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!

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Things to click (11)

Hi everyone.

It’s been a while since we posted anything. I thought I’d share a few interesting links that you might want to check out. Grab a cuppa and enjoy some good Christmas ‘food for thought’!

1. In Australia, Christians have a strong sense that we’re losing influence in our culture. That’s because we are. In fact, more people are saying that the proverbial horse has already bolted. Here’s a link with some basic starting points for charting a way forward.

2. Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias was caught up in an apparently ‘sexting scandal’ this year. It was not Ravi who did or said anything inappropriate, but he was the recipient of increasingly personal texts from a couple (particularly the wife) that he tried to minister to. Read about it here.

3. Now that Same-Sex marriage is legal in Australia, some of the real ramifications of this decision are beginning to show themselves. There is an interesting article by Aussie pastor Steve McAlpine over at The Gospel Coalition Australia. During the long and somewhat unpleasant lead-up to the postal vote Australians took on the subject, many were arguing that legalising SSM was going to be a ‘slippery slope’ for our country – that once it was legal, there would be a long train of serious consequences. McAlpine says it’s probably worse than that.

4. Are science and religion incompatible? Many people would say ‘yes’. History says ‘no’. In fact, many of the world’s greatest scientists have not just been generically ‘religious’ – they’ve been Christian Christian clergy! Read all about it.

5. Well-known Presbyterian theologian and pastor R. C. Sproul passed away recently. His extensive body of biblically-faithful resources has been of great benefit to the church (including me!). Here’s some information about his life.

In the coming days, I’ll have a few more Christmassy things for you. Until then, happy clicking!

Things to click (8)

It’s been a while since we posted anything, so I thought it would be good to hit you with another short list of some interesting links. Check them out . . .

(1)    To start with, here’s some disturbing news about the mass jailing of pastors in Vietnam. It’s something that’s definitely worth praying about.

(2)  “Love is love” – it’s a catchy little phrase used by advocates of gay marriage to suggest that if two consenting adults love each other and wish to marry, they should be able to. At first glance this sounds pretty fair and reasonable. But you soon realise that “love is love” is really a slippery slope that obliges our society to celebrate all kinds of aberrant relationships – like incestuous ones. Find one such case of this here. (p.s. we don’t endorse all of the content on this link).

(3) At one time in the West, the opinions of conservative Christians were fairly respected, and protected. Not so any more. Presbyterian pastor Tim Keller has some thoughts about that.

(4) Australian-born New Testament scholar Michael F. Bird has some things he wants Christians to know about the Bible. Definitely worth a read.

(5) Another New Testament scholar, Craig Keener, has shared his journey from atheism to Christianity.

(6) Finally, here’s a short post about “why giving thanks gives you an edge.” Who would’ve thunk it?!

May God bless your internet meanderings!

 

Things to click (7)

There’s no shortage of links to click if you’re a Christian seeking to broaden your thinking. Here is a small sampler of what’s on offer:

(1) One mantra oft-repeated in the West is “be yourself”. This little nugget of wisdom is appealing and self-affirming. Being genuine and true to yourself are valued traits. However, there’s a good argument to suggest that simply ‘being yourself’ is actually a bad idea. Here’s why.

(2) Recently there’s been quite a brouhaha over Religious Education in public schools, and what role religion, if any, can play in the formation of children in public education. This issue was a hot topic in our home state of Queensland (a.k.a. the best place to live in the world). Here’s a response to it. Here are some other reflections.

(3) Australian cartoonist Bill Leak talks about political correctness in the Australian context. Some great points about not taking ourselves too seriously.

(4) There’s an idea going around that taking faith or religion seriously is actually bad for you. To go to church, to read the Bible, and to identify as a person of faith, is to show you’re weak and need the help of the imaginary sky-man who loves to guilt-trip you about your sin. You actually love Jesus? You’re nuts right? Actually, there’s a growing body of evidence that says religious devotion is good for you.

(5) Our culture is actually deeply faith-centred. Especially in the western world. We have a deep belief in the gospel of self – that to love, promote, enrich, and benefit ourselves is the greatest good. But as more and more have put their trust in this idea, it’s not made us better people. It’s made many people narcissistic. Not all, of course. But many. Here’s a great piece about just that.

(6) Brett Lee-Price writes at the Thinking of God blog how, in light of encroaching secularist hegemony, a marriage plebiscite may be the last chance for a distinctively Christian perspective on marriage to be heard in the public sphere. Check it here.

(7) Finally, with a Federal election about to take place here in the land of Oz, it has been pointed out that the issue of Australia’s cruel offshore detention has not featured much in the campaigning. Simon Smart suggests that we should work to keep the treatment of asylum seekers an issue.

