in 2009 he won the highly competitive National Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award. Chris’ book Beyond Retribution seeks to construct a moral, theological and biblical basis for restorative justice practice, as well as to critique the dominant notion of retributive justice. This book was named in the 2002 “Outstanding Academic Titles” list produced annually by the leading American book review journal Choice. 


Adrian Leason 

Adrian Leason is a small-time organic gardener on a two hectare farm and a part-time Primary School teacher. ‘Adi’ is married and a father of six young children and an active member of St. Mary’s Pukekaraka, Otaki. Adrian is also an active participant with the ‘The Catholic Worker’. In the past few years he has worked as a Senior Advisor with Child, Youth & Family in Wellington after he, with his family, spent three years in Asia, living in a slum helping with community development.

Adrian is most well known as one of the three men tried by the NZ Government for their attack on the Waihopai Spy Base. Calling themselves the Anzac Ploughshares, the group said at the time that they wanted to draw attention to the war in Iraq. They attacked the spy base in reaction to George Bush’s statement that intercepting communications was one of the key weapons in the so-called “war on terror”. 


Dr Glenn Peoples 

Dr Peoples cut his teeth studying divinity in Auckland where he was taught by Chris Marshall. From there he moved south to Dunedin, completing a Master of Theology degree with distinction where his research on biblical ethics earned high praise from eminent Old Testament scholar Walter Kaiser. He went on to complete a PhD in philosophy, specialising in the role of religious convictions in public and political life. Glenn and his wife Ruth have four children, and he can be found writing on themes related to God and ethics, religion and justice, Christian theology and philosophy.

Rev Captain Paul Stanaway 

Although British, Rev Paul Stanaway is an Army Chaplain for the New Zealand Defence Force currently based at Burnham Military Camp. He was raised in the church and after a pretty rocky few years as a teenager spent a gap year before university working as a voluntary teacher in India where his faith really found some momentum. He studied a degree in Environmental Science at Lancaster University and then, whilst testing a vocational call to professional ministry in the forces, joined the army as a private soldier in an Infantry Regiment. After a year he transferred to the Royal Army Medical Corps and trained as a combat medic. He served in this role as a Lance Corporal in Iraq 2005-2006 and shortly after returning left the British forces and continued with training and ordination as an Anglican Priest. He studied Theology at Ridley Hall in Cambridge, U.K. and was ordained priest by Bishop David Coles in Christchurch Cathedral in December 2007. He spent some years working in a church in Christchurch where he met Julia who in February 2012 he married.


If you are interested in hearing from these guest speakers and maybe adding your own two cents worth in please fill in the booking form and email it back to us. 


Episode 1 - Women in Leadership

Filming 7pm, Friday 26 October 2012

Should women speak in church? Some scriptures reference women not being allowed to speak or teach. Where do you stand on this? We have some very exciting panellists coming to share their thoughts with you on this.

Sean du Toit 

Sean du Toit began his Christian journey in 1995 after a radical encounter that left him convinced that Jesus is real and is making a difference in this world. This launched his academic journey with a BTheol. and some post-grad work in Philosophy. He then went and planted a church for students, before plunging back into an MTheol. He is now doing a PhD in New Testament studies and lecturing at Alphacrucis College. Throughout this time he has worked with different Christian groups and denominations locally and overseas, engaging in issues that affect and shape Christian engagement with a postmodern world.


The Reverend Dr Sarah Harris 

Sarah is a New Testament lecturer, the first woman on faculty at Carey Baptist College in its’ nearly 90 year history. Sarah joined Carey in January 2012 after having completed studies for her doctorate in 2011. Her passion for the church led her into full time theological study from which she has developed a love for the New Testament. Her research interests centre in Gospel scholarship with primary interest in the narrative of Luke-Acts. Her doctorate explored the motif of the Davidic Shepherd King and how Luke portrays faithful leadership. 

Francelle Somervell 

Francelle’s life changed dramatically when she gave her life to God as a student. Francelle is a primary teacher and is active at Howick Baptist church where her husband Peter is the Senior Pastor. She has a great love for the bible and the local church as well as a keen interest in missions. She is a gifted teacher of the Word as well as an able discipler and small group leader. Over the years she has been active in youth ministry, women’s ministry, Sunday School teaching as well as counselling in the context of the local church. Peter and Francelle have four children; Mark, Luke, Katherine and Emma. 

The Reverend Dr. Paul Archbald 

The Rev. Archbald was born in 1955, in Adelaide, South Australia. Paul studied geology at university, obtaining a B.Sc. (Honours) and M.Sc, he was married in 1976. He and his wife Jane have 5 children.

In 1983 Dr Archbald commenced theological studies, obtaining a B.Div. from the Reformed Theological College in Geelong and finally a doctorate in historical theology from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia). After returning to Australia Paul worked in the Christian Reformed Churches of Australia, in Adelaide. He accepted a call to the Reformed Church of Masterton, New Zealand, in 1994; and to the Reformed Church of Silverstream, 2001 - where he still serves to this day.

If you are interested in hearing from these guest speakers and maybe adding your own two cents worth in please fill in the booking form and email it back to us. 

Elephant TV Pilot

Last year we tested the idea of elephantTV by holding a conversation on ‘War’. We didn’t film this for broadcast, just as a way to test the idea and see if it had legs. We were so happy with it we decided to go ahead with the concept…thus began elephantTV.

Elephant TV supports the work of Tear Fund.