Every man...

I have a feeling that Christian blokes I think are more in danger of falling into the pornography trap than other blokes. This is for a number of reasons let me try and explain.

  • The Bible and Christians (rightly) have a high view of sex meaning it should only take place in the context of marriage.
  • This means that many young blokes have to wait until they are older and so must suppress sexual desire.
  • During this time the temptation to have an outlet for desire becomes difficult and a struggle.
Therefore pornography becomes the outlet because…
  • Porn is so readily accessible on the Internet. It’s there in your junk email box everyday.
  • It can be viewed in private isolation. “No one needs to know”
  • It’s also detached form of viewing. There is no emotional attachment to the people concerned.
  • It’s really easy to justify it to your conscious “its not hurting anyone”.
You can check out some porn statistics here.


Bad Fashion #4

The Mobile Phone.

This is often found in people of older generations who are new to the technology. If you were sharp you might have noticed a number of other smaller bad fashion faux pas going here. Let's break it down.
  1. The slightly trendy looking shirt is tucked in. Strike one
  2. The Mobile phone is in a dagy case. Strike two
  3. The Mobile is prominently and proudly worn on the belt. Strike three.
The resulting look is terrible. If you do this please stop you have been warned.


I'm Simon Cullen... from ABC News

This post is actually about Gwyd and Em tying the knot over the weekend.

This lovely picture of the happy couple is brought to you by Simon Cullen (ABC news). Simon is a good mate of mine who works for the ABC in Hobart. He's a top guy and not to bad at plyaing mixed netball either.

Yup Simon Cullen (ABC News) it's a camera...

And that's how you hold it.

We had a blast hanging out between the wedding (finished about 3pm) and the reception (began about 6:30). It made me fee like a journalist all over again. Back to the wedding I didn't get any pictures of the happy couple but managed a few of others at the wedding.

Spotto my wife and Fiona who jetted in from her new crib in Sydney for the event.

Spotto Sam G also jetted in for the occasion.

Spotto Jonny Rochester caught talking to an "unidentified" female companion.

Pryderi Jones... whose alter ego Shirley Henderson made a (thankfully) brief appearance later
during the Reception. Speaking of which the reception was very nice with fairy lights and candles all around the walls. One would have never guessed it was the Calvin Multi purpose hall. You can see what it looked like below.


Bad Fashion #5

I'm going to count down my top 5 really bad fashions faux . This idea all began last week when I visited my good friend Nick. Unfortunately the people who commit these horrendous fashion faux pas are often Christian. So I give you the top 5 bad really fashions and coming in at number 5 is drum roll please...

White socks with black pants.

I spotted this fashion offender on the way to the wedding over the weekend. More about that later. This looks terrible made worse by the fact that the socks are often long (sometimes knee length). No prizes for guessing who this is.


Excellence @ Church

Why Excellence?

  • Non Christians (Barriers)
  • Spiritual Motive (Crossroads statement for God’s glory)
  • Encourages others (Distractions)
  • Builds Ownership (When things are grouse people will be enthused)
  • Learn to Trust Systems (They are put in place to make life easy for everyone concerned).
Tim Keller on Excellence
The power of art draws people to behold it. Good art and its message enters the soul through the imagination and begins to appeal to the reason, for art makes ideas plausible. The quality of music and speech in worship will have a major impact on its evangelistic power. In many churches, the quality of the music is mediocre or poor but it does not disturb the faithful. Why? Their faith makes the words of the hymn or the song meaningful despite its artistically poor expression and further, they usually have a personal relationship with the music presenter. But any outsider who comes in who is not convinced of the truth and who does not have any relationship to the presenter, will be bored or irritated by the poor offering. In other words, excellent aesthetics includes outsiders while mediocre or poor aesthetics excludes. The low level of artistic quality in many churches guarantees that only insiders will continue to come.


Every man's battle...

In the last week I've been contacted by a two separate people who are having problems with pornography. As a result I thought I'd post some backlinks on stuff that Christine and I have talked about with regard to the problem with porn.

  • Here Christine talks about redeeming sexuality.
  • My original post on porn that sparked the initial interest.
  • I read an article on the issue in the local rag and blogged it but the comments on this post very interesting.
  • A letter I blogged on the issue after I raised it in one of my supporter newsletters.
  • Backlinks to an article in the SMH.
  • I talked about it again when I came back from a national AFES conference (there was a little debate in the comments on this post)
  • Linked to an article by Naomi Wolf on porn. The comments are also worth a read.
You can view all the posts where I've talked about porn here. I'll also be posting some more advice in the next couple of days. I'm also going to turn anonymous comments back on.


I'm having...

...computer problems. If you are really nerdy you can check these out.


Uni Ministry sucks...

Mikey wrote a intersting post about why University Ministry can suck including;

You spend a lot of time doubling up - training and pastoring people who are already being trained and pastored by local churches. If the local churches aren't doing their job, perhaps it'd be better to tell people to move churches, rather than picking up the slack in parachurch.

Uni ministries work best when they are supported by a church with a strong uni-ministry. So why not just have the local church?

