Blogroll Category: Christian Resources
I read blogs, as well as write one. The 'blogroll' on this site reproduces some posts from some of the people I enjoy reading. There are currently 262 posts from the category 'Christian Resources.'
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A disciplinary hearing for Los Angeles Episcopal Bishop Jon Bruno has been set for March 28-30 in Pasadena.
What is the theological basis for the sexual revolution? Wilberforce Academy Director Dr Joe Boot explains in this overview that the radical revolution we see today is "rooted in the self-creating illusions of Marxism, with its visceral hatred of both God and the family."
Joe highlights how Marxist ideas and radical feminism have sought to recreate reality and oppress all who uphold God's good creation order. Look out for God's positive response in part 2 next week.
In this article, Kathy Gyngell, co-editor of The Conservative Woman, interviews Dr Elaine Sugden, one of the authors of Wilberforce Publications' new book, Talking About Dying.
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9 in 10 UK universities are now restricting free speech in some way, according to a survey by online magazine Spiked.
Almost two thirds (63.5%) now actively censor speech, and 30.5% stifle speech through excessive regulation, indicating a steady rise in censorship over the past three years.
Church including persons with disabilities in its “Empowering youth and women for sustainable livelihoods” project.
Tim Dieppe comments on news that a head teacher has faced a campaign of intimidation by Muslim parents at her school who wish to see her removed. She has been violently attacked by a parent, and alleges that there have been death threats. A head teachers' union has said that they are supporting a number of heads facing similar pressures. Tim emphasises that Islamist infiltration of schools is a significant problem that needs to be tackled with robust policies.
The question “Why?” is the one we long to answer. If God is in control, why do I have a headache? Why do I have cancer? Why are my teenagers causing so much trouble? Why am I still single? Why hasn’t he given us a child?
After all, if we put all the Bible’s teaching together, we find that God controls each and every event, from the tiniest to the greatest, from the most predictable to the apparently random, visible and invisible, in every place, at all times, from the least complex to the most intricate, right up to human beings with all our wonderful capacity to think, to reason and to make decisions. This is the scope of God’s control.
But then we look at our present circumstances and are left asking… WHY?
Sometimes we can’t fully answer it. But we can say some things. Here are some of the main answers the Bible gives.
1. If you are a Christian, it is NOT God’s punishment for your sin. This is very important. The great mistake of Job’s so-called “comforters” was to assume that Job’s sufferings must be a punishment for his sin. But if you are trusting in Jesus (as Job was, in anticipation), the punishment for all your sin has been paid by Jesus. So don’t beat yourself up and blame yourself. You and I have plenty of sins, for which we deserve far worse than we get; but our sufferings are not the punishment for these sins. Jesus paid it all.
2. It is not punishment, but it may be God’s fatherly discipline, given in order to fashion and shape you to become like Jesus. As Hebrews chapter 12 puts it, “God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness” (Hebrews 12 v 10, see v 4-13). It is good to search your conscience afresh and ask yourself if there is any matter of which you ought to repent. Perhaps this suffering is God’s way of prompting you to a fresh repentance from some sin. Maybe, maybe not; only you can say. Read this chapter of Hebrews and take comfort from the assurance that you have a heavenly Father who is determined to make you like Jesus. We wish it didn’t hurt so much; but it will be worth it in the end.
Take comfort from the assurance that you have a heavenly Father who is determined to make you like Jesus.
3. It may also be a trial that is necessary in order to demonstrate your genuineness as a follower of Jesus. When you go on trusting God even when it’s really hard, glory will come to God (1 Peter 1 v 7). This may be hard to accept, but it is actually a wonderful truth, that God will be glorified precisely through your struggles in a way in which he might not be glorified if we had things easier.
4. Finally, many of our difficulties are simply because we are living life “under the sun”, as the book of Ecclesiastes puts it. And life “under the sun” in this age is life under God’s righteous judgment on a sinful world. While we are not punished for our individual sins—Jesus paid for those—we are still sinners in a world under judgement. We must expect things to be messy and difficult.
Probably most, if not all, of our problems can be described as in numbers 2, 3, and 4, all at the same time. Beyond this, we cannot say and it is not profitable to speculate or to pretend that we know.
