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.
I became a Christian in December 1997 at the age of 18. I didn’t grow up in a church culture, didn’t attend Sunday School and I definitely wasn’t exposed to “Christian Entertainment”. So it’s kind of hard to explain why I’m fascinated by Bibleman. It’s not like I’m looking back on it through a nostalgic lens. I have no cherished Childhood memories that help me overlook the rough edges. I’m not reminiscing of a simpler time.
I’m honestly watching these things and wondering what made the creators of this show think that this was a good idea. And loving every moment in a guilty pleasure kind of way.
In our senior youth group here at St Luke’s we’ve just finished a teaching unit on how the Bible fits together as one big book. Drawing on a little bit of Goldsworthy and Roberts, we’ve looked at how the 66 books of the Bible are all part of one big story – God’s plan of salvation for his creation.
Being the visual learner that I am, I came up with a resource to help us each week – Biblical Theology Magnets!
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is one of the most popular stage musicals out there. Based on the account of Joseph and his family in the book of Genesis, the musical has been doing the rounds since 1982. And now it might be heading to cinemas as an animated feature. The movie is being made by Elton John’s production company, Rocket Pictures.
I’m not 100% sure what led me down this path. I think the first thing that started the niggling in the back of my brain was my favourite podcast – Major Spoilers. One of the hosts, Matthew, had mentioned a few times that he was watching Super Sentai, the Japanese show that provided the action scenes for Power Rangers. And if Major Spoilers talks about it, I usually file it in that part of my brain marked “worth checking out”. A bit later, a number of websites I check out were getting excited over something called the 199 Hero Great Battle, that had every Super Sentai team member simultaneously involved in a giant battle sequence. Hundreds of brightly coloured spandex suits involved in an epic martial arts fight sequence. I had to find out more. A quick Google search led me to English subtitled episodes of a show called Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger. And it was glorious.
… sorry about that.
I’m sure I’m not alone in our fast-paced world. Generally speaking, we like things to happen immediately, if not sooner. We get frustrated if the traffic lights take too long to turn green. We prefer headlines over long news articles. If a movie is longer than 90 minutes, it better have some big explosions to keep us from fidgeting in our seats.
Which is why I sometimes think it strange that when Christians meet together, they sit down and listen to someone talk for a solid length of time. With attention spans (allegedly) getting shorter, why do we all gather in a room on a Sunday and listen to a sermon together?
This term at our senior youth group, we’re looking at the parables in the Gospel of Luke. We kicked off with the Parable of the Sower from Luke 8:4-15. To get the youth members in the right frame of mind (as well as to burn off a bit of energy) we played a game based on the parable. It’s a variation on “Rob The Nest”. It might be a game that you might want to play with your youth as well.
Sixty Six Books is a project that’s well worth checking out. The aim is to write a short commentary on every book of the Bible that is readable and accessible to teens. As a youth minister, I can’t support this enough! Which is why I contributed an entry on the book of Jude. You can check out what I wrote here.
I grew up Catholic. My parents had me baptised in a Roman Catholic Church when I was a baby. The priest tried to baptise me as “John” because Joel wasn’t Christian enough. I attended a Catholic primary school, where I also served as an altar boy at the church attached to the school. Putting on a robe, carrying a candle, and helping the priest do communion was preferable to sitting through the service. Even back in those days I was easily bored.
By the time I was 15 I was preparing myself to walk away from the Roman Catholic Church. My experience of the church didn’t match with my experience of the world. I began to feel that Jesus was a fictional story and that the church existed as a quaint little throwback that stood in the way of me discovering the truth behind the universe. I started to explore new age beliefs. Until one day, when I was 17, a friend introduced me to the Jesus of the Bible. Not long after this, I welcomed Jesus as my saviour and joined a Protestant church.
I share my story with you because the book I’m reviewing is on a subject that is close to me. The Road Once Travelled by Mark Gilbert (with Cecily Paterson) is written for people within the Roman Catholic Church who are feeling disillusioned. The aim is to address their concerns and point to the real Jesus of the Bible as the answer to their problems. This is the kind of book that is theoretically aimed right at 17-year-old Joel. So in reviewing The Road Once Travelled, both 31-year-old Joel and 17-year-old Joel will weigh in with their views.
Frankly, there are not enough superheroes in the Bible. Sure, you point out Samson to me, but that’s just not enough. We need mutants. We need families irradiated with cosmic rays. We need blind ninjas. We need Let’s Be Friends Again. I love how they take classic Biblical scenes and asks the important question: Would this be cooler with a member fo the X-Men?
Starring Jack Black and Michael Cera
- Easily wound up about historical inaccuracies in film?
- Wishing that Jack Black would retire his rock and roll ladies man character and do something different?
- Someone who thinks poo jokes are not funny?
- Against any attempts to use the Bible in comedy?
Do you fit into one or more of those categories? Then let me save you 2 hours of your life. Do not see Year One.
I’m putting together a list of modern songs that mention Jesus, God or Biblical themes. They have to be by artists who release their work in the secular music world (ie not songs that you can only buy at your local Christian bookshop). The aim is to have one big list that people can go to when looking for secular songs about Jesus etc. It’s also one big list of article ideas for me. The song doesn’t have to revolve around Jesus – a single mention will do.
Here’s what I’ve got so far:
Have you ever thought to yourself “If I wrote the Bible, there would be a lot more zombies in there”? Well here’s your chance. Head on over to the Stinque Zombie Bible and put your flesh-eating-walking corpse stamp on the Word of God.
Not that I’m condoning this kind of blasphemy. But if they ever add in pirates and ninjas, I’m not sure I could handle the awesomeness.
Why does a good God allow suffering in the world? It’s a question that comes up time and time again. As people who live in a fallen world, we are constantly confronted with tragic events. Why do good people die? Why are we attacked by natural disasters? If there is a God, why isn’t he doing his job? Why does he let bad things happen if he’s all that he’s cracked up to be?
Everyone struggles with this issue, Christian or not. We want someone to be held accountable for things that go wrong. As a Christian, it can be difficult to reconcile the God of love with the God who allows evil to exist in this world. What if there was a book that could explain this? What if there is a book that could help us understand who God is and what he has done? If only there was a book that could clearly explain God. The Shack is being put forward as the solution. The Shack is being put forward as a great way to understand God. Unfortunately, The Shack should not be a place you go to for answers.
This term in our Church’s youth ministry, we are looking at an overview of the Old Testament. We thought it would be a good way to help the young folk get an idea of how it all fits together. I got up in front of the group and told them that the Old Testament is just like Where’s Wally. Remember Where’s Wally ? The guy in the beanie and the striped shirt that would be hiding in a crowd full of crazy people? What does he have to do with the Old Testament?
Like a lot of Protestant Churches in Sydney, my Church at St Luke’s Liverpool is looking at “Ideas That Changed The World”, four of the slogans that represent the Reformation. This week is Scripture Alone. Scripture Alone is the idea that the Bible is the direct Word of God. When the traditions we create become equal or greater than the Bible we have a problem. Especially when those traditions contradict the Bible.