Friday, October 30, 2009

Pragmatism fails in practice

Or so my good friend Craig thinks. I've always felt the tension between God choosing the weak and shameful of this world to accomplish his purpose against the desire to choose or look up to those who seem like natural leaders.

Anyway, check it out. He didn't actually give an example of where pragmatism might fail, or where he has seen it fail, but I asked him to so hopefully he will.

You can find his blog post here.

It might also be worth noting that Craig has worked and currently works in some of Sydney's biggest evangelical churches. He is not a disaffected cynic working in a church of 15 trying to find excuses for his church declining in numbers.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Better Possession

My good friend Craig has just started a blog, A Better Possession.

Craig is an assistant minister out at Glenmore Park Anglican, and is a really thoughful guy, and reads lots on theology, ministry and leadership. I'm looking forward to hearing what he has to say, and you should too.

Go check it out and say hello.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Should Elton John adopt?

After a recent post where I questioned the idea of allowing gay adoption (not coming to any conclusions, of course), what do people think of Elton John wanting to adopt Lev, an orphan from the Ukraine?

Now I don't know the particular circumstances of Lev, nor the living conditions of the orphanage, but he lives in an orphanage where many of the parents have died of HIV and I'm imagining the living conditions aren't that crash hot. Would it be better for Lev to remain the orphanage, or adopted by Elton and David where his standard of living (education, health etc etc.) would be much better?

Now, I know there are so many particulars and variables for us to answer that question adequately, so my question is basically this: Both poverty and homosexuality are against the created order. Which is worse for a child to be raised in?

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Miniature Earth

Great vid to help put things into perspective.

Moore College peeps, don't ever refer to yourself as a poor student again. You're not.

Also, in light of this vid and our greedy culture, read this article on parents spending uber amounts of money on prams "for their children". In the word's of Homer; "It's funny cos it's true"

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Why Gen-Y Can't Read Non-Verbal Clues

An intersting article on the effects the new digital media may be having on us, especially young people. The article notes how one of the biggest issues in cross-cultural communication is not language, but understanding the subtleties and nuances of gestures and so forth. The next generation may be faced with similar struggles immigrants have, but in their own country.

Anyway, this was the quote that I best identified with;

With a device close by, attendees at workplace meetings simply cannot keep their focus on the speaker. It's too easy to check email, stock quotes and Facebook. While a quick log-on may seem, to the user, a harmless break, others in the room receive it as a silent dismissal. It announces: "I'm not interested."

I do this all the time. I have an incredibly short attention span and my mind wanders, and subsequently I've become a terrible listener. Not the best character trait for a pastor in training!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What's the difference?

The front of the SMH ran this tragic story of a lawyer who jumped from a 17 story building to his death. This is tragic. But why do you think the story got front page, while the man who plunged to his death from the housing commission across the road from my home didn't rate a mention?

Why is it that the lawyer's death has more public interest than the man from Redfern?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Free DVD's

Decluttering is good, and so is giving stuff away. Some of this stuff is really great quality, and I may regret giving this away, but that's doesn't mean it's bad, right?

Here is the list, let me know in the comments section what you want. Write down what you want in order from 1 to 5 (you may get all of them, or I may give them to someone else if I feel you have too many good ones).

Radiohead: Homework (It's really crap)
Pixies: Sell out (It's really good)

Television Series - List which seasons you want
Scrubs, seasons 1 to 5
Curb your Enthusiasm, seasons 1 and 4
The Office, season 1
Arrested Development, season 2 and 3
Family Guy, Season 1 and 2

Movies (Don't judge me, they aren't all mine)
Shall we Dance?
The Incredibles
What Happens in Vegas
Dogtown and Z-Boys
Fast Food Nation
Bee Movie
Pretty Woman - 15th anniversary special edition, wow!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Forget New-Evangelicalism, become a Pentecostal

The two great, successful religions - I'm sorry to brand it in such market-driven terms - of the 20th century were Islam, which grew pretty astronomically from about 300 million to around about a billion. The other one which is arguably even more successful was Pentecostalism, which went from nobody in 1900 to close to 500 to 600 million by the end of the century.

Taken from an interview on Lateline.

I heard once that the pentecostal movement in South America is the largest social movement in the history of humankind.* What I've also noticed in my time in Redfern is that those on the poorer end of the spectrum tend to be attracted to a pentecostal-style service over our often rigid Anglican ones.

In my opinion more biblically minded persons need to leave evangelical institutions and join a pentecostal church and become people of influence there.

*Ahh blogs, where all unsubstantiated claims roam free

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Urban Servant

Sarah found this really cool blog today about a Mother who has 10 children: 3 of her own and 7 adopted.

The blog is called Urban Servant and is written by a women named Dorothy. This is her blurb thing:

I am a 40 year old, homeschooling mom to 10 wonderful kids. I currently have the amazing opportunity to live in the inner-city experiencing what it means to be part of the urban life scape. I advocate for the elderly, the poor and the illiterate as they wade through our confusing American lives. And I LOVE working with the local police precinct as we search out new ways to build healthy community and reduce crime. Doing all of this in Jesus name - with no strings attached for those we serve, but He's the reason we live the way we do.

Sometimes Sarah and I think it's all a bit too much with 2 kids. We need to read more stuff like this. I'd like to think one day we'll have adopted or fostered children together. Check it out and be inspired.

Edit: I should add she has a husband

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Never trust a man in a blue trench coat, never drive a car when you're dead

This was the theme song for Nick and I during our exams.

But if you wanna catch another great Tom Waits song, check out this one. Watch it too if you wanna learn how to preach better

They're both from the live album and video "Big Time". If you can find the video, I'll pay big bucks for it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Luther quotes are brilliant

Great for remembering in exams, just cos they're so outrageous.

"Since God once spoke through an ass, why should He not come in our day and speak through a man of faith and even contradict the Pope?"

More of this gold and the exam will be a walk in the park. I have to say that because of this he makes for far more interesting than Calvin

Sorry for the delay in posting. I've had nothing to say for a while, and have been uber busy with kids, youth and study.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Making the switch to Wordpress

I'm in the process of it, anyway.

