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True Woman | Shedding some Light on Twilight
If Bella were my daughter, I’d warn her loudly and clearly about falling for a counterfeit version of true romance. In the real world, the Bellas who fall for the Edwards usually don’t live happily ever after. In the real world, twilight turns to night.
Learn to Discern: How to Recognize and Respond to Error in the Culture
How to be discerning, alert, biblical, courageous, prayerful, and proactive in a culture full of conflicting "truths."
Revive Our Hearts: Girls Gone Wise, with Mary Kassian
The phrase "girls gone wild" has entered pop culture vocabulary over the last couple years. But it’s a very old concept. Proverbs 7 describes a girl gone wild, showing us how destructive her behavior is. Mary Kassian unpacks this chapter, inviting you to be a girl gone wise.
Digital media are rewiring our brains, says author and researcher
Researcher and author Nicholas Carr has written extensively about the way the Web is rewiring our brains so that we cannot concentrate on longer-lasting tasks such as reading a book.
Using the Bridge Strategy with integrity and wisdom in Christian evangelism
Using the Bridge Strategy “Use what is dominant in a culture to change it very quickly. It is in your self-interest to find a way to be very tender” – Carved quotation outside Ulazdowski Castle Arts Centre, Warsaw The Bridge Strategy is a major factor in effective online outreach. It allows us to target any group of people according to their special interest or felt need, hobby, ethnicity or language (I Cor 9:19-23). This is a quite remarkable and unique capability of the Internet. However, it is important that there should be no element of trickery in either bringing people to the page in the first place, or the content they find when they reach it (2 Cor 4:2). At the same time, any outreach site should use appropriate contextualization for its readers: the X-Spectrum enables us to define this on a scale of 1 to 6.
Engaging with culture - why Christians must understand the popular media
Have you ever stopped to think about what you experience in the course of a normal working day? There is a wealth of obvious things like breakfast, buildings, chairs, rain and people. But what about the deluge of television programmes, music, websites, films, advertising hoardings, radio stations, magazines and podcasts? Much of the time, in fact, we probably focus more on the spectacle of images and sounds that constantly clamour for our attention than on anything else. That’s the kind of media-saturated world we live in. American cultural commentator Douglas Rushkoff says we live in a ‘mediascape’ more than in a landscape.
Resources to help Christians understand how to relate to and use culture
It is vital that we learn to understand and relate to modern culture. Here are some helpful resources: Engaging in the cultural landscape – Ministry Toolbox article by Kevin G. Harney, adapted from his new book Organic Outreach for Ordinary People, Zondervan. 19-minute Q Talks conference session with Josh Jackson. 17-minute Q Talks conference session with Andy Crouch, author of Culture Making.
The West is a mission field. We need mission insights to understand worldview and culture.
Time is a strange commodity. We stayed last month at a holiday cottage in the north Derbyshire village where I spent some years of my childhood. It’s apparently the oldest building in the village. Friends in the New World will perhaps be particularly entranced by its age – it was already 200 years old when Charles Wesley stayed there! It is part of a farm complex which later became a Moravian settlement for 50 years.
Starting points for evangelism that few seem to use
Mary and I had three days in London last week, as a lovely Christmas gift from our grownup children. Thanks guys! Included were tickets to Oliver! the musical, of which more below. First though, we went to the Babylon exhibition in the British Museum, where among the exhibits were the beautiful blue glazed bricks from the Ishtar Gate and processional way. The original has been reconstructed at the Pergamum Museum in Berlin (which also houses the reconstructed market gate from Miletus and the temple from Pergamum. Daniel would doubtless have walked or ridden through the Ishtar Gate many times. Oliver! (based on Dickens’ Oliver Twist novel) starred Rowan Atkinson, and was a great experience. I was reminded yet again that most stories are based on the archetypal ‘hero’s journey’ and contain echoes from eternity – the universal themes of searching, finding, sacrifice and redemption, which reflect elements of The Story – God’s plan and purpose for us.
Shame culture: evangelism in cultures where public shame matters
I have discovered that one of the most difficult aspects of evangelizing Muslims is getting them to appreciate their need for a savior. I have found the Islamic doctrine of God and Man to be such that Muslims tend to be unaware of their sinfulness and inability to save themselves.1 As a result, convincing a Muslim to embrace Jesus as the blood sacrifice for his sins usually requires considerable time and pre-evangelistic effort.