Lies, lies, lies!


I was talking to a friend lately who struggles with eating issues, and she told me that one of the techniques she is using to combat her anxiety is something called acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). If I’ve understood her correctly, ACT is when you try to keep your thoughts focused on the present instead of allowing them to drift off in all sorts of unhelpful directions. So, for example, when she gets a craving for a cookie and starts to think that she couldn’t possibly get through the afternoon without one, she acknowledges that she’s had that thought, points out to herself that what her brain is telling her is a lie (i.e. that she can get through the afternoon without a cookie, and she knows that because she’s done it before), and then moves on with the rest of her day.


What makes ‘progressive’ progressive?


In a recent SMH opinion piece, Adele Horin bemoans the choices made by two women of her acquaintance—a mother and a daughter, both highly intelligent, who opted out of the full-time career market to spend time at home raising children:

She topped the state in the final exams, a brilliant girl. But she married young and did what women did in the 1960s, stayed at home to raise her children while her husband climbed the corporate ladder. Much later she worked part-time. Now it’s her brilliant daughter’s turn. A lawyer in her 40s, she has pulled back, left the big firm with its killer hours to do home-based work, and to raise her own precociously bright daughters while her husband does the climbing.


Choosing the hill to die on


Apparently you have the option to choose the hill you are going to die on.

What I know about military strategy can be written on the round bit of one of those metal thingies that come out the long bit you point at other people when using a rifle.


A preacher’s near blunder

Pastoral Ministry


Well, I preached Psalm 11. For what it’s worth, you can find a somewhat sloppy manuscript somewhat sloppily inserted into the comments of my previous post.

I made the mistake of assuming that the ESV text, which I used, would be fine. It was, except that the NIV text—which was the preferred Bible translation at the church I was visiting—departed ever so slightly from the ESV at two significant points.


Speaking of miracles


Do miracles occur today? If we evangelicals express caution in response to a question like that, we’re either accused of being Cessationists or told that we lack real faith in the God who is the same yesterday, today and forever. (more…)

Devoted to the public reading of Scripture

Everyday Ministry

When Timothy was exercising respon­sibility over the Ephesian church, the apostle Paul instructed him as follows: “Until I come, devote your­­self to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching” (1 Tim 4:13). Although this was to be a temporary role for Timothy (“until I come”), it presumably outlived him in the life of the church; that is, when the apostle wrote “until I come”, he was not suggesting that the practice itself would be temporary, only that his own arrival would mark the end of Timothy’s personal responsibility to fight for and guarantee these practices. (more…)

Review: “Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God” by JI Packer


Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God

JI Packer

Inter-Varsity Press, Westmont, 2008. 136 pp.

Recently republished as part of the ‘IVP Classics’ series, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by JI Packer remains as relevant today as when it was first published in 1961. Well, so I’ve been told; I wasn’t born until 1985. But, assum­ing it was relevant when first published, Evangelism remains relevant today.1 (more…)

A course is a course, of course

Resource Talk, Sola Panel

There are two ways to change a culture, as Tony Payne said in last December’s Briefing. You can run as many people as possible through your programs and courses and hope for the best. Or, you can work individually and with small pockets of people to change the culture. The latter is slow and sometimes inefficient, but it tends to be the surest way to see a lasting difference in attitudes and direction.


The final cut



If free-to-air TV still retains value as some kind of cultural indicator, at least for those dinosaurs resisting the move to cable/internet/digital, then a profound cultural shift has taken place. Call me slow, but I have only just noticed it. The underworld has been replaced by the dissection table.

As I write this, Clint Eastwood’s apparently less-than-brilliant Hereafter is opening at the cinemas, which may indicate that the afterlife is still of interest to those who go out for their entertainment. But not for Foxtel-resistant Freddy back home on the couch, or those who have not raced out to buy the new digital receivers.