It’s been a while. I thought I’d just let you know what we’re doing this December. In the graphic below you can see that we’re picking up on the theme of “Tis the Season.” The carol of the same name goes “Tis the season to be jolly. Fa lalalala lalalala.” Whatever that means.
Christmas is, for many people, a wonderful time. It’s a time for food, family, and friends. It’s a time to be jolly. But the reality is that few of us are jolly. What IS jolly anyway? The reality is most of us are tired, stressed, and feel like we’re barely getting by. Hardly jolly, I’d say.
But Christianity offers us more than a yearly food festival drizzled with cheery platitudes. The good news about the birth of Jesus brings with it ways of seeing life that are much deeper and fulfilling than seasonal ‘jolliness’.
Below you can find the dates for our Sunday services, carol service, and Christmas day service. We’d love to see you here. If you’d like more information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find us at 64 Spence Road, Wavell Heights, QLD. Parking is on surrounding streets. Oh, and . . . fa lalalala lalalala!
Here’s a fascinating interaction between theologian Tom Wright and historian Tom Holland about the impact of the apostle Paul on the world.
If you’ve got time this is well worth a watch. Paul’s impact on the world is truly staggering.
Most reasonable people hold the view that intentionally ending the life of a human being is immoral.
That’s why abortion is such a heated issue. If an unborn baby is a human (in any sense), then aborting that baby would obviously be immoral. But if the baby really only becomes a baby – a little human person – once born, then abortion is perhaps another medical procedure to remove an unwanted growth within the mother.
But attempts to define the starting point of personhood are fraught with ambiguities and subjective (often self-serving) doublespeak: that the foetus only becomes ‘human’ at an arbitrary stage of development, or only immediately prior to, or at the point of birth (or perhaps a little afterwards?)
The biblical perspective is that post-birth personhood is necessarily grounded in pre-birth personhood, and that since no observable marker delineates the crossover point between non-personhood and personhood, it’s fair to say that human personhood throughout the entire process is a reasonable assumption.
The dividing cells which become an embryo are real human cells comprising of a genetic makeup distinctive from the mother and father – though made of the genetic information of both of them. To end the process of natural biological development within the womb is to interrupt a process which, under normal circumstances, results in a person like you. In other words – to intentionally abort a developing baby in the womb (at ANY stage) is to deprive a human person of enjoying the experiences and rights that those who abort babies seek.
That’s the tragically ironic thing about the ‘pro-choice’ position: those who support the ‘right’ to abortion have already been born, and their ‘right’ deprives other persons of their rights.
I realise this is a thorny issue, and I don’t wish to offend anyone by saying this. And I realise that many women have had abortions because they genuinely felt they had no options (and perhaps there was considerable pressure placed on them by others).
But perhaps the video below exposes some of the pro-choice rhetoric for what it is.
This video takes a cheeky dig at the idea that somehow personhood is achieved by simply emerging successfully from the birth canal. It’s worth a look.
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 . . .
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! 🙂
Sam Allberry is a UK pastor who experiences same-sex attraction, but lives a celibate single life. Here he shares some thoughts on Christian singleness.