“We don’t need God. We’ve got science.”

That’s a point of view which has become quite common. It goes like this: religion and ‘faith’ belong to a stage of human existence which knew a lot less about how the universe works. Lightning in the sky? It must be an angry god. Your child is sick? It must be an evil spirit. These approaches to the world made sense when we knew little about how the world works.

But now we’ve got science. Science is an excellent way of discovering how the world works. It’s a very powerful tool for expanding the stock of human knowledge and improving health and technology. Science tells you that it’s not a god throwing lightning around – it’s actually an electrostatic discharge in the atmosphere. And that sick child: well, that’s a nasty thing called a virus.

Maybe we don’t need a god anymore? Perhaps science is showing that God isn’t very likely at all.

Actually, the opposite is the case. The more we discover through science, the more we find evidence which supports the idea that there is a supernatural Creator who has put us here. That’s what this video is about . . .

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Things to click (13)

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Hi there. I hope you’re doing well. Here’s another potpourri of various links for you to check out. Grab a coffee, sit back and find yourself some interesting food-for-thought.

 

I do the ‘link finding’ so you can enjoy the reading!

 

1. Faith. According to the late George Michael, it’s something you’ve gotta have. He was right. But what role does faith play in the Christian view of salvation? Does God ‘provide’ salvation and wait to see if anyone wants it? Is faith just a passive receiving of a free gift of God? Is the faith that God asks of us something we ‘do’? This link explores the fact that the Bible teaches that saving faith is in some sense a gift of God. Find it here.

2. Missiologist Mike Frost makes some great points about how many evangelical Christians are driven by fear and dislike of other views (and the people who hold them).

3. Here’s an interesting story about the mental health issues related to abortion.

4. Australian Presbyterian minister and theological lecturer John McClean argues here that we’re living in a “post-post Christian pagan” nation. What do you think?

5. Sexual orientation. We’re told you’re born with it. You’re ‘born that way’. Even if that’s true, does that mean you’re stuck with the orientation you believe you were born with? Recently a judge ruled that it was ‘irrational and illogical’ to think that sexual orientation is something that can never change. Check it here.

6. Christian apologist Akos Balogh responds to an advertisement on our national broadcaster’s children’s channel which promoted and celebrated the Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras.

That’s it. I hope your clicking is frequent and fruitful! 🙂

Matt

Is there meaning to life?

Most people seem to have a sense that life should be about something. We think that life is precious, and time is short – so that means we should live life to the full! Because of this, people devote themselves to finding fulfilment in their work, relationships, family, money, or hobbies. But why do we think like this? Why do we automatically assume life is worth anything at all? Why do we think that human beings are intrinsically valuable?

This thought-provoking video is all about why there is meaning to life. Worth your time.

Atheism & objective moral values

Here is an interesting exchange between Christian philosopher William Lane Craig and atheist Dr. Bernard Leikind. When pressed about how he accounts for moral values and duties, Dr Leikind struggles to put together a cogent case.

The fact is, objective moral values and duties do exist. We all know that. And we know it because we’re created in the image of God.

When you deny the existence of God, you get caught up in the absurd and inconsistent circles of reasoning you find in this video:

Home Groups @ WHPC

Woman praying on tableHome Groups are small gatherings of Christians (6-10) who meet regularly to encourage each other and consider God’s word. Aside from our weekly ‘big group’ meeting – A.K.A. Sunday morning church – Home Groups are our next best avenue for seeing people in our church community grow in their faith.

In Acts chapter 2, the first Christians met regularly, shared in fellowship, prayed together, and devoted themselves to God’s word. That’s really what Home Groups are all about.

In term 1 of 2018, we’re initially offering 4 Home Groups to be part of. We plan to start another one, should the need arise. But for now here’s what we have:

(1) Zillmere group – meeting weekly at Sue’s house on Wednesday night from 7:30pm. Led by David (with Amy too!). Matt will sometimes be there too.

(2) Northgate group – meeting weekly at Steve & Jenny’s house on Wednesday night from 7:30pm. Led by Steve.

(3) Nundah group – meeting weekly on Monday afternoon from 5:30pm at Katie’s place. This is a women’s only group, led by Katie. It’s also a trial group time.

(4) Wavell Heights group – meeting fortnightly on Friday afternoon at Hilary’s house from 1pm. This group is usually led by Katie, and is for women only. The first meeting for term 1 is Friday 9 February.

Once these groups get up and running we’ll see what other groups we need. There is a good chance that we’ll be starting another group near the Lutwyche area. If none of the above times suits you, please let Matt or Katie know.

If you don’t think Home Groups are right for you at this time, you can indicate other things you might like to try by clicking here (if you’re part of the WHPC community).

To finish, here’s the nuts and bolts of Home Groups:

  • Home Groups are small groups of 6-10 people who gather regularly to share in fellowship and study God’s word.
  • We are currently offering the four groups listed above, with a view to starting more.
  • Home Groups are not supposed to be complicated or ‘hard work’, so we’re using engaging Discussion Guide booklets to help us.
  • These Discussion Guide booklets will have 7 questions each, are purely designed to get your group engaged in discussion with each other as you consider God’s word together.
  • The Discussion Guides will be provided in printed booklet format, as well as in electronic version – which you will be able to access via our website, Facebook, and our Twitter account. This electronic version will be ‘device friendly’, so you can look at the Discussion Guide on your phone or tablet.
  • Home Groups only formally operate during school terms, and we expect the average group meeting will take a maximum of 1.5hrs.
  • Home Groups are a ministry of Wavell Heights Presbyterian Church, overseen generally by the elders of our church.
  • Home Groups are not a place for heated theological arguments, but intended to be mutually encouraging times of digging deeper into the Bible and considering its significance for our everyday lives.

If you have any questions about Home Groups, please speak to Matt or Katie, or email office@wavellpc.org.au

Blessings

🙂

 

 

Things to click (12)

Here’s a small salad of interesting reads you can find on the interwebs. Well worth a few clicks, I’d say.

  1. Community. It’s a word that gets thrown a lot. Community is all about connecting with others. Cohesion. Co-operation. It’s a good thing. In fact, our church’s summary goal is Growing a Christ-centred Community. But how, as a church, do you “achieve” community? This post suggests that community is something you find when you’re not really looking for it.
  2. Here are some easy ways to share your faith with others. Some good, practical tips.
  3. Here’s a very heavy, but insightful read from theologian and philosopher David Bentley Hart. In it, he critically examines the views expressed by atheist thinker Daniel Dennett in his new book From Bacteria to Bach and Back – a book exploring the origin of human consciousness. Worth a slow read, then re-read.
  4. How does a conservative intellectual handle biased left-leaning journalism? This article points us to a recent interview featuring Canadian professor Jordan Peterson. You can watch the interview itself, and see how Peterson handles himself (and his interviewer) admirably.

That’s all for now.

Very soon, we’ll have an update on the stuff our church is doing this year. Watch this space!