"Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, beside Lake Galilee. Then Jesus began preaching." (Matt 4:13,17)

Links

The Centre for Public Christianity (CPX) (www.publicchristianity.org) is an independent research and media organization seeking to promote the public understanding of the Christian faith in Australia and beyond.

Jesus Film This project shows the life of Jesus in film as recorded in Luke’s gospel, and is available on line in over 1,300 languages. (Watch the film)

Alpha Course (www.alphaaustralia.org.au) The Alpha course is a popular, user-friendly ten week introduction to Christianity now running in hundreds of Churches throughout Australia.

Bible study books. Bridgeway Publications have published a series of basic, non-technical resources by Don Fleming, including the Bridgeway Bible commentary, the Bridgeway Bible Dictionary and “Let the Bible Speak.” These books have been widely used around the world, and translated into many languages. They are available on line. (download here.)

John Mark Ministries. (jmm.aaa.net.au) JMM contains resources on a wide range of Christian topics for Christian pastors, ex-pastors and the public.

EDGE Church (www.edgechurch.net) My church!

The Micah Challenge (www.micahchallenge.org.au)  is a global campaign of Christians speaking out against poverty and injustice.

Christians in Science and Technology. ISCAST, (The Institute for the Study of Christianity in an Age of Science and Technology)  is an Australian organisation dedicated to exploring the interface between science and the Christian faith.  (www.iscast.org.) The resources page has links to other similar groups world-wide. Dr John C Lennox, Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University, is a leader in the debate concerning science, Christianity and atheism. He has publicly debated Richard Dawkins, the late Christopher Hitchens and Peter Singer. His arguments are well informed and clear, presented with “charity, humour and humility.” For useful resources, see johnlennox.org

Christian and Gay !? Jesus did not teach directly about homosexuality, but his approach to individuals who had crossed the boundary of accepted sexual practice challenged the attitudes of the disciples and the religious leaders. Examples include the Samaritan woman who had had five husbands, (John ch 4:1-42), the woman “who had lived a sinful life” who anointed Jesus’ feet in the Pharisee’s house (Luke 7:36-50), and the woman convicted of adultery (John 8:1-11). Perhaps it is also helpful to think about the profound change in attitude required of the first generation of Jewish Christians in overcoming their prejudice against Gentiles. Jews were forbidden to eat with Gentiles, but God showed Peter through a vision that he “should not call any man impure or unclean.” (Acts 10:1-29). His actions threatened serious division within the Church, but he explained how God had confirmed his actions, and so the Gospel spread among the Gentiles. (Acts 11:1-18) (The issue continued to trouble the early Church, as Paul discussed in his letter to the Galatians! Eg Gal 2:11-16)

Today the issue of homosexuality remains a difficult and controversial issue among many Christians and non-Christians alike. Here are some helpful Christian resources from different perspectives;

Living it out; (www.livingitout.com) - a compassionate, honest and common sense resource in the “gay Christian” debate – “a survival guide for lesbian, gay and bisexual Christians and their friends, family and churches.”

Livingout (www.livingout.org) has been developed by three Christian ministers who experience same-sex attraction. “We are a group of Christians who experience same-sex attraction bringing out into the open the questions and dilemmas that gay Christians can often face.”

Reluctant Journey - (www.reluctantjourney.co.uk) tells the story of one straight evangelical Christian’s journey from prejudice, fear and rejection of homosexuals, to acceptance and appreciation of gay and lesbian Christians, including a careful and detailed examination of the Scriptures.

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