Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Pornography and tobacco

I know Christians who think of themselves as free-speech libertarians in the matter of pornography. They don't use it, but they don't want to fight for its censorship either, reasoning that censorship is bad and people make their own choices.

Here's a thought provoking paper comparing pornography with the use of tobacco in the early '60s.

Got this from Justin Taylor, who got it from somewhere else.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

I told ya, Barney!

"I told ya, Barney, women refuse to see the scientifical!"

-Fred Flinstone

I hate accountability

The worst thing about Saturday Sola Panel posts is that they get buried under a MEGO* haze because they're long and because they're old
(let JI Packer thank his lucky stars that he's unlikely to get reincarnated as a blog post).

So those of you who are regular Sola Panel skimmers may well have missed this moment of truth in today's blog post about men's ministry:

2. The accountability model

A popular form of men's groups is to be accountable to each other to keep a set of rules or commitments. There are a number of ‘how to’ manuals for Christian men. They promise to sort out men's problems by defining the principles and boundaries of life, and are appealing because they offer simple solutions to complex lives. If we not only read the manual, but someone checks up on our performance, this is a powerful motivation.

But motivation is the problem. In the end, the reason for godly living is not the grace of Christ in the gospel, but the weekly accountability session. The fear of men replaces the fear of God. Such groups, after a while, can operate without any reference to the gospel and, in fact, distort Christianity into legalism (Col 2:20-23).

Read it! Pure gold buried in, er, well, I don't know what because I couldn't be bothered reading the rest of whatever someone said. It was too long.

*"My Eyes Glaze Over". The acronym is from Tom Wolfe's novel, Bonfire of the Vanities, quite a timely little piece of work actually in the current financial crisis.

Paul the book worm

Found a bit of Spurgeon speaking on Paul's bookish habits, as recorded in 2 Tim 4:13

We do not know what the books were about, and we can only form some guess as to what the parchments were. Paul had a few books which were left, perhaps wrapped up in the cloak, and Timothy was to be careful to bring them. Even an apostle must read. . . . A man who comes up into the pulpit, professes to take his text on the spot, and talks any quantity of nonsense, is the idol of many. If he will speak without premeditation, or pretend to do so, and never produce what they call a dish of dead men's brains—oh! that is the preacher. How rebuked are they by the apostle!

Read a bit more on Justin Taylor's blog, well worth it.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Men who can preach

Here's a good word from the Pyros about effeminate preachers and how they appeal to no-one. Some good defences of aggression and power in the pulpit.

As usual Spurgeon get to pull on a jersey and kick the ball down the field:

Spurgeon hated the effeminate tendencies of the Victorian pulpit, and he did everything he could to model a different trend. He said it's OK to be meek, and we ought to work hard at being gentle. But, he said, don't be "indifferent to truth and righteousness. God [does not choose] milksops destitute of backbone, to wear his glory upon their faces. We have plenty of men made of sugar, nowadays, that melt into the stream of popular opinion; but [men like that will] never ascend into the hill of the Lord."

Thursday, 23 April 2009

King David was not a good man

He had his little ways.
And sometimes no-one spoke to him,
for days, and days, and days.

I try to explain why we ought to imitate him, on the Sola Panel, here.

Having confused everyone, I have another go here.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Cry me a river

Susan Boyle sings.

UPDATE: The version in this article also has "Killing me Softly".

Really very nice.

Are you a racist?

Yep, probably.

(Thanks to Andrew Bolt.



Wandering around the house aimlessly

Far better at it than I used to be.

Hmm, tin of baked beans.

Super duper voice

Just really nice, watch and enjoy.

(Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent)

Saturday, 18 April 2009

The greatest prize I ever won

"The greatest prize I ever won was the heart of the noblest girl I ever knew."

-Sir Marcus Loane.

He died the other day, aged 97.

Bike rack

3 kids, it's the single best investment you can make to the success of your next trippy holiday.

Oh, apart from actually buying bikes, or picking them up from where people have abandoned them.

Lotta dumb comments

Lotta dumb comments get made about why blogging is a waste of time.

Thankfully Andrew Barry, who has just restarted his blog, hasn't been persuaded.

What he writes gets you deeper into God's word, and so, helps you know God better.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Linked on Tim Blair

Hey whaddaya know I got linked on Tim Blair's blog (I'm Update X).

Greetings Tim Blair readers. Enjoy looking around the blog, and God bless you as we celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.


A most excellent resource of articles, talks, and videos from one of Australia's greatest Bible teachers.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Nano dekko

The Times of India has this article on the new Indian car, the Nano.

What interests me most about this article is not the car, which looks set to be a part of the Indian economic revolution, as the use of what I thought was an old-time Aussie expression the 'dekko':

Soon, though, what began as a strict action for violation of norms turned into a source of great amusement. Even before the Nano could pull up before the MC office, news of its arrival had spread like wild fire and employees left behind all work as they scrambled out of their chairs to get a dekko of the janta car.

And here's the same expression in the Brisbane Courier Mail.

But this online discussion says that 'dekko' is Hindi for 'look'.

Cut my legs off and call me shorty. You learn something new every day.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Singing pure gospel tonight

The words to this really are quite good.

Especially the ones that are lifted straight from the gospel of John.

21:1 After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

4 Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” 6 He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. 7 That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. 8 The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.

9 When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”

20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who had been reclining at table close to him and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” 21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” 22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” 23 So the saying spread abroad among the brothers [2] that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”

24 This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.

25 Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

Hard to go wrong with that stuff, isn't it.

Singing something is a way of forcing you to pay attention to the words, slowly, and can be a great blessing.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Christian beliefs in Australia

From today's SMH:

MORE than four in 10 Australians who do not consider themselves "born again"' still believe Jesus rose from the dead, while one in 10 does not believe he existed.

These were two of the surprising results from an independent survey of 2500 people, said noted author and church historian John Dickson, the co-director of the Centre for Public Christianity in Sydney.

The survey, to be published today, found that out of the 85 per cent who did not identify as born again - including those of other religions - 45 per believed in the resurrection.

I'm guessing that more detail will soon be on the CPX website.

UPDATE: Oh yeah, >forgot, thanks Lucy!

Sunday, 5 April 2009

How to build Stonehenge

How hard can it be?

Not very!

Thanks David.

End of a big week

And start of another.

What a joy to be reminded of God's coming judgement. To me it is like the finish line of a long, long race, but one that has already been won, if only we complete it. And thank you God, for the great cloud of witnesses past and present you provide.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews chapter 12 verses one and two, if you are wondering.

Saturday, 4 April 2009