I have never thought of myself as a technologist, but now I realize that we all are. As Tim Challies has pointed out in his book, The Next Story, humans are incurably and inherently technological. We shape and form and make things constantly as we fulfil God’s creational purpose for us to multiply and subdue the earth. The things we make are usually neither good nor evil in themselves—a wheel, a fork, an office block, a chair, a screwdriver, a book—but each one can be used well or badly, and each one comes with both risks and benefits. (Some technologies, I would contend, are just inherently evil—such as the office laser printer—but we will leave that discussion for another time.) (more…)
We live in a time of unprecedented change. For the first time in history we have access to the world in our pocket. The Internet has changed everything. The way we work and learn, communicate and connect has dramatically altered. And while some may argue that this is not good, it’s here and we can’t turn our back to it. How can we possibly ignore the billions of people who use social media every day?
This raises many questions. One of the most important is: how will the church adapt to make the most of this new situation to advance the mission of Jesus? (more…)
One of the things I admire about my mother is that she gets involved in other people’s lives.
Now that she doesn’t have children at home, and is working less, on her way to retirement, she could use her extra time for herself. Instead, she uses much of it for others.
She helps out at the local primary school. She looks after an elderly lady in a local nursing home. She cares for her brothers and sisters. She visits the sick.
She’s like those older women – the Bible calls them “widows” (which my mum is not, but I think it’s a similar stage of life) – who use their time and energy to serve (1 Tim 5:9-10; Acts 9:36-42). I hope to be like her one day.
Here’s a story that encouraged me to get involved too.
As a way of masking my disappointment that certain terrible trends come back around again, I remind myself of the wisdom of Solomon: there’s nothing new under the sun. What has been done will be done again—like fluoro and neon colours coming back into fashion recently, after a reprieve of a couple of decades. Fashion, as with many other trends, is cyclical, self-referential, even parasitic. If you freeze your wardrobe today, you’ll be cool again in 30 years time. Everything is a remix so calm down about it already, Sam. (more…)
There has always been a wide range of opinion and practice among Christians on the matter of medical technology. Soon after his conversion, my physician husband was taken aback when a woman in his congregation explained she was not going to visit a doctor to treat a thigh abscess, but was instead going to pray according to the instructions of James:
It’s hard to think of anyone better equipped than Tim Challies to write a book about the impact of technology on the Christian life. He’s a husband, father, and pastor; a web designer by trade; and a popular evangelical blogger (at challies.com). Living a life interrupted by the ‘beep’, in the glow of the latest iDevice, he began to suspect his technologies owned him as much as he owned them. The Next Story is the fruit of his reflections. Its goal is to enable us to live in the “sweet spot” where practice, theory and theology overlap, helping us to use technology in a way that’s thoughtful and biblically informed. (more…)
Available now on the App Store ($0.99/£0.69/€0,79)
Last year I attended the Oxygen conference in Sydney for ministry workers. During one of John Piper’s talks, he got to a point where he realized he had been talking about ‘the gospel’ as foundational to the Christian life without ever telling us what he thought that gospel was. So he told us he was about to outline ‘John Piper’s gospel’, which had six points to it. (more…)
When my grandfather was a boy, porn was something that was, for most people, hard to come by. It was the postcard passed around, the naughty story shared. While there was a sex industry—prostitutes, strip clubs, and the like—for most people this was the dark side of society, a place they never visited, rarely talked about. It was certainly not mainstream. (more…)
David Starling: I want to begin by saying thank you for your books and your sermons, and for making the trip out here to Sydney. We really appreciate all that’s involved in coming across the world to see us. (more…)
These are troubling times in the book business. As I sit down to write this month’s Resource Talk, the dust is still settling after the financial collapse of the owner of two of Australia’s largest bookselling chains. The management is blaming a mix of factors: the high Australian dollar, the rise of online retailing (whereby customers can buy books cheaper and tax-free from overseas), the heavy discounting tactics of department stores, the global financial crisis, and the rise of the ebook.
It is imperative that Australian Christians make themselves aware of legislative changes being proposed by the government. Under the guise of measures to “improve safety of the internet for families”, Senator Stephen Conroy recently announced that mandatory filtering of content that has been refused classification, or rated ‘RC’, will be enforced through legislation.
Until recently, I’d not owned a mobile phone. But I was aware of the growing need for one: as the kids get older, my family seems more and more reliant on using mobiles to keep in touch. It was inevitable; resistance was futile.
There seems to be a restlessness—an unease—among younger evangelicals. Something is wrong with the way we do church. How can we fix it?