For two reasons:

1) formatting posts is horrendous. Blogger isn't user friendly at all, and I run into all kinds of trouble every time I try and quote or do a bit of editing. Immensely annoying

2) There are about 50 people with a blog that looks exactly the same as mine.

This is how it looks so far. It's very much in the early stages. In fact the only thing I've added is the photo of the buildings across the street from my house.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Be honest

When you're reading a book on theology and you come across an indented quote of scripture, do you more often than not skip over the passage or skim read it with the intention of getting to the "better bits" faster? I noticed myself doing it a lot today, especially if it is quoting a Psalm. I also do it when I come across an indented hymn, poem or famous prayer.

Is it just me?

I'm hoping it is and it isn't...

An Evangelical for Gay marriage

Not me, this time. I've linked to this article before (and I think I had the same post title), but after a discussion I had today with some friends they wanted me to link it again so they could have a read.

It's a good article, and she argues that the political strategy of the US Christian right in the 70's and 80's had worked against what we actually want to be achieving, primarily the freedom of religion in society under the banner of civil liberties. If we don't do this, she argues, when we lose the debate over gay marriage and abortion Christians will end up being forced by governments to acquiesce into their way of thinking and marry homosexuals. She argues that we need to sit at the table with Gay lobbyists and say "You can have gay marriage, but you need to respect our right to exclude it from our churches".

I don't agree with her final conclusions, and when she deals with the biblical texts does not address that we live in a democracy. The New Testament writers were not dealing with this, and so our application of these verses might need a little more thinking through rather than simply remaining passive and prayerful citizens.

But nevertheless, it's well worth the read and I think we need to recognise we can't campaign politically with "The Bible says" anymore. We need to focus on what is in the best interests of all of society. The question now becomes, I think, whether or not a government instituting gay marriage is in the best interests of all of society. If it isn't, then we need to work out how to convince society of this, leaving Leviticus out of it.

Anyway, check it out for yourself. She raises some really good points.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Feminist rethinks her attitude to women and children

Research done in America as part of the college's Families, Children and Child Care study of 1200 children claims to show that the more time young children spend in care in their early years, the more aggressive and disobedient they will be by the time they reach primary school.

A feminist changes her tune on women in the workplace.

h/t Craig

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Big Picture

I haven't blogged in a few days, so I thought I would do the proverbial "I've got nothing to write so I'll link" post.

Pictures can speak louder than words, and a confronting or beautiful image can draw you to a story much faster than a catchy headline. This blog, The Big Picture, is the news in pictures. Check it out, subscribe and enjoy. It'll take 6.4 seconds out of your day.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Pulpiteering with Integrity

Imagine you are doing a sermon that calls for you to be devoted to pray or evangelise, but you neither are devoted to prayer or evangelising. You are committed to the truth of these things, but the reality is that when it comes to doing these things, you are not much different to an unbeliever. It seems to me that you can do one of three things;

1) Preach it and acknowledge that you are a hypocrite, unfaithful in this area

2) Don't preach it until you are faithfully doing it yourself

3) Preach it as though it was just God preaching to the hearers, and you are just another hearer

To me number 3) is not a good option.

Any thoughts?

Starting to get nervous...

I'm preaching this Sunday and I haven't really started writing my sermon yet. Normally I've begun writing 2 weeks in advance, but things have been a bit hectic lately. I figure it's good practice for parish ministry, as it is likely I will only have a couple of days each week to write my sermon anyway.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I nearly got in a fight with a 12 year old last night - Part 2

So it happened again, but was a lot worse tonight. I really don't know what to do.

The same boy turned up to youth, to ask if he could come tonight. When I explained to him that couldn't, for the obvious reasons of course, he got really angry and began pushing me. Pushing me hard, my back's a little sore. After I wasn't retaliating he started spitting in my face. Boy that's fun, I can tell ya (sad thing is it's happened before from other kids). Spitting in my face, and pushing me, and I just gotta stand there and take it.

What do I do? Seriously, I've got no idea. Next Monday he's probably gonna rock up to Oz tag, and if he does it again (or worse) I have no idea how to handle the situation other than make sure I don't touch him. I do have a few ideas, just not really sure if they'll work.

The other thing that I can't work out in this situation, is how do I show him the grace and love of Jesus but at the same time communicate that what he is doing is just not on.

Meh. Please pray for this kid. I love these guys, and I love this area, and if it was God's plan for me to stay here and tell these kids about Jesus for the rest of my life I'd be rejoicing. But I'm really at a loss and it's quite hard. Youth group was terrible tonight, so bad that we've called it off for next week. We didn't even get to reading our Bibles.

I'm glad Jesus loves these kids. Even though it's been a bit hard lately I know they know that and I know they know it from hearing it from the Bible over the past couple of years. God's word will achieve what it wants, and maybe 30 years down the track while sitting in prison it'll click for them. Hopefully sooner.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I bought a new book today

It's called the Bible. Seemed as good a book as any to me.

Steve Gardner is blogging

That's right folks, the wait is over, head on over and check him out!

I nearly got in a fight with a 12 year old last night

I didn't really, but this boy wanted to fight me. I'm talking about the boy I mentioned here, who I'm not letting come back to youth group for a while. Oz tag went really well yesterday We had about 12 locals showing up to play, and one boy I hadn't met before. As the numbers grow you have to step up with the behaviour management. I had to send people off for racist remarks or physical threats, but the vibe was pretty good and the relationships are growing.

Anyway, as I was walking a couple of the kids home, said boy comes running up with his friends behind him threatening to punch one of the boys I was with. I had to step in between them for my friends safety, and suddenly he turns to me and we had one of those "eye to eye, stand real close to each other" moments, and not the romantic kind. It was all a bit surreal. There I am, face to face with this kid in this back street in Redfern at night, while he makes racial slurs at me, calling me white boy, and urging me to go home to my own country (insert many 'f' words in between), cars are having to slow down as they come by because there's all these kids on the street, some are jumping up and down yelling "punch him! punch him!", someone is throwing around this bag of mince meat (don't ask), and I'm standing there with my phone in hand ready to call the police as I tell him he doesn't want to get in any more trouble, all the time in bewilderment thinking "This kid is in year 7?!". It settled down after a while, and obviously he wasn't going to do anything, so he muttered a few abusive words and walked home.

