Archive | News RSS for this section

Brunei Bans Christmas in Public

1450714146568When 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.

Exodus Movie “Edited” For North African Release

exodus-gods-kings-castRidley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings movie (the one where Batman and Uncle Owen fight over the freedom of the Israelites) was prohibited from release in several North African countries. Not because of the quality of the film (I can only dream of a day when movies are not allowed to be released because they are terrible). But for several reasons, including historical inaccuracies and depicting God in human form.

Now it looks like movie fans in North Africa might have the chance to be disappointed by this film, just like I was.

Read More…

Vote For Fervr in the Webby’s

Fervr is a website that I (and many others) write for. Quite frankly, I think it’s the best Christian youth website on the net. And we’ve been nominated for an award! The Webby Awards are a pretty big deal and we’ve been nominated for the People’s Choice Award for Religion and Spirituality Websites. Could you take a moment to head to the voting page and help us win? We need every vote we can get! Voting closes Thursday April 26th.

After the jump is the official press release from Fervr.

Read More…

New Article in Southern Cross

Southern Cross is a newspaper for Sydney Anglican churches that is put out each month. In the May edition, they’ve published a two page article I wrote on Christian comic books.

If you’re in a Sydney Anglican church this Sunday, make sure you check it out. If you like what you see and want to see more articles about Christian comics (or even more articles from me) make sure you write to the editor and let her know!

Welcome to 2011

Hi there. I know it’s been a while. No articles since October last year. Why the silence? At the end of last year:

  • I completed my theological degree at Moore College. In the last term of college I submitted over 10,000 words worth of essays plus a final year exam. Needless to say, that was pretty stressful.
  • Finished up co-ordinating school Scripture at North Newtown Public School, including arranging end of year presents, running the Christmas assembly, and handing over the co-ordinating reigns to another.
  • Moved house from a small apartment in Croydon Park to a very nice (and large) house in Casula.
  • Changed positions at my church, going from the one day a week student minister to the full time Associate Minister of St Luke’s Liverpool. Switching offices, sorting out Christmas and figuring out my new responsibilites have taken up a fair chunk of time.

So this week, I’ve finally got my office into a somewhat workable state, we’ve unpacked most of the boxes at home, and we’ve finally got the internet connected (I was beginning to suffer withdrawal symptoms). Now all that is sorted, time to get Pop Culture Christ back up and running. I’m not sure what Pop Culture Christ will look like this year and how updating the site will fit into my new responsibilities. At this stage I’m hoping to get a new post up every week. WordPress have issued the “post a day 2011” challenge. I dont’ think I’ll be going that route. Though the “post a week 2011” challenge may be more manageable. I’m now living a bit further from the city, so I’m unsure how many press screenings for movies I’ll be able to make this year, so don’t expect the movie reviews to come as frequently as they did in 2010. God willing I’ll have Webcomic Monday up and running as a regular feature. I’m also looking into converting some of the essays I wrote for college last year into Pop Culture Christ essays, so keep an eye out.

Coming tomorrow will be a list of my favourite movies of 2010. Seems like everyone else is churning out a list, so I thought I’d join in. Any suggestions for what should be on my list?

As always, appreciate any and all suggestions for what you’d like to see on Pop Culture Christ.

Joel A

Heck: The Movie

Last year I read the book Heck: Where The Bad Kids Go. I didn’t like it. Looks like someone saw some promise in the idea though because Heck is heading to the big screen.

Reading the book, I was imagining a Tim Burton/Robert Rodriguez style production. From the article, it looks like they’re at least jumping onto the Tim Burton style with the reference to Beetlejuice.

Will this be a good movie? I’m really struggling to see how this will come together. The book was a bit of a mess and I can’t see the movie pulling it all together. Only time will tell.

I can only hope that anally violating a marshmallow bear with dynamite is left out of the script.

The Fervr Fashion Guide

I’ve been excited about this for a long time. But I’ve been waiting until it’s official before saying anything.

Fervr have published my very first ebook!

The Fervr Fashion Guide is now available at the Fervr site.

Please head on over there and get your self a copy. All proceeds go towards supporting the great ministry of Fervr. I don’t see a cent.

I’ve now gone from blogger to ebook author. One step closer to my goal of having a print book I’ve written available for sale at Moore Books.

Since You’ve Been Gone

Hi internet. Long time no see. Seems like summer is the time of no blogging for Joel A.

