The AV Club Adds to The Master List
The Master List is one of the most popular features of Pop Culture Christ. It’s a list of a whole bunch of popular songs that mention God, Jesus, or Biblical themes. One of my aims for 2016 is to fix up the list, add new songs, as well as write about more of the songs on the list.
This week, The AV Club published a list of 22 Songs That Are Great Despite Being Pro-Jesus. It’s a good list, with a couple of those songs already being on the Master List. You can be sure that these songs from the AV Club will be among the first added to the Master List in 2016.
How To Read the Bible Bookmarks
At our church, we’re encouraging everyone to pick up their Bibles and read a small passage of Scripture each day. To help with this, we’re doing two things. Firstly, in the service sheet each week is a checklist with 5 Bible passages, one for each weekday. For example, in the first week of 2016 we’ll be starting with the book of Acts: Monday – Acts 1:1-11, Tuesday – Acts 1:12-26, Wednesday – Acts 2:1-13, Thursday – Acts 2:14-42, Friday – Acts 2:43-47.
Secondly, we’ve produced these bookmarks for our congregations to help them to find the passage and to read the passage. Something like this may be helpful for you or for your ministry.
Don’t Forget Jesus This Christmas
In the first season of South Park, the town is going all kinds of crazy in their efforts to make sure everything is politically correct during “the holiday season”. To the extent that they forget what the true meaning of Christmas is. Which leads to one of my all time favourite Christmas scenes after the credits have rolled.
Jesus Christ, all alone, singing happy birthday to himself. Classic.
Don’t forget to sing happy birthday to Jesus this Christmas.
Brunei Bans Christmas in Public
When I think about how over-the-top Christmas is in Australia, I’m thankful that we’re not facing the other extreme. In Brunei, it’s illegal to celebrate Christmas in public, invite a Muslim to a Christmas party, or wear a Santa hat in a shop. And Brunei is one of the least extreme countries operating under sharia law.
You can read more about it here.
Please pray for Christians in these countries this Christmas as they celebrate the birth of Jesus while the threat of persecution hangs over them.
Don’t Be That Guy at Christmas
I’m not a big fan of the hype that surrounds Christmas. I think it’s all a bit too much. But there’s a danger in being too anti-Christmas hype. Don’t be that guy this Christmas.
Genesis: Jesus He Knows Me
When this song was released back in 1992, I vaguely remember that I thought this song was pro-Christianity. What a naive little Catholic school boy I was. Jesus He Knows Me is full of biting criticism of the state of Western Christianity in the late 20th century. Unfortunately, a bit over 20 years later and it still cuts a little too close to home.
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Starring Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega
Star Wars is everywhere – social media, TV, shopping centres, bags of fruit – you can’t escape it. For nearly 40 years the Star Wars movies have been part of our pop culture landscape, endlessly quoted, referenced, copied and parodied. Even a poorly received prequel trilogy wasn’t enough to dent the hopes and dreams of Star Wars fans as the latest installment hit the big screen. With new creators behind the wheel, will Episode VII be a return to greatness?
Will The Real Jesus Please Stand Up?
Next week, people all over the world are going to be celebrating the birthday of a man who lived 2000 years ago. His name is Jesus. You might have heard of him. He’s kind of a big deal. We know so much about Jesus, but do we know what he looked like?
Yes and no. Read More…
Should Christians Watch The New Star Wars Movie? – Pop Culture Christ Cam
Now that I’ve got Pop Culture Christ up and running again, it’s time for another episode of the Pop Culture Christ Cam!
I really want to change the name of the show, so if you have any cool ideas for a new name, let me know in the comment.
Telling the Truthiness: The Gospel According to Stephen Colbert by Richard Braaksma
I don’t think Christians really know what to do with humour. The stereotype that Christians are a bunch of humourless neigh-sayers unfortunately has some truth to it. We can be quick to take offence and slow to laugh at ourselves. And that’s a real shame for two reasons. Firstly, the Bible can be outright hilarious at times (I will never not laugh when read 2 Kings 2:23). Secondly, we may be missing out on learning truths we may otherwise be blind to. And that’s why Telling the Truthiness: The Gospel of Stephen Colbert by Richard Braaksma is worth reading and engaging with.
The Youth Ministry Toolbox
Most days of the year, the best way to describe my office would be organised chaos. There’s stuff everywhere – mostly dumped there at the end of a long night of youth group or as I’m rushing from one event to the next. In those rare moments of quiet – when programs are wrapping up for the year and I feel like I can stop and take a breath, I get on top of the job of cleaning and organising my office. And in even rarer moments, I start thinking of how I can do the organising thing even better.
And that’s when I get ideas like the Youth Ministry Toolbox.
Kickstarter: Glo Bible
From the day I got my first smart phone, Glo Bible has been one of my favourite apps. Not only does it have a full text version of the Bible (which alone makes it a worthwhile app) but it’s chock full of extras like commentaries, maps, videos and dictionary articles. On top of that, the apps visual interface is a joy for a visual learner like myself. If you have an iOS device, Glo Bible is a must have app.
At least until the new version comes along early next year. The team behind Glo Bible are currently running a Kickstarter to raise funds to produce an even better app. I’m really excited about the new app and I’m really keen to check it out. I’ve signed on for the Glo Premium reward, which will give me the premium version of the app at a discount rate ($25 reduced from $40). Have a look at the campaign video and consider supporting this great project.
Sermon preached at St Luke’s Liverpool on Sunday 6th of December, 2015.