But it is so bizarre, what were you doing in year 7? Did you have a curfew with the police?

I just remembered this morning, when my wife and I first met this boy in scripture when he was in year 4, he threatened to punch her in the face. He was also really inquisitive about God and asking really good questions. The other sad thing is he was one of the smartest kids in his grade, getting into the 'Opportunity Class'. It's real sad.

So he won't be coming back to Oz Tag for a while now, it's just too dangerous for the other kids. Come to think of it, in the years to come as they get older it's going to become much more dangerous for me. The more and more I'm with these kids and I see them on their turf, I realise how much inner city work is cross-cultural mission. Firstly, these kids aren't growing up with any of the inherent Christian values that most in Austrlia do, and secondly, how much if these kids are going to take a stand for Jesus it's really going to cost them with their peers. I couldn't imagine how to cope with such peer pressure and violent surroundings.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Essay Tip

When your writing an essay on a subject such as, I dunno, Thomas Cromwell and the English Reformation, don't just grab as many books as you can and look up Thomas Cromwell in the index and write down a lot of quotes. You'll get to a day before the assignment is due and know a whole bunch of disconnected things about Thomas Cromwell and nothing about the English Reformation.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Soccer will overtake Aussie Rules in Indigenous Communities

Thompson, 61, a handyman at Borroloola School who played Australian football in his younger days in Tasmania, says soccer is a natural sport for Aborigines because they are so agile and swift..."I'll make a brave prediction …soccer will eventually overtake Aussie rules up here because it is a global game,"

Awesome! Check out this article about an indigenous community who have rejected that odd shaped ball for the perfectly round one, and are apparently pretty good at using it!

I have to admit that even though I like Rugby League, I'd love it if Soccer became Australia's national sport. As a country we're so good at sport, and if everyone was into it I think we'd really make it on the world scene.

Where The Wild Things Are

The most exciting thing about this movie for me is that it's directed by Spike Jonze:

I'll have to go and buy the picture book for Noah now, so we can look forward to watching it together. I think I'll really enjoy this film, the trailer makes me go all tingly. The soundtrack sounds like it's going to be killer!

For more info on the book Where The Wild Things Are, check here, it's an American classic.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

We should ditch Bible readings in Church

And replace them with Bible Hearings. It's the same thing essentially, just a different title. But I think the title says a lot. In our church service we always see ourselves as doing things, and it would be far more helpful if when the Bible was read we realised we are actually hearing the words of God being spoken to us then and there. We are the recipients of the word. We don't do anything to it, it is revealed to us.

It's not my idea, but a good friend of mine did it at his church. It was actually the first decision he made as a Pastor there. It apparently upset some people, but I think it's a really good idea.

NRL still has a long way to go

It was hard to try and read this seriously, this league player trying to defend his right for group sex:

How can he (David Gallop) tell us what we can do in our private lives? What if there's more women than guys, is that wrong, too?


"I do see what they're saying about risk; you just never know how a girl's going to react afterwards. You're not supposed to say it publicly, but everyone knows that if you're polite afterwards and pay her cab fare home you usually don't have any problems."

Form an orderly queue, ladies!

A long long way to go...

The rest of the article is here

Monday, May 11, 2009

"Cancer a gift" says Piper. If so, then what isn't?

In order to uphold the doctrine of God's sovereignty, Piper asks that we do not waste our cancer and see it as designed by God, and as a gift from God. It is a good thing to uphold God's sovereignty, and I do believe that God is in control of all that happens to us, both good and bad. But is it a mistake to call it a gift?

Cancer is wretched. It may result in fruit, but in itself it is not a good thing. Cancer is not what God intends for the body in the created order is it? It just doesn't seem right to therefore call it a gift

I find it hard to get past the logic of Piper, as well as the use of biblical texts I might add. But if cancer is a gift, what isn't? By calling cancer a gift because it was designed and given by God, we therefore call every single thing that happens in our entire lives whether good or bad a gift from God. Therefore everything is a gift, and nothing is not a gift. This does not seem right. Or have I missed something?

This post got me thinking about the issue, over at F&T.

NRL Sex Scandals on Four Corners Tonight

"Are there mothers around the country today looking at rugby league and saying, 'Do I want my son involved in this game, are these attitudes prevalent today, has it changed, are the NRL doing anything to wipe out these attitudes in the sport?' and that is really the question we have to answer."
Ferguson also questioned why the earlier Cronulla incident did not attract much publicity or action. "I think we all agree that is quite extraordinary in this case that such an event somehow managed to evade discussion at the time." From SMH

I had never much cared for the NRL until I moved to Redfern, and since then it always saddens me when I hear of stupidity and moral looseness of certain players which brings the game into disrepute. This quote is by Sarah Ferguson, a reporter for Four Corners, which is airing a story that will look at what they are calling the "Code of Silence" and the pack mentality that appears to be flourishing in the NRL. Should be an interesting watch.

What's the solution? Some clubs are thinking of banning the players from drinking, others are running education programs. I think they are only band aid solution to a deeper problem, which is moral. If this type of behaviour is to end, it will come about through repentance and a desire to seek good. Hopefully this will be from a recognition that Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Ricky Gervais on becoming an Athiest

Gervais became an atheist at the age of eight when Bob, his older brother by 11 years, asked him why he believed in God. "My mother went 'Bob!' and that was it. I knew she was hiding something and he was telling the truth. My tool to understanding throughout my life has been non-verbal communication, observing the minutia of human behaviour. It's in my acting and my writing and that was where it began."

His mum's word vs my mum's, I guess.

From the SMH

Friday, May 8, 2009

Apologies in advance

to whoever sits near me in our Greek exam today. This river of booger isn't drying up for a few days.

It's always a tough decision whether I should go for the big blows and have a period of clean, booger free breathing, or sit there continuously wiping my nose throughout the exam. It's hard to tell which is more annoying for those around me.

In praise of Andrew Katay, If I ever ran Moore College I'd make sure there was a booger room for exams, where you could blow, sniff and wipe conscience cleared.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sorry, you can't come to youth group...

About 6 months ago I suspended two guys from youth group for punching up one of the littler boys, in a completely unprovoked situation. Since then they hadn't been speaking to me as I saw them around the traps. They would literally ignore me if I approached them. Well they came to OZ tag yesterday which was awesome, and we all had a lot of fun, and hopefully the relationship between us will become much more positive as it used to be.