I think this is a fair point. I've always argued that Uni ministry in my experience has worked best when supported by one particular strong local church. Then the advantage of being part of a parachurch movement allows the advantage of exposing other University students to solid Christian teaching and training... but this brings with it a problem...
More time ends up be spent in training than in evangelism. An evangelistically-driven uni ministry may look very different to current AFES-style ministries.
This is also a fair point. As pointed out in the discussion over on Mikey's blog often an AFES style ministry ends up teaching and correcting mistakes of other churches instead of getting on with the business of evangelism. Having said all that I still believe very strongly in University ministry. Now what about some reasons why University ministry is awesome?


    Visiting Nick...

    How many really bad fashion faux pas' can you see in this picture? Click for a bigger picture. Maybe we could compile a top 5.


    But aren’t all religions the same? Part 2

    Uncovering Assumptions
    Dickson says Pluralism also has a number of underlying assumptions. Firstly, world religions don’t take credit for revelation rather they insist that a power greater than themselves revealed the truth to them. This is opposed to the pluralist who takes credit for their insight in “discovering” the greater macro truth.

    Secondly, people who believe in world religions make their claim to truth in the context of large numbers of believers. For example 1 billion Muslims or 2 billion Christians. This contrasts with the small number of western intellectual pluralists who have discerned this macro truth.

    Thirdly pluralism makes it claim without justification of its premise. Pluralists insist that world religions are “perceptions of a reality” that is unknowable. This begs the question.
    How do you know that no particular religion grasps reality itself? And secondly how do you know that reality is unknowable and out of reach.

    The Existential Excuse
    At this point an often-offered response is that believing that one religion is right and others are wrong is unbearable because it consigns too many people to error. This thinking is not only flawed but hypocritical because the pluralist position consigns most religious traditions to large scale error.

    Secondly Dickson points out that bearableness is a poor indicator of whether something is true. (The example Dickson uses is that 90% of the worlds wealth is in the hands of 10% of the words population). In other words just because something feels intuitively wrong doesn't always mean that it is wrong.


    But aren’t all religions the same? Part 1

    With lots of credit to John Dickson and his book Spectators Guide to World Religions.

    The devil in the details

    1. Faiths ask similar questions but arrive at different answers. Eg. The Buddhist ask how can I escape the material world through rejection of the material as an illusion verses Christian view of physical resurrection. Alternatively the Hindu asks can I return to the Brahman.
    2. Because of different cultural backgrounds some are not asking the same questions. Christians ask how can I find favor/mercy with/from the creator verses the Hindu question of how can I return to the Brahman.
    3. Some faiths are defined against others. Eg. Buddha’s teachings set against classical Hinduism. Or the Christian view of the messiah verses the Judaist one. Or Jesus as a prophet (Islam) verses Jesus as Son of God.

    But isn’t it all elephants, ducks and rabbits?
    • It's all like looking at parts of the Elephant. One religion is looking at the trunk another the leg, another the ear etc.
    • It’s all Ducks and Rabbits (see picture above). If you come from one culture you'll see a rabbit. If you come from another you'll see a duck. It's the same with religions they are all culturally conditioned.
    • Macro (bigger truth) verses micro (religious) truths.
    Dickson responds
    “Pluralism suggests that while different world religions are entitled to their perceptions of reality the truth of the situation is apparently known only to the pluralist is that this reality is ultimately unknowable and that all religious perceptions are in fact illusions... This also requires one to describe religions as true in a manner none of them have affirmed before and false in the ways they have always affirmed. This is a very big call.”


    Know your University 101

    If you're a student and want to engage meaningfully with non Christian friends, get know (and love) your Uni. What makes it tick? What do people read? What do people talk about? Listen to? Here's a selection of things I found lying around today.

    Looks interesting

    I'm wondering what exactly this looks like...

    Crazy looking hand... and I'm not talking about mine

    Local Music rag

    ...And again

    *EDIT* I forgot to upload this one yesterday. Brought to you by 'Mercy Ministries' who have been in the News recently for all the wrong reasons.


    I've never understood...

    ...box sets of DVDs till now.

    Infact I've never even really watched boxed sets of DVDs until now. That brings me to a confession Christine and I have been watching Spooks. We've now watched the first and second series, the latter of which ended on a cliff hanger.

    I think the first series was better than the second. It felt that the second series relied more on characters to drive it forward. I also found some of the episodes in the second series a little more far fetched. Aside from those minor gripes it's pretty good. Here's a picture of the three main dudes from series 1 & 2. Zoe on the left, Danny on the right and my favorite Tom in the middle.

    Now I'm off to borrow series 3...



    Christine and I went on a little holiday over the Easter break. We drove up the East Coast and stayed at Swansea for a couple of nights. It was very enjoyable and great to get away and have a good rest.


    Ministry Deactivation Mode

    For the last couple of weeks it's felt like I'm running on cylinder de-activation mode... if that sentence bores you read on I'll explain...

    Cylinder deactivation is a fuel saving technology which allows a large capacity engine (eg. a V8) to operate under low loads with only six, or four cylinders. Cars known to use this include the new Honda Accord V6 and some American big V8s. I've been feeling over the last couple of weeks like I'm running on about 3 cylinders and hense I've not really had the energy to write and blog.

    I'm sure this is totally a really bad thing as ministry can be unsustainable if done at high intensity constantly. I think I particularly have this problem and need to learn how to even out more of life's peaks and falls. Coming out of this also I've realised I'm not good at talking to people about things when they aren't going well. When I don't post for a while it usually means things aren't going particularly well. I'm not writing this because I want sympathy or encouragement rather it feels good to express stuff and get it off my chest.