Category Archives: culture

Mother’s Day talk 2017

Image result for hannah 1 samuel

Some people were asking about last week’s sermon on Hannah from 1 Samuel 1 and 2.

You can find the audio here

[Thanks to the hard working audio and production and web guys from SPCH to get it posted!]

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John Dickson on ‘The Christian Vote’ in the upcoming election

Much has been said about the ”Christian vote”, an expression often associated with those nasty-right-wing-religious-nuts imposing their morals on a secular society.

Given that 64 per cent of Australians call themselves Christian, according to the census, it is important to clarify what the Christian vote means.

Christians should be willing to change voting patterns after Christian reflection on particular policies. A believer who cannot imagine voting for the ”other side” has either determined that only one party aligns with the will of God or, more likely, is more attached to their cultural context than to the wisdom of scripture.

Read the rest of the article from the SMH here

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the ‘hypersocialized generation’…

Thoughts on the ‘Hypersocialized Generation’ – challenges and opportunities for communicating and teaching a generation raised on social media.

(With a link to an impartant article in the US publication Newsweek with some stats and analysis.)

h/t Justin Taylor

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Professor Judge: The Good the Bad and the Ugly of Christianity

The good, the bad and the ugly from CPX on Vimeo.

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thoughts on the michael jackson memorial

So I was up last night with the new boy, round about the time that Michael Jackson’s memorial was finishing.

I found it curious that people kept slipping into religious type language in describing what this man had done, and what he meant. Comments like (in paraphrase – it was early in the morning!):

‘He wanted to heal the world, and to some extent, he did.’ What?
“Michael paved the way for racial harmony with his music.’ Huh?
“Michael challenged us all to be better people, so as we leave here, lets take his message to heart and change.” What th’?

The clincher was the final message put up on the screen. A picture of Michael with his hand in the air, and the caption, in big, shining letters:

‘I am alive. I will live forever.’

It is this last one that drove me to blog! It is a bold, outrageous claim. It is a claim to have negotiated the greatest challenge that faces all of mankind and beaten it (Just Beat It!). To have shunned the final curtain for a perpetual encore. I am not sure I am a believer.

There is another who made such an outrageous claim. I’m not sure how much music he wrote (apart from a few pslams before his time, but that’s another story…). A carpenter. He faced the nails and beat them: “I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!” (Revelation 1:18)

The thing with this second guy? There was some proof. He appeared again, to many, even to over 500 at one time.

C’mon, Michael, I want some proof. Its not enough for you to ‘live on in my heart’ if you are going to deliver the healing of the world that you promised in your songs, and that others are raving about on this day. Lets have you and Elvis show yourselves, once and for all.

Now that really would be a Thriller.

Postscript: The pastor who prayed slipped in a line amongst the guff: ‘But even the King of Pop will now have to bow to the King of Kings’. Hmm, maybe that guy had the inside running…


Filed under culture, michael jackson, resurrection

Sex loses lustre in the art of selling

SEX doesn’t sell, Nokia tunes make people feel physically sick and Apple is a mini-religion.
So says global marketing guru Martin Lindstrom, who has used the latest medical technology to scan people’s brains and gauge their reaction to advertisements, jingles and product smells.

“What we learned was amazing. The most important senses when building brands were the sense of sound followed by smell then followed by sight. It’s ironic that 83 per cent of all brand communication only appeals to the sense of sight,” said Mr Lindstrom, the author of the best-selling book Buyology — Truth and Lies About Why We Buy.

“We learned that the Nokia tune turns people off. It is so disliked in our brains that we almost feel physically sick when hearing it. The reason for this is that it reminds people about work, missed deadlines and their boss calling them.”

Read the rest of the article from the Australian here.

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the kiss and tell of social networks

Users of social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, are redrawing the boundaries between what is public and what is private, writes Nick Galvin.

In July, MySpace drew 114 million global visitors, up 72 per cent on last year, while rival Facebook leapt 270 per cent to 52.2 million visitors in the same month, according to web measurement company ComScore.

Add in the amazing popularity of other sites, such as MySpace rivals Bebo and Friendster, and it is clear there is an extraordinary social experiment happening. It’s an experiment that involves radically redrawing the boundaries between what is public and what is private.

Among many younger net users there is now an assumption that everything should be shared and a casualness about what was once thought of as personal information that makes many older people shudder.

“I don’t know what it is like to live your entire life publicly online,” says social media expert Jeffrey Veen. “But there are kids today who are figuring it out.”

Read the whole article here.

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interesting snapshot of Australian society

This from today’s SMH online:

We’re ageing and worried but generally healthy

Australians are still heavily dependent on cars to get around but a few more of us are getting public transport to work.
Almost every household recycles or reuses some waste, but every Australian produces 1.6 tonnes of rubbish each year, most of which goes straight to a tip.
De-facto relationships are up sharply, but marriage is still by far the norm.
Welcome to the confusing kaleidoscope of an ageing, worried, generally healthy, slightly overweight nation portrayed in Year Book Australia 2008.
Governor-General Michael Jeffery launched the annual snapshot of Australia in Canberra this morning.
The 780-page tome, produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, is an occasionally quirky look at the country and how it sees itself.
For instance, seven in 10 adults believe their own neighbourhoods are over-run with crime and public nuisances, with car hoons copping the most stick.
Forty per cent of Australians complained of dangerous and noisy driving in their areas, while 33 per cent feared burglaries and 25 per cent worried about vandalism.
Yet just 3 per cent of households had a break-in during the 12 months surveyed and 1 per cent of households reported a car theft.
That said, if your car was pinched, it was pretty unlikely to have been retrieved. Only 11 per cent of stolen cars were recovered within a month.
The snapshot shows the median age of Australia’s 20.7 million population is 36.6 years, up 5.5 years over the past 20 years and likely to get older and older.
While there seem to be some signs of a mini baby boom in some suburbs recently, the fertility rate of 1.81 births per woman (up from 1.73 births per woman in 2001) is still way below that required to replace the number of people dying or departing these shores.
In the real baby boom years after World War II, rates peaked at 3.5 babies per woman in 1961.
Marriages seem to be lasting marginally longer, with the average time between the altar and the divorce court being 12.6 years, up from 11.9 years a decade ago.
And while there are many more de-facto couples now than at the beginning of the decade, rising by 25 per cent to almost 1.2 million people, this still represented only 15 per cent of all people who lived as “socially married”.


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aussies preoccupied?

Now, don’t get me wrong – I love cricket. I can sit down and watch every minute of 5 days of a test match, and enjoy it. I like going to the games, I like reading about the games. But not to the expense of everything else

In these recent days, I have begun to despair of the Aussie preoccpation with fluff and bluster. Check out this from today’s SMH webpage:

8 out of 10 of the top read articles are about whether the Australian cricket team will get to keep playing cricket this summer, and whether they are good sportsmen or not. [Somehow, as an aberration, something about people nearly dying in a plane crash nearly made it into the top 5!]

How do we get a word in sideways about God’s grace in Jesus? Hmm…..

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