I'm not sure what to do if they want to come back to youth group though. One of them can be fairly disruptive and I fear he may make youth an unsafe place. Even though he is in yr 7, I've heard he has started "rolling" (mugging) people, and his Mum told me she had previously called the police because he was hitting her. This was the same boy who once said Jesus was more important to him than footy.

It's a strange position to be in, not allowing a child to come to a place where he'll hear about Jesus. Kinda sucks.

Monday, May 4, 2009

So we're thinking of buying a dog

Not now of course, as Amelie is still mental (she really is mental, I just can't stress the mental factor enough) and our landlords may say no. But if we get one, I would want one of these;
or, perhaps more sensibly, one of these;

But I'm just not sure if I can bring myself to own a breed with such a dorky name

Pumpkin Soup!

The Apostle Paul would rejoice at Mars Hill in Australia

The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. (Phi 1:17-18 NIV)

I don't think Driscoll has the wrong motives of course. I mean he might. But do you get my point? Paul is in prison, and people are preaching the gospel to cause him further anguish, yet his biggest concern and joy is that the gospel is being preached!

So lets critique and think all this Driscoll stuff through. It's dangerous if we don't. But I think before we criticise Driscoll about his methods or the effectiveness of Mars Hill in Australia, first and foremost we ought to be very glad and celebrate because the gospel is advancing through the preaching of Christ. I think we (and I'm guilty of this) have a tendency to go straight to what we think is wrong with everything, which sometimes causes us to miss the point.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Wright on a tight budget and schedule

I'm not convinced by New Perspectives, but I do find NT Wright on it convincing, and definitely think he is important to read. This is especially the case if we are going to say we have an opinion on the issue. However, like me you may not have the time to read one of his books at the moment, so if you have a spare 15 minutes you may like to start here. It's a short piece written by the man himself, outlining his view on the Righteousness of God, Final judgement according to works, and justification.

Hope you find it helpful

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Chaser Arrested Again

This time for flying over the Vatican, which is a no-fly zone. As much as I love watching, and appreciate The Chaser, this time I hope they get charged for it. Well, I hope they get charged for it in the sense that I hope they don't get away with it simply because they are cheeky celebrities and everybody likes them. The law is the law.

Read more here

Friday, May 1, 2009

Our house looks like a bomb has hit it

It is getting worse and worse. Washing is lying everywhere, my desk and the table is just getting stacked higher and higher with all kinds of junk, and don't even get me started on the washing up. It's all part of the fun of having children.

Here's the kicker, now that BOTH children have gone to sleep, Sarah and I have a little time to ourselves. Do we spend that time cleaning up, or do we do something we both enjoy and relax (in my case, my doctrine readings)? What would you do?

Sars and I have opted for relaxing. She's gardening, I'm doing this and reading doctrine. The house is disgusting.

What ever happened to me?

When you get married, you realise how selfish and self-centered you are. Then you have a child, and that realisation increases tenfold. Then you have another...

I'm not sure how much more realisation I can deal with

Thursday, April 30, 2009

What Steve said...

In regard to my post below, I think Steve sums up my thoughts well;

What I have (and what I suspect you have) is a retrieval ethic that says "we want to minimise the damage sin and its consequences can do to people - particularly the innocent." That still doesn't mean you're "for" something.

Gay marriage and adoption aren't ideal, but in this sinful society, which is also democratic and pluralistic, ensuring justice for all is essential. I'm not sure how to do it, and I was just thinking it through and putting it out there for discussion. I hope I didn't put anyone off by my previous post, and I hope people have the grace to know they were just half-baked thoughts, not a position I'm going to die on.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

An Evangelical for Gay Adoption

It's me, i think. If there is surplus of children who are either orphaned or in abusive and unsafe situations, I would prefer them to be in the care of a loving gay couple than not.

If I had a choice between Noah and Amelie living on the streets or with 2 homosexual persons who would feed, clothe and ensure they get an education, I would choose the latter.

Why I try to write shorter blog posts

Basically because I don't think I'm worth taking more than a minute out of a persons day. If they are going to spend a decent amount of time reading something, it should probably be something worthy of publishing.

Of course, there are always exceptions...

Those guys are worth reading for longer than a minute. But generally, you should probably pick up a good book.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Green Bible reviewed

Ben's thoughts on The Green Bible. A bible which highlights all the passages which speak about God's concern for the environment. He is rightly skeptical. Two good quotes:

“The Green Bible presents us with a curious kind of natural theology: We start with things we know to be true from trusted sources – Al Gore, perhaps? – and then we turn to Scripture to measure it against those preexisting and reliable authorities. And what a relief to discover that God is green. Because we already know that it’s good to be green – what we didn’t know is whether God measures up to that standard.”

and (quite hilariously)

Perhaps (for a different niche market) we should also produce The Arsonist’s Bible, with verses highlighted orange wherever God burns, scorches, or blows shit up. “Because with 1134 references to fire and burning, and only 158 references to salvation, the Bible carries a powerful message for those who enjoy destroying things.”

The Pastor need only ONE ability

According to Paul in 1 Timothy 3, at least. I met with one of my old students I used to lead, who was considering coming to College in order to be a pastor. We sat down in a cafe and read 1 Timothy 3 together. The most interesting thing is, that in the whole list of things Paul gives as essential for being an overseer, "being able to teach" is the only required skill. Everything else is about maintaining godly character.

So my advice to this young upstart? Get to know Christ more and get all the experience you can in teaching the bible.

Is that too reductionistic?

Do you believe that Jesus makes a difference in the life of people today, and do you preach like it?

I haven't been. I've noticed in all the evangelistic youth talks I can remember giving of recent the primary focus of my talk has been eternity. Little or no emphasis on the benefits of receiving Christ in this life were touched on.

How ridiculous. The life of Christ has amazing consequences in this life, how could I possibly ignore such blessings?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A reason we might not be reaching the working class*

Based on what I've noticed areason seems to be because neither like displaying weakness and showing vulnerability, and most churchy things involve that. Think about it; going for coffee, after church staying around and having a 'chat', one on one evangelism, singing, etc etc. These are very middle class things to do that require a certain 'knowledge' of how to behave acceptably in these situations. If you don't know how to behave, it is awkward, and feeling awkward in public is a sign of weakness. Why would you want to go to a place where you are going to feel like that?