Here’s what I’ve been up to since I last posted:

Read More…

Vatican: Harry Potter No Longer A No-No

hbp-harryChristian fundamentalism and Harry Potter aren’t exactly best of friends. The Bible speaks out against magic, so many Christians put their foot down and say that any depiction of magic, whether in real life or in fiction, must be avoided. For the record, I’m not one who has a hard line stance on this issue. One of these days I’ll write a post about where I do draw the line, but I digress. I was surprised, however, to see that the Vatican appears to have loosened their stand on the Potter universe. Variety has reported that the Vatican’s official newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, has gone ahead and given the latest Harry Potter flick a thumbs up. I didn’t see that one coming.

Colour Changing Frog Worshipped

frog234123People don’t really need much of an excuse to worship the created rather than the creator, do they?

Colour changing frog worshipped as god in India

V is Coming!

v_badlerI remember seeing the original V mini series when I was a kid. The use of alien visitors to explore the Nazi rise to power and the abuse of authority and trust was striking. There’s a television remake of V coming out this year that I’m very excited about. And after seeing the trailer, I’m even more excited. Because it looks like it will be dealing heavily with themes of faith and worship. This is must see for me. It better be good. The trailer is after the jump.

Read More…

Ethical Dilemma: 9yr Old Abortion

I’m studying Ethics at college this year. I really doubt it’s going to make thinking issues like this one any easier. Church hits out after nine-year-old’s abortion.

I believe that abortion is wrong. But when you see a situation where a nine year old victim of sexual abuse and incest is carrying twins and will very likely die from giving birth? The answers aren’t so easy.

What are the factors to take into account when thinking this issue through from a Christian perspective?

Brian Banned No More

194287life-of-brian-posters30 years ago, a Welsh town banned the movie Life Of Brian.  Now, in 2009, it’s being un-banned.

Life Of Brian is a great movie, one I hope to get around to reviewing here at Pop Culture Christ. I can see why some may object to it, but I think we can learn alot about Jesus and fundamentalism by watching it. That and it’s very funny.

Below the jump is one of my favourite scenes from the movie.

Read More…

Done Too Much, Much Too Young

alfie1Take a look at the photo. It’s the kind of photo you usually see at the birth of a baby. Family members posing with the new born child. Except that kid on the left holding the baby? That’s a dad holding his daughter. 13 year old Alfie is the father of new born girl Maisie. The girl on the right is 15yo mother Chantelle.

Something isn’t right here.

Read More…

Sci-Fi Samson

samson_and_delilahLooks like Hollywood are once again going back to the well and making another Samson and Delilah movie. Except this time, it’s Sci-Fi!

Read More…

American Jesus



What if Jesus was reborn today? What if a boy in the USA found he could heal the sick and change water into wine? This was the premise of Mark Millar’s 2004 comic miniseries Chosen. Now it appears more is on the way.

Read More…

Buffy and the Church

Buffy and Friends

Buffy and Friends

High school is hell. That was the initial premise for Buffy The Vampire Slayer. A weekly horror show set in a school. A teenage girl facing all the problems of adolescence, as well as fighting vampires and other assorted demons and monsters. It’s a great show and a particular favourite of mine. And yes, Oz is my favourite character. Great dialogue and strong characters makes this a must watch show. But is it responsible for driving women away from Christianity?

Read More…

Exo Day

As a Christian, I want to make use of every opportunity to evangelise. I want everyone to know about what Jesus has done for them and that they too can be one of God’s people. And as a youth minister, I am especially interested in going into high schools and reaching those school students who don’t know him. But the question is: how do I do this in the most effective and appropriate way? Some people think Exo Days are the way to go. But as I discovered whilst listening to Triple J news this morning, not everyone is happy about this.

Read More…

Annoying World Youth Day Laws

Catholic World Youth DaySome people find me annoying. That’s just the way life is. I’m okay with that. But do I deserve a $5,500 fine for being annoying? Okay, so fining me for my personality may be going too far. But what about fining me for knocking on your door and asking you what you know about Jesus? Or handing you a leaflet at the train station letting you know what is happening at my Church? Some people find these things annoying. I think that they’re effective tools for starting conversations about the gospel. But what if me bringing up the topic of religion with you is so annoying that I could be fined or even arrested? That is what has got me concerned about these new police powers.

Read More…

Vatican Says No To Dan Brown

Dan Brown - Angels and DemonsWhat? The Roman Catholic Church has denied Ron Howard access to their properties? They don’t want the new movie Angels and Demons, written by Dan Brown, associated with their organisation? And they did this without even looking at the script?

Read More…