This article is adapted from Christopher Ash’s book Where was God when that happened? And other questions about God’s goodness, power and the way he works in the world, which is available to buy now.
A statement from the Rt Rev Mike Hill, Bishop of Bristol, and the Very Rev David Hoyle, Dean of Bristol, in response to the debate at General Synod on the Bishops’ report following the shared conversations:
David Walker argues: "To be purposefully paradoxical is to recognise that whilst consistency may be a feature of the endpoints of a journey it is rarely present all along the way."
"The gospel Jesus preached was certainly 'radically inclusive' – but also deeply transformative," David Baker reminds the archbishops.
A couple have lost their legal bid to redefine civil partnerships to include heterosexual couples.
Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld, from London, appeared at the Court of Appeal today to challenge a previous High Court ruling against them.
Keidan and Steinfeld, who have said that they want to be "partners in law", but do not want to get married, say that the current law is discriminatory.
Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has appealed to the South African government to scrap plans for developing nuclear energy and instead to spend the money on education, training and other development initiatives.
In this summary and analysis of recent events in the Church of England Peter Sanlon concludes that we must face a
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.—Psalm 145:3-4
Intergeneration classes are a wonderful way to gather families to learn together. It is not the last resort when babysitters are not available, but an opportunity for both children and adults to be teachers and both to be learners.
I think God’s intent for the generations is that we should bless one another, support one another, encourage one another and enrich each other’s lives.
Intergenerational doesn’t mean dumbing down material so that children can understand it but the adults are bored. But it also doesn’t mean teaching a normal adult class with the hope that the children present may get a tidbit.
True intergenerational teaching conscientiously takes into account that there are learners of different ages and experiences present in the classroom and seeks to teach the hearts of all of them. It’s beneficial to the adults and to the children because the uniqueness of the situation provides some opportunities for both generations to understand the material differently and to benefit from a different perspective.
A positive experience in an intergenerational class can encourage a dad who has never lead a family devotional time to launch out at home in bringing the Word to his family.—Sally Michael
Intergenerational classes work ideally for parents with children in first grade and older who can read and participate in class activities. Junior and senior high students can be included, but teachers and parents will need to be careful to ensure the material and illustrations engaging for them or provide them with extra responsibility to help lead in class. It works best for preschool and kindergarten students to remain in a separate age-specific class so parents’ focus can be on having deeper spiritual conversations with their older children rather than trying to keep the youngest ones engaged. These mixed generation learning environments can be introduced to a variety of settings such as Sunday morning or evening services, Wednesday night programs, summer Sunday school classes, family camps or small group settings.
In her seminar Intergenerational Teaching: Why and How?, Sally shares these and other benefits to an intergenerational teach model:
- Relational: It can remove barriers between age groups crumble and provide an opportunity to be the church—a united body of believers.
- Cognitive: Children can think outside the box and provide different perspectives for the adults as well as ask questions that adults never think of or are reluctant to ask. This helps bring insight and understanding to the material for all ages.
- Conversational: Good intergeneration learning experiences can open communication between adults and children and prompt engaging spiritual conversations.
- Emotional: Little children can remind adults to learn with their hearts as well as with their heads.
- Simplicity: Adults can get caught up in fine tuning theological points and children can help remind them of the important, basic truths like Jesus died for sinners or love one another.
- Application and Response: Seeing the eager acceptance and concrete responses of children is a wonderful way in which adults can be challenged to respond in obedience and faith to the truth.
Listen to the full seminar by Sally to learn more about the benefits of intergenerational teaching, how to teach the intergeneration curriculum from Children Desiring God and practical tips on how to adapt your existing curriculum for an intergenerational setting.Listen Now: Intergeneration Teaching: Why and How? http://blog.childrendesiringgod.org/wp-content/uploads/Seminar_SMichael_IntergenerationalTeaching.mp3 Download Handouts
Sally Michael is a co-founder of Children Desiring God, where she has a passion for developing God-centered resources for the spiritual development of children in the home and church. She is an author of curriculum, parenting resources and children’s books published by Children Desiring God and P&R Publishing. Sally and her husband David have two daughters, Amy and Kristi, and three grandchildren.