If we want to be loving to those different to us, we need to go to their turf with the gospel. Can the trivia and movie nights, and go to the pub and watch the footy and see what happens from there.

Some of this is probably the same for men as well, no matter what their socio-economic status may be. Men don't like feeling weak, and often the akwardness that comes from a one on one conversation can bring that. Don't get me wrong, i think they need it, but we can't force it on them. First things first.

PS. These are just my thoughts, I could be very wrong. But something seems to be amiss, why are our churches so middle class?

*For lack of a better word. I don't know if 'working class' is a good description these days.

2 Player Settlers

Tired of trying to find that 3rd or 4th person so you can play a game of Catan? Sick of getting out the Chess board with your spouse because there are no decent 2 player board games? I bet you are. Then check out these 2 player Catan rules.

I just know you're all as excited as I am to find these.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Jaywalking Power Plays

Some people seek to show their power over others by making it big in the corporate world, others in politics, and some even in churches and community groups. In Redfern, people seeking power plays dordle across the street. It's both interesting and frustrating at the same time. Someone will be walking across the street, see a car, and slow down in order to make the car slow down. This is either followed with some form of gesture to tell the approaching car to "just wait a little" or some profanities.

The more I think about it the more it seems to be power plays by people who don't have the money or social status to have exert power over others...well at least others who have the money to afford cars. I'm not having a crack at the poor, nor saying it's only poor people who do it. If what I'm sayin is true it's quite understandable in one sense. People who feel trodden on will try and tread on others. It's just that I notice it Redfern a lot, and I'm trying to work out why it happens so much here and not as much in other places I've lived.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Could this be why blogging is viewed as a nasty affair?

Over at Giraffe Pen one commenter wrote;

I don't come here to attack you. Like I said before, I read everything you write. I only comment when I disagree or need some clarification because I like to discuss things. Simply saying, "I agree" doesn't create a discussion, and thus, it doesn't really interest me. I know that's an odd personality trait but it is what it is.

There is nothing wrong with disagreement and discussion of course, but I think blogs could do with some more hearty "amen!"'s and affirmation. Especially Christian ones. I think some of us may feel commenting is worthwhile only if we can critique or add some profound intellectual statement, or that blogs are only intended for the purpose of discussion. I don't see why this has to be the case.

More Amen's, please!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Recession linked to child abuse

An article in the SMH claiming a link between the economic crisis and child abuse.

That sucks.

I think we need to be careful as Christians if we are going to say that the recession is a good thing because of reasons such as people coming back to church etc. It might lead to some positive outcomes or cause us to do some thinking over poor decisions, but it is not inherently a good thing.

Is that the same with all suffering? I think so. Suffering isn't good in itself, but it may lead to good. In fact for the Christian we are promised it will lead to good (1 Peter 1:6,7).

Thursday, April 16, 2009

TV Host Fail

This video had me in stitches. If you haven't subscribed to FAIL Blog, I highly recomend it. They have new pictures and vids up daily, and it takes about 3 seconds out of your day to watch, but can sometimes give you laughs a plenty.

Anyway, enjoy the vid.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The absurdity of using historical method to validate my faith

A sermon by Kim Fabricius on the the resurrection and the problem of using historical method to determine its validity. A good quote:

As sure as (Easter!) eggs is eggs, the resurrection happened, but that it happened is disclosed – Jesus makes his presence known – and it can be known only in faith, which does not answer to historical method but is a gift of the Holy Spirit.

I need to hear these words because so often when I'm going through a phase of doubt, I resort to the historical arguments put forth by people like Strobel and McDowell to confirm in my heart that my faith is valid. It seems a stupid thing to do, because although my faith is grounded in the resurrection, it is not grounded in the work of historians.

When you're going through a periods of doubt (I'm assuming we all do...right?), how does your mind work to make you feel better about your belief in some peasant dying on a cross in a small middle eastern town 2000 years ago? Do you resort to Reason?

Friday, April 10, 2009

"Lest the Cross be emptied of its power"

Chris Swann writes an excellent and biblical piece on ensuring there is good emphasis on rhetoric and imagination in our proclamation of Christ, and attemps to dispel the fallacy that truth is to be preached plainly (I've interpreted this to mean boringly) My favourite quote:

Plain style is still a style

Check it out.

Athiests can sometimes preach better than Christians

If you ignore the platonic dualism present in his thinking, there's some good stuff for here for Christians. In fact it was these words by an athiest that spurred CT Studd to an all out commitment to Christ:

"If I firmly believed, as millions say they do, that the knowledge and practice of religion in this life influences destiny in another, then religion would mean everything to me. I would cast away earthly enjoyments as dross, earthly cares as follies, and earthly thoughts and feelings as vanity. Religion would be my first waking thought, and my last image before sleep sank me into unconsciousness. I should labor in its cause alone. I would take thought for the morrow of eternity alone. I would esteem one soul gained for heaven worth a life of suffering. Earthly consequences would never stay my hand, or seal my lips. Earth, its joys and griefs, would occupy no moment of my thoughts. I would strive to look upon eternity alone, and on the immortal souls around me, soon to be everlastingly happy or everlastingly miserable. I would go forth to the world and preach to it in season and out of season, and my text would be, "what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?"

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Do Christians really grasp the concept of hell?

I imagine for Christians the worst fate for anyone would be hell. But do we really behave as though our family and friends were about to have the worst fate imaginable befall them? How could we possibly sleep at night?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ditch the Hummer, here comes the PUMA

Awesome. Not very practical if you have a wife and two kids. But awesome nonetheless.

And it's not a bunch of university students experimenting, but an actual product from General Motors. The market is preparing for the arrival of Peak Oil, perhaps.

Taken from SMH

Should we stress the importance of an anti-works doctrine in evangelism?

While on mission preaching and speaking in conversation the gospel I noticed myself always focusing on the doctrine of justification by faith as antithesis to a doctrine of works. I always stress "It's about your faith, not your works" (in light of the cross, of course), but I wonder if I am simply answering 16th century questions, not 21st century.

