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.

Things to click (3)

The internet is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand it’s like a huge library – a source of immensely helpful information about our world. On the other hand, it’s  . . . . well . . . . just plain weird.

These “Things to click” posts exist so you can connect with some of the more helpful stuff on the interwebs. We hope you’ll check out a couple of links and do some thinking about the topics raised. Thinking is good. Especially for Christians. Here goes . . .

(1) Does evolutionary psychology really provide an adequate explanation of human psychology?  Natasha Moore thinks not. Check it out here.

(2) Recently a group of cinema distributors have declared a short film of the Lord’s Prayer (created by the Church of England) to be unsuitable for screening. They believe it carries the risk of upsetting or offending people. Here it is:

Naturally, the decision to not air the advertisement has drawn a variety of responses. One writer for the Guardian said the decision is “nonsense on stilts”. One writer explains (from a Christian perspective) exactly what it is that makes the prayer offensive. Richard Dawkins said if “anyone is offended by a prayer, they deserve to be offended.”

(3) Andrew Shead (head of OT Theology at Moore Theological College) has written a short article which speaks to the idea that we must be “beautiful people” – people who have it all sorted out, people who are on top of their game. It’s called “A Church for Broken People”.

(4) Several senior members of a Singaporean megachurch have been jailed for misusing church funds. It’s a warning about the temptations of mixing power, money, and people. It’s sad to see the church’s reputation damaged by such unbiblical behaviour.

(5) Here are some recent concerns regarding same-sex marriage and religious freedom in Australia. In the past week or so a Catholic archbishop was told he’d have to appear before an anti-discrimination authority in Tasmania because of a small booklet on biblical marriage that was distributed in Catholic schools down there. Hmmmm.

May God bless your clicking!

Things to click (2)

“I just don’t know what to say to people.” 

More Christians are saying that nowadays.

In Australia, where biblical Christianity is Choice conceptat best on the fringes of our culture, Christians are finding it harder to explain and defend what they believe. Our cherished beliefs are being challenged by people who don’t share our basic presuppositions – that God is real, that Jesus is King, that we are accountable to Him, that there are objective moral values, etc. Because many people don’t share these basics with us, trying to have a good Christian witness to others is difficult. When people inevitably ask us questions about our beliefs, most of us struggle for answers. Have a think about some of these questions:

Why are Christians so judgemental?

Is the Bible homophobic?

If God is so good, why do babies die of cancer?

How can you say Jesus rose from the dead when they found the tomb of Jesus?

I read that Christians believe God made the world 6,000 years ago. Is that true?

How can the church say it’s loving when there are so many pedophile priests?

I believe we all have our own path of spirituality, don’t you?

How can you trust stuff in an outdated book written by primitive people?

Why bother with religion when we have science now?

Reading these questions you probably found one or two that you could say something helpful about. As for the rest you’d probably struggle.

That’s why from time to time we post a series of internet links that help you connect with a wide range of good food-for-thought. As ambassadors for Christ we need to be thinkers – people who learn to ‘read’ people, the culture, and the Bible, and consider deeply what God would have us believe and do. 

The more we read, think, and pray, the more we’ll be able to “give an answer to everyone who asks us about the hope within us” (1 Peter 3:15). That’s why we post links: so you click them, read them, think about them, and pray about what’s being said.

Frankly, often our lack of answers is due to a simple lack of knowledge. You can’t speak about a topic you don’t know much about.

But having a good Christian witness isn’t just about having a list of answers. It’s about having an informed biblical worldview that’s connected to a cruciform heart – a heart shaped by the cross. Our goal in answering people (however imperfectly) is to point them to Christ.

We’ll think more about that in a future post. For now, here are some things to click:

(1) Here’s a great book review by pastor Tim Keller on some recent “pro-gay Christian” books. It’s worth reading.

(2) Someone posted a great article about the future of evangelicalism in the West.

(3) Here’s a different one. It talks about some of the essential biological differences between men and women in the armed forces. It argues that, despite attempts to say that men are women are basically the same, combat experience shows that’s not the case.

(4) Sometimes Christians will repost information on Facebook without really checking to see if it’s true. This article suggests that’s a bad idea.

(5) Here are some deep reflections about same-sex marriage by Dr. Mark Thompson, Principal of Moore Theological College.

May God bless your clicking!