Happy Friday everyone. My fabulous sister gets married tomorrow so it’s a particularly happy Friday for us, I hope you’ve got a good weekend lined up too.

On celebration

Ben Myers Letter to the Chinese student, baptised on Easter Sunday

I worry that we will sing our songs and pray our prayers and have our tea and biscuits and then all go home afterwards without actually celebrating anything. This worries me especially here, in Australia, where (you will have noticed) we are not very good at celebrating things. On occasions when other people would celebrate, we Australians mill about uncertainly, hands in pockets, vaguely or acutely embarrassed. You can turn up to a wedding, a funeral, the birth of a baby, even Easter Sunday, and you’ll always find us standing about like that, exchanging dry remarks about the traffic and the weather, just when we ought to be shouting, weeping, rending our clothes, kissing strangers, firing pistols in the air. We like the idea of celebration, we have heard of it, but it is a language we never learned, and our bodies don’t know the rules.

On Thatcher

Timothy Lynch The death of Margaret Thatcher and the legacy of Thatcherism

John Milbank Thatcher’s perverse victory and the prospect of an ethical economy

On doubt

There was a bit of a blog-quake this week in response to a post by Derek Rishmawy called ‘who are you sleeping with?‘ based on Tim Keller’s talk at the Gospel Coalition conference. Rishmawy summmarised Keller’s message that when young people have doubts, the doubts almost always originate in their sexual sin. The college students are having sex and then, because they discover they like it, Christianity becomes doubtful.

I was a little concerned by the message because, as someone who often wrestles with doubts and questions, I worry that if I approach people for answers, they’ll presume my doubts really come from some sin and fail to take my questions seriously. I worry because, if they thought that about me, they’d be right! My doubt often stems from my pride, my failure to take advice, my stubbornness and I know it. But knowing this doesn’t deal with the doubt. The relationship between sin and doubt is complex and the assumption that doubt is merely a way of dealing with some hidden sin won’t encourage doubters to seek help.

Rachel Held Evans Is doubt an STD?

Nick Tim Keller, sex and the scandal of religious doubt?

Rachel Held Evans Some helpful critiques of yesterday’s post ‘is doubt an STD?’

On asylum seekers

Sienna Merope The economic cost of our asylum seeker policy

On euthanasia

Tim Dunlop Future generations won’t go quietly into that good night

On the ‘Jesus Juke’

This one’s just plain manipulation. John Acuff You don’t have to attend choir practice

A Jesus Juke is a phrase I came up with to describe that moment when you’re talking about something normal and someone tries to juke in some Jesus out of nowhere. The first one recorded in history is when I saw a guy next to me at the airport doing pushups in the terminal and someone said, “Don’t you wish we were all this disciplined with our Bible reading.”

On inviting Jesus into our hearts

Ben Myers Come into my heart, Lord Jesus; Origen and Augustine on the roomy heart

I suppose it’s good to learn that sort of thing when you’re still a child, before you get too disillusioned about the capacities of your own (or anybody else’s) heart. It never occurred to me to doubt that my heart was spacious enough to accommodate a person like Jesus, or that it was the kind of place a person like that would want to live…. Nor did it occur to me that he might want to buy the house (like so many people in my neighbourhood in Sydney) only in order to demolish or renovate – that he might show up on the first day with trucks, sledgehammers, men in hardhats; that he might be the kind of homeowner who tears out the kitchen sink and knocks down walls.

On writing

Jack Shepherd 30 indispensable writing tips from famous authors

ImageOn leadership

The moonbat The alienating myth of leadership

On work

Sarah Burnside The indignity of work

On gonski funding

Yes, I’m self-interested in posting these ones, but the announcement made me really angry. You’re not doing today’s school kids any favours if you fund their schooling at the expense of their tertiary education.

Andrew Norton Should universities suffer to pay for school funding?

Richard Hill The case for academic disobedience

On gendered products

The Hoopla The women’s shampoo ad effect

and here’s Barbie without make-up:

On photography

Alison Zavos Flesh Love: photographs of vacuum-packed Tokyo couples by Haruhiko Kawaguchi.



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