Don't get me wrong, I uphold justification by faith and will preach it, but I wonder if by continually stressing the mantra "it doesn't matter how hard you try to do good, it's not good enough for God", I'm answering questions 21st century non-believers aren't even asking?

Maybe I'm wrong, perhaps you can only preach justification by faith by stressing that your works don't cut it. Paul did it, but wasn't he primarily answering a specific form of Judaism?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

This Jar of Clay

This is the link to my first guest blogger, Nathan Lowery.

Always logout of google reader...

The previous post is from Nathan Lowery, which is meant to be for his blog. I jumped on his computer and signed into google reader, and didn't logout. He didn't know this, and wrote a post for my blog instead. I think I'll leave it.

On the positive side I now know Nathan Lowery has a blog

Reflection on Mission

Ok, so I've been hanging out on mission all of last week then all of a sudden its over and I've got all these thoughts & ideas running round in my head. This year was my second MTC mission and I'd be happy to say that it was the better of the 2 that I've been on. This is why:

Partnership with the church:
This year we had 2 members of the local church give up holidays and get involved with our ministry to the local community as well as a few who did things every now and then - for me, this was a great encouragement as it really felt like we were partnering with the church.

Pushed me out of my comfort zone:
last year was fairly easy - i did a lot of school scripture and the only 'difficult' thing for me to do was a short talk at the local skate park. This year i knocked on doors of complete strangers & had people reject the Gospel in not uncertain terms.

Organising Kids group:
By complete accident i volunteered to look after organising the Thursday arvo kids club. I dont think I'm gifted and certainly dont feel keen on kids ministry, yet things came together really well and the leader of the kids club thought we had done pretty well!

I cant wait to see how i will be challenged next year on MTC mission #3!

Rethinking Apologetics

From today's SMH, thanks to Gordo, who got it from Lucy;

MORE than four in 10 Australians who do not consider themselves "born again"' still believe Jesus rose from the dead, while one in 10 does not believe he existed.

We really need to get out of this mindset that if we can just convince people of Jesus resurrection, they will see that he is God and become a Christian. Even though it might be logical, it's silly to think so. People aren't reasoned into a relationship with God. Any apologetics we do must not be done in a way"convince" people to the faith, but rather our defense is more of an invitation to come partake in the true bread of life.

Monday, April 6, 2009

My brush with fame today

While playing Oz tag with the youth group boys down at Redfern oval today, a man was watching us play and then asked me over for a word or two. He asked me who we were, where we lived and that he liked what we were doing, and he told me that we would have to register with the Rabbitohs if we were to use this oval each week. I subsequently introduced him to the guys as someone who "works for the Rabbitohs", and then realised I hadn't got his name so I asked. "Peter, Peter Holmes-a-Court "...."Oh" I said rather embarrassed, "boys, this guy owns the Rabbitohs". He then played with us for a while and at the end gave us a little speech, and introduced me to some other guy from the Rabbitohs. He said he wanted us to register because he thought we were on to a good thing and would like to see it continue.

I felt pretty chuffed. That was my brush with fame for the day.

Exams vs Assignments

As I sit here trying to digest all this verbal aspect nonsense for my exam coming up, I realise how much I prefer assignments over exams. The problem with exams, I find, is that you spend so much time memorising content that does not require memorisation. Con's book will be great to reference as I exegete passages in the future, and I can always have it nearby for such purposes. So why spend all this time memorising it other than to pass an exam? I'm still not sure

What about you, do you prefer exams or assignments?

Is doorknocking culturally insensitive?

When I was in the Middle East missionaries were culturally sensitive in order not to put up barriers for gospel work. Women would wear the burka, men would wear long pants, they would not shake hands with their left hand, and married couples would refrain from public displays of affection such as hugging and kissing. The missionaries may not have agreed with all these cultural practices, but why would they offend on such matters, when it should be the gospel that offends?

I think here in Australia we ought to ask whether door-knocking is culturally insensitive and therefore question its validity in mission. The primary reason is that for many Australians their privacy is their God. People have fences and like security apartments for a reason - they don't want to be bothered. People make fun of Jehova's Witness and Mormons for a reason, do we want to be made fun of for that reason as well?

My observation is that this is mainly the case with middle class Australians. When I was door-knocking in Merrylands those most receptive to door-knocking were those living in housing commision, and immigrants. For the immigrants I was able to be of service because the church ran ESL classes, of which they were very thankful. I think we can tap into this some more.

Anyway, This post is long enough as it is. I'm not against doorknocking, I'm actually going to do it soon in Redfern. It's just some thoughts I had on mission after we woke a sleeping mother and embarassed a man coming to the door in his pj's. Both weren't happy about it, and neither was I.

When God swore...

My Queenslandian friend Dannii has started a blog, you should check it out. MTC 2nd year students may find it interesting because he is focusing on covenants in the Old Testament and their place in the meta-narrative of the bible.

Friday, April 3, 2009

What to do with all this money?

Does anyone feel they have any extra responsibility with the money they are receiving from the government? You know, like you owe Rudd or something...

I wonder if it would be unethical or irresponsible to give some of that money to an orphanage overseas.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Epistemic Humility

If you can't imagine how anyone could hold the view you are attacking, you just don't understand it yet.
Anthony Weston, A Rulebook for Argument

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Melbourne and Sydney, a bit like England and the USA

SamR made some points about what he noticed about Melbourne and why he thinks it's a pretty cool place. I went to Melbourne once, and these are the four things I remember:

1) A dirty river
2) A homeless guy asking me for money, and when offering to take him for a meal at Burger King, him replying "Can we go somewhere a bit healthier?"
3) A 12,000 dollar handbag in a window
4) Sitting on the steps of Rod Laver arena consoling myself after Radiohead had just cancelled their concert there that night, the reason for which I came to Melbourne

So I didn't like it, but I think my decision was entirely influenced by point 4, and I was only there 2 nights so it's not much of a judgement. But what do I think of Melbourne, especially in comparison to Sydney? Is it better? To me the decision is a bit like choosing to travel to England or the USA. If you want big, flashy, and pretty, come to Sydney. It looks good, and has the "wow" factor, but if you go any deeper than the bright lights all you'll find are poker machines, awful public transport and too much cluster. If you prefer a little more culture and sophistication, you'll want to go to Melbourne to enjoy the Cafes, art and architecture, the great live music scene, and as Sam says, the less "booby" fashion.