That’s it from me.

May God bless your clicking.

Things to click (6)

Looking for something to get you thinking? We’ve got you covered.
Here’s another brief sampler of what you can find on the internets:

(1) Anxiety and depression are taking a huge toll on our society. And it’s not just adults feeling it. An increasing number of children are also struggling. Here are some suggestions to combat anxiety in children.

(2) We keep hearing about the demise of Christianity in the West – about how numbers are shrinking all the time. You don’t often hear much about the many conversions to Christianity there are every single day. Here’s one conversion story from an ardent ex-atheist.

(3) David Foster Wallace (1962-2008) was an American novelist, essay writer, and professor of English. In a famous commencement speech delivered in 2005 Wallace spoke on the topics of thinking, self, and life. His speech has some great insight into the human condition. Check it here. Note: language warning.

(4) American scholar Roger Olson asks some serious questions about the meaning of “transgender”.

(5) Is there a tension between Genesis chapter 1 and modern science? Most people today would say ‘yes’. Check out Rory Shiner’s thoughts at the Gospel Coalition blog.

(6) People will say “you can’t believe in Jesus just because the Bible says he’s real”. Really? Actually, most historians today treat the New Testament documents as legitimate sources of historical information. But if you’re looking for confirmation of the historicity of Jesus Christ there is plenty of evidence outside the Bible. Find some here.

(7) Ok. Let’s finish with a link about Donald Trump. That’s right – Donald Trump. Over at Nerdwriter’s Youtube channel you can find a great analysis of how Trump answers questions. It’s pretty interesting!

May God bless your internet travels.

 

 

Things to click (5)

If you’re looking for some really thought-provoking reading/viewing, then get ready! I have a scoured the electric internets and found some real doozies . . .

(1) The developed world seems enamored with transgenderism. Here are some interesting thoughts from an expert on the subject.

(2) Here is a pretty long, arduous list of arguments for the existence of God. Warning: some heavy intellectual content (I’m game if you are!)

(3) Shifting gear a little, Australian author and theologian Michael Bird offers 5 reasons why the Apostle Paul wrote the book of Romans.

(4) The positive cultural impact of Christianity on the developed world is conveniently ignored or forgotten by our culture. One such positive impact was the valuing of children as individuals made in the image of God. To find out more, check this out.

(5) Which Bible translation is the most accurate? Should we go with a modern translation, or an older version like the King James Bible or the Geneva Bible? In this video, Dr. James White explains.

(6) There has been much heated debate over the “Safe Schools” programme which claims to tackle the issue of bullying, especialy with regard to children who identify as LGBTIQA. Obviously, any measures which combat bullying should be considered. But a closer look at the material has a number of people wondering what it’s really all about. Here’s something worth reading; also here are some further thoughts from the same person.

(7) Finally, here’s something different. It presents some helpful insights into one of the most popular TV shows ever – Seinfeld. It’s worth watching because of what it says about the shift in perceptions of family and life in general.

May your mouse be ever blessed.

Things to click (4)

Hi.

Here’s another round-up of interesting things you can read on the interwebs. Each one tackles a different topic from a Christian perspective. But why bother? Why bother taking the time out to reading any of this? It’s because Christians need to think more. We should be people who look at the world around us, and seek to understand it from a biblical, Christ-centered perspective. It says in Psalm 36:9 “In your light, we see light.” Only in seeking our Maker’s perspective on reality can we truly begin to understand reality.

I hope as you click and read, God’s light shines on you so that your life will be filled with the light of his truth.

(1) Do you enjoy reading the Bible? Or do you find it a bit tedious and strange? Here are some tips on how to actually like reading the Bible.

(2) The popular atheist Richard Dawkins had a minor stroke recently. That got lots of people talking about him. Especially Christians. This blog post suggests Christians have good reasons to thank God for him.

(3) Recently a controversial educational program was introduced in some Australia primary schools. The main beef that many people have with it is, in the words of one person, that “children are being taught about sexual orientation and transgender issues at school in a taxpayer-funded program written by gay activists”. It’s worth reading some Christian reflections on the issue.

(4) While we’re on the topic of gender, one ongoing issue in the contemporary church is that of leadership roles in the church. Are leadership roles (presiding over mixed gender meetings) purely for men, or both men and women? Egalitarians suggest it’s both men and women. Complementarians stubbornly insist that it’s only men – a view which sounds bizarrely archaic and misogynistic to many today. Here is a defense of being “pro-woman” but complementarian at the same time.

(5) At Wavell Heights Presbyterian Church our Bible teaching is a mixture of topical and ‘expository’ preaching. However, we favour sequential expository preaching. Here are some benefits of teaching this way.

Blessings.

Soli Deo Gloria.