It's World Cup time - so some thoughts on Neymar, the Brazilian superstar.
Last month Anne and I celebrated thirty years of marriage. We wanted a break and so we booked a holiday with Club La Costa World which is located in Fuengirola on the south coast of Spain. Truth be told we got a fantastic discount of 80% which made the gig very affordable.
A key text for understanding idolatry in the New Testament is a passage in the book of Romans.
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator.
Romans 1:25, NIV
Here we should notice that idolatry does not merely refer to the worship of idols and images in the sense of the giant bull statue in 'Molech' worship.
Men pay upwards of £1000 to listen to the 'wisdom' and 'insight' of 'pick-up' artist Julien Blanc. His worldview boils down to this: objectify women and use them for your pleasure. Videos of Blanc preaching and ranting can be found online under the hashtag #ChokingGirlsAroundtheWorld.
I wanted to blog about some of the questions that students ask.
RealityBites is a ministry that creates space for people to ask questions about life, the universe and, of course, Hertfordshire. We try to arouse curiosity in people about God, idolatry and the kingdom of Jesus. We do this by telling provocative, shocking stories about rat worshippers, plastic surgery obsessives and human traffickers etc.
The teaching of modern foreign languages (MFL) is widely assumed to be unaffected by the teacher's faith or worldview.
When people talk about Christian education, many people think about the archetypal Bible-basher. Someone who attacks you with Scripture.
This is tragic.
In my view Christian education should be about wisdom, discernment and understanding the brutal stories that ruin countless lives. Consider this.
The year is 2008 and we are in Accra the capital of Ghana. In their large family home, Tina and Vivian Appiah are dancing to Jamaican music. Behind them is a huge portrait of their elder brother, Stephen Appiah, a professional footballer, who is now a millionaire five times over and Ghana's national captain.
In my work with RealityBites I sometimes go into schools in order to provoke young people to engage with Jesus’ wonderful teaching about the kingdom of God.
In July 2011 I spoke to about 300 largely unchurched teenagers at a sixth form conference in Newcastle. Here is an outline of that conference.
For about fifty minutes I spoke about celebrity culture, consumerism and commodification. I told stories about Jordan, Cheryl Cole and Russell Brand.