Is my diagnosis correct?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Schisms: Why didn't we go to Lambeth?

It's a genuine question. Is there a statement where I can find this out? The reason I ask is because I'm reading Oliver O'Donovan's Church In Crisis: The Gay Controversy and The Anglican Communion, and he is clearly in favour of a conciliar approach to the current crisis over encouraging a split. He closes a chapter with this;

Schisms may come, but woe to that church through whom they come! There is no right, or duty, of schism. As unity is given to the church as a gift, so it is taken away as a judgement. But on no account can disunity be a course of action that the church may embrace in pursuit of its mission or identity. The only justified breach is the one we have taken every possible step to avert, the one that lies on the far side of every conciliar process that can be devised.

O'Donovan is evangelical, and he's well respected by a lot of Moore students and lecturers. I always assumed it was a Evangelicals v Liberals, good guys vs the the bad thing, but turns out it isn't.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I Will

Hauntingly beautiful...

Listen to the lyrics. It's about the gulf war I think, a Mother's anguish over a lost child

Monday, March 16, 2009

Why I don’t believe in mission strategy

Mission can’t be planned beyond the next step because people are unpredictable. We don’t know who will respond or how. In many industries you can match inputs and outputs. But in Christian ministry there’s never a neat correlation between inputs and outputs. You can’t say, ‘If I do these Bible studies with these people then I can guarantee that this is what they’ll be like at the end.’ Mission can’t be planned beyond the next step because people are unpredictable.

And mission can’t be planned beyond the next step because God is sovereign. It’s God who opens hearts to the gospel. We can’t know or predict ahead of time who will become Christians. It’s God’s work to grant faith and repentance. And often he surprises us.

A gret reminder for all servants of the gospel by Tim Chester. Read the entire blog post in full. It's the first in a series on mission planning. Great title.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Did you know that Missy Higgins has a bum chin?

You probably didn't. But then again, your new-born daughter probably wasn't born on Thursday with a dimple on her chin, so you'd most likely find it boring. Not me. The ol' cleft chin has kept me busy with interest on the web for hours...

I'm quite fond of it.

You also may not have known that it is hereditary, or that it is an inherited trait in humans, where the dominant gene causes the cleft chin while the recessive genotype presents without a cleft. (taken from wiki)

I bet you also didn't know that in Egypt it is called the "Impress of Charm"

Now, back to writing that CCDP report due several hours ago...

A Conservative Christian Case for Civil Same-Sex Marriage

Abraham Piper linked me to Misty Irons, and I found this article by her, A Conservative Christian Case for Civil Same-Sex Marriage saying things I've wanted to articulate before. Not that I agree with her position and it seems she uses some caricatures for her arguments, but she raises some really good points worth thinking about.

Concerning the political strategy, she writes:
The problem is, our political aim was not simply to protect the rights of Christians. It was to enact moral change in society that would affect everyone regardless of whether they agreed with our views. We have sought to push a moral agenda instead of lobbying for civil liberties as we should have. If we had focused on civil liberties, we would have made progress in securing the rights we wanted for ourselves, and made a valuable contribution to securing the rights of our fellow Americans in the process. We could have still taken on abortion and concentrated primarily on defending the rights of the unborn child...

Anyway, read the article. Let me know your thoughts if you have any.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Couch Surfing for the gospel

Have you heard of couch surfing? Their motto is Participate in Creating a Better World, One Couch At A Time. It's basically a network of travellers from all over the world of people who are willing to offer a couch or bedroom for free to anyone passing through or visiting that area. So for example say you wanted to go to New York but couldn't afford the accomodation? You would just go to the website and see if there is anyone who is willing to let you sleep on their couch for a few days, or even longer.

I found out about it because my good friends Josh and Nay are doing it. They don't travel, but they open up their home to let travellers use their spare room. Through doing this they've been able to demonstrate Christlike hospitality and it has led to loads of gospel opportunities.

For Nay and Josh it's all about preparing for the future, as they plan to be missionaries in India to the myriad of travellers searching for 'sprituality' in their lives (Why India? Simple: The Beatles). They intend to be opening up their home for the rest of their lives for the sake of the gospel

What about you? Would you open up your house for travellers? how are you opening up your house for the gospel?

I know their example has put me to shame...

Amelie Grace

and her big bro!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Turns out a woman is writing my blog

We guess is written by a woman (51%), however it's quite gender neutral.

It's time to for me to man up obviously. Anyone want to grab a beer over the footy this week?

Check out here to see what gender your blog is

h/t Vanishing point

Monday, March 9, 2009

Church Music that glorifies God

According to CS Lewis;
There are two musical situations on which I think we can be confident that a blessing rests. One is where a priest or an organist, himself a man of trained and delicate taste, humbly and charitable sacrifices his own (aesthetically right) desires and gives the people humbler and coarser fare than we would wish, in a belief (even, as it may be, the erroneous belief) that he can thus bring them to God. The other where the stupid and unmusical layman humbly and patiently, and above all silently, listens to music which he cannot, or cannot fully, appreciate, in the belief that it somehow glorifies God, and that if it does not edify him this must be his own defect. Neither such a High Brow nor such a Low Brow can be far out of the way. To both, Church Music will have been a means of grace; not the music they have liked, but the music they have disliked.
Christian Reflections, pg 96-97

Lewis then goes on to point out the opposite situation results in pride, contempt and resentful hostility. A lot of churches have musical problems, and while I don't want to downplay the importance of a good music ministry, Lewis is helpful here in pointing out that the problem is not always a musical one. His situation is not completely analogous to today's, but so often our attitudes can be similar when we feel music is not done to our own personal taste or professionalism. I know I have been incredibly guilty of such a sin.

