Stuff to look at – December 2013

Here are the links I shared in December 2013. Happy new year!

Blog Posts

Church issues

  • The danger of a how-to. “For several decades now, the typical sermon in many evangelical churches has been of the how-to variety: ‘Six keys for raising happy children’, ‘Four secrets for a healthy marriage’, ‘Five principles for managing your money’. In general, how-to sermons are the most popular and most requested messages. And we pastors have been only too eager to oblige.”
  • A half-truth of modern evangelicalism: Jesus lives in the heart of the believer. “The idea that Christ dwells in the heart of the believer is certainly in the New Testament, but not as a way of speaking about conversion—or even, for that matter, about a restored, intimate relationship with God. That is just a product of the modern evangelical mythology. Rather, it belongs to the context of discipleship—and discipleship in the particular sense of sharing in Christ’s suffering and death in hope of sharing in his resurrection, vindication, and kingdom throughout the coming ages. The persecuted but vindicated Jesus dwells in the persecuted community for the sake of the future of the people of God.”
  • The Rise of a Parallel, Post-Biblical Christianity. How churches go from preaching the Gospel to preaching something different.

Christian Living

Health and wellbeing


  • Ask RC: What do Protestants protest?. “Sadly in our day, not much of anything.”
  • What Does the X in Xmas Mean?. “X can mean so many things. For example, when we want to denote an unknown quantity, we use the symbol X. It can refer to an obscene level of films, something that is X-rated. People seem to express chagrin about seeing Christ’s name dropped and replaced by this symbol for an unknown quantity X. Every year you see the signs and the bumper stickers saying, “Put Christ back into Christmas” as a response to this substitution of the letter X for the name of Christ.”



  • How I Got My Ex Back: The “Oh Sh*t” moment…. “My lens today glints with the astringent of hindsight. Not long ago, if I’d penned a missive on my marriage, there would’ve been serious concerns and certainty that it had never really worked; never really been right. I had become convinced it was the marriage that was not working–and so I left…I was wrong.” What happens when a science writer inspects her own divorce (Part 1).
  • How I Got My Ex Back: She Blinded Me with Science!. What happens when a science writer inspects her own divorce (Part 2).



  • Christmas Feelings when Family Rejects You and the Truth about Love. “This time of year is particularly difficult for survivors of dysfunctional family dynamics and abusive relationships. When the world appears to be celebrating the joys of warm family love and the longing to be together, it’s hard not to feel the pain of not being loved unconditionally especially if that includes the members of your own family of origin.”
  • My embarrassing picture went viral. “When strangers mocked me for my weight, it was a lesson in Internet cruelty, mean girls – and fighting back.”

Sex and pornography

  • Answering Four Street-Level Arguments for Sexual Immorality. “Four street-level excuses we commonly use to justify our sexual sin coupled with answers.”
  • Girls Like Porn, Too: A Timely Message for Parents.”It was just another normal day, doing homework after school. While doing research, 13-year-old Jessica Harris was intrigued by a particular video she found online. The thumbnail image was dark and blurry, but it grabbed her attention. After pressing the play button, Jessica found herself watching pornography for the first time in her life. Those 3 minutes and 23 seconds were etched on her brain, and this incident became the beginning of an eight-year-long secret fascination with porn and cybersex.”
  • A Letter To My Son About Porn. This is good. Woooooo this mum. Warning: explicit content. “I know this is not a conversation any boy wants to have with his mom at any age, so I’m going to let you off the hook. Sort of.”
  • Male Nudity in Public: Time to Put Some Pants On. This isn’t written by a Christian dude. Still, it’s interesting how modesty can be transferred.
  • Should Christians Talk About Sex? . “The world is full of sex. We were made through sex (scarring, I know). Our bodies were created with a capacity for and a tendency toward sex. Sex was God’s idea. Yet, here sits the church either ignoring it or treating it like it’s the work of the devil – some unholy, necessary evil, required for the procreation of offspring and the maintenance of marriage.”






Adam 4d


  • Capitalism.
  • Fighters Against Child Abuse Australia [F.A.C.A.A]. “I want to talk about the media.You may have read about the case of attempted murder currently being heard before the supreme court in a Tasmanian court. Police allege that the defendant, Paul Brian Edward Connelly, attempted to take the life of his sons, aged 5 and 8, by loading gas cylinders into his car, and setting it alight. It is reported that he had talked about using gas to set fire to his house while the children slept, and that he told his sister that would kill himself and the boys to prevent his wife getting custody. Thankfully, the children survived, but they will carry both physical and mental scars for the rest of their lives.The problem I have is with the way this story has been reported. Talk about ‘a difficult separation’, ‘a desperate father battling depression’, and even that the mother had ‘had an affair’. Every time something like this happens, these tired old defences are wheeled out, painting a sympathetic picture of the defendant by pulling at the heartstrings of every parent who has ever lost access to their child, every partner who has ever discovered an affair, anyone who has ever been through a bitter break-up, or had to deal with an impossible ex. Don’t tell me that a parent who murders their own child is acting out of pain, and grief, and loss, because they aren’t. This is about control, and revenge. This is narcissism.Let me make this clear – these people are not your ‘brothers and sisters’ in the fight, beaten down and worthy of pity; they are the reason you are made to fight. They are the enemy of your cause. They are the reason your ex really is afraid to send the kids for a visit, even if you have never given them a reason to worry. Yes, false allegations exist, but the majority of concerns are based on genuine fears, not fears that you created, fears that exist because the media says that ‘sad parents lose control and hurt their kids’. That makes every parent a suspect, and it’s a load of rubbish. We all know divorce is horrible, and that goes for family court, depression, and dealing with the ex, but don’t let these defence teams use your anger to elicit sympathy for abusers like this, because a real loving parent would NEVER hurt their child like that. (JB)”
  • Aboriginal Tent Embassy. “PM Tony Abbott’s electorates [sic] local football club Manly gets $10 million dollar towards its upgrade, while legal aid funding gets stripped from public services for Aboriginal people.”

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