Microsoft Word

My Microsoft Word 2000 is frustrating me, it seems it is outdated. Should I update and get volume 9, or is there a cheaper or better option?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Revelation is salvation, it does not merely contain salvation

The authority of Scripture is its Spirit-bestowed capacity to quicken the church to truthful speech and righteous action. Confession of Scripture's authority is avowal by the hearing church of that which the Spirit undertakes through Scripture's service of the Word, and its proper context is therefore soteriological (italics mine). From this primary definition flow all other aspects of Scripture's authority, such as its role in theological or moral argument, its place in proclamation, or its liturgical presence.
John Webster, Holy Scripture: A Dogmatic Sketch. pg 52

The prime argument of Webster's Holy Scipture is that the bible is a servant of the revelation of God. For Webster, he argues, revelation means God's reconciliation with his people, the establishment of fellowship. Therefore when we speak of a doctrine scripture, it is in fact a doctrine of salvation. This is a great truth to remember. I think we can often act as though the only place to speak of God's reconciliation with the world is in an evangelistic sermon or conversation, as though it is one part of many in the Bible. I hope that whenever I preach, argue, meditate on, listen or merely speak about God's word, it will always be clear it is in the context of the saving work of God. Though practically I'm not so sure how...

Edit: I originally had the title as "Scripture is salvation...", and then walked away realising that is not what Webster thinks. Scripture points to revelation, it is a servant of it, it is not salvation itself. Whoops...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Youth Ministry needs a fishing pool

Ever since leaving my job at the community centre and scripture in Redfern to go to bible college, getting kids to come to youth has been difficult. Through my previous connections I would meet families and get to know lots of youth in the community, and through this invite them along to youth. Unfortunately college has pulled me out of the community a little, and my fishing pools are no longer there. Youth ministry needs a fishing pool, a place where you can be active and present and let people know who you are.

Redfern needs this even more. Our youth group is unique in that 95 percent of the kids aren't in Christian homes, and don't go to church. Fortunately, Redfern is also unique in that on the whole kids are bored and have a lot of free time, so they are looking for things to do and will come along to almost anything. So with this in mind today we had our first day of Oz tag (without the tags) down at Redfern Park. It was great fun and on the first day we had one boy come along who I've never met before. He asked us what we were doing from his terrace balcony as we walked to the oval, and when we told him he replied "Cool, I'm coming". I'm hoping there will be more of this in the weeks to come so that more kids will come to youth and hear the gospel.

Youth ministry needs a fishing pool

Commenting on blogs

A close friend mentioned my name to one of his peers at college the other day, to which he replied "Wait, Geoff Chambers? Does he comment on a lot of blogs?"

My first thought was that I bet he thinks I'm a tool.

Would anyone else get a similar feeling, or is it just me?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Missional Imperatives

From Shane's blog, in the discussion section, Shane comments;
missional imperative is totally about what you wear, what you eat, whether you are circumcised or not, the length of your hair, how much or how little alcohol you drink- the way you run church.

Why is this so?

What do these things affect in regard to people hearing about Jesus and loving him more?

Is it a New Testament imperative?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

No Bible No Blogs

2008 was the worst year ever for my personal bible reading since becoming a Christian, and it was my first year at Bible College. However I don't think I've ever read so many blogs since becoming a Christian.

I'm going to try and put this motto into practise daily. If I haven't read the bible that day, what the hell am I doing reading blogs??

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Going to the source first

If a church or Christian organisation wants to provide a list of books or articles to inform people of a certain theological issue, do you think they have a responsibility to show books representing all sides of the argument, or just the ones they agree with?

E.g. Mars Hill website gave a list of what they called "helpful books on Justification", which contained many polemics against the New Perspectives position. However, they do not provide any material from Sanders, Wright or Dunn.

It seems to me that that list should have been titled "Helpful books on OUR view of justification", or something like that.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Danny Nalliah and the word of God

Personally, I think Danny Nalliah is an idiot. You can read the full article here, but here is the thrust of it:
The Pentecostal church's leader, Pastor Danny Nalliah, claimed he had a dream about raging fires on October 21 last year and that he woke with "a flash from the Spirit of God: that His conditional protection has been removed from the nation of Australia, in particular Victoria, for approving the slaughter of innocent children in the

Not only was his remark extremely insensitive, but what I found most disturbing was that Nalliah felt he had to tell people what he stated as "the truth". It seems dangerous for anyone to be labelling their visions/dreams/whatever it was as verifiable truth. The word of God is the truth people need to hear. Whether or not God uses natural disasters as a way of judging people is irrelevant, the dangerous thing is that Nalliah has perhaps unwittingly equated his message to Australia as the word of God.

Is that accusation going too far?

The status of children of believers

This is what Calvin says:

'...Solomon writes, "Blessed are the sons of the righteous after their fathers' death" (Prov. 20:7). This is not only because of their holy upbringing, which is surely of no little importance; but because of the blessing promised in the covenant, that God's grace shall everlastingly abide in the families of the pious'

I've found this reformed doctrine to be the one of the least well known in reformed church circles. Whenever it is brought up as a possibility, most people reply with some kind of indignant shock, and say (understandably) "But surely we are saved by faith only?". Others have replied with "The children aren't saved, but receive the blessings of the new covenant", to which they mean belonging to a Christian home where they are prayed for, have the bible read and so forth.

I find both replies less than satisfying, but I'm still not sure where I stand on the issue. I'm going to baptise my children. However my minister, who doesn't believe children are members of the covenant, always asks the parents publically at their child's baptism "So you don't believe in spiritual grandchildren, do you?" (expecting the answer to be "of course not").

Any thoughts? Recommended readings?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Free CD's

Sarah and I are doing a clean up and we have some CD's we want to throw out. But before they go out to the bin for pick up on Monday morning, I'll give you the list and if you want any let me know.

Triple J Hottest 100 vol 7
Ramones - All the stuff (and more)
Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique
The Saints - Know your product, the best of
Powderfinger - Odyssey Number 5
TOOL - Lateralus
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication
Eminem - Slim Shady LP
The pogues - Rum Sodomy & the Lash
Nirvana - Incesticide
At the Drive in - In Casino Out
The Avalanches - Since I left you
U2 - All that you can't leave behind
Dead Kennedys - FrankenChrist
U2 - How to dismantle an atomic Bomb
Beatles - Beatles for Sale
Dirty Three - Dirty Three
Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
Talking Heads - Fear of Music

Just to distance myself from any poor music taste that you see within, some were Sarah's. I won't tell you which ones though.